All In the Family

Long before the age of mass communication and home entertainment (which began withe the invention of the phonograph in 1877) was a time when isolating yourself in your home truly meant isolating yourself from the world.  This was a time when your community was your world.  All you would know of the world, your country, your state and the area around you came from your community.  The world was very large.  Life was slow paced.  This was a time when taking good care of yourself ensured your main means of transportation was also being taken care of, that being your feet.  Longer distances were traveled on the back of your horse, which you kept in your back yard, if you were lucky enough to have one, a livery stable if you did not.  (livery stables were also places you could lease a horse if you did not want to own one.)  Great distances were traveled by train, with steam locomotives.

The pace of life was slow and easy.  Everyone in your community knew everyone.  Everyone in your community was your neighbor.  Everyone in your community was your concern.  Everyone in your community cared about you like you were family.  Communities counted on their residents for many things entertainment notwithstanding.  And thus the advent of the community band in America.  Such bands once numbered in the several thousands.  These bands would play for community concerts, memorial services, dances, parades, funerals etc.  They were the pride of their community.

At the age of 20 he moved to a small community in Washington County Maryland and worked on the construction of the C&O canal.  He would later run his own business in his community.  His gift was in hand working, being very proficient in the playing of the coronet.         When he married Charlotte Shifler he was a twice widowed father.  And with Charlote had a son Robert who married

  Hannah,  and had a daughter

  Fannie, who married John and had

 Carroll,  who had

 Dotty,   who had  this,    who had


the great great great great grand children of


George Washington McCoy who in 1837, at the age of 20, founded the McCoy Coronet Band which later became the Rohrersville Community Band.  A band that will celebrate its 175th anniversary this year making it the oldest community band in the state of Maryland and second oldest in the America.  Continually supplying their community with music.  When the Civil War was literally in their back yard the band never disbanded, with the young sons of George Washington McCoy, the great great great great uncles of



    him and


serving in the Union Army as fifer and drummer boys.

From generation to generation, in this family, music has been the tie that binds.



2 thoughts on “All In the Family

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