Uncover the history and legacy buried in a local cemetery in Bound Brook, New Jersey
The Somerset County Library System of New Jersey will celebrate the release of “The Old Presbyterian Graveyard, Bound Brook, New Jersey: A Resource,” on November 28 from 6-8 p.m., at the Bound Brook Memorial Library branch, located at 402 East High Street in Bound Brook.
The resource was created by Mary C. Nelson, adult services librarian at the Bound Brook branch, and Hannah M. Kerwin, branch manager at the Watchung branch, in partnership with SCLSNJ.
The centuries-old graveyard is located adjacent to SCLSNJ’s Bound Brook Memorial Library branch. The publication of this document is the first time the complete and accurate information about the site will be available in one, curated and broadly accessible resource.
“The Bound Brook branch has always been the place to discover who was interred, but relatively few residents other than Bound Brook locals knew that the library had access to these historical resources,” said Kerwin.
“The Old Presbyterian Graveyard is the site where many of the founders of Bound Brook are buried. Their stories of human frailty, bravery, patriotism, tragedy, compassion, and sacrifice have survived the passage of time. Many suffered through the Revolutionary War,” said Nelson, who spent over 13 years researching and documenting the site.
One such individual, Dr. William McKissack, who died in 1831, is held in high esteem throughout Somerset County as a founder of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons for the State of New Jersey and a Revolutionary War veteran. Through this resource, patrons can find additional information about McKissack and many others.
Kerwin photographed the remaining stones to complement Nelson’s research and to illustrate artistic, symbolic and cultural elements of 18th and 19th century gravestone carving.
“As an avocational photographer and library manager, I took up the challenge of documenting the Old Presbyterian Graveyard for local history, scholarly, artistic, and personal reasons,” said Kerwin. “This is the oldest local cemetery – until the mid-19th century it was the only cemetery in town. It represents some of Bound Brook’s earliest history.”
The five volume set is to be distributed in various locations throughout New Jersey. Volumes 1 and 2 will be available in print and digital formats, while volumes 3-5 are set to be published exclusively in digital format.
“Genealogy is a popular hobby. I believe the library will continue to get questions, whether by increased foot traffic, or via email, or a combination of both. I have gotten questions from patrons living throughout the United States and in Europe, so I have no doubt that the eBooks will be accessed once people are aware of them,” said Nelson.
For more information, or to register to attend the event visit: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/389104 or call 732-356-0043 x1124.