The Dead Tell Much ley Hay,’” she says. “That was the name of a proper t y a long what is now East Chew Street, but she liked it better.” The name stuck to the neighborhood that now covers part of the colonial farm. The inscriptions on the weathered stones in the Radcliffe cemetery tell a story often repeated in the tombstone books that Seymour and the other volunteers recorded a quarter century ago. “J. Oliver Harrison, Only son of Oliver and Ellen J. Harrison, Drowned April 6, 1866 in the 16th year of his age.” A stone placed less than two years later memorialized Oliver and Ellen’s daughter, Florence, “Whose spirit passed from Earth Feb. 2, 1868, age 19.” Even a quick read of the four volumes reveals how common childhood death was in the not-so-distant past. The census-takers recorded
Nace Hopkins Historical Marker Route 50 and Barber Road, Trappe. stones in the small Valliant family cemetery at the “Claylands” on Ferry Neck, near Bellevue, that tell of the unspeakable trauma that befell parents John and Mary Valliant in 1836. On October 23, their daughters, eight-year-old Sophia Ellen and five-year-old Mary Emelia, died. The next day, their one-year-year old son, Adam James, died, and on October 30, their three-year-old, John Henry Clay Valliant, was also dead. In the introduction to Volume II of t he ser ies t hat covers t he southern part of Talbot County, Seymour wrote about the genealogical society’s efforts to record burial sites “in this 330-year-old county before more of our earliest private cemeteries are lost through erosion into our rivers or through destruction by plow or bulldozer.
The Radcliffe-Harrison family cemetery in St. Michaels. 32
Tidewater Times July 2017