Researching in Charles County

Unfortunately, the Charles County Maryland Genealogical Society does not have the facilities or staff to do extensive research on requests for information on Charles County residents.  We encourage you to use the following list of resources and locations if you wish to do research in Charles County, Maryland.  However, if the request can be completed easily within an hour’s research, we will try to find the information or indicate to you where to begin your search.  Please allow sufficient time for a volunteer to work on the request.  Extensive research can be done by consulting a professional researcher from our links page.

Southern Maryland Studies Center/ College of So. Md.

The Southern Maryland Studies Center (SMSC) was founded by the College of Southern Maryland in 1976 in order to provide a central location for research on this historically important region. Students, historians, genealogists, and community members use SMSC’s resources to study the culture and development of Charles, Calvert, St. Mary’s, and southern areas of Anne Arundel and Prince George’s Counties. Visitors will find a variety of materials for historical, cultural, and genealogical research.  The Southern Maryland Studies Center is located within the Library (LR Building) at the College of Southern Maryland’s main campus in La Plata, Maryland, Room LR 211. The Reading Room of the Southern Maryland Studies Center has the same hours of operation as the College of Southern Maryland Library. The archival collections are available during the hours of 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.  The address is 8730 Mitchell Road, PO Box 910, LaPlata, Md. 20646-0910.  Website is: http://www.csmd.edu/Library/SMSC/index.html

Local Charles County Family History Study Group

The Local Charles County Family History Study Group’s (LCCFHSG) mission is to research, gather, compile, and preserve local families’ long-standing lineages and rich history; to appreciate them by acknowledging their existence; and, to draw attention once again to our local ancestors. Website is:         http://lccfhsgsmd.org

LDS Family History Center       

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a worldwide leader in genealogical research and support, has the world’s largest genealogical library located in Salt Lake City, Utah.  A branch of that Family History Library is located in White Plains, Charles County, MD. There is no charge for use of the Family History Center or its facilities.  Centers are staffed by volunteers to answer questions and assist patrons in the use of the Center. In addition to access to the microfilm collection in the Salt Lake Library, each center has free access to many commercial websites, some of which are: Ancestry, Find My Past, Family History Link, Footnote, The Genealogist, Godfrey Memorial Library, Heritage Quest, World Vital Records and Alexander Street Press. The White Plains Family History Center is open Tuesday through Friday mornings 9:30 am to 12:30 pm and evenings Tuesday and Wednesday 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  Closed for holidays and when Charles County Public Schools are closed for inclement weather. The Family History Library has a free website: www.familysearch.org
The Family History Center is located at 4560 Padgett Road, White Plains, Md.

The African American Heritage Society

The African American Heritage Society of Charles County, Inc. is a non-profit organization with a dedicated mission to foster public awareness and understanding of the African American way of life; the cultural and historical contributions of African Americans to the growth and development of Southern Maryland and the nation.  The Society’s “Heritage House,” purchased by the society in 1999, is an educational facility for children, community members as well as a regular tourist attraction for the Southern Maryland region.  The organization is located at 7485 Crain Highway, LaPlata, Md. 20646.  Presently the Heritage House is staffed by volunteers only is open by appointment except for special advertised events.  One may call the following individuals to request tours, exhibits or other historical events or questions:
Mrs. Webb, 301-843-0731; Mrs. Smith, 301-843-2150; Colonel Boyd, 301-609-6044

Charles County Public Library in LaPlata, Md.

 The public library has free online access to Heritage Quest.com and onsite access to Ancestry.com.  The library has a small section of reference materials on Southern Maryland history.  The LaPlata branch is located at 2 Garrett Avenue, LaPlata, Md.  Website is : http://www.ccplonline.org/ 

Charles County Courthouse in LaPlata, Md.

Charles County Deputy Clerks do not do searches.  You will need to either come in yourself or send someone to the courthouse to do your research.  If you know the book and page where the instrument was recorded, copies can be made by the Deputy Clerks and sent to you. Marriage records for Charles County are available at the Courthouse from 1886 to the present.  Earlier marriages can be found at the Hall of Records in Annapolis at 350 Rowe Boulevard.  Phone (800) 235-4045 or (410) 260-6400. Land records are available on microfilm beginning 1655 to the present. The Courthouse does not have birth or death records. The courthouse is located at the intersection of Charles Street and Washington Avenue, LaPlata, Md. Website is: http://www.courts.state.md.us/clerks/charles/research.html

Professional Researchers in Charles County
Wanda Simmons can do Charles County research.  Her email is cbs6395@comcast.net or she can be contacted by phone, 301-752-5298.  Contact her for research rates.