The Voorlezer's Book

Our Old Dutch Church's original hand-written baptismal record book, 

covering 1696 to 1790, is the oldest historical record book

on Staten Island and in New York City.

To 17th

Century 6

First Page

The book was first discovered some time after 1860 by Rev. Brownlee as he was researching to write a pamphlet.  

 

Bayles History of Richmond County recounts the dramatic circumstances:

Sample page with 1696 entries
written in Dutch.

"This venerable and valuable relic (prior

to 1887) fell into bad company and

became degraded to the level of

common garret rubbish.  While it was in this condition and  just as it was about to be assigned to a bon-fire . . . it was promptly rescued by Mr. Alfred De Groot. . ."  

In 1950 it was reconditioned in its original style by Mr. Alexander Beveridge, a church member.

In 1909 the Voorlezer's Book was published as a typeset book.

Click image above for entire book.  

Why the information in our Voorlezer's Book was considered important enough to be published for national distribution.

Our records go back 53 years farther than the next oldest.  

The first page gives the Voorlezer's name, Henderyck Kroesen

End 17th

Century

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