First Methodist Episcopal Church Of Port Gibson Records,1834-1901.

Collection Number: 6026

Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
Cornell University Library


First Methodist Episcopal Church of Port Gibson records, 1834-1901.
Collection Number:
First Methodist Episcopal Church of Port Gibson (Port Gibson, N.Y.)
1 reel microfilm.
Forms of Material:
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Records of the Port Gibson Charge (which included East Palmyra until 1853) including: minutes of stewards and leaders meetings (1841-1853, 1853-1865); trustees' account books (1834-1901); church register (1844-1868) and misccellaneous sheets. Also include financial records, membership lists, and meeting minutes.
Collection material in English


Port Bison and East Palmyra were a single charge on the circuit in their area until 1853 when they split up into two charges.


These records begin in l84l and continue beyond 1865 and include both financial records, membership lists, and meeting minutes.

First Methodist Episcopal Church of Port Gibson (Port Gibson, N.Y.)

Methodist Episcopal Church--New York (State)--Port Gibson.

Ontario County (N.Y.)--Religious life and customs.
Port Gibson (N.Y.)--Religious life and customs.

Form and Genre Terms:
Account books.


Cite As:
First Methodist Episcopal Church of Port Gibson records, #6026. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.


Item #1
"Stewards Book for the Port Gibson Circuit", l84l-l853
Contents: This volume discusses both financial matters and church government, as well as disciplinary measures. It includes two types of records, those concerning the Stewards meetings and the Quarterly meetings, the latter being irregular in the beginning of the volume. The financial matters discussed at the Stewards' meetings are: the minister's pay; the costs of keeping up the meeting house, parsonage, and land; pew rents and subscriptions; and the sale of church property. The matters of church government include the appointment of committees to deal with church business, the approval of lay preachers and exhorters, maintaining buildings, missionary activities, and Bible School decisions. The disciplinary matters are discussed in terms of a committee visiting a member, the member being called in to discuss his wrongs, or the expulsion of a member.
On October 23, 1843 the meeting decided the rules of order for meetings, e.g. point #11 - "Every member of this meeting in his debates shall have due regard to the feelings of his brethren and avoid all personalities."
On that same date (October 23, 1843), the questions asked by the President of the meeting - asked:
1. "Are there any sick who ought to be visited?
2. "Are there any who walk disorderly and will not be reproved?"
3. "Are there any who repeatedly, and wilfully neglect to meet in class?"
4. "Are there any poor who requires relief and comfort?" etc.
On September 1847 - they wrote of "our existing embarasments and difficulties" and Brother Mandeville's not returned as pastor.
In 1850 - towns mentioned on the circuit included Port Gibson, East Palmyra, Webster, Walworth, Pultney, Sodus, Pittsford, Fairville, Newark, Canandaigua, Palmyra, Manchester, Victor, Penfield, Rochester, Nos. 1,2,3.
Item #2
"Stewards Book for the Port Gibson Charge, August 28th, 1853 -Minutes of Stewards and Leaders Meetings", (1853-1865)
Contents: This volume appears to be a continuation of the first one with Quarterly meeting minutes as well as Stewards meeting minutes. In 1853 the Port Gibson charge was separated from East Palmyra. In 1856 there was a long discussion recorded with resolutions that involved the election of the editor of the NC Advocate (a Methodist periodical in New York State) over the issue of slavery. The Port Gibson group was not satisfied with the editor's stand on slavery and wanted to form a publication of its own which would have a stronger anti-slavery stand.
In 1856 a brother quit the country without telling anyone, leaving his financial matters "unsettled." He was expelled from the congregation.
Item #3
"Port Gibson Dec 1854 Trustees book of account of Contingent Expenses with the Secretary and Treasurer C Mead Allterton Dr" (1834-1901)
Contents: This volume is a record of all payments for goods, repairs and work done on the church property. It also includes the sale of slips and subscriptions. In Dec 1860 the name of the dealer (Dr) is changed to Hiram Schutz.
Item #4
"Trustees Book of Accounts of Contingent Expenses", (1854-1884)
Contents: This volume had miscellaneous papers in it which were filmed before the volume vas. They include a sheet dated 1834 which stated:
"We the subscribers do hereby certify that on the seventh day of April 1834 in the vicinity of Port Gibson met at the School House in said Vilage (sic) pursuant to lawful notice for the purpose of forming a corporate body to take charge of and manage the temporalities of the said church..."
This sheet involved the formation and election of Trustees in 1834, but does not continue.
The second sheet (1842) is an inventory of notes and pledges for money to build the parsonage, house and barn, and to buy three lots.
There is another sheet entitled "Schedule of the Property of the ME Church of Port Gibson Church Meeting House Built and Paid for by Subscription and Leasing Seats in said Church..." (1845)
The Trustees' minutes begin in a regular manner after 1835 for the Port Gibson and East Palmyra charge (which before 1853 were one). The minutes have very little detail and simply record when the meeting occurred and who was elected a trustee.
Item #5
"Church Register for Port Gibson and East Palmyra Commencing Oct 1 1844 " Second title page: "Church Register for the Port Gibson Station Commencing Sept 1852 "
The minutes from 1844 to 1852 (when East Palmyra first started petitioning to leave this charge) are gone. The minutes in 1852 are prefaced by a statement to the effect that the East Palmyra members are forming a separate unit.
Later in the volume are the following lists: one page begins a list of members under the following headings: "Rec by trial, in full, by letter, Removed by letter, without letter, Withdrawn, Died in Peace." The next list is entitled "Official Members for Port Gibson and East Palmyra from 1844" with a year at the left hand side of the pages and with subheadings of "Presiding Elder, Pastor, Local Preachers, Exhorters, Stewards, and Leaders," so that for any given year one may find out who filled these various offices. The next list is entitled "List of Probationers" and is subheaded "Date of Reception, Names, When Rec'd in full, When Dropped." There is an almost unreadable page heading called "Marriages by J.A. Swallow which begins in 1868, listing date, names, residences, "W ... unreadable," and remarks.