Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Tombstone Tuesday–The Old Burying Ground Cemetery, Cutchogue, New York

I was recently in New York (Long Island) for the Holidays and of course, had to do some local research while there.  I have paternal ancestors buried in the Old Burying Ground cemetery in Southold, New York.  I think sometimes we are so interested in locating where our ancestors are buried that we pay little attention to the history of the cemetery. (click on image to enlarge)

old buring ground marker
                                                                                                                     photo compliments of Rich H.

While at the Suffolk County Historical Society I found a document from the Southold Presbyterian Church records.  I thought the following information about ‘The Old Burying Ground’ cemetery was very interesting and I had never heard this before. 

The Old Burying Ground Cemetery was “ Originally one acre-“God’s Acre”.  Chosen because it was the highest ground in the settlement.” 

“The early gravestones are either slate or brownstone, some slate stones were said to have been brought from England by the early settlers themselves-using them as ship’s ballast.  The slate stones stand up better and are more durable than the brownstone.”

I am not sure who wrote the paper but how interesting!  I had never thought about where the early grave markers came from until I read this. 

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,


  1. My 13 Great grandfather was Thomas Mapes. He was one of the orginal settlers of Southold. When I visited the historical society about 8 yrs ago his grave was not there. They said he may have been buried on family property and the location was forgotten. Ellen Buckley Hartman

  2. Interesting. In the article I have it also said that "most of the men of the first generation of settlers and all of the women, with one exception lie in unmarked graves." That could be why there is no stone? He is in the unmarked graves there.