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New Research Guide for Howard County Genealogy

By: Dick Bush, newsletter editor, Howard County Genealogical Society Research Guide to Howard County

At last there is a comprehensive book specifically on genealogical research in Howard County, Maryland. The book is entitled "Guide to Research in Howard County, Maryland" by Kenneth E. Zimmerman, published by the author, 1997. This book provides a wealth of information that has heretofore been available only in separate publications, if available at all. Features that make the book especially easy to use include a location code after each reference, a comprehensive table of contents and a complete index. Although the book is primarily intended for genealogists and family historians, there is also information of use to other historians and visitors to the county.

The book is divided into main sections on county history, cemeteries, census records, churches, court records, directories, funeral directors, historical sites, county government addresses, maps, newspapers and periodicals, publications, research organizations, post offices, and vital records. Three maps show the historical relationship of Howard County to other Maryland counties, and the election districts within the county, which help locate cemeteries.

The 25-page section on cemeteries contains an alphabetical listing of cemeteries having recorded tombstones. Each listing has a specific references to where the tombstone transcriptions can be found in the eight volumes of records published by the HCGS, or in other cemetery books.

The section on county court records explains why the earliest records begin in 1840, even though Howard County was not officially a county until 1851. A particularly useful section for genealogists will be the 6-page listing of Howard County court records available at the Maryland State Archives, a listing which has been updated through February, 1997. The section on vital records explains what information is available, and where it can be found or ordered.

The author, Ken Zimmerman, was born in Baltimore and has lived in Howard County for over 20 years. He has been a member of the Howard County Genealogical Society since 1987, and served on its Executive Board. He is a member of the Baltimore County Genealogical Society, where he just completed a term as President. He is a member and officer of the Maryland Society Sons of the American Revolution. He is a volunteer at the Maryland Hall of Records, and has given genealogy talks and classes. Ken Zimmerman and his wife Elaine are coauthors of two cemetery records books, one on St. Paul's Cemetery in Baltimore City and one on Lorraine Park Cemetery in Baltimore County. He has been working on the "Guide to Research in Howard County" for two years.

"Guide to Research in Howard County, Maryland" contains 99 pages plus index, and is paperbound. Price is $17.00 plus $2.00 shipping plus $0.85 tax for Maryland residents. The book may be ordered direct from the Howard County Genealogical Society, Box 274, Columbia, MD 21045, and will also be available at the May HCGS general meeting.

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