Saturday, September 23, 2017

Old Union Cemetery, Upper Mt. Bethel, Pennsylvania

                                                      Old Union Cemetery History

Please visit Inscriptions in the Old Union Cemetery for a list of burials  
The Old Union Cemetery of Stone Church is located in Upper Mount Bethel Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania in the community of Centerville. The cemetery grounds are maintained by a board of directors representing the two churches to which this burial ground has always belonged. These churches are Trinity United Church of Christ and the Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church. The cemetery is adjacent to Trinity United Church of Christ at 632 South Delaware Drive (Route 611)Stone Church, Pennsylvania 18343.  Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church is across the street. 

In the beginning the congregations of both churches, The German Evangelical Lutheran and the German Evangelical Reformed worshiped in the same building in the village of Stone Church (also known as Centerville). Some earlier records refer to The Old Union Cemetery as Christ Church Cemetery, because the congregations of both denominations were known as Christ Reformed and Christ Lutheran. The original church, a stone structure, was located in the middle of the now existing cemetery. The Stone Church (thus the name of the present day community) was removed when in 1832 a new brick building was erected and is occupied today by the Trinity UCC congregation. Both congregations worshiped in the new building until 1910 when Christ Evangelical Lutheran congregation built a new church located across the street from the cemetery. 

There were at least 769 graves, but over the last 200 years many of those grave markers have been lost to time. The earliest burial in the cemetery is that of Anna Marie Goetthardt Correll, August 8, 1794. The last burial was Sarah Dildine in 1911. The cemetery is the resting place of twenty- six known Revolutionary War Soldiers; Ludwig Bartholomew, Abraham Eckert, Jacob Emerick, Phillip Emerick, John Flory, Joseph Fox, Frederick Frutchey, George Gross, John Hartzell, John Heil, Christian Hess, George Heller, Isaac Hilyardt, Peter Hilyardt, Simon Houck, Jacob Miller, John Miller, Valentine Miller, Valentine Phillips, John Ratzel, John Schoch, John Smith, Christian Snyder, Valentine Steiner, Peter Rundio, and Daniel Weidmen. Two who served in the War of 1812 buried here are Peter Reimer and Jacob Houck. Four Civil War veterans buried here are; Calvin S. Heller, Joseph J. Horn, Benjamin Kurtz and William H. Strauss

Aerial view taken from belfery of Trinity UCC Church
Unfortunately, it can not be assumed that related persons are buried right next to each other. When the old church was removed the then empty space in the middle of the cemetery was used for burials. Also at some point in time gravestones that had been removed from their proper gravesite were uprighted to the middle vacant area, "to make the cemetery look good." Therefore, while stones are erected they may not be in the actual place of burial. 

An early transcription of the monuments in the cemetery was done by John Eyermann in June of 1899, in which only those monuments of persons who were born before 1780 were recorded. A later transcription was done by Wm. Atchley and Miss Katherine Atchley about 1909.  Both of these records are available for review at the Northampton Co. Historical and GenealogicalSociety in Easton and at the Easton Area Public Library Marx Room.

Please be sure to visit Inscriptions in the Old Union Cemetery to see a list of burials as compiled in the Atchley booklet.

This page  © 2017, Cynthia H. Smith

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Your comments and suggestions are appreciated. It is with pleasure that I am able to present this information here for you to see. If you discover a relationship here, I would very much enjoy hearing from you.    


  1. Many many thanks for your posting of the Old Union Cemetery. I have found several of my Eilenberger and Frutschi ancestors' and their relatives' names in the listing.

  2. Thank you for the information. I preached at Christ Church on Nov. 10, 2019 about the resurrection and eternal life.
    Walter Wagner, Ph.D.