John Welsh obtained a warrant for 100 acres of land in the area now known as Eldersburg on January 19, 1742 and called it “Welsh’s Delight”. He was able to patent it less than 2 years later. This irregularly shaped piece of property is designated on the map by the dotted lines. It would have included much of the central area of today’s Eldersburg. Parts of a dirt path going west (now Liberty Road) crossed through his property and probably made it a desirable place to settle. In addition, the valley on the northeast side of what is now Rt. 32 was a fertile site that had been used by Native Americans.
On March 25, 1751 a warrant was granted to him for another 869 acres. This second piece of property included most of the surrounding land and almost all of what is Eldersburg today. An exception was a parcel called “Arabia Felix” in the central portion of these sites owned by members of the Sewell family. John Welsh was able to patent this second parcel on April 5, 1752. He called this piece “Perseverance” and it was on this land that Holy Trinity was constructed in 1771.
On the map below, you will see that “Perseverance” is marked with a solid line and Welsh’s Delight is inside the large parcel and marked with a dotted line. Arabia Felix is in the center and shaded. Today’s Liberty Road and Route 32 are marked with xxx to help you put things into perspective. Holy Trinity is marked with the Church symbol. The general outline is from the original Patent Certificates and you can see the little trees and “the beginning” marked by the original surveyor. My husband, George has helped with the labeling and added today’s roads.
We do not know when John Welsh was born, who he married or when he died. It would seem likely that he and other members of his family are buried at Holy Trinity, but we have no evidence. There is a will for a John Welsh made in 1786 that may be his. He states that his property is to be sold and then divided among a son and other relatives.
John Welsh was certainly a pioneer and a man of substance. I feel sure that the naming of his land represented elements of his life. “Welsh’s Delight” may have been his first home, and “Perseverance” probably reflected the hardship and his beliefs.
“Perseverance” certainly reflects the efforts required to maintain the cemetery. Our Interim President mentioned this in her message. It is my hope that as you read about John Welsh and his property, you will realize that you too can do some little things to help maintain the cemetery.
Ann Parry Horvath