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4.6 St. Thomas Manor (Charles County, Md.), 1788 - 1970


Scope and Contents

This subseries contains records related to St. Thomas Manor, the Jesuit House in Charles County, Maryland. Materials include Litterae Annuae, Historia Domus, a sacramental register (recording baptisms, marriages, and burials), correspondence, House library lists, financial records, publications, histories, newsclippings, photographs, scrapbooks, and ephemera.

Established in 1642, St. Thomas Manor is the only House in Southern Maryland still maintained by the Jesuits. It is also the oldest residence continuously occupied by the Society of Jesus in the world, and its parish seat, St. Ignatius Church at Chapel Point, is the oldest continuously active parish in what was formerly colonial British North America.

The manor and church were set in the middle of a plantation of 3,000 acres that straddled the Port Tobacco River. The missions of St. Thomas Manor extended throughout Charles County, ministering to a diverse populace: members of the Catholic gentry, tenant farmers, and enslaved people. After emancipation, Black and white parishioners separated, forming distinct sodalities, schools, and other types of associations within their parishes. With the exception of St. Ignatius, all churches were eventually transferred to Archdiocesan control (see specific dates below).

The following churches were served by the Jesuits of St. Thomas Manor:

- St. Ignatius Church (Port Tobacco, Md.), 1642-present (Seat of St.Thomas Manor; Alternative names: St. Ignatius-Chapel Point)

- St. Mary’s Church (Charlotte Hall, Md.), 1698-1881 (Alternative name: St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Newport)

- St. Joseph’s Church (Pomfret, Md.), 1763-1966 (Served from LaPlata residence, 1926-1966)

- St. Charles Church (Glymont, Md.) 1800-1918 (Alternative names: Cornwallis Neck Church; Pye Chapel

- St. Katherine’s Church (McConchie, Md.) 1862-1872 (Alternative names: St. Catherine’s Church; St. Catherine of Alexandria Church)

- St. Mary’s Catholic Church (Bryantown, Md.), 1808-1851

- St. Peter’s Church (Waldorf, Md.), 1838-1851

- St. Mary’s Our Lady Star of the Sea (Solomon’s Island, Calvert County, Md.), 1888-1920

- Sacred Heart Church (LaPlata, Md.), 1901-1966 (Seat of the LaPlata residence, 1926-1966)

- St. Mary Star of the Sea (Indian Head, Md.), 1909-1918

- St. Ignatius (Hilltop, Md.), 1859-1966 (Alternative names: St. Ignatius of Loyola; Served from LaPlata residence, 1926-1966)

Researchers also should consult the Archdiocese of Washington, particularly when 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.**

Materials on Slavery

Some folders in this series contain references to slavery, slaveholding, and enslaved individuals. Relevant folders are noted in the finding aid.

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.

Provenance and Arrangement

Materials are arranged alphabetically by subject. Materials in this subseries are from the original MPA placed on deposit at Georgetown in the 1970s, the MPA Addenda, and the Maryland Province Collection.


  • 1788 - 1970

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