Archiver > CTNEWLON > 2000-06 > 0960941628

From: Judy Martin <>
Subject: Re: [CTNEWLON-L] Old Line Church, Voluntown, New London Co., CT
Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2000 19:13:48 -0500
References: <39456F23.8DB632D@sover.net>

The "Line Church" [Voluntown and Sterling Congregational Church) is in
Voluntown and Sterling on Route 49 (the first church was built near the
cemetery on the Oneco Road near Porter Pond). It is Connecticut's first
Congregational Church. The cemetery associated with it The church is
unique because marriages performed here [now] are illegal as ordinarily
performed because the bride would stand in a different town and county as
the groom. The congregation was formed in 1723 as Voluntown's first
Presbyterian Church and Meeting House. Rev. Samuel Dorrance was it's first
minister, lately arrived from Ireland, a graduate of Glasgow University,
licensed to preach in 1711 by the Presbytery of Dumbarton. The cemetery
associated with the early church is in Oneco almost at the Rhode Island
line. The cemetery is called "The Plains" in early records but is now
called Oneco Cemetery in Sterling, CT.

The county lines in Voluntown kept changing between Windham and New London
counties. There was a lot of church "strife" and disputing among its
members. Some locals attended churches in other towns. The church started
as Presbyterian but when Voluntown and Sterling became separate towns in May
1794 the church became known as the First Ecclesiastical Society or First
Congregational Church of Voluntown and Sterling.

I would try contacting either the Presbyterian Historical Society (for
Connecticut) at [I didn't have any luck with the records I'm
looking for from 1729] or the Connecticut State Library church records (you
can start at http://www.cslnet.ctstateu.edu/church.htm).

Please let me know if you have any luck.

Judy Martin

"Joann H. Nichols" wrote:

> Can anyone tell me where there might be records for the Old Line
> Church? About when did this church start? Were there other churches in
> Voluntown?
> I am seeking information on James and Elizabeth Braman and wondering if
> they might have been involved with a church in Voluntown where James
> purchased property in 1729. He died in 1739 in Voluntown. They had
> seven children born there; many of them later married in Preston, CT.
> Thanks for any help.
> Joann Nichols
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