Guide to the Baptismal Register of Totowa Reformed Church of Jesus Christ 1756-1824 MG 644
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Inventory prepared by Stephen Yautz as part of the “Farm to City” project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
Finding aid encoded by Danielle Kovacs. March 2004. Production of the EAD version of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Finding aid written in English.
The Totowa Reformed Church of Jesus Christ was organized and formed in Paterson, New Jersey in 1756 by David Marinus, who became the church’s first pastor. The Totowa Reformed Church was formed from part of the congregation of the Acquackanonk Reformed Church (organized in 1694) in Passaic, New Jersey, of which Marinus was also the pastor. Marinus had decided to establish a church closer to a home he had bought for himself in what is Paterson today; the church was built on a nearby tract of land that is between today’s Hamburgh and Totowa Avenues in Paterson, New Jersey. In 1816, the church underwent repairs, which made more space for the growing congregation. On March 26, 1827, a fire gutted the church in one hour, mainly due to the dryness of the materials that were used in the building’s construction. The new structure was built on a lot on Main Street, where the congregation remained until 1871. Thereafter, a new church was constructed on Division Street. In 1927, the Totowa Reformed Church merged with the First Reformed Church and the Broadway Reformed Church to form a new congregation, the Central Reformed Church, which then erected a new church building at 153 Hamilton Avenue in Paterson. The last known reference to the Central Reformed Church was in the 1965 edition of the Reformed Church of America’s Historical Directory; since then, the congregation seems to have disbanded.
This collection cosists of a baptismal register for the Totowa Reformed Church of Jesus Christ in Paterson, New Jersey, spanning the years 1756 to 1824. The some of the pages in register are damaged, possibly due to the fire that destroyed the church in 1827. Entries are written in Dutch; explanatory footnotes in English were added to the register at a later date. Included in the beginning of the register is a letter of call (Beroefsbrief) of the church’s first pastor, David Marinus, and dates from April 23, 1756. This letter of call was the document that acted as a charter for the church, and recorded its procedures and bylaws. The baptismal register follows, with the first entry dated August 8, 1756. On August 29, 1824, the last entry was made, recording the baptism of Jude Sisco.
There are no access restrictions on this collection.
Photocopying of materials is limited and no materials may be photocopied without permission from library staff.
Researchers wishing to publish, reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission.
The New Jersey Historical Society complies with the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code), which governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions and protects unpublished materials as well as published materials.
For related materials in print on the Totowa Reformed Church of Jesus Christ, see:
Nelson, William. History of the Old Dutch Church at Totowa, Paterson, New Jersey, 1755-1827. Paterson, New Jersey: Press Printing and Publishing Company, 1892.
For related collections containing church records of Dutch Reformed Churches and organizations in the same time period, see:
Due to the fragile condition of the baptismal register, researchers are encouraged to consult William Nelson’s History of the Old Dutch Church at Totowa, Paterson, New Jersey, which reprints the baptismal register in its entirety; an English translation from the original Dutch is also included in this work.
This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 644, Totowa Reformed Church of Jesus Christ Baptismal Register, The New Jersey Historical Society.
This collection is the gift of the John Browne and Descendants Memorial Fund, 1966.