September 29 - Genealogy and Maps

Mark your calendars for the Member Meeting at the Hockessin Pulblic Library on September 29th, where we will be discussing the use of maps in genealogical research.  More information is available on our events page.


Genealogy Treasures Found in Deeds

From time to time, we will be featuring articles from our newsletter here on the DGS home page.  The following is from September 2015.
by Lloyd Maier
Deeds written during the Colonial Period in America often contain multi-generational information. Fortunately, I have a number of examples. I will share three of these examples below.  
The first is a Loudoun County, Virginia deed. On September 3, 1760, Margaret Harrison Blackburn and her husband Edward Blackburn sold their portion of a tract she had inherited. The deed, found in Loudoun Deeds C:255, connects the family. It says: "tract taken up by William Harrison and devised to William H. Harrison his son.....The Northern Neck Grant was to Sarah Lewis, then Sarah Harrison, widow and relict of William Harrison the elder and mother of William the son. The tract was devised to his (William - the son) four daughters, Margaret who married Edward Blackburn, Sarah who married John Monroe, Susanna who married Robert Slaughter and Mary who married John Waler."
Would that all deeds contained so much valuable information! The deed was not recorded until July 10, 1762.
I have a number of family lines that spent time in Cecil County, Maryland. Many of their Colonial Deeds have similar information. There was a time you could pull the old books off the shelf, but they are now all in the Maryland Archives. However, all Maryland Deeds are online. You must get a password to access them, but it is not hard to do. Go to and follow the process.  My experience is that the counties are uneven in ease of access. Cecil has been easy for me, after I practiced a bit.  
One of the wonderful Cecil County deeds lays out the generations. Cecil County Deeds Vol 6, page 383 states:
"John Currer of Cecil County, Innholder, to James Paul Heath, Merchant, for part of Susquehannah alias New Connaught Manor which was sold by George Talbot on 5/31/1687 to William Currer and Jane his wife, grandfather and grandmother of said John Currer; Land is named Helena, lying on the North East River in Cecil Co. bounding tract of land called Cavan, 300 acres, witnesses Nicholas Hyland, Nathan Baker. 10/29/1744."
Finally, an incredible find this summer in a Cecil County Deed added three new surnames to our family tree.  Cecil county Deed Book 7, page 222 was written Aug. 30, 1750 and states:
"Elizabeth Manadow wed Samuel Philips, and had a son Manadow Philips. It further states that she was the daughter of Peter Manadow and Peter's wife Peternella Carr, daughter of Captain John Carr."
Knowing this led to additional information at Old Swedes about Peternella's family.  
I encourage you to read the deeds, not just the summaries. You may find a treasure hidden there.
The DGS newsletter is published five times a year: January, March, May, September, November. To learn about additional benefits of membership, take a look at our member benefits page.


What is a Marriage Bond?

From time to time, we will be featuring articles from our newsletter here on the DGS home page.  The following is from March of 2016.
By Peg Waltz
A marriage bond, was in effect, a statement made under heavy penalty that a man and woman were legally eligible to marry each other.  If the marriage was later proven invalid, the bondsmen became liable for damages to the amount of the bond.  No actual money was involved otherwise.  In Delaware, as in many other parts of the country, this assurance was long required of all who wished to marry by a ceremony where the banns were not read.
Marriage banns were usually the formal process leading up to the wedding. Notice of the impending marriage was read from the church pulpit or posted at the church door over a set period of time. The purpose of this was to allow those who knew the bride and groom to object if there was a legal reason why the marriage should not take place ("speak now or forever hold your peace”).
With an influx of immigrants, often either the bride or the groom would not be well known in the community so banns did not fulfill the mission. To overcome this, the marriage bond soon replaced the banns.
Source: Delaware Public Archives
The newsletter is published five times a year: January, March, May, September, November. To learn about additional benefits of membership, take a look at our member benefits page.


A new look!

Welcome to the new and improved home of the Delaware Genealogical Society.  For those of you who came to the May member meeting, you should recognize all of the new features we discussed, including the now logo and color scheme, easier access to member benefits, and the new 'rotator' in the upper right of the screen that features ancestor photographs submitted by our membership.  For those members who missed the meeting, you can review the presentation on our member meeting materials page.
We're still looking for more of your ancestor photographs!  Send them to our webmaster along with vital dates and a brief summary such as the one you see in header above.

Welcome to the Delaware Genealogical Society, a place for all genealogists to meet and share their knowledge and experiences.  The Society endeavors to be the primary source of information about Delaware families, as well as a trusted provider of genealogical education and assistance for all of our members.
This mission is accomplished through our monthly seminar program, a Society newsletter, a twice yearly Society Journal, the DGS Delaware Families blog and this website which contains general Delaware guidance for all and Delaware specific content in a Members Only section. This web site is for you, the membership, and we look forward to your input to ensure it meets your needs.