This website is dedicated to the descendents of the Welsh immigrants who left Wales - the land of currants, leeks and Caerphilly cheese - to come to America.
Some of these immigrants came from Herkimer and Oneida Counties and settled in Freedom during the early 1840's. Later, many others immigrated from Pennsylvania.
These settlers formed the congregation that built the Salem Welsh Church and buried their loved ones in the adjoining cemetery.
On September 26, 1926, a meeting was called at the church with all those interested in the upkeep of the little Salem cemetery asked to attend.
At this meeting, the Salem Cemetery Society, Inc. was organized. Its purpose was to put the cemetery in order and, if possible, provide and maintain perpetual care of the gravesites.
In response to appeals for funds, donations were received which enabled the Society to make the necessary improvements in the cemetery.
The earliest burial was Mr. Jno. D. Jones on August 27, 1856. The most recent was Charles N. Jones, on June 1, 2008.
Familiar Welsh names are found in the cemetery. Burials included surnames of Jones, Thomas, Williams, Parry, Davis and Davies, Hooper, Morgan, Wheeler, Charles, Roberts, Hughes, Anwyl and Owens. A complete listing of burials can be found here.
Salem is a privately owned cemetery. Plots are issued to Salem Cemetery Society members and only Welsh descendants and their families can be interred.
Once encircled all around with ornate fencing and a front gate, the original fence is now only on three sides of the property.
Several accidents and a widening of the roadway have caused the eastward facing front fencing and gate to be removed. A recent accident resulted in replacing damaged stones, re-setting a stone and, because it could not be replicated, a new fence was installed on three sides of the cemetery.
The Society has three elected trustees to govern the organization and a secretary/treasurer to maintain records.
Early minutes of the incorporation are missing. From the minutes on file, these persons have served as Trustees: Lewis Jones, Howard Jones, John R. Williams, Russell J. Williams, Clair Owens, Ray Quackenbush, Owen Roberts, Billy Jones, Richard Hughes, Ivah Jones, Floyd Marsh, Leonard Fuller, Donald Owens, Chris Jones, Lester Arnold, William Bruyere, Bill Goodman, Larry Baumgarden, Lon Owens, Ruth Morgan, Connie Owens Kaack, Donald Quackenbush, Olwen Quackenbush, and John Gratton.
The Secretary/Treasurer is elected annually. The minutes record Olwen Quackenbush, Helen Quackenbush, Carol Owens Bruyere, Marion Fuller, Cindy Jones Goodman, Sue Baumgarden and Lynda Williams Tucker as holders of this office.
Caretakers of the cemetery grounds were John R. Williams and Russell Jones Williams. Lawn maintenance is currently outsourced.
Until her death in 2004, Maude A. Williams presided as Chair. Her daughter, Lynda Williams Tucker, is now Chair.
Elected officers for 2015-2016 are:
Russell John Tucker, 3 year trustee
Connie Owens Kaack, 2 year trustee
Ruth Phillippi Morgan, 1 year trustee
Michelle Ward Folan, Secretary/Treasurer
Lynda Williams Tucker, Chair/Historian
Past Historian Donalene Jones Ring compiled many scrapbooks of photos and articles until her death in 2013. She also archived the Welsh translated records and other materials.
Obituaries for many of the persons buried in Salem are in the archives. If you have a name you would like researched, please click here.
© 2015 Salem Cemetery Society, Inc.