Thinking of starting an Eastern Shore project

+5 votes
68 views
I am thinking of starting a project that looks at the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware.  The idea would be to (1) judge the various secondary and tertiary sources that are available for this region, (2) create the most accurate trees of early Eastern Shore families that we can, (3) provide a forum in which to discuss and possibly dispute the date that we have.

Since primary sources are somewhat scarce for this region, several reputable researchers have stepped up to provide what they thought were the best answers to genealogical questions.  Not all of them agree.  At the same time, some people have written fanciful stories about the people of this region, stories which get replicated without question.

My sense is that it is better to seek the truth by sifting all available evidence. If you would like to join me in this project, I'd love to hear from you.
in Requests for Project Volunteers by Robin Anderson G2G6 Mach 3 (37.5k points)
I'm on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia.  I got all excited there for a minute.
So sorry, Stuart.  I wasn't aware that other places are also Eastern Shore...duh, my bad.  Maybe I'll have to call it Chesapeake Eastern Shore...
Maybe call it the Delmarva Peninsula?
Good thought.  Maybe just Delmarva Project?  Too esoteric?  

I'm kind of attached to "Eastern Shore" being in the name, though.  Probably just because my family used the term so much...
Or "Lower Delmarva Project"; there's a Lower Delmarva Genealogical Society, and a "Lower Delmarva Roots" mailing list on Rootsweb that focuses on the Cheseapeake Eastern Shore (Sussex and Kent County, Delaware; Dorchester, Wicomico, Somerset and Worcester in Maryland, and Accomack and Northampton in Virginia).
Hmm, I'd probably want to include Caroline, Talbot, Worcester counties, so thought we should just include all of the eastern shore.  The scope might be a bit large for just the few of us, but maybe it would be a start.

5 Answers

+4 votes
I’d be interested.  I’m a descendant of Charles Foreman, Foreman-493 and Moses Ford, both of whom came from Kent County, MD.  They are a hard bunch to track!
by Kathie Forbes G2G6 Pilot (113k points)
Yes, much of the Eastern Shore is difficult to track!  I have Maddox, Matthews, Thawley, Sparklin, Mills, Holland, Briddell, Sullivan, Andrew, Somers, Costen, Roach, Horsey, Riggin, Smith, Hall, more.  Somerset County, Caroline County, Worcester Co, MD, Kent Co. DE, Accomack and Northampton Co's VA.  And all of them seem to have problems!  Glad to hear from you.  I'll probably start the project - may be a few weeks due to other obligations right now, but think it might be productive in the long term.
+2 votes
I can help out. I grew up in Talbot County and I am related to the Bucks, Hoopers, LeComptes, Stewarts, Geohegans, Steele’s, Goldsboroughs, etc. basically a lot of Dorchester County.
by Gurney Thompson G2G6 Pilot (104k points)
Thank you, Gurney.  I cannot start this for a few weeks, but will let make it happen in September or October.
+1 vote
I have a lot of early Eastern Shore ancestry; my direct paternal line goes back to Samuel Handy, who came to Northampton County, Virginia around 1665 as an indentured servant and later removed to Somerset County, Maryland, and I'm related through blood or marriage to most of the early Eastern Shore families in Somerset and Worcester in Maryland and Accomack County, Virginia, it seems like (surnames of relatives by descent or marriage: Handy, Henry, Rousby, Corbin, Wise, Scarborough, Whittington, Stockley, King, Dennis, Purnell, Sewell, Dashiell, Winder, Denwood, Robins, etc). So I'd be interested in something like this.

And I agree about "fanciful stories" (for instance the claim that John Wise of Accomack, Virginia, was the son of Sir Thomas Wise of Devon, or the claim that Col. Edmund Scarburgh's wife was "Mary Littleton", or the claim that my ancestor Samuel Handy's wife Mary Sewell was the daughter of Henry Sewall, secretary of the colony, all of which have been debunked but don't go away).
by C Handy G2G6 Mach 4 (41.4k points)
edited by C Handy
Hi C Handy!  Thanks!  I have other obligations for the rest of the summer, but will get started in September or October.
+1 vote
OK,  in thinking about this projected project, we need to limit the scope somehow.  What about starting an umbrella project "Chesapeake Eastern Shore" with sub-projects of (1) Virginia Eastern Shore, (2) Lower Delmarva (Somerset, Wicomico, Worcester counties), (3) Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot Counties, (4) Delaware, (5) Kent, Queen Anne's, and Cecil Counties?

I would propose using the following to limit the scope of two of the sub-projects:  (1) Miles Files for Virginia Eastern Shore,(2) ''Caroline Marriages'' to start the Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot sub-project.

I'm willing to lead the project and to lead sub-projects for Lower Delmarva and Virginia.

Is anyone interested in taking leadership for other sub-projects?  Do you have better ideas?
by Robin Anderson G2G6 Mach 3 (37.5k points)
One problem with this division of effort is between Caroline County, Maryland, and Delaware.  Burrsville, Maryland, is located on the state line so many people are listed in both states without ever moving....

Also, it may make more sense to go county by county.
0 votes
Sounds like it would be an excellent sub-project of Southern Colonies, since I think your interest is primarily pre-1776, with tie-ins to the Maryland project of US History, which I coordinate, and Virginia as well as Delaware.  

I think if you were to try to make it a major project headed by a Leader with subprojects of its own, you would run into too much overlap with existing projects.  Better to coordinate with them, and keep the Eastern Shore or Delmarva Project focused on that peninsula with an emphasis on certain families or areas that you're working on.

My college roommate was from Crisfield and he and his friends used the term "Eastern Shore" much more than "Delmarva."  The latter, though, would be an advertiser's dream, "If it comes from Delmarva, it's delmarvelous."
by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (277k points)
My interest is equally in pre-1776 and up to today.   My mother grew up on the Eastern Shore (Princess Anne, Marion Station, Crisfield) and her family got there in the early 1600s.  (She didn't like the term Delmarva and only used Eastern Shore.)

I think that the relative isolation of the peninsula for most of its history makes it a viable project on its own - heavily loyalist in Revolution and mostly with the Union in the Civil War, distinctive dialect in places, for examples.

I don't know yet whether to start a project (or sub-project) or just proceed with what I can find on my own.  Not sure there is enough interest in it as a project/sub-project.

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