Thursday, January 31, 2008

Upstate New York Methodist Circuit Rider Biography, FREE Download.

Free eBook. Free eBook. Free eBook!

About twenty years ago I was on a kick to locate Methodist church record holdings anywhere, which would relate to any of the Upstate New York Methodist Conferences, Circuits and Churches.

The reason that I was looking so hard was because of an Atlas on Religion in America that I saw in the Syracuse University Library, where it claimed that as of the year 1860, due to the itinerant preachers and their circuits, that 50 per cent of the people in the United State were recorded as being Methodists!

I have no way of knowing if that was true or not, but they had pie charts and graphs and it sounded plausible. So being the brilliant statistician that I am, I said "Hmmm..., well that means you have a 50/50 chance of finding your ancestors in a Methodist church record somewhere!" This genealogy thing seemed as easy as shooting fish in a barrel. Ha!

So for a couple of years I scoured all of the conference archives, university holdings, libraries, and historical societies virtually all over the state. Guess what? I found the answer!

There is no one place for church records to be located. Too bad. The Methodist Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church, other variants, and now the United Methodist Church, do have rules for recording church records, christenings, marriages and burials, however the rules were not adhered to.

I did locate quite a few of interest. For instance I discovered that there had been one little pocket notebook journal of a traveling circuit rider that had worked in Pompey, Onondaga County, as early as 1808.

That little notebook with newspaper clippings pasted all over the pages was located in the University of Chicago! Seems these records might have been thought to have belonged to the preacher that wrote them. Many of course are now lost forever. Some did migrate generally out into the upper mid-western states as the families followed the setting sun.

Well what we have to offer here is an Index that I made in 1989 of a little biography of a typical Circuit Rider, named Rev. Abner CHASE. The surname CHASE is one of my main lines so I purchased a copy of the book and read it through cover to cover, fairly droll reading, but it was of interest at the moment.

The book is titled, "Recollections of the Past, by Rev. Abner CHASE of the Genesee Conference." - 1848. There was no index of any kind, so I combed through it and created one on an old Apple II computer data base. I no longer have the digital file, but I do have a printout of the index and have made pdf documents of just the index.

You can have your very own copy of this masterpiece by doing one of two things. All you have to do is subscribe by email to either of our Blogs, the Upstate New York Genealogy Blog at or our Genealogy Miscellanea Blog at There is an email subscription box on the Blog. I promise never to divulge your email address to any one else.

I will send you the index by email, and a BONUS download of the actual biography itself! No charge, no strings attached. We are just trying to increase our readership and this is about the best way we know. If you are already a subscriber, and I thank all of you who are, then just send me an email stating that you want the index and book download and I will send them to you.

You can't beat free!

If the book and the index are not something that you need or want yourself, perhaps your local library or Family History Center might accept it as a donation.

A note to researchers that are going to ask where to find their ancestors Methodist records, all I can say is first start with the local church if active, and also check with the Conference Archives for that area. I’m sure you can Google the addresses up.

Oh in case you didn't know it, you are supposed to insert your comments and questions at the bottom of each Blog message. C'mon people, don't hold back. \grin/

Three day FREE Trial to Footnote for unyg readers!




canhope said...

Please send free Methodist Circuit Rider biography. Thank you

Woodway said...

Please send free Methodist Circuit Rider biography. Looking for Trumbull, Warn, Wells marriages in Erie, Monroe, Genesee counties 1800-1850.

Anonymous said...

Please send a copy of the Methodist Book my husband's 4th G-Grandfather was very active in the early church, Elijah Morgan of Fishkill and other NY areas.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if I could get a copy of the Methodist Circuit Rider biography. We are looking for Rathburn,Snyder,Lyons,Dutcher and Woolstencroft information. Thank you very much.

unyg said...

Absolutely you can.

All you have to do is subscribe to this Blog and I will send the information to your email address.

Dick Hillenbrand

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy this Blog! Please send the Methodist Circuit Rider biography. Thanks!

katya4 said...

Can you send me a copy of the book? My Great Great Grandfather John Selah Randolph was a Methodist circut preacher in upstate NY.

unyg said...

To the last Anonymous message:

I will be happy to send it to you but I do not know where to send it. Go to the subscription box and subscribe, and ask for it. I'll send it for free.

Anonymous said...

PLease send free Meth C rider biography. Thanks

unyg said...

To Tom Sprague,

If you go to the Blog and fill in the email subscribe box, I will send it right out.

That will also subscribe you to my upcoming newsletter which will contain material not on the Blog, as well as some free gifts and super discounts on some great genealogy products.


Unknown said...

Please send me your "Recollections of the Past, by Rev. Abner CHASE of the Genesee Conference." - 1848.
Thank you for this blog, and all the information you have accrued for us. It is appreciated immensley.

unyg said...

Hi Bruce,

Thank you for the kind words.
We send this Index that I created to the Abner Chase biography out to subscribers of the UNYG Blog.

I just checked the subscriber list and do not see your email address listed, but might have missed it.

All you have to do is go down the left hand side of the Blog to find the subscriber box, fill it out, and then you will receive the link to the book and the index.

Don't worry, we do not send out spam emails, and we do not share your information with anyone. See our Privacy Policy at the end of this Blog.

We are working on a UNYG Newsletter program which will be sent to subscribers only. This Newsletter will have unique information in it that will not be available to the Blog readers.

If by chance you are a subscriber and I missed it, please just let me know and I'll send the Abner Chase info out right away.

Dick Hillenbrand

Unknown said...

I was signed in as member when I posted the request. I re-renewed and they said I was a member. ?? Do you mean we must join FeedBlitz?

unyg said...

Nope, You're all set, sending under separate email.

My problem comes from not having the email address database on my own computer. Feedblitz takes care of that and I get various copies of it from time to time.

Sorry about the confusion and thanks for your patience.


unyg said...

To Eggy1943.

I think that the problem is your user name that you use in this comments section is not part of your email name maybe.

I just checked the full subscription list on Feedblitz and the only person with an eggy in their email address is a Peggy something.

I have no doubt that you are a subscriber, it's just I can't tell who you are with this sign-on name.

It sounds confusing but Feedblitz does not display names with addresses even to me, other just an email address for mailing.

Here is what you can do.
Send me a direct email at nygenes at gmail dot com and I will send the book info right back to you.

My apologies, the confusion is caused by an automated mail handler that is meant to protect privacy.

You are not doing anything wrong.

Dick Hillenbrand

Anonymous said...

Hi, Maybe you can help me. I just subscribed to your blog,and I also wanted to visit the Fulton History site. I have been there alot recently,as that site has been tremendously helpful to me. Today I have tried many times to access it,but keep coming up with the message that it is not available. Have you any clue what is going on with it? By the way,I love your blog! I have three Scouten United Methodist pastors in my ancestry! All of them are from Oneida County.

unyg said...

Hi Cindi,

When Tom is working on his website it is unavailable. Ne patient and try it agin in a day or two or at a different time in the day. It will be there, but he is a one man show and there is a lot of work that has to be done on that massive database.

Thanks for kind words about my Blog, i love doing it and those comments keep me motivated. Stay tuned for some new announcements. Some nice tthings have happened recently.


Michelle said...

I subscribed to this blog. I have yet to receive an email. I would love to read the circuit rider book since my relative was also a circuit rider in TN. Would be nice to know what it was like.

Michelle who's ancestors come from St. Lawrence Co NY

unyg said...


Thanks for your interest. I will send the circuit rider index and info tomorrow.
My neighbor dug through my underground phone line and I am working on a makeshift wireless connection at the moment.
I'll get back to you.


OneGirlRiot said...

If this ebook is still available, may I have one? Please, and thank you :) Your blog is stupendous, btw.

Drina Y said...

I would also like to receive the free Methodist Circuit Rider biography. Thanks,