Dorchester County, Maryland Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Guide to Dorchester County, Maryland ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Cambridge
Organized: May 27, 1668
Parent County(s): Colonial lands
Neighboring Counties
Calvert  • Caroline  • St. Mary's  • Somerset  • Talbot  • Wicomico  • Sussex (DE)
See County Maps
Dorchester County, Maryland Courthouse.JPG
Location Map
Map of Maryland highlighting Dorchester County.png
Edward Sackville

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Dorchester County was named for Earl of Dorset. The county is located in the southeastern area of the state.[1]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Dorchester County Courthouse
206 High Street
Cambridge, MD 21613
Phone: 410-228-0481
Dorchester County Website

Clerk of the Circuit Court has marriage records from 1780, divorce records from 1821, court records from 1860, and other records from 1669, plat records from 1912, equity docket records from 1821 and corporation records from 1858.[2]

Dorchester County, Maryland Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[3]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1898 1780 1898 1860 1669 1852 1790
*Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1898. General compliance by the 1910s.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1852 -- Fire burned courthouse. There are gaps in the court records.

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit Hometown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[5]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Dorchester County, Maryland online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Maryland Cemeteries for more information

Census Records[edit | edit source]

For tips on accessing Dorchester County, Maryland Genealogy census records online, see: Maryland Census.

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 15,875
1800 16,346 3.0%
1810 18,108 10.8%
1820 17,759 −1.9%
1830 18,686 5.2%
1840 18,843 0.8%
1850 18,877 0.2%
1860 20,461 8.4%
1870 19,458 −4.9%
1880 23,110 18.8%
1890 24,843 7.5%
1900 27,962 12.6%
1910 28,669 2.5%
1920 27,895 −2.7%
1930 26,813 −3.9%
1940 28,006 4.4%
1950 27,815 −0.7%
1960 29,666 6.7%
1970 29,405 −0.9%
1980 30,623 4.1%
1990 30,236 −1.3%
2000 30,674 1.4%
2010 32,618 6.3%
Source: "".
  • 1776 Transcription and Index
  • 1778
  • 1790
  • 1800
  • 1810
  • 1820
  • 1830
  • 1840
  • 1850
  • 1850 Slave
  • 1860
  • 1860 Slave
  • 1870
  • 1880
  • 1890
  • 1900
  • 1910
  • 1920
  • 1930

Church Records[edit | edit source]

  • 1668-1995 Maryland, Church Records, 1668-1995 at FamilySearch — index- How to Use this Collection
  • Guide to Maryland Religious Institutions is not intended to be a complete listing of all Religious institutions in Maryland. It was originally based upon the churches recorded by the Federal Works Progress Administration during a records survey conducted from 1935 to 1941. It has been expanded by later acquisitions from religious organizations to the Maryland State Archives. The following records from their collection have been digitized and made available to view for free online:

Church of England
Trinity Church was built by 1690.[6] A chapel of ease served parishioners on Taylor's Island.[7] See also the following parishes:

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

The New Early Settlers of Maryland database is a great place to start searching for immigrants who had arrived in the colony by the 1680s. The database "comprises 34,326 entries from Gust Skordas' Early Settlers of Maryland and Carson Gibb's Supplement to the Early Settlers of Maryland." Available online, courtesy: Maryland State Archives.

Other Dorchester County immigration resources include:

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

  • Barnes, Robert W., F. Edward Wright, Vernon L. Skinner and Henry C. Peden. Colonial Families of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. 23 vols. Westminster, Md.: Family Line, 1996-2003; Lewes, Del.: Delmarva Roots and Colonial Roots, 2007. FHL US/CAN Book 975.21 D2b v. 1 ff. Dorchester County families appear in Vols. 7, 11, 13-14, 16, and 19.
  • Ennalls - "The Ennalls and Waggaman Families of Maryland," The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 2, No. 2 (Oct. 1893):98-105. Digital version at JSTOR - free.
  • Wright - Wright, Charles W. The Wright Ancestry of Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset and Wicomico Counties Maryland. Baltimore: Baltimore City Printing and Binding Co., 1907. Available at FamilySearch Digital Library; FHL; and Google Books.
  • Wroughton - Loeser, Rudolf. "Margaret (__) (Wroughton) (Attowell) Grimes and Some Relatives," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 42, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1998):111-118; Vol. 42, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1998):194-204. To locate digital pages use search form at American Ancestors by NEHGS ($); first select Virginia Genealogist, The from the Database list. Then select Volume number. FHL Book 975.5 B2vg.

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Through a Joint eGovernment Service of the Maryland Judiciary and the Maryland State Archives, free images and indexes of the complete series of Dorchester County Deed Books (1669-present) have been uploaded to their website: A Digital Image Retrieval System for Land Records in Maryland. (Requires free registration.)

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • History of Dorchester County, Maryland. 1902. By Elias Jones. Baltimore, Williams & Wilkins. Online at: Internet Archive.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Talbot CountyCaroline CountyWicomico CountySt. Mary's CountyCalvert CountySussex CountyMD DORCHESTER.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]

Dorchester County men served in the 5th Maryland Regiment.[8]

  • A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services: With their Names, Ages, and Places of Residence, as Returned by the Marshalls of the Several Judicial Districts, Under the Act for Taking the Sixth Census. 1841. Digital version at Google Books et. al. 1967 reprint: FHL Collection 973 X2pc 1840. See Maryland, Dorchester County on page 128.

War of 1812[edit | edit source]

  • List of Pensioners on the Roll, January 1, 1883; Giving the Name of Each Pensioner, the Cause for Why Pensioned, the Post-Office Address, the Rate of Pension Per Month, and the Date of Original Allowance... Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1883. FHL Collection 973 M2Lp v. 5; digital versions at Google Books and Internet Archive. See Vol. 5, Maryland, Dorchester County, pp. 145-146. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Regiments. Service men in Dorchester served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Dorchester:

- 1st Regiment, Maryland Eastern Shore Infantry, Companies A, B, and C.

World War II[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Dorchester County, Maryland Old Newspapers are available online.

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Private Papers

  • Coldham, Peter Wilson. "Intercepted Letters Relating to America 1777-1811," The Genealogist, Vol. 14, No. 2 (Fall 2000):184-200; Vol. 15, No. 1 (Spring 2001):53-74. Overseas correspondence of residents of Vianna (Vienna, Dorchester County) with the following surname: Dennis.

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Online Probate Indexes and Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in Dorchester County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Maryland Archives and Libraries.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Listed below are libraries in Dorchester County. For state-wide library facilities, see Maryland Archives and Libraries.

Dorchester County Library
303 Gay Street
Cambridge, MD 21613
Phone: 410-228-7331
Fax: 410-228-6313
TDD: 410-228-0454

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Dorchester County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Maryland Societies.

Dorchester County Historical Society
902 LaGrange Ave.
Cambridge, MD 21613-2009
Phone: 410-228-7953

Lower Delmarva Genealogical Society
Box 3602
Salisbury, MD 21802-3602
Includes material for Dorchester, Wicomico, Somerset and Worcester Counties.

Upper Shore Genealogical Society of Maryland
P.O. Box 275
Easton, MD 21601

National Society United States Daughters of 1812
Maryland - Kitty Knight Chapter

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Dorchester," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ",_Maryland."
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Maryland.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Dorchester County, Maryland. Page 317-318 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 308-309.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Maryland.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Dorchester County, Maryland," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Maryland, accessed 20 August 2018.
  6. Trinity P.E. Church, The Historical Marker Database, accessed 7 March 2011.
  7. Chapel of Ease Old Trinity Episcopal Church Circa 1707, The Historical Marker Database, accessed 7 March 2011.
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "5th Maryland Regiment,", accessed 31 May 2012.