Part of the American History and Genealogy Project

 

Ancient Burial Places in Gloucester County, New Jersey

The oldest of the burial places established by the early colonists of Gloucester County is that at Swedesboro, now known as:

Trinity Church1 Burying-Ground

Swedesboro was first settled by the Swedes, probably as early as 1638, and although the written records of the church do not begin until 1702, it is quite likely that the present site of the church and the adjoining burying ground is one originally selected for the purpose.

It is situated on a bluff at the intersection of the Raccoon creek and the King's Highway, and is enclosed by a well-kept stone wall. With the beautiful colonial church, built in 1784, in the background, the effect as one approaches the town is quaint and picturesque, reminding the traveler of an English village.

In this yard lie buried hundreds of the pioneers of Swedesboro. Although the yard is quite large, it was evidently soon filled with graves, for in the early part of the last century another burial-ground was established about two squares to the west, which is known as the New Cemetery. The latter ground is enclosed with a stone wall, and both wall and grounds are kept in excellent condition by the church.

There was another Swedish settlement at Repaapo, which possibly antedated that at Swedesboro by a short time; but the site of Repaapo is not known, although the name still survives in a locality near the river which is today known as Repaupo.

Wood Burying Ground

The next oldest burial place in the county is probably the Wood burying-ground, on the south side of Woodbury creek, near its mouth. Richard Wood is said to have settled at this place in 1681. Other members of his family followed and within a few years the huts of settlers were scattered here and there throughout that section of the county. A graveyard was laid out and was probably used by the entire community until the establishment of the Friends meeting in Woodbury, about two miles away, in 1715. It has been used by descendants of the Wood family within the memory of persons now living. The earlier graves were marked by rude field stones, most of which have disappeared. There is one, however, which bears the initials R. W. and this may be that of the founder of the colony. Other stones bear the names of Wilkins, Hillman, Peter Crimm, and, of course, Wood.

It is said that between 1840 and 1845 there was a freshet which washed away a portion of the graveyard, dislodging a number of bodies and carrying them away. Although the Gloucester County Historical Society has erected a memorial stone with an appropriate inscription, the cemetery is in danger of disappearing. Boathouses occupy the banks of the creek, and the cemetery is almost a public therefore. The ground is gradually filling in and some of the stones are covered half-way up. It is quite possible that within a few years all traces of it will have been obliterated.

Friends Burial Ground

The Friends erected a meeting house in Woodbury in 1715 and the adjoining burial-ground was probably established at the same time. It contains the grave of Ann Whitall, the heroine of the battle of Red Bank. It is said that a part of the ground has been filled in three times and each time used again for burial purposes. The meeting house and cemetery occupy the most commanding spot in Woodbury and form one of the attractive features of the beautiful and historic town.

Presbyterian Burial Ground

The Presbyterian burying-ground in North Woodbury dates back to 1721, at which time the ground was obtained, the church built and the graveyard established. The first church was of logs and was replaced by another building when the congregation grew larger. The church building was ordered to be sold in 1803 and in 1833 the congregation built a commodious building about a mile south, on the site occupied by the present church building. The old yard continued to be used for burial purposes for many years, but now only an occasional interment is there made. The yard is in a deplorable condition and no attempt is made to keep it up. Mrs. Ann Hunter, the wife of Rev. Andrew Hunter, is buried there. She had so endeared herself to the people that they all sought to do her honor at her funeral. Samuel Mickle, however, in his diary, which is reproduced in this volume, deplored the pomp and ceremony with which she was buried.

The stones remaining in the yard represent the Roe, Cozens, Clark, Moffett and other prominent local families. Samuel Mickle, in his diary, under date of Nov. IO, 1802, records that he laid off a family burial-ground on part of Benjamin Hopper's2 land. The writer has been unable to locate this.

Many of the settlers had their own private burial grounds on their plantations. The roads were poor, transportation was difficult, and they preferred having their dead in a place convenient of access rather than in the church cemeteries, which were difficult to reach and not particularly well-kept. Many of these private burying-grounds are still in existence and some are even used to this day; but others have been entirely lost track of.

Reeves Burying Ground

The most attractive of these private burying-grounds in Gloucester County is the Reeves burying-ground, located on the old Reeves plantation about a mile south of Woodbury, between the West Jersey and Seashore Railroad and Mantua Pike. The farm is now owned by Clement R. Budd.

This cemetery was established by Joseph Reeves, who was born in 1700 and died in 1780. The stone marking his grave is in excellent condition. The plot is enclosed by a stone wall with two pairs of heavy iron gates, and is surrounded by a number of noble old trees. It is a very attractive spot, and the manner in which it is cared for reflects credit upon the descendants of its founder, some of whom are members of the New Jersey Society of Pennsylvania. It is still used for burying purposes, the most recent interment being that of the wife of Rev. Herbert Burk. Her grave is marked by an Irish cross, which is one of the most beautiful mortuary emblems in the county. The stones in the yard represent the Reeves, Moffett, Snow, Saunders and other allied families.

Chew Cemetery

Further down the Mantua road is the old Chew Cemetery, located on Mantua Creek, about a quarter of a mile west of the road. The cemetery contains stones representing four generations of the Chew family, including the first settler, Nathaniel Chew, and his wife Mary; his son Jeffrey, who became one of the largest land owners in that locality, and his wife Ann; David Chew, the son of Jeffrey, and his wife Hannah; and Stille Chew, son of David, and his wife Rebecca M. David Eldridge, who died June 18, 1823, age 89, is buried here; also his first wife, Sarah Chew, and his second wife, Rebecca Moffett. David Eldridge was one of the best-known men in Gloucester County and was the ancestor of several members of the New Jersey Society of Pennsylvania.

There are also numerous graves marked only by rude stones and there is a tradition that a number of victims of an epidemic of cholera are there interred. One of the descendants of the Chew family recently erected a very substantial enclosure for the cemetery, consisting of granite posts with iron rails between.

On the east side of the Mantua road, just before it crosses Mantua creek, lies the plantation formerly owned by Samuel Maffet and his wife Rachel. Samuel Maffet, in 1763. sold this farm to Jeffrey Chew, but reserved ''A privilege on 20 feet square of land to the said Samuel Maffet, to inter and bury his friends at the place where his two sons are now buried, adjoining on the line between the tract herein mentioned and other land of the said Jeffrey Chew." This item in the deed throws some light upon the customs of the early settlers, for it will be observed that Samuel Maffet hospitably allowed his friends to find a last resting place upon his land.

This plantation descended to Samuel Chew, grandson of Jeffrey Chew, and is now owned by a Mr. Redrow. The graveyard has long since disappeared and no one today knows even its approximate site.

On the road from Mantua to Sewell, near the bridge over the tracks of the West Jersey R. R., lies another Chew cemetery. This cemetery contains the remains of Jesse Chew, minister of the Gospel, who died in 18 12, age 74 years. There is also a stone for his wife Mary, and for several of their descendants, representing the Eastlack, Carpenter and Earley families.

Driver Cemetery

The Driver cemetery is located in the village of Barnsboro. It was established by Samuel Driver, one of the earliest settlers in that locality, who was a member of the Woodbury Friends' Meeting. It is enclosed by a stone wall, part of which has lately fallen down, and contains a number of gravestones of the Driver family.

Jessup Cemetery

On the old road which winds through the country from Barnsboro to Mickleton, a road which is to-day but little used, lies what is left of the Jessup cemetery, on the brow of a hill near the old Jessup homestead, about a mile from Barnsboro. The farm is now owned by Harry Lafferty. This yard was formerly surrounded by a good stone wall, but about two generations ago this wall was dismantled by the owner and the larger part of the yard is now under cultivation. There are but three stones remaining: John West, son of Richard and Rachel West, died August 14, 1798, age 63; Sarah West, died August 13, 1826, age 70 years; and Mary Jones died May 25, 1789, age 21.

West Burying Ground

About one-half mile south of the Jessup graveyard on the other side of the road is the old West burying ground, on the farm now occupied by a Mr. Sharp. This ground is on the brow of a hill forming part of a meadow and is without enclosure of any kind. The stones now standing are those of Job West, died March 4, 1800, age 30 years; Isaiah West, died June 21, 1811, age 39 ; Sarah, wife of Michael Hess, died October 8, 1774, age 28. The cows ramble freely over the place and it is quite probable that in a few years these stones will be broken and will disappear.

Tomlin Cemetery

On the road which leads from Pitman to Jefferson, about one mile east of Jefferson, is the Tomlin cemetery. The farm on which it is located is owned by William Duffield. This cemetery is enclosed with a brick wall, which was originally very good, but is now beginning to fall apart. The plot is overgrown with briers, underbrush and young trees, and is almost impenetrable except in winter.

Presbyterian Cemetery

In North Woodbury, on the opposite side of the old King's Highway from the Presbyterian cemetery and about two squares south of it, lies what is left of the old Ward burying-ground. There are but two stones remaining in this ground: Benjamin Ward, born February 8, 1733, died February 22, 1795; Hannah Ward, died Oct. 30, 1802, age 35 years and 4 months. This land is restricted for use only as a cemetery and since the present owners do not care to spend any money upon it, it is used as a dumping ground and a playground, and it is really remarkable that the two stones that remain standing are in such good condition. A toll gate at one time stood upon the front part of the cemetery lot.

Methodist Cemetery

The old Methodist Cemetery in Woodbury now forms a part of the Green Cemetery and is located on the old Egg Harbor road just east of Evergreen Avenue.

About a half mile farther out the road on the same side is a farm now owned by Doctor Ralph J. Iszard, formerly the Nathan Ward place. There is an old graveyard on the lane leading to the house, but only a few unlettered field stones remain, two of which are imbedded in the roots of a tree. The ground is about 50 feet square, and, while not enclosed, it is held sacred and is not used for any other purpose. The dwelling house on the farm is a well-built brick structure, bearing on the gable the inscription "N. A. W. 1791."

On the road from Woodbury to Almonesson, at the point where it crosses the stone road which leads from Westville to Glassboro, lies a farm now owned by Dr. Brewer, of Woodbury. In the center of a field bounded by these two roads lies an old cemetery, the original owner of which is not known. It contains a number of stones representing the Perce or Pierce family and is spoken of as a Pierce burying-ground. Some veterans of the Civil War are buried there, and their graves are remembered each memorial day by their comrades of the G. A. R.

There was a cemetery adjoining Christ Episcopal Church, in Woodbury, until a few years ago, when the bodies were removed. The ground is now partly occupied by the parish house.

Strangers Burying Ground

The Strangers Burying-Ground, which was for more than a century one of the landmarks of Woodbury, occupied about an acre of ground on the south side of Cooper Street west of Broad. In this cemetery many of the Hessians killed at Red Bank were buried. Buttons of uniforms and bayonets were found when the cemetery was vacated. It was condemned about two years ago, and a new street known as Lupton Avenue marks the site. The bodies and remaining stones were removed to the Paupers' Burying-Ground, which is located on the old road, now little used, leading from a point near Almonesson to North Woodbury.

Cattell Cemetery

Farther along this road and about a quarter of a mile nearer Woodbury is the Cattell cemetery, founded by the ancestors of the numerous families of that name. It was used to some extent by members of the Cattell family until quite recently. Jonas Cattell, famous as the guide of the Gloucester Fox Hunting Club, is said to be buried there.

Back in the region of sand and pine trees between Almonesson and a point on the stone road known as New Sharon, lies the old Walton place. The old cemetery on this place is located on a hill about 30 feet high which slopes down to a small stream. The hill is covered with noble oak trees and the spot is peaceful and quiet. But a few field stones remain to mark the graves, two of which are rudely lettered, one "J. W." the other "M. W." The farm was lately occupied by Azariah Eastlack, who left it to the Presbyterian Church at Blackwood. It is now owned by J. B. Vanneman.

Perce Cemetery

On the road leading from Bethel to Clement's Bridge, just north of its intersection with the road which leads from Almonesson to Blackwood, is the Perce cemetery. This cemetery is enclosed with a very substantial stone wall and is used to this day by the descendants of the family. The inscriptions on the stones represent the Perce, Montgomery, Best and Brewer families.

Jaggard Cemetery

About a mile to the north of the Perce cemetery, on the same side of the road, is the Jaggard Cemetery, now used as a burying-ground by residents of Almonesson. The ground is well kept.

The Crown Point road leading from Westville to Gibbstown, passing through Thorofare and Paulsboro, was originally one of the main roads of the county and the farms through which it runs were occupied by well to-do planters. Quite a number of private burying grounds are located on farms along this road.

In a paper read before the Gloucester County Historical Society, in 1906, Mr. Ezekiel L. Cloud states that there was a burying-ground on the northeast corner of Delaware Street and Crown Point Road, known as the Pierce graveyard. The stones have been used for paving and doorsteps and the ground has been ploughed over, so that all traces of it have disappeared.

Stephens Cemetery

The Stephens cemetery is located about a mile north of Paulsboro on the farm of Richard B. Davis. Through the briers and sumac the names of Stephens, Ward and Shuster may be seen on some of the tombstones. The yard is still used for burial purposes, three burials having been made there within recent years. This farm was probably part of the plantation owned and occupied by the famous Tench Francis.

Paul Burial Ground

At Mantua Point on the Delaware River, on a site now occupied by the I. P. Thomas & Sons Co. phosphate works, was the Paul burial-ground. The bodies in this cemetery were removed in about 1880 to the Methodist Episcopal Cemetery in Paulsboro, and the ground is now used for commercial purposes.

Lodge Cemetery

The Lodge cemetery stood on the Lodge farm on the banks of the Delaware River, near the village of Billingsport. This farm now forms part of the plant of the Vacuum Oil Company, and in 19 17 the bodies and tombstones were removed to Eglington cemetery, in Clarksboro, N. J.

Methodist Episcopal Cemetery

There is an interesting bit of tradition connected with the Methodist Episcopal Cemetery in the town of Paulsboro. The ground was owned by Samuel P. Paul and was at the time of his death, in 1831, covered with a beautiful growth of rye. Mr. Paul on his death-bed requested that he be buried in his ryefield and his wishes were carried out. Later his heirs presented the ground to the Church for use as a cemetery.

At the southern end of Paulsboro, at the junction of the Main street with the road leading to Swedesboro, stands a farm formerly occupied by Joseph L. Locke, prior to whose ownership known as the John Fleming farm. There was quite an extensive graveyard on this farm, which was located along the Swedesboro road near the present lane. No one seems to know the history of the yard. It has been farmed over for many years and in former years it was quite a common occurrence for a plow to turn up a skull or some other part of a human skeleton.

The ground in that particular part of the farm is now being used for building sand, and all traces of the former cemetery have entirely disappeared.

Mickle Burying Ground

About a mile farther down, on the opposite side of the road, is a farm now occupied by Joseph Clement and formerly owned by his grandfather, Mark Clement. On the north side of the entrance of the lane leading to the house is an old burying-ground, known as the Mickle burying-ground. It is a small plot, covered with a thick growth of young trees, but there is nothing to indicate that it is a burying-ground except three uncut and unlettered field stones, which may be found by searching through the leaves and underbrush.

Catnac or Catnack Cemetery

The Catnac or Catnack cemetery was located on a farm formerly owned by E. G. Green, now owned by the DuPonts and occupied by Turner Ashton. It was enclosed by a substantial wall and contained several stones.

The wall was torn down years ago and, with the gravestones, was used as foundations for some farm buildings. The ground is now under farm cultivation and only the approximate site of the graveyard is known.

In the village of Gibbstown there once stood an old Methodist meeting house, built of stone, with a graveyard adjoining. When the building was abandoned as a church it was converted into a barn, which was torn down when the land, which was known as the Mullen farm, was acquired by the DuPont interests.

The cemetery is just outside of the entrance gate to the DuPont plant, but the stones have been entirely destroyed by vandals and have disappeared. Rev. Jesse Mullen, a local preacher, who was born about 1803 and died about 1855, at one time owned the farm and frequently preached in the church.

Cooper Family Burying Ground

Farther down the road, about a mile before reaching Bridgeport, is the old Cooper family burying-ground. It is enclosed by a wall, but is so full of young saplings and briars as to be almost impenetrable. Some of the bodies have been removed to other cemeteries and no one appears to have any interest in those which remain.

One of the most interesting spots in the county is the ancient Moravian Church with its adjoining burying-ground, on the road from Swedesboro to Sharptown, near Oldman's Creek. The history of this church is given elsewhere in this book. The gravestones bear the names of Pierson, Vanneman, Gill, Shute, and other early settlers, whose descendants are among the leading citizens of the present generation.

Solomon's Graveyard

Solomon's Graveyard is located about 100 yards from Wolfert's station, on the Woodbury-Salem railroad, and marks the original site of the first meeting house of the Upper Greenwich Preparative Meeting of Friends.

The lot was granted by Solomon Lippincott in 1740, and a frame meeting house was built, which served its purpose until the society built a new meeting house in Mickleton in 1798. The graveyard continued to be used as such by Friends long after the meeting was removed, and it is still known as Solomon's, thus preserving the memory of its donor. It is enclosed by a substantial stone wall. The original meeting house no longer exists.

There were two early Methodist churches near Swedesboro which are of considerable interest. Oak Grove and Ebenezer. Oak Grove is about one and one-half miles from Swedesboro, on the road to Bridgeport. The church is still standing and is familiarly known as the "old stone church." The adjoining graveyard is enclosed by a stone wall, and contains a number of graves with a few headstones remaining.

Ebenezer Church Yard

Ebenezer churchyard is a half mile north of the stone road leading from Swedesboro to Auburn, on the last cross-road before reaching Oldman's creek. The church, which was a frame structure, is no longer there, but the cemetery is enclosed by a brick wall which is falling into decay. The names appearing on the stones are Jackson, Kimble, Guest, Hurff and Titus.

Cozens Burying Ground

The old Cozens burying-ground lies on a farm located on a road leading from Eastlack's comers near Mantua, past Jessup's mill to a point on the road leading from Clarksboro to Jefferson. The cemetery is located on the top of a cone shaped hill which seems very much like an Indian mound. It slopes down on one side to a branch of the Mantua creek and is covered with trees, some of which are quite large. The stones now standing are those of Elijah Cozens and his wife Ann, and their daughter Sarah Cozens.

Elijah Cozens was a deputy surveyor and a scrivener and part owner of a mill near his home. He did much of the conveyancing for that part of the county and his name frequently appears in the public records.

There is a very interesting burying-ground at the northern end of the town of Glassboro. Glassboro was first settled in 1775, at which time the Stanger brothers established there the pioneer glass-works of the county. The Stangers and most of their employees were Germans, and doubtless the first business which occupied their attention was the building of a house of worship. The cemetery is said to be the site of the first rude church building, and the original settlers were probably all buried within its shadow. The gravestones of several of the Stanger brothers are still in good condition, as is also that of their mother, Catherine Stanger, who, according to the inscription, died in 1800, aged 85.

The graveyard is in a neglected condition, although the stones have not suffered as much violence at the hands of vandals as is the case in most old cemeteries. The remaining tombstones contain the following family names: Stanger, Bodine, Shaffer, Swope, Focer and Thorne.

Eglington Cemetery

Eglington Cemetery, in Clarksboro, has grown up around the old private burying-ground set apart by John Eglington, in 1776, in his last will and testament. The original plot is still kept in its original condition and contains the gravestones of Jeffrey Clark and other pioneers of Clarksboro.

Lippincott Cemetery

The Lippincott Cemetery is located in the grounds of the county farm and almshouse, which was formerly owned by Restore Lippincott, who purchased it from William Gerrard, one of the largest landholders among the early settlers.

There is an abandoned cemetery about two miles south of Swedesboro, located on the right side of the road to Centre Square, about a half-mile west from the Swedesboro-Auburn road. The cemetery is on the boundary line between the farms now owned by Charles G. Batten and Charles Hampton. The part which is on the Batten farm has been plowed up to a large extent, and broken pieces of tombstones may be seen here and there. The only inscription which can now be deciphered is as follows:

Betsy Roberts, Died April 30, 1841 In the 69th Year of Her Age.

This stone was standing in good condition until a very short time ago, but it now lies on the ground broken in several pieces.

The part of the cemetery which lies on the farm of Charles Hampton is covered with a heavy growth of young trees, underbrush and poison ivy, and is not safe to visit, except in winter. Members of the Dunn and Avis families are said to be buried there, but, if there ever were gravestones there, none remain at this time.

One of the oldest Methodist Church organizations in the county is the Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church, located in the village formerly called Bethel, but now known as Hurffville. It dates back to 1770. The church building now standing there is the third one to be erected and used by the congregation. The adjoining cemetery is quite extensive, and contains the graves of hundreds of the pioneers of that part of the county. The principal family names represented on the tombstones in the old section of the cemetery are as follows: Chew, Dilks, Heritage, Bee, Swope, Turner, Brown, Beckett. Hurff, Watson, Clark, Firth, Carpenter, Prosser, Eastlack, Porch and many others. It is said to be the site of an old Indian burying-ground.

Union Graveyard

The Union Graveyard and United Association, in Mantua, was founded February 13, 1804. The ground for the cemetery was given by Martin Turner and deeded to Richard Moffett, Moses Crane, Thomas Carpenter, Edward Carpenter and Captain Robert Sparks, and their successors. Mary W. Pancoast by will bequeathed $1,000 toward the building of the wall. The yard is scarcely more than a quarter-acre in extent, and soon became completely filled. No burials have been made there of late years. The principal family names to be found upon the tombstones are Turner, Chew, Clark, Eldridge and Paul.

Walling or Powell Burying Ground

A most interesting old burying-ground is the one on the outskirts of Blackwood known as the Walling or the Powell burying-ground. It was included in the original limits of Gloucester County, but is now just over the line in Camden County. It is supposed by some historians to mark the site of the lost town of Upton, which appears frequently upon the early records of the county. It is picturesquely located on a high piece of land which slopes precipitously down to Timber Creek, and gives every appearance of having been a village or church cemetery.

Newton Burying Ground

There are many interesting old burying-places within the present limits of Camden County, which was formerly a part of Gloucester County. The oldest and most important of these is the Newton Burying-ground, which was established; by members of the Society of Friends, who settled on the banks of Newton Creek in 1681. Their meetings were at first held in the homes of the various members, but as soon as they found it possible, they built for themselves a meetinghouse, and set aside space for a cemetery adjoining.

Thomas Sharp, who proved to be the historian of the Society, in his account of their early settlements, says : "In 1684, the Friends in the vicinity of Newton, desirous of erecting a house of worship, selected a lot of land on the bank of the middle branch of Newton Creek, containing about two acres, it being on the bounds of land of Mark Newby and Thomas Thackara, which was laid out for a burial-ground, and at the west end a log meetinghouse was erected." They chose the banks of the creek for the reason that their plantations were located on the various branches of the creek, and their only means of communication was by water.

This burying-ground is very convenient of access, being not more than one hundred yards from the West Collingswood Station on the Reading Railway. The original Newton Burying-ground, together with an additional plot of one acre which was given for the purpose in 1 79 1 by James Sloan, is enclosed with a substantial stone wall, and is the most impressive relic of the first settlement of that section of New Jersey, Standing at the lower edge, on the banks of the creek, one can readily imagine that the spot has changed little in appearance since the early days. The creek at this point is quite wide, and the wooded hill-sides which remain suggest the heavy forests which originally covered them. The rough stones which marked the graves of those who were first buried in the plot have largely disappeared, and for many years it was not the custom of Friends to erect tombstones of any kind. Numerous descendants of the early settlers, however, are there buried, and among the well-known families whose names may be found inscribed on the tombstones are: Hugg, Collins, Collings, Howell, Clayton, Heritage, Christy, Bickham, Davis, Ogden, Sloan, Ellis, Albertson, Smiley, Jones, Thackeray, Watson, Cooper, Redfield, White, Knight.

The oldest stone in the yard appears to be that of:

Mary Heritage, who died September 16, 1768, in her 18th year.

The history of this yard appears to be but little known to the average person, although there is no more interesting chapter in New Jersey annals. Thanks to Thomas Sharp, the history of the organization of the colony has been presented in great detail, and a later historian, John Clement, in his "History of the First Settlers of Newton Township," has vividly portrayed its growth and development. The old cemetery appears now to be going through a period of neglect. Although the wall, as before stated, is very substantial, the opening in it is not closed by a gate and the yard has therefore become a playground for boys. The town of West Collingswood should be proud to have such a relic as this within its bounds, and its citizens should be glad to contribute whatever may be necessary to keep it in condition and to preserve it as a memorial to the trials and privations of the pious men who established it.

Zane Graveyard

The Zane grave-yard lies within a few hundred yards of Clement's Bridge on Timber Creek, on what is known as the old Wartman place. The remains of Colonel Isaiah Marple lie in this plot, and the tall stone which marks his grave is standing in good condition.

There are but two other stones to be found:

Mary S. Zane, born May 25. 1780, died October 12, 1847
Samuel Zane, died January 3, 1833, aged 55 years, 10 months and 17 days.
The stone of Mary S. Zane has been shattered, and the inscription is read with difficulty.

Inskeep Burial Ground

The Inskeep burial-ground lies about one and one half miles west of Marlton, on the banks of the stream which separates Camden County from Burlington County. It is located on the brow of a hill, and from it a meadow slopes gently down to the stream. The plot is about forty feet square, and is partly enclosed by a dilapidated board fence, which does not prevent the gentle meadow herd from seeking the grateful shade of its cedar trees on hot summer days.

Several stones remain in excellent condition, but a study of the inscriptions discloses the fact that no fewer than four members of the Inskeep family died within a period of fifteen days, two of them on the same day.

Whether they were carried off by some infectious or contagious disease is not known to the writer; but, even after the lapse of nearly two centuries, the sad story told by the well-cut and well-preserved tombstones can be visualized, and the sorrow and anguish of the surviving members of the family imagined.

The inscriptions are as follows:

Mary Inskeep, daughter of John Inskeep, died Nov. 13, 1756, in her 26th year;
Sarah, wife of Titz N. Leeds and daughter of John Inskeep, died Nov. 5, 1756, in her 18th year;
William Inskeep, died Nov. 13, 1756, in his 27th year;
John Inskeep. died Oct. 30, 1756, aged 55 years;
Mary Inskeep, died September 19, 1775, aged 30 years;
Sarah Rogers, died Jan. 22, 1855, aged 81 years, 4 months;
Joseph P. Rogers (no date).

George R. Prowell, in his History of Camden County, published in 1886, mentions a number of other burial-places in Camden County, among which are the following:

Henry Wood Grave Yard

The Henry Wood grave-yard, on the farm lately owned by Lemuel Horner, near the site of the Camden City Water Works. This, of course, does not mean the present artesian plant of the City of Camden, but the older plant in the neighborhood of Cooper's Creek. This yard has been abandoned for many years.

Bull Grave Yard

The Bull grave-yard, located somewhere in what is now the City of Gloucester. Even the approximate site of this grave-yard is not now known.

Watson Grave Yard

The Watson grave-yard, situated near the road which leads from Blue Anchor to May's Landing, about one mile south of Winslow. This was a comparatively public place at that time, being the crossing of two Indian trails, one going from Egg Harbor to the Delaware River, and the other from Burlington County towards Cape May. Nothing now remains to show the spot.

Graysbury Grave Yard

The Graysbury grave-yard, located a short distance west of the White Horse and Camden Turnpike. This yard has entirely disappeared, and the Philadelphia and Atlantic City Railroad now passes through it.

Woos' Burial Place

Woos' burial-place, about one mile south of Waterford, where the Indian trail crosses Clark's branch. This was established by Sebastian Woos and his brothers, who settled at that place prior to 1800.

Bates Grave Yard

The Bates grave-yard at Bates's Mill, about one mile south of Waterford. Benjamin Bates, who was an officer in the Revolutionary War and did much active service, lies there; also other members of the Bates family, as well as of the Cole and Kellum families are buried there.

Hopewell Grave Yard

The Hopewell grave-yard, located about two miles south from Tansboro, in Winslow Township, on the old Egg Harbor Road. This was probably the burial ground for the Friends' Meeting-house which formerly stood there.

Longa-Coming Cemetery

The cemetery at Berlin, formerly known as "Longa-Coming," dating back perhaps as far as 1714. The original cemetery now forms a part of the larger cemetery which adjoins it, and is kept in excellent condition.

Burden's Grave Yard

Burden's grave-yard, on the brow of a hill, near the point where the turnpike road from Berlin strikes the Clementon and White Horse Road. It was probably founded by Thomas Webster, who owned the land in 1742, and who with part of his family was buried there. Richard Burden became the owner in 1789, and the burial-place has since been known by his name. No vestige of a stone or grave may now be found there.

Matlack's Grave Yard

Matlack's grave-yard, on a farm formerly owned by Alexander Cooper, Esq., in Delaware Township, near Glendale. Concerning this cemetery, Prowell states "it is a small enclosed spot in a field. The fence is carefully maintained, and it is contemplated to erect there a marble tablet to commemorate the place and to secure it from encroachments or neglect." The writer has not had the opportunity to visit this spot and to ascertain whether the laudable resolution was carried into effect.

Tomlinson's Grave Yard

Tomlinson's grave-yard, near Laurel Mills, in Gloucester Township. This was strictly a burial-place for the Tomlinson family, and was probably established by Joseph Tomlinson, who settled in that section as early as 1690.

Sloan's Burial Place

Sloan's burial-place, a neglected spot on the south side of Irish Hill, in Union Township, a short distance east from the Blackwood and Camden Turnpike. Prowell states "this cemetery has no fence about it, and is entirely covered with timber and underbrush." It has probably disappeared entirely by this time.

Mapes Grave Yard

The Mapes grave-yard, "on the turnpike road leading from Camden to Kirkwood, in Center Township."

It was established by John Mapes, and adjoins the house in which he and his family lived. John Mapes was a soldier in the corps of Colonel Henry Lee.

In the lower end of Old Gloucester County, now Atlantic County, are numerous old burying-grounds, but it is not possible in this article to give a complete list of them. The following information regarding them was furnished by our historian, Frank H. Stewart, of Woodbury, and Miss Sarah A. Risley, of Pleasantville.

The burying-ground of the Mathis family is located at Chestnut Neck, where the Revolutionary battle was fought. Several undated and unmarked stones are to be seen, but there are only three standing with inscriptions.

They are John Mathis, born Dec. 23, 1753, died October 20, 1824;
Martha Mathis, wife of John, born June 29, 1762, died April 12, 1842;
Louiza Mathis, wife of John Mathis, born October 3, 1804, died October 27, 1850.

Above Chestnut Neck, on the Mullica or Little Egg Harbor River, opposite Hog Island, is a now almost inaccessible place known as Clark's Landing. A tramp of about one thousand feet through the woods and swamp up the river from the landing brings one to the lonely and desolate graves of Thomas Clark and his wife Ruth.

According to the inscription on his headstone he died May 17, 1752, in his 63rd year. Vandals have broken both headstones and the dates are now missing from that of Ruth Clark. Thomas Clark was the ancestor of a long line of distinguished men of New Jersey. At Clarks Mills, near Port Republic, is another plot containing the remains of other members of the Clark family.

The oldest marked stone is T. C, Oct. 31, 1793, aged 71 years. Adriel, Judith, Elizabeth, Sherman, Parker. Martha, Thos. P., Mary and Thomas Clark all have inscribed head-stones. This grave-yard belonged to the former Presbyterian Church, about one mile from Port Republic.

In the town of Port Republic, across the road in the woods and brush from the Methodist grave-yard, is another old grave-yard holding the remains of many members of the old families of the neighborhood. Among them, according to the tombstones, are Micajah Smith, Jonas Morss and members of the Endicott and Burnett families. The headstones are covered by a dense undergrowth. On the Morss Mill Road (named for the pioneer Robert Morss), about a mile west of the Shore Road at Smithville, is the private burial ground of the Collins family. The first interment with a date was that of:

Sarah, wife of Richard Collins, who died Jan'y 12, 1801, aged 65 years 6 mos.
Richard, b. May i, 1725; died June 17, 1808
Matthew Collins, born May 7, 1764, died Sept. 29, 1851
Judith, his wife, died Oct. 27, 1822, aged 54 years
Levi Collins, died March 24, 1813, aged 40 yrs. 6 mo. 4 da.
Richard Collins, born Oct. 11, 1798, died May 22, 1833
Sam'l G. and Daniel L. Collins and Aseneth Sooy also have tombstones. There are many other graves without markers and several with unmarked stones. This yard is now well kept.

At Leeds Point is a small plot of the Leeds family.

At Absecon are two burial grounds of the well-known Doughty family, one on John Doughty's farm on the East side of the Shore Road, a short distance back. The other is on or near the Pitney Road above the church.

On the Judge Doughty farm Abner Doughty, who died 1820, age 65, is buried, also two children of Enoch and Charlotte Doughty, who died 1829; also his wife, Leah, who died in 183 1, age 73.

Shillingforth Cemetery

The Shillingforth cemetery is on the East of the Shore Road in Absecon, near the Doughty plot.

The Risley family plot is on the east side of the Shore Road near the Delilah Road, Pleasantville, now plowed up. On Park Avenue, Pleasantville, the Fish family established a burial plot. On the David L. Steelman farm, at Northfield, Peter and Rachel Steelman were originally buried.

In the woods on the Fast Shore Line tracks near Linwood, under a fine old white oak, are the grave stones of Capt. John Somers, who died March 26, 1824, aged 68, and others by the names of Smith, Scull and Somers.

On the trolley road outside of Somers Point, on the road to Pleasantville, is a well-kept graveyard of the Steelman family. It contains several modern monuments and tombstones. The oldest stone is that of John Steelman, born May 4th, 1748, died Jan'y 8th, 1818.

Somers Cemetery

Inside of the Public School grounds, at Somers Point, is a small burying ground known as the Somers cemetery.

Here Col. Richard Somers, who died Oct. 22, 1794, in his 57th year
Sophia his wife, who died Feb. 3, 1797, in her 56th year

Parents of Richard Somers, who lost his life in Tripoli Harbor, Sept. 4, 1804, are buried. A memorial is also erected to his memory.

Sarah Keen, widow of Capt. Jonas Keen, and sister of Commandant Richard Somers, has a stone, as does Constant Somers, Junior, who died at Cronstadt, Russia, Aug. 24, 1811.

A short distance to the west of Somers Point there is another Somers cemetery. The oldest stone is that of Deborah, wife of Jesse Somers, who died Sept, 18, 1835, aged 60 years, 7 mo., 2 days.

Near Estellville, about a mile from the main road, in a clump of tall oak trees, is an ancient graveyard of the Steelman family. The first marked stone is that of Andrew Steelman, who deceased Feby. 9, 1772, aged 53 years. Several children of Frederick and Naomi Steelman also have markers dated from 1784 to 1795.

Another Steelman plot is about a mile away. The oldest burial there, that of a child, stone is dated June 21, 1806.

At Sayres Field, near Buck Hill, are buried
Judith Conley, died 1780, aged 40
Ephraim Sayrs, Jr., died 1772, aged 24
Bethia Sayrs, died 1780, aged 77
Ephraim Sayrs, died 1773, aged 66

In plot at English Creek the following are buried:
David Babcock, born Nov. 18, 1734, died June 6, 1812
Hannah Babcock, born July 1, 1739, died June 22, 1803
Elijah Smith, died Nov. 12, 1831, aged 67 yr. 6 mo. 17 da.
Zellah Smith, died Apr. 18, 1805, aged 36 yr. 9 mo. 3 da.
Daniel Champion, died Feb. 1, 1805, aged 46 yr. 11 mo. 18 da.
J. C, d. 1830.

Outside of Tuckahoe, near the county line, is the ancient Methodist Church, known as the Head of the River Church. In its yard scores of families are buried and it is well worth the time to visit this well preserved building kept as a memorial of by-gone days.

It was established in 1792. The oldest marked gravestones are those of
Joseph Estell, who deceased May 29, 1793, aged 46;
Elizabeth, his wife, died March 6, 1 821, aged 69 yr. 5 mo. 7 days;
Peter Corson, dec'd May 31, 1797, aged 23 years;
David Sayres, dec'd June 7, 1811, age 75 years;
Jane Sayres, dec'd July 26, 1805, age 65 years;
Capt. Benjamin Weathby, died Apr. 20, 1812, aged 65 yrs. 7 days;
Capt. Jeremiah Smith, Soldier of the Revolution, born July 24, 1752, died Feb'y 1, 1831;
Samuel Stille, died Aug. 2, 1818, aged 62 yr. 4 mo. 12 days.

Other family names on the tombstones are Stiman, Vanaman, Treen, Ingersoll, Marshall, Steelman, Seeley, Cambern, Champion, Godfrey, Darwin, Hunter, Williams, Burnett, Warner.

The Smith and Ireland burying ground, located near Estellville, contains the graves of:

Japhet Ireland, who deceased Feb. 20, 18 10, aged 66 yrs. 2 mo. 28 da
Mary, his wife, who died March 20, 1801, aged 54 yr. 7 mo. 22 da.
Thomas Smith, deceased Oct. 8, 1816, aged 31 yr. 8 mo.
Elias Smith, died July 3, 1838, aged 72 yr. 2 mo., and other members of the two families.

On the Main Road, Mays Landing, is the Wescott Burial Ground. Among those buried there the following names appear: Adams, Conley, Ford, Frazier, Pennington, Rape, Smiley, Taylor, Vaughan, Walker, Wescott.

At Clarkstown, below Mays Landing, there is a private burying ground of the Rape family. At Catawba cemetery, on the Great Egg Harbor River three miles below Clarkstown, are several graves of the West and Steelman families. Here, too, vandals have broken the tombstones.

Central cemetery, at Linwood, is the old burial grounds of the Friends, but there are no ancient dated stones.

In that part of Old Gloucester Co., now known as Atlantic Co., it is not uncommon for hunters to find in the woods graves in what seems today to be virgin forest. The exact location of many of the old family burial plots inadequately described in deeds cannot be located today. Tales of tombstones being used for various purposes are so common that many of them must be true. Vandals smashing tombstones and farmers plowing up graveyards should be imprisoned in the county jails.

According to an old deed conveying to Daniel Ireland a tract of land between the two Egg Harbor Rivers, dated Jan. 9, 1728-9, a tract 30 ft. square, known as the burying ground wherein Thos. Green's children are buried, is reserved. Thos. Green bought the land from the daughter of Francis Collings May 8, 1699. Hannah Dole, widow of Joseph Dole, of Great Egg Harbor, sold it to Ireland. It adjoined land of Peter Scull. Location of burial ground is now unknown.

Footnotes:
1. Copies of Vital Statistical records of Trinity Church are at the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania.
2. There was a Hopper burial-ground adjoining Friends ground. (F. H. S.).

Source: Ancient Burial Places in Gloucester County, New Jersey Society of Pennsylvania, Volume 1, Compiled by Louis B. Moffett, 1917.

Gloucester County| New Jersey AHGP

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