Oct 20, 2011

One Grave That Won't Be Forgotten

This is not an especially Celtic story, although it could be without my knowing it since I don't know the name of the man involved. However, he was someone who was a major contributor to a Presbyterian church where many of the members were of Scots-Irish descent. (Piney Creek in Taneytown, MD)

While searching for my husband's Thomson ancestors, we had a pleasant time talking to the church's current pastor, The Rev. Paul Matthews. The photo below is the pastor in the middle, Tom on the right, and one of the church elders (we unfortunately forgot his name.)

Rev. Matthews told me a story about one of the graves in the churchyard. He said when a man's house slave passed away, he wanted to have her buried at Piney Creek. This is a church right on the Mason-Dixon line and the congregation said no way, this is for our white church members. He insisted. They said no. He said, fine then. I'll bury her somewhere else, but I'll go too and take my tithe with me. Apparently he was a wealthy and generous man so they relented, saying he could bury her in the furtherest corner of the graveyard.

It's a wonderful story of a man standing up for what he believed was right. This woman, Sarah Agnes Brown, had served this man's family well for many years. She was a part of the family. Money talks, certainly. But in this case it seems like a justified means. The current church members think so too. They've taken very good care of all the old grave sites in this small churchyard. They are slowly going about pouring new concrete footings for the old markers. One of the first they finished was Sarah's. Here it is:

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