Some History of Woodbridge Burial Grounds

Some History of Woodbridge Burial Grounds
Gravestones of Elihu Beecher and his wife Hulda Newton at the Eastside Burying Ground.

According to the chapter on the Town of Woodbridge included in the ‘History of New Haven’ published in 1892, “The fathers of Woodbridge early showed a proper care and regard for the memory and resting places of the dead.”

In 1743 arrangements were made for burying grounds. Isaac Sperry, Captain Johnson and others were appointed a committee to select burying places for the society. At a subsequent meeting in 1745 they voted that ''three burying cloths should be purchased for the three sarval parts of sd society by donation or contribution by the inhabitants of sd society.” At a subsequent meeting a committee was appointed to fence round the burying grounds in the society, and a tax laid to defray the expense. Since then the burying grounds have been enlarged from time to time and beautified. In 1887 the one in the Middle district, under the direction of S. P. Perkins, was greatly improved, and all of them are kept in good order and show the respect of the people for the loved memories of their departed ones."
— from the History of New Haven, Chapter VI, published in 1892

There are three cemeteries in what is now the Town of Woodbridge:

Locations of Woodbridge cemeteries


Some of the first burials in Woodbridge cemeteries


Gravestone of the Reverend Josiah Sherman, younger brother of the Honorable Roger Sherman

The tombstone of Reverend Josiah Sherman, who died very suddenly while laboring with the church, has the following inscription:

“In memory of Rev. Josiah Sherman, minister of the Gospel, Ob. Nov. 24 A D 1789, M. 60. The learned scholar, the eloquent orator, the exemplary Christian, the faithful pastor, the kind husband and parent, and the humble follower of Jesus Christ. Piety adorned his useful life and in the moments of a painful death enabled him to triumph in the hope of heaven. Much impressed himself and conscious of his awful danger, by him the violated law spoke its thunders and by him in strains as sweet as ever angels use the Gospel whispered peace.”

Gravestone of Captain Isaac Johnson, East Side Burying Ground, aka Middle Cemetery, Woodbridge, CT

Gravestone of Captain Isaac Johnson, East Side Burying Ground, aka Middle Cemetery, Woodbridge, CT

Captain Isaac Johnson was among the most prominent of the early settlers. He lived in the south part of the town, near the Orange line, on the farm now owned by Nathan P. Peck. He was moderator of the first meeting called to organize the ecclesiastical society of Amity, and of almost all public meetings, and on all committees when questions of importance were to be considered, whether civil or ecclesiastical. He was the first captain and the first deacon elected ; also captain in the revolutionary war. Among his descendants was President Andrew Johnson, whose ancestry lie buried in the cemetery on the East side. Inscription on his tombstone:

"Here lieth the Body of Isaac Johnson, the first captain and the first deacon in Amity. A guide to this infant society, a zealous promoter of the worship of God, A Benefactor & faithful servant to ye Chr. When best known best loved. Who lived long, lived well and died happy in the hope of the Gospel OEt of 23d 1750 in the 78 year of his age.”