On May 31, 2012, we celebrated our 250th anniversary.

We began as a Union Church of two congregations, Lutheran and
Reformed, on May 31, 1762.  A log building was erected on a
15-acre lot by the members.  The log building sufficed for almost
60 years.  In 1821, another building was erected, again a union
church, across the street from where St. Mary's United Church of
Christ is built today.  This building, made of brick, was completed
and dedicated in 1822.

(A New Church for a German Congregation: 1821 - 1822)

The union building shared by the Lutherans and Reformed lasted
about 130 years, but the time came for separation.  In 1893, the
Reformed congregation dedicated the current St. Mary's United
Church of Christ.  On a corner lot at the bottom of the hill, along
the main highway, the Lutherans consecrated a site for their
church.  The laying of the corner stone of St. Mary's Evangelical
Lutheran Church, Silver Run, Maryland, was on July 8, 1894, led by
the Reverend H. C. Fultz.  Our stone church was officially
dedicated on December 20th, 1896, by Pastor W. H. Ehrhart.

(The Pastors of the Silver Run Parish)

On May 24, 1879, with the founding of St. Matthew's Lutheran
Church at Pleasant Valley, St. Mary's became a two-church parish.  
This relationship with St. Matthew's lasted until January 14, 1990,
when St. Mary's and St. Matthew's voted to discontinue the
partnership and call their own pastor.

Today, we have approximately 280 members in the congregation.
We welcome all to worship and share in our fellowship and witness
to Jesus Christ!
             Cemetery Inscriptions

"In 1996 and 1997 members of the Carroll County Genealogical
Society did a very thorough job of copying inscriptions in the
cemetery.  Don Dutterer, custodian of the cemetery, donated copies
of his records to supplement the Society's work.  Mimi Ashcraft
checked the 4 rows of old tombstones against earlier information
provided by Thomas Hollowak, Wendy Bish and Larry Bolin.  Anyone
interested in researching burials in this cemetery should consult all
the lists available.  No matter how carefully the inscriptions are
copied, mistakes are made and words/letters interpreted

Thomas Hollowak reported some tombstones in the old portion of St.
Mary's which were never seen by either Bish/Bolin (1987) or
Ashcraft (1997).  He omitted birth dates in his work published in the
Maryland Genealogical Society Bulletin.  This is unfortunate because
the dates act as a cross-check on the age at death.  A significant
number of errors were detected in 1997.  The work of Bish/Bolin was
more accurate and thorough.  Ashcraft used Hollowak's list as the
basis for her work.  She checked all stones found in 1997, corrected
mistakes, added birthdate information and supplied more details
when available.  She then compared her readings to those of
Bish/Bolin.  Tombstones that Hollowak reported (but which weren't
seen by anyone else) have been identified with an asterick in
Ashcraft's 1997 version. The information can't be verified.

The Carroll County Genealogical Society thanks Don Dutterer for his
help and for granting (Carroll County Geneological Society) permission
to copy inscriptions.  We (Carroll County Geneological Society) hope
researchers will find the information useful."
                          St. Mary's Cemetery

St. Mary's has two burial grounds, and old and a new, and both are
Union.  The following is a quote from Yoder's history of 1912:

"It is a matter of regret that we can not tell of the beginning of the
old cemetery.  The oldest headstone that can be read is that of
Nicklas Deal, who was one of the first officers of the old log church in
the hollow.  Not a few stones are there that cannot be read.  There
are stones without inscription.  And doubtless there are early graves
that were never marked.  In those days the people knew nothing about
cemetery plots.  A modern cemetery then would have been considered
as a shameful, extravagant, waste of land.  All were buried in
consecutive order without regard of family ties.  The old cemetery
consist of more than an acre of ground.  In course of time it was filled
up with the mortal remains of friends and loved ones.  The church
authorities were obliged to secure a new burial ground.

A special joint meeting of the two congregations was called for April
26, 1879, to take into consideration the enlargment of the burial
ground.  It was decided by a unanimous rising vote at a joint
congregational meeting to use as burial place or cemetery, the land
than belonging to the joint congregations on the north-west side of
the church adjoining the lands of
Wm. J. Feeser and J. Henry
.  The following committee was appointed to determine upon
the best location:
Edward Z. Matthias, Cyrus Feeser, James E.
Dodrer, Josiah Lawyer, J. Wm. Earhart.
In August said
committee reported that the best location for a new cemetery was
three and a half acres, more or less, lying on the north-west side of
the church building and joining the land of J. Henry Knipple and Wm. J.
Feeser, with an entrance opposite the church near the lower side of
the sexton house.  It was then decided that said committee should
continue and be authorized to survey, locate and divide the aforesaid
piece of land into lots and passage ways, as would, in their judgement,
best adapt it for use as a burial gound; to remove all obstructions and
build a suitable fence for enclosing said ground.

On March 24, 1880, the following resolutions were passed:  Resovled,
That the price of cemetery lots be hereafter fixed at five dollars,
per lot of 10x16 feet.

Resovled: That the lots in the north-west corner of the cemetery
bounded by the main avenues on the East and South, be kept for the
purpose of a free burial ground, with the right reserved to sell any of
said lots to persons who may hereafter wish to purchase.

June 8, 1895, it was decided to dispose of the old union sexton and
school house buildings at pubic sale as said building stood on the
cemetery ground.

In 1907 it was decided by the joint officers to have removed the old
picket fences of both the old and new cemeteries and have it replaced
by a thornless hedge; also to have the old cemetery completely
renovated, to have the tomb stones lined up, and the thorns,
shrubberies and all obstructions removed, and have the cemetery
sodded with lawn grass."
250th Anniversary Page

General Introduction for Family History Researchers
(information taken from ELCA Archives)
Church records, maintained by and for local congregations, can be a plethora of
genealogical information for family historians, especially when they seek information on
ancestors who lived during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries when records such
as census, tax, land, and newspapers were vague, incomplete, or simply did not exist. Most
of the information essential to tracing your family genealogy will be contained in
congregation records. Since these records were and are maintained by the congregation
only, no centralized lists of members exist at church-wide/ synodical offices or archives.

Do not assume, that because you are Lutheran, or some of your relatives may have
been Lutheran in the past, that all family members were Lutheran. Similarly, do
not assume that because your relatives were German, Swedish, Norwegian, etc., that
they were Lutheran.
Be prepared to find that your relatives might not have belonged to
any church. Furthermore, the term "evangelical" does not guarantee that a
congregation was Lutheran. German Reformed and other
Protestant groups also use this term.  

Generally, most congregation records are usually composed of:
Chronological listings of pastoral acts, such as baptisms,
confirmations, marriages, and burials, and
·        In some cases, records of communions and membership lists may be included.

More modern congregation records (ca. 1850-Present) might also include:
·        Congregational annual and council meeting minutes,
·        Financial and legal documents,
·        Parish newsletters or other printed items, including congregational histories,
·        As well as similar records for congregational organizations,
such as women's, men's or youth groups.

Therefore, for the family historian, it is
essential that your inquiry sent to
any archives, or historical or genealogical societies contain as much information
as possible, including full names, relevant dates, and place names.

When writing for information, please use the following checklist to make sure that
your letter includes as much of the following information as possible.
Congregation records are not usually indexed and are often in a language other
than English, so that each item of information you provide will save time and effort.

1. Full name of person(s) to be researched.
2. Known or approximate date(s) of birth or Baptism, marriage, death, etc.
3. Name of state, county and town where your family lived.
(If a large city is involved, include a street address, since many cities
would have numerous congregations from which to choose.)
4. Name(s) of congregations(s) where your family were members.
5. Name(s) of pastors who performed Baptisms, marriages, etc.
(Often on certificates that you may have among family papers.)
6. Ethnic group of your family, i.e., German, Swedish, Finnish, etc.
(Prior to the 1920's most Lutherans attended congregations founded by a particular ethnic
group because worship services and congregational activities were in those languages.)

If you do not have this information,
it is highly recommended that you turn to other
resources, such as federal census records, state tax rolls, or similar sources, before
you contact a Lutheran archives. This would be especially true if you are not
sure that your relatives were Lutheran.

Moreover, please bear in mind, that
congregation records dating from the eighteenth
and the first half of the nineteenth centuries, for which you might be searching,
might no longer exist.
Due to natural disasters, disbandings and mergers,
and poor records management procedures of the past, congregation records
have been lost, destroyed, or even stolen.
Did you know?

St. Mary's Lutheran
Church is the only
church in the
Synod named for a
woman and is one of the
synod's oldest churches.
Home Page
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Other Links


St. Mary's Lutheran Church Parish Records
Burials  1861 - 1930         Burials  1927 - 1985

Baptisms  1881 - 1931         Baptisms  1926 - 1985

Marriages  1884 - 1937

The Historical Society of Carroll County has
resources to assist in a genealogical search including
some records from St. Mary's Church .

Maryland German Church Records, Volume 7
Saint Mary's Church
Silver Run, Carroll County
Lutheran Records 1784 - 1863   Reformed Records 1812 - 1866
(119 pages)

Copies of this publication may be obtained from the
Historical Society of Carroll County
You may also contact the church office to find if your
family is listed in this publication.

Genealogy information may be
found by contacting the
ELCA Region 8 Archives at Gettysburg
Adams County Historical Society

Another source for information on
Adoptions, Births, Deaths, and Marriage Records
Maryland State Archives

National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior
Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Database

Links To Other Resources
(Not maintained by St. Mary's Evangelical Lutheran Church)

(Please refer to their websites for policies and services provided.)
Click for Anniversary Page