Sketches of Church Life in Colonial Connecticut
Being the Story of the Transplanting of the Church of England into Forty Two Parishes of Connecticut,
with the Assistance of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel
THE historical material from which this story is compiled is first a record of christenings and secondly a record of parish meetings.
In September, 1747, under the head of "A Register of the Persons who were christened according to the Litargy of the Church of England," is a "christening" by the Rev. E. Punderson.
From this date until August, 1752, there were 15 persons christened by him. From 1752 till 1753 there were three christenings by the Rev. Ichabod Camp. From 1753 to 1762 there were a number of christenings by the Rev. Mr. Mansfield, Samuel Andrews, and Rev. Mr. Palmer. Of these christenings, one was of "Abigal, daughter of Tooley, Negro," another is recorded as "Peggy, Maid to Abraham Hubbard." In 1764 Rev. Bela Hubbard's name appears for the first time and on October 7 of the same year he christened "Chandis, a negro belonging to Mr. E. Scranton, himself and wife being Sureties." From 1764 to 1768 we find no other names but Mr. Hubbard's, after this date a number of clergymen's names appear.
Abraham Jarvis's name appears for the first time in 1771; he appears to have officiated at all christenings with one or two exceptions, until the year of 1784. In 1785 the Rev. James Sayre officiated at all christenings. In 1786 Rev. H. Van Dyck's, Abraham Jarvis's, and Ashbel Baldwin's names are on the record, and after this date various other names appear. In 1792 we find the word Baptized instead of Christenings. The Baptismal Record is complete to date.
In 1761 a record appears of a "Vestry" held at Lieut. John Hubbard's, at which meeting it was voted that we unite with the church people in the old Society in employing the Rev. Bela Hubbard. The above is the first record of a meeting of any kind.
The first that appears concerning a salary is in 1784, when it was voted to "lay a tax of one penny, farthing, on the pound to pay the Rev. Mr. Jarvis for his Ministerial Services in the year past."
On June 14, 1784, it was voted to unite with the Episcopal Church in Branford and old Guilford to "hire the Rev. Mr. Sayre and to pay him according to the Rateable lists of our Estates." It was also "voted to raise the sum of twenty pounds lawful money to pay the Rev. Mr. Sayre for his Ministerial Services one-quarter of the time Sundays and holidays, for the year ensueing," and December 12 the same year it was "voted that we will pay our rates as they are set in our rate books and not bring in our accounts for work to settle them." "Voted that Mr. Nehemiah Griswold and Abraham Hubbard be in the immediate use of means to collect money due the Church from Mr. Daniel Chittenden."
In 1786 it was "voted the Rev. James Sayre twenty pounds for his Ministerial Services one fourth part of his time the ensueing year and also some to be paid quarterly in cash." Also "voted if the Rev. James Sayre will live in Guilford the ensueing year that we will find the half keeping of one horse and cow and half his fire wood and one quarter of his house hire." Many items of the same nature could be given. There is no record of when the first church was built, but it is recorded that it was "voted to sell it" in 1814 and to "lay out the avails on the new church." The new church was opened for services on the first Sunday in November of the same year. The church is the same as now used, with some additions and alterations.
As to relics of the Parish, we have a Bible printed in Oxford, England, and presented to the parish by the Venerable Society in England for the propagation of the Gospel in foreign parts.