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Narcissus (McCudy) Reynolds


Mrs. Narcissus (McCudy) Reynolds is buried in Ellsworth Cemetery in Westminster, Maryland, likely near her daughter and husband.

Ms. Reynolds was born in North Carolina and was likely enslaved. Although records have not been found yet of her home in North Carolina, she probably worked in the fields alongside her parents. Decades before the Great Migration, she moved north. Sometime in the 1880s or early 1890s, she married Mr. Frederick Reynolds. They lived for a time in Baltimore and moved to Washington DC in the 1890s. Mrs. Reynolds worked as a dressmaker in that city, working from their home.

She had two children, Eva and Francis, who lived with her in the District. After her daughter’s marriage, she moved to Pennsylvania and lived with her daughter and son-in-law. Following her Eva’s death in 1920, she moved back to DC. (Note: We learn her maiden name from her daughter’s death certificate.)

Mrs. Reynolds lodged in various places, taking work as she could find it, often as a housekeeper.

She died in the fall of 1945, at least 90 years old. Having been born before the American Civil War, she would live to see her son fight in the first World War and see the ending of World War II. Mrs. Reynolds was buried in Ellsworth Cemetery, likely alongside her husband and daughter. Her grave is unmarked.