One of the oldest cemeteries in Delaware Township is also one of the loveliest, with a long view of Hunterdon County’s rolling hills and farm fields. It is surrounded by a stone wall and at one time had a wrought iron gate.

View of the Moore Family Cemetery in Delaware Township

View of the Moore Family Cemetery in Delaware Township

Rev. John Naas

Moore family tradition has it that the cemetery was begun for use of the members of the Amwell German Baptist Church, as well as members of the family. This is a convincing argument since the Rev. John Naas is buried here. In 1733, several German Baptists from Amwell Township traveled to Philadelphia to meet with Rev. Naas, who was newly arrived from Germany, to persuade him to establish a church in Amwell. One of those petitioners was Jacob Moore, who in 1734 conveyed some of his land to the Reverend as an inducement to come live among them. The German Baptist Church in Amwell, also known as the Dunkard Church for their style of baptism, was given a firm foundation by Rev. Naas, but he died not long afterward, in 1741, and was buried in the Moore cemetery.1 His was quite possibly the first burial in that place, which would explain why other members of the congregation followed suit.2

Grave marker for Rev. John Naas

Grave marker for Rev. John Naas

The cemetery is oriented north-south, with the gate on the south end. The supposed gravestone for Rev. Naas may be found to the right of the gate (to the east). It is supplemented with a marker that was probably set there in the 1950s when the cemetery was cleaned up by members of the Amwell Church of the Brethren.

The Moore Family

The story of how Jacob Moore came to America and his marriage to Apolonia Amy Moret can be found in articles by Egbert T. Bush recently published here (“Old Farms in Old Hunterdon, part one” and “Farewell, Relic of Another Age“). When he came to America, Jacob Moore’s name was spelled Mohr. But like so many other German settlers in Hunterdon County, his name was Anglicized to Moore. Other examples in Amwell Township are Young (Jung), Fox (Fuchs), Rake (Rauche or Racke), Sine (Sayn or Sein), Hoppock (Habbaugh), Bellis (Bellosfelt), Acker (Ecker) Peoplesdorf (Pufflesdorf?) and Snook (Schnuch). The Fauss, Lawshe, and Rouzer names seem to have stayed close to the original German.

The Moore family name is very common in early Delaware Township, and there is a good reason for that. As described in “The Moore Family” Jacob and Amy Moore had at least seven children, and their grandchildren were numerous. Their son Daniel Moore was one of the most prolific. He had nine children with his first wife, Catharine Storts (or Stout?), and eleven children with his second wife, Elizabeth Rouzer, and altogether, at least 37 grandchildren.

The gravestones for Jacob and Amy Moore have not been found. He died sometime after 1764, but there is no record of when Amy Moore died. It is most likely that they were buried in the southeast corner of the cemetery close to Rev. Naas; there are several unmarked stones in that corner. During the lifetime of Jacob Moore there were at least four burials in the cemetery, in addition to his and his wife’s, and in addition to Rev. Naas. (A list of burials will be found in the next article.)

This cemetery was part of Jacob Moore’s homestead plantation. Jacob Moore wrote a will dividing his property among his sons, but unfortunately the will was never recorded so we can only guess that his son Daniel was allotted the property that included the home of Jacob and Amy Moore, together with about 200 acres. However, it is quite possible that Daniel Moore got only about 100 acres and acquired more land to his west, where the cemetery is located, on his own. At some point in time, two 100-acre tracts came into the Moore family, but the western one may also have been bought by Jacob Moore. Since Rev. Naas was buried during the lifetime of Jacob Moore, Sr., it seems most likely that in 1741 Jacob Moore owned the land on which the cemetery was located, which was between the two 100-acre tracts of land.

Gravestone of Daniel Moore

Gravestone of Daniel Moore

When Daniel Moore wrote his will on July 6, 1805, among other bequests he left the western 100 acres to son Gideon adjacent to the home plantation on the east which he left to sons David and Solomon, with the cemetery between them, although surprisingly, Daniel Moore made no mention of the cemetery in his will. When he died, on December 30, 1807, he was buried there. His wife Elizabeth lived on until July 22, 1819 and was buried next to him. Daniel’s first wife, Catharine Storts (or Stout?) was almost certainly buried in the Moore Cemetery; her grave is probably the unmarked stone next to Daniel’s grave.

This lovely early 19th century gravestone has been defaced by what appears to be a gunshot

To trace the ownership of the cemetery after 1807, when Daniel Moore died, we must take an unusual course and track the ownership of two farms instead of the usual one. There was the farm of Gideon Moore and the home farm left to David and Solomon. The latter has already been described to a great extent in the previous article, “The Moore Family.” But what of the tract given to Gideon Moore? That one gets a little more complicated.

Gideon Moore, Sr.

The farm of Gideon Moore was adjacent to the home plantation on the west. Gideon Moore (1775-1840) was the eldest son of Daniel Moore’s second wife, Elizabeth Rouzer.

Detail of Delaware Twp. tax map showing the cemetery as lot 7

Detail of Delaware Twp. tax map showing the cemetery as lot 7

I am not certain that Gideon Moore joined the Amwell Church of the Brethren as his father and grandfather had. (We do not have a record of the early members of the Church of the Brethren, so it is hard to say whether or not Gideon was a member. In his will he made no mention of the church.) He was married to Catharine Yorks on February 12, 1797 by a justice of the peace (David Bishop) rather than a minister.3 The marriage was certainly successful, as the couple had nine children, two of whom (Elizabeth and Rouzer) died young, in 1802. The others were:

  1. Daniel J. Moore, 1801-1886, m. Euphemia Shepherd, d/o Andrew Shepherd and Catherine Sine
  2. Sarah Moore, 1804-1877, m. William S. Brewer, who came to Hunterdon from Monmouth County, bought land adjoining the Moore farm.
  3. Asa Moore, 1806-1885, m. Mary White, d/o John & Elizabeth White
  4. Jacob D. Moore, 1809-1847, m. Amy White, sister of Mary White
  5. Elder John P. Moore, 1814-1866, married Anna Pierson (parents not known)
  6. Deacon William H. Moore
  7. Catharine Moore, 1817-1843, died unmarried.

During the time that Gideon Moore owned the cemetery, it served members of the Brethren church as well as the Moore family. That ended in 1839, when a funeral held on a rainy day severely damaged Gideon Moore’s wheat crop. The Moore Cemetery is well off the road, but at one time there was a lane that led to it. During this particular funeral, mourners must have been very eager to get to the cemetery, perhaps to get out of the rain as soon as possible, because they drove their carriages across Moore’s fields instead of keeping to the lane. The resulting damage to Moore’s wheat crop was the last straw, so to speak. When you consider that planting a field of wheat involved a horse-drawn plow and sowing the seed by hand, you can easily understand why Gideon Moore was upset.

Moore was something of a land speculator, or at least he was a collector of properties, and in 1828 he purchased from Peter Fisher, Esq. a tract of 170 acres bordering the farm he got from his father on the west. This property extended along the Sand Brook-Headquarters Road with its northern boundary at the Dunkard Church Road, across from a lot that Rev. Israel Poulson had donated to the Brethren Church in 1811 for a church building. So it was an easy decision to donate an acre of land next to the church for a burying ground, which later became known as the Lower Amwell Old Yard or Dunkard Church Cemetery.

The stone wall around the cemetery where once there was a wrought iron gate

The stone wall around the cemetery where once there was a wrought iron gate

However, burials continued to take place in the Moore Cemetery after 1839, many of them for members of the Moore family. This included Gideon Moore himself, as well as his wife Catharine who died in 1854. Next to them were children Catharine, Rouzer, Elizabeth and Jacob D. Moore.

Gideon Moore wrote his will on February 25, 1840. Among other bequests, he left to his son Jacob D. Moore the farm bought from Peter Fisher, and to son William H. Moore his own homestead farm. His will made no mention of the old Moore Cemetery.4

William H. Moore

William H. Moore (1814-1866), owner of the western half of the cemetery, and his wife Martha Wolverton (1811-1875) were not buried in the Moore Cemetery5—instead they were buried in the graveyard attached to the Brethren Church in Sand Brook, which was established by William’s brother, Elder John P. Moore, in 1848. In fact, William H. Moore served as a deacon in that church. He married Martha Wolverton on September 4, 1834 and they had five children (none of whom were buried in the Moore Cemetery):

  1. Angeline, born Aug. 31, 1835, married Peter Buchanan, died 1925, age 89
  2. Charles W., born Dec. 23, 1838, married Mary Ann Fauss, died 1903, age 64
  3. Mary Catherine, born 1842, married Theodore M. Horne, died 1919, age 77
  4. Elizabeth R., born June 1843, married Othniel R. Fauss, died ?
  5. Gideon C., born abt 1847, married Amy Carrell, died after 1920

The land given to Jacob P. Moore by his father as part of his farm, was swapped by Jacob with his brother Asa Moore in 1843.6 Actually, Asa Moore had set to work on the stone portion of his house even before signing the deed with his brother, because the datestone reads “A. M. M. 1842.” Asa Moore married Mary White, daughter of John and Elizabeth White, on February 24, 1828, the year that Gideon Moore bought the farm from Peter Fisher. They were married in the German Baptist Church of the Brethren by Rev. Israel Poulson. But eventually, Asa and Mary Moore also joined his brother’s church in Sand Brook, and like brother William they were buried there. Asa Moore died in 1885, and his wife, Mary died in 1883. Asa and Mary Moore had three daughters and one son, Gideon Moore, born in 1836, who took over the family farm after his parents died.

Gideon C. Moore

When William H. Moore wrote his will on December 29, 1865, he named his eldest son Charles W. Moore his sole executor. Charles W. Moore was born Dec. 23, 1838, so he was 26 years old at the time. About 1860, he had married Mary Ann Fauss (daughter of John Fauss and Jane Lake) and they were living with his parents at the time of the 1860 census. Their daughter Jennie Fauss Moore was born in June 1867. (Mary Ann Fauss had a brother named Othniel ‘Arthur’ R. Fauss, who married Charles’ sister Elizabeth.)

William H. Moore wrote what I think was an unnecessarily complicated will. I wonder about the legal advice he was getting. In effect, though, after making all sorts of provisions for his wife, and his personal possessions, he left all his real estate, “wherever it may be found,” to his children, whom he named, including his sons-in-law. He ordered that the children choose “one disinterested judicious person who shall proceed to divide said lands,” but if the real estate could not be divided in a satisfactory way, then the executor, son Charles, was to offer it at public vendue. Which is what he did.

On May 1, 1868, Charles W. Moore, as executor of his father’s estate, sold the homestead farm to his brother Gideon C. Moore of Delaware Township for $10,750.7

At the time of the sale, Gideon C. Moore was about 21 years old and unmarried. He was probably a fairly intelligent young man, having received an education at Madison University; he was enrolled in the Grammar School in the years 1857-58.8 (Madison eventually became Colgate University.) This means he was less than 14 years old, so it had to be Gideon C. Moore, rather than his cousin Gideon Moore, who was ten years older. The university stated that

The Grammar School is a preparatory School of high order. It demanded to secure an elevated standard of attainments for the College and for business, and to bring a thorough preparation for either, within the reach of young men of limited means.

The curriculum required that students be able to speak Greek and Latin and have a good understanding of the classics. Not what you’d expect from a country boy. Why his father would send him to such a school becomes more of a quandary when you read his will, which was written when Gideon was only about 18 years old, and apparently was showing tendencies of leaving the farm. William H. Moore wrote:

In consideration of my having advanced to my son Charles W. Moore the sum of $360 heretofore, it is my will and I do give to my son Gideon C. Moore the like sum of $360 to be paid to him when he attains the age of 21, but in case my said son Gideon C. Moore should choose to go and learn a trade then and in that case I do give the said Gideon C. Moore only the sum of $6 to be paid as before directed.

It is hard to see how Gideon Moore was supposed to come up with over $10,000. In order to meet the requirements of the will, he got a mortgage from his father’s estate in the amount of $3,500, but the mortgage stated that it was not due until the death of Martha M. Moore, widow of William H. Moore. This was because the will of 1865 required that out of the proceeds of the sale, $3,500 be set aside at interest for the use of the widow, and the rest divided equally between the siblings. As it turned out, Martha M. Moore did not die until 1875.9

On the same day, May 21, 1868, Gideon C. Moore mortgaged the farm for $3000 to Joseph G. Bowne. The payment was due the following year on April 1. It was not returned and cancelled until April 20, 1873.10

Gideon C. Moore did get married not long after this, on May 26, 1869. His wife was Amy Carrell, daughter of the prosperous farmer and neighbor, John A. Carrell and wife Amy Myers. They were married by Rev. John P. Moore of the Sand Brook Brethren Church. Their first child, Elizabeth Carrell Moore, was born October 1, 1870.

One would think that matters had been settled, but apparently not. Two years later, Charles W. Moore advertised the family farm for sale:

“Charles W. Moore, Executor of William H. Moore, dec., late of Delaware Township, will sell two Farms or Plantations and premises of the said deceased, as follows: First Farm: is the Homestead farm of deceased, containing 126 & 33/100 Acres, more or less, adjoining lands of Asa Moore; John P. Moore and others and is about 1 mile from the Flemington & Lambertville Railroad and now occupied by Gideon C. Moore [my emphasis]. Second Farm: situated about 1 mile from the above and contains 61 Aces, more or less, and adjoins lands of Hiram Moore; Daniel B. Ege and others.11

I thought perhaps such an advertisement might have been made to satisfy some legal requirement, but the deeds give no reason for it. One month later, on July 7, 1870, Charles W. Moore, as sole executor of his father Wm. H. Moore dec’d, conveyed once again the same property to Gideon C. Moore for the same amount of money, $10,750.12 Two days later, on July 9th, Gideon C. Moore gave his father-in-law, John A. Carrell, a mortgage on the farm for $3,000, due on April 1, 1871. The mortgage was never cancelled.13

That summer the census was taken and showed Gideon C. Moore, age 23, as head of household with wife Amy age 20, and daughter Elizabeth age 8 months. Living with them was Gideon’s mother Martha, age 59, and Asa Hartpence, age 18, who worked on the farm.

Meanwhile, Gideon C. Moore had gone to court to collect a debt. On September 22, 1870, his case against Joseph Walters was heard in the Court of Common Pleas. Moore had sold a mowing machine to Walters, who gave him a promissory note that was dated March 1870. But Moore was claiming that it was dated June 1869, and thus due for collection. Perhaps the machine was sold then, but Moore did not have enough proof to convince a jury, which ruled against him.14

It seems that Gideon C. Moore was in over his head. In the same issue of the Hunterdon Republican this advertisement appeared:

Sale of Real Estate. To be held 1 Oct. 1870. Gideon C. Moore will offer for sale, at the premises in Delaware Township on the road from Sergeantsville to Ringoes, the farm on which he now resides [my emphasis], (known as the Gideon Moore farm,) adjoining lands of Asa Moore; John P. Moore; Albertus K. Wagoner and others, containing about 126 Acres of Land, 15 of which is wood land. William S. Riley, Auctioneer.

On March 25, 1871 Gideon C. Moore sold the farm consisting of 118 acres plus a lot of 7.87 acres to his father-in-law, John A. Carrell, for $12,317; it included part of two graveyards and part of the schoolhouse lot.15 This generous sum must have been used to pay back some mortgages and other debts. And apparently it allowed the Moores to remain on the farm after the purchase. Perhaps it was something of a wedding present. Carrell could have just given them a mortgage to cover the cost, but instead he paid them more than Moore had paid to his brother.

Despite his father’s fears, Gideon C. Moore became resigned to the farming life. The Hunterdon Republican noted that in January 1877 he killed a pig weighing a considerable 637 pounds. He was only outdone by his wife’s uncle, Joseph Carroll, whose pigs weighed 750 and 640 pounds. In 1880, the paper reported that Gideon C. Moore had “three pair of twin cattle, all heifers but one, and all of his own raising.” Moore may have been good with livestock, but he was not good at controlling his dog. In 1881, when his second cousin, Charles Poulson, was visiting from Brooklyn, his dog attacked Poulson so fiercely that “the flesh was torn from the elbow to the wrist on one arm.” The dog was killed shortly afterwards.

When the 1880 census was taken on June 7th, Gideon C. Moore, age 30, was listed as a farmer living with wife Amy, age 27 and children Lizzie age 10, at school (no doubt at the Moore School), John W. age 9, and Charles W., age 2.

Gideon C. Moore also participated in Republican politics to an extent. In 1881 he was named to the executive committee for north Delaware Township, and again in 1882. That is the last of his political involvement as noticed in the Hunterdon Republican. The only other mention of Moore in the Republican was a statement in 1886 that Gideon C. Moore, by then 41 years old, was teaching at the Moore School “for a few days, during the sickness of Miss Cora Hunt, the regular teacher.”16

John A. Carrell wrote his will on August 13, 1889, leaving to his grandson John W. Moore, son of daughter Amy Moore, the sum of $100. Amy Moore shared in the rest of the estate with her eight siblings. Carrell died on October 31, 1895, age 85, and his will was recorded on November 30th. (He was buried in the Lower Amwell Old Yard next to his wife Amy, who died in 1888.)

There are several deeds from the executors of John A. Carrell issued in 1897, but none of them are to Amy Moore and husband Gideon. Presumably the couple got their one-ninth share of the proceeds of these sales. Sometime before Carrell died, Gideon and Amy Moore had left Delaware Township and moved to Trenton where he found work as “a keeper in the New Jersey State Prison” in 1894. On Dec. 27, 1899, the Republican reported that on Saturday morning, he was “knocked down on South Broad St., rendered unconscious and robbed of $80, his month’s salary.” Moore was counted as a resident of Trenton in the 1900 census, occupation “prison keeper,” renting his house and living with wife Amy (married 31 years), with one child, Charles S. Moore age 21. That was the only child living with them. Their daughter Elizabeth had married Edward Danley, and, judging from census records, son John W. had left home about the time that Gideon and Amy Moore left Delaware Township, and moved west, first to Wyoming, then to Arizona, where he worked as a farmhand.

Eventually, Gideon and Amy Moore returned to Hunterdon. They were counted in the 1910 and 1920 censuses, living on the Sergeantsville-Stockton Road.

Back at the old Moore farm, the executors of John A. Carrell dec’d sold it to Carrell’s daughter Elizabeth on March 4, 1897 for $4042.56.17 And this deed included for the first time an exception regarding the graveyards. It read:

excepting and reserving from the conveyance all rights and interests, if any, of any person or persons other than the said John A. Carrell in two grave yards and a school house lot portions of which are included in the description of said premises [and ?] winter grain growing on said premises is reserved with the right of the owner to enter thereon to harvest and thresh the same, and harvest the grain, leaving the straw. [The wording is awkward, and the copy hard to read.]

Almost immediately, Elizabeth Carrell sold the farm to Henry C. Higgins for $4,421.55.18 It was as if she was charging Higgins about $400 for getting him the farm. But he only kept it until 1905 when he with wife Anna sold it back to Elizabeth Carrell for $3,981.55.19 During all these transactions, the metes and bounds always included courses that crossed the graveyard, but also included the exception from 1897.

Elizabeth Carrell kept the farm until she died, on October 3, 1929, after writing her will, leaving the farm to her sister’s daughter Elizabeth Carrell Danley. It is likely that this farm was run by tenants ever since the departure of Gideon C. Moore, and continued that way for many years.

Moore Cemetery after 1954 clean-up

Moore Cemetery after 1954 clean-up

The cemetery remains divided between two properties, but neither of the owners owns the cemetery today. It is an orphan, like so many other old family burying grounds in Hunterdon County. The Chairman of the Cemetery Committee of the Hunterdon County Historical Society, along with Joe Kerr, Sue Apgar and the Brethren Church Youth Group, have recently done a wonderful job of cleaning it up, repairing gravestones and the stone wall, discovering some stones under the rubble, and creating a map of the burials. For the foreseeable future, it will depend on the adjacent owners whether volunteers and descendants will have access to the cemetery for visits and periodic cleanups.

I received a considerable about of research assistance along with photographs for this article from the Chairman of the Cemetery Committee. His assistance has made this a far more interesting article than it would have been, for which I am very grateful.

Footnotes:

  1. Rev. Naas has an interesting history all his own, which will be discussed in a future article about the Amwell Church of the Brethren.
  2. A pamphlet prepared by the Amwell Church of the Brethren for a Memorial Day Service held on May 30, 1954 celebrated the recent restoration of the badly overgrown cemetery and stated that the first burial here took place in 1720, without stating who was buried on that date. No one in the Moore family died that early, unless it was an infant.
  3. H. C. Marriages, Book 1 p. 11. Catharine Yorks was the daughter of William and Elizabeth Yorks, but I know nothing of them. They do not appear to have been an Amwell family.
  4. It did, however, refer to a second cemetery on the western end of his property that was “about to be fenced.” It was “of lands belonging to the farm I purchased from Peter Fisher, supposed to contain something more than half an acre of land for a burying ground I give and devise the same forever for that use.” That second cemetery, known as the Fisher/Taylor Graveyard, will have to be dealt with in another article.
  5. Although, curiously, her parents, Job and Anna Wolverton were buried there.
  6. H. C. Deed Book 79 p. 226.
  7. H. C. Deed Book 140 p. 531; the deed was recorded on May 27, 1868.
  8. U.S. School Catalogs, 1765-1935, Ancestry.com.
  9. H. C. Mortgages, Book 34 p. 636.
  10. H. C. Mortgages book 34 p. 650.
  11. Hunterdon Republican, June 2, 1870, as abstracted by William Hartman.
  12. H.C. Deed Book 146 p. 340.
  13. H.C. Mortgages, Book 36 p. 560.
  14. Hunterdon Republican, 22 Sep 1870.
  15. H. C. Deed Book 147 p. 524.
  16. It has been a challenge determining what Gideon C. Moore was up to, as his first cousin, Gideon Moore, son of Asa Moore and Mary White, was a close contemporary, both in time and space. This Gideon was born in 1836, so he was 11 years older than Gideon C. Moore, which may be why William H. Moore decided to give his son a middle initial. It certainly helped with searching for Gideon C. Moore in the news abstracts. But I discovered that Gideon Moore (1836-1904), who married Elizabeth B. Sutton, was even more interesting that Gideon C. His story will have to wait for another time.
  17. H. C. Deed Book 248 p. 67.
  18. H.C. Deed Book 247 p. 70.
  19. H. C. Deed Book 276-416.