Grave Stones and Epitaphs from the Churchyard
This information is based on Belle Barstow’s 1984 work, Setauket’s Religious Beginnings With Epitaphs from the Presbyterian Churchyard. Used with permission.
Please send additions or corrections to the Church Office at email@example.com. Typographic errors have been added at various opportunities during the transition from paper to web site and subsequent copying to other web site (presumably since 2003). Epitaphs proofread and corrected October 2003 by Susan White Pieroth.
The desecration of the old graveyard in Setauket [by the British during the American Revolution] led in the following years to a proliferation of family cemeteries throughout the Town of Brookhaven. Setauket had nine of these cemeteries, listed below, along with many in East Setauket, Stony Brook and Port Jefferson. [page 83]
Those nine cemeteries are:
John Biggs private cemetery; Joseph Brewster private cemetery; Caroline Episcopal Church cemetery and the same, Norther part; First Presbyterian Church cemetery of Brookhaven; Laurel Hill Negro cemetery; Methodist cemetery; Arthur Smith private cemetery; Col. William (Tangier) Smith and Strong private cemetery at Strong’s Neck; Jonathan Thompson private cemetery.
In all, there are over one hundred cemeteries within Brookhaven’s boundaries. During the late 1930’s, Osborn Shaw and several co-workers searched out every stone dated before 1883 in these cemeteries and recorded them. They now comprise the Brookhaven Town Cemetery Book which can be found in the Town Historian’s office.
The inscriptions from the gravestones compiled on the following pages of this book were done by the author [Belle Barstow] during the years 1979-1980. At that time, not knowing there were other lists, a systematic compilation of every stone was made that could be found within the old burying ground and the present churchyard.
The epitaphs that follow are exactly as found upon the tombstones in the Presbyterian churchyard unless enclosed within brackets. Anything enclosed within brackets is not legible or available in 1980, but does appear on the Osborn Shaw list of 1940. The information within parenthesis is Genealogical data and birth dates, not appearing on the stones, but, perhaps of interest to the reader.