Baltimore County Maryland

Baltimore County, MD

Baltimore County is the third-most populous county in the state of Maryland in the United States and is part of the metropolitan area of Baltimore and the metropolitan area of Baltimore-Washington (a combined statistical area). Baltimore County is part of the megalopolis of the Northeast, which extends northward from Virginia to Boston. A diversified economy is hosted by Baltimore County, with particular emphasis on education, government, and health care.

Multiple universities are located in the county, including Goucher College, Stevenson University (formerly Villa Julie College), Towson University, and Baltimore County University of Maryland.


Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore (1605-1675), owner of the new colony in the Province of Maryland, and the town of Baltimore in County Cork, Ireland, derived the name “Baltimore.” The county’s earliest known documentary record is dated January 12, 1659, when a writ was issued to its sheriff on behalf of the General Assembly of Maryland.

The county was officially founded in 1659, among the 23 counties now in the State of Maryland. This presumes that there had already been a certain amount of organization and appointments in the mid-17th century. Previously, (old) Baltimore County, with its territorial boundaries including most of northeastern Maryland, which was then the province ‘s northwestern border, was known more as a geographical entity than a political one and included the present-day jurisdictions of the counties of Baltimore City, Cecil and Harford, as well as parts of the counties of Carroll, Anne Arundel, Frederick, Howard and Kent.

The then-extensive boundary lines for the old Baltimore County were established in 1674 by the Proclamation of the Proprietor. Different segments of the old county were cut off over the next century as the population and settlements in fringe regions increased. To create Cecil County, a portion of northeastern Baltimore County, as well as a portion of northwestern Kent County, were split off. In 1748, to create Frederick County, a portion of western Baltimore County and a portion of Prince George’s County to the south were split off. Harford County was split east in 1773, and another portion of western Baltimore County was merged with a portion of eastern Frederick County to establish Carroll County in 1837. A portion of the northwestern region of the County was designated in 1838 as the “Western District” or “Howard District” of Arundel and in 1851 was officially separated to form Howard County after the adjustment of Baltimore County’s southern boundary with Anne Arundel County, reported to be the upper Middle and Western Branches of the Patapsco River in 1727.

According to sketchy documentary evidence, before 1674, Baltimore County court sessions were held in private residences. In 1674, the General Assembly passed “An Act for the establishment in each county within this province of a Court-house and Prison.” The site of Baltimore County’s courthouse, jail and county seat was obviously “Old Baltimore” near the Bush River on land that became part of Harford County in 1773.


Census-designated places in Baltimore County

In Baltimore County, all areas are unincorporated. In Baltimore County, since there are no incorporated cities, all place  names are neighborhoods and have no legal jurisdiction over their area. 

The following census-designated locations that the Census Bureau recognizes are:

Baltimore Highlands
Bowleys Quarters
Mays Chapel
Middle River
Milford Mill
Owings Mills
Perry Hall
Towson (county seat)
White Marsh


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