‘A Giant Leap Forward

David Malakoff
american archeology magazine


23andMe Connects Living Family to Enslaved African American from Historic Site

23andMe Blog


Washington County family is first positively linked to Catoctin Furnace enslaved workers by new DNA technique

Erik Anderson
Fredrick News Post


All Saints’ Episcopal Church reflects on local history of slavery during Lent

Ceoli Jacoby
Fredrick News Post


DNA from enslaved 19th century Maryland girl traced forward to living relatives

Andrew Curry


The Initiative for the Science of the Human Past at Harvard sponsored a discussion about recent work in U.S. History from Prof. David Reich’s lab that deploys ancient DNA and Big Data to discover new genomic insights into the life stories of 27 enslaved African American Ironmakers at Catoctin Furnace MD, 1774-1850. Senior author David Reich and lead author Dr. Éadaoin Harney briefly recapitulated their findings and eminent experts from the Harvard community offered brief comments from their different disciplinary perspectives.

February 7, 2024

Science of the Human Past (SoHP), Harvard University 

Click here to watch 

American Bus Association’s Destinations Magazine, Jan/Feb 2024

ABA American Bus Association


Spend a Night in the Past: An overnight stay at the Forgeman’s House brings history into modern day

The Frederick News-Post


Gabrielle Lewis

The Frederick News-Post


Clara Neil

The Frederick News-Post


November 4, 2023

Episcopal Diocese of Maryland

The impetus for the “Trail of Souls” grew out of the Diocese of Maryland’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s mission to discover and be reconciled with the Episcopal Church’s involvement and complicity in slavery and its legacies. On November 4, 2023, the Trail of Souls Pilgrimage explored enslavement and its aftermath at three sites in Maryland including the Catoctin Iron Furnace and the Museum of the Ironworker. This video follows the pilgrimage of discovery and conciliation at All Saints Church, Sunderland in Calvert County, Catoctin Furnace in Frederick County, and Emmanuel, Cumberland in Allegany County.


Champion Silver Maple tree recognized at Catoctin Furnace

October 27, 2023

The Frederick



VOLUME 381| | ISSUE 6657

Aug 3, 2023

Click here to read

The genetic legacy of African Americans from Catoctin Furnace

Éadaoin Harney, Steven Micheletti, Karin S. Bruwelheide,William A. Freyman, Katarzyna Bryc, Ali Akbari, Ethan Jewett, Elizabeth Comer, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Linda Heywood, John Thornton, Roslyn Curry, Samantha Ancona Esselmann, Kathryn G. Barca, Jakob Sedig, Kendra Sirak, Iñigo Olalde. Nicole Adamski, Rebecca Bernardos, Nasreen Broomandkhoshbacht, Matthew Ferry, Lijun Qiu, Kristin Stewardson, J. Noah Workman. Fatma Zalzala, Shop Mallick, Adam Micco, Matthew Mah, Zhao Zhang, 23andMe Research Team, Nadin Rohland, Joanna L. Mountain, Douglas W. Owsley and David Reich

Community-initiated genomics

Ancient DNA is used to connect enslaved African Americans to modern descendants

Fatimah L. C.Jackson

Click here to read 

Tracing the genetic history of African Americans using ancient DNA, and ethical questions at a famously weird medical museum

Sarah Crespi, Kevin McLean, Titi Shodiya, Zakiya Whatley and Rodrigo Pérez Ortega

DNA study links thousands living descendants to African Americans buried at a former Maryland slave site

August 23, 2023

AFRO News: The Black Media Authority 


Ancestry and descendants of African Americans buried at Catoctin Furnace

August 22, 2023

Harrison Wein, Ph.D, Vicki Contie and Brian Doctrow, Ph.D.

NIH Research Matters


DNA Links 42,000 Living People to Enslaved and Free African Americans Buried in Maryland: The research, initiated by the local African American community, could be a roadmap for future genealogy studies

August 5, 2023

Margaret Osborne

Smithsonian Magazine 


The Baltimore Banner, “DNA links remains of enslaved people buried in Maryland to nearly 3,000 direct descendants:The highest concentration of descendants is in Maryland, according to the study” published this week in the journal ‘Science’”

August 5, 2023

Hugo Kugiya

The Baltimore Sun


African American History Revealed through DNA Analysis of Enslaved People at Catoctin Furnace

August 5, 2023

Martin Edwards 

Any Uak Media


DNA links enslaved people to living descendants

August 4, 2023

Aimee Cho

NBC4 Washington 



A landmark study opens a new possible way for Black Americans to trace their ancestry

August 4, 2023

Scott Maucione

NPR Morning Edition 


Old African American cemetery yields DNA links to 41,000 new ‘relatives’

DNA from 27 enslaved people buried near a Maryland iron forge was also tied to regions in Africa

August 4, 2023

Michael E. Ruane, Carolyn Y. Johnson and Aara’L Yarber

The Washington Post 


Ancient DNA reveals the living descendants of enslaved people through 23andMe

Aug 3, 2023

Ewen Callaway


Click here to read



DNA from enslaved Black workers at a 19th century iron forge links them to living descendants. But the research swirls with ethical questions

Aug 3, 2023

Andrew Curry


Click here to read


‘Ancient DNA’ tools and 23andMe database uncover African American ancestries of thousands

Aug 3, 2023

Usha Lee McFarling


Click here to read


Tracing Slaves to Modern Descendants

Aug 3, 2023

Jonathan Shaw

Harvard Magazine 

Click here to read


El ADN de 27 esclavos muertos hace siglos identifica a 42.000 parientes actuales en EE UU

Un estudio sin precedentes recupera los orígenes de miles de familias afroamericanas de cuyos ancestros no había registros

Aug 3, 2023

Nuño Domínguez

El País

Click here to read

Click here to read English translation


The analysis marks the first time historical DNA has been used to trace the descendants and distant cousins of enslaved people, researchers said.

Aug 3, 2023

Carl Zimmer

The New York Times

Click here to read


Historical DNA Reveals Connection between Living People to Early Enslaved and Free African Americans

August 3, 2023

23andMe – Ancestry (2nd blog post)

Click here to read


Catoctin Furnace sees return of blacksmithing after century of absence

Aug 2, 2023

The Fredrick News-Post

Click here to read


Historical DNA Reveals Connection between Living People to Early Enslaved and Free African Americans

July 20, 2023

23andMe – Ancestry (1st blog post)

Click here to read


Smithsonian Channel to air new documentary about story of Catoctin Furnace ironworkers

June 6, 2023

Mikayla Newton

DC News Now

Click here to read


Teaching history through historical landmarks

July 11, 2023

Click here to read



Catoctin Furnace holiday event shines light on facility’s history

July 2, 2023
Ryan Marshall
Fredrick News-Post 

Click here to read


Step back in time at the Maryland Iron Festival

March 15, 2023

Click here to read


The Landmark: Newsletter of the Frederick County Landmarks Foundation

Winter 2022-2023

Click here to read


From a Castle to a Caboose: 9 Awesome Overnights in Maryland

Jan 19, 2023

Click here to read


Painter, musicians pay homage to those once enslaved at Catoctin Furnace

Nov 6, 2022

Click here to read


The Trail of Souls: A Journey Toward Truth and Transformation

Jul 6, 2022

On September 12, 2020, the 236th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland passed Resolution 2020-06, creating a $1,000,000 seed fund for reparations. On May 26, 2022, the diocese began returning those funds to the Black community in the form of grants to organizations who are working to repair the breach that is systemic racism in Maryland while building up Black communities around the diocese. […]

Click here to watch The Trail of Souls: A Journey Toward Truth and Transformation


Maryland History and Culture News 

Winter 2022

Click here to read (pg. 21-22)


Forging memories: Catoctin Furnace hosts annual Maryland Iron Festival

Click here to read 


Journey Through Hallowed Ground Virtual Program: Catoctin Furnace

May 18, 2022

Watch the video of Catoctin Furnace as a part of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Byway

Click here to watch the JTHG Wednesday Virtual Visits


Washington Post Article – Uncovering the past: Exploring Black history in Frederick County

Jan 26, 2022

Read it here.


Using Science to Learn About the Catoctin Furnace’s Past

April 28, 2022

Read it here.


Experiencing Black History in Frederick County

See it here.



Traditional Village Christmas: Catoctin Furnace celebrates German heritage with old-time crafts, food, and a visit with the bizarrely wonderful Belsnickle

Dec 2, 2021

Read it here.


New Yorker Article on Black Cemeteries

Sep 27, 2021

Catoctin Furnace and its hallowed African American cemetery are mentioned in The New Yorker this week. Jill Lepore’s article, “Unearthing Black History,” explores conflicted views surrounding efforts to rescue African American remains. This is an important and timely read. Thank you to Jill and The New Yorker staff for exploring this subject. We will endeavor to do the right thing at Catoctin Furnace, searching for the descendant community while expanding our collective kinship.

Read it here.


Jeff Holland: On Catoctin visit, a walk into rich history | COMMENTARY

August 29, 2021

Read it here.


Washington Post Article

Faces of the dead emerge from lost African American graveyard, by Michael E. Ruane.  The bones of enslaved furnace workers tell the grim story of their lives.  Read it here.


Frederick News Post Article

Our recent unveiling, “Forged in Iron and Bone: Unveiling Faces of the Enslaved” was profiled in the Frederick News Post on June 25, 2021.  Read it here.


Philadelphia Magazine Article

Our web site was also mentioned in a recent Philadelphia Magazine article, contracted by the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area. 


Baltimore Magazine Article

Our web site was mentioned in a recent Baltimore Magazine article, contracted by the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area. 


Catoctin Furnace Historical Society in National Gardener Magazine!

The CHFS , the Green-walled Garden Club and our partners at the Silver Oak Academy are featured in the summer edition of the National Gardener Magazine sponsored by the National Garden Club.  Click here, and read pages 23-26.

Catoctin Furnace allowed dozens to get a taste for Black History Month

Culinary students from Silver Oaks Academy catered the lunch inspired by history. Check our news coverage on Local DVM here.

Grant helps with conservation efforts at Frederick County historical treasure: Catoctin Furnace

See our article in the Frederick News-Post.

Meet Valerie Tripp: A Q&A with American Girl book series mastermind before her appearance in Thurmont

Frederick News-Post

Click here to read

Why you should care about the Catoctin Furnace

Frederick News-Post

Click here to read

Abraham Lincoln in Song and Oh Freedom!

Thank you for supporting Abraham Lincoln in Song and Oh Freedom, Songs of the Civil Rights Movement.  If you missed the concert you can still listen to the music!  Click on the links below to download song samples of Chris Vallillo on Soundcloud:
From Oh Freedom!:
From Abraham Lincoln in Song:

Check out our Section 106 Success Story below!

Recognizing History: Landmarks honors Catoctin Furnace homes with plaques

Catoctin Furnace homes in the Frederick News-Post

April 29, 2015
Karen Gardner

Furnace Bar and Grill is proud of area’s history, and their food

The local business in the Frederick News-Post: Frederick News-Post

April 13, 2015
Ed Waters, Jr.

Buried Secrets: Study of skeletal remains may hold key to slave history

Catoctin Furnace Bioarchaeological Research in the Frederick News-Post: Frederick News-Post

April 12, 2015
Erik Anderson

Heritage Food Luncheon in the Frederick News-Post

The Heritage Food Luncheon, sponsored by the Catoctin Furnace Historical Society, Inc., Cunningham Falls State Park, Harriet Chapel, and the Silver Oak Academy was recently featured in the Frederick News-Post. Click here to read the article!

New Video of Catoctin Furnace and Springfield Manor

Check out our new aerial videos of Catoctin Furnace and Springfield Manor taken by Till Sonnemann using a Phantom II Quadcopter with a GoPro3+:

Catoctin Furnace Historic Site and Nearby Springfield Manor Winery and Distillery

This lovely oil painting of the Isabella stack and casting shed at Catoctin Furnace was painted by award winning artist Ellen Gavin of Millsville, New Jersey. Ellen painted the scene during a visit to the village in June 2014 and generously donated the finished work to the Catoctin Furnace Historical Society, Inc.

Bond Bill Success!

The Catoctin Furnace Historical Society has received a bond bill grant from the Maryland General Assembly! The grant, in the amount of $100,000, will be used for renovations to the Forgeman’s House. This would not have been possible without tireless support from Senator David R. Brinkley. The Catoctin Furnace Society also acknowledges help from Silver Oak Academy in this endeavor. To everyone who helped the CFHS along the way to this important moment, THANK YOU!

MHAA Grant Success!

The Catoctin Furnace Historical Society has received a Maryland Heritage Areas Authority Project Grant in the amount of $48,000 to complete the renovations to the Forgeman’s House. THANK YOU to all who supported this effort!

TRIPP Grant Success!

The Catoctin Furnace Historical Society has received a TRIPP Grant from the Tourism Council of Frederick County! The grant, in the amount of $6,000, will be used for display cases and exhibits in the “Museum of the Furnace Worker” at 12610 Catoctin Furnace Road. TRIPP grants (Tourism Reinvestment in Promotion and Product) are aimed at supporting tourism marketing and development by non-profit attractions in Frederick County. THANK YOU to the Tourism Council for all your support!