Early Church History and Genealogy in Old Newspaper Articles

by admin on January 11, 2009

Early Methodist History in America:
I was contacted recently by a genealogist who was interested in some ancestors that were in the northern part of New York State in the 1780’s-1790’s. Her request brought to mid some historical research I did on the earliest start of the Methodist Religion in America.

John Wesley

John Wesley

John Wesley:
When you think of early Methodist history the name of John Wesley of England comes to mind and it was curious to me as to how it could be that the Methodist religion was brought to America by a German speaking man that came from County Limerick in Ireland and lived first in New York City before settling in the Northern part of New York Province in what is now Washington County, NY.

Value of Newspapers:
It turns out that by searching on Newspaper Archive you will find such articles as the following from the not too distant past that will lead you to further research areas.

From the Bennington Banner Tuesday March 7, 1967 Regarding the Ashgrove Methodist Church and Philip Embury its founder.
“Believed to be the second oldest Methodist Church In the United States and the first to be built north of New York City. It was in 1788 at Ashgrove near Cambridge, NY.

It was described at that time by the Rev Freeborn Garrettson, presiding elder, as the most elegant church for its size that he knew of.

In 1803 the church was enlarged and included a wide center aisle to separate the men and women at worship.

In1832 the people of Ashgrove built another and larger church…”

Philp Embury Methodist Founder

Philp Embury Methodist Founder


Philip Embury Founder of Methodism:
Now with this sort of information you can start doing other online researches and you will find the whole story about Philip Embury the founder of Methodism in America and his band of followers that came up out of NYC before the Revolutionary war and settled in this remote wilderness. Philip died from exhaustion or heat stroke as a young man and he is now buried in Cambridge, NY in the Woodlands Cemetery there.

German Immigration from Ireland 1750′s:
It turns out that the reason that Philip was German speaking is that though he was born in Ireland he was of a very tight German community of farmers that were sent there in 1709 by Queen Anne of England, and that study of the so-called Palatine German emigration of 1709-1710 will lead you to another amazing collection of historical stories.

Local News:
Now searching further back on old newspapers you will learn much more about this religion and all others for that matter. Sometimes the recap of history will be written in articles such as above, but most often you will be able to see the local news of the day as it happened and you will appreciate how it relates to your research project what ever it may be.

Old newspaper articles are just about the very best resource for genealogy, family history and local history. They will lead you to many new exciting avenues to pursue.

Your subscription to Newspaper Archive will bring you countless hours of enjoyment and you will locate pieces of your puzzle that are to be found no where else on earth.

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