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Harwood Family Buzzard Island papers

 Collection 0315-MDHC

The Harwood Family Buzzard Island Papers date from 1652 to 1919, though the bulk of the items date from 1801 to 1821. They consist of receipts, deeds, land plats, and other financial and legal documents relating to the acquisition and sale of Buzzard Island, as well as other properties owned by Richard Harwood. Also in the collection are unrelated financial and legal documents concerning properties in Frederick County, MD, and Frederick County, VA, Martinsburg, WV and other areas. One of these properties is “Glengary” in West Virginia purchased by Elisha Boyd (1796-1841) a well-known Martinsburg, WV lawyer. The undated newspaper article refers to Marsh Market, which existed in Baltimore, MD, in the late 18th century until 1904 when it burned down.


  • 1652-1842
  • Majority of material found within 1801-1821

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open to the public and must be used in the Special Collections reading room. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.


55 Items

Biographical / Historical

The Harwood Family was prominent in Anne Arundel County, Maryland during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. They owned substantial landholdings in Anne Arundel County, as well as in Calvert, Baltimore and Prince George’s Counties, dating as far back as 1651. One branch of the family is associated with the Hammond-Harwood House, a well-known example of American colonial architecture in Annapolis.

The bulk of the Harwood Papers concern the property known as Buzzard Island in Calvert County, Maryland. Buzzard Island was previously owned by the Hollyday family, who in turn purchased the land from William Stone, an early Proprietary Governor of Maryland. In 1801, Anne Bradley Cox (daughter of Leonard Hollyday) sold the land to Richard Harwood (1770-1813) of Calvert County for 500 pounds.

Buzzard’s Island was the subject of an 1804 court case, Aquila Beall vs. Richard Harwood, in which Beall claimed ownership of the property based on his earlier ownership of a mortgage taken out by a member of the Holliday family. Harwood retained his ownership of Buzzard Island in both legal cases. In 1815, Richard Harwood’s brother Thomas sold the property to James S. Morsell of Georgetown, Washington, D.C., a judge born in Calvert County.


Organized in one series.

Series 1
Financial and Legal Documents

Custodial History

The Harwood Family Buzzard Island Papers were purchased from Charles Apfelbaum Rare Books and Collections of Valley Stream, New York in October 2006.

Related Materials

The University of Maryland Libraries also holds the Sellman Family Papers, the Frederick Stone Papers , and the William B. Stone Papers. The Sellman and Harwood families were related by a series of marriages during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Frederick and William Stone were descendants of the William Stone who was the recipient of the original land grant for Buzzard Island.

Bordley, James. The Hollyday and related families of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. (Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 1962). Location: UMCP HBK Maryland Room, Maryland Stacks CS71.H73 1962.

Cotton, Jane Baldwin and Roberta Bolling Henry. The Maryland calendar of wills. (Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1968-1995). UMCP HBK Maryland Room, Maryland Stacks F180.C853 v.1.

Hutchins, Ailene W. Calvert County, Maryland, early land records. (Prince Frederick, Md: A.W. Hutchins, 1982). UMCP HBK Maryland Room, Maryland Folio F187.C15H87 1982.

Newman, Harry Wright. Anne Arundel gentry: a genealogical history of some early families of Anne Arundel County, Maryland. (Annapolis, Md: By the Author, 1970-1979). UMCP HBK Maryland Room, Maryland Stacks F187.A6N4 1970 v.3.

Stein, Charles Francis. A History of Calvert County Maryland. (Baltimore: By the Author in co-operation with Calvert County Historical Society, 1977). UMCP HBK Maryland Room, Maryland Reference F187.C15S75 1977.

Warfield, Joshua Dorsey. The Founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland. (Baltimore: Kohn & Pollock, 1905). UMCP HBK Maryland Room, Maryland Stacks F187.A6 W27. Also available as an ebook:

Processing Information

The materials have been placed in acid-free folders and stored in an acid-free box.

Guide to the Harwood Family Buzzard Island papers
Processed by Grant Hamming and Terry Ann Sayler.
2008-07, 2013-06
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742