Ancestry.com added a wonderful new database yesterday - the U.S. Dutch Reformed Church Records from Selected States, 1660-1926. I'm not sure how complete this collection is, but it surely adds significant online content in an area where the researcher had to rely upon visiting a repository or ordering sets of microfilm from the FamilySearch Library.
The description of this database says:
"This database will be comprised of records from the Reformed Church in America. This database will be updated with content from other states, and currently includes records from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
I knew that Jacobus Van Vorst was born in 1703 to Jillis Van Vorst and Elisabeth Van Eps in Schenctady, New York from my earlier library work. The birth record is the third one down the list above. Here is the Record Summary:
The Record Summary provides the following information:
* Name: Jacobus Van Vorst
* Event Type: Baptism
* Father's Name: Jellis Van Vorst
* Mother's Name: Lysebet Van Neps
* Baptism Date: 12 Dec 1703
* Baptism Place: Schenectady, Schenectady, New York, USA
I clicked on the link to "View Original Image:"
The page above shows the Date, the parent's names (on two lines), the child's name, and the sponsors names (on two lines). The year is handwritten in the upper left-hand corner of the page. This is page 16 of the typescript, and is on image 22 of 163 in this specific "Book."
As you can see, this is not the original handwritten church record - it is a typescript taken from the original church record (and we don't know how many transcriptions or abstracts came before this typewritten record). But it's what we have, and it's probably closer to the original church record than the published Schenectady history book.
How do I know that it's for Schenectady? Only by using the "back" arrow (at bottom of the screen above), or highlighting the image number and typing in another image number) to find the first page of this "book" (image 2 of 163 of this "book"):
And the column headings are on the next image (Image 3 of 163 in this "book"):
The bread crumb trail on the line above the image indicates that this is Schenectady Baptisms, Volume 1 Book 41. The Ancestry.com source citation for my record is:
Ancestry.com. U.S., Dutch Reformed Church Records from Selected States, 1660-1926 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.
Astute source citation junkies will notice that Ancestry.com does not identify the state, town, book volume or number, or the specific item found. That's why I don't rely upon them for my source citations and prefer to craft my own. Here is how I would craft a source citation in Evidence Explained style for Jacobus Van Vorst's baptism record in the Ancestry.com database above:
U.S. Dutch Reformed Church Records from Selected States, 1660-1926, online database and digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com), New York, Schenectady, "Schenectady Baptisms," Volume 1, Book 41, typescript, page 16 (mage 22 of 163), Jacobus Van Vorst entry.
I love doing this source citation stuff now! I enjoy the challenge.
Now I have another resource to "mine" for this information on my Van Vorst, Bradt, Putman, Van Eps, Beck, Mol, Bresee, Van Deusen, and several other Dutch immigrant families in my database.
note that this database may not have every record for every Dutch Reformed Church record book - reading the database description, it seems to say that the database is incomplete. I may provide a list of the states or towns presently available in another post.
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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver