Washington County, Maryland Genealogy
- 1 County Courthouse
- 2 History
- 3 Places/Localities
- 4 Resources
- 5 Societies and Libraries
- 6 Web Sites
- 7 Sources and Footnotes
Register of Wills
Washington County was the first county in the United States named for General George Washington, who later became the first President of the United States. Washington County lies in the heart of the Great Valley, which extends down from Central Pennsylvania through Tennessee. The county is located in the portion of the Great Valley known as The Cumberland Valley located north of the Potomac River. The lower portion of the Cumberland Valley is drained by Antietam Creek and Conococheague Creek. Washington County has 24 graceful stone arch bridges built between 1819 and 1863.
Washington County was created 6 September 1776 from Frederick County and has 458 square miles which contains 3 National Parks, 7 State Parks, 14 County Parks, and numerous City and Town Parks. Hagerstown is the county seat.
Allegany County was formed from Washington County on 25 December 1789.
A complete list of Cemeteries in Washington County can be found on the Washington County Cemeteries page. Additonal Washington County cemeteries transcriptions can be found on Internment.net. For more information about Cemeteries in Maryland please refer to the Maryland Cemeteries page.
Federal Census reports available 1790-1930 including slave and veterans schedules.
- 1790 - 1830 Census Transcripts
- 1850 Census Searchable index from FamilySearch
- 1860 Census Searchable index from FamilySearch
- 1870 Census Searchable index from FamilySearch
- 1880 Census Searchable index from FamilySearch (no images)
- 1900 Census Searchable index from FamilySearch
For more information about the using the census in Maryland please refer to the Maryland Census page.
Maryland State Archives' Guide to Maryland Religious Institutions identifies all churches known to have existed in Washington 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:
- Evangelical Lutheran, Elizabethtown Church, includes various records 1760s-1960s
- Lutheran, (German) St. John's Church, includes various records 1790s-1830s, including English translations
- Protestant Episcopal, St. John's Church, includes: Parish Registers 1816-1963 (baptisms, marriages, burials) and Vestry Minutes 1787-1873 [link broken 5/20/2010]
Additional Washington County church resources include:
- List of Churches of Washington County gives a link to individual church's locations.
For more information about Churches in Maryland please refer to the Maryland Church Records page.
- Washington County Register of Wills Clerk of Orphan's Court has Probate Records from 1777.
- Washington County Circuit Court Clerk has Land Records from 1777 and Marriage Records from earliest to 1919.
For more information about Gazetteers in Maryland please refer to the Maryland Gazetteers page.
- [Randolph] Randolph, Blanche Willie Grace and Deborah Ann Kraemer Small. The Randolphs of Prince William County, Virginia. Little Rock, Arkansas: B. Randolph, 1979. FHL Collection
- [Randolph] Small, Deborah Ann Kraemer and Blanche Willie Grace Randolph. The Randolphs of Prince William County, Virginia, Volume II. Winter Park, Florida: D. Small, 1989. FHL Collection
- [Randolph] Raski, Arma, James Randolph, and Glenita Guthrie. Additions & Corrections to Vol. II, the Randolphs of Prince William Co., VA by Deborah K. Small. FHL 6075877
- [Williams] Birch, Nicki Peak. "Tracking Basil Williams of Maryland and Pennsylvania Through Changing Residences and Multiple Marriages," National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 96, No. 1 (March 2008):23-37. FHL Collection 973 B2ng v. 96
- List of imported servants and transported convicts from Europe who served labor terms in Colonial Washington County, Maryland (work in progress), courtesy: Immigrant Servants Database. [Includes Richard J. Cox's abstracts of Maryland Gazette runaways.]
Through a Joint Government Service of the Maryland Judiciary and the Maryland State Archives, free images and indexes of the complete series of Washington County Deed Books (1776-present) have been uploaded to their website: MDLandRec.Net: A Digital Image Retrieval System for Land Records in Maryland. (Requires free registration.)
- Washington County Circuit Court Clerk has Land Records from 1777.
See the Maps section of this article for information about plat and ownership maps.
For more information about Land in Maryland please refer to the Maryland Land and Property page.
- The Bivouacs of the Dead: The Story of those Who Died at Antietam and South Mountain 148 pages. Includes histories, maps and rosters of Antietam, Washington, Mt. Olivet and Elmwood Cemeteries.
- History of Leitersburg District, Washington County, Md By Herbert Charles Bell  is a history of the early settlers of the Leitersberg District near Hagerstown, Maryland. This is first rate guide to the early genealogical records of the time and place. Full text can be accessed at Google Books
- A History of Washington County, Maryland, by Thomas John Chew Williams  from the earliest settlements to the present time, including a history of Hagerstown, to this is added a biographical record of representative families prepared from data obtained from original sources of information. A snippet view can be seen at Google Books.
- Washington County USGenWeb Project This site has numerous old maps and/or links to old maps online of Washington County, including the map of the original patent holders of the county, Washington County Hundreds, 1859 William Taggert Map, 1877 Illustrated Atlas, 1879 Ilustrated Atlas, and 1895 County Atlas.
- 1877 Washington County Atlas is an Illustrated Atlas of Washington County, Maryland and was published in 1877 by Lake, Griffing & Stevenson of Philadelphia.
- 1895 Atlas of Maryland County.
- Military Maps by David Rumsey of Washington County in the 1800's.
- Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection has State Maps, City Maps, Maps of National Parks, Monuments, and Historic Sites.
In Sharpsburg, the Battle of Antietam took place on Sept 17, 1862. This tragic battle found 23,110 men that had been either killed, wounded, or listed as missing. If they didn't die in the battle, they succumbed to disease or from the wounds that they had received. The little village was turned into a burial ground with the farm of William Roulette becoming the final resting place for 700 soldiers. Other of the dead were buried in fields surrounding this once peaceful little community. Antietam is considered a turning point of the Civil War.
- Crossroads of war : Washington County, Maryland, in the Civil War by S. Roger Keller;  focuses on cross-section of the happenings of both civilians and the military with eyewitness accounts of events in Washington County history.
- Events of the Civil War in Washington County, Maryland By S. Roger Keller, Dennis E. Frye;Events of the Civil War shows that War through the eyes of one community drawn from letters, newspapers, regimental histories, diaries, family histories, and published and unpublished archival sources.
- Battle of Antietam: Two Great American Armies Engage in Combat
- Confederate Soldiers Online transcription of 1869 record of original Confederate Burials in Washington County, Maryland, including Antietam Battlefield Washington County Maryland Free Library -for reference only}
- Herald of Freedom and Torch Light newspaper articles about the Battle of Antietam.
- The American Civil War: Battle of Antietam / Sharpsburg
- 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, Washington County on page 127.]
- 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, Washington County, pp. 156-159. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]
For more information about the Military in Maryland please refer to the Maryland Military Records page.
- Washington County newspapers are identified in "Guide to Maryland Newspapers," available online, courtesy: Special Collections, Maryland State Archives.
- The Historic Newspaper Indexing Project had it's beginnings in 1980 as an excellent resource for patrons researching Washington County history and genealogy.
- Washington County and Hagerstown, Maryland historical newspaper articles.
- For more information about Newspapers in Maryland please refer to the Maryland Newspapers page.
- Maryland Historical Magazine article found on Google Books: "Washington County, Maryland" by T. J. C Williams
For more information about Maryland Periodicals please refer to the Maryland Periodicals page.
- Washington County Register of Wills/ Clerk of Orphan's Court  has Probate Records from 1777.
- Wills can be found at Distribution of Estates Accounts, Washington County, Maryland, 1778-1890 
-  Washington 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.
- [1803-1804] Western Maryland's Historical LIbrary has Washington County Taxes. 1803 - 1804
- Washington County Circuit Court Clerk has Marriage Records from earliest to 1919 
- Marriage records can be found at Distribution of Estates Accounts, Washington County, Maryland, 1778-1860 
- Searchable index of Maryland Marriages, 1655-1850
- Maryland Death Certificate Index 1898-1944, available online, courtesy: Vital Records Indexing Project, Maryland State Archives.
Other Washington County death resources include:
Societies and Libraries
- Maryland Military Historical Society was formed in 1982 to preserve the history, heritage, and memory of Maryland's organized militia. In addition to their focus on the militia, the Society strives to preserve the memory of the military accomplishments of all Marylanders, regardless of branch of service. The Historical Society was the instrumental in the establishment of the Maryland Museum of Military History.
- Washington County, Maryland Historical Society
For other Societies refer to the Maryland Societies page.
Family History Centers
- FamilySearch.org Family History Library Catalog for Washington County.
- The Washington County USGenWeb Project This site has online records and links to records for historical and genealogical information pertaining to Washington County, Maryland.
- FamilyHart Online Database This online family database contains over 719,000 linked family names. It grows by 1,000 names per week, and is updated quarterly. There are many many Washington County names in this database.
- The USGenWeb Archives Project for Washington County.
- The USGenWeb Archives Project for Washington County. (Backup site)
- Jew's Genealogy - This web site contains information on many families from the Washington County, Maryland area.
Sources and Footnotes
- Know Your County-Facts about Washington County and its government, League of Women Voters of Washington County, MD 2006, p. 4
- Herbert Charles Bell, History of Leitersburg District, Washington County, Md., Leitersburg, Md., Published by The author, 1898; page 13. Google Books WorldCat 14358625
- The Bivouacs of the Dead: The Story of those Who Died at Antietam and South Mountain; Stotelmyer, Steven R., Baltimore, MD: Toomey Press, 1992. LIB 2-4-4
- WorldCat Reference
- Herbert Charles Bell, History of Leitersburg District, Washington County, Md , Leitersburg, Md., Published by The author, 1898; can be found at WorldCat
- Thomas John Chew Williams, A History of Washington County, Maryland - Washington Co., Md - 1968 - 1347 pages Reprint of the ed published in 1906 by J. M. Runk &amp; L. R. Titsworth, Hagerstown, Md. Worldcat
- Crossroads of war : Washington County, Maryland, in the Civil War, Edition: illustrated, Published by Burd Street Press, 1997, Original from the University of Michigan, Digitized Sep 22, 2008, ISBN 1572490365, 9781572490369, 312 pages WorldCat 36726487
- A snippet view is available at Google Books Events of the Civil War in Washington County, Maryland; Contributor Dennis E. Frye; Edition: illustrated, Published by Burd Street Press, 1995 Original from the University of Michigan, Digitized Sep 22, 2008, ISBN 0942597567, 9780942597561, 412 pages
- Washington County Court located at: 95 W. Washington Street, Hagerstown, MD 21740, (301) 739-3612
- Google Books
- located at 95 W. Washington Street, Hagerstown 21740; Mailing Address: P.O. Box 229, Hagerstown, MD 21741; 301-733-8660
- Google Books