Friday, March 13, 2015


The following post was originally published January 9, 2015 on my 2nd blog "Casper Kimber Connections" 

Today’s post is about the baptisms of George Kimber and Sara Westfael’s children in the Reformed Dutch Minisink Machackemeck Church.

When I thought about this post, I became curious about the baptismal day customs. Armed with my curiosity I initiated a ‘google search’. My search results led me to a well-documented essay titled “Glimpses of Childhood in the Colony of New Netherland” authored by Adriana E. van Zwieten[1].  Adriana’s research gave me a peek into 17th century Dutch Reformed traditions in New York and I quote from her essay:

   “The infant was carried to church by a godparent within the first few days of life and presented to the minister for baptism by his or her father, the babe’s mother still confined to her bed after childbirth. During this religious ritual, a child was admitted into the congregation of believers. Godparents or baptismal witnesses assisted in this process and were chosen from among the nearest relatives or closest friends. They promised to ensure a godchild’s Christian upbringing, especially if the child became orphaned. Some presented the child with a christening gift.”

It’s true George and Sara’s children were baptized a century later. Yet, it’s my hope you can picture with me George and Sara’s babies traveling to Rev. Joh. Casparus Freyenmuth’s church in Port Jervis accompanied by their godparents and father.

Courtesy Wikipedia Commons
Photo of Oil Painting by
Bernardo Strozzi (1581-1644)

Joris Kimbel and Sara Westfael’s son, Petrus, was baptized August 5, 1750. His grandfather, Casparus Kimbel, and aunt, Lena Kimbel were his godparents.[2]

A daughter, Sara Kimber, was baptized March 11, 1753. Jacob Westfael and Johanna Westfael acted as her godparents. No doubt the godparents were related to the child’s mother, Sara Westfael.[3]

On Feb. 16, 1755 Philip Decker and Margariet Westfael witnessed Margriet Kimber’s baptism. Margriet was George and Sara Kimber’s 2nd daughter.[4] I wonder if the baby was named for her godmother.

A 2nd son named Petrus Kimber was baptized August 26, 1759. Its likely George and Sara’s 1st son Petrus died and the parents gave his name to a 2nd son. Josias Cole and Margriet Mollen served as his godparents.[5]

My ancestor Samuel Kimber was their youngest son born Sept. 11, 1762. Unfortunately, there’s no record of his baptism. Josias Cool (Cole) and Margriet Mullen asked George and Sara to be godparents for their child, Hejltje, a few months before Samuel’s birth on June 9, 1762.[6]

My line of descent
6th Great Grandfather George Kimber and wife Sara Westfael
5th Great Grandfather Samuel Kimber and wife Maria Bennett
4th Great Grandfather Benjamin Kimber and wife Keziah Bennett
3rd Great Grandmother Charity Kimber and husband William Parkinson Clark
2nd Great Grandfather Jeremiah B. Clark and wife Harriet Cornelius Ogden
Great Grandmother Grace Lee Clark and husband Jerome Walter Wilson
Grandmother Viola Lillian Wilson and husband Frank Leroy Doty
My Mother

[1] New Netherlands Institute, Exploring America’s Dutch Heritage Website, Essays and Talks, Glimpses of Childhood in the Colony of New Netherland by Adriana E. van Zweiten,
[2] Collections of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, Vol. V, Minisink Valley Reformed Dutch Church Records, Minisink Machackemeck Church Records, page 120
[3] Ibid, page 127
[4] Ibid, page 131
[5] Ibid, page 137
[6] Ibid, page 142

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