Sussex County, Delaware Genealogy

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Guide to Sussex County, Delaware ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

Sussex County, Delaware
Map of Delaware highlighting Sussex County
Location in the state of Delaware, United States Genealogy
Map of the U.S. highlighting Delaware
Location of Delaware in the U.S.
Founded August 8, 1673
County Seat Georgetown
Sussex County, Delaware Courthouse.jpg
Address Administrative Office Building, 1st Floor, 2 The Circle
PO Box 589
Georgetown, DE 19947
Phone: (302) 855-7785 Sussex County Courthouse

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County is located in the south area of the state.[1]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

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Wikipedia has more about this subject: Sussex County, Delaware
  • Formerly known as Deale County, the name was changed to Sussex on 4 Dec 1682.
  • The Recorder of deeds has land records from 1693.
  • Register of Wills houses the probate records[2]

Sussex County, Delaware[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[3]
Marriage Court Land Probate Census
1861 1847 1861 1680 1693 1683 1782
*Statewide registration was 1861-1863, then reinacted in 1881. General compliance by 1921.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • Parent County: Sussex County was created 8 August 1673 from Deale (old) County.
  • County Seat:Georgetown [4]
  • Because of the ongoing boundary disputes between Lord Baltimore of Maryland and William Penn of Pennsylvania, much of Sussex County (excepting a few miles inland from the coast) was also recognized as part of Maryland's Somerset County up through 1760.  Both Pennsylvania (and, after 1710, Delaware) and Maryland issued land patents for the area, sometimes in conflict with each other.

The British Crown ordered the dispute to be settled in 1760, and commissioned Charles Mason and Jermiah Dixon to survey the boundary.  In 1769, the survey was completed, defining the border between Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania that exists today.

The border between Sussex and Kent Counties, Delaware was set in 1683 and has not changed since then.

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit Hometown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[5]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Wiltbank Family Bible, published in Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 29, p.339, available online at Family Search.

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Sussex, Delaware online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
TombstoneTranscriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Delaware Cemeteries for more information

The following web sites may have additional information on Sussex County cemeteries.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 20,488
1800 19,358 −5.5%
1810 27,750 43.4%
1820 24,057 −13.3%
1830 27,115 12.7%
1840 25,093 −7.5%
1850 25,936 3.4%
1860 29,615 14.2%
1870 31,696 7.0%
1880 36,018 13.6%
1890 38,647 7.3%
1900 42,276 9.4%
1910 46,413 9.8%
1920 43,741 −5.8%
1930 45,507 4.0%
1940 52,502 15.4%
1950 61,336 16.8%
1960 73,195 19.3%
1970 80,356 9.8%
1980 98,004 22.0%
1990 113,229 15.5%
2000 156,638 38.3%
2010 197,145 25.9%
Source: "".

For tips on accessing Sussex County, Delaware Genealogy census records online, see: Delaware Census.

Territory and State Census Records[edit | edit source]

Federal Census Records[edit | edit source]

Church Records[edit | edit source]

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Delaware: Enslaved and Free Persons, and Slaveholders is a database of enslaved and free African-Americans extracted from Sussex County, Delaware will books from 1836-1851, with ongoing updates. Slaveholders occasionally provided surnames or exact birthdates in their wills.

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Online County Histories

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

KentCaroline County, MarylandDorchester County, MarylandWicomico County, MarylandWorcester County, MarylandDE SUSSEX.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

American Revolution[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

World War I[edit | edit source]

World War II[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

  • 1680 -1800 Sussex County, Delaware Probate Records, online at Ancestry ($)
  • DeValinger, Leon. A Calendar of Sussex County, Delaware Probate Records, 1680-1800 . Dover, Delaware: Public Archives Commission, 1964.
  • Moore, Marguerite R. indexes for Sussex 1800-1869, three volumes(Westminster, Md.: Family Line Publications, 1995-97.)

School Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Societies, Libraries, and Museums[edit | edit source]

  • Laurel Public Library
    101 E 4th St
    Laurel, DE 19956
    302 875-3184
  • Lewes Historical Society
    110 Shipcarpenter St.
    Lewes, DE
  • Lower Delmarva Genealogical Society
    (Kent and Sussex County)
    Box 3602
    Salisbury, Maryland 21802-3602
  • Sussex County Genealogical Society
    c/o Rehoboth Beach Public Library
    226 Rehoboth Avenue
    Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Sussex County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Delaware 04/27/2017.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Sussex, Delaware Page 121 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Sussex County, Delaware. Page 121 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 118.
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Sussex County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Delaware, accessed 25 October 2018.