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St. Mary's Cemetery

233 Homeland Avenue


St. Mary's Cemetery St. Mary's Cemetery was established around 1850. It is located in the 200 block of Homeland Avenue on the grounds of the original St. Mary's Church. The cemetery faces east as is the custom of many cemeteries. All burials are with the foot of the grave toward the east and most gravestones face east. In old parish records the cemetery is termed "God's Acre", which was an old Catholic term for a cemetery. As Father Paul Meyer says, it is "...where His blessed departed ones sleep the sleep of peace until the Angel of God calls their bodies from the grave to assume the cloak of immortality."


The oldest grave marker is dated 1846, however the first recorded burial was Daniel Taylor who died at the age of 55 in 1851. Ledgend has it that the cemetery may have been used as early as 1700 when a flu epidemic swept through Baltimore. These victims were buried in unmarked graves covering approximately one quarter of an acre in the northeast section of the cemetery and marked by a single monument. Many of the first bodies were orphans who died of pestilence and poverty.


The Annual French Sailors Memorial Ceremony
The bodies of four French Sailors are buried at the Cemetery. The first French Reservist was Joseph Melvel of the French Ship Amarel Cicile, who drowned while swimming at Port Covington in August 1918. The other three French Reservists died of the flu in October 1918. They were Pierre Chetodel and Louis Gouger of the French Sailing ship Thiers, and Louis Brazzard of the French Sailing ship Almandral. Since there was no next of kin, the French sailors had to remain in this country and were buried by Father Hartwell. The sailors were given a military funeral courtesy of the Senior Naval Officer in charge of the port at the time.
For years the graves were personally tended by Mrs. Emily Raine Williams. In the mid-1920's Mrs. Williams approached the Baltimore Council of the American Legion who agreed to accept permanent responsibility of the care and annual memorialization of these four allies.
Each year on the first Saturday in November - the French Memorial Day- the American Legion Posts #20 and #137 hold a memorial ceremony at the grave of the French Sailors. It is attended by representatives of the French Embassy as well as French Officers stationed at the U.S. Naval Academy. Not only is it is a moving tribute to our allies and but also one that recalls the many Americans buried in France that are honored also remembered annually by the French nation.
Click on picture to view a recent ceremony St. Mary's Cemetery


Parish Burial Records
The burial records of the parish go back to 1856. These records are available as a CD (for $5) and as a hardcopy (for $10) in a binder. Please contact the rectory to purchase these versions.These records and the accompanying maps are cross-referenced between the Church Burial Records and Baltimore Genealogical Society tombstone readings.**


Map of the Old Section and Marian Section
Burial Records From Old Section
View Gravesite Markers Where Available
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The Marian Section and Columbaria
In the late 1970's Msgr. Thomas Tewes opened a new section of the cemetery on and southward from the site of the old church. This Marian Section has been rapidly filling up. A memorial donation resulted in the installation of a granite altar at the southern edge of the Marian Section. This altar has ben used for All Soul's Day Masses and Parish Anniversary Masses which were held at the cemetery.In 2008, realizing that the configuration of the land leaves few areas for expansion, the parish installed two columbaria to accomodate new burials.The St. Joseph and The Good Shepherd are located near the new altar.


   ** The Baltimore County Genealogical Society Tombstone inscriptions book has been reprinted and is available from:
Family Line Publications
64 E. Main Street
Westminister, MD



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