Kinsearching July 22, 2007




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     If your ancestors were in the Empire State in the 17th and 18th centuries, you may be interested in the reprint of RECORDS OF THE REFORMED DUTCH CHURCH IN NEW AMSTERDAM AND NEW YORK: MARRIAGES FROM 11 DECEMBER, 1639, TO 26 AUGUST, 1801 by Samuel S. Purple. Containing more than 10,000 entries, the book is a compilation of the oldest extant marriage records for the church.

     Purple begins his work with an introduction which describes briefly the discovery and settlement of New Amsterdam (now New York City), the organization of the Reformed Dutch Church and the evolution of church policy, and marriage customs. The rest of the book reproduces material on marriages for the period from 11 December 1639 to 26 August 1801. Although most of the earlier marriages show a preponderance of Dutch surnames, through the years the variety of surnames reflects the ethnic diversity of this major port. Just because a couple married in the Reformed Dutch Church does not necessarily mean they were of Dutch descent. For example, the records list many immigrants from such countries as England, Ireland, and Scotland. Most of the marriages took place in New York; however, some of the 17th century entries are for marriages performed outside the city.

     As expected, each entry provides the names of the couple and the date and place of the event. Particularly in the earlier records, some entries furnish the name of the officiating minister. Sometimes additional details may appear such as the place of origin of the bride or groom. Included in the volume is a list of ministers, their dates of tenure, and usually their dates of birth and death. Genealogists who are tracing their lineage in the Empire State may want to look through RECORDS OF THE REFORMED DUTCH CHURCH IN NEW AMSTERDAM AND NEW YORK: MARRIAGES FROM 11 DECEMBER, 1639, TO 26 AUGUST, 1801 to see if it has any information about their forebears.

     The 351-page paperback has a full name index and errata. Entries are arranged chronologically. Since the earliest records are in Dutch, a glossary showing the English translation for key words would be helpful. With a little patience, however, many genealogists can figure out their meaning.

     To the book's price of $29.30, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $4 for one book and $2.00 for each additional copy; for UPS, the cost is $6 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume (item order #9722) may be purchased by check, MasterCard, or Visa from Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211 (for phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

     Marie Reedy, 1923 Campus Drive, Fairborn, OH 45324 (phone 1-937-879-4767; e-mail seeks the names of the parents and siblings of Richard SHELTON, a farmer, who was born 19 December 1779 in Louisa Co., VA, and married in 1807, probably in Rockingham Co, NC, to Frances Jones BARNETT, daughter of William and Frances Jones BARNETT. They were residents of Louisa County, VA, until 1803; then they lived in Leaksville, Rockingham Co., NC.

     Richard Shelton resided in Rockingham, Stokes, and Guilford counties, NC, between 1807 and his death on 17 June 1842 in Greensboro, Guilford Co., NC. His children were

1. Ann Winston SHELTON, who m. Dr. William P. YOUNG;
2. Frances Jones Barnett SHELTON, who m. George W. DAVIS;
3. William SHELTON, who m. Maria THOMPSON;
4. Joseph Harper SHELTON, who m. Nancy Jane GILLESPIE;
5. Mary SHELTON, who d. in childhood in Guilford Co., NC;
6. Elizabeth SHELTON, who d. in childhood in Guilford Co., NC;
7. Rev. John Anthony Winston SHELTON, who m. Mattie CROSS (Methodist Episcopal Church South);
8. Damaris L. SHELTON, who m. John H. CHAPMAN;
9. Samuel Richard SHELTON, who m. first to Martha CAMPBELL; second to Sallie B. RUTHERFORD; and third to Mary Clopton BERNARD;
10. James Barnett SHELTON, who m. M. V. LONG;
11. Robert SHELTON, who m. Maggie HARDING.

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