Somerset County, New Jersey
On Oct. 14, 1850 - over sixty years ago - the Rev. Robert J. Blair, who was
born in Bedminster township, this County, and died at Pluckemin Jan. 19,
1858, made a copy of the inscriptions on the then standing tombstones in the
Presbyterian churchyard. It is known that this burying ground was used as
such from the time of the organization of St. Paul's Lutheran church, which
stood on the same lot, about 1756, and that there were numerous
gravestones there that were removed in or about the early part of the last
century, and even much later, and used as cellar stones in a house opposite
the church, and perhaps also for building purposes. Mr. Blair's inscriptions,
carefully made, were deposited with the New Jersey State Historical Society.
On May 1, 1892, the late Andrew D. Mellick, Jr., deposited with the same
society a new list of the inscriptions as then taken from the stones.
Comparing the two it is found that they agree, except that in one or two
cases the dates vary (as shown in brackets below), and also that Mr. Blair's
list contains three which are not given by Mr. Mellick, unless that of "John
Castner, Sr." really refers to the same stone as appears in the Mellick list as
"J. C. 1786." The three alluded to are marked in the list with an asterick.
Abstacts of Pluckemin Tombstone Inscriptions
*Appleman, John [small, rough stone, rudely cut, no date].
Blair, Mary (wife of Samuel and dau. of John and Margaret Temple),
b. Dec. 21, 1756; d. Dec. 21, 1816.
Castner, Abraham, b. July 19, 1753 [6?]; d. Oct. 19, 1780.
Castner, Barbery (wife of John), d. Apr. 20, 1801, aged 75 yrs. 2 mos., 13 dys.
[Castner?] J. C. 1786.
[Castner?] J. C. 1778.
*Castner, John, Sr., d. Sept. 17, 1778, aged 53 yrs., 6 mos.
Castner, John, Jr., b. Aug. 17. 1751; d. June 16, 1786.
Castner, Coonrod, d. Oct. 21, 1789, aged 26 [27?] yrs.
Chrystie, Hannah (wife of Dr. Thomas), d. Aug. [Feb.], 1782, aged 30 yrs.
Davis, Margaret L., d. May 4, 1845, aged 54 yrs., 11 mos., 19 dys.
Eoff, Mary Magdalene (wife of Jacob), d. Nov. 11, 1761, in 57th yr.
Eoff, Rachel (wife of Robert), d. Nov. 1, 1838, aged 94 yrs.
Eoff, Robert, d. Apr. 20, 1814, in 75th yr.
Hodge, James, d. Nov. 11, 1827, aged 83 yrs., 11 mos., 11 dys.
Jessop, Magdalene (wife of John), d. Nov. 17, 1795, aged 23 yrs., 6 mos.
Leslie, Capt. William, of 17th British Reg't (son of Earl of Leven), d. Jan.
1777, aged 26 yrs., at Battle of Princeton. [The full inscription is printed
in all historical works on Somerset County].
Malick, John d. Nov. 16, 1763, aged 61 yrs.
Malick Catherine (wife of John), d. Oct. 17, 1763, aged 64 yrs.
Melick, Aaron, d. Apr. 7, 1809, aged 83 yrs., 6 mos., 5 dys.
Malick, Charlotte (wife of Aaron), d. Mar. 13, 1802, aged 67 yrs., 10 mos.
Melick, Elizabeth (dau. of Aaron and Charlotte), d. May 14, 1768, aged 2 yrs.,
6 mos., 6 dys.
Melick, Margaret (wife of Daniel), d. Sept. 10, 1807, aged 39 yrs., 5 mos.,
Teeple, John and Margaret, d. Mar. 17, 1813, "within three hours of each
other." John b. Oct. 29, 1728; Margaret, b. July 15, 1737.
Weygand, Elizabeth, d. Feb., 1783, aged 18 yrs.
*Weygand, John, d. Feb. 1782, aged 25 yrs.
[The inscriptions of Hannah Chrystie and the two Weygands are on one stone,
showing they were of the same family].
One of the "J. C." stones probably represents the grave of James Castner. The
Castners were early settlers in the township. The James Hodge who died in
1827 emigrated from Ireland, settled in Bridgewater township, married Sarah
Runyon, and left numerous descendants. The Malick and Melick families are
all catalogued in Mellick's "Story of an Old Farm." The Eoffs and Teeples can
easily be identified; it was Jacob Eoff who donated the land for St. Paul's
church and burying-ground, but he was probably buried at the earlier Lutheran
church "among the Hills," the history of which will appear in another number
of the Quarterly. The Leslie tombstone has been generally supposed to mark
the exact spot where the gallant British officer was buried, but the following
interesting account to the contrary, given by Rev. Mr. Blair in an appendix to
the memoranda alluded to, must state the facts, and perhaps they are now
published for the first time:
"Aug. 8, 1851. I have been informed by some of the older residents that Capt.
Leslie expired upon the piazza of the old tavern which formerly stood upon
the ground now occupied by the store and dwelling of Van Zandt and Son. It
is therefore probable that he died very soon after being brought there, and
before the room had been provided for his reception. I have also heard
another fact, viz., that Capt. Leslie was buried in the southern part of the
Cemetery afterwards sold to P. Worley, and upon appropriating the ground to
secular purposes Mr. J. Van Zandt removed the headstone to the place it now
occupies near the northern wall, but the remains were left where they were