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NYGenWeb Westchester County: Van Cortlandtville Cemetery
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Westchester County, NY

Sandstones of Van Cortlandtville Cemetery
Cortlandt Manor, NY

Compiled by Jean Ann Orser Lupinetti

Following is a list of the sandstones (also called redstones or brownstones) and slate (two only) in the Old Van Cortlandtville Cemetery on the corner of Oregon Road and Locust Avenue in Cortlandt Manor (formerly called Peekskill), Westchester County, NY. This cemetery is next to the Little Red School House, adjoins Hillside Cemetery and surrounds Old St. Peter's Church. The Cemetery is often referred to as Old St. Peter's Church Yard.

According to Scharf, "In 1750, Andrew Johnson ..., a son-in-law of Stephanus Van Cortlandt, for the sum of five pounds, conveyed to Caleb Hall, Joseph Travis, and Pelatiah Hawes, six acres of land lying at a place called Peekskill, on the north side of the Crompond road, to be used as a site for a schoolhouse, burying ground, and meeting-house or houses for the religious (under the protection of his Majesty) such as adherents of the Church of England, the Presbyterian, Independents, Baptists, or Congregationalists, etc., but for no other purpose." (page 385, Vol. 2, History of Westchester, NY)

According to Historic Van Cortlandtville (page 23), "Messrs. Travis and Haws gave their four acres to the Episcopalians, Hall turned over his two acres to the Baptists who built a church on the south section of the plot in 1772."

Former Peekskill historian, Carlton B. Scofield, tells us "Caleb Hall was a Baptist and a pioneer ... at the end he was laid to rest in 1791 in a place close beside the Van Cortlandtville Baptist Church built in 1772. The church was built on land given to the Baptists by Caleb Hall." (page 10, History Of The First Baptist Church)

The Jacobs and Voct stones are in the same area as the other sandstones, but are not considered part of the Van Cortlandtville Cemetery (they are said to be in Hillside Cemetery). According to Scharf, (page 388, Vol. 2), "...when the grounds surrounding the old Episcopal Church (St. Peter's) became filled, lots were bought and interments made in the private property adjoining ...." In 1864 what is now Hillside Cemetery was purchased, including those graves that were made on private ground. I have included these three stones in this listing as they are in the same area as the other sandstones.

The Hall gravestones are not near any of the other sandstones in the Van Cortlandtville Cemetery, but they are directly in back of the Little Red School House, once the site of the early Baptist Church.

The first recorded gravestone on the six acre plot seems to have been Stephen Travis who died in 1751. St. Peter's Episcopal Church was started in 1766 and dedicated in 1767, and the Baptist Church was built on the plot about 1772.

Many of these old sandstones are damaged and down. Sandstones deteriorate from internal stresses. Stones that are 200 years old can appear perfect one day and the next day the entire face of the stone can "let go" and the face of the stone falls away and is lost forever. Please try to visit this historic cemetery and view these stones yourself before it is too late.

For more information on sandstones see the book "The Old Dutch Burying Ground of Sleepy Hollow" which is available in most Westchester County Genealogical and Historical Societies, as well as through some used booksellers.

Surname Given Name Date of Death Age at Death Miscellaneous, Epitaphs, Etc.
Comments in Italics
BANKER Jean Mar 6 1806 6days Daughter of John & Mary Banker
BANKER Mary Jul 7 1809 7y7m6d Daughter of John & Mary Banker
BARRAT Elizabeth Jun 15 1788   Born Sep 15 1729, wife of John Barrat (stone down)
BARRET John Jul 31 1802 82y An honest man's the noblest work of God.
BASHFORD Byaly Jun 22 1794 84y  
BELL Elizabeth Jul 27 1816 44y1m28d Wife of Frederick Bell
BELL Frederick Mar 13 1811   Born Sep 25 1769
BIRDSALL Daniel Oct 29 1800 65y9m13d  
BIRDSALL Eunice Feb 9 1792 59y10m25d Wife of Daniel Willm Birdsall

When spring appears when violets blow
& shed a rich per(fume)
How soon the fragrance breaths its last
How short livd is the bloom
Fresh is the mo(rning) (s)ummer rose
Hangs withered ere on....
We scarce enjoy the balmy gift But mourn the pleasure gone.
(stone falling apart)
BIRDSALL Hannah Nov 3 1815 3y3m11d Born Jul 23 1812 Dau. Of Daniel Wm & Phoebe Birdsall

Beneath a sleeping infant lies
To earth her body's lent
More glorious she'll here after rise
Tho' not more innocent
BIRDSALL Hannah Apr 4 18(17) 75y4m27d Wife of (Dan)iel B(irdsal)
(stone crumbling almost gone)
BIRDSALL Hephsa May 9 1795 26y3m3d Wife of Daniel William Birdsall

O happy dead in peace that sleep
Tho' o'er your mouldring dust we weep
A faithful Saviour soon will come
That dust to ransom from the tomb.
BURD Ann Sep 10 1813 59y5m26d Wife of Joseph Burd
CAMMET Joseph Nov 22 1799 11y5m Son of Thomas & Billacha Cammet

Dear friends who live to mourn & weep
Behold the grave where I sleep
Prepare for death for you must die
(last line underground)
CONKLIN John Jan 24 1789 60y Born Oct 9 1729

As I am now you soon
Shall be
Proper (sic) for death and
Follow me.
DRAKE Bilbeck May 2 1771 71y Wife of Capt. John Drake
DRAKE Elizabeth Jan 7 1772 21y Wife of Isaac Drake

Swift was her flight
Short was her Road
She closd her eyes
And saw her God.
(this stone is slate not sandstone)
DRAKE Jerimiah May 6 (?) 1784 58y Born 1726 (stone damaged)
DRAKE Jesper Feb 26 1771 19y (this stone is slate not sandstone)
DRAKE Mary May 21 1779 32y5m17d Wife of Samuel Drake
DRAKE Rebekah May 13 1772 43y1m28d Here Lyes the Body of Rebekah Drake
the Wife of Samuel Drake Esqr
Born Mar 15 Day 1729
Married May the 14 Day 1753
And Departed this Life
May the 13 Day 1772
Aged 43 Years 1 Month and 28 Days

Behold and see as you pass by
As you are now so once was I
(this line is unreadable)
Prepare for death and follow me.
(this stone cracked in half in 1997)
DRAKE Ruth May 19 1786 68y Wife of William Drake Esq.
DRAKE Samuell Jan 13 1774 75y (Samuell is spelled with two l's)
DRAKE William Esq. Apr 29 1802 80y  
DUSENBERRY Denton Nov 6 1802 62y3m  
DUSENBERRY Elizabeth Feb 26 1794 1y10m26d Daughter of Denton & Sarah Dusenberry

Sleep lovely babe
and take thy peaceful rest
God call'd thee early
because he thought it best.
FERRIS John     Son of Jonathan & Rachel
Born Jun 7....
(stone sunk)
FERRIS Jonathan     (face of stone destroyed)
FERRIS Rachel May 6 1779 43y9m14d Consort of Jonathan Ferris
HAIGHT Samuel Jun 30 1814 68y8m27d While on the earth I did remain
My later days were grief and pain
Till Christ my God has thought it best
To take me to a place of rest
HALL Anna Mar 25 1793 9y3m33d Daughter of Caleb & Margarell Hall(spelled with two l's not two t's) (see intro)
HALL Caleb Oct 1 (?) 1791 91y (see intro)
HALL Jane Mar 6 1778 78y Wife of Caleb Hall (see intro)
HALL Margeret Apr 2 1794 47y24d Wife of Caleb Hall

As all must die we certain know
Let each one ready be also
(see intro)
HALL Mary Jan 26 1795 19y Daughter of Dan & Mary Hall
(see introduction above)
HAWES Judith Sep 22 1803 87y  
HAWES Pelatiah Aug 27 1791 78y (stone says "Pelatiah Hawes Esqr.")
HELIKER Martin Aug 2 1794 82y  
HOPPER James Aug 11 1796 24y  
JACOBS Rebecca Jan 3 1814 67y11d (stone sunk & cracked) This stone is actually in Hillside (see above intro)
JACOBS Samuel Dec 31 1827 78y2m20d (see above intro) in Hillside.
JONES John Feb 9 1808 76y1m18d  
JONES Rachel Oct 18 1807 76y8m2d Wife of John Jones
JONES Sarah Dec 31 1770 34y Wife of John Jones
KING Anthony Oct 19 1792 9m12d Son of Henry & Susanna King

Death oft destroys
The parents joys
LASCELS* Edward* Dec 5 17?? 67y * Name is not on stone, only death date and age. Stone is broke and sunk.
LICKLY John Nov 17 1807 73y When you come here my grave to view
As you are now I once was too
But sudden death has brought me here
To follow me my friends prepare.
(stone cracked)
LICKLY William Oct 1 1805 31y9m12d Born Dec 18 1773
MEEKS Michael Jan 8 1809 43y6m 13d (stone crumbling)
NELSON Joseph Jul 6 1811 32y8m28d Son of John & Sarah Nelson
OWEN Jonathen Jan 16 1785   Born Jul 17 1737
PAULDING Esther Mar 6 1804 35y11m5d Just when the strings of life were broke
I saw my glass was run
Peace to my soul my Jesus spoke
And heavenly joy begun.
One babe before me took her flight
On her my Jesus smild
And now I've pass'd deaths gloomy night
And eight more left behind.
PAULDING JOHN Feb 18 1818 60y (Revolutionary War Hero. He now rests under the large monument where his body was moved by "The Corporation of the City of New York" He most likely originally had a sandstone in the area where his family is buried.)
PAULDING Mary Mar 23 1803 11m4d Our Heavenly Father call'd her home
----Angels bliss to share
And by Jehovah's blessing crown'd
Nor needs a mothers care.
PAULDING Sarah Oct 23 1789 22y6m18d Sarah Tidd the wife of John Paulding

How vain to mourn the happy dead
Who now to heavenly realms are fled;
Repine no more your c'plaints forbear
And all prepare to meet her there.
PENOYAR ???N (possibly John) Sep 21 1770   Born Oct 6 1737
She that hath made----God
Shall find a------
Shall walk all beneath his shade
And there at night shall rest his head
(stone badly damaged)
PRESHER Wright Oct 23 1790 1y1m4d Son of William & Anna Presher
PURDY Elias A. Apr 2 1816 32y1m5d
Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord
SMITH Philemon, Jr. Dec 14 1814   Born Jan 20 1788
SPOCK James May 14 1804 64y (stone damaged)
SPOCK Mary Feb 27 1803 58y Wife of James Spock (stone damaged)
TAYLOR Joseph Jan 27 1782 77y (sunk)
TAYLOR Mary Feb 15 1798 81y Wife of Joseph Taylor
(stone sunk)
TRAVIS Elizabeth Oct 11 1762 16y9m24d Born Dec 18 1745
Daughter of Joseph Travis
(this grave also has large grave stone lying flat over the grave)
TRAVIS Stephen Sep 12 1751 3y7m  
TURNER John Mar 27 1788 42y  
TURNER Mary Sep 2 1826 79y Wife of John Turner
VOCT Mary Feb 22 1799 18y19d Wife of John C. Voct. (see above intro) in Hillside Cemetery
Mary C.     (buried with mother, Mary, above) (see above intro) in Hillside Cemetery
WARD Caleb     (wife Mary, face of stone destroyed)
WARD John     (wife Mary, stone broken and gone)
WARD Mary Sep 15 1765 60y Wife of John Ward
Eternity How Long
(stone down and broken in half)
WARD Mary Feb 20 1801 70y Born Apr 30 1731, wife of Caleb Ward

© 1999  Jean Ann Orser Lupinetti for the above information.
The above text and table have been generously provided to this site by Jean Ann Orser Lupinetti.

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