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Cemeteries | Montezuma Historical Society Montezuma Historical Society

Montezuma Historical SocietyMontezuma Historical Society


Cemeteries of Montezuma

In the mid-1960s a group of local historians and members of the Owasco, NY Chapter of the DAR compiled a 10 volume listing of Cayuga County, NY cemetery records. Along with other cemeteries in Cayuga County are the listings of seven cemeteries that are no longer actively being used for burials in Montezuma.

Below is a link that provides the listings to assist in you with genealogy and family history research in Cayuga County, NY. Here you will find additional links for online:


Three of the Town cemeteries have public access; the others are located in remote farming areas between private property. We ask that you use discretion and the courtesy of asking for permission before trespassing on private property.

The Launch of New Cemetery Project

A new cemetery project has been undertaken in the summer of 2020 directed by Kathleen Shaw Decker. Kathy became concerned so many of the early gravestones were becoming illegible. With the help of her assistants, husband Jim and grandson Brendan they have been locating and photographing the gravestones in Montezuma area cemeteries using a smartphone app to upload the photos to the website, http://billiongraves.com. Kathy is transcribing the headstone information, updating, and cross-referencing information on the Montezuma genealogy database. If you have any questions regarding the project, you may contact Kathy by email at kdecker973@aol.com

What is BillionGraves?

What is the difference between BillionGraves and Find A Grave?

First of all, there are many similarities, but for genealogists and family historians, there are some important differences. There are two blogs on the BillionGraves’ website that explain it well here.

Old Montezuma Cemetery

DamewoodStone-1024x768Located along a hillside on Route 90 in the hamlet of Montezuma this early cemetery has burials beginning in 1810 when the hamlet of Montezuma, Cayuga County, NY, was first settled. It contains approximately 185 graves with the last known burial in 1933.

Captain Richard Damewood, born in 1759, is buried in the cemetery. He enlisted in the military in 1781 and served in New York’s Regiment at the siege of Yorktown during the Revolutionary War. After the War of 1812, he became engaged in boating on the Erie Canal, eventually settling in Montezuma. Over the years Captain Damewood’s gravesite became obscured and forgotten located on an outer hedgerow covered by brush in the cemetery. During a cemetery cleanup project, it was discovered his cemetery marker had become embedded into the trunk of a tree. In 2007, the Town received a new military stone provided by the Sons of the American Revolution National Graves’ Committee to replace Captain Damewood’s gravestone. Joanne Damewood Butler, the descendent of Richard’s son, Henry, was present to help install the new stone at the gravesite.


Prospect Hill Cemetery

ProspectHiggins-1024x768Just southeast of the hamlet of Montezuma this cemetery is located high on a hill on McDonald Road. The cemetery was established by the Clark family with several family members buried here including Peter Clark. His marble family monument was said to have cost $1000. Peter Clark was one of the early pioneer founders of the town. His home was built on another large drumlin overlooking the marshes in the hamlet near where today’s water tower is located. Other noted citizens of Montezuma buried in this cemetery are Royal Torrey, Clifford Jones and Charles Higgins — important political figures in Montezuma’s history.


 Mentz Church Cemetery

MentzChurchCemetery3-768x1024The Mentz Church Cemetery has over 200 graves with the earliest burial of 1813. It surrounds the Mentz Church which was later built on the corner of McDonald and Mentz Church Roads. Many of the early immigrating families that first settled in the area of Mentz Corners are buried here. It was originally part of the Town of Mentz until Montezuma and Throop separated in 1859. Incorporated in 1825, as a Methodist Episcopal Church, it is one of the earliest remaining churches in Cayuga County first served by the early circuit riders. It is now owned by the Town of Montezuma, home of the Montezuma Historical Society. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and in 2013, a historic roadside marker funded by the William G. Pomeroy Foundation was placed on the site.

Montezuma Cemeteries may be located on this downloadable PDF map.