To genealogists, cemeteries contain some of the most valuable and personal information available about ancestors. Unfortunately the earliest burial places of Beaver Dam settlers will never be known. The early settlers were farmers; family members were buried in a family burying ground set aside on the farm where they lived and died. This was for practical reasons: bodies were not easy to transport, funerals were performed by family members with burials taking place the same day as the death or the next, and families wanted their departed loved ones to be close at hand so that the grave site could be easily visited.
Because children of families married the children of neighbors, some family burying grounds became multiple family burying grounds, used by several adjoining, intermarried families.
Knolls were favored for family burial grounds if available. The graves were marked with simple field stones. Sometimes the family scratched the person’s initials into the stone and maybe a date.
It was many decades before formal community cemeteries were established that served as burial grounds for multiple families. After community cemeteries were established many family burial grounds were no longer used. A generation or two later the burial grounds were no longer cared for. Abandoned, the grounds became overgrown with brush and trees. Stones fell over or were broken by fallen limbs and became covered with leaves. In a few years they became lost, perhaps forever.
There are almost five dozen known family burying grounds in the Town of Berne and undoubtedly many more that will never be located. These family burying grounds are discussed in the section on each family with which they are associated. The Berne Historical Project site has listing of all known cemeteries and burying grounds in the town of Berne. Most of the cemeteries have at least partial transcriptions and photos of some of the stones.
Below are links to some of the Berne cemeteries and family burying grounds. Much more information including transcriptions of 70 Berne cemeteries has been posted on the Berne Historical Project web site.
- Baptist Church Burying Ground
- Berne and Beaverdam Cemetery
- Bogardus Farm Burying Ground
- Dyer Family Burying Ground
- Eli Miller Family Burying Ground
- Huntersland Christian Cemetery
- Pine Grove Cemetery (Lutheran Church Cemetery)
- South Berne Rural Cemetery
- Turner Burial Ground
- Wood Family Burying Ground
- Woodlawn Cemetery
- Zeh Family Burying Ground
At Albany County Hall of Records, Book 20 (on aperture cards in vault)