New Horizons Genealogy

"Specializing in New England and Belknap Colonial American Ancestry"

1795 - 1800
Baptist Church at Lyons Farm
Marriage Records
City of Newark
Essex Now Union County, New Jersey

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The Baptist Church at Lyons Farms (a village adjacent to the Waverly railroad station, between Newark and Elizabeth, and so called from the first settlers, William and Henry Lyon), was constituted Apr. 16, 1769, by twelve persons, chiefly from the Scotch Plains Church. The pulpit was supplied by various clergymen--from Scotch Plains, New York, Morristown and elsewhere--until 1779, when the Rev. ---- Ward was called, being ordained at Short Hills, May 8, 1779. From Oct. 4, 1780, to June 29, 1785, there is but one entry in the records--of a meeting on Sept. 20, 1783. George Guthrie, minister, administered the rite of baptism on June 29, 1785, and frequently thereafter until Apr. 16, 1786. The next church meeting was on March 7, 1787, amd the next on Aug. 30, 1788, at which time it appears that the Rev. Joseph Stephens was supplying the pulpit. He was dismissed Dec. 20, 1788, to the churches at Upper Freehold and New Mills. The next meeting was held on Sept. 26, 1789, when a committee was appointed to secure the services of the Rev. William Vanhorne, of the Scotch Plains church, for one quarter of this time for one year. The next meeting reported in the church book was on Mar. 11, 1792. It was "Agreed to give Bror: Peter Bryant of Piscataway an Invitation to serve us as a Preacher for the next 3 months, requiring two thirds of the Lords days in the said time. Bror: Clisby after informed us that Bror: Bryant accepted the same, the Time to commence the first day of Apr. 1792." The Rev. Peter Bryant was thereupon engaged for three months, and was ordained pastor of the church on Sept. 13, 1792. He continued pastor until the close of the year 1807. He kept the church records in admirable shape, writing a beautiful hand. His register of marriages began Jan. 1, 1793, and was arranged thus:

Each marriage was numbered at the beginning, and the marriage fee received was noted at the end. Thus we learn that during the eight years, 1793-1800, he performed sixty marriage ceremonies, and received therefor fees amounting to E35, 17s. 6 d., or $89.90, an average of $1.50. The usual fee was 8s., or $1; the highest was E1, 4s., or $3.

The old book of records is a stout folio, in excellent preservation, bound in parchment, and lettered on the front cover:

It contains the records of church proceedings from Apr. 16, 1769, to Nov. 2, 1854, kept in somewhat desultory fashion; also records of baptisms (of adult persons received into the church); and records of marriages.

The editor is indebted to the authorities of the church for the loan of this precious volume, for the purpose of copying the following record of marriages prior to 1801.

A few notes may be convenient regarding the names of places mentioned in these records:

Bridge-Town--Lower Rahway.

Camptown--known since 1852 as Irvington.

Canoe Brook--a small stream in Livingston township. The straggling settlements along it were known by the name of the brook, and later the principal hamlet was called North Farms and Northfield.

Connecticut Farms--now more generally called Union, about three miles west of Elizabeth.


Williams' Farms--between Elizabeth and Westfield.