It’s mid-October and my thoughts turn to cemeteries. Some time ago I published several articles on the cemeteries of Delaware Township on the “The Delaware Township Post.” I would like to publish them here on my website also, with any additions or corrections that occur to me. The following (somewhat expanded) was published on the Post on January 8, 2008.
There are 25 known cemeteries in Delaware Township, many of them dating back to the 18th century. Most of the people buried in these cemeteries are little known, except perhaps to their descendants. The more we can learn about their lives, the more we will understand the history of our town.
The 25 Known Cemeteries
Over the years, many historians and genealogists have gone looking for the old cemeteries, and thankfully, they wrote down the names and described the cemeteries that they found. Based on these writings and on cemeteries I’ve been able to visit, this as complete a list of known township cemeteries as I can manage.
Canal Workers’ Cemetery
Locktown Baptist Church
Locktown Christian Church
Lower Amwell Old Yard and New Yard
Pine Hill Cemetery
Rittenhouse Family & Canal Workers
Sand Brook Church
Sandy Ridge Church
Sergeantsville Methodist Church
It is quite possible that there are other small family burying grounds in out-of-the-way places that have long since fallen into the earth, that were never located and identified, never recorded, and may never be found.
The Lenape were the first people to live and die in our township. They were seasonal visitors who came to hunt and to make tools at certain times of the year, and then moved on. In Archeology of Warren and Hunterdon Counties, 1917, Max Schrabisch did a survey of known Indian habitations and identified several in Delaware Township. He located a Lenape burial ground at Mount Gilboa, not far north of Lambertville and the Alexauken Creek. It can be seen on older USGS topographical maps of Delaware Township. It must have been a special place, giving a view of the Delaware River as it came down from the northwest and swung to the south. In the 20th century, Trap Rock started turning the ‘mountain’ into gravel.
There were Lenape in Delaware Township when the first settlers arrived, during the early years of the 18th century. By the 1750s, their numbers had been greatly reduced by disease, and most survivors had moved north and west. Some stayed, however, including a woman called “Old Indian Mary.” She was known by members of the Moore family who lived on the western edge of Delaware Township along Route 604. The Moores claimed that she was the last surviving Lenape person in Delaware Township. When she died, she was buried next to the Moore Family Burying Ground—not inside the wall with the family, but “over in the woods.” This comes from a story written by Egbert T. Bush (“Old Farms in Old Hunterdon,” Hunterdon Co. Democrat, April 9, 1931), and I am sorry to say he did not give us the date of Mary’s burial. By 1931, that little fact was probably lost in the mists of time.
Types of Cemeteries
One way to think about township cemeteries is how they are owned. There are what I call public, semi-public, and private cemeteries in Delaware Township. Public cemeteries are presently owned by a public entity, either a church or an independent cemetery organization. Maintenance is taken care of by the originating agency or by a related organization. Semi-public cemeteries are fairly large cemeteries that are seemingly public, but the organization that created the cemetery has gone out of existence. As a consequence, maintenance of these cemeteries is problematic, often relying on the work of volunteers. Private cemeteries are more properly called burying grounds and are found on private property, usually well-concealed from the road. Some are cared for and others are ignored. Finally, I have added a category of abandoned cemeteries. These cannot be found anymore, but they were written about by early 20th century county historians.
I have taken the liberty of classifying our cemeteries this way:
Public Cemeteries: Holcombe-Riverview, Rosemont, Lower Amwell Old and New Yards, Locktown Christian Church, Sandy Ridge Church, Sergeantsville Methodist Church.
Semi-public Cemeteries: Barber, Locktown Baptist Church, Sand Brook Church
Private Cemeteries or Burying Grounds: Cherry, Kitchen, Moore, Opdycke, Pine Hill, Rake, Reading/Johnson, Rittenhouse, Sutton, Thatcher
Abandoned Cemeteries: Anderson, Bosenbury-Taylor, Canal Workers, Johnes Family, Titus Family, Wert Family
In the next post, I will tackle the public cemeteries.
November 5, 2010 @ 5:10 pm
Greatly appreciate all the work you have been doing getting so much information available for me to review. My parents were born and raised in Kingwood Twp. Hunterdon County with ancestors buried in many of the cemeteries around the area, that you have been publishing. I have a strange desire to make the rounds of so many of these cemeteries and see for myself the acturl tombstones of my ancestors. My grandparents, parents and son are buried in the massive Frenchtown cemetery and have toured thru there many times looking for many tombstones. To me, it is a fascinating hobby!! Thank you again for all the “leg work” you have put in gathering so much information. Elaine (Trout) Walters
December 8, 2010 @ 10:10 am
Marfy: Recently my son and grandson were biking down the canal pathway in Frenchtown and as they rode along they sited a tombstone along the left side of the pathway. They stopped, of course, and were startled by the names on the stone, with no other stones surrounding it. In our family tree there are Kuglers and the names on the stone were: Jonathan Kugler and wife Anna. Would you be able to fill in any details about this stone being placed along the canal and any information as to who and what these Kuglers represent? I find no Jonathan Kugler in my vast store of my family roots. He may have been related and I would like to find the connection, if there is one. Would appreciate any help you can offer. Sincerely, Elaine (Trout)Walters email@example.com
December 10, 2010 @ 7:11 am
I have a Jonathan R. Kugler, born 1824, died in Frenchtown on 14 Nov 1891, married to Anna Case (1827-1910) on 13 Nov 1847 at the Kingwood Baptist Church. They had three children born in the 1850s (Eliza R., Judson B. and Jonathan B.). Jonathan R. Kugler was the son of James Kugler (1797-1871) and Eliza Bray Rittenhouse (1802-1880). Hence the initial R. in Jonathan’s name. Anna Case was the daughter of John Case, born 28 Feb 1801, and Elizabeth Hoffman. Unfortunately, that is the extent of my information. Hope this helps.
Elaine Trout Walters
January 14, 2011 @ 9:43 am
Marfy: Thank you so much for the information that you have found for me, re: Jonathan and Anna Kugler. It has been very helpful and interesting. Wondering still why the tombstone is along the canal in Frenchtown instead of in the main cemetery in town. I have a lot information on the cemeteries of the Hunterdon area, thanks to you!! Certainly appreciate everything you have researched and I have found many family connections thru your efforts. Thank you again. Elaine (Trout) Walters
January 29, 2011 @ 1:05 pm
Where can I find a location of CanalWorkers Cemeteries?
January 29, 2011 @ 3:45 pm
Sad to say, but the canal workers were not given the recognition they deserved when they died. At least as far as Delaware Township goes, they were buried in unmarked graves, some of them probably in the Anderson family burying ground in Stockton (which no longer exists), and others probably in areas between Prallsville and Raven Rock. The combination of their lowly status as poor Irish immigrants without families established here together with the fact that many died of cholera almost guaranteed that they would be consigned to oblivion.
June 8, 2011 @ 11:23 pm
My interest is in the Kitchen Family which was the founder of the Kitchen Mill of Sandbrook
Henry and his brothers James and Thomas were of the first settlers in the Sand Brook area and would appreciate any help in locating some of their grave sites
Some family remained in NJ but the younger ones ventured to Canada
I saw on your site a Kitchen Cemetery…do you have a list of the names buried
Also is there a geneologist in this region that I could hire to assist me in my search of the Kitchen Family
Regards, Donna (nee Kitchen)
June 9, 2011 @ 8:33 am
Dear Donna, You are correct that brothers Henry, Thomas and James Kitchen resided in Amwell Township, Hunterdon County in the mid 18th century. Their father may have been John Kitchen of Salem, Mass., but I have no proof of that. Unlike the beautiful old cemeteries of Massachusetts, graveyards for NJ residents of the 18th century are very disappointing. Beautifully carved stones are very rare, and most 18th century graves have disappeared. A few remain but they are very enigmatic, with initials and perhaps a date. This is all preparatory to saying that I have no idea where Henry, Thomas and James are buried, nor their sons and daughters. There is a cemetery that I call the Kitchen cemetery because of the many stones with the surname initial K and its proximity to Sand Brook. But the stones you are looking for aren’t there. I published a couple articles on the Kitchen cemetery in The Delaware Township Post.
Kitchen Cemetery, Part One (Kitchen graves)
and Part Two (other graves)
Also an article on the old Kitchen Mill in Sand Brook.
As for a genealogist working in Hunterdon County, your best bet is to contact the Hunterdon County Historical Society. Here is their webpage with contact information:
March 26, 2014 @ 8:31 am
I read earlier what your wrote about The Saxtonville Tavern and really appreciate your efforts to keep the history about this historic site alive! Anyway, I came across this article about the cemeteries and wonder if you know anything about the tavern property that would include a cemetary?
Above the tavern on the ridge is a fantastic stone wall that traces the rim facing the river and into the gap. Intersecting this stone wall is part of what I had first just figured was the property boundary that creates a rectangle of what I guess is less than 2 acres on the top of the ridge. As I explored it, I could not help,but feel if this was not a former cemetary for the family. There couldn’t be a more peaceful location than on the ridge top overlooking the river!
March 26, 2014 @ 8:40 am
Chuck, that sounds very intriguing, especially because I have not come across any information regarding a burial site in that area. And yet, people lived there, like the Quinbys whose graves have not been located. Back in the 18th and early 19th centuries, many people preferred to be buried close to home. It make one wonder.