First Presbyterian Church (New York, N.Y.)
Records, 1717-1961
Finding Aid to Record Group 413
12.00 cubic feet

Presbyterian Historical Society
425 Lombard St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147-1516

RESTRICTIONS ON ACCESS

Collection open for research.

ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY

First Presbyterian Church

The First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York was established in 1716 and the first church building erected on Wall Street in 1719. As the Wall Street building became more crowded, families living in the northern part of the city wanted a church building of their own. This led to the establishment of the Brick Church on Beekman Street in 1768. As the growth of the city continued, Presbyterians established a third congregation, known as the Rutgers Church, on Henry Street in 1798. These three congregations continued until 1809 as one parish with a collegiate ministry, and it was not until that date that the Presbytery of New York enrolled them separately, each with its own minister. As the population continued to grow, the congregation of First Church decided to seek a new location. The foundation of the new church building on Fifth Avenue between Eleventh and Twelfth Streets was laid in 1844, and the church was dedicated in 1846.

One of the most significant church mergers in New York City history occurred in 1918. Two blocks from First Church was the University Place Presbyterian Church, and a little more than half a mile to the north was the Madison Square Presbyterian Church. These three united as the First Presbyterian Church and decided to use Old First's building on Fifth Avenue as the location for the newly reconfigured First Presbyterian Church. This consolidation included an agreement to continue the various missions of the uniting churches including Emmanuel Church, Bethlehem Memorial Church, Madison Square Church House, and the Madison Square Boys Club.

University Place Presbyterian Church

On November 29, 1843, a group of interested Presbyterians held the initial organization meeting for the University Place Presbyterian Church. They secured lots on the southeast corner of University Place and 10th Street and dedicated the church building in 1845. Close by on the west side of Mercer Street near Waverly Place was the Mercer Street Presbyterian Church, founded on October 8, 1835. The two churches merged on September 16, 1870.

Madison Square Presbyterian Church

The Madison Square Presbyterian Church was organized on March 3, 1853, and the church building at the southeast corner of Madison Avenue and 24th Street was dedicated in December 1854. The church remained in this location until 1906 when it moved directly across the street to the northeast corner of Madison Avenue and 24th Street.

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

This collection consists of minutes, registers, and other records of First Presbyterian Church (1717-1954), Mercer Street Presbyterian Church (1835-1918), University Place Presbyterian Church (1843-1926), Madison Square Presbyterian Church (1853-1925), and Madison Square Church House (1914-1961).


The collection is arranged as follows:



SERIES I: FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (NEW YORK, N.Y.), 1717-1954

SERIES II: MERCER STREET PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (NEW YORK, N.Y.), 1835-1918

SERIES III: UNIVERSITY PLACE PREBSYTERIAN CHURCH (NEW YORK, N.Y.), 1843-1926

SERIES IV: MADISON SQUARE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (NEW YORK, N.Y.), 1853-1925

SERIES V: MADISON SQUARE CHURCH HOUSE (NEW YORK, N.Y.), 1914-1961

NOTES TO THE RESEARCHER

Researchers should also consult the Presbyterian Historical Society catalog for further holdings.


Collection processed and finding aid prepared: 2001
David T. Euler, Archives Intern

Finding aid edited: October 2005
Bill Brock, Collection Management Archivist

Box	Folder	Description
1	1		Finding Aid to Record Group 413

		SERIES I: FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (NEW YORK, N.Y.), 1717-1954

	2		Session minutes, 1765-1808; list of baptisms, 1766-1803; and a "Brief Narrative of the Origin and Progress of the First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York," undated
	3		Session minutes (unofficial), 1804-1815

2	1		Session minutes, 1809-Sept. 1862

3	1		Session minutes, Dec. 1862- March 1907
	2		Session minutes, April 1907-1916
	3		List of members, 1807-1846
	4		List of members, 1809-1812
	5		List of communicants, 1809-1827
	6		List of members, 1811-1824
	7		List of church officers, 1809-1854
	8		List of pastors, elders, and members, 1809-1867
	9		Church register, 1717-1885 including lists of pastors, deacons, elders, and members
	10		List of members, 1866-1886
	11		Register of baptisms, 1728-1790
	12		Register of baptisms, 1791-1802
	13		Register of baptisms, 1798-1809, 1815-1825

4	1		Register of baptisms, 1810-1884

5	1		Register of marriages, 1756-1864

6	1		Register of baptisms, 1766-1803, and marriages, 1766-1776, 1793-1798
	2		Register of baptisms, 1765, and marriages, 1789-1809, 1815-1824

7	1		Register of marriages, 1793-1849
	2		Church register including baptisms, 1886-1910, and marriages, 1887-1890
	3		Pastor's register of George Alexander including baptisms, 1926-1930
	4		Marriage records, 1859-1883
	5		Marriage records, 1906-1930
	6		Register of marriages, 1928-1932

8	1		Register of deaths, 1786-1804
9	1		Record of burials, 1807-1811
	2		Church yard vault leases, 1846-1888
	3		Record of remains removed from the burial ground in Forsyth St., c. 1865

 
10	1		Trustees records, 1717-1775

11	1		Trustees minutes, 1784-1809

12	1		Trustees minutes, 1801- March 1844

13	1		Records and maps of the ground purchased by the Trustees, 1843-1844
	2		Trustees minutes, May 1844-1902
	3		Pew subscription records, 1804
	4		Record of pew holders, c. 1820
	5		Record of pew deeds, 1846-1866
	6		Record of pew deeds, 1866-1917
	7		Men's Association minutes, 1925-1927
	8		Alexander Memorial Chapel benefactors, 1938
	9		Church histories, 1886, 1891, 1919
	10		Yearbooks, 1894, 1916, 1918-1919
	11		Yearbooks, 1920-1923

14	1		Yearbooks, 1923-1925
	2		Yearbooks, 1934-1940
	3		Yearbooks, 1940-1944
	4		Yearbooks, 1944-1947
	5		Annual financial reports, 1948, 1951, 1952
	6		Directories, 1952/53-1953/54

		SERIES II: MERCER STREET PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (NEW YORK, N.Y.), 1835-1918

15	1		Session minutes, 1835-April 1865
	2		Session minutes, May 1865-1870
	3		Register of members, 1835-1866
	4		Register of members, 1866-1870
    	5		Register of baptisms, 1849-1870; also includes baptisms for University Place Presbyterian Church, 1870-1918
	6		Register of marriages, 1861-1870; also includes marriages for University
			Place Presbyterian Church, 1870-1918
15	7		Form of admission, 1835
	8		Manuals, 1855, 1862
	9		Board of Deacons Poor Fund ledger and other accounting records, 1841-1873; also includes records for University Place Presbyterian Church

		SERIES III: UNIVERSITY PLACE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (NEW YORK, N.Y.), 1843-1926
	
16	1		Session minutes, 1843-June 1870
	2		Session minutes, July 1870-May 2, 1889
	3		Session minutes, May 23, 1889-Sept. 1906
	4		Session minutes, Oct. 1906-1918
	5		Church register, 1845-1870 including baptisms, 1844-1870
	6		Register of members, 1871-1895
	7		Register of members, 1895-1918

17	1		Register of members of Emmanuel Chapel, 1897-1918	
	2		Register of members, 1892-1915
	3		Register of members, 1916-1920
	4		Scratch register, 1892-1929
	5		Pastor's register of George Alexander, 1884-1892, including baptisms, marriages, communicants received, funerals, and sermons
	6		Pastor's register of George Alexander, 1891-1898, including baptisms, marriages, communicants received, funerals, and sermons
	7		Trustees minutes, 1843-April 1883
	8		Trustees minutes, May 1883-1918
	9		Men's Association minutes, 1904-1926
	10		Yearbooks, 1893-1898

18	1		Yearbooks, 1898-1906	
	2		Yearbooks, 1906-1912
	3		Yearbooks, 1912-1917
	4		Yearbooks, 1917-1918

		SERIES IV: MADISON SQUARE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (NEW YORK, N.Y.), 1853-1925
	
19	1		Session minutes, 1853-Aug. 1869
	2		Session minutes, Sept. 1869-Oct. 1882
	3		Session minutes, Nov. 1882-May 1902
	4		Session minutes, Oct. 1902-1918
19	5		Register of baptisms, marriages, and deaths, 1853-1879
	6		Church register, 1853-1881, including baptisms, 1853-1881
	7		Church register, 1882-1909, including baptisms, 1882-1906
	8		Church register, 1853-1918

20	1		Mission Chapel register, 1867-1925, including baptisms, 1867-1925, and marriages, 1868-1925
	2		Trustees minutes, 1853-1917

21	1		Trustees minutes, 1916-1918
	2		Building Committee minutes, 1853-1855
	3		Board of Deacons minutes, 1854-1914
	4		Board of Deacons minutes, 1914-1918
	5		Young Men's Association minutes, 1857-1882
	6		Young Men's Association constitution, report, and directory, 1859
	7		Manuals 1856, 1862
	8		Year book, 1899, 1901
	
		SERIES V: MADISON SQUARE CHURCH HOUSE (NEW YORK, N.Y.), 1914-1961
	
 	9		Session minutes, 1940-1944
	10		Church register, 1917-1925, including baptisms, 1917-1925
	11		Church register, 1914-1930, including baptisms, 1917-1930, and marriages, 1920-1930

22	1		Church register, 1915-1944, including baptisms, 1931-1942, and   marriages, 1931-1946
	2		Trustees minutes, 1959-1961
	3		Gospel Committee minutes, 1935-1948