Tombstone Cold Case – Basil Dorsey, Jr.

Basil Dorsey, Jr.
Basil Dorsey, Jr.

Basil Dorsey, Jr.

On my walks thru the Central Church Cemetery in New Market, MD. I noticed a plain, small and very old stone that caught my attention. It seemed so diminutive and simple that I wanted to find out a bit about the person buried beneath the stone.  As you can decipher from the photograph the information on the stone is limited –   Basil Dorsey, Jr. (1768-1823).  Nothing else is inscribed other than the name and date.  I decided to add this to my list of Cold Case Tombstones stories. This is a hobby of mine; just choosing a random tombstone and researching.

Basil Dorsey, Jr. was the son of Basil Dorsey (1720-1799) and Harriet Harris (1775-1829).  Jr. was born on Valentine’s Day in Anne Arundel County. In reading local history books it is written that his father, Judge Basil Dorsey,  was appointed the Justice for Frederick County, MD in 1777.

Basil Jr. and Harriet had two daughters Maria (1793-1812)  and Cordelia (1798-married Vachel Randall. and Cordelia.  Cordelia first married William Downey, and secondly Rev. Nicholas Dorsey of Elkridge, a Methodist preacher.

The article,  McKinsey Folger, “New Market’s Name believed Derived from Nearby Plains”  Frederick News Post 24-Sept-1941: pg 10. shares additional information about Cordelia Dorsey Downing. Pat Bishop’s article titled, “Central UM Church plans Hymn Sing Sunday” Frederick News Post 6-Nov-1971: pg 4-B4. Explains that Cordelia Downey donated the land for the church that sits across from her grave.  Isn’t it ironic that father of the person who donated the land has such a diminutive grave. 

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