Recent SU Grad Looking For All Gravesites in Dorchester County - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Recent SU Grad Looking For All Gravesites in Dorchester County

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Graves on Holland Island are in danger of being lost forever. (Photo:WBOC) Graves on Holland Island are in danger of being lost forever. (Photo:WBOC)

CAMBRIDGE, Md.-  There are likely thousands of gravesites scattered across Delmarva, some home to thousands of memorials, others maybe home to only two or three.  A recent graduate from Salisbury University decided to map out the locations of all Dorchester County gravesites for her geography major final project.  Her map not only shows the locations of current gravesites, but also shows us what sites will be reclaimed by the bay in coming years.

The map has been the passion project of Ashley Samonisky for a year now.

"What started out as a simple country drive to help my grandmother collect some pictures and dates of family tombstones has turned into a full scale effort to document all of these sites," said Samonisky at a meeting held by the Dorchester County Historical Society on Wednesday.

Video Ashley shot shows the lengths she had to go to.  Long treks through the forest in search of gravesites that may not have been visited in generations, and not always do you find what you are looking for.

"If you find that the stones weren't washed away by tides, destroyed, damaged, overgrown, crept over by agriculture, then the rest have disappeared through time," said Samonisky.

Many more will disappear by 2100.  Sea level rise and sinking landmass will claim over 100 sites in the lower part of the county.  Samonisky wants to do something to preserve the memory of those people.

"Where you have the stones and the bodies are well gone, can we find somebody who will donate property to reset the headstone so at least there is a place for the family to go to?  I don't know, that's why I want to have these discussions," she said.

Discussions that will hopefully lead to a solution soon, because even by 2050, several sites will be lost.

Ashley Samonisky's map can be found by clicking here.

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