Arundel history

The long history of the Shipleys

March 25, 2007

In March 1681, an enterprising young man named Adam Shipley surveyed and patented 200 acres south of the Severn River. That was the start, according to state historians, of the strong family presence in the county, with Shipley family farms stretching over thousands of acres and scores of years.

Shipley arrived in the New World in 1668 and worked as an indentured servant before achieving the freedom and social status of a landowner. Like immigrants to this day, it took him years to establish his place in the colonial order.

Land was the best way to get ahead.

Generations later, Shipley family members employed immigrants who landed on Baltimore's shores by the thousands in the early 20th century. Most of those picking crops in Anne Arundel County under this system were Polish Jews or other Eastern Europeans. Women, children or older people made up much of the work force.

The Shipley family name has stretched far beyond the original 200 acres, from the Shipley community in Linthicum to Shipley's Choice Elementary School in Millersville.

[Source: Shipley Collection at the University of Maryland and Paul McCardell, Sun library researcher]

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