Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland

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This article is about a city in Maryland. For the surrounding county, see Baltimore County, Maryland. For other uses, see Baltimore (disambiguation).

United States  Gotoarrow.png  Maryland  Gotoarrow.png  Baltimore (Independent City)

MD Baltimore City map.png
Baltimore City Boundary Map.jpg

City Hall

100 N. Holliday Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202


  • Founded 30 July 1729, named for Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Lord Baltimore, Proprietor of Maryland.
  • Baltimore is anglicanized name for the Irish Gaelic name, Baile an Tí Mhóir, meaning the Town of the Big House referring to the O'Driscoll castle that still domains the town.
  • In the War of 1812, the British troops attacked Baltimore after the burning of Washington, D.C., on the night of 13 September 1814 in the Battle of Baltimore. It was the scene of the poem "The Star-Spangled Banner."
  • The Union troops occupied Baltimore to prevent the secession of Maryland from the Union during the Civil War, after Confederate sympathizers attacked the Union troops in the Baltimore riot of 1861. Maryland came under direct Federal administration.
  • 7 February 1904, the Great Fire of Baltimore destroyed more than 1,500 buildings in 30 hours.

Parent County

  • 1851--The City broke off from surrounding Baltimore County, 13 May 1851 as an Independent City.[1]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss



  • Abell, Belair, Coppin Heights, Inner Harbor, Waverly, Wyndhurst, more...

Neighboring Counties

Anne Arundel | Baltimore


Research Guides

Cemeteries Cemetery Listings for Baltimore City, MD. Includes contact information for many cemeteries in the county and volunteer contributed index lists for many of them.

A large card file of tombstone inscriptions for Baltimore is:

  • Loudon Park Cemetery (Baltimore, Maryland). Cemetery Records, 1853-1986. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1986. (On 66 Family History Library films beginning with 1429937.)
  • Loudon Park Cemetery, Baltimore City on BillionGraves. Page has Google map, you can search for a burial and photo of the headstone.

Other individual cemeteries:

BillionGraves: includes a partial transcription for

     Western Cemetery-Edmonson Ave. and Longwood St., Baltimore, MD 21234


Federal Census reports available 1800-1930 including slave and veterans schedules.

Police Census

1868--The Baltimore City Archives has a police census for some city wards of Baltimore on one microfilm.

Church Records

Maryland State Archives' Guide to Maryland Religious Institutions identifies all churches known to have existed in the Baltimore City, Maryland. It covers all denominations and includes record descriptions. The following records, taken from its collection, have been digitized and made available to view for free online:

Roman Catholic

Archdiocese of Baltimore
Chancery Office
320 Cathedral St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone (301) 547-5446

Area included in the archdiocese: Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard counties and the city of Baltimore.

The Diocese of Baltimore was the first Catholic diocese in the United States. Established in 1789, it included the entire country at the time. Records were transferred to the new dioceses as they were created. Original sacramental records are kept by the parishes. Microfilm of sacramental records for about seventy-five parishes, mostly Baltimore city churches established before 1900, are available for public use at the Maryland State Archives in Annapolis. The central archives has no records of use to genealogical researchers. Certificates are issued by the parish of origin.

Diocesan history: The Premier See: A History of the Archdiocese of Baltimore 1789-1989, Thomas W. Spalding (Baltimore, Md. : Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989).

Catholic newspaper: The Catholic Review
PO Box 777
Cathedral St.
Baltimore, MD 21203
the newspaper is not generally helpful to genealogists - carried few obituaries. The earlier newspaper for the diocese was The Catholic Mirror, 1850-1908. The newspapers are on microfilm at the main branch of the Encoh Pratt Library in Baltimore.


Directories ($) has Baltimore City Directories 1863-1923 (5 yrs. missing) available online. Fold3 is free at some libraries and at National Archives research rooms.


Family Histories

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]


  • [Brispo] Russell, George Ely. "Portuguese and Spanish Colonists in Seventeenth-Century Maryland," The American Genealogist, Vol. 76, No. 1 (January 2001):50-60; Vol. 77, No. 1 (Apr. 2001):138-147.
  • [Decosta] Russell, George Ely. "Portuguese and Spanish Colonists in Seventeenth-Century Maryland," The American Genealogist, Vol. 76, No. 1 (January 2001):50-60; Vol. 77, No. 1 (Apr. 2001):138-147.
  • [Philpot] Russell, George Ely. "Brian Philpot Family of Maryland: With Notes on English Relatives," The Genealogist, Vol. 17, No. 2 (Fall 2003):131-165.



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 Baltimore City 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. [Discusses overseas contacts of individuals with the following Baltimore County surnames: Albers, Anspach, Barry, Barton, Beatty, Beays, Belt, Bolte, Brothers, Brown, Browne, Brune, Buchanan, Burke, Campbell, Caton, Clarke, Courteney, Dickey, Dicky, Donnell, Dormy, Dorsly, Duncan, Gernon, Gillmer, Gilmore, Gittings [Gettings], Goverts, Graf, Grant, Grundy, Gwin, Haslett, Hoffman, Hollins, Holmes, Hudson, Kalkman, Konig, Lone, McCreery, McFadon, Maris, Merryman, Moncrieff, Olliver, Patterson, Pringle, Salmon, Sears, Sherlock, Smith, Somervell, Spears, Sterrett, Stewart, Stiles, Taylor, Thompson, Thorowgood, Valck, Von Kapffe, Von Stapff, Walsh, Williams, Williamson, Wilson, Yellot, Young, Zwisler.]
  • List of imported servants and transported convicts from Europe who served labor terms in Colonial Baltimore City and 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 Baltimore City Deed Books (1653-present) have been uploaded to their website: MDLandRec.Net: A Digital Image Retrieval System for Land Records in Maryland. (Requires free registration.)

Local Histories


The Baltimore City History website identifies historic city maps.


Revolutionary War
  • 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, Baltimore City on page 128.]
  • "Baltimore Privateers from 1777 to 1783," The Maryland and Delaware Genealogist, Vol. 31, No. 2 (Spring 1990):46-47; Vol. 31, No. 3 (Summer 1990):88-89, .... FHL US/CAN Book 975 B2m.
War of 1812

Cranwell, John Philips and William Bowers Crane Men of Marque : a history of private armed vessels out of Baltimore during the War of 1812  (Norton, c 1940, New York) pages 427  Bibliography pages 415-418, FHL 975.26 M3

Civil War

Since the city broke off from surrounding Baltimore County in 1851, the Civil War records for the city of Baltimore will be in the city's military records rather than with the county's records. 


Though it does not appear on the Family History Library Catalog under the naturalization section of the City of Baltimore or Baltimore County, the Family History Library has acquired published abstracts of Baltimore naturalizations from 1784 through 1854:

  • Oszakiewski, Robert Andrew. Maryland Naturalization Abstracts. Baltimore County and Baltimore City [1784-1854]. Westminster, Maryland: Family Line Publications, 1995. Available at FHL US/CAN Book 975.2 P48o.





Vital Records


Societies and Libraries

Baltimore City Genealogical Society - Part of GenWeb project. Links to Marriages, Baltimore Death Certificates, Obituaries, Births, Baltimore Death Index, Divorce, Ship passenger lists, Military, Immigration, Wills, Family group sheets, Census, Church records of Marriage, Birth, Death and Baptisms.

Family History Centers

Web Sites


  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 181. [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].