Robert W. Barnes, the author of Baltimore County Families, 1659-1759, is our leading authority on Maryland’s namesake county. Mr. Barnes, who has also compiled a number of Maryland marriage collections, is well aware of the fact that references to marriages are not confined to ecclesiastical parish registers–the principal source before 1800. For example, in the case of some Maryland German churches, pastors kept marriage records (but not baptismal or death records) in separate books. More pervasively, references to marriages exist in probate, land, court, guardian, and apprenticeship records, as well as in church vestry books.
For this companion volume to Baltimore County Families, Mr. Barnes has unearthed over 10,000 marriages from the aforementioned indirect sources. Arranged alphabetically by the surname of the groom (in most cases), the entries provide the names of the bride and groom, date of marriage, and the source. In many instances we also learn the name of persons related to the spouses, name of the officiating minister, or other information, as in the following illustration:
Richardson, Nathan, son of William and Margaret, m. on 30 d. 8 m. 1735, Elizabeth Crockett, daughter of John and Mary (“Records of West River Meeting,” QRSM:31). In Oct. 1747 Richardson was named as a brother-in-law in the will of John Crockett who also named Nathan’s son Nathan (MWB 25:161 abst. by Gibb).
The author has expanded the scope of the work to include unhappy marriages, children placed with a guardian or bound out for apprenticeship, and bastardy cases. Complete with a full-name index and a vast bibliography, Baltimore County Marriage Evidences and Family Relationships, 1659-1800 is a major contribution to Maryland genealogical literature.