Your Guide to Researching Maryland Ancestors

State Capital: Annapolis
First Settled: 1634
One of original 13 colonies.
Admitted as the 7th state in 1788

Wikipedia's Maryland entry gives facts and information about the state and you can click on any of the links at the bottom of the page for information about a county, city or other local informtion.

Maryland State Facts and Information (MyMaryland Genealogy site)
Click on a county on the map to get facts and informaton for that county.
Notice also the list of counties with destroyed courthouse and discontinued counties.

Maryland The 7th State ... " the only site you'll ever need to learn everything about Maryland... " (that's its subtitle)

* Basic Guides * Family History Library * Maps * Statewide Sites of Interest *
Websites of Libraries, Archives and Societies * Records * Share Research * More Links *

Basic Guides

Each of the three books listed below have a small section covering each state that includes maps, historical information, vital records coverage and a bibliography of resources for that state. If you do a lot of U.S. research, you may want to purchase on of them for your home library.

  1. Handybook for Genealogists ( 11th edition) (find in a library) (note: some libraries may have earleir editions; those are perfectly usable)
  2. Ancestry's Redbook (you'll want the 3rd edition) (find in a library)
  3. The Family Tree Resource Book for Genealogical Research (find in a library)

Books you might purchase or use in a library are listed below.

Online Guides

Use the Family History Library

Bookmark or print out these FHL documents:

Use the catalog at the FHL to find out what has been filmed covering the state of Maryland ; Then Click View Related Places in the upper right to find sources that have been filmed for the county you are researching and once there click View Related Places in the upper right to find sources that have been filmed for the township or city. You will want to check for resources in all three jurisdictions, although most people check the county holdings first, township next and state last.

Maps, Atlases and Gazetteers
(For general information, see my page on Maps, Atlases and Gazetteers)

Don't even think aboout starting research without a map at hand !

Statewide Sites of Interest

Next, see what is available for your counties of interest at at one of these statewide sites. For each, use the county selection list to find out what is available for the various counties. Content will vary.

Visit the websites of these libraries. archives and societies.

The premier source for Maryland research in Maryland and on the internet is the Maryland State Archives and the highlight of their website is the Archives of Maryland online.

Maryland is served by the National Archives Mid Atlantic Region. See their Family History Records at the Archives Facility [Mid Atlantic Region] for an overview of records they hold for genealogical research.

Find the public library in Maryland that serves the area you are researching (use the drop down). See also this list of Maryland Public Libraries

Visit the website of The Maryland Genealogical Society as well as other genealogy or historical societies in Maryland. The MGS publishes The Journal (used to be called Bulletin, which is now avialable on CD ) The tables of contents for each of the issues is available online.

Find other genealogical and historical societies

Find Records

Understianding What You Find in Maryland Records

Maryland Cemetery Records For general information, see my guide to cemetery records... it will open in a new window so you can leave it open.

Find online Maryland cemetery transcriptions through one of these sites

Maryland Census Records
(For general information, see my guide to census records, especially the section on how to locate and obtain census records.)

Maryland Church Records
(For general information on finding and using church records, see my guide to church records)

Maryland City Directories

  • The Archives of Maryland has scanned images of some city directories for Annapolis and Baltimore.
  • 1864 Baltimore City Directory

Maryland County and Local histories
(For general informaton, see my guide to finding and using county histories)

A bibliography of Maryland County Histories through Queen Anne's Co. is available on the Google books project from Filby's.

Maryland Early Settlers

Search Early Settlers of Maryland

Maryland Land & Property Records
(For general informaton , see my guide to land records-- it will open in a new window, so you can leave it open )

Maryland Institution Records, including slavery, criminal and court records

Maryland Military Rceords
(For general information, see my "Guide to Finding Ancestors in Military Records" -- it will open in a new window, so you can leave it open.)

Maryland Naturalizations (For genearal information about Naturalizations, see my "Guide to Finding and Using Naturalization Records"-- it will open in a new window so you can leave it open)

Maryland Newspapers and obituaries
(For general information, see my "Guide to Using Newspapers for Genealogical Research" -- it will open in a new window so you can leave it open)

Maryland Probate Records
(For general information, see my guide "Using Estate and Probate Records to Find Your Ancestors"--it will open in a new window so you can leave it open )

Maryland Vital Records
(For general information, see my page "Your Guide to Using U.S. Vital Records" -- it will open in a new window so you can leave it open)

Work with Other Researchers

Queries... Placing or answering queries at these sites might result in a mutually beneficial contact with other researchers

  • Gen Forum Maryland (this site doesn't break down by counties)
  • Rootsweb/Ancestry Message Boards for Maryland (select a county)

LookUps... You may find help at one of these sites and you may want to volunteer to help others...

More Links