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Dyer family manuscript collection

Identifier: MS 3163


The Dyer Family Manuscript Collection, ontains genealogical notes, documents, a journal and postcards of the Dyer Family of Maryland. The collection also contains documents of the Fells Point Rifle Company, commanded by Captain William B. Dyer, which was involved in the defense of Fort McHenry during the Battle of North Point.


  • 1807 - 1934

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.

Biographical / Historical

The Dyer family came to Boston around 1628. The crest of the Dyer family indicates that some ancestors were a part of the Crusades. William and Mary Dyer first came to the New World from England and the first records of them appear in Boston at the Massachusetts Bay Colony. William Dyer helped settle the colony of Rhode Island as well. He signed the Portsmouth Contract, the first official document in history which cut political and religious ties with England. Mary Dyer was banned from Massachusetts for her Quaker beliefs. She tried to return multiple times and was executed upon her return in 1660. Their youngest son, Charles, has many descendants in Rhode Island. Their other son, Samuel, married Anne Hutchinson, the granddaughter of the “celebrated” Puritan adviser, Anne Hutchinson.

Sarah McKarahen came from Ireland in the late 18th century to live with her brother, Daniel, in Philadelphia. Daniel McKarahen had three children: James, Charles and Elizabeth. Sarah McKarahen married Isaac Cooper in Georgetown, D.C. on November 15, 1802. Isaac Cooper’s parents were Albert Cooper and Phoebe Palmer, they were married on December 20, 1757.

Travel diaries detail a journey throughout Scotland and England taken during the summer of 1903. Many historical places were visited including Marie Antoinette’s house and Helen McGregor’s hut. Helen was the wife of Rob Roy, a folk hero and outlaw of the early 18th century, also known as the Scottish Robin Hood. Stirling Castle is also visited, the castle which Mary Queen of Scots resided and was crowned. There was a stop at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, Scotland. The castle has been home to the Kings and Queens of the Scots since the 16th century. Battlefields and historical landmarks of the Jacobite Rising of 1745 were visited throughout the Scottish Highlands. An entry in the journal in July 1903 detailed a sighting of Woodrow Wilson, then President of Princeton University.

The Fell’s Point Riflemen successfully defended Fort McHenry during the Battle of 1812. They were led by Captain William B. Dyer.


0.21 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Jeanne Sigler, June 2014.

Related Materials

CSPH 567, Unidentified woman/member of Dyer Family?, ca 1854-1860s

CSPH 568, Unidentified woman/member of Dyer Family?, ca 1854-1860s

CSPH 569, Unidentified woman/member of Dyer Family?, ca 1854-1860s

CSPH 570, Unidentified woman/member of Dyer Family?, ca 1854-1860s

CSPH 571, “Kirkwall” [photograph of a beach, possibly Kirkwall, Scotland], not dated

Scope and Contents

The collection contains 1 box of materials related to the Dyer family. These include genealogical notes of the Dyer and Cooper families, a travel journal detailing a historical journey through Scotland and England, correspondence, and a blueprint of Dyer family home. There are postcards addressed to Nellie Dyer in Washington D.C. from all over the United States as well as Jerusalem and Germany, and two copper plate engravings.

A member’s list, records and the constitution of the Fells Point Rifle Company, led by Captain William B. Dyer, are also included in the collection.

Guide to the Dyer family manuscript collection
Under Revision
Delaney Hochrein
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2020-04-09: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Mallory Herberger.

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