Allegany County has preserved almost the entire body of its archives. This is especially
remarkable because the county has had three courthouses, and the records have been kept else-
where during fairly extended periods—before the first courthouse was built and while the later
ones were building.
The fire of January 5, 1893 spared the vaults of both the Clerk of the Court and the
Register of Wills. Such losses as occurred were apparently of records kept in the outer offices.
An inventory made shortly after the fire listed the following as missing: Marriage Records,
1791-1847; List of Attorneys, 1791-1886; unrecorded Naturalization Papers, September 1,
1892-January 4, 1893; part of the Minutes of the Circuit Court for 1892; some original deeds
recorded in Land Records, Volume 72, and some original mortgages recorded in Volume 10 of
These burned records were reconstituted with the exception of the Minutes, the Natural-
ization Papers and the List of Attorneys. The Marriage Records are, however, not precisely
records: they were taken from copies of the original books which had been printed in the local
newspapers some years before the fire. County officers in 1893 thought of records as volumes
and papers found in the custody of the Clerks of the Court and the Registers of Wills. None
of the other records were protected, but many were saved. No doubt the obvious losses in the
administrative branch of government were also casualties of the fire.
Of losses prior to the fire there is little evidence; however we know that Scharf, writing
in the 1870's, noted that the Minutes of the Proceedings of Court, 1791-1798, were not in the
Clerk's office at that time.2 They are still missing.
LAND RECORDS, 1791--. Beginning in 1883, mortgages were recorded separately. Most
volumes indexed. C.H., 1791--. L.O. 1949--, microfilm. H.R. 1791-1949, microfilm.
INDEX TO LAND RECORDS, 1791-. Cott Family. Includes mortgages until 1883. C.H.,
1791-. H.R., 1791-1963, microfilm.
INDEX TO MORTGAGES IN DEED BOOKS, 1791-1883. Cott Key. C.H.
INDEX TO MISCELLANEOUS INSTRUMENTS RECORDED IN DEED BOOKS PRIOR
TO SEPTEMBER 1905, 1791-1905. Cott Key. Covers chattel mortgages, bills of sale,
contracts, leases, assignments, commission and bonds in Land Records. C.H.
MORTGAGE RECORDS (CHATTEL AND MORTGAGE RECORDS), 1883--. Also in-
cludes Chattel Records, 1883-1953. C.H., 1883--. L.O. 1949--, microfilm.
1 Inventory of the County Archives of Maryland, No. 1, Alle-
gany County, Baltimore, The Historical Records Survey, 1937,
p. 16. The present writer was editor of the HRS volume cited
above, but he cannot remember where he found this list. The
library of printed books was a total loss; the State Librarian was
ordered to furnish new sets of Maryland Reports, Acts of Assem-
bly, etc. (Joint Resolution No. 10, Acts of 1894).
2 J. Thomas Scharf, History of Western Maryland, Vol. II, p.
1,349, fn. 3.