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The individual burial information was compiled from three sources: 1





The individual burial information was compiled from three sources:

(1)   A survey of grave makers done by the Rev. Frank R. Symmes, ca. 1890 and reported in his book “History of the Old Tennent Church” Appendix pages 260-263 (1904). 

(2)   Research in 2001 done by the Battlefield Restoration and Archaeological Volunteer Organization (BRAVO) using metal detectors and ground penetrating radar to develop support material for a National Register of Historical Sites application.

(3)   A Boy Scout project for Eagle Scout status comprised of a survey and coding of existing marked graves in 2003.


The above findings have been organized in two ways to show individual burial locations identified in 2001 and 2003 and secondly, persons identified in 1890 but the location lost over decades.  The survey map with blank boxes indicates a burial location of an unknown person.  The code numbers on the name listing corresponds to the map location.  Numbered aluminum caps were placed on each grave by the Boy Scouts for future identification.


Site History

The Old Scots Burying Ground, located along Gordon’s Corner Road between Wyncrest Road and County Route 520 in Marlboro Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey, is a 1-acre site originally set aside as a Presbyterian Meeting House and cemetery in the late seventeenth century. Early county and congregation histories indicate that a meeting house was erected in 1692, with interments beginning soon after (Ellis 1885, Smith 1895, Symmes 1904).  There are 144 gravestones that survive representing at least 164 burials.  Many are in good to excellent condition with legible inscriptions.  A mound-like elevation measuring approximately thirty-feet square and 3.5 feet high supports a late-nineteenth-century monument situated in the approximate center of the site.  As a result of archaeological testing, this mound is proven to be man-made.  A number of passes with GPR were made using existing gravestones as a starting point, and continuing along lines oriented north/south where no gravestones were present.  The GPR survey of areas with no existing gravestones identified an additional 144 possible burials, approximately eight of which are within ten feet of Gordon’s Corner Road.


John Reid, the deputy Surveyor-General of East Jersey, had acquired the Free Hill site along with several other properties in the 1680s.  He is believed to have encouraged Presbyterians to collect there by selling land to a few of them.  Reid (1655-1723) was, of course, an important historic figure in the East Jersey colony, but his association with the Old Scots property is thought to be one of ownership only.  Himself a Quaker who became an Anglican, he is not thought to have worshipped at Free Hill, though it seems he apparently permitted worship services to take place there while he owned the property.  On February 5, 1697 [1698 New Style], he sold the Free Hill site as part of a larger farm tract to Alexander Neiper, a Scotsman (and former Quaker), who moved there and evidently joined the Presbyterian congregation (East Jersey Deed Books: F2, 535-537, and F,539; Landsman 1985: 144).  Neiper held title to the site until June 1727, when he conveyed it to a group of Old Scots trustees.  The property conveyed was 2.5 acres, and the grantees promised before the signing and sealing of the deed that “them, their heirs and every of them shall Use the said Land for a burying yard and to keep a Presbyterian Meeting and for no other Use, the said Alexander Neiper his Heires Exetors Shall not be Troubled with no Taverns nor no Resident[s] on the said Tract of Land.” (East Jersey Deeds, F2, 536-537).  Of this small lot, which was laid out to be a square five chains (330 feet) on a side, the congregation would only ever use the one acre that encompasses the nominated property.  The trustees of the Old Tennent Church sold the balance of the lot in 1816.




WebSite Created: 1998
WebPage Updated: 7 Nov 2008
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