Catonsville is a census-designated place (CDP) in Baltimore County, Maryland, United States. The population was 39,820 at the 2000 census. Catonsville is bordered by Woodlawn to the north, by Baltimore to the east, by Elkridge to the south, and by Ellicott City to its west.
Catonsville is the home of University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), a public research university with over 12,000 students.
Europeans were the second group to settle the area now known as Catonsville. It is generally believed by historians that native tribes, known as the Piscataway, established villages here before the European colonists arrived. This tribe occupied the land between the Potomac to the Chesapeake Bay and up the Patapsco River. Catonsville was located along the Piscataway Trail. The colonists and the tribes got along until the mid-17th century, when the English government ended the practices of Catholic Missionaries in the area. It is believed that the tribes were driven from their villages and some were hunted by slave catchers. As happened in many areas of the early colonial America, diseases unknown to the tribes were spread by the colonists. Eventually, the tribes moved north under the protection of the Iroquois.