County Name

Baltimore was named for Cecilius (Cecil) Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore and the proprietor of Maryland, who in turn took his title from his barony estates in Longford County, Ireland.






County Flag History


County Seal History

Brief County History (1650 - 1854)

While archeological evidence shows that the area has supported human inhabitation for 9000 years, by the 1650's when European settlement began, Baltimore County was primarily a geographical entity more than a political one. Its territorial limits consisted of Baltimore City, Cecil and Harford Counties, as well as parts of Carroll, Anne Arundel, Frederick, Howard and Kent Counties. The legal origin of Baltimore County is not known, but it was in existence by January 12, 1659, when a writ was issued to the county sheriff. Formal county boundaries were mentioned when Cecil County was formed out of Baltimore County in 1674. Thus early county history is more a story of the settling of northern Maryland than a history of the county. Most of the early land grants were situated along the coastal region. Since few if any roads existed, the navigable waterways such as Back and Middle Rivers of the seventeenth century carried most commerce and transportation. The Gunpowder Falls area became a choice area for land grants.

"Old Baltimore" on the Bush River (in what is now Harford County) became the first permanent county seat. In 1712, Joppa near the mouth of the Gunpowder River became the second county seat and a thriving tobacco port. In 1768, as Joppa's commercial influence faded the influence of the port of Baltimore Town, now known as Baltimore, resulted in it being named the county seat. Baltimore separated from Baltimore County in 1854. The city remains an independent jurisdiction. In 1854, Towsontown, now known as Towson, became the current county seat. The cornerstone of the courthouse was laid on October 19, 1854.

 

 

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