Worcester County, Maryland

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''[[United States|United States]] > [[Maryland|Maryland]] > Worcester County'' [[Image:MD Worcester map.png|thumb|right|400px]]  
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''[[United States|United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Maryland|Maryland]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Worcester_County,_Maryland|Worcester County]]''
  
== Courthouse  ==
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{{MDDC}}  
{{RAOGKcourthouse}}
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*[[Worcester County, Maryland Courthouse|Worcester County, Maryland Courthouse]]
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*[[Worcester County, Maryland Register of Wills|Worcester County, Maryland Register of Wills]]
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== History  ==
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[[Image:MD Worcester map.png|thumb|right|350px]]
  
The county is named after Mary Arundell, the wife of Sir John Somerset. Her sister married [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C%C3%A6cilius_Calvert,_2nd_Baron_Baltimore Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore].<ref>[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Maryland_county_name_etymologies "List of Counties in Maryland,"] Wikipedia.</ref>
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=== Courthouse  ===
  
The 300 or fewer American Indians of Worcester county for the most part avoided fighting and preferred living next to their new British neighbors. They left the county by 1748 eventually ending up in [[Ontario|Ontario]].<ref name="WCMA">Reginald V. Truitt, and Millard G. Les Callette, [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/3016672&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;referer=brief_results Worcester County Maryland’s Arcadia] (Snow Hill, Md.: Worcester County Historical Society, 1977), 3-5. [FHL book 975.221 H2t; fiche 6087644]</ref>
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{| width="100%" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" border="1"
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|-
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| width="100%" bgcolor="#ffcc99" align="center" colspan="6" | <center>'''Beginning Dates for {{PAGENAME}} Government Records'''</center>
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|-
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| width="16.6%" align="center" | '''[[{{PAGENAME}}#Vital_Records|Birth]]'''
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| width="16.6%" align="center" | '''[[{{PAGENAME}}#Vital_Records|Marriage]]'''
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| width="16.6%" align="center" | '''[[{{PAGENAME}}#Vital_Records|Death]]'''
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| width="16.6%" align="center" | '''[[{{PAGENAME}}#Census|Census]]'''
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| width="16.6%" align="center" | '''[[{{PAGENAME}}#Land|Land]]'''
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| width="16.6%" align="center" | '''[[{{PAGENAME}}#Probate|Probate]]'''
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|-
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| width="16.6%" align="center" | 1898
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| width="16.6%" align="center" | 1795
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| width="16.6%" align="center" | 1898
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| width="16.6%" align="center" | 1790
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| width="16.6%" align="center" | 1742
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| width="16.6%" align="center" | 1742
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|}
  
The earliest white settlers of Worcester County were mostly religious dissenters voting with their feet by moving north from [[Accomack County, Virginia|Accomack County, Virginia]] starting in the late 1630s. All social classes from gentlemen to freed indentured servants settled in the area. There is no evidence that transported convicts ever settled in Worcester as in other parts of [[Maryland|Maryland]] and [[Virginia]]. The settlers were first attracted by furs, and by slowly expanding small farms in the forests. The ancestors of early Worcester settlers were almost all British.<ref>Reginald V. Truitt, and Millard G. Les Callette, [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/3016672&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;referer=brief_results Worcester County Maryland’s Arcadia] (Snow Hill, Md.: Worcester County Historical Society, 1977), 23-24, 33. [FHL book 975.221 H2t; fiche 6087644]</ref>
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{{RAOGKcourthouse}}
  
Before long [[Virginia]] authorities were giving land grants in the area over objections from [[Maryland|Maryland]]. Virginia granted 27,800 acres of land to settlers in Worcester from 1645-1666, more than Maryland had granted. After many disputes the Maryland was forced to recognize most of these Virginia grants. Lord Baltimore’s official [[Maryland Land and Property|Maryland proprietary land grants]] started in Worcester in 1651. Many of his grants were large 3,000 and 4,000 acre grants.<ref name="WCMA" />  
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[http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/36loc/wo/html/wo.html Worcester County Courthouse]<br>1 W Market Street<br>Snow Hill, Maryland 21863<br>Phone: 401-632-1194
  
[[Maryland|Maryland]] continued to dispute her border with [[Pennsylvania]] as well until the drawing of the Mason-Dixon Line in 1767. Old Worcester County was created about 1669 absorbing now extinct [[Durham County, Maryland|Durham County]], and for awhile in 1672 claimed nearly all of the state of [[Delaware]]. But by 1685 the British Board of Trade and Foreign Plantations ruled [[Worcester (old) County, Maryland|old Worcester County, Maryland]] dissolved by degree, but the decree was not fully accepted until 1738. However, in 1742 a new Worcester was Country reconstituted out of the eastern part of [[Somerset County, Maryland|Somerset County]].<ref>Reginald V. Truitt, and Millard G. Les Callette, [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/3016672&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;referer=brief_results Worcester County Maryland’s Arcadia] (Snow Hill, Md.: Worcester County Historical Society, 1977), 39, 43, 46, 48. 51-52. [FHL book 975.221 H2t; fiche 6087644]</ref>  
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<br>  
  
In 1684 [[Maryland Land and Property|Maryland’s proprietary land grant system]] was replaced with a land-for-fee system which attracted large numbers of new settlers. For awhile tobacco was important both as a crop and as currency, but Worcester’s sandy soil could not grow the best quality. By 1700 indentured servitude began to decline and lifetime slavery became more prominent.<ref>Reginald V. Truitt, and Millard G. Les Callette, [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/3016672&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;referer=brief_results Worcester County Maryland’s Arcadia] (Snow Hill, Md.: Worcester County Historical Society, 1977), 24-26. [FHL book 975.221 H2t; fiche 6087644]</ref>  
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Clerk Circuit Court has marriage records from 1866,<br>divorce records from 1900 and court records from 1916<br>Register of Wills has probate. <ref name="HBG">''Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America'', 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Worcester County, Maryland page 318, {{WorldCat|50140092|disp=At various libraries (WorldCat)}}; {{FHL|1049485|item|disp=FHL Book 973 D27e 2002}}.</ref>  
  
By 1662 Quaker and Presbyterian “dissenters” leaving Episcopalian [[Virginia]], together with some of their Episcopalian neighbors, and a few Huguenots were among the first settlers in Worcester County. Baptist ministers, including Francis Makemie, arrived in 1735. In 1766 Methodist circuit riders began to appear including William Barnes and Lorenzo Dow. In 1878 the first Catholic church, and in 1903 the first Jewish synagogue were built.<ref>Reginald V. Truitt, and Millard G. Les Callette, [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/3016672&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;referer=brief_results Worcester County Maryland’s Arcadia] (Snow Hill, Md.: Worcester County Historical Society, 1977), 375-412. [FHL book 975.221 H2t; fiche 6087644]</ref>
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<br>[[Worcester County, Maryland Register of Wills|Worcester County, Maryland Register of Wills]]
  
==== Parent County ====
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=== Quick Facts ===
  
*Created 22 October 1742 from [[Somerset County, Maryland|Somerset]] County.<ref name="HBG">''[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/48077118&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;referer=brief_results Handybook for Genealogists, 9th ed.]'' (Logan, Utah: Everton Pub., 1999), 183. [FHL book 973 D27e 1999]</ref>
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The county is named after Mary Arundell, the wife of Sir John Somerset. Her sister married [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C%C3%A6cilius_Calvert,_2nd_Baron_Baltimore Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore].<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Maryland_county_name_etymologies "List of Counties in Maryland,"] Wikipedia.</ref>
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The 300 or fewer American Indians of Worcester county for the most part avoided fighting and preferred living next to their new British neighbors. They left the county by 1748 eventually ending up in [[Ontario|Ontario]].<ref name="reg">Reginald V. Truitt, and Millard G. Les Callette, {{WorldCat|3016672}} Worcester County Maryland’s Arcadia] (Snow Hill, Md.: Worcester County Historical Society, 1977), 3-5. ▲ {{FHL|258278|item}}</ref>
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The first English/Scottish&nbsp;settlers of Worcester County were mostly religious dissenters (generally Presbyterian),&nbsp;voting with their feet by moving north from [[Accomack County, Virginia|Accomack County, Virginia]] starting in the late 1630s. All social classes from gentlemen to freed indentured servants settled in the area. There is no evidence that transported convicts ever settled in Worcester as in other parts of [[Maryland|Maryland]] and [[Virginia]]. The settlers were first attracted by furs, and by slowly expanding small farms in the forests. The ancestors of early Worcester settlers were almost all British.<ref name="reg" />
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 +
Before long [[Virginia]] authorities were giving land grants in the area over objections from [[Maryland|Maryland]]. Virginia granted 27,800 acres of land to settlers in Worcester from 1645-1666, more than Maryland had granted. After many disputes the Maryland was forced to recognize most of these Virginia grants. Lord Baltimore’s official [[Maryland Land and Property|Maryland proprietary land grants]] started in Worcester in 1651. Many of his grants were large 3,000 and 4,000 acre grants.<ref name="reg" />
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 +
[[Maryland|Maryland]] continued to dispute her border with [[Pennsylvania]] as well until the drawing of the Mason-Dixon Line in 1767. Old Worcester County was created about 1669 absorbing now extinct [[Durham County, Maryland|Durham County]], and for awhile in 1672 claimed nearly all of the state of [[Delaware]]. But by 1685 the British Board of Trade and Foreign Plantations ruled [[Worcester (old) County, Maryland|old Worcester County, Maryland]] dissolved by degree, but the decree was not fully accepted until 1738. However, in 1742 a new Worcester was Country reconstituted out of the eastern part of [[Somerset County, Maryland|Somerset County]].<ref name="reg" />
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 +
In 1684 [[Maryland Land and Property|Maryland’s proprietary land grant system]] was replaced with a land-for-fee system which attracted large numbers of new settlers. For awhile tobacco was important both as a crop and as currency, but Worcester’s sandy soil could not grow the best quality. By 1700 indentured servitude began to decline and lifetime slavery became more prominent.<ref name="reg" />  
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 +
By 1662 Quaker and Presbyterian “dissenters” leaving Episcopalian [[Virginia]], together with some of their Episcopalian neighbors, and a few Huguenots were among the first settlers in Worcester County. Baptist ministers, including Francis Makemie, arrived in 1735. In 1766 Methodist circuit riders began to appear including William Barnes and Lorenzo Dow. In 1878 the first Catholic church, and in 1903 the first Jewish synagogue were built.<ref name="reg" />
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==== Parent County  ====
  
==== Boundary Changes ====
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*Created 22 October 1742 from [[Somerset County, Maryland|Somerset]] County. <ref>{{WorldCat|50140092}} {{FHL|1049485|item}} ''Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed.''] (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002)</ref><br>'''Boundary Changes'''
  
*[[Wicomico County, Maryland|Wicomico]] County was set off 17 August 1867 from Somerset and Worcester counties.<ref name="HBG" />
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'''17 August 1867:''' [[Wicomico County, Maryland|Wicomico]] County was set off from Somerset and Worcester counties.  
  
 
==== Record Loss  ====
 
==== Record Loss  ====
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===== City  =====
 
===== City  =====
  
*Pocomoke City
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*[https://www.pocomoke.com/Home_Page.html Pocomoke City]
  
 
===== Towns  =====
 
===== Towns  =====
  
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*Ocean City
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*[http://www.makemie.com/links.htm Ocean City]
  
 
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*Snow Hill
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*[http://www.snowhillmd.com/ Snow Hill]
  
 
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===== Census Districts  =====
 
===== Census Districts  =====
  
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===== Communities  =====
 
===== Communities  =====
  
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== Resources  ==
 
== Resources  ==
  
==== Cemeteries ====
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=== Archives and Libraries ===
  
Some cemetery transcriptions on interment.net:&nbsp; http://www.interment.net/us/md/worcester.htm
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Local genealogy materials are available in the Worcester Room of the [http://www.worcesterlibrary.org/ Worcester County Library].  
  
==== Census ====
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=== Cemeteries ===
  
Federal Census reports available 1790-1930 including slave and veterans schedules.<br>
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Some cemetery transcriptions on interment.net: http://www.interment.net/us/md/worcester.htm
  
==== Church ====
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=== Census  ===
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==== Federal ====
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Federal Census reports available 1790-1930 including slave and veterans schedules. {{Census|Maryland}}
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=== Church History and Records  ===
  
 
Maryland State Archives' ''[http://speccol.mdarchives.state.md.us/msa/speccol/catalog/religion/cfm/dsp_county.cfm Guide to Maryland Religious Institutions]'' identifies all churches known to have existed in Worcester County, 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:  
 
Maryland State Archives' ''[http://speccol.mdarchives.state.md.us/msa/speccol/catalog/religion/cfm/dsp_county.cfm Guide to Maryland Religious Institutions]'' identifies all churches known to have existed in Worcester County, 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:  
  
*[http://www.msa.md.gov/megafile/msa/speccolm/scm900/scm907/000001/000001/pdf/msa_scm907.pdf Presbyterian, Makemie Memorial Church], Snow Hill, Md., includes: Register 1895-1957 and Session Record 1818-1833, 1895-1938
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*[http://www.makemie.com/ Presbyterian, Makemie Memorial Church], Snow Hill, Md.&nbsp; The church office has photographs of tombstones in the "old section" of the cemetary and recordings of the epitaphs. <ref>Makemie Memorial Presbyterian Church: http://www.makemie.com/Church%20history%20final.pdf [accessed February 16, 2012]</ref>
 
*[http://www.msa.md.gov/megafile/msa/speccolm/m0000/m0300/m345/pdf/m345.pdf Protestant Episcopal, St. Mary the Virgin (Pocomoke Parish, erected from Coventry Parish)], includes: Parish Registers 1855-1930 (2 vols.) and Vestry Minutes 1855-1891
 
*[http://www.msa.md.gov/megafile/msa/speccolm/m0000/m0300/m345/pdf/m345.pdf Protestant Episcopal, St. Mary the Virgin (Pocomoke Parish, erected from Coventry Parish)], includes: Parish Registers 1855-1930 (2 vols.) and Vestry Minutes 1855-1891
  
==== Court  ====
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=== Court Records ===
  
 
For information about the Worcester County, Maryland Courthouse and its records, click [[Worcester County, Maryland Courthouse|here]].  
 
For information about the Worcester County, Maryland Courthouse and its records, click [[Worcester County, Maryland Courthouse|here]].  
  
==== Family Histories  ====
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=== 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:  
 
It is anticipated that this bibliography will eventually identify all known family histories published about residents of this county. Use this list to:  
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*Identify publications, to quote [[Elizabeth Shown Mills|Elizabeth Shown Mills]], about an ancestor's "FAN Club" ['''F'''riends, '''A'''ssociates, and '''N'''eighbors]
 
*Identify publications, to quote [[Elizabeth Shown Mills|Elizabeth Shown Mills]], about an ancestor's "FAN Club" ['''F'''riends, '''A'''ssociates, and '''N'''eighbors]
  
'''''General'''''
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==== General ====
  
*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. [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=767097 FHL US/CAN Book 975.21 D2b v. 1] ff. [Worcester County families appear in Vols. 8-10, 12, 15, 17-18, 20, and 22.]
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*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|767097|title-id|disp=FHL US/CAN Book 975.21 D2b v. 1}} ff. [Worcester County families appear in Vols. 8-10, 12, 15, 17-18, 20, and 22.]
  
'''''Bibliography'''''
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===== Bibliography =====
  
==== Gazetteers  ====
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*'''[Pilcher]''' Uhrbrock, Richard S. "Pilchers (Pilchards) and Reddens of Delmarva," ''The Virginia Genealogist'', Vol. 18, No. 3 (Jul.-Sepl 1974):187-195. Digital version at [http://www.americanancestors.org/search.aspx?Ca=098&Da=285 American Ancestors] ($); {{FHL|33159|item|disp=FHL Book 975.5 B2vg v. 18 (1974)}}.
  
==== Immigration ====
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=== Gazetteers ===
  
The [http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/speccol/sc4300/sc4341/html/search.html 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: [http://www.msa.md.gov/ Maryland State Archives].
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=== History  ===
  
Other Worcester County immigration resources include:
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=== Immigration and Emigration  ===
  
*[http://www.immigrantservants.com/search/advancedResults.php?surname=&givenName=&varientSurnameSpellings=&gender=&dateOfBirthDay=&dateOfBirthMonth=&dateOfBirthQuantifier=&dateOfBirthYear=&placeOfBirthParish=&placeOfBirthTown=&placeOfBirthCity=&placeOfBirthCounty=&placeOfBirthColony=&placeOfBirthNation=&occupations=&religions=&orphan=&familyPosition=&immigrationYearQualifier=&immigrationYear=&portOfDepartureTown=&portOfDepartureCity=&portOfDepartureCounty=&portOfDepartureNation=&placeOfArrivalTown=&placeOfArrivalCounty=&placeOfArrivalColony=&shipName=&convict=&yearOfIndentureQualifier=&yearOfIndenture=&lengthOfIndentureYears=&lengthOfIndentureMonths=&yearOfFreedomQualifier=&yearOfFreedom=&placeOfIndentureTown=&placeOfIndentureCity=&placeOfIndentureCounty=Worcester&placeOfIndentureColony=Maryland&agentSurname=&agentGivenName=&agentTitle=&masterSurname=&masterGivenName=&masterTitle=&residenceParish=&residenceTown=&residenceCity=&residenceCounty=&residenceColony=&residenceNation=&landowner=&literate=&spouseSurname=&spouseGivenName=&spouseMarriageDateDay=&spouseMarriageDateMonth=&spouseMarriageDateQualifier=&spouseMarriageDateYear=&spouseMarriageLocationParish=&spouseMarriageLocationCounty=&spouseMarriageLocationColony=&spouseMarriageLocationNation=&deathDateDay=&deathDateMonth=&deathDateQualifier=&deathDateYear=&deathLocality=&deathCounty=&deathColony=&deathState=&testate=&proofServantStatus=&proofConvictStatus=&headright=&preServitudeSources=&postServitudeSources=&comments=&family=&sourceCitations=&interestedResearchers= List of imported servants and convicts from Europe] who served labor terms in Colonial Worcester County, Maryland, courtesy: [http://www.immigrantservants.com Immigrant Servants Database]. [Includes Richard J. Cox's abstracts of ''Maryland Gazette'' runaways.]
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The [http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/speccol/sc4300/sc4341/html/search.html 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: [http://www.msa.md.gov/ Maryland State Archives].
  
==== Land  ====
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=== Land and Property ===
  
Through a Joint eGovernment Service of the [http://www.courts.state.md.us/ Maryland Judiciary] and the [http://www.msa.md.gov/ Maryland State Archives], free images and indexes of the complete series of Worcester County Deed Books (1742-present) have been uploaded to their website: [http://mdlandrec.net/msa/stagser/s1700/s1741/cfm/index.cfm MDLandRec.Net:&nbsp;A Digital Image Retrieval System for Land Records in Maryland]. (Requires free registration.)  
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Through a Joint eGovernment Service of the [http://www.courts.state.md.us/ Maryland Judiciary] and the [http://www.msa.md.gov/ Maryland State Archives], free images and indexes of the complete series of Worcester County Deed Books (1742-present) have been uploaded to their website: [http://mdlandrec.net/msa/stagser/s1700/s1741/cfm/index.cfm MDLandRec.Net: A Digital Image Retrieval System for Land Records in Maryland]. (Requires free registration.)  
  
==== Local Histories ====
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=== Maps ===
  
==== Maps ====
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=== Military History and Records ===
  
==== Military  ====
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==== Revolutionary War  ====
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*''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 [http://books.google.com/books?id=W7JYAAAAMAAJ Google Books] ''et. al''. 1967 reprint: {{FHL|282860|item}} 973 X2pc 1840. [See Maryland, Worcester County on page 128.]
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==== War of 1812 ====
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*''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|286899|item}} 973 M2Lp v. 5; digital versions at [http://books.google.com/books?id=t7oqAAAAMAAJ Google Books] and [http://www.archive.org/details/listpensionerso02buregoog Internet Archive]. [See Vol. 5, Maryland, Worcester County, pp. 159-160. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]
  
 
==== Newspapers  ====
 
==== Newspapers  ====
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*Worcester County newspapers are identified in [http://speccol.mdarchives.state.md.us/msa/speccol/catalog/newspapers/cfm/dsp_county.cfm "Guide to Maryland Newspapers,"] available online, courtesy: [http://speccol.mdarchives.state.md.us/msa/speccol/catalog/cfm/index.cfm Special Collections, Maryland State Archives].
 
*Worcester County newspapers are identified in [http://speccol.mdarchives.state.md.us/msa/speccol/catalog/newspapers/cfm/dsp_county.cfm "Guide to Maryland Newspapers,"] available online, courtesy: [http://speccol.mdarchives.state.md.us/msa/speccol/catalog/cfm/index.cfm Special Collections, Maryland State Archives].
  
==== Probate  ====
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=== Probate Records ===
  
 
For information about the Worcester County, Maryland Register of Wills and its records, click [[Worcester County, Maryland Register of Wills|here]].  
 
For information about the Worcester County, Maryland Register of Wills and its records, click [[Worcester County, Maryland Register of Wills|here]].  
  
==== Taxation  ====
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=== Taxation  ===
  
==== Vital Records  ====
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*'''[1783] '''[http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/stagser/s1400/s1437/html/1437wo.html Worcester County Tax List of 1783]: This is an alphabetical index to names to all property owners assessed. The index cards at the [http://www.msa.md.gov/ Maryland State Archives] include county, hundred, names of tracts of land and whether individuals were paupers or single males as provided in the law.
  
'''''Death'''''
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=== Vital Records  ===
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==== Deaths  ====
  
 
*[http://mdvitalrec.net/cfm/index.cfm Maryland Death Certificate Index 1898-1944], available online, courtesy: Vital Records Indexing Project, [http://www.msa.md.gov/ Maryland State Archives].
 
*[http://mdvitalrec.net/cfm/index.cfm Maryland Death Certificate Index 1898-1944], available online, courtesy: Vital Records Indexing Project, [http://www.msa.md.gov/ Maryland State Archives].
  
== Societies and Libraries  ==
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== Societies, Libraries and Museums ==
{{RAOGKlibrary}}
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== Web Sites ==
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==== Family History Centers<br>  ====
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*[[Introduction to LDS Family History Centers]]
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{{RAOGKlibrary}}  
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== Websites ==
  
*[http://www.mdgenweb.org/worcester/ The Worcester County MDGenWeb Project], a member of [[MDGenWeb|The MDGenWeb Project]], an affiliate of [[USGenWeb|The USGenWeb Project]].  
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*[http://www.mdgenweb.org/worcester/ The Worcester County MDGenWeb Project], a member of [[MDGenWeb|The MDGenWeb Project]]  
 +
*[http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/refserv/library/periodicals/perbib/html/bibw.html "Worcester Co.,"] in ''Genealogical Sources in Periodicals at The Maryland State Archives.''
 
*[http://usgwarchives.net/md/worcester/ The USGenWeb Archives Project] for Worcester County.  
 
*[http://usgwarchives.net/md/worcester/ The USGenWeb Archives Project] for Worcester County.  
 
*[http://usgwarchives.org/md/worcester/ The USGenWeb Archives Project] for Worcester County. (Backup site)  
 
*[http://usgwarchives.org/md/worcester/ The USGenWeb Archives Project] for Worcester County. (Backup site)  
*[http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=localitydetails&subject=189856&subject_disp=Maryland%2C+Worcester&columns=*,0,0 FamilySearch.org] Family History Library Catalog for Worcester County.
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*{{FHL|189856|subject-id|disp=FamilySearch.org}} Family History Library Catalog for Worcester County.
  
 
=== Sources  ===
 
=== Sources  ===

Revision as of 21:13, 14 December 2012

United States Gotoarrow.png Maryland Gotoarrow.png Worcester County

Hand and keyboard.jpg Maryland
Online Records
MD Worcester map.png

Contents

Courthouse

Beginning Dates for Worcester County, Maryland Government Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1898 1795 1898 1790 1742 1742

 

Worcester County Courthouse
1 W Market Street
Snow Hill, Maryland 21863
Phone: 401-632-1194


Clerk Circuit Court has marriage records from 1866,
divorce records from 1900 and court records from 1916
Register of Wills has probate. [1]


Worcester County, Maryland Register of Wills

Quick Facts

The county is named after Mary Arundell, the wife of Sir John Somerset. Her sister married Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore.[2]

The 300 or fewer American Indians of Worcester county for the most part avoided fighting and preferred living next to their new British neighbors. They left the county by 1748 eventually ending up in Ontario.[3]

The first English/Scottish settlers of Worcester County were mostly religious dissenters (generally Presbyterian), voting with their feet by moving north from Accomack County, Virginia starting in the late 1630s. All social classes from gentlemen to freed indentured servants settled in the area. There is no evidence that transported convicts ever settled in Worcester as in other parts of Maryland and Virginia. The settlers were first attracted by furs, and by slowly expanding small farms in the forests. The ancestors of early Worcester settlers were almost all British.[3]

Before long Virginia authorities were giving land grants in the area over objections from Maryland. Virginia granted 27,800 acres of land to settlers in Worcester from 1645-1666, more than Maryland had granted. After many disputes the Maryland was forced to recognize most of these Virginia grants. Lord Baltimore’s official Maryland proprietary land grants started in Worcester in 1651. Many of his grants were large 3,000 and 4,000 acre grants.[3]

Maryland continued to dispute her border with Pennsylvania as well until the drawing of the Mason-Dixon Line in 1767. Old Worcester County was created about 1669 absorbing now extinct Durham County, and for awhile in 1672 claimed nearly all of the state of Delaware. But by 1685 the British Board of Trade and Foreign Plantations ruled old Worcester County, Maryland dissolved by degree, but the decree was not fully accepted until 1738. However, in 1742 a new Worcester was Country reconstituted out of the eastern part of Somerset County.[3]

In 1684 Maryland’s proprietary land grant system was replaced with a land-for-fee system which attracted large numbers of new settlers. For awhile tobacco was important both as a crop and as currency, but Worcester’s sandy soil could not grow the best quality. By 1700 indentured servitude began to decline and lifetime slavery became more prominent.[3]

By 1662 Quaker and Presbyterian “dissenters” leaving Episcopalian Virginia, together with some of their Episcopalian neighbors, and a few Huguenots were among the first settlers in Worcester County. Baptist ministers, including Francis Makemie, arrived in 1735. In 1766 Methodist circuit riders began to appear including William Barnes and Lorenzo Dow. In 1878 the first Catholic church, and in 1903 the first Jewish synagogue were built.[3]

Parent County

  • Created 22 October 1742 from Somerset County. [4]
    Boundary Changes

17 August 1867: Wicomico County was set off from Somerset and Worcester counties.

Record Loss

None.

Places/Localities

Populated Places

City
Towns
  • Berlin
Census Districts
  • Girdletree
  • Newark
  • Ocean Pines
  • Stockton
  • West Ocean City
  • Whaleyville
Communities
  • Bishopville
  • Boxiron
  • Cedartown
  • Germantown
  • Goodwill
  • Klej Grange
  • Nassawango Hills
  • Poplartown
  • Public Landing
  • Showell

Neighboring Counties

Somerset | Wicomico | Sussex County, Delaware | Accomack County, Virginia

Resources

Archives and Libraries

Local genealogy materials are available in the Worcester Room of the Worcester County Library.

Cemeteries

Some cemetery transcriptions on interment.net: http://www.interment.net/us/md/worcester.htm

Census

Federal

Federal Census reports available 1790-1930 including slave and veterans schedules. For tips on accessing Worcester County, Maryland census records online, see: Maryland Census.

Church History and Records

Maryland State Archives' Guide to Maryland Religious Institutions identifies all churches known to have existed in Worcester County, 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:

Court Records

For information about the Worcester County, Maryland Courthouse and its records, click here.

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]

General

  • 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. [Worcester County families appear in Vols. 8-10, 12, 15, 17-18, 20, and 22.]
Bibliography

Gazetteers

History

Immigration and Emigration

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.

Land and Property

Through a Joint eGovernment Service of the Maryland Judiciary and the Maryland State Archives, free images and indexes of the complete series of Worcester County Deed Books (1742-present) have been uploaded to their website: MDLandRec.Net: A Digital Image Retrieval System for Land Records in Maryland. (Requires free registration.)

Maps

Military History and Records

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, Worcester 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, Worcester County, pp. 159-160. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]

Newspapers

Probate Records

For information about the Worcester County, Maryland Register of Wills and its records, click here.

Taxation

  • [1783] Worcester 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.

Vital Records

Deaths

Societies, Libraries and Museums

Family History Centers

 

Websites

Sources

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Worcester County, Maryland page 318, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. "List of Counties in Maryland," Wikipedia.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Reginald V. Truitt, and Millard G. Les Callette, WorldCat 3016672 Worcester County Maryland’s Arcadia] (Snow Hill, Md.: Worcester County Historical Society, 1977), 3-5. ▲ FHL Collection
  4. WorldCat 50140092 FHL Collection Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed.] (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002)
  5. Makemie Memorial Presbyterian Church: http://www.makemie.com/Church%20history%20final.pdf [accessed February 16, 2012]