New lecture series will explore Delmarva’s past

A new series, Exploring Delmarva’s Past, will debut in Mardela Springs on April 26.  Guest lecturers will share their research, conclusions, and questions yet-unanswered about this land between the Ocean and Bay.  This series is offered as part of Westside Historical Society’s Program in Family and Local History.

The first talk, “Early Maps of Delmarva and What They Reveal About Early Settlers,” will be delivered by Mike Hitch, well known for his local research  on early families and groundbreaking research on mapping all the early patents of the lower eastern shore of Md and Delaware with his colleague John Lyon.   Some of the earliest maps include a wide variety of information valuable to family historians, genealogists, and historians, but often are overlooked by researchers.  Following the talk, members of the audience are invited to ask questions, make comments, and join in a discussion of the topic.

Hitch, a local genealogist and historian, also has written a book on Adam Hitch, his immigrant ancestor based on early records,  and most recently he has co-authored “OH Lordy!” a civil war narrative using the letters of Young H.E. Hitch of the 16th South Carolina Volunteers.  Hitch is a well-known speaker on local history topics and family history and is the chair of the Nabb Research Center Board.

This series, new this year, is expected to become an annual offering.  Following this lecture will be talks on May 17 by Dr. Ray Thompson on Boundary Disputes: Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Delaware” examining Delmarva’s changing face through those disputes;  on June 14 Terry Phillips will discuss Roads – From trails and waterways to defined links across the peninsula; on September 13 Newell Quinton and Rudy Stanley talk about The Proud History of San Domingo: A Pre-Civil War Community Created by Free African-Americans; and on Oct. 18 Sylvia Bradley  speaks on The Lure of the West – Eastern Shoremen Who Travelled ‘Way Out Yonder’!

All lectures will be in the historic Barren Creek Springs Church at 110 Main Street in Mardela Springs and are free and open to the public. Parking is available on site or across the street.  Unless otherwise noted, lectures will begin at 2:30, usually on Thursdays.

Westside Historical Society works to preserve and promote the rich heritage of western Wicomico County and the Nanticoke River watershed. They maintain a museum, office and a Research Library and archival collections at 413 Main St. in Mardela Springs.

Reach them by phone at 410-726-8047, email, or on the web at or on Facebook.


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