Tag Archives: Mary Rutherford Jay


MARY RUTHERFURD JAY, WW II, Geneaology, Jay Cemetery

Mary Rutherfurd Jay, who was born in 1872 the third child of Rev Peter Augustus Jay and Julia Post, grew up in the new house in Rye with her Grandfather, John Clarkson Jay, her mother, and her two brothers Pierre and John and her sister Laura. She was educated to become a very well known garden architect, and under her grandfathers interests developed special knowledge in Japanese Gardens. Before WW II she traveled extensively to give lectures on gardens and designed many gardens in the Northeast. With WW II her interests changed.

At this time she was 65 years old. Documentation of the family and involvement with the Jay Cemetery became projects for her. In 1935 she was asked by the Trustees of the Jay Cemetery to prepare a table tracing the genealogy of the family, showing all those who had the right of burial. One of these hangs in the Jay House today.

The Cemetery which was incorporated in 1906, when the surrounding property was no longer in the hands of the Jay Family, requires three Trustees who can delegate to officers the functions of running the cemetery. At the time of WW II the three trustees were Pierre Jay, Peter Jay, and John Clarkson Jay. Peter Jay and John Clarkson Jay were in the Armed Services. About 1940, MaryRutherfurd   Jay was appointed by them the President of the Cemetery.

At this time the recognition of the small size of the cemetery at 82/100 of an acre and the potential future sale of the surrounding land by Mr and Mrs Devereux made enlarging the cemetery to the maximum size by law of New York a primary project. In 1944 under Mary Rutherfurds lead this was started, and with approval of the Devereux the necessary funds were raised and approvals obtained. In FEB 1946 the Cemetery size was increased to 2.85 acres.

As part of this In 1947 she had published a small book on the history of the Jay Cemetery and had this distributed to all members of the family. Part of this is the tail of Eleanor Von Schweinitz, the daughter of Anna Jay, living in desperation after the end of WW II, receiving notice that a CARE package had arrived. Then she spent a day getting to the place of distribution to find the CARE was the book The JAY CEMETERY!

I believe she maintained her interest in the Cemetery until her death at age 81 in 1953. She was buried in the Jay Cemetery.
She was a remarkable woman.