Carroll’s Yesteryears

02 May 1993

Illustrated past: Atlas provides look at Carroll County in 1877

By Joe Getty

A significant resource for researching local history is An Illustrated Atlas of Carroll County, Maryland. This book was first published in 1877 by Lake Griffen and Stevenson of Philadelphia. Original copies of the atlas are fairly rare and are prized possessions in many Carroll County families.

With a theme of “Create Your Own Legacy,” the Historical Society of Carroll County will issue a reprint of the original atlas that will include a 1993 supplement featuring histories of Carroll County businesses, organizations and families.

The publication of this commemorative edition is being sponsored as part of the Historical Society’s Legacy Campaign. The historical entries in the 1993 supplement are being submitted by donors as part of an endowment drive.

The 1877 atlas identifies Carroll County property owners and house location on maps of each election district. In addition to the full-page and double-page maps of election districts, there are detailed maps of towns and villages.

Data useful to the study of Carroll County history found in the 1877 atlas includes business references (advertising describing the nature and location of the business), list of patrons (provided the resident’s name, acreage owned, post office, occupation, nativity, and date of settlement) and views (illustrations of farms and businesses).

An index to the family names in the 1877 atlas has been compiled and is available as part of the Historical Society’s publications program. These sources are especially helpful to people researching family history as well as the history of old houses and property in Carroll County.

The 1993 historical supplement offers an opportunity to record for posterity significant facts of current history. While publications with business and personal histories were popular during the turn-of-the-century (and have become invaluable today for people studying Carroll County’s history), this will be the first county-wide effort of this nature since 1910.

A wide range of topics have already been compiled for the 1993 supplement. Businesses, churches, service organizations and other groups have submitted entries documenting their history or updating previously compiled histories with data from recent years.

Family history is also a popular topic for entries. Elements of a family genealogy can be documented for future generations. Memorial recognition of a deceased family member or friend is also an appropriate topic for the historical supplement.

The history of a family farm, homestead or other Carroll County property can also be recorded. Illustrations of recent family portraits, early family photographs or homestead properties have been submitted for publication.

The reproduction of An Illustrated Atlas of Carroll County, Maryland will be a collectors’ item for generations to come. If you would like additional information about this project, please contact the Historical Society at 848-6494.

Photo credit: Historical Society of Carroll County

Photo caption: Residents and businesses in Middleburg are shown on this map from the 1877 atlas. Similar maps exist for each Carroll County election district and for the towns and villages.

Photo caption: This is part of a patrons list for Middleburg in the 1877 atlas. A list for each election district provided the resident’s name, acreage owned, post office, occupation, nativity, and date of settlement in Carroll County.