Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Pleasant Grove Presbyterian Cemetery

In trying to locate a couple of headstones, for a celebration of someone who is reportedly buried here, I thought that I would share some research about this cemetery.

From the USGENWEB Project:
Information for this page was contributed by: Ellen Carlson


According to available information the first hours of worship on this church probably completed in 1806, and no later than 1807, when the congregation assumed the name of the Pleasant Grove Presbyterian Church. The first edifice was a plain structure, with no bell tower, heated by charcoal. In 1857 the need for a new and more commodious house of worship resulted in the razing of the old building and on its site the present church was erected. The
burying ground dates to the founding of the church. The Rev. Joseph CAMPBELL, the first
settled pastor, also served the Presbyterian congregations at Independence and Hackettstown. He was followed by the Rev. Holloway Whitfield HUNT, Jr. There are no extant membership records prior to 1826. The mineral springs on Schooley's Mountain, which had been a great drawing card for visitors to the area since before the Revolutionary War, reached its apogee in the 1820's, swelling the native population, secular and religious, in this sparsely settled area of Washington Township.

The church is located on Pleasant Grove Road, 1 mile west of Schooley's Mountain, at the junction with Route 517. Some of the gravestone inscriptions were originally copied by members of the Society in 1940. In 1960 the remainder of the stones were copied and the whole checked by another group of members on one of the Society's Tombstone Hunts. Inscriptions included in brackets were copied in the original list, but not found in 1960. The inscriptions have been consolidated into family groups. An asterisk after a name indicates that the person and the relationship were given in an inscription, but no gravestone was found for that person. Inscriptions "on same stone, "in same plot,", etc. suggest a family relationship but none was stated on the stones or is assumed in this compilation. The listing was arranged, typed and prepared for publication by Dorothy A. Stratford.

End of Quote:

The link does not currently have a complete listing from the inscriptions that were recorded.

The “Pleasant Grove Presbyterian Churchyard” was published in the “Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, volume #65, 1990.

This publication does have the complete listing but it appears that the website, and another website with the listing from that magazine are incomplete.

This project, from what I understand, came as a result of the Cemetery Records being lost in a fire at the Church in 1924, according to the church office.

My "To Do List" for the summer, is to get as many headstones photographed and online here, and on the Find-A-Grave website. However, there are many unreadable and broken headstoes that will not be recorded.

Copyright © 2011 by H R Worthington