Reformed Church of America Information

Historical Background

The Reformed Church in America (RCA) was established when the Dutch settled New Netherland. The first congregation was organized in 1628 on Manhattan Island (New Amsterdam). Other congregations and settlements were quickly established between Albany (Fort Orange) and New York City during the following century. The Dutch migrated westward along the Mohawk River and across the Hudson into New Jersey. From there they settled into Pennsylvania and Kentucky.


The Archives include records from more than 240 congregations. Most of them are from New York and New Jersey, but many other states where the RCA had congregations are included also. When congregations are disbanded, the records are transferred to the denomination's archives. Records are transferred to the archives on a regular basis.

Research Policy

Unfortunately, we do not have the staff or financial resources to undertake genealogical research for family historians. The best we can do at this point in time is to advise as to the availability of the records and, hopefully, point you in the right direction for further searching.

At times, we are able to undertake searches in particular congregational records. In order to perform that research, the staff needs to know the family name being researched, the years of the search, and the congregation to be searched. The fee for this service is ten dollars per hour. Most searches are thoroughly conducted in an hour.

The Archives also are available for research use by appointment with a daily research fee of ten dollars. You are welcome to visit and undertake the research yourself or to use the services of a local genealogist or researcher.

Records relating to German Reformed congregations

The records you are seeking may be records of the German Reformed Church. That denomination, known as the Reformed Church in the United States, merged to form the Evangelical and Reformed Church, and is now a part of the United Church of Christ. Many of their records are stored at

The Evangelical and Reformed Historical Society
Philip Schaff Library
Lancaster Theological Seminary
555 West James Street
Lancaster, PA 17603

Records relating to Presbyterian Church congregations

You may be in need of some records relating to the Presbyterian Church. Many of their records are stored in:

The Presbyterian Historical Society
425 Lombard Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

For professional genealogical assistance

For research in the New Jersey area, especially in the Hunterdon, Somerset, and Middlesex county areas, I suggest the services of Fred Sisser, III. He is familiar with the holdings of the Archives, published the Somerset County Genealogical Quarterly, and has done genealogical research for a number of years. He can be contacted at

Post Office Box 6493
Bridgewater, NJ 08807

Resources for research

Several resources can assist you in your Dutch-American research. The Historical Directory of the Reformed Church in America, 1628-1992, is a list of all ministers who served in the RCA and the churches and years they served them, as well as a list of all organized congregations by town with a list of the ministers who served the congregation. This volume was edited by myself and was published by William B. Eerdmans, Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan. Also published by Eerdmans is The Dutch Reformed Church in the American Colonies, by Dr. Gerald De Jong. This is the best work relating to the colonial period of the church.

A Guide to Local Church Records in the Archives of the Reformed Church in America lists all the congregational records in our custody, provides a brief sketch of the Dutch church in America, and offers some other useful hints and helps for the family historian. It is available from this office for $15.00 (postage included). If I can offer any additional information or help, please let me know.

Russell L. Gasero
Archivist, Reformed
Church in America