The History of Newburgh Cemetery
Livonia, Michigan

The pioneers of Livonia Township first settled in what was the section called Bucklin Township ( Organized as Bucklin in 1827, Nankin in 1829, and Livonia in 1835), they built their homes, cleared their lands, organized a Methodist Church Society in 1827, built a schoolhouse in 1830, and two years later, organized a burying society on land donated by Joseph Kingsley.
Salmon Kingsley, father of Joseph, and a Revoluntionary War Veteran, had died in 1827, and was buried on this land. This is the first recorded burial in Livonia.

The records of this burial society are kept in a ledger, 8 inches by 12 inches, which is in the possession of the Livonia Historical Society or the Michigan Historical Collection in Lansing, Michigan. It contains a plot of the cemetery, together with minutes of all the meetings held from 1832 to 1923.

Newburgh Cemetery is located on the north side of Ann Arbor Trail, between Wayne and Newburgh Roads and is presently about 2.35 acres of land. The description of the original purchased is described in the minutes of the burial society in 1848.
It reads in part: " All that certain tract or parcel of land lying and situated on the west half of the southeast quarter of Section 32 in Township One; South of Range 9 East.... containing 1.38 of an acre."

You can view the original land owners of Section 32 on the Livonia Land Owners Page.

31 members of the burial committee donated the monies to purchase this property, the lumber, labor, and any other material needed to establish the cemetery. The money ranged from 25 cents to 1 dollar, and totalled $11.84, while the lumber ranged from 200 to 500 feet. 34 and one-half days of labor and 5,100 feet of lumber were donated. Other items used for payment included nails, gate hangings, and a hook for the gate. The total monetary value amounted to $41.90.

The society formally organized on November 23, 1832, held its first meeting in a log cabin schoolhouse, now known as Newburgh School. They named their society and it's purpose as follows:
" .. this shall be called the Union Society of Nankin, the object of which shall be to procure and enclose a suitable site for interment."

The price of a lot was set at 50 cents, and also entitled the lot owner voting privileges. 53 members of the community purchased lots, varying from 1 - 5 , and each lot was 9 feet by 25 feet in size.

The first officers of the Union Society of Nankin were: Luther Dean, president; Samuel Ely and George Durfee, trustees; William B. Dean treasurer; and Ebenezer Smith, secretary.

notes from society minutes courtsey of Michigan Historical Collections 4:144 & 39:348 Lansing, 1890 & 1883

To View Cemetery Stone transcriptions Of Newburgh Cemetery.

View Livonia Original Land Owners

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