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Maryland Family History

These are histories on family branches which lived in Maryland. Some are themselves historical documents. They are subject to change, and will be occasionally updated. If you have any information which might amplify these histories—documents, pictures, or references—please get in touch! They refer to no living people. You are free to browse and download, but if you cite or use them elsewhere, however, please give credit. To view the articles on this page, you may need to download Adobe's (free) Acrobat Reader.

Essex Farm, August 1937

A History of Essex Farm

This is a basic history of the property, located in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, from the time that the property was first patented by Lord Baltimore to Ferdinando Battee, Sr. in 1664 until the death in 2003 of John Lansdale, Jr., the last owner of the property in the family. The house burned down in Dec. 2008 due to arson. This history refers to branches of the Battee, Waters, Franklin, and Lansdale families. This is as yet very spare!
A History of Essex. (Draft posted Jan. 22, 2011; 16 pages.)
These four .pdf files illustrate the descents of relevant family members: the Battees, the Franklins, the Waters, and the Lansdales. (Posted June 2, 2004; 1 page each).

Lansdale Family History

Miscellaneous Personal and Family Notes. This essay was written by John Lansdale, Sr. intermittently between 1929 and 1944. It includes in the latter sections his life until about 1909. Prior to this, however, he compiles much of what he knows of his family history. It refers to the Lansdale, Strain, Waters, Franklin, and other families. To make it accessible, the essay has has been annotated with footnotes, images, and an index of names and places keyed to people in the database. (Draft updated Jan. 22, 2011; 49 pages).
The Lansdale Family. This series of notes was compiled by Gen. Edward Geary Lansdale. He discusses his family memories, including meeting two other Lansdales in the course of his travels (Thomas Lansdale, and John Lansdale Sr.). He also tells the stories of Philip Van Horne Lansdale and the two U.S. Navy ships which have been named the U.S.S. Lansdale in his honor (Posted Sept. 9, 2005; 6 pages).
Grover Hinds, "Thomas Lansdale at Savage, Triadelphia, and Ellicot Mills," The Legacy: Newsletter of the Howard County Historical Society 43.1 (Spring 2005): 6-7. This is a brief biography of Thomas Hyatt Lansdale. This is freely available from the Howard County Historical Society (Link posted Mar. 16, 2006; 10 pages).


Triadelphia was a small town on the Patuxent River near Sandy Spring in Montgomery County. It was founded in 1809 by "three brothers" (that is, brothers-in-law) Caleb Bentley, Thomas Moore, and Isaac Briggs. Thomas Hyatt Lansdale was an early resident. He and his son, Thomas Franklin Lansdale, milled cotton there until the Civil War, and the Lansdales lived there until 1890 when they moved to Davidsonville in Anne Arundel County. The town was flooded in the mid-1940s to make a dam.
There are two more recent essays than these. Mary Charlotte Crook, "The Tale of Triadelphia, the Town Beneath the Lake," published in The Montgomery County Story 33.3 (August, 1990): 117-128, also contains much about the Lansdales who lived there, and is available from the Montgomery County Historical Society for $3.00. Also see the essay above by Grover Hinds.
The Sandy Spring Museum website includes history and images of the Lansdale and related families from the nineteenth century; see the section on "Triadelphia."
G.M. Hopkins, Atlas of Montgomery County (1879), extracts. As the document notes, this extract was transcribed by John Lansdale Sr. (Posted Mar. 17, 2006; 2 pages)
Unknown, The Personal Recollections of a Lost Village, written in 1911 and published in The Religious Telescope in Dayton, Ohio. (Posted Sept. 19, 2004; 8 pages)
R. Bentley Thomas, The Story of Triadelphia, Maryland, written in 1943, though there is no indication of where it might have been published. This is a draft, as can be seen by editorial markings. (Posted Sept. 19, 2004; 19 pages)
Alice Vedder Farquahar, Notes about the Triadelphia Bell, a brief note, with no date. The "Tom Lansdale" who signed the note at the bottom is (I believe) Thomas Franklin Lansdale, Jr., the son of the Tom Lansdale who is mentioned in the note. (Posted Sept. 19, 2004; 1 page)

Franklin Waters, Sr., Country Doctor

Dr. Waters acquired Essex from his wife's family in the 1850s (on which see the History of Essex, above). He was a country doctor whose medical textbooks, notebooks, and ledgers still survive, providing an amazing record of family members and the West River community where he lived.
Franklin Waters, Sr., Country Doctor (I'm working on this—if you have any information, please get in touch!)

The Freelands and Essex

This is a history of the connection between the Freeland family and the Franklin family. Maria Waters Franklin married Robert Freeland in the parlor at Essex in 1856. This history includes references to the Hambleton, Franklin, Freeland, and Skinner families.
The Freelands and Essex (I'm working on this—if you have any information, please get in touch!)

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