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44 Finding John Blaw

Updated: Jul 16, 2020

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INTRODUCTION


by David Cochran

In Blog 31, Cemeteries, I told the story of the early burial grounds that the Dutch settlers used. Among these is the Blaw-Nevius Burial Grounds, which is now on Cherry Valley Country Club property. Among those buried there are Michael Blaw, whose mill gave name recognition to the area, and his brother, Frederick Blaw. Missing from that cemetery are the patriarch of the Blaw-settlers, John Blaw, Sr. and his son, John Blaw, Jr. So where are they buried, I wondered.


Help came from distant places. Ted Blew, 5th generation great grandson of Michael Blaw/Blew, who lives in Bucks County, PA, also wondered where John Sr. was buried. Another distant great grandson, Gael Rodriquez, who lives near Mexico City, Mexico, also wondered where his ancestors were buried, so he contacted Rev. Jeff Knol of Blawenburg Church for some leads. I got involved and checked records from late Montgomery historian, Walter Baker, as well as records from the late Tom Skillman. All these conversations resulted in a the search to the Beagle Club property on Servis Road just off Hollow Road in Montgomery Township.


Ted arranged a tour of the property in hopes of identifying the Blaw grave and perhaps other graves nearby. The following account of the visit in May, 2020 is written by Ted Blew and was first published in a blog on the National Blue Family Association website. It is republished here with permission.

HERE LYS THE BODY OF JOHN BLAW

by Ted Blew

  • for Gael Rodriguez, Sunny Yoder and Anna Blue Bailey

On Saturday May 16, 2020 I visited the burial site of John Blaw near Blawenburg, NJ. It was quite an adventure and here's how it all started.

Ted Blew at John Blaw [d.1777] burial site: May 16, 2020

For years I intended to pursue a visit to this final resting place of one of my 18th century Blaw relatives, prompted by the very detailed description in Walter C. Baker's 'Family Burying Grounds, Montgomery Township, Somerset County, New Jersey [Revised 1993]', which reads, in part: "The grave site of John Blaw is located on his former farm that later became the property of two generations of Skillmans and one generation of Garrisons. It is presently in the ownership of the New Jersey Beagle Club. . . The marker reads:


HERE LYS BODY OF JOH N BLAW HOW DEPARDED THIS LIF APRIL THE 08, 1777 AGED 84 YER And I was further intrigued by this photo, probably taken in 1976, of Thomas S. Skillman [no doubt of the Skillman Family who farmed this land after John Blaw] kneeling by the grave marker: