Dorchester County, Maryland Genealogy

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United States
Maryland
Dorchester County

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

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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
Courthouse
Dorchester County, Maryland Courthouse.JPG
Location Map
MD Dorchester map.png
Adoption
Edward Sackville

County Information

Description

The County was named for Earl of Dorset. The County has Cambridge as its seat and the County was created 1669. The County is located in the southeast area of the state.[1]

County Courthouse

Dorchester County Courthouse
206 High Street
P.O. Box 26
Cambridge, MD 21613
Phone: 410-228-0480
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

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
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1898 1780 1898 1669 1688 1790

Record Loss

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

Populated Places

The following are locations in Dorchester County, Maryland:[4]

Cities
Towns
Unincorporated communites
Census-designated places


History Timeline

Resources

Bible Records

Biographies

Business, Commerce, and Occupations

Cemeteries

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

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: "Wikipedia.org".
  • 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

  • 1668-1995 Maryland, Church Records, 1668-1995 at FamilySearch — index
  • 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.[5] A chapel of ease served parishioners on Taylor's Island.[6] See also the following parishes:

Court Records

Directories

Emigration and Immigration

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:

  • 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 a resident of Vianna (Vienna, Dorchester County) with the following surname: Dennis.
  • List of imported servants and convicts from Europe who served labor terms in Colonial Dorchester County, Maryland (work in progress), courtesy: Immigrant Servants Database. Includes Richard J. Cox's abstracts of Maryland Gazette runaways.

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes

Genealogies

  • 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 Books Online; 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 ($); first select Virginia Genealogist, The from the Database list. Then select Volume number. FHL Book 975.5 B2vg.

Guardianship

Land and Property Records

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

Maps and Gazetteers

Migration

Military Records

Revolutionary War

Dorchester County men served in the 5th Maryland Regiment.[7]

  • 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

  • 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

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.

Naturalization and Citizenship

Newspapers

Dorchester County, Maryland Old Newspapers are available online.

Obituaries

Other Records

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

Probate Records

Online Probate Records

School Records

Tax Records

  • 1678, 1681 1678 and 1681 Dorchester County tax lists, available online, courtesy: MDGenWeb.
  • 1783 Dorchester County Tax List of 1783: This is an alphabetical index to names to all property owners assessed. The index cards at the Maryland State Archives include county, hundred, names of tracts of land and whether individuals were paupers or single males as provided in the law.

Vital Records

Birth

Marriage

Death

Divorce

Research Facilities

Archives

Family History Centers

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes.

Libraries

Museums

Societies

Websites

Research Guides

References

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Dorchester," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorchester_County,_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), Maryland.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Dorchester County, Maryland," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorchester_County,_Maryland, accessed 20 August 2018.
  5. Trinity P.E. Church, The Historical Marker Database, accessed 7 March 2011.
  6. Chapel of Ease Old Trinity Episcopal Church Circa 1707, The Historical Marker Database, accessed 7 March 2011.
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "5th Maryland Regiment," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5th_Maryland_Regiment, accessed 31 May 2012.
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