Cecil County, Maryland Genealogy

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Cecil County

Guide to Cecil County, Maryland ancestry, family history, and genealogy, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and military records.


Cecil County, Maryland
Map of Maryland highlighting Cecil County
Location in the state of Maryland
Map of the U.S. highlighting Maryland
Location of Maryland in the U.S.
Founded June 6, 1674
County Seat Elkton
Cecil County, Maryland Courthouse.JPG
Address Cecil County Courthouse
200 Chesapeake Blvd., Suite 2100
Elkton, MD 21921
Phone: 410-996-5201
Cecil County Website


Beginning Dates for Cecil County, Maryland Genealogy Government Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1898 1777 1898 1790 1673 1675

Clerk Circuit Court has marriage records from 1777, divorce, court, and land records from 1674;
Register of Wills has probate records;
Clerk Court has indexes from 1674.[1]

Maryland State Archives - Guide to Government Records - Cecil County Information

Register of Wills Circuit Courthouse
129 East Main Street - Suite 102
Elkton, Maryland 21921
(410) 996-5330
(888) 398-0301
Fax (410) 996-1039

Mailing Address:
Register of Wills, Cecil County
P O Box 468
Elkton, MD 21922-0468
Business Hours: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm Monday through Friday


Cecil Calvert

Though Cecil County was not established by Lord Baltimore and his colonists until 1674, a small settlement came prior to that time. In 1633, twenty five years after John Smith sailed the tributaries of the Upper Chesapeake Bay, Englishman William Claiborne opened a trading post on Palmers Island at the mouth of the Susquehanna. He traded beavers and furs with the Susquehannocks, and sold them to the French in Canada. A small settlement and a plantation surrounded the first white man's post in the area.

There are two names that will forever be linked to the establishment of Cecil County. The first is the Second Lord Baltimore, Cecilius Calvert (1605-1675), for whom the County was named. He ruled the land called Maryland, after his father -The First Lord Baltimore died. He was the first Proprietary Governor of the colony of Maryland from 1632 until his death in 1675.

The second name is that of Augustine Herman, one of Cecil's first land owners. Herman offered his masterful map making skills to create a map of Maryland, and in exchange received a large tract of land that spread out from the Bohemia River. Because of his skills he was considered an important man, and it was Herman who was able to convince Charles Calvert, the second Proprietary Governor of the Province of Maryland, to divide Cecil County out of Baltimore County. In 1674 Herman's wish was granted, and by proclamation, the boundaries for the new county of Cecil were established. The first courthouse was located on the Sassafras River.

The County seat is Elkton. The newspaper of record is the Cecil Whig

Maryland Historic Trust's Inventory of Historic Properties for Cecil County

Parent County

Boundary Changes

Variant Spellings

Record Loss

Many early court records have disappeared.

Time Lines

Cecil County Chronology


Chesapeake City, MD from a bridge over the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. Copyright © January 2006 Jennifer Schmidt.

Populated Places

Cecil County Boundary Map.jpg



Neighboring Counties

Harford | Kent | New Castle County, Delaware | Pennsylvania counties: Chester | Lancaster | York


Bible Records



There is a Cemetery Survey for Cecil county at the Maryland State Archives. The survey contains information about the cemetery at the time of the survey in the 1930s. The survey files DO NOT contain actual cemetery records.
MSA S 1512-2777 00/59/06/55

Transcriptions of various cemeteries in Cecil County can be found at the following websites:

Published Transcriptions:

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

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county
Findagrave.com Family History Library Findagrave.com
USGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
MDGenWeb Archives
Tombstone Project
Billion Graves
See Maryland Cemeteries for more information.


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


Contains the church records of:
  • Earleville: St. Stephen's Episcopal Church

Church of England

Gotoarrow.png See also North Elk Parish
Gotoarrow.png See also North Sassafras Parish


Before 1776, information may be found in any one of the following types of courts:

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:



Surname Files


Gazetteer of the state of Maryland  By Richard Swainson Fisher, pages 61-63 are about Cecil County.

A Gazetteer of Maryland and Delaware  By Henry Gannett

A new and complete gazetteer of the United States: ... By Thomas Baldwin, J. Thomas


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 Cecil County immigration resources include:


Local Histories



Revolutionary War

Cecil County men served in the 6th Maryland Regiment.[8]

War of 1812

Civil War

Regiments. Service men in Cecil County, Maryland Genealogy 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 Cecil County, Maryland Genealogy:

- 5th Regiment, Maryland Infantry, Companies A and I .
- 6th Regiment, Maryland Infantry Companies B, E and G.
- 8th Regiment, Maryland Infantry Company A .
- Purnell Legion, Maryland Infantry, Company E.



Online Probate Records

Societies and Libraries

The Historical Society of Cecil County
The Eva M. Muse Library
135 E. Main Street
Elkton, MD 21921
Phone: 410-398-1790
E-Mail: history@cchistory.org

Cecil County Public Library
301 Newark Avenue
Elkton, MD 21921
Phone: 410-996-5600

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. See Family History Center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.


Vital Records


In 1898, the General Assembly passed a law that initiated the registration of births in the 23 counties (Chapter 312, Acts of 1898). At first, compliance with the law on the local level was incomplete. As the State Board of Health gradually increased its control over the local boards, registration became more reliable. Researchers should keep in mind, however, that as late as 1914 the Board of Health was still working to increase compliance with the law, and some births went unrecorded. 

The 1898 law dictated that "the record of a birth shall state the date and place of its occurrence, name in full, sex and color, and the number of the child, whether living or still born, and the names, color, occupation, birth place and residence of parents, name and address of the physician, midwife or attendant at the birth". 

The Maryland State Archives also has indexing from 1875 through 1950. The early index (1875-1919) is arranged alphabetically by the surname of the child (or by the parents' surname if the child's name is not given). The index provides the child's name (if given), the names of the parents, the date of birth, and the county. The later index (1920-1950) is in Soundex order by the surname of the child; within the Soundex classification it is alphabetical by the father's first name. When no father's name is given, the card is filed at the beginning of the Soundex class. Children of unmarried couples are listed twice, under the names of both parents. This later index provides the names of the child and the parents, the date and county of birth, and the child's race and birth order. Although these indexes are open to the public, please note that the birth certificates themselves are restricted for 100 years after the date of birth. [11]




Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:


  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Cecil, Maryland page 317, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 181. [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 Peden, Henry C., compiler. Inhabitants of Cecil County, Maryland, 1649-1774. Westminster, Maryland: Willow Bend Books, 1999.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Maryland Geological Survey, George Burbank Shattuck, Florence Bascom, Edward Bennett Mathews, Clarence Wilbur Dorsey, Jay Allan Bonsteel, Oliver Lanard Fassig, Henry Albert Pressey, Louis Agricola Bauer, Hugh M. Curran, George Bishop Sudworth. Cecil County, Volume 1. Page 26. Geological Survey (U.S.), United States. Bureau of Soils. Digitized by Google Books
  5. 5.0 5.1 Johnston, George. History of Cecil County, Maryland, and the early settlements around the head of Chesapeake Bay and on the Delaware River, with sketches of some of the old families of Cecil County. Elkton, Maryland: George Johnston, 1881.
  6. 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).
  7. Eichholz, Alice, editor. Redbook American State, County, and Town Sources (Provo, Utah: Ancestry Publishing, 2004), 306.
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "6th Maryland Regiment," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/6th_Maryland_Regiment, accessed 31 May 2012.
  9. Peder, Henry C., Jr. Revolutionary Patriots of Cecil County, Maryland. Westminster, Maryland: Heritage Books, 2007.
  10. Garrett, Jere. "Muffled drums and mustard spoons : Cecil County, Maryland, 1860-1865". Shippensburg, Pennsylvania : Burd Street Press, c1996
  11. "Birth Records" in Maryland State Archives at Guide.mdsa.net (accessed 28 Jun 2010).
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