History and Genealogy of The Beachfern Road Cemetery, Center Moriches, LI, NY
submitted by Van R. Field
LINKED Names lead to Images of the respective Headstones

     This small cemetery located just south of the intersection of Main Street and Beachfern Road in Center Moriches holds the remains of five Revolutionary patriots.  It also holds the remains of some of the founding fathers of this village.  The earliest burial appears to be Charity Havens in 1774.  The last burial was that of Abigail Post in 1843.  Some if the markers may have been moved to Mt Pleasant cemetery which opened around this time.
      “Copies of Tombstones Inscriptions found in neglected family burying ground on the farm of Lewis G. Terry at Center Moriches, L.I. Copied Aug. 12 1897 by O.B. Ackerly – “Mr Terry bought the farm about 1855 of John C. Reeves who inherited it with his brothers Silas & Ferdinand and sisters from their father.”  Taken along with the inscriptions from a handwritten notebook located in the East Hampton library.  There were two markers found by Ackerly that were no longer there, when around 1939 Osborn Shaw inventoried the cemetery.  Rachel, wife of Benjamin Smith is discussed below.  The other is Joseph Penny, who died March 23, 1813 aged 17 years, 1 month & 11 days.  Nothing further is known of him.
      Almost all of the families were related.  This is not surprising when the 1776 census taken by Benjamin Havens for Moriches, Manor and the Patentship of Moriches [East Moriches] there were 370 persons counted.

Here is a brief history of each person:

David HALLOCK* 1743-1812, died age 70.  He appears to be the son of Joshua Hallock of Moriches.
Joanna [Conklin] HALLOCK 1744-1788 wife of David died age 45.  They had nine children.  He may have remarried and had more children.
      Of these children there was Mary [Polly] HALLOCK 1782-1819 married Hezekiah SANDFORD [1780-1858] in a Presbyterian ceremony in Westhampton in 1801. She died at 38 and her marker is in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.  It may have been moved there after that cemetery was opened.
      Hezekiah SANDFORD’S father Zachariah owned the property from the Havens Estate to Areskonk Creek and northward along a line where Beachfern Road is now to where the Sunrise Highway is now. [Donegan’s line].  This includes the property where the cemetery is and the Presbyterian church.  He donated a 36 square rod tract upon which a non-denominational meeting house built.
     It was later replaced with the Presbyterian Church now standing at the corner of Main Street and Railroad Avenue. 1

Charity HAVENS 1766-1774 age 8 years.  Daughter of Benjamin Havens, owner of the Havens-Terry-Ketcham Inn during the British occupation. Her brother was Selah Strong HAVENS.
Selah Strong HAVENS* (Second Image) 1755-1785 age 30
Married Sarah STRONG 1753-1802.  They had no children.  After his death she married David “Priest” Rose, who rode the circuit between Bellport and Westhampton preaching in the churches at South Haven [his church], Moriches, and Westhampton.
      Selah served in Col. Josiah Smith’s Regiment, Captain Selah Strong’s 7th Company.  Captain Selah was his uncle and namesake.  He has already received a new a new grave marker as a veteran.  [p. 1007 Mather]. On June 7th 1781 he and his father, Benajmin were robbed by Capt. Zebulon Stowe of New London of goods worth 1200 pounds.  In a letter they asked Gov. Clinton to have them restored.  Stowe had a commission from Connecticut to go to Long Island and seize British goods. New York requested that the practice be stopped.  Whether they ever got their goods back was unstated [p. 208, Mather]

Capt. John HAVENS* 1748-1809.  He died at age 61.  He served in the struggle against the British as a Private and an Ensign and a Captain at different times. [B. Havens p 26 #542]
Abigail BOSTWICK 1746-1801, wife of John and daughter of Merriby Bostwick and Mary Strong.  She is buried next to her husband.
Mary HAVENS 1770-1812, died unmarried [B. Havens # 6104].
Nathan HAVENS 1772-1797, eldest son died unmarried [B. Havens #6105]
Sarah HAVENS 1779-1782, died age 3.
Abigail HAVENS 1782-1782
Of their 10 children, four are buried here with their parents.

James  POST* 1741-1813.  He moved from Southampton to Moriches with his family in 1794.  His first wife Mary HUNTTING died in 1788.  Abigail is probably a second marriage as he had young children.  His youngest son, Caleb 1785-1872 married Mary SMITH of Moriches, the daughter of Benjamin SMITH and Rachel CONKLIN.  Caleb and Mary moved to Fireplace [Brookhaven hamlet] and built the house that is now the home of the Post-Morrow Foundation.  [Some Desc. Of James Post by Richard Jones, SCHS Register, Summer 1995]
Abigail  (POST) 1756-1843.  Second wife of James Post - Unknown Heritage

Rachael Conklin SMITH 1761-1820, wife of Benjamin SMITH.  When O.B. Ackerly recorded the gravestones in 1897, this stone was laying flat.  In 1939 Osborn Shaw, while doing the Brookhaven Historian’s list, found it in Mt. Pleasant cemetery.  It doesn’t show up on a new list.  It may now be unreadable.
Benjamin Smith 1764-1820 other information unknown.  Their daughter Mary married Caleb Post, son of James POST

David [Capt. & Deacon] YOUNGS* 1745-1796. His mother’s second marriage resulted in his growing up in New Jersey, where he joined the State Militia and served during the Revolution.  He is listed as Sergeant, Eastern Battalion, Morris County.  He was afterward made a Captain.   He married Elizabeth Jane Tucker who died in 1780, age 26.  He married 2nd Catherine Beers and returned to live in Moriches.  He belonged to the South Haven Presbyterian church.  He kept a store and Tavern there. His daughter Bethiah married Capt. John HAVEN’S son Jeramiah and moved to Jefferson, NY.  He died of Yellow Fever. [S. Youngs Genea. Pg 133 #208]

Capt. David YOUNGS 1780-1829  [Selah YOUNGS Genealogy #416]
He inherited $1200 from his father’s estate and bought a schooner named REBECCA and winters he carried firewood to New York City. He married
Mary [Polly] PETTY 1787-1831, daughter of Squire Benjamin PETTY.  Two of their children attended her funeral by walking from Sag Harbor to Moriches.

*The starred names are those listed in “American Revolutionary Patriots buried in the Town of Brookhaven” by Harry Huson.
“Moriches” refers to the area known today as Moriches and Center Moriches
Selah Havens and Capt & Deacon Youngs have had new government markers erected as of May ’01.

Van R. Field  5-30-‘01