Rhode Family Tree

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  • ID: I0999
  • Name: Pharcellus Church 1
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 11 Sep 1801 in Seneca, Ontario, New York 2
  • Death: 5 Jun 1886 in Tarrytown, Westchester, New York 3
  • Note:
    Extract from the 1850 Census:
    Name: Pharcellus Church
    Age in 1850: 48
    Estimated birth year: 1802
    Birthplace: Vermont
    Race: white
    Gender: male
    Relation to head-of-house: head
    Home in 1850: Boston Ward 3, Suffolk, Massachusetts
    Value of real estate: not listed
    Occupation: Baptist clergyman
    Census place: Boston Ward 3, Suffolk, Massachusetts; Roll M432_334; Page: 285A; Image: 575
    Date: 17 Aug 1850
    Note: name listed as "Sharcellers Church" by Ancestry.com.

    Children living with parents in 1850:
    Clara Church age 21 b. Vermont
    Emma Church age 19 b. Vermont
    William Church age 13 b. Massachusetts
    Frank Church age 11 b. Massachusetts
    Sarah Church age 9 b. Massachusetts
    John Church age 7 b. Massachusetts [source: 1850 Census].

    Extract from the 1860 Census:
    Name: Pharcellus Church
    Age in 1860: 58
    Estimated birth year: 1802
    Birthplace: New York
    Race: white
    Sex: male
    Relation to head-of-house: head
    Home in 1860: Brooklyn Ward 3 District 1, Kings, New York
    Post office: Brooklyn
    Value of real estate: $20,000
    Value of personal property: $8000
    Occupation: Baptist clergyman
    Census place: Brooklyn Ward 3 District 1, Kings, New York; Roll M653_764; Page: 448; Image: 20; Family History Library
    Date: 21 Jun 1860
    Note: name listed as "Prcillas Church" by Ancestry.com.

    Children living with parents in 1860:
    Emma Church age 27 b. New York
    William C Church age 23 b. New York
    Frank P Church age 21 b. New York
    Sarah J Church age 18 b. New York
    John J Church age 17 b. New York [source: 1860 Census].

    Extract from the 1880 Census:
    Name: Pharcellus Church
    Age: 78
    Estimated birth year: 1802
    Birthplace: New York
    Race: white
    Sex: male
    Relationship to head-of-household: head
    Home in 1880: Greenburgh, Westchester, New York
    Marital status: married
    Occupation: clergyman
    Census place: Greenburgh, Westchester, New York; Roll: T9_945; Family History Film: 1254945; Page: 272.2000; Enumeration District: 98; Image: 0546
    Date: 1 Jun 1880
    Note: name listed as "Phencellus Church" by Ancestry.com.

    Children living with parents in 1880:
    Frank P Church age 41 b. New York
    John A Church age 37 b. New York
    Also living in the household in 1880:
    Catharine Palmer age 40 b. New York (servant) [source: 1880 Census].

    Extract from "Descendants of Richard Church of Plymouth, Mass." by John Adams Church, 1913:
    Pharcellus Church, D.D. Rev. b. 11 Sept. 1801 at Seneca, N.Y.; d. 6 June, 1886, at Tarrytown, N.Y.; m. 13 May, 1828, Chara Emily Conant, at Brandon, Vt. b. 21 May, 1809; d. 10 Dec. 1887, at Tarrytown.
    He was born at Seneca, a mile west of Geneva, N.Y., where his father lived for a year while clearing a farm at Hopewell Center, or Goshen, as it was known then. He lived at Hope well until he was 11. Having received strong religious impressions at the age of 14 he determined to enter the ministry and went to Hamilton Seminary, later Madison and now Colgate University, and graduated there in 1824. He was ordained to the Baptist ministry in 1825 and went to Poultney, Vt., where his pastorate lasted four years. He succeeded Rev. Clark Kendrick and formed lasting friendships with Horace Greeley, then setting type in the local office and afterwards editor of the N.Y. Tribune, and with George Jones who with Henry J. Raymond founded the N.Y. Times.
    His life at Poultney was further signalised by his marriage to Chara Emily Conant of Brandon, a village a few miles from Poultney. Her father was a man of great force of character who lost his father early in the Revolution and when he was only eight years old. He took his young wife from Ashburnham, Mass., to Brandon toward the end of the 18th century, and became one of the prominent men of the locality. Two of his sons exhibited marked literary abilities. Samuel Stillman Conant went to New York and edited the National Advocate, which was one of the papers which formed the New York Herald. He lived in the Chelsea district of New York City where Mrs. Church visited him during her girlhood. He was the contemporary and friend of Hamilton and other notable men of that time. Another son, Rev. Thomas Jefferson Conant, D.D. LLD., was a noted Oriental scholar, translated parts of the Bible from the original and was a member of the American Committee associated with the English scholars who produced the "Revised Version" of the Scriptures. Under the guidance of such men Chara Conant enjoyed a course of refined and instructive reading the effects of which were seen in her literary sympathies to the end of her life. She lived at a time when the novels of Scott were thrilling the world and often spoke of the sensation they produced. She witnessed also some of the most strenuous political campaigns in our history. Her father was not always on the successful side in politics and she has related with much humor how as a young girl she has cried bitterly after a presidential election because, as a result of it, the country would go to the dogs. Public policies were dearly held ideals in the formative period of our nation when the heroic efforts to establish it were still fresh in mind and politics were more strenuous than they are now. Her ardent youth matured under the often trying experiences of a pastor's wife and she became a woman of deep piety, excellent judgment, great self-restraint and devoted service both to religion and to her large family. The union of husband and wife lasted fifty-seven years and death separated them less than two years.
    In 1848 Dr. Church was called to the Bowdoin Square Church Baptist Church of Providence, R.I., and it was this employment in a larger sphere that enabled him to marry. In Providence he was associated with such men as Rev. Dr. Gano, Dr. Francis Wayland, Rev. Alexis Caswell and Nicholas Brown whose benefactions established Brown University. In Providence he was near the cradle of his family and in fact his great-grandfather John had gone from Providence to Connecticut. He remained in that pastorate until 1834 when there was need of a pastor in New Orleans, then a mission station, and Mr. Church undertook the duty under appointment of the Am. Baptist Home Mission Society, not from inclination, it is said, but because it was difficult to find anyone to fill the place.
    After a year and a half in New Orleans he went, in 1835, to assume the pastorate of the First Baptist Church in Rochester, N.Y., of which he was the fourth pastor. Rochester was a growing town then, in the heart of the principal wheat region of the country. The church grew rapidly under his ministrations and Mr. Church's active mind led him to branch out in other directions. His first book was published in Rochester and he led the movement which resulted in establishing Rochester University, for he was one of the first thinkers in America to discern the strength which a great and growing city can add to an educational institution. He was one of the first advocates of the annual Week of Prayer. It is not surprising that such activities should have won for Mr. Church the degree of D.D. at a time when such degrees were not distributed with the profusion of the present day. It was conferred by his Alma Mater, Madison University, in 1847. In 1846 he was sent to England as delegate to the Evangelical Alliance and with his colleagues had to combat a disposition on the part of some English members to refuse recognition to representatives of a slave-holding country. His speeches, which were many, were reported fully in the proceedings. On his way home he was wrecked on the coast of Ireland in the Great Eastern steamship which was making her first voyage. No lives were lost but communications were infrequent in that day and his family were in doubt for some time as to his fate.
    In 1848 Dr. Church was called to the Bowdoin Square Church in Boston, Mass., and remained there three years until the consequences of a severe and dangerous sickness compelled him to resign. His health did not allow him to assume the strenuous duties of a large pastorate. He moved to Brandon, Vt., where he had married, and while living there served as pastor of a church in Montreal. In 1853 he was able to resume active duty and went to a small church in Williamsburg, N.Y., now East Brooklyn, which proved to be his last pastorate. In 1855 he became editor of the New York Chronicle, which he purchased. It was a religious weekly published under the auspices of the Am. Bible Union at first and independently afterwards. His health was re-established gradually but he gave himself entirely to editorial duties until, in 1866, the Chronicle was merged with the Examiner, a similar paper also published in New York, the united paper remaining under the direction of Rev. Edward Bright, D.D. Relieved from editorial cares Dr. Church made a short trip to Europe and two years later he went again and remained two years. On returning he bought a place in Tarrytown, N.Y., where he lived for the remainder of his life.
    As already said his literary activity began in Rochester, his first work being The Philosophy of Benevolence, 1836. A religious society offered $100 for the best essay on Religious Dissensions, their Cause and Cure, and a committee composed of Rev. Dr. Thomas H. Skinner, Dr. Spencer and Dr. William R. Williams awarded the prize to Dr. Church, in 1838. These books were followed by Pentecost, 1843; Antioch, 1845; Permanency of the Pastoral Relation, 1845; Memoir on Theodosia Dean, wife of a missionary to India well known at that time, 1851; Mapleton, the only imaginative work in the series, 1853; and Seed Truths, 1871. Besides these larger works Dr. Church was a frequent contributor to the Watchman and Reflector and other denominational papers. He seems to have written one work which was not published but the report of the "reader" on it is extant. He writes, "The purpose of this work is to promote union among all Christians and it was undertaken at the instance of the late Dr. E. N. Kirk of Boston. It is largely historical, covering the pulpit, the celebrated preachers, evangelists and great revivals of the last 50 years. It is full of reminiscences of men and times. It contrasts sharply the changes which have occurred in doctrine, preaching, etc., etc. It is written with great fairness and discrimination. I have no doubt it would make a highly readable book."
    Dr. Church was 5 feet 9 inches in height, compactly built, vigorous and active, a fast runner in his youth, in which quality he resembled the celebrated Col. Benjamin Church. In figure and features he exhibited characteristics which are typical of the Church family and probably were borne by Richard the founder of the American branch. His strength of constitution carried him on to his 85th year, when he passed quietly away. He retained his strength remarkably to the end, walking three miles the day before his death. His mind was equally active, his understanding acute and his views on religious questions progressive, liberal and sound. Though a controversialist he was never a narrow one and as he grew in years and maturity the disposition toward controversy passed away and was replaced by an exceeding catholicity and gentleness of judgment. When in his later years he sat under the ministrations of younger men he carried himself with so much tact and helpful counsel that the warmest tribute to his memory was written by Rev. George Horr who had been his pastor at Tarrytown.
    The Baptist Encyclopedia edited by Rev. William Cathcart, D.D., says; "Dr. Church is a grand old man with a noble intellect, a great heart, an unsullied record and a saintly piety."
    Clara Emily, b. 28 Feb.1829, at Providence, R.I.; d. 2 June 1861, at Orange, N.J.; m. 9 Mar. 1852, at Boston, Mass., Joshua Stetson.
    Emma Conant, b. 20 May, 1831, at Providence; d. 19 Dec. 1893, at Portchester, N.Y.; m. 3 Oct. 1874, at New York, James Long, b. 1 Mar. 1805; d. 10 Apr. 1876, at Paris, France. She was an artist and passed several years in Europe pursuing her profession. A large copy of Raphael's Transfiguration at Vassar College was painted by her. She also produced many original works.
    Pharcellus, b. 1 Apr. 1834; d. 19 Sept. 1834.
    William Conant, b. 11 Aug. 1836, at Rochester, N.Y.; m. 2 Apr. 1863, Mary Elizabeth Metcalf of Baltimore, Md.
    Francis Pharcellus, b. 22 Feb. 1839, at Rochester, N.Y.; d. 11 Apr. 1906, at New York; m. 1873, Elizabeth Wickham; d. 12 Jan. 1912. No children.

    Extract from Virtualology.com:
    Pharcellus Church, clergyman, born in Seneca, near Geneva, New York, 11 August, 1801; died in Tarrytown, New York, 5 June, 1886. He was graduated at Madison University in 1824, where, in 1847, he received the degree of D.D. After studying theology, he was ordained and held pastorates in Providence, Rhode Island, New Orleans, Louisiana, Rochester, New York, Boston, Massachusetts, and elsewhere. He edited the "New York Chronicle" from 1854 till 1865, and continued to the end of his life one of the proprietors of the "Examiner," with which that paper was consolidated. He went to Europe in 1846 as a delegate to the Evangelical alliance, and resided abroad for several years. After his retirement as editor, he engaged in linguistic and other studies. While at Rochester he originated the movement that resulted in the establishment of Rochester University, and otherwise was a conspicuous figure in western New York. In Boston he was an associate editor of the "Watchman and Reflector." Until his death he was busy with literary work, his efforts being directed more especially to the promotion of Christian union. Dr. Church's published works, besides many sermons and addresses, were "Philosophy of Benevolence" (New York, 1836); a prize essay on "Religious Dissensions: their Cause and Cure" (1838); "Antioch; or Increase of Moral Power in the Church" (Boston, 1843); "Life of Theodosia Dean" (1851); "Mapleton; or More Work for the Maine Law" (1852); and "Seed Truths; or Bible Views of Mind, Morals, and Religion" (New York and Edinburgh, 1871).
    His son, William Conant, publisher, born in Rochester, New York, 11 August, 1836, removed to Boston, Massachusetts, in 1848, and completed his education at the Boston Latin School in 1851. In 1853 he removed to New York and engaged with his father in editing and publishing the "New York Chronicle," afterward merged with the "Examiner," in which he retained a proprietary interest. He became the publisher of the New York "Sun" in 1860, and served as war correspondent of the New York "Times" during 1861-'2, until his appointment, on 4 October, 1862, as captain of United States volunteers. He received the brevets of major and lieutenant colonel on 11 March, 1865. In 1882 he was appointed one of the commissioners to inspect the Northern Pacific railroad. In 1863, with his brother Francis, he established the "Army and Navy Journal," of which he is at present editor and proprietor, and in 1866 the "Galaxy" magazine. He has contributed to the "Century" and other magazines.
    Another son, Francis Pharcellus, editor, born in Rochester, New York, 22 February, 1839, was graduated at Columbia in 1859, and, after studying law, became one of the editors and publishers of the "Army and Navy Journal," and later, with his brother, founded and edited the "Galaxy" magazine. He is also a leading editorial writer for New York daily journals.
    Another son, John Adams, mining engineer, born in Rochester, New York, 5 April, 1843, was graduated at the Columbia school of mines in 1867. The years 1868-'70 were spent in study in Europe, and on his return he served as professor of mineralogy and metallurgy pro tern. in the School of mines, and as editor of the "Engineering and Mining Journal" during 1872-'4. In 1878, while attached to the United States geographical and geological survey west of the 100th meridian, he examined the Comstock silver lode in Nevada (his result being printed privately), and was elected professor of mining and metallurgy in the State University of Ohio, at Columbus. He became superintendent for the Tombstone mill and mining company at Tombstone, Arizona, in 1881, and has since been engaged as a mining engineer. He has published "The Mining Schools of the United States" (a pamphlet, New York, 1871); "Notes on a Metallurgical Journal in Europe" (1873); "The Comstock Lode" (1880); and "Report upon the Striking of Artesian Water, Sulphur Spring Valley, Arizona" (published by the Territory, 1883) [source: http://virtualmuseumofhistory.com/pharcelluschurch].

    Rev. Pharcellus Church (1801-86) [was a] prominent Baptist clergyman in New York and New England during some part of the early nineteenth century, author of several treatises on religion and morality, and, later, publisher and editor of the "New York Chronicle," a religious weekly. Also helped lay the ground work for the founding of what is the University of Rochester. Pharcellus was a good friend of Horace Greeley, editor of the "New York Tribune" [and presidential candidate] [source: Max Roesler 1 Apr 2002].

    Article from the "Daily Globe" of Saint Paul, Ramsey, Minnesota, dated 8 Jun 1886:
    Dr. Pharcellus Church Dead.
    New York, June 7, -- Rev. Dr. Pharcellus Church died at his residence in Tarrytown, N. Y., Saturday. He was ono of the oldest and most prominent Baptist clergymen in the country. He was born in 1801.

    Email from Max Roesler dated 11 Feb 2003:
    I'm impressed with your resourcefulness in finding Pharcellus in the 1880 census, since his name got garbled so badly. I'm surprised that his sons Francis and John were both enumerated at Pharcellus' home. Frank had been married several years by this time, and his wife lived until 1912. I would have guessed John to have been in Columbus, Ohio, or East Lansing, Michigan, teaching.

    Burial: Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, Westchester, New York [source: Find A Grave.com]. 54351020

    Gravestone inscription:
    Pharcellus Church, D. D.
    Born Sept. 11, 1801. Died June 5, 1886.
    Chara Emily
    Wife of
    Pharcellus Church.
    Born May 21, 1809. Died Dec. 10, 1887.
    "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God."

    The Rhode Family Tree has an image of this person and has a photograph of the gravestone.

    Father: Willard Church b: 7 Sep 1758 in Mansfield, Tolland, Connecticut
    Mother: Sarah Davis b: Oct 1779 in Connecticut

    Marriage 1 Chara Emily Conant b: 21 May 1809 in Brandon, Rutland, Vermont
    • Married: 13 May 1828 in Brandon, Rutland, Vermont 4
    1. Has No Children William Conant Church b: 11 Aug 1836 in Rochester, Monroe, New York
    2. Has No Children Francis Pharcellus Church b: 22 Feb 1839 in Rochester, Monroe, New York
    3. Has No Children John Adams Church b: 5 Apr 1843 in Rochester, Monroe, New York

    1. Title: Moeller Family Tree
      Author: Amy Marlene Moeller
      Publication: May 5, 2000
      Note: Amy Marlene Moeller email: amymoe-yahoo.net (use an "@" for the "-")
      Media: Electronic
    2. Title: Roesler, Weatherford and Affiliated Families
      Author: Max Roesler
      Publication: September 28, 2003
      Note: Max Roesler email: roesler2-juno.com (use an "@" for the "-")
      Note: Rootsweb.com
      Media: Electronic
    3. Title: Gravestone
      Media: Tombstone
    4. Title: FamilySearch
      Author: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
      Publication: March 22, 1999 - present
      Note: Ancestral File, International Genealogical Index, and Pedigree Resource File
      Note: http://www.familysearch.org/eng/search/frameset_search.asp
      Media: Electronic
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