Friday, December 3, 2010

Discord in Reformed Dutch Church of Kingston, New York from 1766 to 1772

Today, I was associating baptismal records from the Reformed Dutch Church of Kingston, NY to people in my family history. Typically, I like to include the name of the minister who officiated at the event. Roswell Randall Hoes's book, Baptismal and Marriage Registers of the Old Dutch Church of Kingston, Ulster County, New York, 1660-1809, includes the names of the presiding minister.

When I came across the baptismal entry for Maria Bogardus in 1769, I noticed something interesting on the page. There was a different minister after every three or four baptisms. But what attracted my attention was the parenthetical information following the name of each minister. In some cases the minister's name was followed by "(Conferentie)" and others by "(Coetus)".

I paged backward to see if I could determine when the first time one of these two designations occurred in the book. The first baptismal entry in which the notation of Conferentie or Coetus occurred was June 3, 1766 when Domine Gerhard Daniel Cock, minister of Germantown and Rhinebeck, officiated.

The minister who officiated at the baptisms prior to June 3rd was Domine Hermanus Meyer. The first baptism that is recorded with Rev. Meyer officiating is November 6, 1763; the last entry is February 9, 1766. From the latter date to October 25, 1772, Rev. Meyer was noted as Domine Meyer (Coetus).

Between June 3, 1766 and October 25, 1772, several different ministers performed baptisms for this congregations. With the exception of Rev. Meyer, each of the other ministers were recorded with "(Conferentie)." Each of these Conferentie ministers appear to have had a congregation somewhere else.

Domine Isaac Rysdyk was the minister for  Poughkeepsie and Fishkill, NY. Domine Gerhard Daniel Cock was the minister for Germantown and Rhinebeck, NY. Domine Johannes Casparus Fryenmoet was the minister for Livingston Manor. Domine Warmoldus Kuypers was the minister at Rhinebeck Flats, NY.

Domine Hermanus Meyer was the minister of the Reformed Dutch Church in Kingston during this time. However, it appears that the majority of the congregants chose to have ministers of neighboring Dutch Reformed Churches perform the baptisms. A minority of the congregation supported Domine Meyer and the Coetus.

By October 26, 1772, Domine Meyer was no longer the minister of the Kingston congregation as Domine Gerhard Daniel Cock officiated at several baptisms on that date and beyond. This six-year period must have been very difficult for the congregation, the community and friends and family.

To be continued...

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