Van Derveer Cemetery
Somerset County, New Jersey
Taken from the Somerset County Historical Quarterly, Volume One, pages
118 & 119, 1912.
The Dr. Luther (Lawrence corrected) Van Derveer Burying-Ground
A number of years ago - nearly twenty - when C. V. Shaddle owned the Daniel
R. Disborough farm at Roycefield (Mr. Disborough having purchased it of Dr.
Henry Van Derveer, of Somerville), a number of headstones were standing
upon the private burying-ground of the place. It was the Dr. Lawrence Van
Derveer farm in the early part of the century, and he had made a little corner
of it into a "God's acre," wherein he and his family and some relatives might
peacefully rest when through with this world's strife. The farm at the time
first mentioned was occupied by Garrett V. Van Doren, and Mr. Shaddle
requested him to "clear up the cemetery," meaning that the stones should be
buried or removed. As a result Miss Louisa Van Derveer, of East Somerville,
now deceased, had various of the gravestones removed to Bedminster, and
placed in the cemetery there. There still remained four, and these were
buried under ground. Dr. Lawrence Van Derveer was born April 28, 1741, and
was the son of Jacobus Van Derveer. He began to practice Meicine before the
Revolution, and was one of the original members of the State Medical Society
in 1776. He subsequently removed to Shepherdstown, Va., but soon returned
to Somerset, near Roycefield, and practiced until his death in 1815. He
became eminent in his profession, because of characteristics and successes
that have often been written about. A book plate of his in the possession of
Miss Rebecca Van Derveer, of Somerville, spells his surname "van der Veer,"
as was correct originally, although we have seen his signature plainly written
"van Derveer," the small "v" being always formerly used.
The following is a list of the tombstones removed to Bedminster, with an
abstract of the inscriptions, the same being furnished to the Quarterly by Mrs.
G. V. Van Doren:
Jacob Van Derveer, Esq., d. 1776, aged 72.
Joseph Van Derveer, d. 1769, aged 35.
Dr. Lawrence Van Derveer, d. Dec. 8, 1815, in his 75th year.
Maria, wife of Dr. L. Van Derveer, d. 1777, aged 28.
Mary Underdunk, wife of Dr. Lawrence Van Derveer, d. 1812, aged 60 yrs.
Maria Van Derveer, wife of Samuel Davis, d. 1805, aged 25 yrs.
Sarah Van Derveer, wife of Elias Conover, d. 1849, aged 66 yrs.
J. Van Derveer, aged 19 yrs.
The following stones are said to be still buried in the old spot:
John Voorhees, d. 1807, aged 60 yrs.
Margaret Van Zandt, wife of John Voorhees, d. 1828, aged 67 yrs.
Martin Nevius (dates not stated).
Gertrude Nevius (dates not stated).
The John Voorhees above named was the grandfather of the late J.
Vredenburgh Voorhees, Esq., lawyer, of Somerville. He was born, according to
the "Van Voorhees Family" work, in Dec., 1731, but the tombstone (if properly
copied in giving his age as only "60 years") would indicate 1737 instead. His
wife was born Jan. 7, 1760.
Martin Nevius was the Martin, of Raritan Landing, born about 1738, and died
(before June), 1806. His wife was Gertrude Suydam, who died June 21, 1833.
They were the grandparents of Cornelius S. Nevius, of Middlebush, whose first
wife, Sophia Wyckoff, was a sister to the late Jacob Wyckoff of Middlebush.
The relationship between the four above referred to and the family of Dr.
Lawrence Van Derveer, if any, we have not ascertained.