[Barbara Blake, Asheville Citizen-Times (Citizen-Times.com), May 18, 2008]
BARNARDSVILLE – In a grassy hillside cemetery in the heart of Barnardsville Saturday afternoon,
surrounded by dozens of his descendants from numerous states, Revolutionary War veteran Martin
Maney was finally honored for his military service 178 years after his death.
In a somber ceremony that included bagpipe and musket salutes, a stirring rendition of “Taps” and
the laying of wreaths, two grave markers were unveiled on the hillside of the Maney Cemetery, one
for Martin Maney and one for his wife, Keziah, mother of his six children.
Although it had all the markings of an elaborate military funeral service, it seemed like more of a
family reunion of generations of Maneys that just happened to be set inside a cemetery.
“There are a lot of people I don’t know anymore, and this has brought us together,” said Jack
Radford, who accompanied his 90-year-old mother, Gladys Maney Radford, to the gathering.
The Irish immigrant turned American patriot and finally tobacco farmer in northern Buncombe County
likely would have been overwhelmed by the ceremony surrounding the dedication of the grave
markers. Some 200 people — many of them with the name Maney on their nametags — attended the
patriotic affair, which had representatives from Daughters of the American Revolution and Sons of
the American Revolution from North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Two dozen incarnations of the American flag from the 18th century to today flapped in the spring
breeze on poles attached to the fence surrounding the Maney Cemetery. Nearly everyone present
was dressed in red, white and blue.
Seven generations buried together
Pat Maney and her husband, Ed, a sixth-generation descendant of Martin Maney, live on 19 acres of
Martin Maney’s original 100-acre farm adjacent to the Maney Cemetery and were key players in
planning Saturday’s dedication. It was an emotional day for Pat Maney.
“(Parts of the ceremony) made me cry,” Maney said as a steady stream of Maneys from across the
Southeast came up to give her a hug. “I just kept thinking about this man who fought for us, who
came all the way here from Ireland and fought in the North Carolina Militia, and now here we are. I
can’t forget what he did.”
Neither could dozens of other Maneys who came to pay tribute to their patriotic ancestor and, in
some cases, to meet distant relatives for the first time.
“It makes me feel good that probably 80 percent of the people here are Maney-related, and some,
we really are meeting for the first time,” said Pauline Maney Watkins, a sixth-generation descendant.
Diane Maney Rosseter, a seventh-generation descendant, was on photo duty for much of the
afternoon. During a pause in the ceremony, she gazed across the hillside cemetery surrounded by
buttercups blowing gently in the spring breeze.
“A member of every generation of Maneys is buried in this cemetery,” she said quietly. “Seven
generations are buried here.”