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Volume 465, Page 28   View pdf image (33K)
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In one way or another, records occasionally escape official cus-
tody. Last year, through the courtesy of Mr. J. N. Ewing of Fort
Lauderdale, Florida, we received two volumes of records of the Clerk
of the Circuit Court of Cecil County that were found in an old log
house in Western Pennsylvania. Mr. Ewing states that "The log house
in which these books were found was built about 1762. They must
have been brought there by some of our ancestors who came from
Cecil County, Maryland".

One of these volumes, Land Record Liber F.L. No. 13, 1748-1753,
was among the records removed from the Cecil County Courthouse by
the British during the Revolution. When recovered the records were
so damaged that the justices of the county court were authorized by
act of assembly to have them transcribed and the transcripts have
served as the official record ever since. The other volume, Criminal
Judgment Record, 1733-1741, was never transcribed and is of greater
interest in that it is unique.

Other accessions came to us in more routine fashion. A large
quantity of records stored in an outbuilding of the Kent County Court-
house was surveyed by our Records Management staff and produced
a number of items that had archival value. Some of these items sup-
plemented records already in our custody. For example, the acquisi-
tion of the Levy Book for 1744-1757 gives us a continuous run of this
important series for nearly a century, 1722-1808. Also of interest are a
volume containing Tobacco Inspection Proceedings, 1790-1792, and a
number of Poll Books dating from the early nineteenth century, which
not only list the names of the persons who voted but also show for
whom they voted.

In surveying the records and space requirements of the Register
of Wills of Washington County, our Records Management staff recom-
mended that the original records predating 1850 be transferred to the
Hall of Records and that the more important series be replaced with
microfilm copies. Several of the series actually transferred extend well
beyond the cut-off date.

While checking the listing of the records of the Baltimore City
Criminal Court prepared for our guide to county records (The County
Courthouses and Records of Maryland, Part Two: The Records, by
Morris L. Radoff, Gust Skordas and Phebe Jacobsen, Annapolis, 1963),
we were handed a volume containing Proceedings of the Court of
Oyer and Terminer and Gaol Delivery for 1809. Such courts were
appointed by special commissions from the Governor to speed up the
trial of criminal cases between regular sessions of court.


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