New York, Frank S. Rowland Church Register (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at
Access the records: New York, Frank S. Rowland Church Register, 1889-1917 .

Record Description

This collection contains the private church register of Frank S. Rowland, who was a Methodist minister in New York from 1887-1904, in Michigan from 1909-1915, and Minnesota from 1915-1917.

This register is divided into sections for marriages, funerals, and perquisites. In each of these three separate sections, records are arranged chronologically. Rev. Rowland records these marriages and funerals in eight areas. Keep in mind that marriages and funerals are kept in two different listings.

  • Marriages begin in 1889 on page 2, image 1
  • Funerals begin in 1887 on page 150, image 64
  • Perquisites are contained on page 300, image 96
  • Blank pages were excluded from the collection

While the marriages and funerals are useful for those doing their family history, the perquisites show how Rev. Rowland was paid for miscellaneous ministerial services.

The list below indicates the years and churches included in the Reverend Frank S. Rowland's 30 year ministry:

  1. Hartsville Methodist Episcopal Church, Hartsville, New York. (1887-1888, funerals only)
  2. East Avenue Methodist Church, Hornellsville, New York. (1889-1891)
  3. Glenwood (now Grace) Methodist Episcopal Church, Rochester, New York. (1891-1896)
  4. Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church, Buffalo, New York. (1896-1903)
  5. First Methodist Episcopal Church, Olean, New York. (1903-1904)
  6. Asbury Church, Rochester, New York. (1904-1909)
  7. Cass Methodist Church, Detroit, Michigan. (1909-1915)
  8. Central Methodist Church, Winona, Minnesota. (1915-1917)

This collection can also be viewed in the donor's Fold3 gallery Fold3 gallery ($).

For a list of records by document type currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.

Record Content

Marriages in this collection usually include the following information, as well as any fee that Rev. Rowland charged at the time:

  • Date and Place of Marriage
  • Name of groom
  • Maiden name of bride
  • Age at marriage
  • Residence at the time of marriage
  • Names of witnesses

There is one NY State Department of Health marriage report stub remaining between the pages. (image 5)

Funerals contain the following:

  • Date
  • Name of deceased
  • Age
  • Place
  • Remarks

How to Use the Record

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

  • Name
  • Date of the event
  • Place of the event

Search the Collection

To search this collection
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "Document Type" category which takes you to the images

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.

Using the Information

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. For example:

  • Use the marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information.
  • Use the age to calculate an approximate birth date.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the residence to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence to locate church and land records.

Understanding the names of the witnesses

Some of the same names of witnesses appear throughout this collection. When you find an ancestor, if the name of your ancestor's witness does not sound like your relative, it might be a relative of the minister who preformed the ceremony.

These names--in this collection--are sometimes abbreviated as M.M.R., M.J.R., or H.H.R. If you look through the entire collection you will notice more complete forms of family names such as Mrs. F. S. Rowland, M. Jeanie Rowland, A. A. Rowland, and Henry H. Rowland.

Who was Frank S. Rowland?

Frank Salmon Rowland was a well respected minister and member of the communities in which he lived. This register was kept in the family and passed down privately until donated to FamilySearch by a 2x great grandson of F.S.R.

For a brief, but useful, biographic summary see this obituary in the Monroe County, New York, Democrat and Chronicle, December 2, 1917:

REV. F.S. ROWLAND DIES. Held Important Methodist Pastorates Here and in Other Cities.
Rev. Frank S. ROWLAND, D.D., for nine years a prominent pastor in this city; died at a sanitarium in Battle Creek, Mich., on Friday. He had always been in strong health until recently, but broke down a few weeks ago.
He was born in Groton, Tompkins county, on May 1, 1859, and so was 58 years old at the time of his death. He was received on trial in the Genesee Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1887, and appointed pastor of the East Avenue Church, Hornell. He came to Rochester in 1891 as pastor of the newly organized Glenwood, now the Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, where he remained for five years.
After seven years at Asbury, Buffalo, and two years at First, Olean, he returned to Rochester as pastor of the Asbury Methodist Church, where he remained for four years with the same success which had attended his service elsewhere. Then followed five years at Cass Avenue, Detroit, Mich., and three years at Central, Winona, Minn., where he was pastor until his death.
His influence in Rochester, and throughout the Genesee Conference, was very great. He was elected a delegate to the General Conference of 1908, which met in Baltimore.
He leaves a widow and three children. The oldest is Rev. Henry H. ROWLAND, missionary in China, home on furlough, but returning to Chingli, China on December 20th. Miss Marguerite M. ROWLAND is a teacher in Detroit, and Arthur A. is in the United States navy. The funeral and burial will be at Winona, Minn.

Additional Tips to Keep in Mind

  • The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county. However, ministers may have reported marriages performed in other counties.
  • Compile the marriage entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the marriage records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • Use the marriage number to identify previous marriages.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • The information in marriage records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one marriage record to another record.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Check for variant spellings of the names.
  • Check for an different index. There are often indexes at the beginning or end of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.

Related Websites

Steuben County, New York US GenWeb Project

Related Wiki Articles

New York Church Records

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{{Collection citation | text= "New York, Frank S. Rowland Church Register, 1889-1917." Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2013.