Ewing Cemetery Burials by Date

Looking over a list of those buried in Ewing Cemetery raises the question of how they are related — assuming that all those buried in a family cemetery would share some family connection. That assumption has spurred efforts to discover what those relationships are and to make that information available to persons researching their family history. See GENEALOGICAL CONNECTIONS.

Studying a list of burials in the order in which they were made prompts some different questions about relationships and also about life in Shaver’s Creek Valley in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Let’s take the first two names on the list below as an example.

Alexander and Ann Henry McCormick were among the earliest settlers in the valley, having come from Fannett Township, Cumberland County, about 1775. At that date, both Fannett Township and Shaver’s Creek Valley (then entirely within Barree Township) were contained within the vast original boundaries of Cumberland County.

The Alexander McCormick and Thomas Ewing families occupied neighboring farms at the base of Leading Ridge, some three miles distant from the village of Manor Hill and the cemetery now known as Ewing. In 1781, a daughter of each family — Elizabeth (Betsey) McCormick and Katharine (Katie) Ewing — were kidnapped by Indians and taken to Canada, a mutual experience that would surely have drawn the families together. [See STORIES for more on the kidnapping.] In 1787, when John Ewing and Elizabeth McCormick were married, the two families were joined by yet another bond. All of which seems to suggest there is good reason why the McCormicks would rest in the Ewing Cemetery. But there is a fundamental problem with that explanation.

The farm on which the Ewing Cemetery is located was a part of Shaver’s Creek Manor (owned by William Penn’s heirs) until 1792, when it was deeded to John Magill, who in turn deeded it to John Hennen in 1800. In 1829, the property passed from John Hennen to James Ewing and remained in the Ewing family until 1950.

The Ewing family’s long ownership of the property on which the cemetery is located, and the likelihood that they erected the fence sometime around 1900, explains why the cemetery has for a long time been called the Ewing Cemetery. But it is obvious from the dates of burial that the cemetery was established before John Hennen’s sale of the property to James Ewing. The many other families buried here suggest that it was, from an early date, a burying place for Shaver’s Creek families, particularly ones that were members of the Shaver’s Creek Presbyterian Church at Manor Hill.

Why families with close, early connections to that church chose to bury their family members in this cemetery, rather than the one adjacent to the church is unknown. The explanation could be as simple as that they preferred this site high on a hill, which was a favored location for many early burying grounds. Alexander McCormick Sr. was an elder of the Shaver’s Creek Presbyterian congregation, yet he (or his wife and family) preferred that he be buried here.

A factor that could have influenced that decision is one that we cannot, at this late date, discover much about: who were the earliest to be buried here in unmarked graves? This burying ground on the hill may contain the remains of the valley’s earliest settlers, whose descendants now lie in the marked graves that we see today. Perhaps the cemetery we now know as Ewing was the earliest place where the 18th century settlers of Shaver’s Creek Valley buried their dead, even before the church and cemetery in Manor Hill were established. Further research may shed additional light on this possibility, but unless more evidence is discovered in early wills, deeds, or family Bibles, we can only speculate on when and by whom this cemetery was established.


1807                McCORMICK, ALEXANDER Sr.

1814                McCORMICK, ANN HENRY

1821                GRAFIUS, NICHOLAS

1821                HANNEN, JAMES


1830               EWING, WILLIAM

1831                CRESSWELL, MARY

1835                CRESSWELL, MATTHEW

1837                McCORMICK, ALEXANDER Jr.

1837                ANDERSON, JAMES

1837                CRESSWELL, SARAH

1838                DRUMMOND, ANN H.

1840                EWING, THOMAS

1841                EWING, REBECCA

1842                McCORMICK, MARY

1842                HUGHES, JOHN

1843                GRAFIUS, ELIZABETH CORYELL

1844                LEONARD, JAMES

1845                ANDERSON, ISABELLA

1847                EWING, WILLIAM

1848                EWING, MAHLON

1848                JOHNSTON, MARY REED

1848                HENNEN, ALEXANDRA

1849                ANDERSON, HANNAH

1849                HENNEN, ELIZABETH


1851                EWING, NANCY

1852                FRAZIER, CLARA M.

1852                HENNEN, WILLIAM

1853                RUDY, JOHN

1856                NEFF, ISABELLA McCUNE OAKS

1857                OAKS, ANN McCORMICK

1857                EWING, ELIZABETH ANDERSON

1858                EWING, MARGARET C.

1858                FRAZIER, WILLIAM

1859                OAKS, REUBEN W.

186_                HENNEN, SARAH E.

1861                FRAZIER, HARRY

1862                HARRIS, NANCY

1863               EWING, DAVID

1864                RUDY, HENRY

1864                McMAHON, NANCY BELLE

1865                OAKS, WILLIAM

1867                EWING, JAMES

1867                CRESSWELL, ROBERT

1867                LEONARD, JANE

1869                CRESSWELL, MARY STEWART

1869                HUGHES, NANCY

1871                FRAZIER, JANE

1873                STRYKER, PENINA HUTCHISON


1875                BELL, MARGARET EWING

1875                RUDY, MARTHA EWING

1876                STEWART, THOMAS

1877                EWING, ELIZABETH CRESSWELL

1878                HUTCHISON, GEORGE

1879                RUDY, GEORGE

1879                HENNEN, MARTHA

1880                STEWART, MAGGIE J.

1880                HENNEN, MARY A.

1881                McMANIGAL, JAMES

1882                HUTCHISON, ELIZA HAGAN

1883                McMANIGAL, JANE BELL

1887                HENNEN, THOMAS

1887                HENNEN, JANE

1889                HENNEN, MARTHA J.

1890                McMANIGAL, EMILY

1891                HAGANS, MARY

1891                HENNEN, JAMES

1895                McMANIGAL, JOHN

1897                HENNEN, JAMES S.

1898                GEARHART, JENNIE

1898                McMANIGAL, EARL S.


1902                CROWNOVER, ETHEL

1903               EWING, WILLIAM

1904                EWING, MARY ANN

1904                HENNEN, JENNIE H.

1905                HENNEN, MARY A.

1914                HENNEN, ROBERT A.

1915                GLASS, ERMINA LILLY

1919                RUDY, WILLIAM BELL

1919                JOHNSTON, ROBERT E.

1923                GEARHART, LEVI

1923                GEARHART, CATHARINE RAMSEY


1935                HENNEN, ELIZABETH A.

1936               EWING, FRANCES J.

1936               EWING, CAROLINE K.

1936               EWING, MARY

1939                HENNEN, JOHN H.

1942                RUDY, ELIZABETH RAMSEY


1950                EWING, HENRIETTA J.

1951                HENNEN, JAMES C.

1951                JOHNSTON, IDOLLETTE EWING

1953                RAMSEY, MARY JANE