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Montgomery County, established 1776, county seat Rockville.

News from the County:

1776–present Families, property owners, and religious organizations
Early 20th century Lists and publications; Patriotic organizations and genealogists
1970s Historic sites and districts listed in the National Register of Historic Places
1976 M-NCPPC Locational Atlas & Index of Historic Sites published
1979 Montgomery County Master Plan for Historic Preservation approved and adopted
1991 Coalition to Protect Maryland Burial Sites formed to advocate for MD cemeteries
1996-97 Peerless Rockville photography exhibit of 15 Rockville cemeteries
1997 Maryland Office of Cemetery Oversight created
2004-2009 Montgomery County Cemetery Inventory compiled
2010 Enter the Digital Age
2013 William Smallwood Chapter SAR created Montgomery County Patriot Graves Registry
2016 Trader Foundation for Maryland Burial Sites incorporated
2016 Historic Maryland Cemeteries selected as Preservation Maryland Six to Fix project
2017 Montgomery County Council enacted two cemetery protection laws
2018 Montgomery County Cemetery Inventory Revisited
2019 Montgomery County Planning Board adopted Burial Sites Inventory and Guidelines
2021 Morningstar Tabernacle No. 88 cemetery and Moses Hall named by National Trust as one of 11 Most Endangered Sites
2021 Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled against Shoemaker family re-existence of burial site in Bethesda (see below)

Isaac and Ann Shoemaker’s 140-acre farm is now part of Chevy Chase. Purchasing the land in 1839, the Quaker family brought new agricultural methods to soil exhausted by tobacco. Ann was buried here in 1853, followed by a son and two other individuals, then Isaac in 1883. Shoemakers owned the land through World War I and excluded their 1/7th acre burial plot from a sale in 1925. Family members continued to visit the graves for the next century, even as the farm was subdivided for residential development, the address became 5200 Murray Road, and the burial plot continued to show on Land and Tax records, subdivision plats, funeral home and family archives. This well-documented plot, which straddles two current properties, was included in the official Montgomery County Burial Sites Inventory as ID#324.Nancy Werner, great-great granddaughter of Isaac Shoemaker, grew up visiting the family graves with her grandfather and father. Solid documentary evidence supports the Shoemaker descendants’ belief that Isaac, Ann and the others were interred here between 1853 and 1883, although markers can no longer be seen above ground. In 2016 Paramount Construction purchased property containing half of the Shoemaker burial plot, razing an existing single-family home with intent to replace it with a larger one. Paramount claimed legal title and in 2018 asked the Circuit Court to find that as a factual matter no human remains are buried there. After a judge ruled in favor of Paramount, the Shoemaker family appealed this decision, with support from Montgomery Preservation, the Coalition to Protect Maryland Burial Sites, neighbors, and other donors. On August 13, 2021, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals upheld the trial court’s decision, ruling that as a matter of law, Isaac Shoemaker Cemetery is not protected and can be redeveloped. This is a regrettable outcome, even though the higher court’s decision did not establish any binding legal precedent. However, this well-documented cemetery is not protected by Montgomery County law because it is not undergoing subdivision. Many eyes will watch, once construction starts for a new residence, to see if any human remains or artifacts are found; we hope an archaeologist will be on site. Maryland law provides certain protections, including a requirement to halt construction until the situation is sorted out. Maryland also encourages access by persons of interest and requires that the owner consult with the Maryland Historical Trust before moving forward with building plans.

Helpful County Resources:

Montgomery County – Sailor, Maryland’s Public Information Network


Montgomery County Website


Montgomery County Public Library                             

21 Maryland Avenue, Suite 310
Rockville, MD 20850


Montgomery County Circuit Court                             

50 Maryland Avenue
Rockville, MD 20850
(240) 777-9180

Montgomery County Cemetery Inventory


Montgomery County Historical Society (MCHS)                              

111 West Montgomery Avenue
Rockville, MD 20850        


Genealogical Club of the MCHS


Maryland Tombstone Transcription Project for Montgomery County

Montgomery Preservation, Inc.


Archaeological Society of Maryland, Mid-Potomac Chapter


Montgomery County, MD Patriot Grave Registry


Montgomery County Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society

You can now search the entire Montgomery County cemetery inventory…

List of cemeteries by NAME
List of cemeteries by ID NUMBER
List of cemeteries by VICINITY

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