Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Brookdale Reformed Churchyard

The Autumn tour of cemeteries continues.

For the first time I visited a graveyard by Brookdale Park in Bloomfield [Essex County, New Jersey, USA], currently bearing the name Brookdale Reformed Churchyard.  The trees were lovely and the stones old.  Several burials dated from the early 1800s.  I am recognizing the same family names as I travel to local cemeteries:  Garrabrant, Post, Sigler, VanGiesen, VanWinkle.

The stone for Leah, wife of John Egbertson (1772-1830), is so faded that I could barely read it.  The year is not legible any more.

A member of the church kindly showed me around and explained some of the work done over the years.  The church was originally called Stone House Plains and was Dutch Reformed.  Some records exist at the Bloomfield Public Library.

I took a close-up of what remains of the etching on Leah's stone to virtually preserve it for the foreseeable future.  Please read Amy Johnson Crow's article, Five Photos You Should Take at the Cemetery.  Digital photos are so easy to take on our phones.  Your pictures of close, near, and far will aid future researchers in reading the stones and locating the stones later.

Researching this cemetery at home, with great delight I found digitized, online copies of records for this cemetery through the Bloomfield Public Library's Special Collections.  Included is a map and a compilation of gravestone inscriptions by Herbert A Fisher, Jr.

Many other records pertaining to Bloomfield are also in this online collection, so if you are researching this area of the world, this is worth a look.  City directories as early as 1870 are here.

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