Burials of Grace Lutheran and German Reformed Churches within Mt. Hebron Cemetery of Winchester, Virginia


Burials of Grace Lutheran and German Reformed Churches within Mt. Hebron Cemetery of Winchester, Virginia. Shenandoah Valley Genealogical Society. 2010.

Mount Hebron Cemetery, within the city limits of Winchester, Virginia, is the resting place for many of the earliest settlers of the Northern Shenandoah Valley. Officially part of the Virginia Landmark Register, including its dramatic gatehouse, the cemetery is a beautiful tribute to our earliest citizens. Its occupants include its share of Revolutionary War soldiers and their families, and people who deserve recognition as the founding families for the area.

The Shenandoah Valley Genealogical Society organized the project of transcribing all the legible stones that are inclusive of the 2 oldest sections of Mt. Hebron. The cemetery is now made up of 4 sections. The oldest areas are the German Reformed Church and the old Lutheran Church sections.

The Winchester congregation of the German Reformed church was formed under the name of Reformed Calvinists (or German Reform) about 1741. The building for this church no longer exists, but burials are handled through what is now the Centenary United Church of Christ, which sits on the corner of South Cameron Street and Cork Street in Winchester.

The Lutheran Church began building its church near the ruins of the older German Reformed Church in 1764. Following a fire in 1854, the remaining wall of that church still stands. There is a Memorial Garden formed within the lines of the old foundation of the church, and those cremations are included within this list of burials. Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church of Winchester held a fundraiser to restore the remains of the old church wall, create sidewalks, and upright and repair some of the oldest stones. Grace Lutheran Church is currently on Boscawen Street.

Mt. Hebron was created on a five-acre plot of land by the General Assembly in 1844, where the nonsectarian cemetery was built next to the older cemeteries. Following the Civil War, about 1866, another section of Mt. Hebron became the Stonewall Confederate Cemetery, and is believed to be the first memorial Confederate cemetery in the south. There is also a nearby area of Union burials along National Avenue (not considered part of Mt. Hebron). The total of 56 acres now remains a resting place for over 30,000 people.

Information on the history and development of the earliest sections of Mt. Hebron, which is the focus of this publication, can be found at the Stewart Bell, Jr. Archives of Handley Regional Library in Winchester. Newspaper articles, private collections, and photographs may be available as additional resources.

The following list is of the original sections from the two churches and does not include the main cemetery or the Civil War areas. Using the maps included, a researcher should be able to locate the gravesites. Although some more current burials rest along Morgan Lane (labeled as Section N), note that the older stones begin about four rows back from the road, and line up approximately with the Revolutionary War Marker towards N. East Lane. Also note that the plaque at the entryway does not include all the names of those who contributed to the Revolutionary War, and further research will be needed to make that list more accurate.

We hope that the work of diligent and dedicated volunteers who contributed their time and talents to this publication will result in successful researching for generations to come.

Susan L. McCabe
Founding Officer, Shenandoah Valley Genealogical Society