Province of Maryland Reliable Sources

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: [unknown] to 4 Jul 1776
Location: [unknown]
Surnames/tags: Southern Colonies Maryland
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US Southern Colonies Project | Reliable Sources | Sources and Resources Directory | Province of Maryland Team Page

Quick-links for Sources pages
US Southern Colonies Project Reliable Sources
Maryland Virginia

This is the Reliable Sources page for the US Southern Colonies Project, Province of Maryland Reliable Sources, which includes profiles covered by pre-1700 project requirements.

This page contains sources focused on the period 1600-1776 recommended (or warned against) by WikiTree's US Southern Colonies Project.

Note: for resources pertaining to learning about the history of the US Southern Colonies, see: US Southern Colonies History.
Note: for creating a citation from a website that has not been provided see citing websites. Add the link from the page that you are sourcing.
  • After finding a reliable source, care must be taken to establish that the source belongs to your profile.


Reliable Sources

Province of Maryland Book Review

Peer Reviewed Journals

Articles in the following journals are peer-reviewed, typically authored by experienced researchers, and well-cited.

Vital Records

  • “The Maryland Calendar of Wills (1726-1732)," 8 Volumes; Compiled and Edited by Jane Baldwin Cotton and Roberta Bolling Henry; Baltimore, MD (1920) GoogleBooks (Free PDF) - ALSO all available as unindexed books on FamilySearch: Cites original Liber and page
Jane Baldwin Cotton, Maryland Calendar of Wills. Baltimore: Cohn and Pollack, 1907

Church Records

Land Records

Probate Records

Tax Records

Other Records


A reliable Index verifies that a particular document exists and provides minimal information about the document. When more information is required, the original document should be consulted.

  • Skordas, Gust. The Early Settlers of Maryland: An Index to Names of Immigrants Compiled from Records of Land Patents, 1633-1680, in the Hall of Records, Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1968. Skordas was the Assistant Achivist for the State of Maryland and the index is a reliable guide to the existence of the original documents. Each person's entry includes the individual's name, the liber (book) and folio (page) of the land patent in which it was found, and remarks suggesting the date the individual immigrated (paid his own way) or was transported (way was paid by the person who purchased some years of indentured labor. Source is sufficient for a citation that the person did arrive, when, and how the trip was paid for, but additional information should be sought in the original document.

Reliable Sources with conditions

Biographical Compilations

  • Barnes, Robert W. Baltimore County Families, 1659-1759 Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Company, 1889. Thoroughly researched compendium of Baltimore County Families, arranged in alphabetical order. Available online. Jack Day
  • Doliante, Sharon J. Maryland and Virginia Colonials: Genealogies of Some Colonial Families. Volume 1 Families of Bacon, Beall, Beasley, Cheney, Duckett, dunbar, Ellyson, Elmore, Graves, Heydon, Howard, Jacob, Morris, Nuthall, Odell, Peerce, Reeder, Ridgley, Pratheer, Sprigg, Wesson, Williams, and Collateral Kin. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co, 1991. Valuable resource that often includes transcriptions of original documents. Jack Day
  • MacKenzie, George Norbury (1851-1919), ed. Colonial families of the United States of America, in which is given the history, genealogy and armorial bearings of colonial families who settled in the American colonies from the time of the settlement of Jamestown, 13th May, 1607, to the battle of Lexington, 19th April, 1775 New York and Boston: Grafton Press, 1907. Volume VI Vols. II-V have imprint: Baltimore, Md., The Seaforth Press
  • Papenfuse, Edward C. et. al. A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 1635-1789. (Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore, 1979) Maryland Archives Online pdf image available

Surname / Family-Specific Compilations

See also Province of Maryland Book Review

Emigration / Passenger Lists

Use with Caution: Neither Reliable nor Unreliable

The following sources may contain valuable information, but because of their high rate of errors, especially in relationships, should be used only with caution and should not be the sole source for creating new profiles.
  • Beall, Fielder M. M.. Colonial families of the United States descended from the immigrants who arrived before 1700, mostly from England and Scotland, and who are now represented by citizens of the following names, Bell, Beal, Bale, Beale, Beall Ninian Beall] By the author: Washington, DC, 1929. This is a classic text on the Beall family. It contains extensive documentation, but unfortunately also contains some major errors of relationships. Jack Day

Unreliable Sources

The following sources should not be cited and are subject to removal from project-managed profiles if found. If these are the only sources on a profile, please replace it with something better prior to removal.
  • Yates' US and International Marriages Index. See this discussion for why.
  • Millennium File: "created by the Institute of Family Research to track the records of its clients and the results of its professional research. It contains more than 880,000 linked family records, with lineages from throughout the world, including colonial America, the British Isles, Switzerland, and Germany. Many of these lineages extend back to nobility and renowned historical figures. In fact, one of the things the Millennium File focuses on is linking to European nobility and royalty."
  • Edmund West Family Data collections, per their own description, "should be used to find primary sources."
  • UNSOURCED user-contributed family trees, including (but not limited to):
    • Pedigree Resource Files on
    • Public or any other family trees from
    • - World Family Tree - RootsWeb / If the tree cites reliable proofs, find the proofs and cite them instead.
    • A personal family tree.
    • Find-A-Grave. Find-A-Grave profiles rarely cite reliable proofs. When they do, find the proofs and cite them.
    • Transcriptions of documents (wills, etc.) found online that are not published.
    • A discussion in a genealogy forum. If the discussion cites reliable proofs, find the proofs and cite them.
    • Books with family trees/family histories that do not cite reliable sources. These books are secondary sources and should be seen as a starting point. Further research is needed to confirm those relationships.
Additionally, it was very popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s to publish family genealogies. These are much like the online trees of today-- their quality varies depending on the extent to which they cite their sources. Some contain accurate information-- especially about the people living within the last 50 years prior to the publication date; but many have been subsequently proven to be incomplete, inaccurate, or in a few rare cases, downright fraudulent. Absent better sources, these old published genealogies can be cited or included under "See also:". A goal of the project, however, is to find more original documentation, closer to the time of the event being cited.
  • Find-a-Grave is a user-contributed site, and as such is generally excluded from the list of reliable sources. Please do not make changes to a profile's vitals, including identification of relations, based solely on information transcribed on a Find-a-Grave profile. The exception is that if the Find-a-Grave profile contains a photo of a contemporaneous gravestone (i.e., a gravestone created and placed at the time of the person's death) and includes information about the person's death, you can cite the Find-a-Grave profile for the death information, and for other information that appears on the gravestone. Please understand, though, that even gravestones may contain erroneous information.
  • Lineage Society Applications. Lineage societies such as Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), Society for Colonials Wars, and others, vary with regard to the proofs that they require for membership. And some, like DAR, have changed their rules over time. Therefore, such applications should be used more as finding aids than actual sources. When looking at a lineage society application, please check what sources they cite, and then seek to find those actual sources.
  • Links to sources on paid subscription sites such as Ancestry, FindMyPast, and MyHeritage can be frustrating for WikiTree members and visitors without access to these sites. We recommend searching for a freely available copy of the source document on sites such as FamilySearch, Google Books, USGenWeb,, or HathiTrust.
If the source record is only available to paid subscribers, when providing the URL please also extract as much information as possible, such as relevant names, dates, and the source of the original data.


  • Maryland Archives: [1]
  • Maryland Encyclopedia: [2]


Comments: 9

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Hi, Jack,

I think this is probably a pretty reliable source. Looks like an article from The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, original to JSTORS, but available at Internet Archive (which I find much easier to navigate).

Leach. M Atherton, Compiler. Register of St. Michael's Parish, Maryland, 1672-1704. Talbot County, Province of Maryland. [1]

Please review and use if you like.


posted by Carole (Kirch) Bannes
Please rate, and if possible add: Skordas, G. (1968). The early settlers of Maryland. Baltimore, MD: GenealogicalPublishing Company. Space:Skordas,_Gust._'The_Early_Settlers_of_Maryland'_(1979)

posted by GM Garrettson
I've added an entry with my comments, and will add a link to the copy on Archive. If you arrived in Maryland in those years, whether free or indentured, you were entitled to first 100, and then later, 50 acres of land. So the arrival records are not in ship manifests but in land patents. Skordas, who was Assistant Archivist for the State of Maryland, did a yeoman's work in going through all the land patents and developing this index. Of all you need to know is that the person arrived and what year, Skordas is sufficient;l but if you are looking for additional information, then you need the sourced documents, which must be obtained from the Maryland Hall of Records (archives).
posted by Jack Day
Hi Jack!

thanks for your quick response and the addition of Skordas' book to Reliable Sources. I am pretty new to WT, and just starting to get a feel for the "collaboration" aspect of sources. In an Intro / Help guide for beginners, I read that sources can be referenced in the = Sources = <references /> section, OR as "inline references" with or without a <Ref name="xyz"> </ref> to allow multiple uses within one profile OR (and this is what I would prefer to use) by referencing a WikiTree "Source profile", so it can be referenced from multiple other profiles and the "source profile" can be used to collect various online sources and/or comments regarding the source itself. I was interested but somewhat surprised to find that non of the Project "Reliable Sources" pages seem to refer to such "Source Profiles". Has that idea been discarded? Or is there some way for me to include a link to one of the Sources listed on this page, even if it doesn't have a "Source Profile" page? The link in my original post beginning "Space:Skordas..." leads to my attempt to create such a page. I took the liberty of copying your comment to that page. Please have a look and let me know if you think that is a useful approach. It works rather well (I tested it on my own profile): the ID of the Source Profile can be copied with a single click and pasted to replace "add reference here" in the <ref name="The Early Settlers of Maryland"> add reference here </ref>. You get a footnote, referencing the Page Title under = Sources =. If you categorized the Source Profile under the Maryland project and the Team assumed manager status, then future profile-builders could easily incorporate reliable sources into their profiles - and I'm pretty sure you could generate a report that showed where the various sources were being used...

On another note: Garrett Rutten Rutten-128 and his family apparently moved to Maryland after Nathaniel Utie's delegation arrived in New Amstel. Can he be in both the Maryland project and the New Netherlands project at the same time? Would he have been granted land in Maryland on the same "headcount" basis as those arriving directly from Europe? He apparently bought land from Utie, to be paid in tobacco... If anyone you know is working on the history and genealogy of the upper Chesapeake / Susquehanna River area - especially concerning the Catholic / Protestant tensions during the Commonwealth and Restoration eras, please tell me how I can get in touch with them!

posted by GM Garrettson
Please rate Annapolis Maryland Families, 1979, by McIntire as used on John Burle (1670-1742).
posted by William Foster Jr
I'm not familiar with this, but you can get all 2000 pages (in two volumes) on E-bay for $300, a substantial discount from the $450 on Amazon...Despite that, it's clearly a compilation, a secondary source. I would hope that it cites primary sources and documents, or else those who own it have spent their money unwisely.

There is also the issue of how it is cited on John Burle's site. No page number is cited, so presumably if you are seeking to track down the source of the birth and death dates provided, you might have to read all 2000 pages. By the time you are done, you might conclude that someone doesn't like you very much.

posted by Jack Day
I would like to add a few words in defense of Annapolis Maryland Families, 1979, by McIntire.

You are absolutely right about it being a compilation and a secondary source. I bought my copy in 1979, for about $8.00. That was probably the most cost-effective genealogy purchase of my lifetime. The book has been invaluable in my research.

I have added the page number to John Burle (1670-1742). I did not add it initially because surnames are listed in alphabetical order.

I can possibly save potential WikiTree buyers some money.

The Anne Arundel County Genealogical Society has Volume 2 on sale for $10, but you have to add $7 for shipping.

from their website- Annapolis Maryland Families, Volume 2 Robert H. McIntire. Vol. 2, published in 1989, is a supplement to Annapolis Maryland Families, Vol. 1 (1979/1980), with 829 pages (including index). The geographic limits are extended beyond Annapolis in this second volume to include families residing in Edgewater, Mayo, Galesville, Shady Side, Churchton, Harwood, Davidsonville, Crownsville, Millersville, Gambrills, Odenton, Arnold, and other communities surrounding Annapolis. Vol. 2 is available in hard cover. (No member discount price). Price: $10.00, Shipping / Handling: $7.00

Note: Annapolis Maryland Families, Volumes 1 & 3 are available for purchase and download as searchable pdf files. See the Downloads section of our Store.

Annapolis Maryland Families, Volume 1 Robert H. McIntire. The famous "big red book" of genealogical information on Annapolis families from colonial days to the 20th century. Detailed and essential reference, long out of print. Now, an searchable pdf version of the 1980 reissue of this 967+ page volume is available. Once you have placed and paid for your order, we will email you the download link. Price: $7.00

Annapolis Maryland Families, Volume 3 Robert H. McIntire. Publication of Annapolis Families, Volume 1 was completed in October 1979, followed by Volume 2 in 1989. Volume 3 represents a further compilation of years of research, further adding to our knowledge of Annapolis area families from colonial days to the 20th century. This electronic version of this 572 page volume is provided in fully searchable pdf format. Once you have placed and paid for your order, we will email you the download link. Price: $7.00

posted by Charles Pettebone
Thanks so much -- this is very helpful detail about a significant resource.
posted by Jack Day
In the "Peer Reviewed Journals" section, what does "the following journals" refer to? (I'm guessing none have been added yet?)

I'm going to add a note to the Jourdan listing linking to my analysis of errors. I hope you don't mind!

posted by [Living Kelts]