Branches of the Bay Bookshop

Authors and Contacts




Hi! How are you? First, we'd like to thank you for stopping by.  We hope you will bookmark our site and visit often.  There is always something going on here, even if it's just a new book!

Now, about us, the authors.  We're a group of girls that got together through genealogy.  Most important, we discovered that each of us wanted more "in print" to help other genealogists research.  So, we have banded together and continue to work very hard to make that possible.  Our books are all full size with "easy to read" print and every book on the shelf is in stock ALL of the time!  Our goal is to provide complete information; cover as much information or as many years as possible in each volume while making it affordable at the same time. Please take note that all of our book prices are what you pay! No extra shipping and handling charges to add on!

..... and now Ebooks making it even more affordable.

We live in the areas that we work in, which gives us personal knowledge of the land, creeks, streams and rivers and the landmarks mentioned in the records we transcribe and familiarity of the families involved.

We think you will love it here.


Irma Harper - Irma began researching about 45 years ago.  She has served in all offices of the Upper Shore Genealogical Society, has held office for the town of St. Michaels, founder and first curator for the St. Mary's Square Museum, was co-recipient of the Talbot County Historical Society's first "Heritage Award" honoring her for the accomplishments. Irma has been dedicated to publishing the records of the Upper Shore for a long time and continues to do so. She is currently working in depth with the Federalsburg Heritage Musuem and Historical Society of Caroline County.

Trish Surles - a loss to us all, Trish passed away unexpectedly on April 5th, 2012.  Desk No. 5 at the Maryland Archives is now empty.  She left instructions to keep genealogy alive - making her works available through Branches of the Bay forever. Her knowledge, research skills and transcription projects of new research material are a great loss to us all. To her friends, family and clients it is a greater loss, but we are grateful to her for seeing to it we can continue to use the legacy she left behind.

Cindy Schmidt - hi! that's me. Born and raised in Talbot County. My grandmother introduced me to genealogy when I was about 13 yers old as she began the pursuit of our ancestry. My grandfather sparked my interest in local history and the lives of our ancestors as he would tell me stories of his boyhood and what "used to be".  I promised them both I would continue. So in their honor, I decided to publish "Forget Me Not" books to make it easier for everyone to research their family. I have sponsored the USGenWeb sites for Talbot, Kent and Queen Anne's counties since 1996 when that project began. Now, I can't imagine life without genealogy and the wonderful people I've met chasing my ancestors.

Shirley Cahall - lifelong resident of Queen Anne's county growing up on Spread Eagle farm. Shirley has continued the Obituaries and Marriages project that Trish Surles began. She has developed a need to know mentality for local history. She is currently working on the School House Survey for Kent County and identifying all of the burials and locations of persons in the Chesterfield Cemetery in Centreville, Maryland.

R. Bernice Leonard - even though Bernice is no longer with us, her legacy continues and always will. Her publications are too numerous to list, I think we counted almost 90 at one time, but research on the Eastern Shore would be almost impossible without the contributions Bernice left us.  Her books are all available thanks to her family.

Helen "Betty" Seymour - a local historian who received the Heritage Award of the Historical Society of Talbot County in 2012 for her research and contributions of Talbot County history, with a focus of late on Frederick Douglass, along with her husband George. She co-authored the abstracts of Caroline County Land Records with Bernice Leonard, church records, etc. A longtime volunteer at the Maryland Room in the Talbot County Free Library on Saturday mornings - a good time to research!

Contact Us -

If you have any qyestions about our publications, can't find what you need, need advice - just let us know.

Please send all questions to

Research Services -

Need help with your research? We can provide research pertaining to the families and land of the Upper Eastern Shore of Maryland. We work at the local libraries, historical societies and the Maryland Archives.

Need a Death Certificate - we can help you with that also. For only $12.00 each you will receive a copy in the mail along with an image through email. Just let us know.

Please send all research inquiries or death certificate requests to