Death was an accepted part of life among the Dutch settlers of Blawenburg, and early farmers with large families knew all too well about losing family members. It was not uncommon for offspring to die from accidents or diseases before they reached adulthood. The burial of the dead usually took place on family farms in designated areas commonly called burying grounds.
According to the late Walter Baker in his seminal publication, Family Burying Grounds, Montgomery Township, Somerset County, New Jersey, there are at least 40 burying grounds in Montgomery Township and Rocky Hill. Most have been identified, but several are only known through deeds or other early paperwork. Baker’s work is the result of a study by the Van Harlingen Historical Society which tried to identify and restore as many burying grounds as possible and to gain public respect for these final resting places. Baker’s book is available from the society (http://vanharlingen.org/about-us/publications/).
Three Burying Grounds
There are three known burying grounds that relate to Blawenburg: Blaw-Nevius Burying Ground, Blawenburg Reformed Church Cemetery, and John Blaw’s grave site.
The Blaw-Nevius Burying Ground on Cherry Valley Country Club property.
The Blaw-Nevius Burying Ground
The Blaw-Nevius site, also spelled Blau-Nevius, is located on the Cherry Valley Country Club property and has experienced varying degrees of care since its inception in 1751.
When the Blaws, Neviuses, and Covenhovens settled their farmsteads near what would become the Village of Blawenburg in the mid-1700s, they broke the tradition of family burying grounds by forming the Blaw-Nevius Burying Ground. It is located on John Blaw Drive on Cherry Valley Country Club property.
The grave markers for Michael and Frederick Blaw in the Blaw-Nevius Burying Grounds are illegible, but have been documented by historians in the past.