Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Land Record Research

This past weekend, I had the chance to find out a little more (actually, a LOT more) about researching land records in Maryland. Although I have a huge brick wall to climb with my James Madison DeHority, I know he came from Delaware, and I know the Delaware Dehortys started in Maryland in the early 1700's.

The Dorchester Historical Society hosted a workshop presented by John Lyons on his years of research into the Maryland land records. John has reviewed the land records for the lower counties of Maryland, "platted" these properties with software, pinpointed their location and created a wonderful database to organise this information. Having read some of these old patents myself, I can't imagine what a huge job this has been. My eyes start to blur after a couple of hours!

John demonstrated the wealth of information available in these records, some of which are available online. After lunch, John, along with his fellow researcher, John Polk, patiently allowed each of us the opportunity to see if they had information on particular families and see plats of the early land holdings. There were quite a few happy folks in the room that afternoon.

Unfortunately, their research is just now getting to Dorchester County, which is where my people were. I hope they continue to organize this early information, so that someday I'll have a better idea of where my family washed ashore.

If your are a Maryland researcher, attending John's workshop is an opportunity not to be missed! Both John Lyons and John Polk are active on the Lower DelMarVa Rootsweb list, and their posts are usually mini-workshops in and of themselves.

Many thanks to the Dorchester Historical Society for the opportunity! Now, to plan my next trip to the Maryland Archives!

1 comment:

  1. Mary -
    I may have found a deed for your James, do you know his wife's name - was she Rebecca? I've found a deed for a James Dehorty in Dorchester, wife Rebecca, year of deed is 1749. It appears to be the sale of their property. Drop me a note via my blog and I'll send you the document, I've saved it to my drive - and I'll also send you the info these original records on line on a new Maryland site that's being tested. How exciting!