Rockawalkin United Methodist Church

(corner of Rockawalkin Road and Crooked Oak Lane)

On the way out the next day we drove by and had to stop at the Rockawalkin United Methodist Church, our dad’s childhood and young adult place of worship.

This was mostly a memory trip. The church’s function hall, above center, is where Uncle Verner Hughes had his 80th birthday party that we all attended in 1970, I think.

Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church Cemetery

Nanticoke Rd, Tyaskin, MD

Also on Find a Grave, and Facebook.

This cemetery is on the northern side of the Tyaskin area, closer to the Nanticoke than the Wicomico River, adjacent to the church.

Our ancestors interred here hail from the Hughes side of our parentage, our father’s mother — our 3x great-grandparents Caleb Hughes and Caleb’s wife Charlotte (Venables), and Caleb’s father Capt. Jesse Hughes.

Turns out the Sarah buried here is Jesse’s second wife (of 3), Sarah Harmonson Waters. His first wife, from whom we are descended, was Sarah McClester, who died in 1800. Her gravesite is unknown, according to Find a Grave.

Update: However, the Wicomico Cemeteries project places Sarah Hughes at the Mcclester – Evans Family Graveyard, which they said was overgrown with ivy, in the 1990s.

Sarah HUGHES, wife of Jesse Hughes, d. Feb. 26, 1800, aged 45 years

Jesse Hughes

was born Jan 29 1767
and departed this life Nov 29th 1838
Aged 71 years and 10 months.

Caleb Hughes

Died Jan 3rd, 1869
Aged 82 years
My father here lies underground
The dearest friend I ever found
But through the Lord’s unbounded love
We’ll meet again in realms above.

Charlotte Hughes

Died Dec 23, 1868
Age 75
Whilst in this tomb my mother lies
Her spirit rests above
In realms of bliss it never dies
But knows a Saviour’s love.



Don’t Fence Me In

One of the most exciting developments to come out of our trip to the Eastern Shore was the Maryland Land Record website.


Our helpful librarian gave us a tutorial on how to use the site [see Day Two: The Nabb Center] — it can be confusing and we wouldn’t have figured it out without him. By eliminating the present-day real estate concerns, we can concentrate on the Active Indices, 1665-1995. I already had an account at the site (no charge) so we were ready to go.

Mattie and I are such nerds that we’ve been delighted to plunge into this arcane site for the actual deed document images. And having fun 1) transcribing the handwritten deeds and 2) translating the legalese. We learned how to download the whole deed as a PDF. Then I can enhance the scan in Acrobat, and we attempt to read it all, misspellings and lack of punctuation included.


They are full of colloquial-seeming land descriptions, like this

“Also two lots or parcels of swamp land known as the Old Hopkins and John Q. Robertson’s land, beginning at a sassafras post in center of ditch and at a corner of the west side of Samuel C. Evans swampland.”

Consequently, we are looking for a sassafras post that was in a ditch in 1864.

But we were told that it was common to name these parcels of land, so we’re trying to find Belvedere (or Belvideer) and other parcels bordering on Shiles Creek, a tributary from the Wicomico River.


Shiles Creek map, from the Wicomico River Stewardship Initiative website

We have found one mention of our great-grandmother, Leah (Wainwright) Robertson (as George W.’s wife), in a Trustee Deed from 1847, a rare sighting of a mostly invisible woman.

And we’ve traced the history of the cemetery, backwards in steps from 1962 to 1895. It gets more problematic before that but we persevere. We know the cemetery was founded in 1876, but haven’t yet discovered that deed.