Our cemetery of interest in Frederick county is Mount Olivet, located in the city of Frederick. It is a large place, as suggested by this map at the entrance.According to the scale at lower left, the area shown is over a half-mile wide. Below is the cemetery’s chapel, with a monument not related to our family in the foreground.Its biggest claim to fame is the grave of Francis Scott Key, author of our National Anthem.The central monument for the Myers family is less elaborate than that, but still surprised me with its massive size, and the numerous other inscriptions. I regret that I got no picture that illustrates that the stone is taller than I am, and you can see its width and depth relative to height. It thoroughly dwarfs most of the stones around it. Most of those nearby stones, as we will see, match some of the inscriptions on the monument in question.
Let’s return to the inscription of primary interest:Michael Myers‘ wife and daughter, Elizabeth and Mary, both have their own individual headstones, much older than the monument above, presumably placed at or near the time of their burial, in 1853 and 1857, respectively. With some guesswork, I was able to read Elizabeth’s death date and age, and add those details to my family tree data. Mary’s, unfortunately, was too far eroded.
Significantly, there is no individual headstone for Michael himself. Upon looking up the history of Mount Olivet, I found that it was founded in 1852, and its first interment took place on 28 May 1854. Whoa!? That is not only a year after the death of Elizabeth Fout Myers, but 39 years after Michael Myers died. Pardon the metaphor, but something is fishy here.
Luckily, it was a weekday; a helpful worker in the cemetery office told me some oral history, and pulled out an old ledger book with some pertinent information. The cemetery was founded as a matter of some urgency, as the churchyards in Frederick were fast becoming overcrowded. In fact, after Mount Olivet opened, many interments were moved from their original sites. This would easily explain how Elizabeth got there, just one year after her death. We will get to some other relatives in a moment, who died up to four years before the cemetery opened. The ledger book showed that plots were indeed purchased (at $3.00 each!) for Mary, Elizabeth, and Michael. But I cannot imagine that his remains, wherever they were originally buried (in a wooden box, no doubt), were dug up and moved after 39 years. My inkling now, given that early death date, is that Michael was probably buried on his farm. I wish I had though of that when I was driving around the area. At any rate, his inscription at Mount Olivet, in that case, would be a “cenotaph.”