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4.3 Frederick (Frederick County, Md.), 1806 - 1964


Scope and Contents

This subseries contains the records of the Jesuit House and Novitiate in Frederick, Maryland. Among the Records of the Houses, the Frederick subseries is distinctive, documenting both parish life and the considerable activities of the Novitiate. House materials include Litterae Annuae, Historia Domus, diaries, financial records, and correspondence. Novitiate records include announcement books, rule books, financial records, infirmary records, membership records, student records and publications, and a variety of diaries. Among the records are also materials documenting the churches and institutions served by the Frederick House: St. Ignatius Loyola; St. John’s Church, including St. John’s Cemetery; St. Francis Xavier; St. James; John’s Literary Institution; St. Francis Xavier; Maryland Institution for the Deaf and Dumb; Montevue Almshouse; Sacred Heart; and St. John’s Literary Institution.

The Jesuits first established a House in Frederick, Maryland in 1763. The constituents of the Frederick House included planters, tenants, and enslaved people who migrated to the area from Southern Maryland, as well as German and Irish immigrants who settled in central and western Maryland. The Frederick area also included descendants of prominent Catholic families who had been in the region since the colonial period, including the Carrolls and Dalhgrens. In the early nineteenth century, Frederick emerged as a transportation nexus, and immigration - especially among Irish and Black laborers looking for work - increased accordingly.

The Jesuits strove to meet the needs of this diverse population. They evangelized aggressively among poor laboring people, both Black and white. They also built institutions to attend to the pastoral and educational needs of elite planters and merchants, including St. John’s Literary Institution, a boarding school for boys (in 1829).

In 1834, the Province established St. Stanislaus Novitiate in Frederick to train new members of the Province. The novices and scholastics of the Novitiate ministered widely, often traveling over difficult terrain to reach private chapels and work camps. In 1862, during the Confederate campaign, the Novitiate was briefly moved to St. John's College (now Fordham University) in New York; it was returned to Frederick in was then returned to Frederick. During the 1880s, the Frederick Novitiates began to work within state and municipal social agencies, such as the Maryland Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, the Montevue Asylum, and the Frederick County Jail. In 1903, however, the Jesuits transferred the Province’s Novitiate from Frederick to St. Andrew-on-the-Hudson in Poughkeepsie, New York.

For a more detailed history, see Background on the Frederick House and Novitiate.

The Jesuits of Frederick served the following churches:

- St. John’s Church (Frederick, Md.), 1763-1903 (Alternate name: St. John the Evangelist Church in Frederick, Md.)

- St. Peter’s Church (Libertytown, Frederick County, Md.), 1822-1882 (Alternate name: St. Peter the Apostle in Union Bridge, Md.)

- St. Mary’s Church (Petersville, Md.), 1825-1895 (Succeeded by: St. Francis-St. Mary and The Holy Family Church in Middletown, Md.)

- St. Joseph’s Church (Carrollton Manor, Frederick County, Md.), 1829-1902 (Alternate names: St. Joseph’s Manor, St. Joseph-on-Carrollton Manor in Frederick, Md.)

- St. Ignatius of Loyola (Urbana, Frederick County, Md.), 1876-1902 (Alternate names: Toodlestown, St. Ignatius of Loyola Country Church)

- Chapel of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Middletown, Md.), 1881-1902 (Alternate name: Dahlgren Chapel)

- St. Francis Xavier Church (Shookstown, Md.), 1885-1902

- St. James Church (Point of Rocks, Frederick County, Md.), 1895-1902

- Sacred Heart Mission (Brook Hill, Frederick County, Md.), 1889-1902

If a church is still active, sacramental records may be available to genealogists by consulting the churches or their successors directly. Researchers also should consult the Archdiocese of Baltimore, particularly if the church is now inactive.

**Please note: the finding aid contains Scope and Contents notes for each folder. This folder-level description has been imported from an older finding aid. Researchers may encounter outdated or potentially offensive terminology and occasional inaccuracies. If you would like to notify Special Collections of any issues that need correcting, please contact us.**

Provenance and Arrangement

Materials are arranged alphabetically by House and/or subject. Materials in this subseries are from both the original MPA placed on deposit at Georgetown in the 1970s, as well as the Maryland Province Collection.

Conditions Governing Access

Most materials dated 1900 and later have not been digitized. Materials dating 1900-1939 are available for research use at the Booth Family Center for Special Collections. All materials dated 1940 and later are restricted.


  • 1806 - 1964

Conditions Governing Access

The Maryland Province Archives is on deposit at Georgetown University and is the property of the USA East Province of the Society of Jesus. As stewards of the Archives, the Georgetown University Library’s Booth Family Center for Special Collections is responsible for managing access to the material based on policies set forth by the USA East Province. Researchers may view these materials in the Reading Room of the Booth Family Center for Special Collections. General policies for using Special Collections can be found here.

Access to the Archives is governed by the USA East Province and is subject to all Library and Special Collections policies and procedures in addition to the specific guidelines below. These guidelines are a summary of access policies; the Archives may include materials that fall outside the scope of these general guidelines. For information on access to specific materials, please contact the Special Collections staff.


1. All Archives materials dated or bearing solely on events occurring before January 1, 1940, shall be open for review unless otherwise restricted, subject to Library policies and procedures.

2. All unpublished Archives materials dated or bearing solely on events occurring on or after January 1, 1940, shall be open for review upon request subject to a decision by the Provincial or someone designated by the Provincial.

3. Researchers may quote from the materials.

4. Researchers may take their own photographs of the material for scholarly and research purposes. Allowing photographs is not an authorization to publish or to deposit the material in another library or archive.

5. Written permission from the USA East Province is required for the publication of substantive portions of any material or publication-quality reproductions of any material.

6. Material not yet processed is not available to researchers; permission will not be granted to access any unprocessed material.

7. Audiovisual, microfilm and other material in the Archives, the original of which is held in another archive, may be consulted and transcribed only. Written permission from the archive holding the original material is required for any duplication, reproduction, or publication of that material.

8. Use the Permission Request Form to request permission (i) to access any restricted processed material or (ii) to publish reproductions or quote substantive portions of the material. Send the completed form by email to the Booth Family Center for Special Collections (


From the Collection: 308 boxes (212 regular boxes, 25 oversized boxes, 58 restricted regular boxes, 13 restricted oversized boxes, plus 14 card catalog drawers )

Language of Materials

From the Collection: Multiple languages


Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057