Sunday, April 1, 2018

Don’t Forget Church Records-the Warner Family

On a visit back East several years ago I visited the Suffolk County Historical Society as I frequently do.  At that time I was on a hunt for information that would help me understand some information in my Great-Grandmother Carrie Terry Warner’s letters.  (See post Carrie’s Letters and additional posts labeled Carrie’s Letters ) I knew from Carrie’s Letters that a significant part of of my great grandparents’ lives was built around the church community.  The church they attended was the Baiting Hollow Congregational Church in Baiting Hollow, New York.  I recently came across this pamphlet from 1882 I had gotten a copy of and was reviewing the information in it.  I realized what a wealth of information there was in just a few pages:

(click to images to enlarge)

To begin with there was a history of the Church:
I grew up in the area and knew this church because of Girl Scouts and yearly chicken barbeques, roaming the cemetery with my grandparents, etc. but I had never heard about how the church was started. 

I thought it was interesting to read the ‘Covenant’, or agreement that the members of the Church had.  This helps put the time period and the community into perspective for me.  It helps me understand what their beliefs were and how they valued others in the church community:


I was surprised to read that as part of their ‘Covenant’ they agreed not to use ‘intoxicating liquors as a beverage’.  I know from Carrie’s Letters that she would become part of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.  Now I can see the connection after reading the ‘Covenant’ and understanding the beliefs of this farming community.

In just looking at the names of my Warner ancestors I have learned:
  • My 3x great grandparents Daniel Warner I (1784-1870) and his wife Jemima Benjamin Howell (1791-1870) had been members of the Church.
  • My 2x great uncle Goldsmith Warner (1815-1897) and brother of Daniel II was a member of the Church.
  • My 2x great aunt Susan Warner Cleaves was a member of the church.  (I believe this is the Susan Warner on the list.)
  • My 2x great grandparents Daniel Warner II (1818-1895) was not listed as a member of the Church but his wife Eleanor Howell Warner was a member of the Church.  I wonder why Daniel wasn’t a member?
  • Daniel and Eleanor’s son Allen W. (1842-1927) and his 1st wife Achsah Howell Warner (1841-1846) and second wife Isabella Robinson Howell were members of the Church.
  • Daniel and Eleanor’s son Eugene G. (1864-1952)
  • My great grandfather John Benjamin Warner would have been 20 years old and unmarried at this time, so, I wonder if he joined after he and Carrie Terry Warner were married in 1885?
  • I also wonder about my great grandfather’s other siblings who are not listed as members of the Church?
Knowing more about the Church community and beliefs of the time also helps tell the story of my ancestors’ lives.  Don’t forget when you are searching for information to also look for church records and information.

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,


  1. I’m looking at church records today too Debby. They can certainly help us understand our ancestors a bit better. And, provide vital records we might not otherwise have records for. I noticed the name Achsah. This name occurs twice in Ron's family line. I know it is a name from the Bible, as were many of the names back then.
    Thanks for sharing this record.

  2. Thanks Diane. They certainly do help us put ourselves in their time.

  3. We're trying to find a document that proves that Jemima Benjamin was a daughter of Nathan and Johanna Benjamin. The is for a DAR application and they would NOT accept the Benjamin Family Genealogy Book.
    Any help or suggestions would be most appreciated.