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Division seeks next-of-kin for unmarked human remains found in North Murderkill Hundred, Kent County


In accordance with Title 7, Chapter 54, Subchapter 5406(b) of the Delaware Code, the Director of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, Department of State, hereby gives notice of the discovery of unmarked human skeletal remains on the east side of Route 208/Mahan Corner Road, approximately one mile north of Route 10 in Kent County.

A local resident reported human remains were eroding from the bank of the drainage ditch along Mahan Corner Road in 1996. Investigation by the Delaware State Historic Preservation Office (DE SHPO) and Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) led to removal and analysis of the disturbed human remains as well as the identification of a small cemetery.

The Mahan Corner Cemetery contained eighteen (18) individual graves, eleven of which remain undisturbed. The appearance of the undisturbed burials is interpreted as four (4) burials are children, two (2) are young adults, and five (5) are adults. Remains of at least seven additional individuals were recovered through archaeological excavations. Skeletal analysis of these remains suggests they relate to five (5) adult males of European descent (two were approximately 25-35 years old and one approximately 35-40), one (1) adult female of European descent approximately 30-35 years old, and one (1) indeterminate adult. Research suggests the individuals were interred between 1807 and 1948. Owners of the land during this period include: the John Jump family (1807-1815); Joel Clements and family (1815-1878); the Peter Cooper family (1878-1885); and Edward J. Carter and family (1887-1948).

Any persons who have reason to believe they may be next-of-kin to these individuals or have evidence that they have relatives buried in this location should contact the Director, Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, 21 The Green, Dover, DE 19901-3611; telephone 302-736-7400; weekdays between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; no later than February 15, 2020.

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