Dorchester County, Maryland Genealogy
- 1 County Courthouse
- 2 History
- 3 Places/Localities
- 4 Resources
- 4.1 Cemeteries
- 4.2 Census
- 4.3 Church
- 4.4 Court
- 4.5 Family Histories
- 4.6 Gazetteers
- 4.7 Immigration
- 4.8 Land
- 4.9 Local Histories
- 4.10 Maps
- 4.11 Military
- 4.12 Newspapers
- 4.13 Private Papers
- 4.14 Probate
- 4.15 Taxation
- 4.16 Vital Records
- 5 Societies and Libraries
- 6 Web Sites
- 7 References
Dorchester County Courthouse
206 High Street/501 Court Lane
P O Box 26
Cambridge, MD 21613
Clerk Circuit Court has marriage records from 1780. Divorce records from 1821, equity docket record from 1821 and corporation records from 1858.
- The county is believed to have been named after Dorchester, a city in England, or Edward Sackville, 4th Earl of Dorset, a family friend of the Calverts.
- Created 27 May 1668 from Colonial lands.
- 15 June 1773, Caroline County was set off.
Dorchester County cemetery transcriptions in the US Genweb Project and other sources. http://www.idreamof.com/cemetery/md/dorchester.html
For tips on accessing Dorchester County, Maryland Genealogy census records online, see: Maryland Census.
- 1776 Transcription and Index
- 1850 Slave
- 1860 Slave
Maryland State Archives' Guide to Maryland Religious Institutions identifies all churches known to have existed in Dorchester County, Maryland. It covers all denominations and includes record descriptions. The following records from their collection have been digitized and made available to view for free online:
- Society of Friends (Quakers), Northwest Fork Monthly Meeting, Treasurer's Account Book 1801-1853 (link broken 5/25/10)
Church of England
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]
- 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. [Dorchester County families appear in Vols. 7, 11, 13-14, 16, and 19.]
- [Ennalls] "The Ennalls and Waggaman Families of Maryland," The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 2, No. 2 (Oct. 1893):98-105. Digital version at JSTOR - free.
- [Wright] Wright, Charles W. The Wright Ancestry of Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset and Wicomico Counties Maryland. Baltimore: Baltimore City Printing and Binding Co., 1907. Available at FamilySearch Books Online; FHL; and Google Books.
- [Wroughton] Loeser, Rudolf. "Margaret (__) (Wroughton) (Attowell) Grimes and Some Relatives," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 42, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1998):111-118; Vol. 42, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1998):194-204. Digital version at American Ancestors ($). FHL Book 975.5 B2vg.
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 Dorchester County 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. [Overseas correspondence of a resident of Vianna [Vienna, Dorchester County] with the following surname: Dennis.]
- List of imported servants and convicts from Europe who served labor terms in Colonial Dorchester 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 Dorchester County Deed Books (1669-present) have been uploaded to their website: MDLandRec.Net: A Digital Image Retrieval System for Land Records in Maryland. (Requires free registration.)
- 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, Dorchester 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, Dorchester County, pp. 145-146. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]
Civil War service men from Dorchester County served in various regiments. Men often joined a regiment or a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are the military units that were formed in or had many men from Dorchester County.
- - 1st Regiment, Maryland Eastern Shore Infantry, Company A, B, and C.
- Dorchester County newspapers are identified in "Guide to Maryland Newspapers," available online, courtesy: Special Collections, Maryland State Archives.
Dorchester County, Maryland Old Newspapers are available online.
- 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. [Overseas correspondence of residents of Vianna [Vienna, Dorchester County] with the following surname: Dennis.]
- [1678, 1681] 1678 and 1681 Dorchester County tax lists, available online, courtesy: MDGenWeb.
-  Dorchester 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.
- Maryland Death Certificate Index 1898-1944, available online, courtesy: Vital Records Indexing Project, Maryland State Archives.
Other Dorchester County death record resources include:
- Dorchester County, Maryland Cemeteries, Death Certificate Indexes, Death Certificate Abstracts, Abstracts of Obituaries are available online.
Societies and Libraries
Family History Centers
- The Dorchester County MDGenWeb Project, a member of The MDGenWeb Project, an affiliate of The USGenWeb Project.
- "Dorchester Co.," in Genealogical Sources in Periodicals at The Maryland State Archives.
- The USGenWeb Archives Project for Dorchester County.
- The USGenWeb Archives Project for Dorchester County. (Backup site)
- FamilySearch.org Family History Library Catalog for Dorchester County.
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Dorchester, Maryland page 317, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- "List of Counties in Maryland," Wikipedia.
- Trinity P.E. Church, The Historical Marker Database, accessed 7 March 2011.
- Chapel of Ease Old Trinity Episcopal Church Circa 1707, The Historical Marker Database, accessed 7 March 2011.
- Wikipedia contributors, "5th Maryland Regiment," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5th_Maryland_Regiment, accessed 31 May 2012.