Stoner's Church Cemetery

 

According to a paper titled, "STONER'S (STEINER'S) CHURCH ALAMANCE COUNTY, N. C. (Taken largely from "Colonial Records"), "The second Reformed church in respect to age in the old Guilford Charge was the Stoner Church. Rev. Samuel Weyberg was the first pastor, and possibly organized the congregation. However, he was preceded by one Leinbach, a foreign German. The founders of the church were the Albrights (Albrechts), Fousts, Basons, Ephlands, Gerhards, Loys, Shaddies (Schades), Steiners, Neases, Trollingers, Sharps (Scherbs), and others whose descendants still people that fertile region on the waters of the Haw River, Alamance and Stinking Quarter Creeks. Those immigrants were mostly from the counties of Schuykill and Berks in Pennsylvania, and from Maryland. Their house of worship, in order to be central to the widely scattered settlements, was constructed on the point of land formed by the confluence of Alamance and Stinking Quarter streams. The place was very inconvenient of access, and this may account largely for its decadence. In its earliest days Jacob Albright, Peter Sharp, and John Foust were the Elders; Philip Snotherly and David Ephland the Deacons. This congregation fared as the other Reformed Churches in the colony for want of stated ministerial services, and was dependant on the occasional visits of Loretz, Hauck and others until 1821, when Rev. John Rudy became the pastor of the charge, and was succeeded three years after his dismission by Rev. J. H. Crawford, who in turn was succeeded in 1841 by Rev. G. W. Welker. Owing to various causes the congregation for several years without pastoral ministrations, and the house of worship became dilapidated, was allowed to go down and finally passed off the roll."

According to information by e-mail to this webmaster on 22 September 2001 by Mary Ellis (another Sharp/Albright descendent), "Stoner's Church became an active congregation about 1801. The church was dissolved about 1886. The cemetery is presently located in a pasture near the village of Belmont (near Graham) in Alamance County. It is thought that before they organized as Stoner's they were associated with the Lutherans who later formed St. Paul's Lutheran Church."

"The Church book of Stoner's was translated from the original German by Reverend D. I. Offman. A copy was type[d] from Rev. Offman's translation by Calvin Hinshaw in 1959. It is my understanding that a copy of the typed records is at Guilford College. I have also been told that the original records are in the Library at Catawba College, Salisbury, N. C. My information is that these records are in such a fragile condition that the public is no longer allowed to view them."

 

In 2006, the location of Stoner's Church cemetery is in a pasture on Rufus J. Dale’s farm in Alamance County on Bellemont-Kimesville Rd. near the village of Belmont (near Graham) just off hwy 49. Mr. Dale's address is 3360 Bellemont Mount Herm Burlington, NC 27215. His phone number is (336)226-4683. Please call Mr. Dale before you visit the cemetery.

Jim Powell is with the Stoners Cemetery Preservation Committee. It is advised that you contact the Alamance Foundation at 336-226-2214 to arrange to have the cemetery mowed prior to your visit.

Adjacent to the cemetery, there is a historic plaque, as shown in the first photograph. The GPS information of the cemetery is 36° 1.074 ' N, 79° 25.571' West.

Sharp, Albright, Garrett, and Graves ancestors of the webmaster are buried in this cemetery.

 

Below: This is the view looking uphill from the back of the cemetery when the cemetery has not been mowed. The historic plaque is near the tree at the top of the hill. This photograph shows the fence that surrounds the cemetery and very dense weeds obstructing the stones.

Below, the cemetery has been mowed. Red flags mark the location of partially buried tombstones.

 

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William Sharp (#49) is one of several Sharps buried in this cemetery.

 

 

 

 

"WILLIAM
SHARP,
Born
Oct. 18, 1794,
DIED
Jan. 28, 1862."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

William's wife, Elizabeth "Lizzie" Albright (#50) is buried nearby.

 

 

 

 

"ELIZABETH
SHARP,
Born
Oct. 12, 1792;
DIED
May 20, 187[2?]3."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sebastian (Boston) (Bostian Sharp (#97)... (William Sharp (#49)'s father)... is buried in this cemetery too, but his tombstone could not be located in 2006 by Susan Leach Snyder and her Sharpe cousins. According to burial records from the church, he was buried on January 24, 1847 and the ceremony was conducted by Dr. George W. Welker, D.D. Sebastian's wife (William's mother), Catharine Garrett (#98)'s tombstone was located.

 

"In MEMORY of
CATHARINE Wife
of BOSTON SHARP
BORN [Oct. 10, 1768]
DIED JULY 2[6] ,1849"

 

 

The source of the information in purple for the tombstone could not be deciphered from the stone because the stone was highly weathered when it was located in 2006. The dates are confirmed from Calvin Hinshaw's transcription of Rev. D. I. Offman's translation of Stoner's Church records, copied by Larry Noah in 1998.

 

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Sebastian (Boston) (Bostian Sharp (#97)'s brother and Elizabeth Sharp (#112)'s brother, Christian Sharp is buried at Stoner's Church Cemetery too.

 

“In Memory
of
CHRISTIAN SHARP
BORN
Oct. 6, 1778
Died
April 15, 1861"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Isaac Sharp (#193/223) and his wife, Maria Philopena Graves (#194/224)... (Sebastian (Boston) (Bostian Sharp (#97) and Christian's father and mother)... are also buried in the cemetery.

On April 18, 2006, Norman Sharpe (Isaac's and Maria's Great Great Great Great Grandson), Helen Leach (#4) (Great Great Great Great Granddaughter) and Sandra Henson, Mary Lue Finch, and Susan Snyder (#2)... all Great Great Great Great Great Granddaughters.... visited Stoners Church Cemetery. After probing the ground where the closest red flag is located in the picture below, Isaac's buried tombstone was located. For orientation to its location, the large stone at the top of the hill in the first photograph below is that of John Noe. The second photograph shows Isaac's stone.

Isaac's stone reads:

 

"ISAAC
SHARP DIED
1781"

 

 

 

Below: Mary Lue Finch and Sandra Henson (G-G-G-G-G-Granddaughters) clean off Maria Philopena Graves (#194/224) tombstone.

 

“In memory
of
Philopena
Sharp
Died
March 1815”

 

 

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Tombstones of three more Sharp family members of unknown relationship to the other Sharps described above were also found in the cemetery on April 18, 2006: Catharine Sharp, Barbara Ellen Sharp and Mary J- Daughter of "A. and G. Sharp."

 

"CATHARINE SHARP
BORN
APR. 15, 1820
DIED
Dec. 11, 1900
AGED
80 Y. 7 M. & 26 D"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Barbara Ellen
Sharp
Born
February 16th
1846
Died
September 6th
[1847]"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"MARY J.
Daughter of
A. & G. SHARP
BORN
Mar. 14, 1854
Died
Aug. 20, 1862
Aged 8 Y. 5 M.s & 6 D.s"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Henry Albright (#99) and his wife, Mary "Polly" Gibbs (#100) are also among the buried at Stoner's Church Cemetery..

Below: Henry's stone was quite small, very eroded and difficult to read. But his name was discernible.

 

Below: Mary Gibbs Albright's stone. By applying blue chalk to the stone, the engraving became more legible.

 

In November, 2009, the Daughters of the American Revolution honored Henry Albright at his gravesite with a ceremony and a new tombstone, as shown below.

 

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Jacob Albright (#197).... Henry Albright (#99)'s father... is also a veteran of the Revolutionary War, who is buried in the cemetery. Prior to 2006, a new stone was erected for him by the Sons of the American Revolution.

 

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Henry Garret (#195) and his wife Margaret Clark (#196), parents of Catharine Garrett (#98 (wife of Sebastian (Boston) (Bostian Sharp (#97) are also buried in the cemetery. Both stones are very difficult to read, but the names are legible. The document titled Investigations at Historic Stoner's Cemetery (31AM174,174**) by Dr. Linda France Stine, (PO Box 268, Julian, NC 27283; prepared for Stoner's Cemetery Preservation Fund Board, PO Box 2191, Burlington, N.C. 27216-2191, June 21, 1998) states that Henry's stone shows "Died in His LXXIVth Year Ap or Ad??" and there are 4 incised lines at the base. He was 69 when he died in 1815 according to her Dr. Stine's document.

Below: Henry's stone is at left and Margaret's is at right.

 

 

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John Jacob Graves (#103) is also buried in the cemetery. In 2006, when the photograph below was taken, the tombstone was covered in orange lichens and was difficult to read. The size and shape of the stone and the engraving style is the same as that of Henry Garret and his wife shown above. Old records of the cemetery show that Jacob died in his 74th year 10 Apr. 1820. Seventy fourth is written LXXIVth.

 


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Contact person for this website is Susan Snyder: susanleachsnyder@gmail.com