Bonta – DeMott Family Cemetery – Mercer County

This photograph was taken from the side of the cemetery.  From the road you see only trees.  Vantage Engineering PLC would be located directly behind you if you were taking this photograph, beside the cemetery.  They have a small parking area.

When Ritchey came home yesterday, he said, I have something for you.  Nothing warms the cockles of my heart than words like that.  At one time flowers or chocolate would have been much appreciated.  But when he continues ‘I stopped by a graveyard’, that really make my heart sing.  Yes, we are a crazy couple – thank goodness we found each other!

There is a small, family cemetery located in Mercer County, but very near the Boyle County line on US127, on the right as you head for Danville.  This is the Bonta Cemetery – although there are no stones left with that name.  It’s also known as the DeMott Cemetery.  Ten stones were fairly readable.  Remarkably the cemetery was clean, although surrounded by trees and brush – a beautifully hidden gem.  A big thank you to whoever cleaned it!

I have had this cemetery in mind for some time but wasn’t sure of the location.  Ritchey found it through his geocache.  In the description of the geocache was written:

The Bonta Family Graveyard is the resting place of Revolutionary War soldier John Gritton, 1755-1839, and his family. John Gritton served as an Indian spy at McMurty’s Station, Mercer Co., under General George R. Clark and Cpt Drake’s Rangers. During another period of service, he was stationed at McGeary’s Station, near the Salt River, where he marched with General James Ray on the Clark’s Campaign against the Indians on the Big Miami. The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution recognize him as a revolutionist who assisted in establishing American’s independence.

A tombstone marking John Gritton’s grave has not been recently located. Records from the Mercer County Historical Society show that in 1964 he had a stone in the cemetery. After 1964, the cemetery was no longer kept cleared and from years of overgrowth and neglect many of the stones were broken or lost. In the fall of 2009, the cemetery was once again restored and most of the stones repaired.

John Gritton is this cache owner’s 5th Great-Grandfather and patriot for DAR membership.

For safety please don’t park along 127. There is a small business with parking available next to the entrance of the graveyard. As always, no night caching!

You’re looking for a small lock & lock container with room for small trade items.’

I love using older records, such as the following, and updating the information with modern technology – such as photographs.

In Volume II Cemetery Records, Mercer County, Kentucky, published by the Harrodsburg Historical Society, they list the Bonta or DeMott family graveyard as such:

This graveyard is located on a farm at Cove Springs near the Mercer County-Boyle County lines, about two miles south of Harrodsburg on Kentucky Highway 127 (Danville Pike).  The following list was copied in August 1967.

Ritchey took the photos yesterday.

Peter DeMott died October 15, 1834, age 78 years.

Anna DeMott, daughter of Peter, died March 9, 1812.

Mary DeMott, wife of Peter, November 9, 1780 – May 27, 1862.

No stone found 2019 – Garrett DeMott, no dates.

Jesse Gritton, April 1781 – February 16, 1857.

Anna Gritton, wife of Jesse, December 4, 1776 – June 9, 1854.  Stone broken.

No stone found 2019 – J. J. McDonald died February 11, 1819, age 14 years.

Jane Terhune, March 7, 1816 – 1825, daughter of Garrett and Rachel Terhune.

Martha E. Turhoon, daughter of R. and P. Turhoon, December 30, 1854 – August 4, 1855.

George Turhoon, son of R. and P. Turhoon, January 14, 1853 – January 30, 1853.

Margaret Vannice – no dates.

The following stones were found by the late Mrs. B. F. Norfleet, Harrodsburg, when she made a copy of the graveyard in April 1955.  These stones may have been standing in 1967 but were missed because of the overgrowth of weeds and bushes.  There were also many fieldstones with no inscriptions at the time of the later copying.

Lawrence DeMott, 1719-1800, New Jersey Militia

John Gritton, 1755-1839.

Some stones were unreadable.

Today I share photos – at a later date we will learn more about these families.

10 replies »

  1. Looking forward to more on these families. Some of the Gritton family married into my McKInney family of this area.

  2. John Gritton is also my ancestor. Tried to find Johns market but no luck. However there were graves under bushes and brambles

  3. I have Garret S. Terhune (1803-1862) and Rachel Cossart (1805-1886) married in Mercer in Feb 1822. Are you sure that Jane Terhune (1816-1825), buried in the DeMott Cemetery is their daughter? The dates for Garret and Rachel were found on the back of a photograph made of portraits of them that was found in the Boyle Historical Society Museum on an old fur-covered trunk that possibly belonged to them. That trunk is now in Perryville in a museum there and the photo is in the Forkland Abraham Lincoln Museum.

    • Garrett Terhune married Rachel Rynearson, bond dated January 14, 1814, bondsman Barnett Reynerson, Mercer County. I would say this couple would be the parents of Jane Terhune buried in the Bonta-DeMott Family Cemetery. You are correct in saying Garret Terhune and Rachel Cosat’s marriage bond was dated February 16, 1822, with the bride’s father listed as Jacob Cosat. Could this be a second marriage? Could this be two Garrett Terhune’s instead of one? Any thoughts?

  4. I am the one that cleared this cem with Roundup and paid someone to weed it to see the stones. The owner gave me permission. He also said that he would clear the Honeysuckles, etc. I have met with him several times but still no brush removed. It would cost a lot of money. Once cleaned up the Kentucky Heritage Council has told me that it would qualify for a Kentucky Pioneer Cem. which would have a marker. The owner also said that we construct a fence to surround it. Lawrence DeMott was first buried here. He has Rev War Marker at Mudd Meeting House but his remains are here. He was my 8th GGFather.
    Does anyone have ideas of how to clean this ground? Once cleaned up it would be simple for the owner to mow.
    Greg Barnard
    Danville, Ky.

    • Thank you for taking the time to clear the Bonta DeMott Cemetery. When Ritchey came home with photos about a month ago, I couldn’t believe how beautiful it looked and how easily you could see the stones. He thought we would have to take his machete! Do you know the names of all who are buried here?

      Again, thank you for the time and effort to make this cemetery easy to visit.

  5. I was at this cemetery last summer and have visited a few times over the years, and it’s always been overgrown. I was quite surprised to see these photos of it cleared. Thank you, Greg Barnard for doing so.
    I descend from John Gritton and would love to locate his grave, although that may be impossible at this point.

Any thoughts?

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