by Ronald Maguire


The following information was passed on to me some time ago by a great aunt who had done family research in the 1930's. I am taking the time to send it in detail - hope it is of interest. I don't know the source of her information. Her brother, my grandfather, married a Coeyman, my grandmother. 
On a gentle slope overlooking the Passaic River just north of Grafton Ave, North Newark, NJ, there is a wilderness of wild cherry trees and knee deep underbrush. Near this place employees of a chemical company will tell you a man unknown to them comes each year around Independence Day and pays silent tribute maybe a tribute to ancestors dead there several centuries. On this knoll is the private burial ground of the Coeyman's which once owned practically the entire section known then as Woodside, now North Newark and after which was named a street in that section of the city - Coeymans pronounced it then Kweeman. Now there are some who pronounce it Coeyman and Queeman.  
In the high weeds, you can't see them from the broad paved Riverside, are the ancient tombstones some fading and crumbling others still standing to mark the resting place of the members of the old Newark family. It takes good eyesight to read some of the dates, look closely and you will see inscribed on one: 

Christania wife of Aurion King who died December 10, 1791 in the 21 year of age, the older have crumbled is inscribed; 

Come all my friend as you pass by 
As I am now so you must be  
Prepare yourself to follow me. 

On the stone of Thomas Holden born September 5, 1779 died May 20, 1820 inscribed:

His heart is no longer the seat of trouble is torturing pain
It ceases to flutter and beat 
It shall never flutter again 
The lids that he seldom could close by anguish forbidden to sleep 
Sealed up in the sweetest repose have strangely forgotten to wap
His soul has now taken to flight to mansions of glory about to mingle with angel of light and dwell in the kingdom of love 
The burial ground dates back to the seventeenth century, musty old records will show that three Coeyman brothers came to this country from Holland late in the sixteenth century, two of them settled in what if now Jersey City and the third journeyed up the Hudson River the place where he landed was named after him - Coeyman's Point, New York. The two in Jersey City decided to look elsewhere for land. One day one brother set out in a rowboat for Newark to visit the Indians. He struck a bargain with them and returned to Jersey City to get his brother. Both came here and bought all of what is now North Newark at $1.00 per acres. 

They settled and erected a brown stone house on Riverside Ave, then they explored the country side selected site and prepared the land for planting. 

A pond know then as Nylors Pond was used to wash their cloths. 
The Coeyman records show they had several slaves, when one of them died it was necessary to have a place to bury them so the Coeyman brothers selected a plot of ground several hundred feet from the house and there the slaves were buried, as the years passed by, members of the Coeyman family and their offspring were laid to rest on the knoll. The number of persons buried there range from 75 to 150. It is said some soldiers of the Revolutionary War are among those buried in the little graveyard. 

The old graveyard belongs to all the Coeyman descendants. There were deeds to show that they bought land in January 17. 1699. It will be ninety five years July 1936 since Catherine Coeyman died and was laid to rest on the hillside along the Passaic River. Over her tombstone was carved:

Lean not on earth it will 
Pierce thee to the heart 
Hope this is interesting. I am starting to learn more about the Coeymans. Any info would be helpful.


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