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Once located in the yard at the rear of the Van Buskirk Homestead located at Constable Hook, Van Buskirk's Point (Van Boskerck) and Birds Point
 Bayonne City (est. 1869), Hudson County, New Jersey.

       Some histories and even stories of today confuse the two burial grounds that were once located at Constable Hook in the City of Bayonne. Although the "New Cemetery" or "Constable Hook Cemetery" still exists today the Van Buskirk burial grounds which was located by their homestead are longer visible. It is believed that between 200 and 300 Van Buskirk family members, friends and neighbors were buried at this site. Some of the remains were removed after Standard Oil acquired the property. But many of the unmarked graves and the graves of the families who were unreachable were left at the site. In a 1947 newspaper article remains were noted to be seen at the site.


The following inscriptions were copied by Mr. John Neafie, of  New York City, circa 1903 and are taken from the New Jersey Historical Society, Jan 1915 Vol. 10.  In all probability this is the only copy of the tombstone inscriptions in existence.

The cemetery has also been referred to as the Constable Hook Cemetery, the old Van Buskirk's Cemetery or the Van Boskerck Family Burial Grounds. In some historic writings this cemetery was often confused with or mistaken as the Bayonne Constable Hook Cemetery that is still in existence today at 21st Street.

P: V: B'k:
Peter van Buskerck, D. July 20, 1738, aged 70 years.
Tryntje, wife of Peter van Buskerck, D. Oct. 13, 1736, aged 65 years.
Jacobus V. Buskerk, D. Jany. 1, 1767, in 62nd year of age.
Margaret, wife of James van Buskirk, D. Jany. 6-1774-aged 70 yrs. 10 mo's.
Elias Burger, died at Bergen Point, Oct. 28-1826, aged 61 years.
Margaret Van Boskerk, wife of Richard Corson. D. Aug. 4-1848. Aged 80 yrs. 5 Mos. 1 day.
Emily Van Boskerk. D. May 15 - 1820, aged 20 yrs. 11 mos. 7 days. dim.
Catherine, wife of John Van Boskerck. Died Nov. 2 - 1819. Aged 85 yrs. 9 mos. 19 ds.
Catherine, wife of Peter C. Garrabrants. D. July 31-1803 - Aged 26 yrs. 9 mo. 7 ds.
James Van Buskirk. D. Nov. 20, 1823 Aged 60 yrs. 1 mo. 26 ds.
Sarah, wife of James Van Buskirk, D. Aug. 12-1832-aged 65-10-3.
Lavina, daughter of James & Ann Van Boskerk. D. Oct. 3-1832-aged 7 weeks. dim.
Lucas Van Boskerck. D. Mch. 20-1831 aged 68-11-1.
Hannah, wife of Lucas Van Boskerck D. July 31-1843 Aged 8 yrs. 3 ds.
John, son of James & Ann Van Buskirk. D. July 14-1838 Aged 8 yrs. 3 ds.
Jane M. daughter of Abraham & Sarah Simonson. D. Sep. 6-1843-aged 1 yr. 2 m. 3 da.
Rachel Vreeland, D. Sep. 28, 1801 in the 50th year of her age.
A vault with no inscription
Jasper Van Buskirk. D. Aug. 4-1850. aged 26 years, 11 mos.
Peter Van Buskirk. D. June 23, 1819 - aged 87 years.
Elizabeth, wife of Peter Van Buskirk D. Sept. 10-1814, in the 79 year of her age.
Elizabeth Van Boskirk, wife of Cornelius Vreeland, D. Oct. 29-1830- in the 54th year of her age.
Cornelius Vreeland. D. Sep. 2-1824 in the 56" year of his age.
Jacob, son of G.J. Vreeland, B. Dec. 25-1830-D. Feb. 6-1831
Cornelius, son of Wm. C. & Cornelia Vreeland. D. July 1-1828-aged 10 yrs. 11 mo. 9 ds.
Eliza Jane, daughter of Wm. C. & Cornelia Vreeland. D. Mch. 19-1830, in 11" year.
Sarah Ann, dau. of Michael & Jane Vreeland. B. Apr. 10-1841-D. Mch. 5-1843
Cornelius Van Boskerk. D. May 29-1819 aged 75 years 11 mo. 18 da.
Gitty, dau. of Jasper & Margaret Cadmus D. Sep. 20-1836-aged 7-10-21.
Catherine Cadmus. D. Nov. 6-1831-aged 6 yrs. 1-7
Jacob Henry, son of G.J. Vreeland. Born Oct. 11-1834 D. Mch. 8-1835
Peter, son of Jasper & Margaret Cadmus D. ;May 8-1840 Aged 2-7-2.
William, son of Jasper & Hellen Cadmus D. July 7-1853 aged 1 yr.-8-13
Abraham Van Buskirk. B. Mch 16-1768 D. Aug. 3-1849 aged 81 yrs. 5 mos. 18 ds.
Elizabeth Van Buskirk, B. Oct 7-1771. Died Feb. 12-1836
Peter A. Van Buskirk. D. Oct. 18-1842- aged 32 yrs.-5-26
Jane, wife of Cornelis Van Buskerk. D. Mch. 28-1844 aged 94 yrs. 9 mos. 21 ds.
John V. son of Michael & Jane Terhune B. Jany 18-1836-D. Sep. 11-1836
Margaret Amelia, dau. of G.J. Vreeland. B. Jany 18-1836-D. Sep. 11-1836
Eliza Vreeland, wife of Stephen Terhune. D. Mch 24-1848-in 58 year of age.
Ruth Almira, infant dau. of Michael & Jane Vreeland. D. Oct 10-1834-aged 1 yr-8mos.
Peter Westervelt, son of Cornelius & Rachel Van Buskirk. D. Aug. 11-1853-aged 2 yrs. 2 mo.
Martha, dau. of Cornelius & Rachel Van Buskirk, D. Feb. 7-1851-aged 1-10-8
Col. J(or C)asper Cadmus. B. Aug. 22-1770. D. Sep. 23-1845 aged 75-1-1
Elizabeth, dau. of Cornelius & Rachel Van Buskirk. D. Oct 7-1855
Ann Elizabeth Cadmus. D. Mch 22-1855 aged 7 yrs. 3 mo.
David Van Buskerk. D. Mch 20-1866 aged 96 yrs. 10 ds.
Jasper Cadmus. D. Dec 15-1854 aged 59-11-2
Capt. Peter Vreeland. D. Dec. 12-1867-aged 72-4-16.
Ann, wife of Capt. Peter Vreeland. D. June 15-1850- aged 50-2-14
Catherine. D. May 20-1839-aged 3-5-20, and Wm. D. Sep. 12-1849-aged 8-10-27 Children of Peter & Ann Vreeland
Cornelius Vreeland. D. Feb.13-1840, aged 25 yrs. 2 mo. 22 ds.
Wm. Vreeland. D. May 2-1854 aged 84 years.
Gertrude, wife of Wm. Vreeland. Died June 28-1817 or 1847 aged 58 yrs.
Johannas La Grange. D. May 6-1748, in the 84" year of his age.
Metye, wife of Hohn LaGrange. D. Feb. 1-1754, aged about 40 years.
Mary Cubberley. D. Sep. 6-1846- aged 59 yrs. 4 mo. 21 ds.
Rachel Ann, dau. of Thomas & Eliza Cubberley. D. July 21-1850. Aged 5-11-2
Georgiana, dau. of Jacob & Gertrude Ackerman. D. Apr. 23-1846-aged 1-11-7
Ann Elizabeth, dau. of Joshua & Eleanor Van Dame.  D. June 5-1843-aged 1 yr. 3 ds.
Leah Terhune, widow of Henry Vreeland. D. Sep. 10-1854, aged 72-11-23ds
Jacob Metzger D. Oct. 6-1847 or 1817. Aged 33 yrs.13ds.
Ann Cubberley (some relation of) Jos. Van Winkle. D. Dec. 19-1858-aged 78-1-5.
Jacob Cubberley. D. Nov. 18-1870, aged 91 yrs. 7mo.2 ds.
Mary Prier, wife of Jacob Cubberley. D. Feb.24-1844-aged 59-9-14ds.
Eliza Cubberley. D. Aug. 9-1849, aged 27 yrs-6-18ds.
Eleanor Cubberley. D. June 9-1864, aged 48 yrs. 11 ds.
Mary M. Cubberley. D. June 2-1850 or 1853, aged 39 yrs. 5 mo. 9 ds.

A very old brown stone, never had a date carved on it. - inscription:
       "Here Lays Ye Body of Zopher Brush, Aged about 20 years.
        Here Lays a Blooming Youth, Who lived and Died in truth"

Jacob, D. Nov. 24-1844, aged 1 yr. 20 days. & Eliabeth, D. Aug. 11-1849m aged 2 yrs. 7 mo. 23 ds. Children of William and Hannah Hamilton.

William C. Rosa. D. Aug. 15-1846, aged 26 yrs. 9 mos. 15 ds.
Michael McDonald. D. Aug. 11-1849, aged 21 yrs. 10-26ds.
Hannah McDonald. D. Aug. 30-1849, aged 62 yrs. 1 mo. 19 ds.
Catherine Van Houten, wife of John G. Vreeland. D. Oct. 11-1848, aged 48 yrs. 11 mo.
Cathelina, dau. of John N. & Catherine Van Boskerck. B. Aug. 10-1850, D. Feb. 12-1851, aged 6 mos. 2 ds.
Catherine, wife of Richard Rutan. D. Dec. 31-1832 in the 45" year of age.
Mary, dau. of James & Eliza Puff, died Jan. 28- 1830, aged 2 yrs. 6 mos.
Eleanor, wife of Edward Nicoll. D. Oct. 7-1802. Aged 58 yrs.
Hannah Jane, dau. of Albert & Ann Zabriskie. D. Sep. 10-1837, aged 11 weeks.
Albert, son of Albert & Ann Zabriskie. D. Dec. 21-1839.
Mary Ann Vreeland. D. Feb 21-1861, aged 26 yrs. 5 mo. 15 ds.
Cornelius Lattourette. D. June 10-1849, aged 31-5-5.
Hartman, son of Henry H. & Syney Vreeland. D. July 22-1842, aged 3-5-25
Cathalina C., dau. of Cornelius & Elizabeth Lattourette. D. Aug. 15-1843, aged 1-5-18
Henry Vreeland. D. Apr. 4-1854, aged 57-6-7ds.
William H. Crips. D. Oct. 24-1855. aged 31 yrs. 2 mo. 13 ds.
Richard Crips. D. Aug. 5-1849, aged 19 yrs. 6 mos.
Elisa Jane Crips, wife of Wm. H. Post. D. Dec. 13-1856, aged 16 yrs. 11 mos. 23 da.

On the tombstone - "A mother and two infants dear,
                                Entombed their bodies moulder here
                                Their souls have flown to blest abode
                                To Christ their Saviour and their God."

Catherine Van Buskirk, wife of Jacob A. Van Horne. D. Sep. 21-1843, aged 38 yrs. 10 mos. 2 ds.
Thomas David Crips. D. Nov. 24-1830, aged 2 years 4 months.
Mary Ann Crips. D. Dec. 27-1836, aged 3 yrs. 1 mo. 21 ds.
John Hagerman. D. Feb. 26-1828, aged 40 yrs.
Maria Hagerman, infant daughter of Nicholas & Susanne Orchard. D. Apr. 6-1843, aged 10 mos. 9 ds.
William Brambush. D. Mch 18-1797, aged 66 yrs. 6 mos. 8 days.
Angle Brambush. D. Sep 15-1798, aged 6 mos. 3 weeks, 3 days.
Sarah, wife of George Anderson. D. Dec. 11-1839, aged 31 yrs. 11 mos. 11 days.
Ellen Louise, dau. of Sarah and Geo. Anderson. D. Jan 28-1840, aged 2 mo. 3 ds.
David, son of John H. and Margaret Latourette.  D. Dec. 18-1847, aged 1-5-5.

 

STANDARD OIL WINS TITLE
TO BURIAL PLOT IN MIDST
OF CONSTABLE HOOK TANKS

Court of Errors Reverses Chancery Decision 

[Bayonne Evening News October 19, 1926] 

The Court of Errors and Appeals yesterday reversed the decision of Vice-Chancellor James F. Fielder, who upheld the application of William E. Van Buskirk of Bayonne to have set aside the sale of the old graveyard in Constable Hook once owned by the Van Buskirks but sold by a member of the family to the Standard Oil Company more than 20 years ago. 

            Justice Katzenbach wrote the majority opinion of the Errors Court reversing Vice-Chancellor Fielder. 

            Justice Minturn of Hoboken wrote the dissenting opinion which by minority vote was for the upholding of Vice-Chancellor Fielder’s conclusion. The vote which decided the case was 6 to 4. 

            The company, represented by former Judge Robert Carey and William Rae, contended that the bodies of the Van Buskirks and their relatives in the old cemetery had been removed to a more suitable place, with the exception of some bodies which could not be identified. 

            The cemetery had been in the possession of the Van Buskirks from the days when Lorenz Van Buskirk more than 150 years ago came to this country from Holland and settled in the Hook section. One grave stone was placed over the body of Peter Van Buskirk in 1738. The burying grounds was apparently used also as a public cemetery. The property, however, was conveyed by will for many years from father to sons, by the Van Buskirk, one James Van Buskirk, referring to it in 1823 as the old burying ground as it is now enclosed. In 1864, John Van Buskirk, in leaving the family homestead to his son, directed that the old cemetery adjoining should not be disturbed or used for any purpose except sepulture.  

Ground Sold.

            In 1905 John Van Buskirk, Jr. sold the land to Colonel Fuller, then general counsel for the Standard Oil Company. Other Van Buskirks contended that this sale was invalid and attempted to have it set aside, and to retain the right to enter the place. Vice-Chancellor Fielder in his decision took this view and held that the cemetery was incapable of disposal by grant. The case was then taken up on appeal by the oil company counsel. 

            In the synopsis of his opinion, Justice Katzenbach said:

            “Descendants, children and grandchildren of J. Van B. jr., filed a bill in the Court of Chancery to enforce an alleged right of visitation to a family burial plot and for other relief. J. Van B. jr., had deeded or attempted to deed said plot to the defendant in 1905. At that time by agreement with defendant the bodies of his ancestors and relatives, and other bodies buried therein, were removed. The tombstones were removed. The family vault disappeared. The fence was obliterated. Sand and dirt drifted over the plot until it bore no resemblance to a cemetery. 

            “The complainants were unable to show that the body of any ancestor or relative remained in the plot. Held, that the Court of Chancery erred in making a decree granting the prayer of the complainants‘ bill because the evidence showed that the cemetery had been abandoned and that the complainants were in laches.” 

            In his opinion, Justice Katenbach, after reviewing the case, said: 

            “There is, however, another feature of the case which we think bars the complainants from the relief prayed for. This is the laches of the complainants. The children of John Van Buskirk jr. have all reached middle life. Some have entered the winter of life. Their mother died 40 years ago. They knew and testified regarding the changed conditions surrounding the Homestead property. They knew that the body of their mother had been removed from the burial plot in 1890; that the last interment in the plot was in 1866. That their father had been removed in 1905 the bodies of their ancestors and relatives; and that he had sold or attempted to sell the property to the defendant in that year.  

            Some of the complainants had not visited the place for over 30 years. None of them had made any effort to care for it. The grandchildren who are complainants took no interest in the matter. They all waited before seeking any relief until the burial plot bore no resemblance to a cemetery. 

            “They remained quiet until John Van Buskirk jr., their father or grandfather, had died. In the meantime Mr. Fuller, who was the attorney for the defendant and had conducted the negotiations with John Van Buskirk jr., had died. Equity discourages attempts to enforce claims where parties have for many years slept upon their alleged rights. The facts of the present case make, it seems to us, a clear case of laches on the part of the complainants.”

 [Bayonne Evening News October 19, 1926]

 

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