Descendants of Christian and Barbara Geiman have succeeded in saving a family cemetery threatened by development.
With help from the county, the genealogical society and the property owner, the family has preserved a small plot at Bachmans Valley and Hoover Mill roads.
The plot, north of Westminster, is less than a tenth of an acre and was to be part of a six-lot subdivision called Danlyn Section 3 owned by Carol Bare of Westminster, said Franklin G. Schaeffer, chief of the Bureau of Development Review.
Geiman descendants aren't sure how many people are buried in the cemetery, but they suspect a minimum of three and a maximum of 30 graves, according to a letter to the county from descendants Floyd L. and Dru Ann Click of Westminster.
Christian Geiman, who died in 1845, and his wife Barbara, who died in 1838, definitely are buried there, and it's a good possibility their 2-year-old child, who died in 1820, was too, the Clicks wrote.
Christian Geiman was a farmer who went to Philadelphia from Germany in the 1700s with his brother, David, said Craig Geiman, 32, a rural letter carrier who lives in Baltimore and is Christian Geiman's great-great-great grandson.
The brothers eventually bought and farmed land in Carroll County. David Geiman is buried in a cemetery on Old Bachmans Valley Road, Craig Geiman said.
Headstones on the graves of Christian and Barbara Geiman were moved to Black Rock Cemetery in Pennsylvania, but the family doesn't know when or why, Craig Geiman said. This made the original burial ground hard to locate, he said.
Descendants also ran into trouble because the deed for the Geiman property noted a family graveyard on the land before the 1920s but not after, Craig Geiman said. A title company or lawyer made a mistake when the property was transferred at that time, he said.
After receiving letters from descendants asking for help in preserving the cemetery, the county asked surveyor Robert T. Fishpaugh of Westminster to locate the cemetery, according to an Oct. 2 letter from the county commissioners to Craig Geiman. The county tries to protect burial sites from development, Mr. Schaeffer said.
The Geiman cemetery's dimensions have been established, and the parties involved are in the process of preparing a plat to record the burial ground and Ms. Bare's land separately in land records, Mr. Schaeffer said. Title to the burial land will be given to Christian Geiman's heirs, he said.