Dorchester County, Maryland Genealogy
Guide to Dorchester County, Maryland ancestry, family history, and genealogy, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and military records.
|Dorchester County, Maryland|
Location in the state of Maryland
Location of Maryland in the U.S.
|Founded||May 27, 1668|
|Address|| Dorchester County Courthouse|
206 High Street
P.O. Box 26
Cambridge, MD 21613
Dorchester County Website
- 1 Dorchester County Maryland Courthouse
- 2 History
- 3 Places/Localities
- 4 Resources
- 4.1 Cemeteries
- 4.2 Census
- 4.3 Church
- 4.4 Court
- 4.5 Family Histories
- 4.6 Gazetteers
- 4.7 Immigration
- 4.8 Land
- 4.9 Local Histories
- 4.10 Maps
- 4.11 Military
- 4.12 Newspapers
- 4.13 Private Papers
- 4.14 Probate
- 4.15 Taxation
- 4.16 Vital Records
- 5 Societies and Libraries
- 6 Websites
- 7 References
Clerk Circuit Court has marriage records from 1780. Divorce records from 1821, equity docket record from 1821 and corporation records from 1858.
- The county is believed to have been named after Dorchester, a city in England, or Edward Sackville, 4th Earl of Dorset, a family friend of the Calverts.
- Created 27 May 1668 from Colonial lands.
- 15 June 1773, Caroline County was set off.
- For animated maps illustrating Maryland county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Maryland County Boundary Maps" (1637-1997) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.
1852--Fire burned courthouse.
- There are gaps in the court records. Some were probably lost in the fire of 1852.
For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:
- Burned Counties Research in the FamilySearch Research Wiki.
- Arlene Eakle, When the Records are Gone in the Tennessee Genealogy Blog.
- Michael John Neill, Burned Counties in Family History Circle.
|Tombstone Transcriptions Online||Tombstone Transcriptions in Print||List of Cemeteries in the county|
|Findagrave.com||Family History Library||Findagrave.com|
|MDGenWeb Archives||WorldCat||Billion Graves|
|See Maryland Cemeteries for more information.|
Dorchester County cemetery transcriptions in the US Genweb Project and other sources. Dorchester County Cemeteries
For tips on accessing Dorchester County, Maryland Genealogy census records online, see: Maryland Census.
- 1776 Transcription and Index
- 1850 Slave
- 1860 Slave
- 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
It is anticipated that this bibliography will eventually identify all known family histories published about residents of this county. Use this list to:
- Locate publications about direct ancestors
- Find the most updated accounts of an ancestor's family
- Identify publications, to quote Elizabeth Shown Mills, about an ancestor's "FAN Club" [Friends, Associates, and Neighbors]
- 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.
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.]
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.)
- 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.]
- 1861-1865 - Maryland, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch — index
- 1861-1865 - Maryland, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch — index
Regiments. Service men in Dorchester County, Maryland Genealogy 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 County, Maryland Genealogy:
- - 1st Regiment, Maryland Eastern Shore Infantry, Companies A, B, and C.
- Dorchester County newspapers are identified in "Guide to Maryland Newspapers," available online, courtesy: Special Collections, Maryland State Archives.
Dorchester County, Maryland Old Newspapers are available online.
- 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.]
- Probate Records, Colonial Index, 1634-1777 online at Maryland State Archives website - free
Online Probate Records
- 1635 – 1777 Maryland Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1777 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- 1635 – 1743 Maryland Calendar of Wills 1635-1743 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- 1796 – 1940 Maryland Probate Estate and Guardianship Files , 1796-1940 at FamilySearch images
- [1678, 1681] 1678 and 1681 Dorchester County tax lists, available online, courtesy: MDGenWeb.
-  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.
- 1658 - 1940 Maryland County Marriages, 1658-1940 at FamilySearch — index
- 1666 - 1970 Maryland Marriages, 1666-1970 at FamilySearch — index
- Maryland Marriage References by Robert Barnes - free.
- Marriage Records - Maryland State Archives
- 1898 - 1944 Maryland Death Index 1898-1944
Other Dorchester County death record resources include:
- Dorchester County, Maryland Cemeteries, Death Certificate Indexes, Death Certificate Abstracts, Abstracts of Obituaries are available online.
Societies and Libraries
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. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.
- Dorchester County, Maryland Genealogy, History and Facts (Genealogy Inc)
- The Dorchester County MDGenWeb Project, a member of The MDGenWeb Project, an affiliate of The USGenWeb Project.
- "Dorchester Co.," in Genealogical Sources in Periodicals at The Maryland State Archives.
- The USGenWeb Archives Project, Dorchester County.
- The USGenWeb Archives Project, Dorchester County. (Backup site)
- FamilySearch Catalog, Dorchester County
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Dorchester, Maryland page 317, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- "List of Counties in Maryland," Wikipedia.
- Trinity P.E. Church, The Historical Marker Database, accessed 7 March 2011.
- Chapel of Ease Old Trinity Episcopal Church Circa 1707, The Historical Marker Database, accessed 7 March 2011.
- Wikipedia contributors, "5th Maryland Regiment," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5th_Maryland_Regiment, accessed 31 May 2012.