Pettijohn (Pettyjohn) Lost Cemetery
The following information came to me after I responded
to a message board posting submitted by Brad Davidson that
described his discovery of a "Pettyjohn Lost Cemetery".
Brad has interest in Pettijohn genealogy due to the fact
that his mother is Helen Pettyjohn Davidson and lived in Delaware her
entire life. I want to thank Brad for helping contribute to the Pettijohn
Family website. -- Brian Pettijohn
Brad Davidson's account of his discovery:
While going over the 1868 Beers Atlas of the Georgetown area I picked up
a Pettyjohn residence just northwest of town. I scanned that section of
the atlas and overlaid it onto a quad map and noticed an un-named
cemetery nearby. I did another overlay with an aerial photo from
TerraServer and it appeared that the cemetery was in woods a pretty fair
distance off the closest road.
Intrigued, on my next visit from Chicago to my folks in Dover Delaware,
my 85 year old father an I went in search of the cemetery. It was
mid-summer and a pretty sticky southern Delaware day. The woods was in
full, dense growth. Unhappily, we were unable to locate the plot.
Later that evening, I began to itch something fierce. To make this part
of a long story short, I got the worst case of chiggers my doctor has
ever seen. It took over a month of heavy medication and constant
soaking to get over it. (Revenge of the ghosts of the Pettyjohns).
Anyway, about a year later, this time after the first frost in late
fall, I made another visit to search for the plot. This time a local
farmer was out in the field turning the soil. He recollected that there
was an old cemetery "back there in the woods" but wasn't sure exactly
After another couple of hours grid-combing the forest, there it was.
Surrounded by an old, dilapidated iron spike fence were a dozen standing
tombstones and several others covered by the fall leaves. It was an
eerie sight and truly had a feel of old history.
I've been there a couple of times since, and on the last visit, found
the For Sale sign out near the road. Given the amount of development in
Sussex County I'm afraid the plot may be destroyed by a developer who
doesn't care much for history. -- Brad Davidson
Photos taken by Brad
Comments or questions for Brad click here »