Cemetery Information USA
After the successful establishment of a Dutch colony on the southern tip of Manhattan, the first regular church services were held in 1628 in the fort Nieuw Amsterdam. This happened in a room of the grain mill that the colonists had built here. In 1633, the first wooden church was built near the banks of the East River.
In New York's nearly 400 years of existence, countless cemeteries have been laid out, used and disappeared. The oldest, especially churchyards, date from the second half of the seventeenth century, when first the Dutch and later the English had control over the settlement. With the growth of New York, the need for larger cemeteries arose. These cemeteries were no longer built close to the city, but further away, in places that were less suitable for agriculture, for example. With many of those cemeteries from the nineteenth century, there is no immediate thought of a link with Dutch history, but there often is such as at Green-Wood in Brooklyn.
Peter Stuyvesant was director-general of the Dutch colony of New Netherland from 1647 until it was ceded to the English in 1664. Stuyvesant was not well liked. Although the colony continued to expand during his reign, he was in constant conflict with the population.
In 1651 Peter Stuyvesant bought building (farm) No. 1 from the WIC, located about ten kilometres outside the settlement. The building (pronounced boweray in English, later bowry) included land with outbuildings, livestock and two enslaved Africans. Stuyvesant had a chapel built on the piece of land in 1660 for his neighbours and employees. This fact in itself is remarkable, as a private chapel was not common for Protestants. But Stuyvesant may have chosen this because the distance to New Amsterdam was too great. It is not known exactly what the chapel looked like.
It seems unlikely that the 400-acre Rural Cemetery in Albany has anything to do with the Dutch who founded a fort here in the early seventeenth century. The cemetery is located far north of the city and was only founded in 1841. About four cemeteries preceded this cemetery, all of which have since disappeared. For Americans who are used to cemeteries having an eternal life, that fact takes some getting used to. Nevertheless, from some of those old cemeteries, where older grave monuments had Dutch texts, some markers have been preserved.