Olde Burial Ground and First Presbyterian Chapel

Welcome to another excited post. I suppose I am a taphophile. Every cemetery presents something new. For me, the older, the better, but the newer ones sometimes have really interesting pictures etched onto headstones. Anyway, enough about that- let’s get down to business regarding this cemetery in Hackettstown.

This cemetery and church were founded in 1763 and can be found on Main Street, you know, across from First Presbyterian Church (founded in 1739- I’ll be doing on a post on this one too. Don’t you worry.) It is on land donated by Obediah Ayers, who was a Scot, He owned quite a bit of land in Hackettstown and his name shows up on page 3 of “FOUNDERS OF NEW JERSEY Brief Biographies by Descendants.’ For some reason, I am unable to link the website, but check it out!

The first burial was of Nathanial Foster in 1763, while building the church. One thing that’s a little confusing is this man passed in 1763 building the church, but a sign in front of the church states the building was erected in 1819, but congregation was founded in 1763. Thanks to this website and my persistent digging, it is now explained. Outside this church, there is a sign saying “First Presbyterian Church of Hackettstown.” Every website I came across, referred to the original one across the street. Dug around with just the address and found the above website (whew!). This, my friends, is referred to as the Chapel. It was rebuilt in 1819, so all is right in the world of Kryssy (me) and signage is correct.

Today, this cemetery is the final resting place of numerous Revolutionary War soldiers. I was amazed to find so many in one cemetery. There are also soldiers buried here who fought in the War of 1812. Currently, there is a restoration project going on. There’s a sign explaining so and provides information on volunteering or donating. (See below). I think this is such a beautiful project. I will be donating because, unfortunately, I live about an hour and a half away and don’t know when I’d be able to volunteer time on a regular basis. A lot of headstones have a new stone in front that provides the following information: soldier’s name, which war, which regiment, and born/death years. A war medallion is also placed alongside a brand new American flag.

Don’t be fooled though, not everyone is a soldier buried here. Families, soldiers’ wives, and John M. Roof- wait till you read his headstone. There is a sign on the tree out front That gives a background on what I have typed out, along with ancestral family names, and information on the cemetery in general. It boasts 4 headstones with a  cherub winged motif as well.

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