Burial Grounds near Dover, Kent County, Delaware





Little Union - Fork Branch - DuPont Cemetery, Dover, DE are all the same cemetery


From Ned Heite 10 Jun 2002

First, the place was called duPont station, so it's entirely possible that someone tagged the cemetery with that name. As for stones thrown into the woods, there's a project for the Lenape. I have been intrigued at some of the earlier stones, including one Civil War stone, in the "new" cemetery. Maybe just the stones were moved. Clearly the cemetery across the road, next to the school, was a result of crowding on the little knoll by the church.

... All of which brings up a nagging historical question:

When a church is built, usually it is on top of a ridge. The church is a symbolic summit, after all. At Fork Branch, the church is on a low part of the knoll. The summit is apparently vacant.

Does this mean that the summit location was already occupied at the time the church was built?

If so, by what?

Maybe the church was built in an existing cemetery, all the markers of which are now gone.


From John C. Carter 10 Jun 2002

...By the way, there are MORE than one Civil War stone there. I took photos of THREE there last summer. On the "new" (non-church) side of the road, there are: John Hughes, Alfred Johnson, and Corpl. Allen Reed. I have just received the pension records for all three of them within the last week. (Just received Alfred Johnson's today). (Will be posting details to the Mitsawokett as soon as I can get to it).

Also, on the "old" (church) side, there is at least one Civil War stone remaining: William Carney.


From John C. Carter

I never realized there was a different name for each cemetery on each side of the road! I had always just considered the whole kit and caboodle to be Fork Branch Cemetery. No wonder the name "Little Union" sounded familiar to me--it was the name of the church!

Well, the reason I asked is because I'm working on (several) Civil War pension-document packages I've just recently received. (I hope to post the pertinent data to the list soon). The veteran whose documents I was looking at last night--John Hughes--is stated as being buried at Little Union cemetery. This all fits now, because someone once told me that there used to be a whole bunch of Civil War veteran tombstones all next to that church, and if you went by on a holiday there would be a whole lot of American flags there. Unfortunately, this group was obviously among those headstones that were discarded, (many tossed into the bordering woods!!) or otherwise taken away. Only a couple remain next to the church (such as William Carney's).

...Were BOTH sides of the road called "Little Union" cemetery at the time?? Or could his grave have been moved?? (Or else maybe they just made a. mistake on his death certificate in the military records).


From Ned Heite 19 Jun 2002:

The problem of identifying cemeteries near Cheswold, both in the records and on the ground, is an ongoing one. The one near Muddy Branch has been mentioned before. I have been trying for years to identify the John Durham Burying Ground mentioned in a will of the 1820s, that was identified as being near Farrow's Meeting House.

Well, Farrow's meeting house was the corporate predecessor of Bethel. That meeting house was built on Farrow land, but so was Manship. I am not satisfied with standard Methodist history that identifies the present Bethel site with the earlier Farrow site. Nor am I satisfied with the historical statement, oft repeated, that Manship was established in the 1830s.

There are so many social-history questions here that need to be resolved. Where was the "John Durham" burial ground? On his land? Well, it happens that he,too, had owned both sites! So here's a subject for somebody with nothing better to do. Know anyone who needs a subject for a MA thesis? Really great topic. Really useful. Really hard work.


John Durham burial ground & Manship Church at Bishop's Corner, on Rt. 13, near Cheswold

By Ned Heite

I have not been able to find a straight narrative history of Immanuel, or Manship, or whatever the church at Bishop's Corner was called. There appear to have been several names. Zebley insists that it was AME, but it has been ME, possibly Washington Conference, or something. It is most assuredly UM, Peninsula Conference, now. But then, there are almost as many Methodist jurisdictions as there are Baptist. Anyway, one of my deed objectives is to nail down the origins of Immanuel/Manship church.

Back to the John Durham burial ground. One must assume that it was on land he owned. Well, that narrows it down to about six hundred acres to choose from. We may also assume that if he was buried there, it stayed in his family at least while his children were living, because one or more of them would have inherited it. Forty years after his death, one of his descendants wanted to be buried there. We can presume that other descendants were buried there.

Well, okay, that takes us back to Manship, which John Durham didn't own and none of his heirs held onto. It wasn't in the Dean lot either.

Up the road, you have some high ground, going from Bishop's corner to Bethel. The highest point in between was Hamville tavern (one of my shirt-tail cousins), now the Grigco oil recovery company yard. So that very likely site is not among the major contenders

Unlikely it was that one, and so we start looking at other John Durham land, maybe among the land he gave or sold to various blood relatives. If we presume that John Durham started the cemetery, likely that is where he buried his wife and his sister, possibly his mother-in-law, etc.

We are looking for a burial ground with a hundred or more graves. I base this estimate on the Graham and Rodney graveyards of the same period, quarter-acre lots that were occupied by an extended family in each case. Neither graveyard has a single gravestone. John Durham was in the same economic bracket as the Rodneys and the Ridgelys, and they didn't use tomb-stones, nor did the Loockermans. So my guess is that we are looking for a quarter-acre unmarked graveyard somewhere between Bishop's Corner and Bethel Churchyard.

It doesn't need to be on a road, since the modern road system was pretty much immaterial for their purposes. I'd guess that most coffins were carried from the house to the burial ground, since the community lived so close together

Graveyards are on sand hills for reasons of drainage. So we need to look for a sand hill south of Garrison's Lake and Leipsic River, probably north of Bishop's Corner, and west of the mouth of Alston's Branch. It may be north of the road to Fast Landing (Leipsic).

Lets hope the toll road didn't cut through it!

I want to get some deed plotting under my belt before I organize a search party, but the possibilities are quite interesting.








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