Baltimore County, established 1659, county seat Towson.
News from the County:
On April 30, 2022, Mt. Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church held their kick-off event for the rehabilitation of their historic cemetery on 12728 Manor Road in Glen Arm, MD.
The following is a portion of an article in the Country Chronicle:
“Several Jacksonville-area churches are joining forces across denominations to rehabilitate the nearby historic cemetery at Mt. Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church. The effort to restore the graveyard — that includes colored soldiers from the Civil War, Buffalo soldiers and veterans from World Wars I and II — will not only honor the area’s past but also be a victory for race relations and historic preservation alike in the greater community, say volunteer coordinators.”
To learn details about their rehabilitation efforts, you can read the article printed in The Country Chronicle from May 2022.
Goucher Students Preserving Black History
Baltimore County Genealogical Society has embarked on a mission to create a comprehensive inventory of burial locations in Baltimore County as a resource tool for Genealogists.
This work is in progress and they state that any additions, corrections or pictures are appreciated.
On their webpage for this project, you will find a definition of a burial ground, their list of known cemeteries, an interactive map of locations of cemeteries, a historic map from 1866, forms and my favorite – the 1866 map that overlays a current map of the county! https://www.baltimoregenealogysociety.org/BCGShome/projects/bcgs-burial-project/
Northern Baltimore County resident Ruth Mascari, of Monkton is the former chair of the Baltimore County Landmarks Preservation Commission. She writes articles for the “Remembering When . . .” section of the Villager newspaper.
For the July 2022 edition (Vol. 11, No. 5), she wrote a lovely article called Cemeteries Hold Local Histories. The following is a a portion from her article:
“Cemeteries in more urban areas soon were deemed to be harmful and undesirable and by the early 1800s were banned from most dense city areas. In more rural areas such as ours, we do not see large cemeteries but instead graveyards adjoining the local churches or a family’s burying ground carved out of the farm land. If a family did not have its own burying ground, it could use one associated with its local church or some extended family.
Unlike city dwellers who had turned the task of funerals over to undertakers and morticians, rural families tended to their dead in their own homes often burying them right on their properties and farms. One concession was the purchase of the wooden casket. In reading through inventories and employment records, one soon learns that a local cabinetmaker was also the local casket maker.”
“Century-old cemetery is unlikely tennant for Towson Circle III“, The Baltimore Sun, February 8, 2012. (Subscription required for viewing)
In the Summer 2005 issue of the Courier there was information regarding the Shealey Cemetery in Towson. “The cemetery has been in the news lately for the effort to have the area designated as historic. It is in one of the Towson Center shopping district parking lots. It is relatively well cared for, i.e., grass is cut and trash removed.”, according to Melvin Mason.
Here are the minutes of the Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing held on November 10, 2005.
Next was item 13, the Shealey Cemetery, a ca. 140 years-old burial place of the town’s founders. The recommendation was to place it on the Landmarks List under criteria 1 and 5 (that it has yielded, or may be likely to yield information or materials important in prehistory or history).
Mr. Mike Davis, representing Heritage Properties, stated that his client was not opposed to the nomination. Referring to a written agreement between Heritage and the descendants of the Shealey family, Heritage committed to preserve and maintain the property. He also claimed that cemeteries were protected under State law. He continued that the reason for his appearance before the Commission was that there was a major development project for the site surrounding the cemetery. He did not wish that Landmarks Listing would impact these plans and wanted this to be reflected in the minutes. Referring to a letter prepared by Mr. David Iannucci, Executive Director of the Department of Economic Development, Mr. Davis noted that his request was within the spirit of County Plans for this site. Mr. Matthews inquired whether the proposed development would allow the existence of the cemetery to continue.
Mr. Davis replied that the plans asked for enhancement and raised awareness of the cemetery. Mr. Griffith asked who owned the cemetery. Ms. Ruth Muscari answered that John McGrain researched the property years ago, but that clear ownership was never established.
Ms. McIver moved to place the Shealey Cemetery on the Preliminary Landmarks List under Criteria 1 and 5. Mr. Stevens seconded the motion, which passed unanimously on a voice vote.
Shealey Cemetery in Towson, Maryland taken by Melvin Mason
Helpful County Resources:
Baltimore County – Sailor, Maryland’s Public Information Network
Baltimore County Courts
County Courts Building
401 Bosley Avenue
Towson, MD 21204
Baltimore County Genealogical Society (BCGS)
P. O. Box 10085
Towson, MD 21285-0085
Parkville Senior Center
8601 Harford Road, Room 308
Parkville, MD 21234
Baltimore County Public Library
Baltimore County – MD Tombstone Transcription Project
Historical Society of Baltimore County
9811 Van Buren Lane
Cockeysville, MD 21030
Catonsville Historical Society
P. O. Box 21154
Catonsville, MD 21228