When I was a young boy in the 1960's, my grandmother Gladys Edna (Bittner) Korns told me that there were graves in her garden, which was on the former Daniel Korns, Jr. farm in Southampton Township, Somerset County, PA. She didn't tell me who was buried there, but said that there were two individuals buried in her garden, and said the markers were gone.
In the 1990's, when I talked to an aunt who has lived on that farm all her adult life, she told me that although she only knew of one burial there, it was a Sturtz. She said that the burial was located at a fruit tree in the garden, which was where my grandmother had also said the graves were. When the tree blew down, it uprooted the stone, and when they cleaned up the tree the stone was moved out of the garden. She didn't know there were two graves, but of that I am sure from what my grandmother told me when I was little. The photo above shows the location of the burials that was identified for me by my Aunt and Uncle in 2009, using the photo. The tree was blown down by a named storm, but I didn't write the name down. I think it was a hurricane.
I had e-mail correspondence with Keith Sturtz of Coeur D'Alene, Idaho in 1994. He said that the Allen Korns farm was once owned by his GGGG-grandfather, Christian Sturtz. He said that there were only two people buried there, said to be Christian Sturtz and his wife Margaret. He indicated that he had visited what he termed the "Sturtz cemetery" years before, and it was on the farm of John and Allen Korns, in the orchard, just back of the house a few rods. (Brothers John and Allen Korns were joint owners of the farm.) Keith wrote that the tombstone reads "C.S. died 29 Jun 1830", but I think he was quoting from notes he took regarding the 1930s-era WPA survey of the cemetery. When Keith saw the tombstone, it had already been removed from the grave and was part of a stone fence on the property. In the 1990's my aunt who lives on the property told me that the stone fence near the garden on the property line was bulldozed into one or more piles, so the tombstone would now be very hard to find. Click here for a document that seems to indicate that the widow of Christian Sturtz, Jr. died in January of 1845.
A survey of the cemetery was done by the W.P.A. circa 1934, and the survey record mistakenly identifies the farm as a "Corns" farm. The survey indicates that there was one gravestone found in the orchard, marked "C.S.", said to be Christian Sturtz, who was 61 years old at the time of his June 29, 1830 death.
The photo below, taken in 2008, shows the general area where my grandmother's garden was located. It is now part of a pasture. In 2008, I briefly searched the stones on the surface of the aforementioned bulldozed stone piles (which form a rough stone fence) and did not locate the tombstone.
Click here to trace the ownership of the farm back to 1767.
Click here to see photos of the farm.
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