Skip to main content

Bosley family genealogical collection

Identifier: MS 2696


This collection was compiled by genealogist Dr. Richard B. Miller and traces the Bosley family lineage, starting with the first American immigrant, Walter Bosley (1675-1715). Specifically, the collection focuses on the descendants of Walter Bosley's five sons: Joseph, John, James, William, and Charles. Also included, in five index card files, are abstracts of Bosley family wills, names of family members which appear in the collection, two files of Bosley spouses, and names other than Bosley that appear in the genealogy.


  • 1975-1985


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.


3.8 Linear Feet (9 boxes; 1 oversized folder)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Dr. Richard B. Miller in February 1986.

Related Materials

MS 2707, Demmitt family papers, 1737-1781

PP 0146, Bosley-Kimbrel family photograph collection, 1870; 1920-1970


To organize his data more coherently, Dr. Richard B. Miller devised a numbering system, an explanation of which is included below:

"I usually use the number 1 (one) to designate the immigrant progenitor of the family. Many people believe that Walter Bosley was the Bosley immigrant, but as I stated in an article in the Maryland Genealogical Society Bulletin I am far from convinced that this is true, though he was doubtless the first Bosley in Baltimore County. There can be little doubt that he had the five sons named in his will, so it has seemed safest to simply assign the numbers 1 to 5 to these five sons in the order in which they are named in the will, assuming this to be their actual birth order: 1. Joseph, 2. John, 3. James, 4. William, 5. Charles. Following these key numbers, the children are numbered independently, in birth order so far as known. Thus Joseph had children who, on the basis of all available evidence, carry the number 11, 12, 13, etc. as shown on the Family Group Sheet for his family at the front of Vol. 1-I. John had only two children: Walter 21 and Joseph 22.

This same principle is used throughout the data, generation by generation. Thus a person bearing the number 467118 can immediately - without locating him by looking through the files - be identified as the eighth child of the first child of the first child of the seventh child of the sixth child of William Bosley, son of Walter. A problem arises in a family when there are more than 9 children. I have arbitrarily chosen to solve this problem in this way: the tenth child is designated by the digit O, the eleventh by the letter A, the twelfth by B, the thirteenth by C, etc. This system has been found to be workable, though I would hesitate to call it perfect.

For large sections of the family separate cards have been made for the persons who married the actual member of the Bosley family. These I have always referred to as spouse cards. In order to be sure a spouse is not mistakenly identified as himself a member of the family, he is given the same number as the real member of the family he married I have appended to that number an S. In cases where the family member married more than once, this is indicated by S1, S2, S3, etc.

Inevitably many Bosley records have been discovered in counties all over the country that could not be attached with certainty to any one of the five major groups, yet for which a sufficient body of data were found, sometimes spanning several generations, to warrant or necessitate making up Family Group Sheets. Yet these had to be given a handle by some kind of number. No particular system suggested itself, so I simply numbered them consecutively as they were found. The only distinction is that a number such as 19X27 indicates that this person was found in records that seemed to derive directly from Baltimore County itself, whereas 5Z15 would indicate a person whose record was discovered in some other locality - perhaps Iowa or Montana. Later, if further research revealed a firm placement in one of the five major groups, all such persons would have to be renumbered so as to conform to the basic pattern described above."

Guide to the Bosley family genealogical collection
Under Revision
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Revision Statements

  • 2020-03-17: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Sandra Glascock

Repository Details

Part of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Center for History and Culture
610 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21201 United States