Sunset at Gowanus Bay

Sunset at Gowanus Bay
Sunset at Gowanus Bay, Henry Gritten, 1851

Monday, December 17, 2012

First Reformed Church Raritan (Somerville), N. J. Baptisms

Organized in 1699, the First Reformed Church of Raritan, now in Somerville, New Jersey, was the first Reformed Dutch Church established in the Raritan Valley region. Beginning in the 1690s and through the first two decades of the 1700s, many families with roots in Kings County, Long Island, made the move to the Raritan area.

The baptism records for the church were published in the Somerset County Historical Quarterly beginning with volume 2, issue no. 1 in 1913. The first installment opens with a history of the church and his followed by the baptismal register beginning in the year 1699. Issue nos. 2, 3 and 4 of SCHQ volume 2 continue the records until May 27, 1744. A PDF of the scanned pages is now available online.

Raritan Baptisms (1699-1744), SCHQ v.2, 1913


  1. I am seeking the baptism records of Thomas Auten Sr. baptized Feb. 20, 1762 at First Reformed Dutch Church, Rarity, New Jersey. He also married Elizabeth Van Tuyle on October 31, 1783 and they had a son Thomas Auten Jr., born December 11, 1805. I am not sure where the marriage or Thomas Jr.s' record of birth or baptism was recorded.
    Any assistance would greatly be appreciated.
    Dr. Jerry Stubben

  2. Jerry, The Find-A-Grave memorial (#40004980)which you're probably aware of) states that your Thomas born in 1805 was born in New York (state). Checking the 1810 U.S. census the only Thomas Auton (sic) found in NY State is in Hector, Seneca County, age over 45 which certainly fits the description of your elder Thomas Auten. There is a male age 10-15 in the household, but no male under age 10 (but sometimes these census counts have errors, and the household does include a female under 10). The town of Hector is now in Schuyler Co., NY. I am not finding a Thomas Auten on the 1800 U.S. census (anywhere)but, the 1800 census records for New Jersey have been lost. Perhaps the family was still in NJ in 1800. Assuming the Thomas Auton in Hector in 1810 is the one your looking for, then perhaps he relocated there between 1800 and 1805, in which case searching for church records in the vicinity of Hector would be your starting point. However, from my own experience in searching in Seneca Co., in the very early 1800s (surnames Garrison and Hooper), I can say that records there are thin. Few exist. You may want to check with local Historical Societies in and near Hector.
    A baptism record for the younger Thomas is not in the Raritan Church records (again you probably already searched there and know this), but if you haven't done so already, you may want to look at some of the other New Jersey churches nearby (Readington in particular).


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