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Rachel Pye


Ms. Pye was born in this area in 1834. Her parents, Mr. Charles Pye and Mrs. Eliza Adams Pye, were possibly enslaved, although records have not been found. They were first enumerated as free persons, living in Westminster, Maryland, in 1840.

Ms. Pye’s parents are buried in Strawbridge United Methodist church cemetery, having been relocated there when the expansion of Route 31 required the movement of the Toop cemetery. Since the Toop people where enslaved by the Shrivers, it is possible that she and her parents were enslaved by them as well.

By 1850 at age 16, Ms. Pye was working out as a servant in the household of Mr. William Brown. Later, she moved to live with and work for Mr. Elijah Crout, a local lawyer. When he died suddenly, while giving a speech in court in 1875, she remained with his widow, moving to her sister’s house. That is, they moved in with Mrs. Sarah Crout’s sister, Alice Morthland. 

When Rachel’s daughter, Mary, was born in 1854, Mary lived with them, until she was a teenager. She moved to Baltimore for a few years, and then to New York.  During the last year of Ms. Pye’s life, in 1903, Ms. Rachel Pye lived with her daughter, Mary, who took care of her. 

Mary moved back to New York, and when she died, her body was returned here to Westminster, and she is buried next to her mother. 

Maryland State Archives