In 1838 the first church split into the First & Second Presbyterian Churches of Cranbury. In 1935 the First & Second Presbyterian Churches of Cranbury merged back together. The historical records from both were originally microfilmed in 1954-55 by Rutgers University. The microfilms were converted to computer images in 2011. All records are stored as Adobe PDF files.
The records are handwritten documents & the computer files are just photos of the documents. That means at present there is no way to search for information in the PDF files as the handwriting in the pictures is not recognized as text. You just have to open the files & read thru them individually. Making use of the table of contents can help you narrow your search for information to the more likely files.
Below is an example from a meeting of the elders on April 19th, 1865 just 5 days after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. They are on page 103 in the “Session Minutes Volume 3 1830-75” in the First Presbyterian Church records. Did you know that Lincoln was shot on Good Friday? Perhaps that influenced their thoughts & the discussion.
Session Minutes from April 19th, 1865 just after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.
Click image for a larger view.
The Elders and Trustees of the First Church of Cranbury having been called together on the occasion of the receipt of the appalling intelligence of the assassination of our honored and lamented President, Abraham Lincoln, it was resolved:
1st That the Pastor of this church, the Rev. Joseph G. Symmes, be requested to preach a sermon adapted to this solemn and unwonted occasion at his earliest convenience.
2nd That as expressive of our feelings under this national affliction the following minute be entered upon the records of Session:
We record our devout thanks to Almighty God that he gave to us, in troublous times, to be our leader, an honest man, a sincere patriot, a lover of God and men, firm in what he deemed right, patient of toil, and abiding in faith in God, even a man whose loss all virtuous people deplore.
We acknowledge the hand of God in this affliction as permitting it to come upon us for our sins;–our national sins of oppression, avarice, pride, self-confidence, and forgetfulness of God; and especially our own individual sins, which have contributed to demand the judgments of God.
We bow with humble submission to the mysterious dispensation of him who holds the destinies of nations in his hand, and would penitently seek to know and do his holy will.
We unite our hearts with all God’s people in earnest prayer that God will sustain the smitten family our late chief, that he will bring good out of seeming evil by overwhelming the wicked and purifying the good, and that he will abundantly guide, protect and bless his servant so suddenly called to the head of our affairs.
And lastly we record our steadfast and abiding faith in the God of our Fathers that he will own and bless our nation and make it a blessing.
Joseph G. Symmes
Cranbury, April 19, 1865