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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 where.

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 Davidson.

Comments or questions for Brad click here »

 

 
     
 
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