First Presbyterian Church In Lyons Records,1799-1946.

Collection Number: 6098

Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
Cornell University Library


First Presbyterian Church in Lyons records, 1799-1946.
Collection Number:
First Presbyterian Church in Lyons (Lyons, N.Y.)
2 reels microfilm.
Forms of Material:
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
One volume of annual meeting minutes (1799-1870); three volumes of session minutes (1809-1825, 1825-1840, 1840-1865) dealing heavily with discipline and pew rent and documenting increase in membership; one volume of treasurer's records (1826-1848) indexed to names; and a register of members, baptisms and marriages (1809-1946).
Collection material in English


On December 10, 1799 public notice was given for a meeting to be held on January 2, 1800 to elect trustees for a "Presbyterian Church to be established in the village of Lyons in the town of Sodus." Services were first held in a farm and later in a storehouse which was moved to a lot "set aside for gospel purposes." On October 23, 1809 Rev. John Lindsley, a missionary of the General Assembly organized the church further, and the session began meeting. Until 1820 the original name of the First Presbyterian Church in Sodus was retained. At that time the legislature was petitioned to change the name to the First Presbyterian Church and Society of Lyons.
In 1825 the church had outgrown its quarters and a new brick church was completed. Between 1826 and 1834 a series of revivals added 224 new members. A Sunday school was established in 1814 and in 1825 the Female Missionary Society of Lyons began. In 1805 Charles Williamson had given the church 150 acres, the income of which was used to pay the pastor. An act of the state legislature was required to allow the church to sell the lot in 1866. In March, 1849 construction was begun on a new building which was dedicated the following February. In 1851 there was another revival season and again in 1870 and in 1880-1881.
Between 1866 and 1872 a strong effort was made to have the owners of the pews release their titles to the church in order to increase church income. See the anniversary booklets in the accessions folder for additional historical information, a list of pastors and biographies of prominent members.


This collection contains a complete series of annual meeting minutes (1809-1825, 1825-1840, 1840-1865); one volume of treasurer's records (1826-1848) indexed to names; and a register of members, baptisms and marriages (1809-1946) compiled c. 1844.

First Presbyterian Church in Lyons (Lyons, N.Y.)
Lindsley, John.
Female Missionary Society (Lyons, N.Y.)
First Presbyterian Church in Sodus (Sodus, N.Y.)

Presbyterian Church--New York (State)--Lyons.
Presbyterian Church--Missions.
Presbyterian Church--Membership.
Presbyterian church buildings.

Wayne County (N.Y.)--Religious life and customs.
Lyons (N.Y.)--Religious life and customs.

Form and Genre Terms:
Baptismal certificates.


Cite As:
First Presbyterian Church in Lyons records, #6098. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.


Volume I
Presbyterian Church in Lyons, New York Minutes of Trustees, December 10, 1799-February 17, 1873
Minutes record the election of trustees and their term of office, the date and location of the annual meeting, the business of administering church property, lengthy discussions of pew rent policy, reports and resolutions. Extra entries surround the construction of new meeting houses in 1823 and 1849. After the February 2, 1866 entry is a pew rent diagram.
Volume II
Minutes of the Session of the Presbyterian Church in Sodus, 1809-1825
Session minutes record the organization of the church by the Rev. John Lindsley, the reception of members, attendance of members of the session and disciplinary cases. Somewhat illegible in places. At the end of the volume is a list of baptisms which includes date, parents, subject and date of birth (1809-1823) and another list of member's contributions.
Volume III
Record of the First Presbyterian Church in Lyons, Session Minutes, 1825-1840
Minutes contain the same information as Volume II. Large numbers of baptisms occurred from April 3, 1831-November 1832 and in April 1333, 34 and 38. Items of note include:
Page 6, Sept. 17, 1826
A woman pleads guilty to intemperance.
Page 18, June 6, 1828
A brother claims he has absented himself from worship because he was offended by the use of a bass viol.
Dec. 15, 1840
Trial for a rape.
Volume IV
Records of the First Presbyterian Church in Lyons, N.Y.", 1840-1865
Minutes contain the same information as in Volume II. Items of note include:
Page 1
Account of the church's founding.
Page 1-2
List of pastors.
Page 2
List of elders.
Page 5-9, July 30-Dec. 15, 1840
Trial for "laviceous conduct."
Page 13, Dec. 28, 1840
Member excommunicated for owning a gambling establishment (billiards and bowling) .
Page 14-17, January 1-25, 1841
Resolution of trial above pp. 5-9.
Page 53-83, Aug. 12-Oct. 12, 1844
Trial of an elder for dishonesty, covetousness, un-Christian and abusive treatment of the pastor, slanderous treatment of the church and violation of Christian covenant. Issues raised in the trial include equalization of church expenses and preparation of the annual report to the Presbytery.
Page 87-88, Feb. 6, 1845
Account of the elder's appeal to the Presbytery.
Page 99, March 1, 1846
Resolution against gambling and card playing and making them reason for church discipline.
Page 155, Dec. 2, 1853
The church endows a chair at Hamilton College.
Page 215
Last minutes.
List of Benevolent Collections listing date (1849-1864), cause and amount collected.
Volume V
Treasurer's Records, 1826-1848
Contains two lists of subscriptions due (1826-41, 1840-48), each indexed by names, showing date, amount paid, purpose (1 yrs. subscription), cash or draft for each member and the accounts of the treasurer with the trustees (p. 239).
Volume VI
Register of Church Members, Baptisms and Marriages, 1809-1946
Pre-printed register
Apparently contains material from old registers copied sometime after 1844. A note from Albert J. Thomas, pastor in 1846 states that many baptisms, marriages and deaths were not recorded by his predecessors, so the list is incomplete.
Register of Church Members
Includes a number, when received, name, wife or widow of, how received, if baptised, and remarks for 2,543 members. An alphabetical index follows the register.
List of infant baptisms
Includes date, name, time of birth, names of parents (1811-1891) alphabetically arranged.
Marriages list
Contains date, name of the parties, and, (after 1848), includes the residence of the parties and some witnesses.