Washington County, Maryland Genealogy

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United States
Maryland
Washington County

Guide to Washington 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: Hagerstown
Organized: September 6, 1776
Parent County(s): Frederick[1]
Neighboring Counties
Allegany  • Frederick  • Adams (PA)  • Franklin (PA)  • Fulton (PA)  • Loudoun (VA)  • Berkeley (WV)  • Jefferson (WV)  • Morgan (WV)
See County Maps
Courthouse
Washington County Court House Hagerstown, Maryland.jpeg
Location Map
MD Washington map.png
Adoption
General George Washington

County Information

Description

The County was named for George Washington. The County has Hagerstown as its seat and the County was created September 6, 1776. The County is located in the northwest area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse

Washington County Courthouse
P.O. Box 229
24 Summit Avenue
Hagerstown, MD 21741
Phone: 301-733-8660
Washington County Website

Clerk of the Circuit Court has marriage records from 1799, divorce and land records from 1776, court records from 1797 and military district. records
Other records may be found at the Washington County Free Library in Hagerstown.[3]

Washington 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[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1898 1799 1898 1797 1776 1777 1790
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1898. General compliance by the 1910s.

Record Loss

1871 On December 6, 1871 the courthouse was destroyed by fire.[5]

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

Boundary Changes

  • Washington County was created September 6, 1776 from Frederick County and has 458 square miles which contains 3 National Parks, 7 State Parks, 14 County Parks, and numerous City and Town Parks.
  • County seat: Hagerstown[6]
  • Allegany County was formed from Washington County on December 25, 1789.

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.

Populated Places

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:[7]

Cities
Towns
Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places


History Timeline

Washington County was the first county in the United States named for General George Washington, who later became the first President of the United States. Washington County lies in the heart of the Great Valley, which extends down from Central Pennsylvania through Tennessee. The county is located in the portion of the Great Valley known as The Cumberland Valley located north of the Potomac River. The lower portion of the Cumberland Valley is drained by Antietam Creek and Conococheague Creek. [8] Washington County has 24 graceful stone arch bridges built between 1819 and 1863.

Resources

Bible Records

Biographies

Business, Commerce, and Occupations

Cemeteries

Cemeteries of Washington 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 Washington County, Maryland Genealogy census records online, see: Maryland Census.

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1790 15,822
1800 18,650 17.9%
1810 18,730 0.4%
1820 23,075 23.2%
1830 25,268 9.5%
1840 28,850 14.2%
1850 30,848 6.9%
1860 31,417 1.8%
1870 34,712 10.5%
1880 38,561 11.1%
1890 39,782 3.2%
1900 45,133 13.5%
1910 49,617 9.9%
1920 59,694 20.3%
1930 65,882 10.4%
1940 68,838 4.5%
1950 78,886 14.6%
1960 91,219 15.6%
1970 103,829 13.8%
1980 113,086 8.9%
1990 121,393 7.3%
2000 131,923 8.7%
2010 147,430 11.8%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

Federal Census reports available 1790-1930 including slave and veterans schedules.

Church Records

  • 1668-1995 Maryland, Church Records, 1668-1995 at FamilySearch — index
  • St. Mary’s Catholic Church Records: 1818-1900, Hagerstown, Washington County, Maryland by Marsha Lynne Fuller, CGRS. [9] The Church, its history, cemetery, and the poet priest, Father Abram J. Ryan. It includes copies of church records and information taken from Priest’s Journal, 1786-1911, Baptisms, 1818-1900, Marriages, 1818-1900, Confirmations, 1852-1871, and Deaths, 1853 - 1900. (2001) $
  • Maryland State Archives' 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, taken from its collection, have been digitized and made available to view for free online:

Additional Washington County church resources include:

For more information about Churches in Maryland please refer to the Maryland Church Records page.

Court Records

Directories

Emigration and Immigration

  • List of imported servants and transported convicts from Europe who served labor terms in Colonial Washington County, Maryland (work in progress), courtesy: Immigrant Servants Database. Includes Richard J. Cox's abstracts of Maryland Gazette runaways.
  • Naturalizations of Washington County, Maryland, Prior to 1880 by Marsha Lynne Fuller, CGRS.[10] This is an essential source book for anyone researching immigrant ancestors. Washington County was in the middle of two major migratory routes: the National Road and the southern access to the Valley of Virginia. The naturalization documents include the ancestor’s name, date of birth, place of birth, date and port of emigration from Europe and immigration into this country, as well as witnesses. Records are from 1798 to 1879. This work abstracts text of 1700 courthouse documents and provides an alphabetical listing of all immigrants plus an index of full witness names. (1998, 2001). $

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes

Genealogies

  • [Beal] Bounds, Eleanor Poe. Biehl/Beal--Kuefer Descendants. Effingham, Ill.: E.P. Bounds, 1997. FHL Collection.
  • [Fuller] Fuller, Marsha Lynne, CGRS. Family Bible Records in the Washington County Free Library, Hagerstown, Maryland. Westminster, MD: Willow Bend Books, Heritage Books, 2003 $
  • [Fry] Fry, Ronald E. Andrew Fry (1765-1842) and Some of His Descendants: With Notes on Allied Families: Motz, Frederick, Secrist and Others ... Monticello, Ind.: R.E. Fry, 1989, c1982. FHL Book 929.273 F945r.
  • [Ginder] Kintner, Elgin P. Ginder--Gindner--Kintner--Lamb connection to Crites--Earhart. MSS. Microfilmed 1982: FHL Film 1317052 Item 8.
  • [Heflibauer] Rohrbach, Lewis Bunker. Hoffelbauer Genealogy, 1585-1993, The American Families Hefelbower, Heffelbower, Heflebower, Hefflebower, Heflybower, Hefflibauer, Heflibauer and Heffelbauer Together with Their German and Austrian Ancestry. Camden, Me.: Picton Press, 1993. FHL Book 929.273 H675rL.
  • [Householder] Rogers, Bessie R. The Householders of America: A Genealogy of the Descendants of Jonathan Householder of Butler, Pa., With Families from Pa. and Elsewhere. Salt Lake City, Utah: B.R. Rogers, 1947. FHL Film 517200 Item 4.
  • [Householder] Rogers, Bessie R. Householders of America: A Geneology [i.e. Genealogy] of Johannes Hausshalter, an Early Inhabitant of Maryland and Pennsylvania: With Families from Pennsylvania and Elsewhere of Householder, Housholder and Haushalter. Salt Lake City, Utah: B.R. Rogers, 1948. FHL Book 929.273 H816r 1948.
  • [Nead] Wurstner, Betty Miller. Genealogy of the Matthias Nead Family in America, 1752-1973. Typescript, Dunbar Library, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio. Copy: FHL Film 1871571 Item 21.
  • [Oliver] Rossin, Richard J. "Otho Oliver of New York City and Washington County, Maryland: His Parents and Descendants," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 143, No. 1 (Jan. 2012):5-20. Digital version at The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society ($); FHL Book 974.7 B2n v. 143.
  • [Parrott] Parrott, Irma Holter et al. Historical and Biographical Sketch, Parrott - Parrotte Family. 1954-1955. FHL Book 929.273 P249pi.
  • [Randolph] Randolph, Blanche Willie Grace and Deborah Ann Kraemer Small. The Randolphs of Prince William County, Virginia. Little Rock, Arkansas: B. Randolph, 1979. FHL Collection
  • [Randolph] Small, Deborah Ann Kraemer and Blanche Willie Grace Randolph. The Randolphs of Prince William County, Virginia, Volume II. Winter Park, Florida: D. Small, 1989. FHL Collection
  • [Randolph] Raski, Arma, James Randolph, and Glenita Guthrie. Additions, corrections to Vol. II, the Randolphs of Prince William Co., VA by Deborah K. Small.FHL 6075877
  • [Rule] Rule, William. The Rule Family of East Tennessee and Extended Points. Knoxville, Tenn.: W. Rule III, 1984. FHL Book 929.273 R861r.
  • [Rule] Rule, William. Up-date of "The Rule of East Tennessee and Extended Points." Knoxville, Tenn.: W. Rule, 1990s. FHL Book 929.273 R861r supp..
  • [Shaver] Shaver, Chester L. History of the Shaver Family in Washington County, Maryland and Somerset County, Pennsylvania. 2 vols. Clear Water, Md.: Jean Woods, 1980. FHL Book 929.273 Sh25sc.
  • [Shockey] Shockey, Donald E. and Thelma Irene Peterson Shockey. The Shockey Chronicles: Biographical Annals of the Shockey Family. 2 vols. Baltimore, Md.: Gateway Press, c1986. FHL Book 929.273 Sh72sh v. 1-v. 2.
  • [Shryock] History of Colonel Henry Shryock: Ancestor of Miss Nettie Carbaugh, Mrs. T. S. Montgomery, Miss Sarah Sryock, Miss Lynn Carbough, Miss Elissa Montgomery, Mrs. John J. Klouss, Miss Louise Lemley, Mrs. K. P. Jones, Mrs. William Miller, Jr., Colonel William Byrd Chapter, Wichester, Virginia. Typescript. Microfilmed 1978: FHL Film 1036817 Item 11.
  • [Shultz] Bushman, Katherine G. Shultz of Augusta County, Virginia: Being A Supplement to the Material Recorded in The Genealogical Record of the Schwenkfelder Families, Edited by Samuel K. Brecht, 1923. Staunton, Va.: K.G. Bushman, 1974. FHL Book 929.273 Sh92bk.
  • [Slusher] King, Hatcher and Alta King. Turman and Slusher Genealogy, 1757-1974: Christopher Slusher Sr., Wife, Eva, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, Fredrick, Washington counties, Maryland, Montgomery, Floyd counties, Virginia. MSS. Microfilmed 1974-1975: FHL Collection.
  • [Studebaker] Studebaker Family National Association and Ruth Epler Studebaker. The Studebaker Family: From the Palatinate Germany to America 1736, Our Forefathers Clement, Heinrich, Peter Studebaker. Tipp City, Ohio: Studebaker Family National Association, 1966-. 47+ vols. FHL Book 929.27305 St94sf.
  • [Vanswearingen] Daniels, Frances C.T. Some Descendants of Garrett Vanswearingen of St. Mary's, Maryland. Georgetown, Del.: A.B. and R.P. Thompson, 1983. Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online - free.
  • [Williams] Birch, Nicki Peak. "Tracking Basil Williams of Maryland and Pennsylvania Through Changing Residences and Multiple Marriages," National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 96, No. 1 (March 2008):23-37. FHL Book 973 B2ng v. 96

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 Washington County Deed Books (1776-present) have been uploaded to their website: MDLandRec.Net: A Digital Image Retrieval System for Land Records in Maryland. (Requires free registration.)

Local Histories

  • History of Leitersburg District, Washington County, Md. By Herbert Charles Bell [11] is a history of the early settlers of the Leitersberg District near Hagerstown, Maryland. This is first rate guide to the early genealogical records of the time and place. Full text can be accessed at Google Books and at FamilySearch
  • A History of Washington County, Maryland. By Thomas John Chew Williams[12] from the earliest settlements to the present time, including a history of Hagerstown, to this is added a biographical record of representative families prepared from data obtained from original sources of information. A snippet view can be seen at Google Books.
  • African American Manumissions of Washington County, Maryland. By Marsha Lynne Fuller.[13] This is an essential source book for anyone researching African American ancestors. Washington County was in the middle of two major migratory routes, the National Road and the southern access to the Valley of Virginia. The manumission documents include names and full physical description of the ancestor. They frequently include dates and places of birth as well as names of children. Records are from 1806 to 1862. This work is a full text of courthouse documents in their entirety with an index of all persons. $

Maps and Gazetteers

Washington MD

Gazetteers

Migration

Military Records

  • 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. 1967 reprint: FHL Collection 973 X2pc 1840. See Maryland, Washington County on page 127.
  • 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, Washington County, pp. 156-159. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.

The 1778 Oath of Fidelity lists for Washington County have been published in:

  • Brumbaugh, Gaius Marcus. Revolutionary Records of Maryland. Washington, D.C.: R.H. Darby Print., 1924. Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online - free.

For more information about the Military in Maryland please refer to the Maryland Military Records page.

Civil War

Regiments. Service men in Washington 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 Washington:

- 1st Regiment, Maryland Infantry, Potomac Home Brigade, Company E, F, and H
- 2nd Regiment, Maryland Infantry, Potomac Home Brigade, Company F
- 3rd Regiment, Maryland Infantry, Potomac Home Brigade , Company E
- 4th Regiment, Maryland Infantry, Potomac Home Brigade, Company A
- 6th Regiment, Maryland Infantry, Company H
- 7th Regiment, Maryland Infantry, Company A and I

Civil War Battle
The following Civil War battles were fought in Washington County:

  • Map showing Civil War battles in Maryland
  • The Bivouacs of the Dead: The Story of those Who Died at Antietam and South Mountain. Stotelmyer, Steven R., Baltimore, MD: Toomey Press, 1992. [19] 148 pages. Includes histories, maps and rosters of Antietam, Washington, Mt. Olivet and Elmwood Cemeteries.
Battle of Antietam.png
In Sharpsburg, the Battle of Antietam took place on Sept 17, 1862. This tragic battle found 23,110 men that had been either killed, wounded, or listed as missing. If they didn't die in the battle, they succumbed to disease or from the wounds that they had received. The little village was turned into a burial ground with the farm of William Roulette becoming the final resting place for 700 soldiers. Other of the dead were buried in fields surrounding this once peaceful little community. Antietam is considered a turning point of the Civil War.
  • Crossroads of war: Washington County, Maryland, in the Civil War by S. Roger Keller; [20] focuses on cross-section of the happenings of both civilians and the military with eyewitness accounts of events in Washington County history.
  • Events of the Civil War in Washington County, Maryland By S. Roger Keller, Dennis E. Frye;[21][22]Events of the Civil War shows that War through the eyes of one community drawn from letters, newspapers, regimental histories, diaries, family histories, and published and unpublished archival sources.

Military Websites

Naturalization and Citizenship

Newspapers

For more information about Newspapers in Maryland please refer to the Maryland Newspapers page.

Obituaries

Other Records

Periodicals

For more information about Maryland Periodicals please refer to the Maryland Periodicals page.

Probate Records

Online Probate Records

Probate records from 1777 are at:

School Records

Tax Records

  • 1783 Washington 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. NOTE: Although the county name is not at the top of this list, it is for Washington County.
  • 1783 "Washington County 1783 Tax Assessment," Western Maryland Genealogy, Vol. 7, No. 2 (Apr. 1991):77-82; Vol. 7, No. 3 (Jul. 1991):119-125; Vol. 7, No. 4 (Oct. 1991):169-174; Vol. 8, No. 1 (Jan. 1992):20-23; Vol. 8, No. 2 (Apr. 1992):65-71; Vol. 8, No. 1 (Jul. 1992):118-126; Vol. 8, No. 4 (Oct. 1992):169-175; Vol. 9, No. 1 (Jan. 1993):23-27; Vol. 9, No. 3 (Jul. 1993):126-131.
  • 1803-1804 Western Maryland's Historical Library has Washington County Taxes. 1803 - 1804

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

  • Washington County MD Genealogy
    Facebook
  • Washington County Historical Society
    135 W. Washington Street
    Hagerstown, MD 21740
    Phone: 301-797-8783
    Website
  • Smithsburg Historical Society
    20 East Water Street
    P.O. Box 403
    Smithsburg, MD 21783
    Phone: 301-824-7154
    Website
  • The Maryland National Guard Military Historical Society, Inc.
    Fifth Regiment Armory
    219 29th Division Street
    Baltimore, MD 21201-2288
    Phone: 410-576-1496
    Fax: 410-702-9060
    Email: historian@marylandmilitaryhistory.org
    Website

Websites

Research Guides

References

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Maryland.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Washington, Maryland," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_County,_Maryland."
  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. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Washington 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.
  5. History of Leitersburg District, Washington County, Md. Herbert Charles Bell, Leitersburg, Md., Published by the author, 1898; page 13.
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Maryland.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  7. Wikipedia contributors, " Washington County, Maryland," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_County%2C_Maryland, accessed 19 August 2018.
  8. Know Your County-Facts about Washington County and its government, League of Women Voters of Washington County, MD 2006, p. 4
  9. Marsha Lynne Fuller, CG, St. Mary’s Catholic Church Records: 1818-1900, Hagerstown, Washington County, Maryland. , 2007, 5½x8½, paper, index, 698 pp. ISBN: 1585497703. This book and author can be found at Heritage Books$
  10. Marsha Lynne Fuller, CG, Naturalizations of Washington County, Maryland, Prior to 1880. The 2010 edition, 5½x8½, paper, index, 306 pp. This book and author can be found at Heritage Books.com $
  11. Herbert Charles Bell, History of Leitersburg District, Washington County, Md , Leitersburg, Md., Published by The author, 1898; can be found at WorldCat
  12. Thomas John Chew Williams, A History of Washington County, Maryland - Washington Co., Md - 1968 - 1347 pages Reprint of the ed published in 1906 by J. M. Runk L. R. Titsworth, Hagerstown, Md. WorldCat
  13. Marsha Lynne Fuller, CG, African American Manumissions of Washington County, Maryland 1997 - 265 pages with an index.(1997), 2001, 5½x8½, paper. This book and author can be found at Heritage Books$
  14. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 2 August 2012)
  15. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 7 August 2012)
  16. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 2 August 2012).
  17. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 7 August 2012)
  18. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 2 August 2012)
  19. WorldCat Reference
  20. Crossroads of war : Washington County, Maryland, in the Civil War, Edition: illustrated, Published by Burd Street Press, 1997, Original from the University of Michigan, Digitized Sep 22, 2008, ISBN 1572490365, 9781572490369, 312 pages WorldCat 36726487
  21. A snippet view is available at q=%22%22+washington+county%2BMaryland dq=%22%22+washington+county%2BMaryland client=internal-uds source=uds pgis=1 Google Books Events of the Civil War in Washington County, Maryland; Contributor Dennis E. Frye; Edition: illustrated, Published by Burd Street Press, 1995 Original from the University of Michigan, Digitized Sep 22, 2008, ISBN 0942597567, 9780942597561, 412 pages
  22. referer=brief_results Worldcat
  23. Google Books