Source for 1700's Scotch Plains Baptist Church records in New Jersey?

+2 votes
Source for Scotch Plains Baptist Church records in New Jersey?  Does anyone have a source for 1700's marriage records kept by the Scotch Plains Baptist Church, Essex County, New Jersey? Preferably an online source that I could see without paying or joining anything? If not that, does anyone know if such records exist (even if I can't see them online)?
WikiTree profile: Thomas Layton
in Genealogy Help by Pauline Layton G2G6 (6.1k points)

2 Answers

0 votes

Are you 100% sure they were Baptists?  What was the original source for Scotch Plains marriage location?  I didn't see it on the profile. 

I have access to a microfiche copy of The Records of the Baptist Church at the Scotch Plains in East New Jersey in the year of our Lord 1747-.  I don't think there is anything else still extant for this time period.

It's a typeset transcription of the church minutes and contains disciplinary actions and a list of members, not exactly births/marriages/burials unless they were referenced in the business meeting.  There are no Laytons listed in the membership (it was a small congregation, less than 20 years old when they were married). 

I also looked at a couple histories of the Scotch Plains Baptist Church.  It was an offshot of the Piscatway Baptist Church.  In 1747, there were only seven other Baptist churches in New Jersey (Middletown, Piscataway, Cohansey, Cape May, Hopewell, Kingswood, Hightstown/Cranbury).  If you are 100% sure they were Baptists this early, you could look for other churches' records.

New Jersey Project coordinator

by H Husted G2G6 Mach 7 (72.1k points)
Thank you, Heather, for taking a look.

The NJ Laytons were decidedly Baptists and practiced adult baptism.
Generations of Layton genealogists have accepted as gospel the existence of a marriage record in 1764 for Thomas Layton at the Scotch Plains Baptist Church of New Jersey, and they've filled out their DAR applications accordingly.  When I took a closer look I felt some doubt. The date is reasonable, but the location seemed out of the way for someone who would have been living in southernmost Somerset County or even western Monmouth County. I'd have expected a record at the Middletown Baptist Church, where some of Thomas' family had been members, or maybe Cranberry would have been nearer to hand. If such a record existed (wherever) and if it gave Thomas' wife's Lydia's maiden name, it would be a breakthrough in a subject that's been mired in controversy.
Heather, I just now looked at your space profile page for NJ Documents
 (which I only just discovered), a very impressive collection. You've been busy! I found a source that included Scotch Plains Baptist Church marriage records 1758-1761. That isn't the 1764 that I wanted, unfortunately. But I did find a Layton marriage there in 1758 (Layton, Margaret and Jonathan Parker), which increases my hope that there could have been a Lydia-Thomas marriage there, even if they weren't members.
Upon further investigation: I looked at a couple different writeups about New Jersey churches by William Nelson (1900 and 1904, see sources below), and combined the pieces of information to convince myself that I'm out of luck.  A 1764 marriage at Scotch Plains Baptist Church would have been performed by Rev. Benjamin Miller, and his only available records are the marriage records from 1758 to 1761. So it could be true that Thomas married Lydia in 1764 at that location but I'm not going to prove it today. Someday the missing records of Rev. Benjamin Miller may emerge from a dusty attic.
PS      Your response mentioned a Kingswood (Baptist) Church in New Jersey. I looked for it, and all I find is a Kingwood Church in Hunterdon County. Was the "s" possibly a typo or did it come from a particular, meaningful source? There's a controversial baptismal record I'm interested in that's sometimes said to come from Kingwood or Kingswood, Morris County, New Jersey, but I never can find such a place.
Sources:           page 647, accessed 5 Feb 2019  page 176, accessed 5 Feb 2019
0 votes
I have a PDF of "Book of Records of the Seventh Day Baptist Church of Christ in Piscataway, East New Jersey 1705-1836" that I just received a few weeks ago.  It is 184 pages, handwritten but mostly readable.

Since the "Scotch Plains" was apparently a related church - you might try the same source that I used to obtain the Piscataway church records --

Seventh Day Baptist Center in Janesville WI

I knew about this center because my father had a letter dated 1994 where another genealogy researcher had sent him a few pages from the Piscataway Church records that he had scanned in Janesville WI.  So I found the center online, emailed them, they were very helpful, they found the book and scanned the entire book for me. Free.  Amazing.

There are other SDB centers in the US I think. Email address that I used is in the contact link above.

Send me a private message if you have questions or want a copy of the Piscataway Church records.

by Tom Blumer G2G4 (4.5k points)

Related questions

+3 votes
1 answer
0 votes
1 answer
122 views asked Mar 17, 2019 in Genealogy Help by Pauline Layton G2G6 (6.1k points)
+3 votes
2 answers
119 views asked Mar 6, 2019 in Genealogy Help by Pauline Layton G2G6 (6.1k points)
+3 votes
2 answers
+3 votes
2 answers
+5 votes
2 answers
96 views asked Jul 18, 2018 in Genealogy Help by J Briller G2G6 Mach 1 (10.0k points)

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright