The Archivists' BULLDOG

Vol. 1, No. 1
March 1987

Recent Books

Each week Doug will be briefly reviewing a book or two that have been added to the library that may be of interest to the staff or our researchers. This week's selection is Daniel D. Hartzler, Marylanders in the Confederacy (Silver Spring, 1986). Doug says that it is a vast improvement over W. W. Goldsborough's The Maryland Line in the Confederate Army, 1861-1865 which dates from 1900. The book has a lengthy narrative introduction (which is indexed) in which Hartzler challenges earlier appraisals of the numbers of Marylanders who served in the union army. The major corpus of the book is an alphabetical list of volunteers with citations (often many for a single name) which appear in a bibliography which has 1700 entries.


This section of the Archivists' BULLDOG will present a short scope and content note on a record series that is already accessioned. All archivists and library assistants are invited to contribute to this forum.

This week we look at confiscated British property. The records on this property stem from the Confiscation Act (Laws, October 1780, Chapter 45, and as later revised on numerous occasions) which responded to increased attacks on Maryland shipping, a worsening state financial and military situation, British seizure of patriot property in South Carolina and a refusal of British bank trustees to draw bills of exchange on bank stock in London owned by the state. The law provided for confiscation of all British property, defined as property of those who had not openly joined or assented to the Revolution and those who left Maryland after April 30, 1775 and had not returned. Absentees who had not declared subjection to Britain or aided the British were given until March l, 1782 to return and take an oath of fidelity (few did). Certain British subjects with Whig sympathies could apply for restoration of property. The law specifically disallowed certain legal ruses aimed at avoiding confiscation. The law provided for three commissioners who began sales in April 1781. Funds generated were to aid the war effort and pay any creditors (at first only of lands sold, then of any lands seized which led to certificates in lieu of specie for payment). Creditors claims, particularly of smaller estates, slowed the process, but most larger estates sold during 1781-82. Another round of sales to meet financial exigencies occurred in 1785 under the Intendant of the Revenue who had taken over for the Commissioners. Later laws vested the sales of land first in an agent of and then directly to the Governor and Council. After 1785 a discoverer of British property would receive one-third of its value. Sales ended in 1817 when a law declared all unsold land vacant and available by warrant. Ultimately the state seized considerable land (over 100,000 acres) and chattel from 150 companies and individuals.

All of the records are fully indexed by name of previous owner and purchaser. The records of the Commissioners to Preserve Confiscated British Property include a Ledger and Journal (1781-1782) which also has a subject index and includes proceedings, deeds, applications, advertisements, sales, surveyor instructions, letters, orders and lists of black slaves by name in estate inventories; a Sale Book (1781-1785) which lists sales for each former property owner; and a Ledger of Sales (1781-1785) which lists purchasers and creditors in roughly chronological order and cross-referenced to the Sale Book. The Intendant of the Revenue Sale Book (1785) lists sales arranged by former owners. The Agent Sales Books (1786-88,1792-95) list sales arranged by original owner and the Agent's List of Claims Against Confiscated British Property (1787-89) lists claims accepted and rejected (with causes given in the back of the volume). Finally the Governor and Council Sale Book (1803-1817) lists sales in a more or less journal fashion.

The Maryland State Papers include numerous documents relating to confiscation, particularly from individuals seeking relief from the law. For those, of course, see the blue covered Calendar.

For more information on confiscated property see Richard Arthur Overfield's dissertation "The Loyalists of Maryland During the American Revolution" (1968) in our library. A more general work on loyalists is William H. Nelson's The American Tory which is in the Primer library. On Maryland's most famous loyalist see Philip Evanson, "Jonathan Boucher: The Mind of an American Loyalist," Maryland Historical Magazine, 24:347 (1962).


Vol. 1 No. 2

16 March 1987

Recent Books

The Records of a City: A Guide to the Baltimore City Archives, ed. by William G. LeFurgy (Baltimore, 1984) {MdHR Library 622}

A Name Index to the Baltimore City Tax Records, 1798-1808, of the Baltimore City Archives, ed. by Richard J. Cox (Baltimore, 1981)

{MdHR Library 622}

These two publications should help us answer some of the questions we receive about Baltimore City records that are not available here. The Records of a City lists and describes 61 record groups of which the Passenger Arrival Records (RG 55) and the Civil War Records (RG 56) appear to be of particular interest for genealogists. A Name Index to Baltimore City Tax Records serves as a useful supplement to the census and directories available for Baltimore City.

These two books are located in the area of Historical Society and Archival Agency publications (the range behind the wills and cemeteries books).

One should also be familiar with Patricia M. Vanorny's "A Series Summary Guide to the Public Records of Baltimore City" (Annapolis 1977) which is located in the same area, on the reference shelves (near Skordas) and in Pat's office.

Record Series of the Week

This week we look at the equity papers for St. Mary's County Court (1815-1851) and Circuit Court (1852-1873). One should remember that this description of equity papers in this county would be in most ways similar to descriptions of these papers in the other counties for which we have this record series.

They consist of case files of equity proceedings. Types of cases include settlement of a decedent's estate, mortgage foreclosure, injunction against an action such as sale of land to satisfy a judgment rendered in a civil case, sale or partition of property in which minors or nonresidents have an interest, dispute over title to land, dissolution of a partnership, execution of a trust estate, and divorce. Documents include bills of complaint , petitions, answers, exhibits, testimony, court orders, reports of sales, and decrees. The files are arranged by the year in which the cases were instituted. For docket entries see (Docket) and (Equity Docket). In the series unit description for this series is found an inventory of each case file which contains, if known, the case number(s), names of petitioners or plaintiffs and defendants, and subject matter of the proceeding. The names of the litigants and tracts of land are found in the index for this series. Many case files have more than one number because of record keeping practices. Prior to 1862 the court had created three equity dockets, each of which contained a new numbering system beginning with No. 1. When a new docket was started, pending cases were transcribed into the new record and given a new number. In addition, if the docket space allocated for a case was filled before proceedings were completed, the entries were continued on a different page and the case was given an additional number. In the series unit description, the first number(s) listed pertains to the latest docket reference(s) and number(s) in parentheses to the previous docket reference(s).


Vol. 1 No. 3

23 March 1987

Recent Books

George H. Callcott, Maryland and America, 1940 to 1980 (Baltimore, 1985) LHP Shelves

Bradford Jacobs, Thimbleriggers: The Law v. Governor Marvin Mandel (Baltimore, 1984) MdHR Library 995

These two books offer contrasting treatments of recent events in Maryland's history. Dr. Callcott of the University of Maryland describes his theme as "American history working itself out in the moods and problems of Maryland." By focusing on suburbanization, bureaucratization, and modernization, he explores the transformation of politics and culture in Maryland. Although written with a scholar's attention to documentation, this book reads quite well. Jacobs takes a journalist's approach to one major episode in the recent past: the Mandel scandal. The longtime writer and columnist for the Sun surveys developments in Maryland politics beginning with the Civil War, thus placing Marvin Mandel's rise in its historical context. In addition to describing the actual events of the scandal, Jacobs tries to answer the difficult question of why it happened. His informal style gives the book a detective novel quality that is quite enjoyable.

Serendipitous News

A patron asked for an interesting book last week entitled Judicial Cases Concerning American Slavery. There are a number of volumes in this series which was published by the Carnegie Institution. Volume IV contains Maryland cases. The Carnegie volumes are located with the other institutional reports (e.g. NARA, LC); the call number is 820.C2.

Another patron asked for Chapter 477 of the Laws of 1870 which provided pensions of $480 annually to soldiers of the War of 1812 and their widows. The law names the individuals, arranged by county. An alphabetical list of all the pensioners may be found in the Laws Indexes under Pensions, War of 1812, located at 2/2/6. This law supplemented earlier acts enacted in 1867 and 1868 which also include a few individuals listed by name. The laws index also lists Revolutionary War pensioners by name.

Nancy is gradually recording the accession numbers for division and resurvey plats in that index. For now, you can look up division and resurvey plats in STAGSER under MARYLAND SURVEY PAPERS. The plats are arranged by county with additional information provided in the description field.


Vol. 1 No. 4

30 March 1987

Recent Books

Jane C. Sween, Montgomery County: Two Centuries of Change (Woodland Hills, CA, 1984) MdHR Lib 1075

Brice Neal Stump, Somerset County: A Pictorial History (Norfolk, VA, 1985) MdHR Lib 1079

Alan Virta, Prince George's County: A Pictorial History (Norfolk, VA, 1985) MdHR Lib 1076

There has been a veritable flood of coffee-table size illustrated county histories in the past few years. The three titles listed above are not an exhaustive list of recent publications in this genre, but they do provide an interesting comparison in approaches. Sween is one of two pictorial histories of Montgomery County published in 1984. In many ways this book reflects the "boosterism" found in the county histories of a hundred years ago. The text is generally well-written, and there are plenty of photographs both modern and historical, but one cannot ignore the emphasis placed on histories and photographs of several Montgomery County institutions that were patrons of this publication. Stump is basically a book of pictures with captions. There does not seem to be any attempt to use the photographs to illustrate themes in the history of Somerset County, but with no text, you certainly get more photographs for your money. Virta also lacks a running text, but the author does provide some fairly lengthy explanatory captions to photographs that help give some substance to his presentation.

In addition to county histories, a number of large-format illustrated local histories have been published recently. Our library has copies of histories of Frederick, Easton, Takoma Park, Bay Ridge and manufacturing villages in Baltimore County to name a few.

Record Series of the Week

Land Records Abstracts were mandated by Chapter 9 of the Laws of 1785, "An Act to Aid Conveyances of Land Improperly Enrolled, and for other Purposes." The General Assembly, noting that "questions and doubts as to the validity of deeds recorded" had arisen, defined a valid deed, provided for transmittal of deeds recorded in the General Courts to the counties and required county clerks to file "the substance of any deed for conveying lands or other real estate" with the General Court annually by the end of May. For their efforts county clerks received two shillings per deed to be divided with the clerk of the General Court whose major task was to index them. The reorganization of the courts of common law in 1805 saw this function pass to the Eastern and Western Shore clerks of the Court of Appeals. In 1874 the Land Office took over the abstracts and indexing, and after 1900 also extracted mortgages, releases, and leases. The Land Abstracts ended in 1949 when microfilm of land records and mortgages was substituted for a security copy.

The abstracts themselves include a date, name of the parties, name of the land, number of acres, place, consideration, the habendum (from the Latin, the to have and to hold clause detailing any restrictions), recording date and clerk's signature. Most include a citation to the county land records and after 1806 courses, metes and bounds for portions of lots or tracts of land. Following the St. Mary's Courthouse fire in 1830, the General Assembly used the abstracts to reconstruct the land records of that county. Calvert County did not fare as well following the 1882 fire; its clerks evidently collected the money but sent no abstracts for much of the 19th century. Needless to say, the Land Office had several thousand abstract books by 1949 and supported an army of indexers.

The law stipulated that the Eastern and Western Shore clerks collect the annual county abstracts until there were enough to bind into county books. While there are county books from the earliest period, evidently the clerks found this impractical as there are also three series of miscellaneous books (M.S. 1-12 [1785-1817], A.G. 1-19 [1792-1812], and E.H. 1-35 [1815-1849]). with counties intermingled. Each of these series has its own general index and E.H. has a tract index (I believe the other two had tract indexes also, but these evidently are lost). Several of these volumes have been taken out of their series and renumbered as T.H. volumes in the St., Mary's County series (even though they contain other counties as well), I assume as part of the effort to reconstruct the St. Mary's County records. Two of the E.H. volumes are missing. Of the county series, only the St. Mary's and Calvert abstracts (1785-1949) remain, along with general and tract indexes (up until the 1890s). For these two counties remember that part of their records are in the miscellaneous books and part in the county books. Finally, all county abstract indexes to tracts (from roughly 1785-1900, except for the miscellaneous volumes) have been preserved.

The abstracts have two major uses I believe. For Calvert and St. Mary's Counties they are important for tracing title to land. We recently had a researcher from Calvert County who used the volumes in a title search. For the periods before the fire (1785-1817, 1863-1867, 1873-1882), they are the only record we have. Second, the tract indexes provide the only means to locate property by name in most counties during the 19th century, a particularly important asset when tract names have been changed.


Vol. 1 No. 5

6 April 1987

Record Series of the Week

You will note above that the St. Mary's County (Estate Papers) have recently come from Cheltenham. The following description of those papers is representative of the types of estate papers one would find in any county.

Estate papers are original papers filed during the administration of estates. Documents include administration bonds, inventories, accounts of sale, administration accounts and petitions. As a result of record-keeping practice the papers are arranged in three different ways. The series units dated 1830-1917 are alphabetically arranged by name of the decedent and the ones dated 1900-1951 chronologically by file date. The third group reflects an incomplete attempt to bring together into one file all papers pertaining to an individual estate. Each file was assigned an estate number as listed in (Estate Docket) PHD#1. For an estate number or list of papers filed see (Estate Docket). For the recorded papers see (Accounts of Sales), (Administration Accounts, (Administration Bonds), (Inventories), (Orphans Court Proceedings) and (Petitions and Orders). The alphabetical and chronological series units also contain guardianship papers recorded in (Guardian Bonds), (Guardian Accounts) and (Receipts and Releases).

Serendipitous News

Mame reports we had a patron last week who requested a name out of Index 52 (Pension Records-War of 1812). These pensions were generated by Chapter 477 of the Laws of 1870 (and several earlier private bills) which I told you about two weeks ago. After some struggle we located the book which is COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY (Pension Roll) 1851-1888, located at 2/64/11/39. This is the volume which used to be located immediately after the CR film, near the dumbwaiter on the second deck in the old building.


Vol. 1 No. 6

13 April 1987

Recent Books

Nancy Sahli, MARC for Archives and Manuscripts: The AMC Format Chicago, 1985

Max J. Evans and Lisa B. Weber, MARC for Archives and Manuscripts: A Compendium of Practice Chicago, 1985

The archival community has generally welcomed the appearance in 1985 of the Archival and Manuscripts Control format (AMC) for MAchine Readable Cataloging (MARC) as the "wave of the future" in archival description and bibliographic control. These two SAA publications should help the uninitiated understand some of the capabilities and applications of the format. Sahli's manual begins with a useful introduction that seeks to answer some of the more common questions concerning the background and specific characteristics of the AMC format. The format itself presents a more formidable challenge unless one takes perverse pleasure in reading descriptions of the numerous fields and subfields available. At this point it would be wise for the hopelessly confused reader to turn to the compilation by Evans and Weber. This work provides examples of the applications employed by seven major institutions that have adopted the AMC format. As with Sahli's description of AMC, the arrangement is by field number. SAA is also offering workshops on MARC for archives, and there will be a predictable onslaught of manuals and workbooks that should help improve understanding in the profession. Our resident expert is Ben, so direct all your questions to him.

Editor's note: My alleged expertise comes from having used AMC at Hopkins, having been trained by the folks at RLIN (Research Libraries Information Network). A more readable explanation of what AMC is designed to do is found in Steven Henson's Archives, Personal Papers and Manuscripts which is a revision of Chapter 4 of the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, 2nd Edition, better known as AACR2. What Henson, a big shot in the Library of Congress' manuscript division has done is to make a system designed for librarians workable for archivists. RLIN currently is working with seven state archives on the application of the system to our sorts of problems.

Record Series of the Week

This week we learn about (Certificates of Freedom) thanks to Phebe Jacobsen.

Between 1752 and 1790 no Maryland slave could be freed except by deed. These deeds of manumission were recorded by the clerks of the County Courts, usually among the land records of their respective counties.

In the decades after the Revolution due to religious and philosophical pressures against the institution of slavery by whites, the number of free blacks greatly increased. Natural increase also added to their numbers. According to James M. Wright, free blacks numbered 8043 souls in 1790, by 1800 their number was almost 20,000 and by 1810 free blacks totaled almost 54,000.

Fearful of the rise in this segment of the black population, the Maryland legislature took steps to secure their hold on the mobility of free men of "colour." By the Act of 1805, Chapter 66, all persons freed by will after June 1, 1806 were to register with the clerks of the County Courts or Orphans Courts in counties where they resided (Act of 1807, Chapter 164 restricted the registration to the counties where the manumission had occurred). Height, age, complexion, where raised, where freed and identifying marks were to be recorded on the certificates. The clerks of course kept record of these certificates and a copy was issued to the person applying.

Section 6 of the 1805 law made it mandatory for all Maryland-born free blacks intending to travel out of county to register his or her freedom in like manner.

Thanks to the efforts of Mattie, Connie and Elaine, the Hall of Records has recently filmed the Certificates of Freedom in our custody. These are listed as follows:

Anne Arundel County Register of Wills (1805-1864)

Anne Arundel County Court (1806-1851)

Anne Arundel County Circuit Court (1851-1864)

Baltimore City Superior Court (1851-1865)

Baltimore County Register of Wills (1805-1830)

Baltimore County Court (1806-1851) Caroline County Court (1806-1851)

Caroline County Register of Wills (1807-1863)

Caroline County Circuit Court (1852-1864)

Cecil County Register of Wills (1815-1826)

Charles County Register of Wills (1826-1860)

Dorchester County Court (1806-1851)

Dorchester County Circuit Court (1851-1864)

Frederick County Court (1806-1827)

Frederick County Register of Wills (1815-1863)

Frederick County Circuit Court (1855-1864)

Harford County Court (1806-1842)

Howard County District Court (1840-1851)

Howard County Circuit Court (1851-1863)

Kent County Court (1849-1851)

Kent County Circuit Court (1852-1864)

Prince George's County Court (1806-1829)

Prince George's County Register of Wills (1820-1852)

Queen Anne's County Register of Wills (1807-1863)

St. Mary's County Court (1806-1851)

St. Mary's County Register of Wills (1806-1852)

St. Mary's County Circuit Court (1851-1864)

Somerset County Court (1821-1851)

Somerset County Circuit Court (1851-1864)

Talbot County Register of Wills (1806-1860)

Talbot County Court (1807-1828)

Washington County Register of Wills (1827-1863)

Serendipitous News

We had an interesting request this week out of Index 5 (Hodges) for a marriage reference to be found in "Memories of the Dead" which the card said was in the Land Office in Annapolis. No one I talked to had ever heard of this, and it is not in the library catalog. Any ideas?

There is now a section of the primer/primer for information intended for anticipated researchers.


Vol. 1 No. 7

20 April 1987

Library Libations

Archivaria (Journal of the Association of Canadian Archivists) Frequency: semi-annual

From time to time this column will feature a periodical that may be unfamiliar to the staff. This week's selection, Archivaria, is interesting because it reveals many similarities and some surprising differences among the archival issues discussed by our neighbors to the north. The most recent issue (Summer 1986) includes articles about preserving machine-readable records, in-house conservation, and studies of specific records documenting the activities of Canadian government agencies. These is also an entertaining letter to the editor of particular interest to us, as it discusses the Australian techniques of series level control that we employ. The tone of the letter is reminiscent of the character assassinations and violent diatribes that occasionally characterize scholarly exchanges in Great Britain. Our own archival publications (American Archivist in particular) would benefit from a little more invective and somewhat less of the pusillanimous milquetoast tradition of discussion.

Record Series of the Week

This week's contribution comes from Pat Melville on (Divorce Record). These are recorded copies of divorce decrees. Information shown includes names of plaintiff and defendant, equity case number, date of decree and terms of decree.,l The original decree and all other papers filed in a divorce case are found in equity papers. The recording of divorce decrees by the county and Baltimore City circuit courts was mandated by a law passed in 1908. Before then the decrees were not recorded.


Vol. 1 No. 8

4 May 1987

Recent Books

Arlene Eakle and Johni Cerny, eds. The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing Company, 1984. (MdHR Library Number 400)

The Source is one of the best single-volume guides to genealogy currently available. Its division into sections on major records sources, published genealogical sources and special resources provides convenient access to the type of information our patrons often require to continue their research. Copious illustrations of various types of records and good bibliographies at the end of each chapter are another useful feature. You should also be aware of the appendices which feature lists of addresses for historical societies, genealogical societies, archives and libraries in the United States

Record Series of the Week

This week Phebe Jacobsen tells us about the Census of 1776.

Beset by skyrocketing debts created by the military demands of the Revolution, Congress took measures to fill the empty coffers of the Continental treasury. On the 26th of December 1775 the members resolved to raise another three million dollars by the further emission of bills of credit.

Congress intended to secure the bills by levying a tax on each colony according to a quota to be determined by population. A copy of the resolution was sent to each of the now united colonies requesting that a census be made of the total population according to race, age and sex. The results were needed to set the quotas. Not until June 1776 did the Council of Safety in Maryland send copies of the Congressional resolution to the Committees of Observation in each county. These extra-legal committees were authorized to employ persons to take the number of inhabitants and return it to them. The Council agreed to pay for the services of the census takers.

The census takers returns varied. Baltimore, Talbot, Dorchester, Queen Anne's, Caroline and Anne Arundel counties listed only the heads of households, grouping the number of other individuals in the household by age and sex as is common in the early federal censuses. Other counties like Harford, Prince Georges, and Frederick named each of the individuals, giving their ages, sexes and races.

Serendipitous News

Chris made us aware this week of a useful set of maps known as the Historic Shoreline and Erosion Rate Maps which are unaccessioned and located in 005/2/1. These are four large yellow-covered books created by the Maryland Geologic Survey which show how the Maryland coast line looked at varying periods of time.


Vol. 1, No. 9

11 May 1987

Record Series of the Week Ben Primer

This week's series is the so-called Census of 1778. This "census" was much less a census of all individuals living in the state than it was a means to determine who had not signed the Oaths of Fidelity. The law which demanded that all free male inhabitants take an oath or affirmation of fidelity to the state (Chapter 20 of the Acts of 1777) provided in Section 7 that the constable of every hundred prepare before March 1, 1778 (the deadline for taking the oath) an alphabetical list of all free male inhabitants over age eighteen on that date. The list should include those resident in the hundred and not out of state unless the individual was exempted from taking the. The Governor and Council were to make a list of all persons not taking the oath by comparing this "census" with the lists of those signing the oath in order to determine who would be subject to the treble tax specified in the law. Constables were given considerable incentive to prepare the list since they would receive a per diem wage for their efforts and would be fined 200 pounds for failure to create the list. The lists were to be sent both to the Governor and Council and to the county courts. Surprisingly few of these lists seem to have survived. Our (Census of 1778) records are from the county courts and thus may be found in COAGSER. We have records from hundreds in Caroline (found in Land Records, Liber A), Charles and Queen Anne's counties. These are no more than alphabetical lists of names of free males over 18 unlike the Census of 1776 which covered all ages, races and sexes.


Vol. 1, No. 10

18 May 1987

Record Series of the Week Ben Primer

The (Oaths of Fidelity) were taken under provisions of Chapter 20 of the Laws of 1777, "An Act for the Better Security of the Government." The act required every free male over 18 on or before March 1, 1778 to take an "oath of fidelity and support to this state." Quakers, Mennonites and Dunkers were required to "solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm" their allegiance. The oath itself came from an earlier act which had applied only to delegates, members of the council, lawyers, civil officers and other persons holding offices of trust or profit. It read "I do swear [solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm] that I do not hold myself bound to yield any allegiance or obedience to the king of Great-Britain, his heirs or successors, and that I will be true and faithful to the state of Maryland, and will, to the utmost of my power, support, maintain and defend, the freedom and independence thereof, and the government as now established, against all open enemies, and secret and traiterous conspiracies, and will use my utmost endeavours to disclose and make known to the governor or some one of the judges or justices thereof, all treasons or traiterous conspiracies, attempts or combinations, against this state or the government thereof, which may come to my knowledge; so help me God."

The oath was to be taken before a magistrate of the county in which one resided. Magistrates were to keep two books, one for oath takers and one for affirmers, which would be signed or marked. Fair copies of these books were to be sent by magistrates to the Governor and Council after March 1. The originals were to go to the county court to be recorded. The Magistrate was required to spend one day per week at the "most convenient places in his neighborhood" to administer the oath. These places were to be advertised and magistrates were subject to a 500 pound fine for failure to perform these duties. Those not taking the oath were subject to a treble tax on real and personal property; could not bring suit, vote or hold civil or military office; and could not engage in retail trade, law, medicine, pharmacy, gospel ministry or public or private education. A fine of 5 pounds per 100 pounds of property was imposed for violation of these provisions. Those overseas were given until September 1, 1779 to sign within a month of their return (except those who had served in the British armed forces).

The oaths can of course be useful in identifying Quakers since their names appear on the affirmation lists, although many Quakers presumably refused even to do this. Whether the lists identify patriots is more problematic given the heavy penalties provided in the law. The index to the oaths covers those in various county records and in the Maryland State Papers as well as those found in the two blue boxes of oaths of fidelity. Some of the items labelled oaths are in fact the lists of those subject to the treble tax made by comparing the oaths with the census of 1778 which I discussed last week.


Vol. 1, No. 11

25 May 1987

Record Series of the Week Pat Melville

During the next several weeks I will be describing records of the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals dates from 1694, when it began to hold regular terms of court. As the highest tribunal in Maryland, the court hears appeals from decisions of lower courts. For any series spanning the years 1806-1851, it is important to remember that the court sat in Annapolis and Easton and for each place maintained records separately.

(Docket) 1695-1805, 1851-1933 STAGSER 412 1/66/14/16

(Docket, Eastern Shore) 1807-1851 STAGSER 413 1/67/6/6

(Docket, Western Shore) 1806-1851 STAGSER 414 1/66/14/19

These series give brief descriptions of the proceedings in each case. Each entry gives names of plaintiffs and defendants, case number, chronology and outline of the proceedings, opinion of the court and references, if any, to recorded proceedings. The records are arranged by court term and each volume is indexed by names of the plaintiffs and defendants. There is a set of docket entries for each court term which varies from one to three per year. Each time a particular case is docketed from term to term, it receives a different docket or case number. For finding the records pertaining to a case, the most important docket entry is the one where the opinion is rendered. Recorded proceedings are referenced and the court term and case number can be used to locate papers filed in a case. As will be shown later, the papers for a case may be found in several series.


Vol. 1, No. 12

1 June 1987

Library Libations Doug McElrath

James C. Neagles, Summer Soldiers: A Survey & Index of Revolutionary War Courts-Martial. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Incorporated, 1986.

As part of our preparations for the summer interns, I am updating our Bibliography of Published Sources to include some recent accessions. Neagles' is one new title that provides access to frequently overlooked information contained in the Continental Army orderly books located at the National Archives. It lists over 3000 names of men who faced court-martial proceedings during the Revolution, the charges against each individual, and the verdict in the form of an acquittal or some form of punishment. You should bear in mind that only the regular Continental regiments were covered by these records. Some of the entries reflect the spirit of the times as in the case of Jonas Carvel Hall of Smallwood's Maryland Regiment who was charged with "unofficerlike behavior in threatening to blow out the brains of any officer who should lead a party to execute a general order." He was acquitted.

Record Series of the Week Mame Warren

The Robert G. Merrick Archive of Maryland Historical Photographs 1840-1940 (MdHR G 1477) is a collection of approximately 1,900 copy photographs that illustrates every county of the state. It was created at the time my father and I were working on Maryland Time Exposures. As we traveled around the state, we copied any and all images we thought we might use in the book so that we would have a wide selection to choose from. Photographs were copied in county historical societies, local museums, libraries, etc., and most importantly, in many private collections. Ed had us make a set of copy negatives and study prints for the Archives, and Mr. Merrick gave us a generous grant to do this research, thus the collection was named for him.

The item level numbering system reflects the numbers that were assigned to each image in my father's files; there are some large gaps because some sources would not allow copy negatives and prints to be given to the State Archives. (This is the reason why some photographs that appear in the book are not in the Merrick Archive, and in these cases patrons must be referred to the original source by checking that index in the back of the book.) There is no logic to how the photographs are arranged in the collection--they were simply accessioned as we copied them. They do tend to fall into big chunks, e.g., lots of Cumberland and Allegany County items are in the 5500s, but there are also Cumberland items here and there throughout the collection.

The way to find one's way around in the Merrick Archive is to use the finding aid located in a blue binder in the search room (another copy is in my office). It is organized several ways. First, there is a SHELF LIST in numerical order of every image in the collection. It's good for quick reference of specific item numbers, and often tells you what other similar items are available (items from the same source). Second, there is a LOCATION guide that breaks down images by specific location, like cities, towns or counties (when the specific location was not given); a brief description of the contents of the image is given. Third, after I had produced this I realized that it was too detailed for many of our requests, so I consolidated the locations into the more general headings of COUNTIES, BALTIMORE CITY and the CHESAPEAKE BAY. Fourth, I have also created a list of the PHOTOGRAPHERS whose work is represented in the Merrick Archive. There is no subject index.

Please note that if someone comes in requesting a specific photograph from Time Exposures, Susan has a copy of the book with item numbers written on or near each image. It is kept on the bookshelf on the wall opposite the door to her office. Also, the catalog to the exhibit in the conference room has the item numbers printed under each caption (if we have the photograph).

Currently, if someone wants to order a photograph it is very important to check and see if there are restrictions on that image. Restrictions are listed on the label on the folder holding the print. Most have no restrictions, but some do. If there is a restriction, advise the patron that it is up to him or her to contact the original source and obtain permission in writing before we can provide a copy. The name, address, and often the telephone number is right on the label. Once permission has been obtained, photo orders should be sent to my attention so that I can keep copies of permission letters in my files. In the coming months I plan to create a donor file as part of the finding aid which will provide all of this information in a single place.


Vol. 1, No. 13

8 June 1987

Library Libations Doug McElrath

Helen R. Long, Index for the Frederick County Section of Scharf's History of Western Maryland (Wichita, Kansas: ADR, Inc., 1986) [Loc LIB 7/4/6]

Helen R. Long, Index for the Washington County Section of Scharf's History of Western Maryland (Manhattan, Kansas: Helen R. Long, 1984) [Loc LIB 7/4/6]

These two publications should improve our access to the vast amount of information available in Scharf. In addition to indexing personal names and tract names, Mrs. Long includes the names of churches, schools, businesses, newspapers and various organizations and institutions. The major problem with her indexes is that she chose to list the names of these latter groups under the subject (i.e. churches, schools, etc.) rather than under the name itself.

Among recent index accessions is Filby and Myers, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1986 Supplement. We are also anticipating the arrival of an index in book form to the History and Roster of the Maryland Volunteers.

Record Series of the Week Pat Melville

This is a continuation of the series on the Court of Appeals records. This week we look at (Decree Record) STAGSER 410, 1851-1891 and (Decree Record, Western Shore) STAGSER 411, 1844-1851, both of which are located in 1/66/12.

These are recorded proceedings in equity cases appealed from the county and Baltimore City courts and from the Chancery Court and estates cases appealed from the county and Baltimore City orphans courts. References are found in (Docket) and (Docket, Western Shore) which were described two weeks ago.


Vol. 1, No. 14

15 June 1987

Library Libations Doug McElrath

Grace L. Tracey and John P. Dern. Pioneers of the Old Monocacy: The Early Settlement of Frederick County, Maryland 1721-1743. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1987 (Lib Loc 905)

This book is the final version of Dr. Tracey's Notes from the Records of Old Monocacy (905.T1) which is already in the library. Anyone doing research on the settlement of Maryland's frontier will find Tracey and Dern to be the best source for information on the early surveys and patents in that part of the state. The authors are also quite familiar with the church records and other sources that help identify the names and origins of western Maryland's first settlers. I would recommend that this book be used in tandem with Tracey's tract maps in the map collection as it will save researchers most of the work necessary to document the land and people of this region.

Record Series of the Week Pat Melville

This is a continuation of the on-going description of the records of the Court of Appeals:

(Judgment Record) 1694-1804, 1851-1891 STAGSER 421 1/66/10/62

(Judgment Record, Eastern Shore) 1812-1847 STAGSER 421 1/66/12/5

(Judgment Record, Western Shore) 1806-1850 STAGSER 420 1/66/11/9

These are recorded proceedings in civil and criminal cases appealed from the county and Baltimore City courts, the Provincial Court (1694-1776), and the General Courts of the Western and Eastern Shores (1777-1805). The records through 1843 also include equity and estate cases. These series also include minutes (1694-1780). References to cases are found in (Docket), (Docket, Eastern Shore) and (Docket, Western Shore) described previously.

Serendipitous News

A book located in Phebe's office, Percy G. Skirven, First Parishes of the Province of Maryland (1923) has a map of the early Protestant Episcopal parishes of Maryland.

Index 6 had a cryptic reference to Judgments, Volume 97 (with of course no date supplied). As is often the case, the number was not the volume number we use (usually clerk's initials and number) but rather a numbering added later by the office of origin to keep books in order on the shelves. After trying Provincial Court and Anne Arundel Judgments, Richard hit upon the right solution, Court of Appeals Judgments, described above by Pat.


Vol. 1, No. 15

22 June 1987

Library Libations Doug McElrath

Ira Berlin, et. al., eds. Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861-1867. Series I, Volume I: The Destruction of Slavery (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985)[MdHR L 1450; location: Reference Collection, Black History]

This is the second published volume of the Freedom series, the first being Series II, Volume I, The Black Military Experience. Of greatest interest to us is the chapter on Maryland which features a succinct history of the collapse of slavery in the state. The editors emphasize the fact that the official end to slavery completed a process, accelerated by the Civil War, which has left Maryland with the largest free black population in the United States. The main portion of the Maryland chapter consists of documents illustrating the details of emancipation, particularly as it involved federal entities such as the Freedmen's Bureau, the Army, etc. The remainder of this volume covers the sections of the South under federal control during the war, the slave states that remained in the Union, and the



Vol. 1, No. 16

6 July 1987

Library Libations Doug McElrath

Henry Putnam Beers. The Confederacy: A Guide to the Archives of the Government of the Confederate States of America. Washington, D.C.: NARA, 1986.

Kenneth W. Munden and Henry Putney Beers. The Union: A Guide to Federal Archives Relating to the Civil War. Washington, D.C.: NARA, 1986.

Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Archives. Washington, D. C.: NARS, 1982.

Copies of all three of these guides, previously available only in the library proper, are now located in the reference area outside the Library/Special Collections office. The Civil War guides both feature thorough indices that should help researchers overcome the frequently incomprehensible Record Group arrangement of entries. Those of you not yet familiar with the genealogical guide should take the opportunity to glance through this well-designed volume. My only complaint is that it is difficult to discover where a patron should write for the records described in a particular section. we also have received a National Archives guide to civilian records concerning blacks. This volume is in Phebe's office.

Record Series of the Week Nancy Bramucci

The circulating map collection really consists of five separate collections of which the first four listed below have been combined into one comprehensive collection index arranged by cartographer. Those five collections are:

MdHR G 1427 --the Hall of Records Map Collection

MdHR G 1399 -- the Huntingfield Map Collection

MdHR G 1213 --the Hammond Harwood Atlas collection

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps (on microfilm)

Maps illustrated in published sources

The Hall of Records Map Collection (MdHR G 1427) contains a variety of maps ranging from Stoddert's plan of Annapolis in 1718 to Fielding Lucas's maps of the Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore, Maryland and Delaware (1832-1852) or to various topographic maps produced by the Maryland Geological Survey, the United States Geological Survey, and other state and federal agencies.

The collection includes a wealth of topographic, geologic and highway maps. In general, patrons searching for topographic or geologic maps should be directed to the sections in the map index for the Maryland Geological Survey (1897-1981), the Department of Geology, Mines, and Water Resources (1914-1963), the United States Topographic Bureau (1807-1818), the Survey of the Coast of the United States (1844-1887), the United States Coast Survey (1843-1877), the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey (1843-1937), and the United States Geological Survey (1863-1957). For highway maps, see the Maryland State Roads Commission (1930-1971) or the Maryland State Highway Administration (1971-1981).

Inquiries regarding maps produced by state or federal agencies should be referred first to this collection.

The Huntingfield Map Collection (MdHR G 1399) is a reference collection derived from what is probably the best privately-owned collection of maps of the Chesapeake. The collection is focused directly on the Chesapeake Bay in a historical context. Highlights among the maps and related items in the collection are Fernando Bertelli's 1565 chart of the North Atlantic Ocean; John White's map of 1590, the first to place the Chesapeake "on the map"; John Smith's map of Virginia, the first printed map of the whole extent of the Bay based on personal observation; and the "Lord Baltimore Map," used in the boundary dispute between Calvert and the Penns. Also included are panoramas dating from the Civil War, various county atlases, and coastal survey charts.

The collection is being moved to the map cases in the search room and can be circulated once the transfer is complete. Security copies of the maps are stored in 005 and do not circulate. Photocopies may be made for reference purposes only. Any request for a non-reference use of a map in this collection, such as for exhibit or publication use, must be referred to me in writing.

The Hammond Harwood Atlas Collection (MdHR G 1213) consists of reference photostats from Papenfuse and Coale, The Hammond Harwood Atlas of Historical Maps of Maryland, 1608-1908. There are no original maps in this collection, although the archives does own some of the maps illustrated in the book. The map index should give you the necessary collection cross-reference. The location of originals is given in the illustration captions and patrons should be referred to those institutions if originals are desired. As with the Huntingfield Map Collection, permission for non-reference photostats must be directed to me in writing.

The Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps are highly detailed maps of urban areas. We have the microfilm only for Maryland cities. In Fire Insurance Maps in the Library of Congress: Plans of North American Cities and Towns Produced by the Sanborn Map Company, the maps are described as follows:

The maps were designed to assist fire insurance agents in determining the degree of hazard associated with a particular property and therefore show the size, shape, and construction of dwellings, commercial buildings and factories as well as fire walls, locations of windows and doors, sprinkler systems, and types of roofs. The maps also indicate widths and names of streets, property boundaries, building use, and house and block numbers. They show the location of water mains, giving their dimensions, and of fire alarm boxes and hydrants. Sanborn maps are thus an unrivaled source of information about the structure and use of buildings in American cities.

However, much of the information on these maps is color coded, which unfortunately is lost in the microfilm. Patrons wishing to see original Sanborns can be referred to the Library of Congress, which has the largest extant collection of maps produced by the Sanborn Map Company. A detailed listing of Sanborn maps available in the Library of Congress is included in Library of Congress, Fire Insurance Maps in the Library of Congress: Plans of North American Cities and Towns Produced by the Sanborn Map Company. The volume is located in my office. For maps of Baltimore City, patrons can be directed to the Peale Museum or the Enoch Pratt Free Library (Maryland Department). The patron should call these institutions first to make sure that the particular map is available.

The final collection consists of references to maps illustrated in published volumes. The two works currently included in the index are Richard W. Stephenson, The Cartography of Northern Virginia: Facsimile Reproductions of Maps Dating from 1608 to 1915 and Library of Congress, Railroad Maps of North America: The First Hundred Years. These references are already in the map index database, but this section has been compiled since the last search room map index was printed. This section of the database will be available the next time the search room index is updated. The volumes are located on the bookshelves in the rare books room.


Vol. 1, No. 17

13 July 1987

Record Series of the Week Pat Melville

DHMH, Miner's Hospital

(Operations Record) 1936-1951

TRANSER 1356 0/4/6

Lists of operations performed in Miners Hospital, a state hospital established for the purpose of providing hospital facilities to miners and their families. It also served as a general hospital for other residents of the Frostburg area. The records list date of operation; name, sex, race of the patient; diagnosis; type of operation; name of the operator.

The records might be used for studying health care in Western Maryland, particularly occupational diseases, for local history (since the hospital apparently served as Frostburg's general medical facility in its later years) and for the history of Maryland's state hospital system.


Vol. 1, No. 18

20 July 1987

Library Libations Doug McElrath

Newspaper Indexes and Abstracts Available in the Library

At the beginning of the Newspapers on Micro-

film finding aid, Chris Allan lists some published and unpublished indexes to Maryland newspapers. This list tells you where the indexes are located and whether the indexed newspapers are available here or elsewhere. In addition to this list, there are a number of newspaper indexes and abstracts located in the 407-419 section of the library (LIB-3-2-1). These publications are one type of source you can suggest to the patron voicing the familiar complaint of finding little or nothing in our indexes to records. The following citations combine the published indexes in Chris' list with other titles in the library.

Walter E. Arps, Jr., Departed This Life: Death Notices from the Baltimore Sun, 1851-1853. MDHR Lib 407

Robert W. Barnes, Gleanings from Maryland Newspapers, 1776-1785. MdHR Lib 419

Robert W. Barnes, Marriages and Deaths from Baltimore Newspapers, 1796-1816. MdHR Lib. 410

Robert W. Barnes, Marriages and Deaths from the Maryland Gazette, 1727-1839. MdHR Lib 410

[We also have the card index #106 to the Maryland Gazette, Annapolis items, 1745-1820--Editor]

Lester J. Cappon and Stella F. Dugg, Virginia Gazette Index, 1736-1780. 2 vols. MdHR Lib 419

Linda B. Clark-Washington County Free Library, An Index to Hagerstown Newspapers, 1790-1819. 5 vols. MdHR Lib 419

Thomas Hollowak, Marriages and Deaths in the Baltimore Sun, 1837-1850. MdHR Lib 410

Thomas Hollowak, Marriages in the Baltimore Sun, 1851-1860. MdHR Lib 410

[One should also be aware of the indexes to the Baltimore Sun (1891-1959) and Evening Sun (1910-1955) available in the Maryland Department at the Pratt Library. Obituaries and I think marriages, are indexed--Editor]

F. Edward Wright, Delaware Newspaper Abstracts, 1786-1795. MdHR Lib 419

F. Edward Wright, Maryland Eastern Shore Newspaper Abstracts, 1790-1834. 8 vols. MdHR Lib 419

F. Edward Wright, Newspaper Abstracts of Cecil and Harford Counties, 1822-1830. MdHR Lib 419

Record Series of the Week Ben Primer

Dorchester County Board of County Commissioners

(Federal Assessment Record)

1862-1864 COAGSER 699


This is the "annual valuation and enumeration of articles of taxation" for Division 3 of Collection District 1 of the State of Maryland (Dorchester County) as provided by "An Act to Provide Internal Revenue to Support the Government and to Pay Interest on the Public Debt" enacted by Congress in 1862. Most of these books are at NARA, on film for the 1862-1867 period. This book was prepared by an assistant assessor who was paid the princely sum of $3 per day. My guess is that some county official served in this capacity which explains its presence among the county records. From the valuations in this book, two lists {residents and non residents [rebels?]} were to be transmitted to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue of the Treasury Department.

The valuations are recorded in a standard record book showing name, residence, quantity, valuation, rate, total tax and signature of the person taxed. There were three basic sections of the tax: 1) an annual ad valorem tax on profits (basically an income tax) which for Dorchester County included iron manufacture, cattle production, boots and shoes, leather; 2) an annual license for doctors, lawyers, retailers ($10), retailers of liquor ($20), peddlers (by class), hotels (1st through 8th class; only 7th and 8th class hotels in this county--ask the editor what this means), stable keepers, horse dealers, milliners, confectioners, bowling alley keepers ($10), billiard table keepers ($5). auctioneers, distillers; 3) an annual tax on certain enumerated articles like yachts (none of these in the county, but there were carriages, silver, cattle [horned and calves], sheep, hogs, tobacco and cigars).

The valuations provide a picture of the economy of Dorchester County during the Civil War and would provide occupational data on individuals named. Given the sentiments of the region regarding the rebellion (not to mention the normal resistance to revenue agents--for instance the law provided for a stamp tax on legal documents), one must wonder about the accuracy of the reporting.


Vol. 1, No. 19

27 July 1987

Library Libations Doug McElrath

John W. Roberts, "Archival Theory: Much Ado About Shelving," American Archivist, 50 (Winter 1987) 66-74 [LIB/17/1/3]

Those of you following the celebrated Burke-Cappon Debate on archival theory will be excited to know about the latest salvo in the controversy. If you are tuning in late on this one, here's a brief recap. Acting Archivist of the United States Frank Burke opened the debate with a bold statement in support of a philosophy of archives transcending the practical concerns of day-to-day operations [American Archivist, 44 (Winter 1981)]. His position was soon challenged by Lester J. Cappon [American Archivist, 45 (Winter 1982)] who argued that the archivist should not confuse his role with that of a historian. Eminent archival theorists from the Ham-Cook-Berner coterie rushed to the Burkian standard with visionary descriptions of an Archival Weltanschauung, yet even their virtuosity was eclipsed by a brilliant exposition by our very own former intern, Gregg Kimball who appeared to have left Cappon with little but a choice between hemlock or the sword. Now the Capponites have a new champion in John W. Roberts who suggests that an emotional desire for acceptance as professionals accounts for the popularity of the Burkian School. Is archival theory in disarray? Are we headed toward Gotterdammerung in the archival world? Stay tuned.

Serendipitous News

The Anne Arundel County Judgments Index

(Index #69, located in stacks at 3/52/8/58) has references to an Anne Arundel County Minute Sheet. The reference refers to Anne Arundel County Court Minutes (1725-1775) on microfilm, MdHR CR 11,668-1.

Vicki reports success in using Baltimore City (Wills) to find dates of death for time periods for which we have no vital records indexes (and for others for which we have no death certificates). Apparently the clerk in the Register of Wills recorded the date of death when the will was filed.

Index of the Week Chris Allan

Index 41 - PROVINCIAL COURT (Naturalizations Index), 1634-1776

Provisions for denization (which granted limited rights of citizenship) and later for the full naturalization of aliens were made throughout the colonial period in Maryland. Although the authority to confer denization and naturalization were not referred to in the Charter of Maryland granted to Cecil Calvert in 1632, the Governor and General Assembly issued them nonetheless.

During the early period of colonial government the only means of obtaining citizenship was by denization. Denization confers rights which fall somewhere between those of a natural born subject and an alien. A denizen may not hold Index of the Week (continued)

public office. Neither he nor his children born before his denization may inherit property, but heirs born after denization may. A denizen is not required to renounce his natural citizenship. Unlike denization, naturalization confers rights of citizenship enjoyed by natural born subjects. However, during the colonial period naturalized citizens were not eligible for public office.

Little effort was made during the early years of settlement in Maryland to attract non-English immigrants to the colony. Yet, judging from the revised Conditions of Plantation issued in 1649, which allowed grants of land to those "not of British or Irish descent," there appear to have been at least a few aliens in the colony during this early period. The revised Conditions of Plantation confirmed patents previously issued in 1642, which specifically prohibited such grants.

The first denization recorded in Maryland was issued in 1660 to Augustine Herman by the Governor and Council The Council stopped issuing denizations after 1675, although no legislation prohibited this activity. The Council probably ceased issuing denizations because no one wanted one. That they were perceived as inferior to naturalizations is evident from the case of Herman who successfully petitioned the legislature for a naturalization in 1663.

The General Assembly passed private acts granting naturalizations throughout the colonial period, but relatively few aliens were naturalized by the Assembly (67 private acts naturalizing 252 individuals passed between 1663 and 1771).

Some immigrants who came to Maryland already had benefit of naturalizations obtained in England. These men took the precaution of exhibiting their naturalizations at the Provincial Court for recordation. In 1735 the Governor was given the authority to grant naturalizations. Naturalizations obtained from the General Assembly or the Governor were not valid outside the colony.

The majority of individuals naturalized in Maryland during the colonial period did so under the provisions of Acts of Parliament 13 George II, 1740, Chapter 7, and the modifications introduced by the passage of Acts of Parliament 20 George II, Chapter 44, in 1747. Passage of these acts coincided with a dramatic increase in foreign immigrants to the colonies. An alien was eligible for naturalization under these acts if he had been a resident of the colony for seven years, was a Protestant willing to swear an oath of abjuration rejecting Catholicism, and was able to pay a two shilling fee.

Card Index 41 provides access to the following records:

PROVINCIAL COURT (Judgments), 1679-1776

PROVINCIAL COURT (Proceedings), 1656-1669

GOVERNOR (Commission Book), 1733-1750, 1761-1773

MARYLAND STATE PAPERS (Black Books) 1, 1701-1773

Bacon's Laws, 1637-1763.

There are naturalizations, and information about them, not found in the index. The general indexes for PROVINCIAL COURT (Land Records) 1658-1790 should be examined since persons naturalized in England might have their papers recorded here. The index does not identify the type of document recorded. Naturalizations conferred by the Governor and recorded in the (Commission Record) 1774-1776 (MdHR 4012a) have not been indexed. Additional information about naturalized citizens can be found in the Council Proceedings and the Proceedings of the General Assembly which have been published in the Archives of Maryland. See Jeffrey A. and Florence L. Wyand, Colonial Maryland Naturalizations (LIB-3-2-3) for a book index to naturalizations and denizations granted by the Governor and Council, General Assembly and Provincial Court. This work is especially useful because witnesses are indexed as well as the ministers who certified the alien was a Protestant. Finally, one may want to look at M. S. Guiseppi, Naturalizations of Foreign Protestants in the American and West Indies for the annual lists of naturalized citizens submitted to the Commissioners of Trade and Plantation in London under the provisions of 13 George II, Chapter 7. Although there are few entries for Marylanders, some of the naturalizations included in this work are not found in extant Maryland records.


Vol. 1, No. 20

3 August 1987

Record Series Robert A. Oszakiewski

A short time ago some patrons were sent here by the Baltimore City Archives to do research involving the use of the (Miscellaneous Court Papers). Since few members of the staff had ever dealt with this particular collection, confusion arose over finding the material and locating specific items. This article will consider how to find items in the collection, what is and what is not in the collection, and the history of the papers themselves.

From 1935 to 1942 the Historical Records Survey of the Works Progress Administration produced typescript indexes to the (Miscellaneous Court Papers) under the supervision of O. Webster Shinnock. The papers were then located at the Bureau of Archives in Baltimore City which explains why the indexes are to be found under Baltimore City Archives in COAGSER. The indexes are chronologically arranged in three volumes. The papers for each year are arranged first by record type and then alphabetically. For example, all Bills of Sale for 1796 are grouped together, beginning with Dunn, Jas. and ending with Young, Jane. This holds for all the various groups discussed below. The papers have been assigned item numbers, each year beginning with number one (1). A brief description of each item is given in the index. For example, item 112 for 1798 is "Gable, Jacob to Gable, Rebecca, Articles of Separation."

Having located a particular item in the indexes, one goes to the Baltimore County or Baltimore City accessions list and locates the year, item number and appropriate box and folder number. Once the box had been located and pulled, the same information may be found on the folder itself: the accession number in the upper left hand corner; the particular folder number; the year; and what item numbers are found in that folder. A typical folder reads as follows: MdHR 50,206-591, 1814, Items 1-47.

As the series title implies, this is a mixed collection of papers associated with various court cases in the Baltimore County Court and, after 1851, in the Baltimore City Superior Court. Among the papers are bonds and commission of public officials (collectors, sheriffs, constables, justices of the peace); summons issued to parties involved in civil and criminal cases brought before the courts; land records; grants of powers of attorney; and insurance company reports. Among the papers are items of interest for anyone doing research on Black history in Maryland, including manumissions, certificates of freedom, declarations of slaves brought into Maryland (for the most part from Haiti at the time of the rebellion against French rule there) and permits for free Blacks traveling from Baltimore to other cities or states. There are also several naturalizations which are not indexed in the Baltimore City and County Naturalizations Index.

What is not in the collection should also be noted. The indexes have listings for Baltimore County tax lists from 1737 to 1773. These lists have been removed from the collection and made into a separate series: BALTIMORE COUNTY COURT (Tax Lists) COAGSER 428, located at 2/60/10/45.

The provenance of the papers is in many ways reflective of the history of the Baltimore City Archives and its predecessor agencies. The papers had originally been stored in the Baltimore County Courthouse, then located in Baltimore Town. In 1839 the papers, as part of the records of the County Court, were transferred to the Baltimore Record Office, which stored and preserved the records of the Baltimore County Court and Orphans Court. After the 1851 separation of Baltimore City from Baltimore County, the Record Office added papers from the Baltimore City Superior Court to the series. Later the papers passed to the Baltimore City Library and then to the Bureau of Archives. Nothing of archival significance happened until the Historical Records survey cataloged them, placed them in protective envelopes and produced the indexes. In the 1970s Richard J. Cox, then Baltimore City Archivist, shipped the papers to the Hall of Records since they were judicial records belonging to the State. The author accessioned them in 1986 and 1987.

For more of the background of these papers and other records of the Baltimore City Archives and its predecessors, see Richard J. Cox's article, "The Plight of American Municipal Archives: Baltimore, 1729-1979," American Archivist 42 (July 1979) 281-292 (LIB 17/1/3).

Serendipitous News Susan, Ben, Diana

There is a new Revolutionary Records finding aid at 1/1/4 and at the Circulation Desk for records found in index 50 (Revolutionary War Records).

The asterisk found on cards in Index 1 (Colonial Probate) indicates that the person named is an administrator of the estate, not the decedent.


Vol. 1, No. 21

7 August 1987

Serendipitous News Ben, Nancy

Nancy and I have been working on means to help people use the 1910 census. As most of you know, the Census comes with a section called (Census Descriptions of Geographic Subdivisions and Enumerations Districts) which is on MdHR M-3274. The film is of books which describe the boundaries of the enumeration districts in each county in the state. For most counties, the enumeration districts follow election district lines, except that larger cities like Annapolis are further subdivided by wards. For finding individuals in the counties, the Maryland Geologic Survey maps from this time period showing county election districts would be helpful. Another approach for land owners might be to use the (Assessment Record) of 1910 which for most counties is also arranged by election district. We now have these records here for most Maryland counties and they are indexed.

The Baltimore City enumeration districts are arranged by ward, tract number (I'm not sure what this refers to), and then very specific street boundaries are given. Those boundaries are also shown on a Bureau of State and Municipal Research map (MdHR 1427-1288) published in 1914. For Baltimore City the approach would seem to locate the individual at an address in the 1909-1911 city directories, then use the map to locate the enumeration district.

Index of the Week Chris Allan

INDEX 43 - BALTIMORE CITY AND COUNTY (Naturalization Index) 1793-1933

Baltimore City was, of course, the main port of entry for foreigners arriving in Maryland so it is not surprising that a large number of naturalizations may be found among the records of the courts there. Index 43 was created by the Court of Common Pleas. It is neither comprehensive nor entirely accurate. It does, however, provide the most immediate access to naturalization performed by the courts in Baltimore for the period from 1793 to 1933.

Remember that for Baltimore County naturalizations after 1851, one should consult Index 44.

If a researcher feels certain an individual was naturalized in Baltimore and cannot find a reference in the index, one should refer that person to the volume indexes to some of the records series. The records available are listed below, with an asterisk by those included in Card Index 43


*(Naturalization Record) 1845-1851

(Naturalization Record, Index) 1845-1851

*(Naturalization Record of Minors) 1827-1851


*(Application for Naturalization) 1897-1904

*(Declaration of Intention) 1867-1906

(Declaration of Intention, Index) 1867-1906

*(Naturalization Record) 1867-1904

(Naturalization Record, Index) 1867-1906*(Naturalization Record of Minors) 1867-1906


*(Application for Naturalization) 1897-1906

*(Declaration of Intention) 1852-1933

(Declaration of Intention, Index) 1906-1933

(Declaration of Intention, Original) 1894-1910

(List of Certificates of Naturalization) 1911-1933

(List of Declarations of Intention) 1911-1933

(List of Petitions for Naturalization) 1911-1933

*(Military Naturalizations) 1872-1900

(Military Petitions for Naturalization) 1918-1924

(Military Petitions for Naturalization, Index) 1918-1923

(Naturalization Applications, Original) 1897-1900

(Naturalization Depositions) 1911-1927

(Naturalization Petitions, Original) 1900-1906

(Naturalization Petition Stubs) 1906-1926

(Naturalization Petitions, Withdrawn) 1904-1905

*(Naturalization Record) 1852-1906

*(Naturalization Record and Petitions) 1906-1929

*(Naturalization Record of Minors) 1852-1905

(Preliminary Form for Declaration of Intention) 1907-1929


*(Declaration of Intention) 1851-1903

*(Naturalization Record) 1851-1900

*(Naturalization Record of Minors) 1851-1900


(Application for Naturalization) 1897-1902

(Applications for Naturalization) 1897-1900

*(Declaration of Intention) 1866-1906

*(Naturalization Docket) 1852-1864

*(Naturalization Record) 1852-1903

*(Naturalization Record of Minors) 1852-1903

(Petition for Naturalization) 1900-1903

(Petitions for Naturalization) 1900-1906


*(Naturalization Docket) 1796-1851

*(Naturalization Record) 1832-1851

*(Naturalization Record of Minors) 1846-1851


*(Naturalization Docket) 1852-1856


Vol. 1, No. 22

17 August 1987

INDEX 44 - BALTIMORE COUNTY (Naturalization Index), 1852-1918

As you will recall, last week we looked at the Baltimore City and County Naturalization Index (Index 43). Before we look at Index 44, we should gain some sense of how the various county courts handled the naturalization process.

From 1790 until the present, the federal government has passed a variety of laws regulating the process by which a naturalization can be obtained. the basic requirements, however, have changed very little. An alien must file a declaration of intention to start the formal process of obtaining a naturalization. In this document the alien renounces all allegiance to his native country and swears to uphold the Constitution of the United States. Three years after filing a declaration of intention, the alien may petition for a naturalization if he has been living in the country at least five years. He must have been residing in the jurisdiction of the court to which the petition is made for at least one year. A declaration of intention obtained at one court is valid in any other court. For example, one could declare intent to become a citizen at the United States District Court in Baltimore and petition for naturalization at the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court.

Over time, Congress provided several variations on this general procedure. In 1822 the federal law concerning naturalization was amended to provide minors with another course for obtaining citizenship. An alien who arrived in the United States as a minor was able to file a petition for naturalization when he became twenty-one years old without making a declaration of intention. These records are called naturalization record of minors.

Individuals who served in the armed forces of the United States or in the merchant marine while aliens are also able to apply for naturalization without filing a declaration of intention. These military record of naturalization were introduced in 1862.

Until 1922 the wife of a man who was naturalized automatically acquired citizenship. Thereafter, an alien woman was required to file a separate petition for naturalization, but did not have to submit a declaration of intention. Prior to 1922, very few women applied for naturalization in Maryland courts.

Not all courts in Maryland accept petitions for naturalization. The St. Mary's County Circuit Court ceased issuing naturalizations in 1918. Records for residents of this county usually may be found among circuit court records of Charles and Prince George's counties or at the federal courts. Since 1930, aliens applying for naturalization in Dorchester, Somerset and Worcester counties have been processed by the Wicomico County Circuit Court. The Wicomico court did not accept naturalizations from 1915 to 1920. The Baltimore County Circuit court relinquished jurisdiction over naturalizations in 1918, which explains why Index 44 ends in that year. The Baltimore City Court of Common Pleas stopped conferring naturalizations in 1933 and referred applicants to the United States District Court in Baltimore.

Card Index 44 provides access to the following records:


(Proceedings) 1852-1868

(Certificates of Naturalization) 1868-1906

(Declaration of Intention) 1868-1918

Remember that naturalization records for Baltimore County, 1798-1851, are found in Index 43.


Vol. 1, No. 23

24 August 1987

Library Libations Doug McElrath

New Developments

Pamphlet Collection - Susan King is now transferring the library pamphlet collection from the third deck to boxes located throughout the mezzanine. As a rule, the pamphlet boxes will be located in the same section of shelving as the books of similar subject categories. Labels will soon appear on the boxes making it clear what is in each box. Please continue to mark the location with a yellow marked when pulling any book or pamphlet.

Genealogies - We have also moved the pamphlet genealogies to the Reference Collection shelves outside the library office. Search room staff should try to return pamphlets to the

appropriate box when reshelving. Spiral and soft-bound materials are particularly vulnerable to wear-and-tear on open shelving.

Reference Collection - Red REF labels now adorn reference collection books. We are also putting up section and shelf labels to help improve access.

Historical Records Survey - LIB/4/4/1 is the beginning location for our recently shelved collection of published inventories and calendars of the HRS. Maryland comes first, followed by the other states in alphabetical order. The HRS still stands as a monument from a heroic age that we moderns may emulate but never equal. An index to the approximately 1000 items in this collection is available in the library office. The HRS is still a good place to begin when answering questions about records in other states.

Record Series of the Week Pat Melville

This week we look at (Certificates of Slaves) as found in the St. Mary's County Commissioners of the Tax (1804-1821) and the St. Mary's County Levy Court (1831). Please remember that the descriptions for St. Mary's county are applicable to comparable records in other counties.

These records are lists of slaves prepared by owners for inclusion in assessors' returns during a general assessment of property. The papers are arranged alphabetically by name of owner and show name, age and value of each slave. After evaluation by the supervisory agency this information was summarized in the (Assessment Record) of the county according to age and value.


Vol. 1, No. 24

31 August 1987

INDEX OF THE WEEK Phebe Jacobsen

Index 45 - Colonial Muster and Payroll Index (1732-1772)

This is an index to four record series. First, there is a single list of officers in Box 1 (Colonial Muster Rolls) for Queen Anne's County from 1732 "in obedience to your excellency's commanding relating to the militia." I was unable to find the order calling for this list in the Proceedings of the Governor and Council.

The second series, in folders in Box 1 is simply a compilation of muster rolls transmitted to the Governor and Council in 1740. They were compiled by the colonels of the various county militia at the request of Governor Samuel Ogle and his Council, July 31, 1739. The rolls are all dated 1740 and give names of officers and privates by the unit in which they were enrolled, as well as the total number of men in the troop of horse or company of foot under the colonel's command.

At the beginning of his second term Governor Ogle was again requested by the Crown to report the number of Maryland militiamen. So another list was compiled to send to Annapolis (these muster rolls are also found in Box 1). This was much like the 1740 series except these are dated 1748.

None of these first three series of records give any indication that these men saw active duty.

The fourth series of records in this card index is to (Ledger), 1767-1781, kept by the Commission for Emitting Bills of Credit. Over 30 pages of this volume are devoted to entries naming officers and soldiers who served during the period of the French and Indian Wars or who were stationed on the frontier after the war. The General Assembly, always reluctant to provide for the militia, finally paid with Bills of Credit. These lists also include the names of the persons who received money for the claimants (Laws 1766, Chapter 26). We generally circulate the photostated sections of the (Ledger) in a volume called (Colonial Payroll) rather than the original volume. I will be providing more information about the records themselves in a forthcoming Record Series of the Week


The following is the latest information about our rationale for the newspaper program and current projects.

Our rather eclectic collection has been acquired principally through microfilming in house. We have never seriously considered purchasing film from Bell and Howell or other vendors. Not only is this film expensive (the Sun is about $10,000), but film quality is uneven and many films which purport to be complete are not. In a number of instances collections which have been filmed elsewhere have been refilmed here to include missing issues acquired from sources unavailable to the film companies. The Calvert Journal and Calvert Gazette are recent examples. Our collection will grow as preservation needs are met, rather than being built through purchases of commercially available film.

The newspaper preservation program's strength has been working with local groups or individuals who have collections. This type of outreach often unearths papers whose existence was not known. As a result we have a collection here which other places do not have and provides access that does not compete with other institutions. This acquisition process is also an opportunity to build good will with local institutions and individuals. Often the cost of filming is subsidized.

The other acquisition model for newspapers is one which gathers papers relevant to specific research needs. Several years ago we borrowed all the extant newspapers which might be used for research on the bicentennial of Constitution. It has turned out to be a most useful exercise. No historian had ever consulted all the available papers for this period. As a result we have been able to develop a much clearer understanding of the issues and individuals involved in Maryland during this period.

The ideal for the Archives' collection of newspapers is to provide papers from the county seats. This complements the county records and provides the local access our researchers require.

Current newspaper filming projects are:

Prince Frederick, Calvert Gazette, 1885-1954

Prince Frederick, Calvert Journal, 1876-1957

Crisfield, Crisfield Times, 1907-1985

Crisfield, Crisfield Post, 1935-1936, 1955-1959

Towson, County Record, 1941-1946

Towson, Towson Times, 1971-1975

Towson, Baltimore County Advocate, 1855-1856

Towson, Baltimore County Democrat, 1897, 1899-1900

Reisterstown, Community Times, 1929-1986

Dundalk, Dundalk Times, 1933-1976

Chestertown, Kent News, 1932-1957

Oakland, Mountain Democrat, 1887-1930

Baltimore, Telegraf, 1935-1936 (in Bohemian)

Baltimore, Die Sontags Post, 1887-1913 (in German, Sunday edition of the Wecker)

Baltimore, Baltimore Wecker, 1854

Baltimore, Die Katholische Volks-Zeitung, 1874-1886

Frederick, Olive Branch, 1843-1844

Pending projects:

Baltimore, News-American, 1924-1935

assorted Cecil County papers

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