four-foot limestone wall with an iron gate surrounds this historic
pristine graveyard. The gate was added in 1842. Even the trains
traveling over a grade level crossing on Derry
Road do not interrupt the
peaceful solitude of those resting here. The cemetery is located
on Derry Road
and is documented on the map of Derry Township published in the
Dauphin County Historical Atlas
of 1875, pp. 48 and
land upon which the present church, manse, session house, and
cemetery are situated was deeded to the Derry Presbyterian congregation
in 1741 during the pastorate of the Rev. William Bertram and
given by John, Thomas, and Richard Penn, sons of William Penn.
The oldest grave is that of John Campbell who died in 1735.
Four former pastors are buried there." Rev. William Bertram
(1746), Rev. John Roan (1775), Rev. James Adair (1808), and
Rev. Ira Reed (1998).
the years a number of recordings have been made of the stones
in this cemetery. In most cases the names and dates agree. In
some cases, first hand viewing, photographs, or rubbing the
stone in question can reconcile differences in the recordings.
In other cases, stones are badly weathered, cracked or broken
where the information in question was carved. When conflicts
could not be reconciled sometimes double entries were made in
our database representing the same individual so that each family
genealogist can consider all information available. If two entries
exist, they would have the same stone number. In general, the
oldest recording of the data was usually given greater consideration.
available on the Internet from Dave Schubert's Genealogy Page
indicates that Rev Thomas Hastings Robinson, D.D., and Dr. William
Henry Egle recorded the stones in July 1878. Egle later published
the list in "Notes and Queries" sometime between 1879 and 1895
in a series of newspaper columns in the Harrisburg "Daily Telegraph". Egle
was the State Librarian of Pennsylvania for twelve years.
chronicler of local cemeteries, Oscar Stroh, also published
the inscriptions from Derry Presbyterian Cemetery in his booklet Dauphin County
1920, Clara Moyer and May Silks recorded the cemetery, and in
1980, Winifred Reed, wife of Pastor Ira O. Reed, compiled a
list. Another list was prepared about 1995 by the Derry Township
Historical Society and in 2000 Winifred Reed supplied an updated
list of recent burials. In 2001, a volunteer of the Derry Township
Historical Society compiled all of the previous lists and reconciled
as many conflicting records as possible. Some problems were
reconciled by trips to the cemetery but many of the stones could
no longer be found or read with certainty.
the 1930s, stones located in the Zion Lutheran Graveyard in Hummelstown
were recorded as part of a Works Progress Administration project
to preserve local history and provide employment by paying people
to read and copy gravestones. Unfortunately when the listing was
placed in the Pennsylvania State Library, the microfilm was erroneously
entitled "Old Derry Church",
creating additional confusion. (Please see pp. xii-xiii of the
introduction to the listing of the Zion Lutheran Church Cemetery.)
listing was also published in the Keystone Seekers, a quarterly publication of the Capital Area Genealogical
Society. A map of the cemetery was also prepared with each stone
being assigned a single number.
listing was completed in 2001.
We would be happy to conduct a cemetery search or do more extensive research for you. The cemetery search would include all
Derry Township cemeteries plus others that are closely associated with our township. Most of the names in our cemetery database are not available elsewhere on the Internet. The cost is $5 per surname and you may supply up to three alternate spellings (total of four).
If you find your ancestors in
the list below and require additional information, please
For more thorough research, please request a copy of our research policy. In addition, our
obituary list and our name index of “lost and found” ancestors may be of interest to you. Please check our main
library page for these and other links, as we continue to update our information on line.