Members and Non-Members may undertake self-directed genealogical and historical research at our Research Center in Tudor Hall which is open Thursdays and Fridays from 11:00am to 4:00pm, the second and fourth Saturday of each month from 11:00am to 4:00pm, and by special appointment.
Use by members - free
Non-members - $5.00 daily fee
Research by Library Staff -$20.00 per hour
Members and Non-Members who are unable to visit Tudor Hall may request genealogical and historical research through our Research Volunteers. Click here to make a Research Request.
Click Here to View Our Library's Card Catalog
Visit this link to open a PDF of the Library's card catalog shelf list (card catalog records of all 2,636 items in the library by call number). Once you open the file, search for any term by pressing "CTRL - F". Important note - very light text on cards, and handwritten cards did not OCR and are not searchable.
For a list of all search term hits in their context (instead of one-by-one), download the file, open in Adobe Acrobat (Reader or Pro), and then click the "settings" icon (gear) to open full search mode. Highly recommended!
Below is a list of types of resources that are available in-person in our Research Library. Note that many of these are being scanned and made available on-line. These items will appear in other pages under the RESEARCH menu.
- Archives of Maryland: Provincial Court/Assembly Proceedings and more, 72 volumes, 1637 to 1782, indexed
- Maryland Historical Magazine: 1906 to date, bound and indexed
- Chronicles of St. Mary's: 1953 to present, some bound and indexed. Use our desktop to display & read issues. View Subject/Author Indices years 1953-1999 or 2000-Present.
- Birth Index of St. Mary's, Charles and Calvert Counties from 1898 to 1919 is available. For earlier births, extant church records must serve.
- 1744-1915 (not complete). Microfilm transcribed on to cards.
- 1744-1765 only St. Andrews (not complete). Microfilm transcribed on to cards
- 1765-1820 Diaries of Frs. Walton, Bolton, and Mosely, S.J. Orig. in Provincial Archives of the Society of Jesus, Georgetown Univ., Washington, D.C. The Historical Society has the microfilm. Published in History of Jesuit Missions of St. Mary's County, Md., by Edwin Beitzell
- 1820-1859 Parish registers. Most of these have been transcribed onto cards and are among the collections
- 1894-1900 Transcribed onto cards in the collection
- Churches and Parishes: See: Research Guide to Church and Parish Resources Available at the St. Mary's County Historical Society. November 2017.
- St Mary's County: 1790 thru 1820, 1840 thru 1880, 1900 Thru 1930; 1940 Index is available on CD
- Charles County: 1790 thru 1880
- Marriage Records: St. Mary's County marriage records began in 1794 and are available and are extant to date. Marriage data from all known sources, including official, church, newspapers, and inferred data from probate court and other sources, have been compiled and published in Marriages and Deaths in St. Mary's County, Md. 1634-1900, by Margaret K. Fresco. This book is also available from our bookstore.
- Death Records: Deaths occurring in Maryland counties were not officially registered before 1898. As with births, extant church records and other sources must be used. Deaths from all known sources up to 1900 are included in the book cited under Marriage Records, above.
- St. Mary's County wills, 1658-1969, are available on microfilm.
- Other probate records from 1634-1788 are at the State Archives in Annapolis, some of which we have in transcribed hard copy
- Wills dated 1658 to date are available for research at the Courthouse in Leonardtown Md. and to 1960, on microfilm in our collection.
- St. Mary's County Deed Books, 1637-1831 burned in the Court House fire of 1831. Except for a volume of re-recorded deeds beginning in the late 1700s, deed records begin in 1831. There are other series of land records that help to replace the lost deeds.
- Patent (Land) Records: 1,2,3,AB&H,Q and 4: 1637-1661: microfilm.
- Proprietary Manor Leaseholds: 1700 - 1768: Hardcopy Book, Gauis M. Brumbaugh, V2.
- Provincial Rent Rolls: 1660, 1685,1704,1743, 1765: Cover 1635-1765: microfilm & PDFs
- Provincial Debt Books: 1753-1774 (except 1772): microfilm & Land database.
- Deed Abstracts: 1786-1829: Indexed microfilm. Also indexed & bookmarked PDFs.
- Tax Assessment Records: 1793-1846 (not inclusive): microfilm and/or index cards. They are also available in a transcribed/indexed hard copy & PDFs.
- Alienation and Transfers: 1786-1829: microfilm & PDFs.
- Surveyor's Journals
- Benjamin Tippett's Journals A & B, ca 1840-1870, microfilm & PDFs.
- George B. Dent's Journals A thru F, ca 1860-1905, microfilm,hard copy & PDFs.
- Charles A. Heard's Journals A thru F, 6A & Unlabeled, ca 1907-1939, PDFs only
- Lewis C. Thompson's Journal A, ca 1907-1915, PDF only
- The majority of military records prior to 1831 including all Revolutionary War records burned.
- Prisoner lists for Point Lookout Prison Camp for Confederates are available on microfilm.
- War of 1812 Reference Material Available
- The St. Mary's BEACON, 1852-1960, available on microfilm.
- The St. Mary's ENTERPRISE, 1883-1989 are available on microfilm. The St. Mary's County Library System has begun digitization of the Enterprise beginning in 1923. Those are available at the libraries in St. Mary's County and here at the Historical Society as well as online.
- Some issues are missing from both series but there is an inventory of issues for each newspaper. In the future we hope to help provide both the Beacon and the Enterprise online.
- Subject Historical Files: Material relating to history, government, geography, culture and customs of St. Mary's County, 12 file drawers.
- Family History Files: Research records relating to specific families, 19 file drawers. View Family File List