Maryland Biography

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Beginning Research
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Local Research Resources

Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Biographies in Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • Biographical information is often found in state, county, and town histories.
  • Towards the end of the 19th century, began publishers soliciting short biographical/family histories from local founding families, offering to publish them in an upcoming local history. This then became an incentive for family members to buy a copy of the book.
  • Families represented were not necessarily prominent. Practically everyone living there, especially in the Midwest, counted as an early settler.
  • These biographies often start with the first member of the family to settle in the area, and detail their descendants at the time of publishing. They may tell where the family moved in from. Children's marriages often are given, with maiden names included.

Finding Biographies[edit | edit source]

  • The county Wiki page lists several county histories. It also lists local libraries, and societies which probably have copies of local histories.
  • Many histories are no longer under copyright and can be found in the following online, digitized book collections. Search with keywords "History" and "the name of your locality" (state, county, or town).
  • The FamilySearch library has extensive collections of these local histories. Many are digitized. Search the FamilySearch Catalog under your locality for the topics "Biography" and "History".

The Maryland Historical Society and the Enoch Pratt Free Library have major collections of biographical materials.

Among other resources, the Maryland Historical Society has a Genealogical Index  which is a card index to several collections in their library. It is described in more detail at their website.  

The "Biography File" at the Enoch Pratt Free Library is a 180-drawer card index to newspaper clippings, local histories, and periodicals from the 1800s and 1900s.

Guides to biographical sketches include:

  • Andrusko, Samuel M. Maryland Biographical Sketch Index. Volume 1. Silver Spring, Md.: Samuel M. Andrusko, 1983. FHL Book 975.2 D3a. This indexes over 10,500 biographical sketches.
  • Passano, Eleanor Phillips. An Index to Source Records of Maryland: genealogical, biographical, historical Baltimore, Md: Genealogical Pub., 1967. Reprint. Original published 1910. FHL Book 975.2 D22p 1967. This is an excellent index to biographical and genealogical information. A portion of the book can viewed at Google Books
  • Indexes to the Maryland Historical Magazine give references to numerous biographical sketches.

The following are examples of helpful collections of biographical information:

  • Papenfuse, Edward C., et al. A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 1635-1789, Two Volumes. Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979, 1985. FHL Book 975.2 N2p This dictionary has considerable information on early Maryland families.
  • Spencer, Richard Henry. Genealogical and Memorial Encyclopedia of the State of Maryland. . . Two Volumes. New York, N.Y.: The American Historical Society, 1919. FHL Book 975.2 D3s; Film 1000060 items 1-2; Fiche 6046929. This work contains three- to four-page biographical sketches.
  • Men of Mark in Maryland: Biographies of Leading Men in the State. Four Volumes. Washington, D.C.: Johnson-Wynne Co., 1907-12. FHL Book 975.2 D3m. This work contains three- to four-page biographical sketches.
  • Biographical Cyclopedia of Representative Men of Maryland and District of Columbia. Baltimore, Md.: National Biographical Publishing Co., 1879. FHL Book 975 D3b; Film 1000059 item 3.