Washington County, Maryland Facts
Washington County was founded on September 6, 1776 from Frederick County. This county was named in honor of George Washington, first President of the United States.
The Washington County Seat is situated in Hagerstown additionally, the county government website is www.washco-md.net/
Areas next to Washington County are Fulton County, Pennsylvania (northwest), Allegany County (west), Morgan County, West Virginia (southwest), Berkeley County, West Virginia (south), Jefferson County, West Virginia (south), Loudoun County, Virginia (southeast), Frederick County (east), Franklin County, Pennsylvania (northeast).
Cities and towns to be found in Washington County include Hagerstown (incorporated 1813), Boonsboro, Clear Spring, Funkstown, Hancock, Keedysville, Sharpsburg, Smithsburg, Williamsport.
Washington County consists of Federal Census Schedules to guide in looking into your family tree. Federal Population Schedules can be found for 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.Washington Co. Mortality Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Washington Co. Industry and Agriculture can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Washington Co. Union Veterans Schedules is available for 1890. One can find free online and printable census forms to help you with your research.
Washington County Societies and Family History Resources
A list of Washington County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
- Maryland State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- Western Maryland Historical Regional Library, 100 South Potomac Street, Hagerstown, Maryland 21740
- Washington County Historical Society, P. O. Box 1281, Miller House, 135 West Washington St., Hagerstown, MD 21741 - 1281, (301) 797-8782
- Washington County Free Library, Hagerstown, Maryland;
- We list: Obituary Locator 1790-2007; Historic Newspaper Index; Whilbr - Western Maryland Digital Marriage Records; School Records; Church Records; Land Records; 1877 Atlas; City Directory 1893-9; Cemetery & Death records.
- Also a list of published materials available in the Library: County & Regional Histories; Military Records; Telephone Directories; Census records; Historical Maps; Naturalization records; School Yearbooks; Hagerstown Farmers Almanacs; Manumission records; City Directories; Wills & Estates.
- Inventory of the county and town archives of Maryland: Washington County (search.ancestry.com)
- Washington County, Maryland Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in Washington County
- Washington County, Maryland Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for Washington County
- USGenWeb Archives for Washington County (usgwarchives.net)
Government records of Allegany County are available in original, microfilm and digital formats from the Maryland State Archives
Washington County Courthouse and Government Records
Genealogist typically overlook the advantages of Washington County court, probate, and land documents as a source of genealogy and family history details. Buried away in Maryland courthouses and archives just about everywhere are often the aspirations and frustrations of countless Maryland inhabitants.
The possibilities are very good that your particular ancestors have left a detailed record of at least some elements of their lives in the Washington County court records. Even if your ancestors and forefathers is not discussed in a Court case, give some thought to all of the other procedures that could have lead to her or him appearing in court records.
Please make sure to speak to the clerk's department to confirm hours, mailing address, fees and other details just before visiting or looking for information because of occasionally changing contact info. The Department Offices DO NOT DO RESEARCH. The documents are available to interested parties, barring confidential issues. Many workers will guide individuals in finding the materials, but it is up to the particular person to complete the research.
The following indicates what vital, land, probate, and court records are in Washington county. The dates indicated below are the first known records for this county which may include records of land, estates, taxes, vital records, divorces, naturalizations, voter registration, court records, and so forth. Some records were lost in a courthouse fire in 1871.
From "The Herald and Torch Light," the weekly Hagerstown newspaper, of December 13, 1871, we read, "The records in the several offices [of the courthouse] were removed, except some papers in the Clerk's Office vault,
which were somewhat scorched, but not rendered illegible. The Safe in the
County Commissioners Room, which contained many valuable papers, was not
removed, and was subjected to the firery [sic] ordeal, but when opened
several days afterwards, the papers and books were found in good condition,
the covers of the latter being only slightly scorched. Other books and
papers of the Commissioners were rescued by Henry W. Lyday, Esq., on of the
Commissioners, and E.W. Funk, Esq., late Clerk."
- Washington County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- Address: 24 Summit Avenue, Hagerstown 21740
- Washington County Circuit Court Clerk is responsible for recording documents related to property. Documents recorded consist of, but are not limited to, deeds, mortgages, restrictions, notaries, public and elected county officers. Other documents, such as Military Service Discharges, foreign birth certificates, as well as obscure documents like cattle brands, are also recorded here.
- Phone: 301-733-8660
- Marriage Records: 1777
- Land Records: 1777
- Washington County Register of Wills/ Orphan's Court Clerk responsibilities include supervising Clerk's office personnel in the civil, criminal, courtroom clerks, business license, marriage license, land records, and juvenile units.
- Phone: (301) 739-3612, (301) 739-3619 or (888) 739-0013
- Probate Records: 1777
- Washington County Government Records are available from the Maryland State Archives
- Maryland Office of Vital Records has copies of birth, marriage, divorce and death records. There is a fee for each copy requested. Please refer to the information to the Statewide Vital Records in Maryland for current fees and application process. Birth, marriage, and death records are connected with central life events.
Washington County Links
The following are links to Genealogy, Records and Resources relating to Washington County. A majority of these genealogy links fall into 3 categories: Business Sites, Personal Sites or Organization Sites. Some have free access some have to have a payment. This is simply a listing that has been gathered or submitted. I do not recommend or promote one genealogy site above another. Feel free to provide your own favorite Washington County genealogy or family history affiliated sites.
Washington Co. MD Books, Newspapers & Publications
Washington Co. MD Birth, Marriage & Death Records
Washington Co. MD Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
Washington Co. MD Census Records
Washington Co. MD Cemeteries & Graveyards
Washington Co. MD Church & Bible Records
Washington Co. MD Family Websites, Pictures & Histories
Washington Co. MD General and History Websites
Washington Co. MD Immigration & Naturalization
Washington Co. MD Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
Washington Co. MD Military Records
Washington Co. MD Schools & Directories