Rose Hill Washington County

Sources:  Cemetery Website:;

‘History of Western Maryland’ Vol II, Thomas Scharf

We visited this cemetery in mid-June 2015. It is very peaceful and exceptionally maintained.  It is Washington County’s oldest public cemetery.  It was established in 1865 with the direction and guidance of William T. Hamilton, who became Maryland’s Governor in 1879. 

It is the final resting place, as of this writing, of 42,000 souls.  Many of its residents are politicians of the area and many are soldiers of all wars including the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.  The size of this cemetery is daunting especially if your goal is to photograph and transcribe predominantly the German families of the area.  We did the best we could, transcribing and photographing over 700 graves.  Having 42,000 burials, I was very happy to see that the cemetery lists all burials and has a database that is searchable.  If you are looking for someone and we were unable to capture that individual or family visit their database on their website at

The cemetery got the name ‘Rose Hill’ because the land it sits on was originally a track of land belonging to the Wroe family (Dr. John Wroe and family).  The land was granted by the King of England in the 1700s.  The doctor’s home was on a hill and this later became known as ‘Wroe Hill’.  The name became ‘Rose Hill’ in 1866 when it was chartered as a cemetery for the people of Washington County.

It currently rests on more than 110 acres.  The map shows the many sections of ‘Rose Hill’.

Incorporated within this cemetery is another cemetery, that for the Washington Confederate Cemetery.  This is similar to the set up at Loudon Park in Baltimore.  This was purchased in 1871 for the burial of the Confederate soldiers who died, many in the bloody Antietam battle, as well as South Mountain.  The cemetery holds almost 2500 Confederate soldiers. Only 346 were identified.

To view the photographs of this cemetery, click here.

We also found during our trip that there was at one time a St. John's Lutheran Cemetery associated with the church in Hagerstown.  The graves that were once here were moved to Rose Hill.  There is a transcription of names found in Thomas Scharf's 'History of Western Maryland', found on the St. John's page on this site, click here.

Transcription of Stones