Friday, May 24
After a second brief, unproductive visit to the Frederick County Historical Society, and another drive through the area of Michael Myers’ farm, I drove about 20 miles east to Carroll County, Maryland, and the Sams Creek Church of the Brethren, located in a rural area near the small town of New Windsor.I have only been aware of this denomination for a few months, mainly in connection with my wife’s ancestors, two of whose graves we will see in the next post. It is a pacifist, Anabaptist sect, related to the Mennonite and Amish in doctrine, personal appearance, and lifestyle. The Brethren’s own website can be found here, and a Wikipedia article here. Some other, popular names for this sect are “German Baptist Brethren” and “Dunkard.”
Remember Peter and Mary Drayer, my second great-grandparents whose graves we visited in Medina, IL?
Well, Mary Jane Drayer’s maiden name was Zepp, and I was able through probate records to establish that her parents were Michael Zepp (1801-1888) and Mary Ann Young (1812-1889), of New Windsor, MD. Both of them are buried in the small cemetery at Sams Creek.If you click on the image for a closer look, you can see that the stones are partially readable, but in poor condition. Originally standing upright, they now lie flat at ground level. Mary’s stone is broken off; I was unable to find the lower portion, containing her death date and epitaph, if any. With a little guesswork, I teased out the visible inscriptions:
Michael Zepp, born Jan 6 1801, died Feb 29 1888, aged 87 yrs 1 mo 23 days.
“A previous one from us has gone,
A voice we loved is stilled;
A place is vacant in our home,
Which never can be filled.”
Mary Ann, wife of Michael Zepp, born July 20 1812, died … (stone broken)
As far as I presently know, these are the only ancestors of my own who were associated with the Brethren. Even so, I am uncertain whether they actually belonged to the church, or are merely buried here.
Next: my Brethren ancestors-in-law.