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AFRICAN AMERICAN CEMETERIES IN MARYLAND

AFRICAN AMERICAN CEMETERIES IN MARYLAND

Posted: 2 Sep 2003 11:07AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 28 Jan 2004 5:35PM GMT
Surnames: BAKER, ROBINSON, BUTLER
I am searching for records belonging to Laurel Cemetery, Mt. Zion Cemetery and Mt. Auburn Cemetery. Anyone knowing where I may find these records or the cemeteries themselves would be greatly appreciated.

Re: AFRICAN AMERICAN CEMETERIES IN MARYLAND

Posted: 1 Oct 2003 2:15PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Smallwood, Chapman, Dorsey
Have been researching Smallwood and Chapman relatives in Mt. Zion, MD. I made a connection with someone that has more info on the Mt. Zion Methodist Church Cemetery in Anne Arundel County.

Rather than repeat her information, here is the link to the AfrGeaneas posting.
http://afrigeneas.com/forum/index.cgi?read=33398

Hope this helps,

Barnes_Brooks@hotmail.com

Re: AFRICAN AMERICAN CEMETERIES IN MARYLAND

Posted: 26 Oct 2003 4:59AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 27 Oct 2003 6:06PM GMT

Cynthia,

I believe that Laurel Cemetery for African American was covered over by a Walmart(or some store like that name. I was so upset because both of my ggrandparents were burieed there. I am told that there are a few graves that were moved near the area that was once Laurel.

Mt. Zion United Methodist Cemetery is still behind the church I am told. It is in or near Pasadena. Many of my MANNS family are buried there.
Contact the Anne Arundel Genealogy Society
PO Box

Re: AFRICAN AMERICAN CEMETERIES IN MARYLAND

Posted: 26 Oct 2003 5:03AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 27 Oct 2003 6:06PM GMT
Surnames: Manns, Green

Sorry that the last post was not completed. The PO Box is 221
Pasadena,MD 21123
On there bulletin the new price is $12.50
The book is called" Cemetery Inscriptions ofg Ann Arundel.

Good Luck!
Gail

Re: AFRICAN AMERICAN CEMETERIES IN MARYLAND

Posted: 25 Mar 2008 3:11AM GMT
Classification: Query
Hello,

Hope all is well. Haven't seen the name Dorsey in a clip. Please contact me so we can compare notes.

Re: AFRICAN AMERICAN CEMETERIES IN MARYLAND

Posted: 27 Mar 2008 2:05AM GMT
Classification: Query
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2001 04:21:46 -0600 (CST) From: Heritage2@aol.com

Subject: Laurel Cemetery - Historically African-American MD The below news article appeared in the Baltimore Sun on January 4, 2001. Some of you may be interested in the current preservation attempt that is currently underway at Laurel. Laurel is a historically African-American cemetery originally created in 1852 on Baltimore's eastside. This site was initially used to bury Black servants and slaves; these burials pre-date 1852. It is estimated that nearly 10,000 persons of African-American decent were buried there. Veterans of the Civil War (Union) were buried at Laurel; an estimated 230 Black Civil War Veterans - -- they were subsequently re-interred at Loudon Cemetery (on Frederick Road). The original cemeteries for Sharp Street Church and Bethel AME were re-interred at Laurel (Sharp Street Church has another cemetery just outside of the City today). There is currently an active project underway to determine who was buried at Laurel. Through time, neglect and political manipulation the land was chipped away to make way for housing and other development projects. Ultimately the cemetery was relocated to Johnville, Carroll County, Maryland in 1978. Since that time the cemetery has fallen into disrepair. George Murphy wants to clean it up (see article below). Should anyone have relatives buried at Laurel Cemetery or believe they have relatives buried at Laurel Cemetery, your help may be needed with this preservation project. Please email me directly. Celeste Heritage2@aol.com

Respect for eternal rest Graves: George Murphy wants to return dignity to a forgotten cemetery in Carroll County. By Mary Gail Hare Sun Staff Originally published Jan 4 2001> > George Murphy can stand amid broken, moss-covered tombstones in a forgotten cemetery and see history, art and a mystery he can solve. Cemetery restoration has become a passion for Murphy, a teaching assistant at Liberty High School, environmental activist and sometime political candidate. The 52-year-old Eldersburg resident is about to take on Laurel Cemetery, a 3-acre graveyard in southern Carroll County with as many as 400 markers in disrepair. "Laurel is a Victorian garden trapped inside a forest," he said. "I want to remove the forest and show the stones." To clear this forest, Murphy will need chain saws, clippers, a dump truck, a backhoe and countless volunteers. He has enlisted Boy Scouts and several Liberty High students. "We have taken a look at the disarray and decided it would be a great idea to clean it up," said Jim Anastastion Jr., leader of Boy Scout Troop 110, whose dozen members are on board with the project. "This is important because it is in our community. Maybe descendants of these families will visit." In 1958, to pave the way for a shopping center near Belair Road and Edison Highway in Baltimore, the remains of about 300 African-Americans were removed from Laurel Cemetery, once one of the city's largest and oldest graveyards. "Laurel Cemetery was at one time considered the most elegant and the largest cemetery in Baltimore," Murphy said. "It is a gem as far as monuments go." The remains were reinterred in what was then a cornfield in the historically black community of Johnsville, north of Eldersburg. Two 16-foot stone pillars marked the entrance and the graves were placed in rows off a central pathway. Within a few years, the new cemetery, also called Laurel, was all but forgotten. Saving the cemetery is a daunting task, Murphy acknowledges. Every stone will have to be lifted - some with a crane - so that the bases can be replaced. Most monuments have settled and then toppled over. Some have sunk more than two feet into the ground. Smaller ones may have sunk completely beneath the surface. "The contractor hired when the graves were moved here probably could have done a better job, or so many of these stones would not by lying on the ground," Murphy said. "I doubt there are real bases under the ground, or they would not be so flat." Murphy calls Laurel "a real jigsaw puzzle, with several hundred stones of every different size and shape." "There are at least 16 rows of graves on each side of a central pathway and they look to be in a straight line," he said. "I think we are looking at 400 graves to fix." Murphy frequently has had to shoo deer from the cemetery, nestled in an overgrown stand of trees several hundred yards off Hodges Road. The property is hidden from view and unknown to many residents of the homes in the neighborhood. Seclusion has saved it from vandals and thieves, the fate of many abandoned cemeteries. Residents dump their yard waste onto the grounds, probably unaware that it is a cemetery. Even the taller stones are covered with underbrush and weeds. Most of the remains date from the 19th century, and the graves probably went untended once remains were moved to Eldersburg. Most of those interred have no ties to Carroll families. "There is a lot of history in these cemeteries and we, as African-Americans, need to follow up on whatever information is available on our ancestors," said Phyllis Black, president of the Carroll County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "It is our responsibility to do something. George has given us hope that we can do something." Murphy has completed a successful two-year effort to restore 200 stones and the grounds of Ellsworth Cemetery in Westminster, once the only graveyard for African-Americans in Carroll County. His efforts led to a survey of Ellsworth, refurbished stones and new marble markers on many graves. Repairing Ellsworth - the final resting place of former slaves, veterans of conflicts from the Civil War through World War II, and many prominent black families who lent their names to towns throughout Carroll - won community support. Murphy is confident that the Laurel restoration will, too. First he must research the ownership, hoping to find descendants of the last agent of Laurel Cemetery Co. Then the Hodges Road property would be surveyed to mark property lines and establish a perimeter. Fences would be installed to protect the grounds. Several tall cedars would remain, but volunteers would remove many of the trees and clear weeds and brush. "Once we remove the trees, we can get to the stones," he said. "We will need a crane to lift some of them." A Boy Scout could focus on one section, clearing and cleaning and, if possible, righting stones. It would be a good project for an Eagle badge, said Anastastion. "We have everybody on board with this and lots of dads helping, and we know it won't be finished in a few months," he said. "Although these stones were transported here, this can be a service to our community." Each monument could pose a challenge. Some are 16 feet tall and many are more than a foot thick. "We would lift the inscription from each one for the public record," Murphy said. "Some writings are poetic. On some I can't see a single letter, but I know they have to be inscribed." Thick moss obscures some lettering. On many, however, one need only brush away leaves and soil to discern the inscriptions. Many stones bear elaborate sculpture or delicate carvings, such as a rose or an open Bible. Several bear the Star of David. A few have the remains of granite seats for visitors to rest themselves. Several monuments are obelisks, which typically marked a family plot. These tall, graceful stones might be inscribed on all four sides. Rough edges indicate that the stone marking the grave of Jacob Davis, who died in 1900, has lost its top. It will take digging around the gravesite to find it. "It's here somewhere near the grave," Murphy said. "Most of what they brought here in 1958 is still here." The family of James E. Fossett, 1864-1937, probably expected to bury his wife, Mary B. Fossett, at his side. Her birth year - 1866 - is on the stone, but no date of death is recorded. "I don't think Mary is interred here," Murphy said. Murphy is certain that many who owned plots at Laurel purchased burial insurance, a common practice years ago to guarantee that graves would be maintained in perpetuity. No one has kept track of those contracts, however. Murphy hopes his efforts lead to the re-creation of what was once "a magnificent cemetery" and bring honor to those reinterred in Carroll 42 years ago. "Laurel should look outstanding," he said. "We can make it better than it looked in 1958."

To: afrigeneas@msstate.edu, baltgen-l@rootsweb.com, MD-BaltimoreCity-L@rootsweb.com, MD-AfriGeneas@egroups.com, mdgen-l@rootsweb.com Top of Form 3 &&
CC: AKCallum@aol.com
From: Heritage2@aol.com |
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2001 22:59:23 EST
Reply-to: MD-AfriGeneas@egroups.com
Subject: [MD-AfriGeneas] Laurel Cemetery - A Historically African-American Cemetery in Baltimore, MD

The below news article appeared in the Baltimore Sun on January 4, 2001. Some of you may be interested in the current preservation attempt that is currently underway at Laurel.

Laurel is a historically African-American cemetery originally created in 1852 on Baltimore's eastside. This site was initially used to bury Black servants and slaves; these burials pre-date 1852. It is estimated that nearly 10,000 persons of African-American decent were buried there. Veterans of the Civil War (Union) were buried at Laurel; an estimated 230 Black Civil War Veterans
-- they were subsequently re-interred at Loudon Cemetery (on Frederick Road). The original cemeteries for Sharp Street Church and Bethel AME were re-interred at Laurel (Sharp Street Church has another cemetery just outside of the City today). There is currently an active project underway to determine who was buried at Laurel. Through time, neglect and political manipulation the land was chipped away to make way for housing and other development projects. Ultimately the cemetery was relocated to Johnville, Carroll County, Maryland in 1978. Since that time the cemetery has fallen into disrepair. George Murphy wants to clean it up (see article below).
Should anyone have relatives buried at Laurel Cemetery or believe they have relatives buried at Laurel Cemetery, your help may be needed with this preservation project. Please email me directly.

Celeste
Heritage2@aol.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Respect for eternal rest
Graves: George Murphy wants to return dignity to a forgotten cemetery in Carroll County.
By Mary Gail Hare
Sun Staff
Originally published Jan 4 2001


George Murphy can stand amid broken, moss-covered tombstones in a forgotten cemetery and see history, art and a mystery he can solve. Cemetery restoration has become a passion for Murphy, a teaching assistant at Liberty High School, environmental activist and sometime political candidate. The
52-year-old Eldersburg resident is about to take on Laurel Cemetery, a 3-acre graveyard in southern Carroll County with as many as 400 markers in disrepair. "Laurel is a Victorian garden trapped inside a forest," he said. "I want to remove the forest and show the stones." To clear this forest,
Murphy will need chain saws, clippers, a dump truck, a backhoe and countless volunteers. He has enlisted Boy Scouts and several Liberty High students. "We have taken a look at the disarray and decided it would be a great idea to clean it up," said Jim Anastastion Jr., leader of Boy Scout Troop 110, whose dozen members are on board with the project. "This is important because it is in our community. Maybe descendants of these families will visit." In 1958, to pave the way for a shopping center near Belair Road and Edison Highway in Baltimore, the remains of about 300 African-Americans were removed from Laurel Cemetery, once one of the city's largest and oldest graveyards. "Laurel Cemetery was at one time considered the most elegant and the largest cemetery in Baltimore," Murphy said. "It is a gem as far as monuments go."
The remains were reinterred in what was then a cornfield in the historically black community of Johnsville, north of Eldersburg. Two 16-foot stone pillars marked the entrance and the graves were placed in rows off a central pathway.
Within a few years, the new cemetery, also called Laurel, was all but forgotten. Saving the cemetery is a daunting task, Murphy acknowledges. Every stone will have to be lifted - some with a crane - so that the bases can be
replaced. Most monuments have settled and then toppled over. Some have sunk more than two feet into the ground. Smaller ones may have sunk completely beneath the surface. "The contractor hired when the graves were moved here probably could have done a better job, or so many of these stones would not by lying on the ground," Murphy said. "I doubt there are real bases under the ground, or they would not be so flat." Murphy calls Laurel "a real jigsaw puzzle, with several hundred stones of every different size and shape."
"There are at least 16 rows of graves on each side of a central pathway and they look to be in a straight line," he said. "I think we are looking at 400 graves to fix." Murphy frequently has had to shoo deer from the cemetery, nestled in an overgrown stand of trees several hundred yards off Hodges Road. The property is hidden from view and unknown to many residents of the homes in the neighborhood. Seclusion has saved it from vandals and thieves, the fate of many abandoned cemeteries. Residents dump their yard waste onto the grounds, probably unaware that it is a cemetery. Even the taller stones are covered with underbrush and weeds. Most of the remains date from the 19th century, and the graves probably went untended once remains were moved to
Eldersburg. Most of those interred have no ties to Carroll families. "There is a lot of history in these cemeteries and we, as African-Americans, need to follow up on whatever information is available on our ancestors," said Phyllis Black, president of the Carroll County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "It is our responsibility to do something. George has given us hope that we can do something." Murphy has completed a successful two-year effort to restore 200 stones and the
grounds of Ellsworth Cemetery in Westminster, once the only graveyard for African-Americans in Carroll County. His efforts led to a survey of Ellsworth, refurbished stones and new marble markers on many graves. Repairing Ellsworth - the final resting place of former slaves, veterans of
conflicts from the Civil War through World War II, and many prominent black families who lent their names to towns throughout Carroll - won community support. Murphy is confident that the Laurel restoration will, too. First he
must research the ownership, hoping to find descendants of the last agent of Laurel Cemetery Co. Then the Hodges Road property would be surveyed to mark property lines and establish a perimeter. Fences would be installed to
protect the grounds. Several tall cedars would remain, but volunteers would remove many of the trees and clear weeds and brush. "Once we remove the trees, we can get to the stones," he said. "We will need a crane to lift some
of them." A Boy Scout could focus on one section, clearing and cleaning and, if possible, righting stones. It would be a good project for an Eagle badge, said Anastastion. "We have everybody on board with this and lots of dads
helping, and we know it won't be finished in a few months," he said.
"Although these stones were transported here, this can be a service to our community." Each monument could pose a challenge. Some are 16 feet tall and many are more than a foot thick. "We would lift the inscription from each one
for the public record," Murphy said. "Some writings are poetic. On some I can't see a single letter, but I know they have to be inscribed." Thick moss obscures some lettering. On many, however, one need only brush away leaves
and soil to discern the inscriptions. Many stones bear elaborate sculpture or delicate carvings, such as a rose or an open Bible. Several bear the Star of David. A few have the remains of granite seats for visitors to rest
themselves. Several monuments are obelisks, which typically marked a family plot. These tall, graceful stones might be inscribed on all four sides. Rough edges indicate that the stone marking the grave of Jacob Davis, who died in
1900, has lost its top. It will take digging around the gravesite to find it. "It's here somewhere near the grave," Murphy said. "Most of what they brought here in 1958 is still here." The family of James E. Fossett, 1864-1937,
probably expected to bury his wife, Mary B. Fossett, at his side. Her birth year - 1866 - is on the stone, but no date of death is recorded. "I don't think Mary is interred here," Murphy said. Murphy is certain that many who owned plots at Laurel purchased burial insurance, a common practice years ago to guarantee that graves would be maintained in perpetuity. No one has kept track of those contracts, however. Murphy hopes his efforts lead to the re-creation of what was once "a magnificent cemetery" and bring honor to those reinterred in Carroll 42 years ago. "Laurel should look outstanding," he said. "We can make it better than it looked in 1958."



Re: AFRICAN AMERICAN CEMETERIES IN MARYLAND

Posted: 16 Apr 2008 5:56AM GMT
Classification: Query
I am also looking for the Dorsey Family in Maryland.

Re: AFRICAN AMERICAN CEMETERIES IN MARYLAND

Posted: 4 May 2008 12:34AM GMT
Classification: Query
go to www.findagrave.com - click on cemetery lookup in the left column

Re: AFRICAN AMERICAN CEMETERIES IN MARYLAND

Posted: 4 May 2008 12:43AM GMT
Classification: Query
hmm - i have the same problem of preservation of a small family cemetery in Petersville, Md. - my great grandfather, Francis Jesse Peck, Sr., (1835-1898) was the clergyman of the Union Bethel AME church in Petersville - the church structure is gone and the family house next door has been sold - there are perhaps 80-100 interments in the cemetery

Re: AFRICAN AMERICAN CEMETERIES IN MARYLAND

Posted: 4 May 2008 12:44AM GMT
Classification: Query
i have the same problem of preservation of a small family cemetery in Petersville, Md. - my great grandfather, Francis Jesse Peck, Sr., (1835-1898) was the clergyman of the Union Bethel AME church in Petersville - the church structure is gone and the family house next door has been sold - there are perhaps 80-100 interments in the cemetery
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