Whitelands Road Cemetery
"Smith Burying Ground"

John Smith deeded this small cemetery on Whitelands Road in Stone Ridge, New York, to the Trustees of the Kripplebush Methodist Church in November 1889. John Smith owned the farm surrounding this cemetery in 1889 but this parcel had been in use as a cemetery for many years before that.

Looking to the East towards Whitelands Road
Looking to the West towards the Catskill Mountains

The cemetery was described as 1/4 acre measuring 73' x 102' x 73' x 108' with a 6' x 80' access road connecting it to the center of Whitelands road. The deed said it was "a piece of land used as a place for the interment of human dead bodies since August 25, 1798, or before, and in which are buried many of the early settlers of Kripplebush including a number of Revolutionary War Veterans." Petrus Smith died on August 25, 1798 but his stone is not the oldest still readable. We actually found five deaths before 1800 with the oldest being 1790. The most recent burial seems to be John Smith's wife, Hannah, who died in 1906.

John Smith reserved the right to gather the fruit on the parcel for his heirs and future owners of his farm.

John Smith also made the following demands of the Church; "It is the duty of the Trustees of the Church to forever keep the graveyard enclosed by a good fence four foot six inches high and also to keep a fence on each side of the road leading to same. The Trustees must forever keep the graveyard free from brush and weeds and also keep the tombstones in an erect and upright position."

The attached list of headstone inscriptions were transcribed the summer of 1998. There was an earlier transcription done in December 1930 by J.Wilson Poucher that has also been posted to the web. The cemetery was called the "Smith Ground" because it was located on the Smith farm. The cemetery was described as "overgrown and abandoned" in 1930 and was still "overgrown and abandoned" when we decided to take over the maintenance and mowing the Spring of 1998. My parents, sister and I cleaned and maintained the cemetery for five years until 2002 when we asked the Alternative Sentencing Program of the Ulster County Sheriff to put it on their list for mowing. We have filled in many woodchuck burrows, cut up the fallen trees, cut the briar patch, mowed and trimmed, etc. We were able to uncover several headstones that were broken, flat and buried and also to uncover the broken bases of several stones that were leaning against a tree for lack of a better place to put them. These stones were returned to their correct location in the cemetery. We actually found several additional stones that were broken and had been missed in 1930 and Mr. Poucher seems to have found several stones that we could not find 70 years later.

This link to Smith Burying Ground will take you to an alphabetical list of all the stones that were still readable in 1999.

This link to Interment.net will take you to a list of some of the other cemeteries in Ulster County that have also been transcribed.


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