Ethnic Groups of Maryland

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This entry was originally written by Roger D. Joslyn, CG, FUGA, FGBS, FASG for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
the Maryland Family History Research series.
History of Maryland
Maryland Vital Records
Census Records for Maryland
Background Sources for Maryland
Maryland Maps
Maryland Land Records
Maryland Probate Records
Maryland Court Records
Maryland Tax Records
Maryland Cemetery Records
Maryland Church Records
Maryland Military Records
Maryland Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
Maryland Archives, Libraries, and Societies
Maryland Immigration
Maryland Naturalization
Ethnic Groups of Maryland
Maryland County Resources
Map of Maryland


African American

The Maryland State Archives has sale statistics, manumission records, certificates of freedom, and lists of slave owners for most counties with some limited indexes. Maryland African Americans who helped colonize Liberia and other places in Africa are discussed by Penelope Campbell in The Maryland State Colonization Society, 1831–1857 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1971). A very useful guide is Researching Black Families at the Hall of Records, by Phebe R. Jacobson (Annapolis, Md.: Hall of Records Commission, 1984).

Not much has been published about slavery in Maryland, but two authors provide studies from the two ends of the era: Raphael Cassimere, Jr., The Origins and Early Development of Slavery in Maryland, 1633 to 1715 (thesis, Lehigh University; Ann Arbor: University Microfilms, 1975), and Charles Lewis Wagndt, Mighty Revolution: Negro Emancipation in Maryland, 1862–1864 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1964). Published records include Paul Heinegg, Free African Americans of Maryland and Delaware: From the Colonial Period to 1810 (Baltimore: Clearfield Co., 2000); Jerry M. Hynson, Maryland Freedom Papers. Vol. 1: Anne Arundel County, Vol. 2: Kent County, Vol. 3: 1832–1860 (Westminster, Md.: Family Line Publications, 1996, 1997, 2001); Hynson’s Free African Americans of Maryland 1832, Including Allegany, Anne Arundel, Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Frederick, Kent, Montgomery, Queen Anne’s, and Saint Mary’s Counties (Family Line Publications, 1998); Mary K. Meyer, Free Blacks in Harford, Somerset, and Talbot Counties, Maryland, 1832 (Mt. Airy, Md.: Pipe Creek Publications, 1991); and Marsha Lynne Fuller, African American Manumissions of Washington County, Maryland (Hagerstown, Md.: Desert Sheik, 1997).

Native American

There is little published material about Native Americans in Maryland. A general history is Indians of Early Maryland by Harold R. Manakee (Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 1959), and a more specific study is James A. McAllister’s Indian Lands in Dorchester County, Maryland: Selected Sources, 1669 to 1870 (Cambridge, Md.: the author, 1962).

Ethnic Groups

A number of books have been published about Maryland Friends (Quakers), Germans, and Jews. Some Quaker resources have been discussed above under Church Records. Among those covering the Germans are The Maryland Germans: A History, by Dieter Cunz (1948; reprint, Port Washington, N.Y.: Kennikat Press, 1972) and The Pennsylvania-German in the Settlement of Maryland, by Daniel Wunderlich Nead (1914; reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1985). For Jews, see “The Jews of Baltimore [to 1830],” in American Jewish Historical Quarterly, vols. 64 and 67, and Generations, the journal of the Jewish Historical Society of Maryland, published since 1978.

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