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Guide to St. Mary's County Maryland genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

United States go to  Maryland go to  St. Mary's County

Hand and keyboard.jpg Maryland
Online Records

St. Mary's County, Maryland
Map of Maryland highlighting St. Mary's County
Location in the state of Maryland
Map of the U.S. highlighting Maryland
Location of Maryland in the U.S.
Founded January 24, 1637
County Seat Leonardtown
Address St. Mary's County Courthouse
23115 Leonard Hall Dr.
Leonardtown, MD 20650
St. Mary's County Website

St. Mary's County Maryland Courthouse

Beginning Dates for St. Mary's County, Maryland Genealogy Government Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1898 1794 1898 1790 1781 1658

Clerk Circuit Court has marriage and land records.
Register of Wills has probate records.
The 1830 Census Missing.[1]

St. Mary's County Maryland History

Michaelangelos Pieta.jpg

The county is named after The Virgin Mary. It was the "first county named in a colony intended to be a haven for Catholics."[2]

The settlement of Lord Baltimore's Maryland began with the arrival of passengers from England at St. Clement's Island in the Potomac River in what is now southwestern St. Mary's County on March 25, 1634 (the anniversary of this landing being annually celebrated as Maryland Day). The passengers arrived in two vessels, the Ark and the Dove, which had set sail from the Isle of Wight on November 22, 1633. The county is also home to the first Catholic Mass celebrated in the original thirteen colonies.[3]

Parent County

  • Created 24 January 1637 from the Colonial lands

Variant Spellings

  • Saint Mary's[4]

Boundary Changes

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.

Record Loss

St. Mary's has suffered substantial record loss. For a list of record loss in Maryland counties see: Maryland Counties with Burned Courthouses

  • Lost census: 1890

St. Mary's County Maryland Places/Localities

Populated Places

Census Districts

Neighboring Counties


Maryland counties:

Virginia counties:

St. Mary's County Maryland Genealogy Resources


  • All Faith Cemetery
  • All Saints Cemetery
  • Charles Memorial Gardens
  • Christ Church Cemetery
  • Ebenezer Cemetery
  • Evergreen Memorial Gardens
  • Galilee Cemetery
  • Holy Face Cemetery
  • John Wesley Cemetery
  • Joy Chapel Cemetery
  • Mount Zion Cemetery [5]
  • New Saint Aloysius Cemetery
  • Old Saint Aloysius Cemetery
  • Old Saint Josephs Cemetery
  • Our Lady's Chapel Cemetery[6]
  • Point Lookout Confederate Cemetery
  • Queen of Peace Cemetery
  • Saint Andrews Cemetery
  • Saint Francis Xavier Cemetery
  • Saint Georges Cemetery
  • Saint Georges Cemetery [7]
  • Saint Johns Cemetery
  • Saint Josephs Cemetery
  • Saint Michael Cemetery
  • Saint Nicholas Cemetery
  • Saint Paul's Cemetery


Federal Census reports available 1790-1930, including slave and veterans schedules. Exception-1830 census is missing. For tips on accessing St. Mary's County, Maryland Genealogy census records online, see: Maryland Census.


Maryland State Archives' Guide to Maryland Religious Institutions identifies all churches known to have existed in St. Mary's County, Maryland. It covers all denominations and includes record descriptions.

Protestant Episcopal
  • 1833-1859 - Poole, Martha Sprigg. "St. Andrew's Parish Register of Baptisms, Marriages and Deaths 1833-1859," Chronicles of St. Mary's, vol. 5, no. 2: Feb. 1957 (Abell to Craigg); vol. 5, no. 6: Jun. 1957 (Craig to Greenwell); vol. 5, no. 9: Sep. 1957 (Greenwell to Hutchins); vol. 6, no. 1: Jan. 1958 (Hutchins to Mareman); vol. 6, no. 5: May 1958 (Mareman to Payne); vol. 6, no. 10: Jun. 1958 (Payne to Stone); vol. 7, no. 1: Jan. 1959 (Tabbs to Watts); vol. 7, no. 3 Mar. 1959 (Watts to Wise); vol. 7, no. 4: Mar. 1959 (Wise to Wooton).


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]

For ancestors who lived in St. Mary's County in the 1600s, a Harvard graduate has probably studied your family. See Dr. Lois Green Carr's Biographical Files of 17th and 18th Century Marylanders (courtesy: Maryland State Archives).

  • [Abell] Abell, William Russell. The Abell Family of St. Mary's County, Maryland and the American Revolution. Des Moines, Iowa: privately published, 1984. Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online - free.
  • [Abington] Berkley, Henry J. "The Abingtons of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties," Maryland Historical Magazine, Vol. 25 (1930):251-255. FHL Book 975.2 H25m v. 25 (1930).
  • [Addison] Kennedy, Mary Selden. Seldens of Virginia and Allied Families. New York: Frank Allaben Genealogical Co., c1911. Digital versions of Vol. 1 at Google Books; Internet Archive | Vol. 2 at FamilySearch Books Online;Internet Archive; FHL Book 929.273 Se48k.
  • [Butler] See de Hinojosa.
  • [Carvile] See de Hinojosa.
  • [Chilton] Dorman, John Frederick. "The Chilton Families of Virginia and Maryland," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 11, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1967):71-78; Vol. 11, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1967):121-125; Vol. 11, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1967):167-174; Vol. 12, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1968):15-18; Vol. 12, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1968):83-86; Vol. 12, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1968):109-113; Vol. 12, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1968):169-175; Vol. 13, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1969):32-36; Vol. 13, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1969):65-71; Vol. 13, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1969):177-180; Vol. 14, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1970):15-22; Vol. 14, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1970):75-82; Vol. 14, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1970):123-128; Vol. 14, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1970):165-168; Vol. 15, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1971):32-41; Vol. 15, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1971):122-124; Vol. 15, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1971):259-264; Vol. 16, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1972):301-306; FHL Book 975.5 B2vg v. 11-v. 16; digital version at American Ancestors ($).
  • [DeButts] Russell, George Ely. "DeButts Family of Maryland and Virginia," The Genealogist, Vol. 12, No. 2 (Fall 1998):131-188.
  • [Decosta] Russell, George Ely. "Portuguese and Spanish Colonists in Seventeenth-Century Maryland," The American Genealogist, Vol. 76, No. 1 (January 2001):50-60.
  • [D'Hiniossa] Hoffman, William J. "Alexander D'Hiniossa, The Last Dutch Director on the Delaware," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 73, No. 4 (Oct. 1942):246-250. Digital version at New York Family History ($); FHL Book 974.7 B2n v. 73.
  • [de Hinojosa] Hoff, Henry B. "Alexander de Hinojosa and His Descendants in Maryland," The American Genealogist, Vol. 79, No. 4 (Oct. 2004):260-273.
  • [Ellyson] Wagner, Douglas W. Ellyson. "The Early Generations of the Ellyson Family," The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 72, No. 1. Reprint: FHL Book 929.273 A1 no. 6718.
  • [Forrest] Kennedy, Mary Selden. Seldens of Virginia and Allied Families. New York: Frank Allaben Genealogical Co., c1911. Digital versions of Vol. 1 at Google Books; Internet Archive | Vol. 2 at FamilySearch Books Online;Internet Archive; FHL Book 929.273 Se48k.
  • [Gerard] Weis, Frederick Lewis and Walter Lee Sheppard. Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America before 1700. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1992. FHL Book 974 D2w 1992.
  • [Gray] Russell, George Ely. "Francis Gray of Maryland and Virginia," The Genealogist, Vol. 25, No. 2 (Fall 2011):131-143. FHL Book 929.105 G286n v. 25, no. 2 (fall 2011).
  • [Guyther] See de Hinojosa.
  • [Leigh] Hoff, Henry B. "Alexander de Hinojosa and His Descendants in Maryland," The American Genealogist, Vol. 79, No. 4 (Oct. 2004):260-273.
  • [McFarlane] Finley, Carmen J. "The McFarlings: From Virginia to the California Gold Rush," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 44, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 2000):3-12; Vol. 44, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 2000):131-145; Vol. 44, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 2000):186-195; Vol. 44, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 2000):275-292. Digital version at American Ancestors ($). FHL Book 975.5 B2vg.
  • [Norris] Diller, Corinne Hanna. "Johns and Thomases: Using Named Farmland to Sort Identities among Norrises of St. Mary's County, Maryland," National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 86, No. 4 (December 1998):271-282. FHL Book 973 B2ng v. 86 (1998).
  • [Plater] Lomax, E.L. Genealogy of the Virginia Family of Lomax. Chicago: Rand McNally and Co., 1913. Digital version at Internet Archive - free.
  • [Vanswearingen] Daniels, Frances C.T. Some Descendants of Garrett Vanswearingen of St. Mary's, Maryland. Georgetown, Del.: A.B. and R.P. Thompson, 1983. Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online - free.
  • [Walker] Holtzclaw, B.C. "Asbury of Westmoreland County, Virginia," Virginia Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 5, No. 3 (Jul. 1967):55-65; Vol. 5, No. 4 (Oct. 1967):77-87; Vol. 6, No. 1 (Jan. 1968):10-26. Digital version at Ancestry ($).



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 St. Mary's County immigration resources include:


Through a Joint eGovernment Service of the Maryland Judiciary and the Maryland State Archives, free images and indexes of the complete series of St. Mary's County Deed Books (1781-present) have been uploaded to their website: MDLandRec.Net: A Digital Image Retrieval System for Land Records in Maryland. (Requires free registration.)

Local Histories


St. Mary's County Tract Map: 1705 by Dr. Russell Menard identifies early settlers and land locations.


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. 1967 reprint: FHL Collection 973 X2pc 1840. [See Maryland, St. Mary's County on page 127.]
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, St. Mary's County, pp. 154-155. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]




Chronicles of St. Mary's is published by the St. Mary's County Historical Society. A subject and author index is available on their website.


Research Guides

  • Reno, Linda. “Research in St. Mary’s County.” Maryland Genealogical Society Journal 50, no. 1 (2009): 119-125.


  • [1678, 1681] 1678 and 1681 Saint Mary's County tax lists, available online, courtesy: MDGenWeb.

Vital Records

  • 1640-1820 - St. Mary's County, Maryland, Marriages: 1638-1820 at St. Mary's Families - free. "The marriage database contains 10,096 marriages, most of which occurred in St. Mary's County, Maryland between 1637 and 1820. Source records include County Court Records (marriage licenses), wills, deeds, extant church records (St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, and St. Inigoes Catholic Church, including marriage and baptisms) and Prerogative Court Records (compiled by V.L. Skinner, Jr.)."
  • 1794-1864 - Brumbaugh, Gaius Marcus. Maryland Records: Colonial, Revolutionary, County and Church from Original Sources. Vol. 1. Baltimore, Md.: Williams & Wilkins Company, 1915. Digital version at Google Books. "Marriage Licenses of St. Mary's County, 1794-1864 (7533 Persons)," is available online, see pages 313-405 and index.

St. Mary's County Maryland Genealogy Societies and Libraries

  The Society of the Ark and the Dove was founded in 1910. It was formed to fellowship those that trace their descent from Lord Baltimore and those that arrived on the Ark and the Dove in 1634 to settle Maryland. This society is multifaceted, encouraging research of early Maryland history and promoting and supporting Museums, Historical Foundations and Societies.

Family History Centers

St. Mary's County Maryland Genealogy Websites

St. Mary's County Maryland Genealogy References

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), St Mary’s County, Maryland page 318, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. List of Counties in Maryland,] Wikipedia.
  3. Wikipedia
  4. William Hand Browne, ed., Archives of Maryland: Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly of Maryland October 1678-November 1683 (Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 1889).
  5. Family History Library Film Number 599840 item 4 page 105
  6. Family History Library Film Number 599841 item 3 page 125
  7. Family History Library Film Number 599840 item 4 page 112