Percy Cemetery, Frostburg
Percy Cemetery, located in Frostburg, Maryland, was referred to in many different ways: Old Percy Cemetery, Percy's Cemetery, the old Cemetery, the old graveyard, Percy graveyard, the cemetery on the hill, the cemetery on Federal Hill. A few people referred to it as the Methodist Cemetery; while there were many from that denomination buried here, there were many from other Protestant groups as well.
As far as we can determine, the name "Percy Cemetery" derives from a grant of one acre of land (the south end of the Cemetery, near First Street) to the community in 1850 by David and James K. Percy for use as a community burial ground (Cordts, 1976). However, it must be recognized that earlier, in 1841, Josiah Porter donated the first acre of ground (the north end) for a community cemetery (Cordts, 1976). It is not clear why the Cemetery's name was linked only to the Percys, excluding the Porters, but it was and that is the name by which it is most commonly known.
Percy Cemetery was presumably Frostburg's first public burying ground and interments were made without regard for religious affiliation. Later in the 1850's, St. Michael's Church established a separate Catholic cemetery. Allegany Cemetery, another early burial place dating back to 1864, was incorporated into what is now Frostburg Memorial Park. The German Lutheran Cemetery located on Mt. Pleasant Street dates back to about 1880.
Our research indicates that there are well over 500 graves in the Cemetery. The first apparent burial, Sarah Matilda Lowe, may have been as early as 1811 or 1812. This statement is conditional, based on our reading of her headstone. The lettering is eroded and very difficult to make out and our reading may be incorrect. It is also possible that the name is "Loar" and not "Lowe." Additionally, the 1811/1812 dates seem to conflict with Cordts' (1976) contention that the beginnings of the Cemetery were much later, around 1840. If the Lowe headstone is incorrect, then the first burial was Mary Thompson, who died May 24, 1839, at the age of 42 years. Edna Willison was the last person to be buried in the Cemetery in 1972.
Anthony Crosby and Michael Olson gathered together the history of the cemetery, documented the work performed to restore it, and included the obituaries of as many of those in the cemetery as they could locate. Included too are over one hundred family charts, showing graphically the family trees of those interred in the Percy Cemetery. This online version is taken from the 2000 revision of the text.
|Western Maryland Regional Library is grateful to Anthony Crosby and Michael Olson for allowing us to display their research online.
Anthony can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Michael can be reached at