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Nicholas Hollenbeck's Christening

Updated: Feb 3, 2021

A simple church record can shine an abundance of light on our ancestors' pasts, as seen here in this transcription found on FamilySearch. It is a record of the Christening of my 3rd great-grandfather, Nicholas Hollenbeck. The event took place on October 13, 1824, at the German Reformed Church in New Rhinebeck-Cobleskill, in Schoharie County, New York.

Note: If you are at a Family History Center, you can access the image here and if so, please share!

This record states that Nicholas was born on February 10, 1822, to "John Hallenbeek" and "Ann Coenrad". This matches the Hollenbeck Family Register, provided by Nancy Hollenbeck.

The interesting part is that John and Hannah were in Cincinnatus, New York by 1820. The Christening took place in Cobleskill, which is located near Sharon, where John's first two children were reportedly born, but did they really make the perilous journey of 85 miles all the way back there to have him christened?

The answer is yes! A closer look at the records in this collection revealed that four of John and Hannah's children were christened there on the same day, :

  • Nicholas Hallenbeek, born February 10, 1822

  • Henry Hallenbeek, born April 27, 1816

  • Eve Hallenbeek, born June 17, 1818

  • Mary Hallenbeek, born May 14, 1814

So we can see, the four Christenings on October 13, 1824, were John and Hannah's four youngest children. The others had probably already been Christened previously.

There is a book called, "Records of the German Reformed Church in New Rhinebeck, Near Dorlach (or Sharon). Now the Reformed Church of Lawyersville, in the Town of Cobleskill, Schoharie County, N.Y.: Also Record of the Union Reformed Dutch Church of Cobleskill, 1827-1855", published in 1915, which may provide more information if a copy can be found.

The photo of the Reformed Church at Cobleskill was published in the Historical Souvenir of Cobleskill, stating it was built in 1819. A visit to the location at the corner of Washington and West Main Street on Google Maps shows only a Masonic Lodge and no church there.

Perhaps it was the Lawyersville Reformed Church in Cobleskill, which still stands today.

Lawyersville & Sharon Reformed Church (Google Maps)

Anyone with information about John Hollenbeck and his family, please comment below or contact me! Subscribe to blog for updates!

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