St. Joseph's Catholic Church Cemetery


The good work in the iron and copper mines, and the fertile farmland paved the way for hundreds of Catholic families to prosper in the Sykesville area. Mass was first held in the home of Dr. Orrelana Owings, who moved to Sykesville in 1852. Here, in his home, mass was conducted by Rev. Bernard J. McManus, Rev. Augustine Verot, and Rev. Thomas O’Neil.

Dr. Orrelana Owings conveyed a lot for a church to the Archbishop of Baltimore on September 9, 1865. The cornerstone of this church was laid in August of 1867. The McDonald family and the Shipley family were known at the time to have contributed greatly to the church since the beginning of its organization. While construction was taking place, the rear wall of the church collapsed, and the builder would not replace the wall, so the church was left unfinished. The church was used for Mass while a different builder was finishing it, with the parishioners sitting on soapboxes.

The Jesuits at Woodstock were in charge of this mission church until 1892. Over time, the number of parishioners outgrew the original building and a new larger church was constructed on Liberty Road in Eldersburg in 1964. Just recently, St. Joseph built a new larger church onto the old church in 2000. The church that was built in 1964 will be converted for other uses in the future. It is no longer in use as a place of worship.

Today St. Joseph Catholic Church holds regular CCD for children, many youth ministries for teenagers, Perpetual Adoration, private prayer groups, and many other ministries too numerous to mention. In addition, they offer their facilities to many community organizations such as recreational basketball programs, Cub Scout Pack 883, Boy Scout Troop 883, and ABC Care for children to name a few. The parish today includes over 2,300 families, and continues to grow stronger each year. St. Joseph Catholic Community is lead by the Marianist Community. Mass is said today by Pastor Patrick Tonry, SM and Associate Pastor Paul Reich, SM.

The earliest recorded date of birth is that of Elizabeth Glennan, who was born in 1790. The earliest recorded date of death is also that of Elizabeth Glennan, who died in 1850. At the time of copying, the most recent burial was that of Gillian Hope Leonhartt, who died on June 26, 2003.

The old church and cemetery are located in the town of Sykesville, on Mellor Ave off of Sandosky Road. Daniel A. Gonski, with help of family and friends, also completed a map and booklet containing inscriptions and pictures of the 87 stones as an Eagle Scout Project in 2002-2003.

Information on the history of the church is summarized from the following sources:
1. “St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church Cemetery”, Mr. John Diuguid, 1985, Carroll County Cemeteries Volume One Southeast, Carroll County Genealogical Society, Westminster, MD, p. 54.
2. Written historical information provided by parishioners working on documenting the church’s history.
3. St. Joseph Catholic Community Welcome Packet

Tombstone Transcription
Contributor's Notes
Church & Work Photos

Made available to the USGenWeb Tombstone Transcription Project by:
Daniel A. Gonski (

This page was last updated August 31, 2004

For inquiries about MD cemeteries, burials or to submit a transcription to this Project, contact
the MD Tombstone Transcription Project Manager: Kathi Jones-Hudson

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