There are three cemeteries in the Massapequas and residents would likely spend quite some time trying to locate them. That's because two of them are in the same physical location and appear to be parts of one cemetery.
Old Grace Church on Merrick Road is surrounded by burial plots containing the remains of several different groups: residents and non-residents who purchased plots from Grace Church; former Grace Church leaders who were buried in a designated section; and Jones family members interred in the rear of the cemetery, which opens out to Beaumont Avenue. This large parcel of land legally and physically contains two cemeteries: the Floyd-Jones Cemetery at the rear and the Grace Church cemetery surrounding Old Grace Church. A row of hedges and a lychgate separates the two cemeteries. The third cemetery in the Massapequas is West Neck Cemetery, located on the south side of Merrick Road about one mile west of Grace Church. That location as well as the area immediately surrounding Old Grace Church will be discussed in subsequent articles. This review will center on the Floyd-Jones Cemetery.
Old Grace Church was built in 1844 as a family church for the Floyd-Jones family, whose members owned estates all along Merrick Road. A schoolhouse was built west of the church in 1852 and a racecourse operated to the northwest of the building for several decades in the mid-nineteenth century, but there was little else in the area. By the 1890s several Floyd-Jones family members had become concerned about the burial conditions of Thomas and Freelove Jones, the area's first settlers. Their graves were located near what was then called Brickhouse Creek, but is now Massapequa Creek. It seems from memoirs of their descendants that the waters of the creek were rising and threatening to flood the area where they were buried, which was about one-quarter mile south of Merrick Road in the vicinity of today's Biltmore Boulevard.
Thomas and Freelove Jones's son David and his wife Anne Willett were also buried with his parents. Several other descendants of the Joneses were buried on the property behind Fort Neck (originally called Tryon Hall), which stood just east of the intersection of Park Boulevard and Merrick Road. The burial ground stood about one-quarter mile north of the South Oyster Bay Turnpike (now Merrick Road) on the east side of Wurttemberg Road (today's Park Boulevard), on ground that was owned then by Mrs. David Richard Floyd-Jones II.
It was a common practice in earlier centuries to bury family members in plots located to the rear of estate buildings. Whether there was some concern that the surrounding area was becoming populated, or that the Fort Neck burial ground was becoming overcrowded, is not clear, but what is known is that a Deed was drawn up between Coleman G. Williams and other direct descendants of David Richard Floyd-Jones, the first to hold the Floyd-Jones name, and the Rector, Wardens and Vestrymen of Grace Church, whereby Mr. Williams sold his property adjacent to Old Grace Church for the sum of one dollar. The Deed provided that the remains of Jones and Floyd-Jones family members would be moved to a plot behind the church. Parenthetically, Mr. Williams was a member of the Floyd-Jones family by reason of his marriage to Sarah Maria Floyd-Jones.
The Deed was dated October 18, 1892 and describes a large parcel of land 150 feet wide by 300 feet long, documented by a May 1892 land survey done by the firm of Seaman and Jackson. A subsequent survey of the rear part of the property, completed in November 1892 by the same firm, labels it as Massapequa Cemetery. It describes a rectangular parcel 150 feet by 148 feet with a separate center section and six surrounding sections designated for the various Floyd-Jones estates: Cedars, Massapequa, Fort Neck, Unqua and two unlabelled sections. The center section was reserved for Thomas and Freelove Jones and their children. They were reburied there as were their descendants who had rested originally behind Fort Neck. This parcel subsequently became the Floyd-Jones Cemetery, and remains active to this day. The most recent interment took place in 2008.
Readers are invited to visit the cemetery to pay their respects to the founders and settlers of the Massapequas, who defined so many important features of the area and whose influence is felt even today.