Church Record Sunday

Mountain Christian Church Photo by Pege,  found at findagrave

It may have seemed that I’ve been neglecting my ancestry research as I haven’t written as frequently lately, but things are not always as they seem. I have actually been off on yet another fascinating bunny trail that started when I wanted to write about my 3rd great grandfather the Sea Captain a couple of weeks ago for “Maritime Monday.” As I looked more closely at the information I already had about Captain Henry Gough McComas, I noticed that I had made note that he was buried at the Mountain Christian Church in Joppa, Maryland. This was fascinating, as the rest of this line (that married into the Turner family) in my family were all Quaker, all the way down to my great grandfather. I was so intrigued, that I delved into researching the history of this church and even contacted the still existent church in Joppa, Maryland. By pouring over records and written histories I learned that Capt. Henry Gough McComas’ parents, William McComas (1790-1857) and Ellen (Fort) McComas (1798-1859) had even donated the initial four acres of land that the original church building was built on, and is still part of the property where the church stands today; that William and Ellen, Ellen’s parents and various other members of the McComas family were all founding members of this church in Joppa. When I made contact with someone in the church whose last name was the same as my Capt. McComas’ wife’s- I soon learned, upon conducting a little  research on her late husband’s family, that we were related! As one of the church’s historians she sent me copies of church minutes from back in the Fall of 1846 (before they had organized under the new name and were still going by the name of “Union Chapel Church in Wilna”). In the meeting minutes my 4th great grandparents are mentioned, and there it is indeed stated that they gave the land for the new church site.  Further it is noted that William McComas served as superintendent of the building project without charging anything for his services.  These church records provide such great insight into the lives of our ancestors; into what they invested their time and resources into; what they truly valued. I wonder if they ever thought about some long into the future descendant discovering this about them?

 


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