Saturday, May 23, 2015

Faiths of Our Ancestors

Over the years of research it has been interesting to see what religious denominations my ancestors have followed and at what point, if any, they switched to a different church. That I am aware of, my ancestors have followed about eleven different faiths: Congregationalist [Separatist], Puritan, Baptist, Reformed [Dutch, French & German], Presbyterian, Anglican/Episcopal, Quaker, Mennonite, Lutheran, Methodist & Catholic.

There were switches from one church to another over the years. The Pralls were Dutch Reformed in New York, attended the Presbyterian Church in New Jersey and eventually switched to Methodist. I think the first switch was due to convenience. The two churches shared similar practices and there was a lack of Dutch Reformed Churches in Hunterdon Co., NJ. The next switch? I think that one may have had to do with Ann Bathia Rhodes Prall deciding her children would follow her parents' faith and husband Isaac R. not objecting.

My Quaker ancestors ran into a different motivation. Love and marriage. Somewhere along the line there was a marriage "contrary to faith" and he or she was removed from the Meeting.

Over the next few posts, I'll take a look at those 11 denominations. We'll examine a little of the history of each, where the followers settled and how changes developed as the settlers migrated from New England, the Middle Colonies and the South westward.

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