Society for the History of Germans in MD

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To collect and preserve records and historical material relating to Germans in Maryland.


President Nicholas Fessenden
1st Vice President Theodore Potthast, Jr
2nd Vice President William M. White
Treasurer Dr. Randall P. Donaldson
Secretary Dr. Maureen Helinski


Approximately a century ago, when German cultural life was still flourishing in the city, a group of Baltimoreans of German birth or descent assembled to found the SOCIETY FOR THE HISTORY OF THE GERMANS IN MARYLAND.  The objectives as stated by the founding fathers in the Constitution and the By-laws, are to collect records and preserve historical material relating to the activities of German-Americans in the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland.  Their goal was, actually, to gather and to publish historical material pertaining to the history of German immigration and German settlements in the “Free State”.

After the Society had been in existence for a year, it published its first “Report”, a modest pamphlet accounting for business transactions of the group.  Soon, however, the “Report” became the official organ of the Society and carried articles on various aspects of German-American culture in Maryland and beyond.  From 1887 on, volumes of the “Report” have continued to appear at varying intervals; since 1969 with the subtitle, “Journal of German-American History”.

Once a year the members of the society gather for a festive dinner and the Annual Meeting.  At this meeting the various activities of the Society are reported, and an outstanding historian gives a lecture on an aspect of the history of German-speaking immigrants.  Over the years, these lecturers have illuminated numerous facets of German-American life in the United States, including German-American institutions, religion, home life, folklore and humor.

The ‘SOCIETY FOR THE HISTORY OF THE GERMANS IN MARYLAND” welcomes new members who wish to share in the continuing support of research and publications, and thus to aid in the preservation of a valuable heritage by making significant German-American material available to American historiography.  The membership fee includes a copy of the “Report” and entitles the member to participate in the annual business meeting and dinner, which are followed by the lecture.