The Archivists' Bulldog

Vol. 2, No. 14
25 April 1988

Library Libations Doug McElrath

Calvin W. Mowbray - Historian of Dorchester County

Early Dorchester, 1979 Lib. 1069 loc. 10-4-2

Dorchester County Fact Book, 1980 Lib. 1069 loc. 10-4-2

Early Settlers of Dorchester County and Their Lands, 2 Vols., 1981 Lib. 1069 loc. 10-4-2

First Dorchester Families, 1984 Lib. 1069 loc. 10-4-2

Interest in Maryland's local history has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years. The products of this interest range from doctoral dissertations and articles in scholarly journals to commercially-produced picture books. Dorchester County is fortunate to have Calvin Mowbray's books which provide perhaps the most complete picture available of a single county.

Mr. Mowbray's first two books, Early Dorchester and Dorchester County Fact Book, were designed in the author's words, "to set forth some facts about Dorchester County which have, in the past, been treated improperly or neglected by writers of Dorchester History." The results of this design are two typescript volumes that provide a wealth of useful and fascinating information. A brief list of some of the topics covered include early churches, transportation, post offices, military operations during the Revolution, Indians, origins of placenames, location of hundreds and election districts, and a Potpourri chapter that features "The Strangest Courtship on Record" - recounting the court-ordered wooing of Elizabeth Gary in the 17th century. Mr. Mowbray frequently quotes directly from original records and he provides good references to the sources of the information in these volumes. I was also impressed by the excellent indexes to proper names and subjects.

After this somewhat eclectic presentation of subjects on Dorchester County, Mowbray turned to a more systematic approach in Early Settlers of Dorchester County and Their Lands and First Dorchester Families. The first volume of Early Settlers attempts quite successfully to identify and locate early land grants in the county using the patent records, rent rolls, and county land records. The arrangement is chronological by the date of survey, and he provides an index to proper names and tracts. This volume also features a gazetteer of

Dorchester County waterways which is a great help when attempting to locate bodies of water whose names have changed since the time of the written description. The second volume turns to additional sources referring to land transactions in Dorchester such as Provincial Court deeds and Talbot County land records. Phebe Jacobsen recently found the chapter on Indian lands to be helpful in her research. First Dorchester Families is a compilation of genealogical sketches of early settlers of the county.

In addition to the four titles mentioned here, Mr. Mowbray has collaborated with Maurice D. Rimpo to produce a volume entitled, Close-Ups of Dorchester History which the library will acquire as soon as possible. It is not often that this reviewer's judgment is confirmed by a resolution of the Maryland State Senate, but this is the case with Mr. Mowbray whose work was recognized in SR 259 passed on February 12, 1982.

Index of the Week Susan Cummings

In last week's Bull Dog, Greg wrote about research materials in his office concerning seals. These materials are officially known as the Maryland State Archives Seal Collection, MdHR G 1603, and can be located through the Special Collections database. Originally part of the Topic File, MdHR G 1456, a new, separate collection was created as the collection burgeoned. As Greg stated in his article MdHR G 1603 includes references to county, state, and private seals found in the Archives, as well as Greg's and other's research.

Using the Norton/Search program recently installed on the Library/Special Collections computer, we can check for other Special Collections containing seal references. (The Norton/Search program searches all fields in the database for word or character groups such as "seal.") Another important collection found this way is the Great Seals of Maryland Collection, MdHR G 1551. This collection includes the actual seals on display in the State House: the Great Seals of 1648, 1793, 1817, and 1854; Lord Baltimore's Letter Seal at Arms, 1634; the seals of the Court of Appeals, the Land Office of the Western Shore, and the Seal of the General Court, all dated 1784.

We also have the seal of the Baltimore County Levy Court in the Pittman Collection, MdHR G 1157. This seal was probably made about 1806. The first impression of it we have is dated February 24, 1806. Prior to that time documents of the Levy Court were sealed with the Circuit Court seal. The Levy Court was superceded in 1827 by the County Commissioners.

We have collections on the Caroline County seal, MdHR G 1671, and the Talbot County seal and flag, MdHR G 768. Art work and research on seals can be found in the Great Seals of Maryland Poster Collection, MdHR G 1739, and MdHR D 1066 contains the art work used in F. T. Wehr's publication Flags and Seals of Maryland and the United States.

The Norton/Search program revealed that a transparency of the "Thomas Sparrow Seal" can be found in the Legislative History Project Collection, MdHR G 1056. The Sparrow Seal is found on the cover of the Biographical Dictionary and on our visitor i.d. sticker. It first appeared in 1765 on Bacon's compilation of the Laws of Maryland.

All staff are invited to come by my office for a demonstration of the Norton Text Search program for use in conjunction with the Special Collections database.

Vol. 2, No. 15
2 May 1988

Record Series of the Week Ben Primer

Attorney General (Opinions), 1851-1889 STAGSER 125, 1/32/2/17

Governor (Attorney General Opinions), 1883-1929 STAGSER 1043, 2/28/3/32-34

Attorney General (Annual Report and Official Opinions), 1916- (Vols. 1- ) 2/3/8/2-11

Attorney General (Annual Report, Typescript), 1916, 1938-1941; 2/3/8/12

Attorney General (Official Opinions Index), 1916-1978 (for Vols. 1-63); 2/3/8/1

The series described above represent the known holdings of the Archives with regard to official opinions of the Attorney General of Maryland. I suspect that there are other opinions in the general correspondence series for the Governor, Secretary of State and other state departments.

The first two series are in fact the same, namely opinions by the Attorney General submitted to the Executive Department [including the Governor, Secretary of State and Adjutant General]. The 1851-1889 series seems to have been pulled out of the general correspondence series of the Executive Department, but I cannot be certain. The 1883-1929 series is a distinct series. The opinions are in manuscript and typescript form and arranged in chronological order. Opinions after 1915 are printed as indicated below (and thus are probably disposable).

Chapter 560 of the Laws of 1916 created a State Law Department under the Attorney General. Section 8 of that law required him to submit a printed annual report bound with opinions issued during the preceding calendar year. Those annual volumes form the third series, located in State Publications. A cumulative index covering 1916-1978 is also available. The typescripts of the annual reports are also in State Publications, but they are in the printed volumes and should be disposed.

In sum, for opinions before 1916, patrons will need to know a date to locate an opinion--there is no name or subject access. After 1916, they can use the cumulative index up to 1978 and the annual indexes thereafter to find printed opinions.

Index of the Week Ben Primer

Index 49 - Maryland State Papers (Series D, Revolutionary War Papers - Index) 1775-

Index 49 provides alphabetical access by individual or corporate name to most of Series D of the State Papers (MdHR 19,970). It does not index Box 16 of this series [Enlistment Papers] which has its own index in that box, nor does it index any of the Revolutionary Era items in Boxes 17-19 [but note that most of these items in fact are not Revolutionary Papers and probably belong in Series A]. The index includes all names on pay abstracts, muster rolls, returns, bounty lists, accounts, auditor's reports, payrolls, depreciation pay lists, ships manifests, Association of Freemen signers.

The Index also provides name access to one item in the (Blue Books) and to "certificates of discharge." The latter has no box number and I could not correlate the folder numbers to any records [eg. Joseph Quinn, 29 November 1783, folder 31; Christopher Ranels, 12 June 1786, folders 32 & 33]. Perhaps one of our veterans has the answer.

For these records the card index provides much better access than An Inventory of Maryland State Papers, Volume 1, which is indexed only for authors and recipients of items. The Inventory does however provide access to many Revolutionary Era papers elsewhere in the State Papers (especially Series A). For instance, boxes 52 and 53 of Series A ["Papers Relating to Pay of Soldiers of the Maryland Line"] are found in the Inventory [they also are arranged alphabetically]. The Inventory does not index any item found in the description field, but we should be able to gain access there by using Word Cruncher on the machine-readable text created by the Inventory project.

Vol. 2, No. 16
9 May 1988

Record Series of the Week Ben Primer

ADMIRALTY COURT (Court Papers) 1776-1789

MdHR 7871 STAGSER 116 1/32/1/6-8 and

1/32/1/50 for oversize

The provenance of these papers is quite interesting. In the early 1940s Judge Emory H. Niles of the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City became interested in whether there were records relating to the colonial Admiralty Court. He approached the Clerk of the Superior Court of Baltimore City who soon sent him court minutes (1776-1778) and case files (some of which had found their way to the city archives as part of the WPA work). Judge Niles also obtained minutes (1779-1782) from the Maryland Historical Society and film and photostats of the Court of Vice-Admiralty minutes, then part of the Peter Force Collection at the Library of Congress. Judge Niles described his efforts in a paper delivered to the Lawyer's Round Table in 1941 entitled "The Revolutionary Court of Admiralty of the State of Maryland, 1776-1789" [MdHR M-223]. In 1943 Judge Niles sent all these records to the State Archives and the Peter Force items came in the early 1970s.

The colonial Court of Vice Admiralty met in Annapolis. In the early years the Governor and Council acted as Court of Vice Admiralty. In 1694 a Register of the Court was first appointed and in 1699 the General Assembly passed "An Act for the Punishment of Privateers and Pyrates" which specifically defined crimes to be within the jurisdiction of this Court. Usually one of the Judges of the Provincial Court served as judge of the Court of Vice Admiralty. Beginning in 1754 we have minutes of this court which tried cases involving contracts, accounts, wages, treason, piracy, felonies, fugitives, mayhem, royal fish, bottomry (no, this is not callipygous) taking place on the high seas or other waterways.

By resolve of the Convention on May 25, 1776 a Court of Admiralty was established to try "captures and seizures." This Court sat in Baltimore. A judge was appointed to serve at the pleasure of the Convention. Article 55 of the Constitution of 1776 mentions this court and Chapter 5 of the Laws of February 1777 prescribed the oath for the judge. During the revolutionary period the Court handled roughly 12 cases per year, almost all of them relating to captures and seizures. Following the war, the annual caseload increased to 18, and the court took on civil jurisdiction over seamen's wages and assaults as its principal business (apparently on the basis of precedent rather than any jurisdiction prescribed in law).

The Federal Constitution provided for admiralty questions to be handled by federal courts and following its adoption in March 1789 the state seems to have assumed that its Admiralty Court was superceded. Judge Benjamin Nicholson, who had served since 1776, argued however that his office had not been abolished by state law or the federal constitution and that there remained jurisdiction over intrastate admiralty matters. Nicholson continued in office until he resigned on December 31, 1790 to become Chief Judge of Baltimore Town. The state, however, refused to pay his salary after November 1789, and in 1792 Nicholson's widow sued the state to collect 13 months' salary. The General Court found for the widow (perhaps for reasons of sympathy) and thus it could be argued that Maryland's Court of Admiralty continued in existence (although without a judge) at least through the time of the Constitution of 1851.

The (Court Papers) are arranged in chronological order and indexed by plaintiff and defendant (often the name of the ship, followed by its captain) in the final drawer of

Index 50. Four cases are dated after 1790, and I believe these to be Baltimore County Court cases. Pat and I plan to have these cards converted to dBase, perhaps using the new hand scanners, so that the unit list will reflect the 204 case names for this series.

Index of the Week Ben Primer

Index 50 - Revolutionary War Records Index - 1775-1798

This index provides access to names found in a number of financial records created by various agencies of the state during and immediately following the Revolution. These are termed "records" because they appear in bound form, as opposed to loose "papers" which are indexed in Index 49.

While many of the records indexed here are connected with military service during the War (for example army accounts and depreciation pay), there is no guarantee that the appearance of a name in Index 50 indicates anything more than that the state debited or credited an account connected with the individual.

There is one anomaly in the Revolutionary Records Index, namely the "Original Enlistment Papers." As it turns out, these are the papers in Box 16 of the Maryland State Papers, Revolutionary Papers (MdHR 19970) which last week were reported as unindexed. It seems reasonable that these "papers" cards be moved to Index 49, and Mrs. Mack will do so shortly.

The final drawer of Index 50 also includes the index to the Admiralty Court (Court Papers) described above.


In addition to the volumes indexed in the card file, there are several other financial records which patrons may want to consult which are not indexed here. The following volumes have individual indexes:

Auditor General (Ledger) A 1776-1778 MdHR 1777

Auditor General (Ledger) B 1778-1780 MdHR 1778

Auditor General (Ledger) B2 1780-1785 MdHR 4554

Auditor General (Ledger) C 1785-1807 MdHR 1786

Intendant of the Revenue (Ledger) 1782-1783 MdHR 1780

The following volumes have roughly alphabetical lists arranged by regiment:

Auditor General (Muster Roll) 1 1776-1780 MdHR 17,303, Regiments 1, 2, 3, 4 and Rawlings'

Auditor General (Muster Roll) 2 1776-1780 MdHR 17,304, Regiments 5, 6, 7, German

Auditor General (Muster Roll) 3 1776-1780 MdHR 17,305, Regiments 3, 4, 5, 6

The following volumes are not indexed, but may also be of value for financial information relating to service in the Revolutionary War:

Intendant of the Revenue (Ledger) 1782-1783 MdHR 1780

Intendant of the Revenue (Letterbook) 1786 MdHR 4552

Intendant of the Revenue (Letterbook) 1785-1787 MdHR 18,961 in the Peter Force Collection

Auditor General (Day Book) 1781-1783 MdHR 699

Auditor General (Journal) B1 1778-1781 MdHR 18,958, in the Peter Force Collection

Auditor General (Journal) B2 1781-1785 MdHR 18,959, in the Peter Force Collection

Auditor General (Ledger) Unsettled Accounts 1776-1798 MdHR 1779-1


The following records are indexed in Index 50:

Auditor General:

(Army Officers Accounts) 1777-1783 MdHR 1758 [indexed as Army Ledger No. 1]

(Day Book) 1785-1786 MdHR 1771-2 [indexed as Intendant's Day Book No. 2]

(Journal) 1779-1781 MdHR 1388 [indexed as Army Journal No. 1]

(Ledger) 1776-1796 MdHR 1776 [indexed as Agent's Ledger No. 1]

(Ledger) 1778-1791 MdHR 1373 [indexed as Army Ledger No. 2]

Commissioner to Settle and Adjust Pay Due Officers and Soldiers:

(Depreciation Certificates Register) 1781-1797 MdHR 1761 [indexed as Depreciation Pay No. 3]

(Depreciation Pay) 1 1781-1786 MdHR 1381 [indexed as Depreciation Pay No. 1]

(Depreciation Pay) 2 1781-1791 MdHR 1382 [indexed as Depreciation Pay No. 2]

Commissioner of Army Accounts:

(Letterbook) 1784-1786 MdHR 1762 [indexed as Agents' Letter Book No. 1]

(Pay Accounts) 1784-1798 MdHR 1348 [indexed as Pay Account No. 1]

(Receipt Book) 1787-1791 MdHR 1380 [indexed as Army Accounts No. 1]

(Stoppage of Payments) 1785-1789 MdHR 1383 [indexed as Army Accounts No. 2]

Council of Safety:

(Ledger) 1775-1777 MdHR 1775 [indexed as Army Ledger No. 4]

Intendant of the Revenue:

(Day Book) 1 1784-1786 MdHR 4547 [indexed as Indendant's Day Book No. 1]

(Ledger) A9 1782-1784 MdHR 1781 [indexed as Intendant's Ledger A, No. 9]

(Ledger) A10 1782-1786 MdHR 1782 [indexed as Intendant's Ledger A, No. 10]

(Ledger) 15 1783-1784 MdHR 1783 [indexed as Intendant's Ledger No. 15]

(Ledger) 1783-1785 MdHR 1759 [indexed as Army Ledger No. 3]

(Ledger) B 1784-1786 MdHR 1784-1 [indexed as Intendant's Ledger B]

(Letterbook) 10 1782 MdHR 4545 [indexed as Intendant's Letter Book No. 10]

(Letterbook) 11 1782-1783 MdHR 4546 [indexed as Intendant's Letter Book No. 11]

(Letterbook) 12 1784-1786 MdHR 4548 [indexed as Intendant's Letter Book No. 12]

(Orders on the Treasury) 1782-1783 MdHR 1784-2 [indexed as Intendant's Orders No. 1]

(Orders on the Treasury) 1785-1786 MdHR 1785 [indexed as Intendant's Orders No. 2]

Vol. 2, No. 17
16 May 1988

Record Series of the Week Ben Primer

Baltimore County Commissioners of the Tax

(Militia Registration) 1794 MdHR 1435

This series, currently under Baltimore County Court, was created under Chapter 53 of the 1793 Laws of Maryland which was in direct response to an Act of Congress "more effectually to provide for the national defense, by establishing a uniform militia throughout the United States." The federal law called for the enrollment of every free able-bodied white male between 18 and 45 years of age.

The Maryland law provided that individuals be hired to return to the Commissioners of the Tax in each county lists of all such males between 18 and 45 before April 1794. Copies were also to be sent to the Governor and Council for use in naming officers. A $10 fine was to be levied for failure to enroll, and local agents were also subject to greater fines should they fail to carry out this task.

The law was very specific regarding information to be provided. Quakers, "Menonists," "Tunkers," and "persons conscientiously scrupulous of bearing arms" were to be listed separately. Apprentices also were to be indicated with their trades and masters. This series provides all this information for each individual as appropriate. The volume also is divided into hundreds (North, Pipe Creek, Delaware Upper and Lower, Back River, Middle River Upper and Lower, Mine Run, Patapsco Upper and Lower, Middlesex, Gunpowder, and Soldiers Delight], but the list is not clearly divided so I am uncertain when one hundred leaves off and another begins. Much of the book covers "Port of Baltimore Town and precincts" as well.

In sum, this seems a fairly complete census of all males in Baltimore City and County between ages 18 and 45 in 1794. 7,103 names appear on the list (6788 regulars, 243 apprentices, 59 Quakers, 0 Mennonites, 2 Dunkers and 11 conscientious objectors). The 1790 federal census showed 9050 free white males over 15 in the county (5239 heads of households) and allowing for those under 18 and over 45, the enrollment would seem thorough. Moreover, the lists include all males whether heads of household or not. Best of all, the enrollment is indexed in Index 51 under Militia Registration Book No. 1 as indicated below.

Index of the Week Ben Primer

Index 51 - (Military Commission Records - Index), 1794-1824

Index 51 will probably be renamed "Militia Records" in the next edition of the Checklist of Indexes since it includes more than officers' commissions. It provides alphabetical access by name, date and county to three series of records:

Militia Appointments

Adjutant General (Militia Appointments) 1 1794-1804 MdHR 1349

Adjutant General (Militia Appointments) 2 1794-1816 MdHR 5587

These are appointments by the Governor of commissioned officers in the militia as provided by Chapter 53 of the Laws of 1793. Note that many of the individuals named refused commissions so one cannot assume that the person actually served. Note that there are 15 militia appointments volumes not indexed, including the following which cover periods included in Index 51:

Adjutant General (Militia Appointments) 1794-1825 MdHR 5589

Adjutant General (Militia Appointments) 1794-1824 MdHR 5591

Adjutant General (Militia Appointments) 1806-1848 MdHR 5588

Adjutant General (Militia Appointments) 1807-1848 MdHR 5592

Adjutant General (Militia Appointments) 1822-1852 MdHR 5590

Arms Accounts

Adjutant General (Arms Account) 1 1784-1824 MdHR 5611

Adjutant General (Arms Account) 2 1784-1823 MdHR 5610

Adjutant General (Arms Account) 3 1820-1823

These accounts list suppliers and recipients of firearms and powder for the times indicated. Suppliers of course are not militiamen and not all recipients are officers, so one cannot assume these are lists of commissioned officers. The first two items are small volumes, while the last is a folder labelled "Arms Account No. 1, Portfolio," but is indexed and accessioned as No. 3. My own guess is that these are loose papers taken out of Arms Account No. 1, but who knows for certain. A number of other Arms Accounts for the same time period are not indexed:

Adjutant General (Arms Account) 1788-1817 MdHR 5603

Adjutant General (Arms Account) 1812-1817 MdHR 5602

Adjutant General (Arms Account) 1812-1817 MdHR 5605

Adjutant General (Arms Account) 1813-1818 MdHR 1754

Adjutant General (Arms Account) 1813-1822 MdHR 1384

Adjutant General (Arms Account) 1819 MdHR 5604

Baltimore County Militia Registration

Baltimore County Commissioners of the Tax

(Militia Registration) 1794 MdHR 1435

This item is described in greater detail in the Record Series of the Week. Suffice it to say that this is the enrollment of all able-bodied white males in Baltimore City and County between the ages of 18 and 45. It gives no indication of actual militia service or officer status. It is, however, of great value as a census of the county for 1794.

Vol. 2, No. 18
23 May 1988

Index of the Week Phebe Jacobsen

Index 28 - Church Records - Births and Baptisms Index, 1663-1967

Index 28 was compiled in the same manner as Index 27, the General Church Record Index on Marriages. Office secretaries and other personnel typed information on cards gleaned from the church registers supplied by the Assistant Archivist. Each index is listed below by county, name of parish or church and denomination. The list includes the record with the overall date and in brackets the actual dates covered when known.

In many of the older volumes baptismal or death entries are scattered throughout the volume and are not necessarily entered in consecutive order. Microfilm numbers are indicated here at the end of the description. There are thirteen drawers of cards for this index.

One should remember that many of the parishes in our original and microform records have individual general or volume indexes that should be consulted for the particular parish. In addition, there are a number of printed indexes in the church records reference collection outside of Doug's office along the windows.

Anne Arundel County:

All Hallows (PE) Parish - 1669-1721 [1669-1701]; 1700-1724; 1711-1857 [births: 1711-1720, births mixed with marriages and burials: 1721/2-1857; includes births dating back to 1682] M-221

St. James, Lothian (PE) - 1663-1856 [births: 1663, 1671-1855; baptisms: 1685-1855] M-937 See also St. James, Old Herring Creek Parish. . .1663-1799 by Edith Stansbury Dallam, 1976.

Calvary United Methodist, Annapolis (Formerly Annapolis Station ME, Salem ME, First ME - 1852-1873, 1892-1916 M-725

Baltimore City:

Bethel (AME) Church - 1880, 1892, 1815-1926 [1916-1919]; 1882-1908 M-1383

Calvert County:

All Saints (PE) - 1859-1958 M-969

St. Paul's (PE) - 1841-1900 [baptisms: 1841-1845, 1856-1899; includes birth dates 1852-1899]; 1892-1938 [baptisms: 1892-1938; includes birth dates 1891-1938] M-271, M-929

Christ Church (PE) - 1839-1902 [baptisms: 1840-1868, 1879-1902] M-270

Caroline County:

St. Mary's Whitechapel (PE) - 1871-1915 [includes birth dates 1827, 1849, 1858-1915]; 1916-1951 [includes birth dates 1874, 1909-1950] M-938

Cecil County:

Trinity (PE) - 1835-1891; 1891-1903 M-352

Charles County:

Trinity (PE) - 1830-1850 M-259

Dorchester County:

Great Choptank (PE) - 1790-1829, 1838-1885 [1790-1799, 1817-1827, 1838-1884; includes birth dates 1771-1884]; 1884-1904 [includes birth dates 1840, 1856, 1860, 1873-1904]; 1904-1924 [includes birth dates 1846, 1872-1924] M-680

Kent County:

Shrewsbury (PE) - 1699-1731; 1727-1882; 1883-1909 M-339

Queen Anne's County:

St. Luke's (PE) - 1772-1850 [births and baptisms 1716, 1725, 1730-1817, 1829, 1835-1847] M-682

Talbot County:

St. Michael's (PE) - 1823-1847 [baptisms: 1823-1827, 1831-1847; birth dates: 1813-1847]; 1848-1887 [birth dates 1841-1887]

Washington County:

St. John's Lutheran Church, Hagerstown (LCA) - 1768-1967 M-1182

Vol. 2, No. 19
31 May 1988


Please note that in last week's Index of the Week Phebe neglected to mention that Index 28 Church Records (Births and Baptisms Index) also contains the following record:

Baltimore City:

Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church - (Church Record) 1882-1908; (General Register) 1880-1946 [1915-1919]

Ben Primer learned this week that Index 1 includes at least one birth certification. See (Testamentary Papers), Box 26, folder 11 for a most interesting piece of genealogical information.

Index of the Week Phebe Jacobsen

Index 29 - Index 29 - Church Records (Deaths and Burials Index), 16

Index 29 was prepared by office secretaries and other personnel who typed onto cards information gleaned from church registers supplied by the Assistant Archivist. Each record indexed is listed below by county, name of parish or church and by denomination. The list includes the record with its span dates and in brackets the actual dates covered for deaths and burials if known.

In many of the older volumes death entries are scattered throughout the volume and are not necessarily entered in consecutive order. Microfilm numbers are indicated at the end of the description. There are four drawers in this index.

One should remember that many of the parishes in our original and microform records have individual general or volume indexes that should be consulted for the particular parish. In addition, there are a number of printed indexes in the church records reference collection outside of Doug's office along the windows.

Anne Arundel County:

All Hallows (PE) Parish - 1686-1721; 1711-1857 [1721/2-1857] M-221

St. James (PE) Parish - 1663-1856 [1695-1856]; see also Edith Stansbury Dallam, St. James, Old Herring Creek Parish...1663-1799 (1976). M-937


All Saints (PE) - 1859-1958 M-269

Christ Church (PE) - 1795-1902 [1840-1868, 1881-1902] M-270

St. Paul's (PE) - 1841-1900 [1856-1900]; 1892-1938 [1899-1938] M-271, M-929

Caroline County:

St. Mary's Whitechapel (PE) - 1871-1915 [1872-1914]; 1916-1951 [1917-1951] M-938

Cecil County:

Trinity (PE) - 1835-1891; 1891-1903 M-352

Charles County:

Trinity (PE) - 1830-1850 M-259

Dorchester County:

Great Choptank (PE) - 1790-1855 [1792-1822, 1838-1885]; 1884-1903; 1904-1924 [1904-1922] M-680

Kent County:

Shrewsbury (PE) - 1699-1731; 1727-1882; 1883-1909 M-680

Queen Anne's County

St. Luke's (PE) - 1722-1850 [1729-1759; 1771; 1845-1846; 1850] M-349

Talbot County:

St. Michael's (PE) - 1823-1847 [1823-1827, 1831-1847]; 1848-1887 [1848-1886] M-1228

Washington County:

St. John's Lutheran, Hagerstown (LCA) - 1768-1967 [1903-1916] M-1182

Vol. 2, No. 22
20 June 1988


The Dowsett Collection -- D 1998-2

Mrs. Margaret Moss Dowsett and her daughter, Ann Jensen, have recently presented the Maryland State Archives with six manuscript pages of signals used by Capt. Charles Gordon's fleet in the summer of 1813. Mrs. Dowsett does not know where the pages came from except they were among the documents found when she was cleaning and organizing the many documents in the Sands house. One of Mrs. Dowsett's ancestors was on the ship Revenge and another aided in the administration of Capt. Gordon's estate. Mrs. Dowsett, whose mother once worked in the Conservation Lab of the old Hall of Records, has given us other valuable materials for Special Collections. She and her husband, the late Col. Frederick Dowsett enabled us to begin the Moss Family Endowment, allowing the Conservation Lab to have interns.

According to James Cheevers, Curator of the Naval Academy Museum, copies of the signals given by Mrs. Dowsett were usually made for each boat. In the case of Gordon's squadron, one sheet displays the flags, distinguishing each ship. The flag of the Revenge for instance, was a rectangle made up of a red triangle joined on the widest end to a white triangle. A blue circle with the letter K is in the center of the rectangle. The sheets with the flags are painted with brilliant colors. Mr. Cheevers says this was the usual way signal flags were recorded.

Ten flags, each one different, indicate the ten integers. Number 1, for example, is a red square with a small white square in the center. Number 6 is a large red square, number 0 is a white square with a small blue square in the center. Combinations of flags were used to indicate various signals. Number 2 meant "approach no nearer", 56 "alter your course to starboard", 63 "bear up", 102 "gunboats and tenders advancing" and 103 "enemy standing up apparently for attack".

On July 21, 1807 the U.S. Frigate Chesapeake pulled out of Norfolk naval yard for duty in the Mediterranean. She was under the command of Gordon, a native of Kent County, Maryland and kin of prominent Eastern shore and Philadelphia families. The Chesapeake flew the flag of Commodore James Barron who acted as senior officer while on board. She sailed for the open sea with guns not rigged and crew untrained. She was trailed by HMS Leopard who carried orders from the British Vice-Admiral Berkley out of Halifax to seize and search American ships for British deserters. It had been reported to Berkley that certain deserters

were on board the Chesapeake having dared to parade in Norfolk defying British Naval officers who looked on and recognized them. The Chesapeake, delayed because of inefficiency in the Naval yard, had cast off under Barron's instructions intending to drill the men and rig their guns at sea.

Once out of the Capes the Leopard forced the Chesapeake to halt and demanded the right to search the Chesapeake for the missing seamen. Barron initially denied permission and in the end the British almost destroyed the Chesapeake by their shelling. Nineteen American sailors were killed and the British removed four sailors, three of whom admitted they had fled the British navy. The indignity of the search, the attack on an American ship and the death of the seaman almost precipitated the second war with Britain in 1807. While it would take five more years before open warfare commenced, the Chesapeake and Leopard incident would become a precipitating cause of that war. Not much was heard of poor Capt. Gordon of the Chesapeake in the years immediately following the disaster. Vice Admiral Barron, obviously the ranking commander, was court martialed and so was Gordon.

Six years later Gordon was again in command of a squadron of naval vessels patrolling the Chesapeake Bay. He had at least four schooners and a gunboat under his command. All of the vessels were built as privateers, probably in Baltimore and were purchased or loaned to the Navy in the spring and summer of 1813. The 14 gun schooner Comet was loaned to the Navy from April to September 1813. The Revenge was purchased for Navy use in 1812. It carried a 140 man crew and was commanded by Capt. R. Miller. The small Wasp had only a single gun but its crew under Capt. T. Taylor numbered 50 men. With crew of 100 men and 10 guns, the Patapsco was used by the Navy in the summer of 1813. All of these ships had been or would become successful privateers before and after they left Federal service. Their crews were well paid in booty.

While New England merchants and ships supplied the British army in Canada with food, an order in Council was issued late in December 1812 for the blockade of the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays. An expedition was formed to invade the Bay and "punish" and terrorize the inhabitants. Second in command of this expedition was Admiral Sir George Cockburn. The British came into the Capes in February but were unsuccessful in invading Norfolk. Cockburn, however, raided the civilian inhabitants around Cape Henry and then sailed northward to Elkton where the British pillaged warehouses and stores on the waterfront. In most cases, at this time, the British did not burn private homes. They carefully gave receipts for all property commandeered. Yet they accomplished their goal by frightening the populace. On May 3, the British sailors and marines invaded Havre de Grace. Later they destroyed an ironworks in Cecil County. Under Cockburn's directive they began to burn homes in two villages on the Sassafras River. By June, Cockburn was joined by 8 ships of the line and additional reinforcements. This was the British force with which Gordon's fleet had to contend.

There is no evidence that Capt. Gordon ever came in contact with the British flotilla. The small American squadron could hardly have done much damage to the eight ships of the line, 12 frigates and other boats that made up the British fighting force in the Chesapeake by the end of June 1813. We know Gordon's ships were patrolling the Bay sometimes near Annapolis, signaling their sister ships and the militia on shore. When passing the Maryland capital at night they would "show one light and one rocket." "Any signal made for the shore or the Rose in Bloom will have the American Jack flying with it" reads another signal.

It might interest you to know that Charles Gordon fought a duel with Alexander Contee Hanson in 1809 over the Chesapeake - Leopard affair. Gordon, it is said, fired at the air while Hanson fired directly at Gordon. Parts of Gordon's clothing remained in his wound which, consequently, never healed. In 1815 he commanded a squadron in the Mediterranean as master of the frigate Constellation. He suffered greatly during the last months of his life from the old infection. He died in Sicily

in 1816 and is buried at Messina. Gordon never married. His brother was Register of Wills in Kent County where Charles Gordon's inventory was probated in 1822.

For further knowledge of Charles Gordon, read Kent County Orphans Court Proceedings, 1812-1822, which includes his letterbook. Read also the article by M.L. Radoff on "Captain Gordon of the Constellation" in Maryland Historical Magazine, LXVII written after the contents of the court record. For more exciting stuff in the Archives look for future articles on Special Collections.

Record Series of the Week Ben Primer

Comptroller of the Treasury (Pension Roll) 1867-1889 MdHR 3783 [indexed in Index 52 as "Pension Roll of Maryland"]

This volume provides information on pensions paid to veterans of the War of 1812 and their widows. It is divided into 4 sections, each arranged by county and then roughly in alphabetical order.

Section 1 includes those qualifying for pensions under laws passed in 1867 and 1868. Chapter 385 of 1867 appointed unpaid State Pension Commissioners in each Baltimore City legislative district and each county who were to certify to the Comptroller those veterans and widows "really in need of assistance" who would be paid $80 annually on a quarterly basis (this amount remained constant throughout the period). Evidently the unpaid commissioners did not work and in Chapter 432 of 1868 a specific list of qualifying pensioners was written into law along with a requirement for others to submit an affidavit from two credible witnesses as to identity, residency and indigence. Current pensioners would submit similar affidavits on an annual basis.

Evidently even this system was abused and in Chapter 477 of 1870 a new list of pensioners was written into law along with a requirement for the two affidavits and a certificate of residence from the county commissioners or the Appeal Tax Court of Baltimore City. These pensions are found in Section 2 of the pension roll. Affiants could have no interest in the pension and the Attorney General was to prosecute for false oaths. The affidavits continued to require identity, residence and indigence, but they were also to include indications of Maryland residence at the time of service and marriage at the time or within five years of the close of the war. Thus for all pensioners after 1870 one can assume a marriage prior to 1819. One should note that at least eight private pension acts passed between 1849 and 1876, and those individuals are found in this and later sections.

Section 3 records those paid under Chapter 320 of 1876 which again named a list of eligibles and required two witnesses of service and inclusion of those properly on the pension list or accidentally omitted or misspelled.

Chapter 350 of 1878 repealed the general pension act and four of the private acts. Four individuals continued to receive pensions under private laws from 1878 through 1889, and these are in Section 4. Pensions cease in 1889 although I could find no law providing for their repeal.

Pensions were paid on a quarterly basis, and the rolls frequently indicate an exact or approximate date of death for pensioners. Agents acting for the pensioners are given as are places of residence. For widows the husband's name is often provided.

Index of the Week Ben Primer

Index 52 - (Pension Records-War of 1812 Index), 1867-1889.

This is an index to those veterans and widows paid pensions under various general and private pension acts passed by the General Assembly after 1867 (see Record Series of the Week above). Initially one had to provide proof of identity, residency and indigence to qualify. After 1870 the law also required residency in Maryland at time of service and, for widows, marriage at the time of or within five years of the conclusion of the war. The general pension act was repealed in 1878 and only four individuals continued to receive pensions after that date.

The cards indicate pensioner's name, county, dates of payments and under which pension act (several cards if under multiple acts), agent for the pensioner, post office, the widow's husband's name, date of pensioner's death if indicated. One can assume widows listed after 1870 were married prior to 1819. The end of payments may indicate the pensioner's death or departure from the state.

Vol. 2, No. 23
27 June 1988


A History of Special Collections

"Perhaps there is nothing more complex in the whole field of archival administration than the handling of private papers" wrote Dr. Morris Radoff in his Fifth Annual Report of 1939-1940. I am assuming that Radoff's definition of private papers included all the semi-archival material we today call Special Collections, i.e. maps, photographs, newspapers, church records, and family papers.

Radoff went on to explain that it "was easy to accept gifts, place them in the stacks, but the tendency was to forget them. It is not worthwhile to preserve a collection without making it available." It is for this reason that "more discoveries are made among these records than elsewhere."

The Act of 1931, Chapter 87 which established the State Archives of Maryland provided not only for the preservation of official records, but for the care of "ancient public and private papers" as well. In the following years legislation concerning the new Hall of Records broadened the definition of what was to be preserved.

The 1935 Act expanded preservation to mean the collection of "old newspapers, church records, private papers...historical materials and data" concerning the history of Maryland "from the earliest times." (Chapter 18). Implementation of these directions was, of course, left to the discretion of the Archivist and his professional staff. It was plain that the Archivist could refuse gifts of no historic value or suggest they be placed in a more suitable institution.

During the administration of the first archivist there were an incredible number of gifts, deposits, purchases ($25 the top price) and perhaps sales. But as time went on regulations became tighter. Some early gifts were placed in other repositories and a vertical file was begun.

A card file arranged alphabetically by donor was started about 1939 for the benefit of patrons when material from private sources was accepted. This file, Index 108 in our Checklist, was maintained until 1975. Accession books contained all the necessary information about the gifts (now part of Special Collections). Susan Cummings retains these files along with correspondence between the Hall of Records and donors. This file is arranged by year beginning 1935/6. Moreover, Susan has a card file to donors and a corresponding file of subject indexes as well as the proverbial accession books. Large collections are indexed item by item and these indexes are found in two clamshells in Miss Cummings' office. In coming weeks we will look at important individual collections.

Record Series of the Week Ben Primer

Baltimore County Commissioners of the Tax (Assessors Field Book) Election District #4, 1818 MdHR 16,927 2/59/11/27

This item is currently accessioned as a 1750 Assessors Field Book. F. Edward Wright recently published this list in Inhabitants of Baltimore County, 1692-1763 which caused John McGrain of the County Landmarks Preservation Commission to bring it to our attention (actually after I wrote this article I discovered that Ed Wright had already raised the issue with Pat). He suggested a much later dating due to references to Harford County, to confiscated property and to individuals born in the 1790s. Doug suggested, and Lois Carr confirmed, that there had been no property assessments before the Revolution.

By looking at the book and comparing it to assessment law I was able to determine that the assessed values of slaves were based on Chapter 191 of the Laws of 1812 which remained in effect until 1841. I then went to the Baltimore County assessment records for that time span and quickly determined that this was E.D. 4, but neither the 1813, 1818 of 1823 assessment records exactly matched this list. I then looked at the Transfer Book showing transfers of property between assessments and concluded that this is an 1818 field book since property transfer values taking place in 1819 are found on this list.

This item came to us from the County Executive's Office in early 1965 (Spiro Agnew must have been cleaning house). How it was dated 1750 I do not know.


Rick Blondo reports that the naval signal flag collection number which Phebe wrote about last week is numbered G1998-2

Vol. 2, No. 25
11 July 1988

Index of the Week Ben Primer

Index 57 - LAND OFFICE (Rent Rolls - Index to Tracts in Anne Arundel County), 1651-1776. Also includes list of patents, 1775-1790 found in Rent Roll #13.

This is an alphabetical index to tracts of land found in the (Rent Rolls) for Anne Arundel County (including some land now in Baltimore, Calvert and Howard Counties). All known original or transcript rent rolls were used in indexing; our rent rolls as well as those found in the Calvert Papers and other collections at the Maryland Historical Society are included. Phebe believes this index was compiled as part of the Historic Annapolis projects in the early 1970s. There is a clear explanation of the index and how to use it in the first drawer of the index, including information on the differences between the various rent rolls.

The index is a "composite" index. It cites only the "earliest or most accurate entry," noting variations as appropriate in otherwise identical entries. In other words, if the same entry appears in the 1707 and 1723 rent rolls, then only the former will be cited in most cases.

The various rent rolls are coded using a key found in the front of the first drawer of the index. I have indicated the key by the term [Indexed as . . .]. Some cards have MdHR numbers instead of the keys. Currently there are two alphabetical sections in the index, but we will get Mrs. Mack to put these together.

The index includes names of individuals on occasion, so this is not strictly a tract index. There are three types of cards: 1) transaction cards which provide a history of the tract as found in the rent rolls including its original survey and patenting, its acreage over time, its division and names involved in land transfers; 2) boundary cards which list boundaries mentioned in the rent rolls other that those for the original tract entry (which of course may be found in the patent or survey); 3) name change cards for tracts that are resurveyed or known by different names.

Frankly I think that most of our patrons will find this index of little use since most do not come with tract names, and even when they do, it is just as easy to pull all the Anne Arundel Rent Rolls and use the tract indexes in the volumes.

The 1755 rent roll in the Calvert Papers was not indexed due to time constraints and the fact that it is indexed on the microfilm. The index claims to have indexed all the following items, although I could find entries only for AA-1 to AA-7 and AA-12 and AA-13:

Calvert Papers (Rent Roll) MHS No. 889 1707 MdHR M-923 [Indexed as AA-1]

Calvert Papers (Rent Roll) MHS No. 883 1651-1725 [while the rent roll includes information for these dates, its transactions are dated from 1706-1725] MdHR M-922 [Indexed as AA-2 and AA-12]

Note: These two rent rolls were published in the Maryland Historical Magazine in Volumes 22 through 26. Tracts and names are indexed in those volumes. Both also have tract indexes with the film and MHS No. 883 also has a name index.

Land Office (Proprietary Rent Roll) 1 1651-1774 MdHR 17,610-1 [Indexed as AA-3]

Land Office (Proprietary Rent Roll) 15 1733-1773 MdHR 17,624 [Indexed as AA-4]

Land Office (Proprietary Rent Roll) 16 1733-1774 MdHR 17,625 [Indexed as AA-5]

Land Office (Proprietary Rent Roll) 14 1733-1768 MdHR 17,623 [Indexed as AA-6]

Land Office (Proprietary Rent Roll) 13 1753-1776 MdHR 17,622-1 [Indexed as AA-7] - includes List of Patents 1775-1790

Land Office (Proprietary Rent Roll) 17 1753-1768 MdHR 17,626 [Indexed as AA-8]

Calvert Papers (Rent Roll) MHS No. 899 1755 MdHR M-925 [Indexed as AA-9]

Maryland Historical Society, Miscellaneous Collections, Rent Roll for Anne Arundel County (Harford Copy) {said to be a copy of the first part of Rent Roll No. 16} [Indexed as AA-10]

Maryland Historical Society, Miscellaneous Collections, Original Working Copy of Rent Roll No. 16 [Indexed as AA-11]

Land Office (Proprietary Rent Roll) 2 1658-1771 MdHR 17,611 {This is a Baltimore County Rent Roll which apparently includes some Anne Arundel County entries} [Indexed as AA-13]

Vol. 2, No. 26
18 July 1988

Record Series of the Week Phebe Jacobsen

Colonial Marriage Records

From 1640 to 1776 over a dozen laws were enacted by the General Assembly of Maryland regulating marriages and the recording thereof. These acts concerned the freedom of the individual to contract marriage, the official publication of intention to wed and the identity of the person who performed the ceremony. In addition, the liturgy used in the ceremony, the race and relationship of the contracting parties and the recording of the ceremony were governed by law. It is well to remember that Maryland laws, particularly in the Provincial period, were usually of only a few years duration unless renewed.

Beginning in 1640 the bride and groom were required to take an oath before the county court that they were not apprenticed or under the government of parent or guardian. A 1664 law introducing slavery also prohibited marriage between white women and black men. This particular act remained in effect for over 300 years, and between 1935 and 1967 the law was extended to forbid the marriage of Malaysians with blacks or whites. The law was finally repealed in 1967.

The traditional marriage vows of the Anglican church were required by law beginning in 1666. This law prescribed proper notice of intention to wed before the ceremony could occur. The county court issued certificates stating that the required notice had been heard or posted for the time fixed by law, usually three weeks in advance. The Governor and Council could of course make special dispensation rescinding the waiting period. Popish priests were allowed to marry Catholics.

The first act for the recording of births, marriages and burials passed in 1650 and revised in 1654, 1658, 1678 and 1692. County clerks were to record these vital records in registers and charge a fee of five pounds of tobacco. Failure to register a vital record was subject to fine. The 1678 act exempted blacks, Indians and mulattos (except those born of white women in the 1692 act) and provided for the recording of place of abode. Clerks would be fined 2000 pounds of tobacco for failure to comply, half the fine going to the informer.

In 1695 (revised in 1696) the recording of births, deaths and marriages was transferred to the vestry of the several parishes of the colony. The requirements and fines remained the same. Records were open to be searched upon request. It is these parish registers that are heavily used by the genealogists.

Index of the Week Ben Primer

Index to Charter Records

Last Saturday we had a patron who wanted to find an incorporation for a floating theatre. Pat has recently accessioned Charter Records as follows:

Secretary of State:

(Charter Record) 1914-1920 STAGSER 1185

State Tax Commissioner:

(Charter Record) 1908-1914 STAGSER 1186

State Tax Commission:

(Charter Record) 1914-1956 STAGSER 1187

These charters (incorporations) are arranged in chronological order. In order to use them one must go to indexes found in SR microfilm. Look in Index 110 under "Corporation Charter Records, Index" to find the right index to use. There are two indexes. The first is labelled "Secretary of State - 1898-1914" but it includes at least the first five volumes of the Secretary of State (Charter Record) which runs to 1916. Most of the cards do not refer to volumes, but rather to docket or case numbers. Presumably these are Domestic Corporation Charters similar to the Foreign Corporation Charters found under the Secretary of State, STAGSER 373 which are arranged in numerical order. As far as I could determine, we do not have any records corresponding to these numbers.

The second index is to the State Tax Commission Charters and allegedly runs from 1914 to 1965. In fact, it covers the period from 1908 to 1965, including the State Tax Commissioner Charters as well.

My advice would be to use the second index since it covers all time periods in the first index for which we have records. For periods prior to this century one would want to consult the Laws of Maryland, of course.

Vol. 2, No. 27
25 July 1988

Index of the Week Ben Primer

Index 30 - (Birth Records - Index) 1649-1715, 1804-1877, 1898-1923

This is an alphabetical name index to births from three different time periods. Information found on the cards varies depending on the time.

Provincial Records

The same laws creating the colonial marriage records that Phebe Jacobsen described last week also required county clerks to record births and deaths. The index cards for these records include child's name, parents' names, date and county of birth. The following volumes are indexed; they may include births prior to the actual dates of recordation and there are gaps within the span dates:

Charles County Court:(Births, Deaths and Marriages) Q#1, 1654-1706.

Note: Volumes C#1 and P#1, which are not indexed, also include birth records. These records seem to have been transcribed into Q#1 and are thus indexed there.

Kent County Court:

(Proceedings) A, 1654-1656

(Proceedings) B, 1656-1662

(Proceedings) C, 1675-1676

(Land Records) K, 1681-1685 [indexed as K#1]

(Land Records) GL#1, 1694-1707

Somerset County Court:

(Births, Deaths and Marriages) IKL, 1649- 1720

Talbot County Court:

(Births, Deaths and Marriages) BB#2, 1657- 1691

County Circuit Court Records

The General Assembly enacted a law at the close of the Civil War requiring the clerks of the county circuit courts to record births, deaths and marriages. The index cards to these records include the child's name and the date and county of birth. The volume dates are for year of birth, not recordation. Our current checklist indicates that only Kent County is indexed; in fact it is not. Two other counties, however, are indexed:

Anne Arundel County Circuit Court:

(Birth Record) 1804-1877

Prince Georges County Circuit Court:

(Birth Record) 1865-1867

Calvert County Board of Health Records

Five volumes of Calvert County Board of Health (Death Record) from 1898 to 1923 are indexed. These cards fill approximately 75-80% of this index. They provide name (frequently a surname only), date and recordation information. Frankly patrons would be better served by the Division of Vital Records indexes which provide information on parents, gender, race and birth order, especially since these are restricted records.

Vol. 2, No. 28
1 August 1988

Record Series of the Week Ben Primer

(Military Discharges)

This record series covers records from two widely separate time periods. First, there are the military discharges filed with the county Register of Wills in accordance with Chapter 14 of the Laws of October 1788 which provided that disabled, maimed or invalid commissioned officers, non-commissioned officers, marines, seamen and private soldiers would receive half pay for life or as long as disabled. These pensioners were to be paid monthly (later quarterly) by the justices of the orphans courts. The justices could make adjustments for less than half pay and were to record name, residence, regiment/company, place and nature of disability. Pensioners needed a certificate from the commanding officer and could be used for guard or garrison duty if not totally disabled. Chapter 26 of the Laws of November 1781 added widows of officers to those entitled unless they remarried (although a later act allowed the pension to continued for support of minor children). Chapter 52 of the 1785 Laws transferred responsibility for the pensions of disabled officers and their widows to the Governor and Council, apparently because of ineffective administration by the orphans court. A 1788 law left administration for enlistees in the hands of the orphans court, but an 1814 law following the War of 1812 mentions only the Governor and Council in connection with all pensions. The only (Military Discharges) that we have identified from this time period are for Anne Arundel County. These discharges may be handwritten or on standard forms and generally have the types of information provided for by the law. They are indexed in Indexes 48 and 49.

The bulk of the (Military Discharges) is from the modern period. Chapter 469 of the Laws of 1941 required county circuit or Superior Court for BC clerks to keep a book for recording discharge papers. The original act allowed the courts to charge $1 for this recordation, but in 1945 the charge was eliminated. Clerks were to keep indexes of these records. There was no requirement for individuals to file discharge papers, of course, so these are hardly complete records. In general the records themselves are photostatic copies of the official military discharge that have been stapled or pasted in record books. We have very few original records, but there are many rolls of film in county microfilm and in transfer microfilm. None of the film is currently available in the film cabinets.

By the way, the law providing for veterans to receive free copies of papers filed with the courts is found in Chapter 450 of 1929. The act states that no charge will be made for any papers used for filing claims against the United States government by veterans. In other words any record that we have that might be used by a veteran in a federal claim may be obtained by that veteran or his heirs free of charge (including certified copies).

Pat provided the answer to the unidentifiable (Certificates of Discharge) from Index 49 which are Anne Arundel County Register of Wills (Military Discharges) located at 1/4/8/28. These are also indexed in Index 48 which includes the (Invalids Pay Receipts) that provide financial information about the payment these soldiers received as part of the Revolutionary War pensions granted by the state.

Index of the Week Phebe Jacobsen

Index 64 - Land Office (Manors Index)

Index 64 is a tiny, insignificant index to manor lands, both private and proprietary, during the colonial period. Arranged alphabetically by name of manor, the cards include the patent name, date, county, number of acres and reference. All manor lands found in this index are also recorded in Index 55, so the chief value of the index is as a list of all manors.

In the same drawer after the manors is another handwritten index to session minutes, 1777-1854, with references to an odd assortment of titles. I am listing them below with a warning that this is a very subjective, incomplete index filed in no order (perhaps this is part of a larger index located somewhere else):

1. Tobacco warehouses and general laws on tobacco regulation.

2. State Agencies and Commissions - usually regarding their formation and duties.

3. Laying out of towns.

Vol. 2, No. 29
8 August 1988


Doug has figured out a "round-about" way to determine date of death for Baltimore City in the 20th century which could of course be used for post 1942 deaths. First look up the decedent's name in the BC Orphans Court Proceedings Index and take down the file number. Use the file number to find entry in the Administration Docket (they are in file number order). Under the decedent's name is the date of death. Then using the date, you can try to find the Death Certificate. Doug comments, "I don't know if this works in the county records (Do all Administration Dockets in the 20th century have death dates?) and of course not all people who die have probated estates."

Vol. 2, No. 30
15 August 1988

Library Libations Doug McElrath

Arthur Storer: Maryland's Astronomer Extraordinaire

Peter Broughton, "Arthur Storer of Maryland: His Astronomical Work and his Family Ties With Newton," Journal for the History of Astronomy 19(1988): 77-96. [Lib. loc. 9-3-6]

Lou Rose and Michael Marti, Arthur Storer of Lincolnshire, England, and Calvert County, Maryland: Newton's Friend, Star Gazer, and Forgotten Man of Science in Seventeenth-Century Maryland, (Dunkirk, Md., 1984). [Lib. loc. 9-3-6]

"Astronomers, 17th Century" Topic File G1456 [0-10-7-5]

A popular view of seventeenth-century Maryland (reinforced by books such as Barth's The Sotweed Factor) is of a motley assortment of uncouth semi-barbarians brawling on the outer marches of civilization. We know from the records that a more accurate portrait reveals an emerging society based on traditions of orderly government striving to establish a colony in the New World. Few students of early Maryland, however, would consider Lord Baltimore's province a likely haven for an astronomer on the cutting edge of scientific discovery. Two recent studies of Arthur Storer of Calvert County show that he was not merely an amateur star gazer, but a trained scientist whose detailed observations of the comet of 1680 merited mention in Sir Isaac Newton's Principia.

Unfortunately, the available records provide only tantalizing hints about Storer's life in Maryland, his reasons for being here, and his astronomical activities. What we do know is that Storer, the childhood friend and schoolmate of Newton, came to Maryland sometime before 1672. He probably accompanied his sister Anne, the wife of James Truman, who settled in Calvert County. His association with medical men (Dr. Truman and Henry Jowles in Maryland), the fact that his step-father was an apothecary, the presence of "Docters means" in the inventory of his estate, and his designation as "Dr Arthurus Storer" in the Principia suggest that he practiced medicine in Maryland. His will and inventory show that he owned astronomical instruments, while his letters to Newton indicate that he also fabricated some of the instruments he used in his observations. Peter Broughton concludes that Storer's observations were more accurate than those of almost all his contemporaries. Only the Royal Observatory in Greenwich with its superior equipment did better.

Broughton's article from the Journal of the History of Astronomy includes a succinct summary of the known facts about Storer's life and a detailed analysis of his observations. Rose and Marti manage to flesh-out the bare bones of Storer's life with material on the history of early modern astronomy, a chapter on the techniques and equipment necessary for comet observation, and background information on the settings for Storer's life in England and Maryland. Unfortunately, the authors also make a number of genealogical claims that are not supported by the available evidence. As a book designed for a general readership we can forgive Rose and Marti's somewhat romanticized view of Storer's lonely vigils under the heavens. The Topic File on Astronomers includes my correspondence with Mr. Broughton during the preparation of his article, copies of Storer's letters and observations as published in the Correspondence of Isaac Newton, and my notes from published biographical sources concerning Newton and Storer.

In addition to the comet of 1680, Arthur Storer recorded observations of the 1682 comet, later named Halley's Comet. Since Broughton suggests that Storer's observations were more accurate that Halley's, it would only seem fair that the name be changed to that of Maryland's own "Newton." The next appearance is in 2061, so we have plenty of time to get the ball rolling for "Storer's Comet!"

Vol. 2, No. 31
22 August 1988

Index of the Week Ben Primer

DECD, St. Mary's City Commission

(Research File)

TRANSER 242 1/10/10

These research files include a number of indexes, but the ones most likely to be used by researchers are better known as the "Men's Career File" (27 boxes) and "Women's Career File" (4 boxes). Those who signed the St. Mary's City Petition of 1696 (requesting the General Assembly not to move the capital) have been removed from these files and placed in a separate file.

These indexes provide biographical information for all individuals living in St. Mary's County through 1705. For each name there is a summary card on top which provides information about the individual. If the individual had an estate probated prior to 1705, there is a probate identification number on the card. Those dying after that date will have probate numbers in other indexes. The cards under the summary card provide citations to records related to the person named. Records that have been indexed include Provincial Court records, Patents, Surveys, Headrights, Council and Assembly Proceedings, Prerogative Court and Calvert Papers.

The summary cards include (if known) name, date of death, date of first and last record, status on arrival, hundred, spouse's name, parents, occupation, office(s) held, whether a householder, religion, whether testate, total estate value, debts owed, laborers shown in will, children, whether literate, title(s) used, and how many people transported

Lois Carr plans eventually to publish this index as the "St. Mary's County Seventeenth Century Dictionary." For now, files may be used and copied by any individual. Lois asks if information is to be published from the files that credit be given to the St. Mary's City Commission. She also asks that staff give her a copy of the request slip for anyone using the file.

You should also note that among the files in this area are indexes to Rent Rolls 43 and 44 for St. Mary's County which are not indexed in Index 56.

Vol. 2, No. 32
29 August 1988


On Friday two researchers from Garrett County came looking for the plats which the circuit court sent here about ten years ago. Fortunately, last summer's interns worked on accessioning these plats. Many of them are now numbered and have shelf locations. Those in drawers are easy to find. The oversize plats are located above the drawers and are more difficult to retrieve since they are in no discernable order even though they were given shelf locations. There are three notebooks of accession sheets for these plats which are in Pat's office. The project is not completed yet since there are other plats not yet accessioned.

Vol. 2, No. 33
6 September 1988

RECORD SERIES Robert A. Oszakiewski

Annapolis Mayor, Aldermen and Councilmen:

(License Record)

1810-1829 MUAGSER 66

Annapolis Mayor and Aldermen:

(License Record)

1844, 1942-1975 MUAGSER 99

(License Applications)

1890-1899 MUAGSER 90

The Charter of Annapolis (Chapter 7 of 1709) granted the Corporation of Annapolis certain powers and privileges which seem to have included the granting of licenses for "retailers of spirituous liquors" and ordinaries. Fees collected were used for various public works, among them the building of the Annapolis Marketplace and the City Docks. The Corporation, and later the Aldermen and City Council, passed a variety of by-laws and ordinances ranging from the aforementioned liquor licenses to licenses for billiard tables and ten pin alleys. The by-law of July 1792, for instance, established fees for dog licenses, ordering the City Sheriff to collect the fees and return a list of those owners who had paid. The by-law of January 15, 1802 created two types of wagon licenses, one for what were called wagons of pleasure and another for carriages for hire and burden. Each wagon or cart was numbered consecutively and the licenses were renewed annually, not altogether different from the current automobile license. The by-law of January 2, 1800 granted the authority to issue licenses for billiard tables, setting the fee at a then whopping fifty pounds. By-law 2 of 1850 lowered the fee to $15 and included ten pin alleys in the licensing arrangement. By-law 5 of 1890 repealed the billiard table license requirements. The by-law of May 18, 1811 required auctioneers to have an annual license. The by-law of January 16, 1843 repealed an old law regarding exhibition licenses and enacted a new by-law regarding one-day exhibits and other sorts of amusements in the city.

Annapolis Mayor, Aldermen and Councilmen

Annapolis license records tend to be a mixture of bits and pieces. The earliest license records in our collections, those of the Mayor, Aldermen and Councilmen, contain the most interesting and diverse of the records. None of these records actually contains the licenses themselves; they rather are lists of license fees paid.

The first of these [MdHR 9470], indexed as Auction Book in Indexes 79 and 80, contains lists of individuals who paid for auctioneer's licenses, along with the amount of sales, the auctioneer's name, his commission and fees paid to the Corporation of Annapolis. There are also lists of owners of stalls and the amount paid for these licenses from 1810 and from 1813 to 1816, and licenses for owners of dogs ($1.50) and sluts ($3). Judging from the shortness of this and subsequent lists, either there were very few dogs (especially females) in Annapolis or most of their owners ignored the law. Insolvents unable to pay the fee are noted.

License Book 2 [MdHR 11,189] (unindexed) contains similar lists for carts and wagons, giving the name of the owner, but not the amount of the fee paid, a list of owners of pleasure wagons, billiard tables and another auctioneer list. There is also a license for master of sweeps.

Another license record [MdHR 5101-1] 1823-1829, indexed as AR [for Annapolis Records] 5 in indexes 79 and 80, contains another list of owners of carts, a list of one-day exhibitioner's licenses, including plays and a demonstration of hypnosis, and a list of sweeps licenses.

Annapolis Mayor and Aldermen

The Annapolis Mayor and Aldermen (License Records) are made up of five different types of records. None of these records are indexed.

The first of these [MdHR 5123-3] is again a collection of lists of carriage and wagon licenses, giving the owner's name, type of vehicle and fee. This list was compiled on September 1, 1844. A second list in this volume is actually two fines issued by Alderman Mitchell in December 1850 for Annapolitans who owned guns without first having obtained licenses.

The Amusement License Record [MdHR 20,016] 1942-1943 is one page having vague references to music and slot machines in the City of Annapolis, and actually seems to be referring to other records, as if it were some type of index. Since the first sixty pages of this volume are missing, it is possible that the references were to have been found there.

The third type is alcoholic beverage license applications [MdHR 11,202] 1890-1899 made under Chapter 568 of the Laws of 1890. These petitions by citizens of "temperate habits and good moral character" include name, place and length of residence, place of birth, naturalization information, names of sureties and of ten qualified voters certifying to the truth of the application. They also include petitions of opponents and the poll of the council on granting the license.

The fourth type of record is the inactive alcoholic beverage licenses [MdHR 20,008]. These license records date from the mid-1950s to 1975 and are arranged alphabetically by the name of the applicant for the license. In the file itself one will find the application; copies of previous liquor licenses issued the applicant; letters, petitions and exhibits (ranging from a plat of the area around one of the Annapolis schools to a menu from a restaurant) supporting or opposing issuance or transfer of a license; the roll call of the Mayor and Aldermen; and a notation, often on the folder, of whether the license was denied or withdrawn (bankruptcy, health department orders).

The fifth set of records [MdHR 20,009] are one-day liquor licenses established under by-law 36 of 1934. These were for fundraising events of various sorts and give organization name and type of event (bull roast; spring picnic).

Because of their diverse nature the license records have several potential uses. The more recent liquor license records may have some legal uses. The earlier records may help trace the economic growth of Annapolis, provide information of early Annapolitans and furnish greater understanding of the socio-cultural history of the city. The great problem with these early license records is their lack of indexes except for those found in Indexes 79 and 80.

The early license records were transferred to the Archives in 1937. The annual report of the State Archivist does not indicate more than their arrival, but a subsequent article by Dr. Radoff in Maryland Historical Magazine on "Early Annapolis Records," indicates that at least a preliminary content analysis had been done some time after the annual report was compiled and printed. This article is separately bound and a copy is in the Library along with other Annapolis volumes.

Index of the Week Ben Primer

Index 79 - Annapolis Corporation and Mayor's Court (Records--Index of Topics) 1720-1880

Index 80 - Annapolis Corporation and Mayor's Court (Records--Index to Names) 1720-1880

These indexes provide access to the same group of records. Each of the records is abbreviated by a code which appears on the card and which is explained below. Many of the volumes contain several types of records.

The index to topics covers virtually any subject that might appear in these records. The index to names provides the names of all individuals found in these records as well as some information about what will be found in the record.

The following records are indexed:

Annapolis Election Judges:

(Poll Book) 1801, Jul., MdHR 11,091 [indexed as Poll]

(Poll Book) 1801, Sep., MdHR 11,092 [indexed as Poll]

(Poll Book) 1801, Oct., MdHR 11,093 [indexed as Poll]

(Poll Book) 1802, Mar.-1802, Apr., MdHR 11,094 [indexed as Poll, includes old accession number 11,095]

(Poll Book) 1804, Oct., MdHR 11,096 [indexed as Poll]

(Poll Book) 1805, Oct., MdHR 11,097 [indexed as Poll]

(Poll Book) 1806, Oct., MdHR 5107-8 [indexed as AR 11]

(Poll Book) 1819, Oct.-1822, Apr., MdHR 5117 [indexed as Poll]

Annapolis Mayor, Aldermen and Councilmen:

(Assessment Record) 1819, Real Property, MdHR 5151 [indexed as Assessments, RP]

(Assessment Record) 1819, Personal Property, MdHR 11,165 [indexed as Assessments, PP]

(Assessment Record) 1825-1830, MdHR 5103-3 [indexed as AR 7]

(Bylaws and Ordinances, Original) 1779-1820, MdHR 5157-1 [indexed as Bylaws]

(Hay Scales Record) 1819, MdHR 5109-2 [indexed as AR 14]

(Land Record Papers) 1684-1820, MdHR 11,200-1/11 [indexed as Papers (old accession number 8479--papers on Annapolis boundaries) or as Plats and Deeds]

(License Record) 1810-1818, MdHR 9470 [indexed as Auction Book]

(License Record) 1825-1829, MdHR 5101-1 [indexed as AR 5]

(Proceedings) B 1720-1722, MdHR 7833-2 [indexed as Liber B]

(Proceedings) 1757-1765, MdHR 5098 [indexed as AR 2]

(Proceedings) 1780-1781, MdHR 5101-5 [indexed as AR 5]

(Proceedings) 1783, MdHR 5100-2 [indexed as AR 4]

(Proceedings) 1783-1784, MdHR 5105-4 [indexed as AR 9]

(Proceedings) 1783-1784, MdHR 5108 [indexed as AR 13]

(Proceedings) 1789-1796, MdHR 5104-2 [indexed as AR 8]

(Proceedings) 1795-1797, MdHR 5106-3 [indexed as AR 10]

(Proceedings) 1798, MdHR 5104-5 [indexed as AR 8]

(Proceedings) 1798-1800, MdHR 5105-1 [indexed as AR 9]

(Proceedings) 1799, MdHR 5106-5 [indexed as AR 10]

(Proceedings) 1800-1801, MdHR 5107-1 [indexed as AR 12]

(Proceedings) 1801-1811, MdHR 5104-7 [indexed as AR 8]

(Proceedings) 1806, MdHR 5107-4 [indexed as AR 12]

(Proceedings) 1811-1819, MdHR 5102-3 [indexed as AR 6]

Annapolis Mayor, Aldermen and Councilmen:

(Proceedings) 1819-1821, MdHR 5109-1 [indexed as AR 14]

(Proceedings) 1821-1826, MdHR 5110 [indexed as AR 15]

(Proceedings) 1826-1831, MdHR 5111 [indexed as AR 16]

(Proceedings) 1831-1840, MdHR 5112 [indexed as AR 17]

(Proceedings) 1840-1843, MdHR 5113-1 [indexed as AR 18]

(Test Book) 1819-1830, MdHR 5101-3 [indexed as AR 5]

(Treasurers Reports and Vouchers) 1783-1829, MdHR 11,204-1 [indexed to 1820? as TR]

Annapolis Mayor and Aldermen: (Proceedings) 1843-1850, MdHR 5113-2 [indexed as AR 18]

(Proceedings) 1850-1851, MdHR 5158-19 [indexed as AR 19]

(Proceedings) 1852-1854, MdHR 5158-20 [indexed as AR 20]

(Proceedings) 1855, MdHR 5158-21 [indexed as AR 21]

(Proceedings) 1856-1858, MdHR 5158-22 [indexed as AR 22]

(Proceedings) 1857, MdHR 5158-23 [indexed as AR 23]

(Proceedings) 1858-1861, MdHR 5158-24 [indexed as AR 24]

(Proceedings) 1862-1863, MdHR 5158-25 [indexed as AR 25]

(Proceedings) 1863-1869, MdHR 5114 [indexed only to 1865 as AR 26]

Annapolis Mayors Court:

(Docket) 1785-1787, MdHR 5103-2 [indexed as AR 7]

(Docket) 1790, MdHR 5103-1 [indexed as AR 7]

(Docket) 1791, MdHR 5106-4 [indexed as AR 10]

(Docket) 1792, MdHR 5101-7 [indexed as AR 5]

(Docket) 1794-1801, MdHR 5106-1 [indexed as AR 10]

(Docket) 1801-1802, MdHR 5102-2 [indexed as AR 6]

(Docket) 1803, MdHR 5104-8 [indexed as AR 8]

(Docket) 1803-1804, MdHR 5101-2 [indexed as AR 5]

(Docket) 1804-1805, MdHR 5106-7 [indexed as AR 10]

(Docket) 1806-1807, MdHR 5105-6 [indexed as AR 9]

(Docket) 1808-1809, MdHR 11,140 [indexed as AR 11]

(Election Returns) 1789-1798, MdHR 5104 [indexed as AR 8]

(Form Book) n.d., MdHR 5101-4 [indexed as AR 5]

(Land Records) B, 1721-1784, MdHR 7833-3 [indexed as Liber B]

(Minutes) B, 1720-1722, MdHR 7833-1 [indexed as Liber B]

(Minutes) 1753-1757, MdHR 5097 [indexed as AR 1]

(Minutes) 1765-1767, MdHR 5099 [indexed as AR 3]

(Minutes) 1779, MdHR 5104-6 [indexed as Ar 8]

(Minutes) 1780-1782, MdHR 5101-6 [indexed as AR 5]

(Minutes) 1783, MdHR 5105-3 [indexed as AR 9]

(Minutes) 1783-1785, MdHR 5100-1 [indexed as AR 4]

(Minutes) 1783-1785, MdHR 5102-1 [indexed as AR 6]

(Minutes)1786-1788, MdHR 5107-5 [indexed as AR 12]

(Minutes) 1789-1790, MdHR 5100-3 [indexed as AR 4]

(Minutes) 1792, MdHR 5107-6 [indexed as AR 12]

(Minutes) 1792-1794, MdHR 5105-5 [indexed as AR 9]

(Minutes) 1793-1796, MdHR 5104-3 [indexed as AR 8]

(Minutes) 1795-1797, MdHR 5106-2 [indexed as AR 10]

(Minutes) 1798-1800, MdHR 5105-2 [indexed as AR 9]

(Minutes) 1799, MdHR 5106-6 [indexed as AR 10]

(Minutes) 1800-1801, MdHR 5107-2 [indexed as AR 12

(Minutes) 1803, MdHR 5107-7 [indexed as AR 12]

(Minutes) 1806-1807, MdHR 5107-3 [indexed as AR 12]

(Minutes) 1811-1812, MdHR 5104-1 [indexed as AR 8]

(Minutes) 1813-1818, MdHR 5102-4 [indexed as AR 6]

Annapolis Treasurer:

(Ledger) 1761-1788, MdHR 10,635 [indexed as Ledger #1]

(Ledger) 1784-1802, MdHR G530 [indexed as Corp. Accts. or CA]

Vol. 2, No. 34
12 September 1988

Index of the Week Ben Primer

Index 58 - LAND OFFICE (Debt Books-Index to Owners of Tracts), Eastern Shore 1733-1775; Western Shore 1753-1774. Alphabetical for each county

The Debt Books (Proprietary Debt Books in our State Agency Guide) are basically a part of Lord Baltimore's account books and not Land Office records at all (although one can argue that the proprietor considered all Land Office matters to be private). A Debt Book consists of a list of persons owning land in each county with the names and rents of each tract owned listed under the name. Many, but by no means all, of the Debt Books are arranged in alphabetical order. Debt Book entries are by name of owner whereas Rent Rolls are by name of tract. Debt books do not begin until 1733 (1753 for the Western Shore), nearly 80 years after the first rent rolls.

From 1695 to 1715 Maryland was a royal colony and from 1717 to 1733 a tobacco tax took the place of quit rents. The resumption of payment of quit rents in 1733 accounts for the creation of these account books. Deputy receivers in each county returned these books sent to them each year by the rent roll keeper for each shore.

Note that Debt Books for 1740 found in the Calvert Papers have been filmed and are indexed for Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Charles, Prince Georges and Frederick counties [see M925 and M926]. Also all Frederick County Debt Books have been filmed [M1237 and M1238].

The index itself is arranged alphabetically by county and then alphabetically by owner's name. For each name the card provides year(s) in abbreviated form (e.g. 1754 is abbreviated as 54) and below each year page number(s). Also on the card are tract names held by the owner at some point during the years that are indexed.

There are a number of anomalies in the index and the records that should be noted. I have indicated the most significant below, but Elisabeth Hartsook's article on "Land Office Records of Colonial Maryland" should be consulted for greater detail. There are many gaps in what should be an annual set of books for each county.

The following Debt Books are indexed:

AA -1753-1771, 1774

BA -1754-1766, 1768-1771

CV -1753-1758, 1761-1771, 1773-1774

CE -1734, 1739, 1749, 1754-1758, 1760-1761, 1766

Note: There is a single book for 1756-1757, but it is indexed for both years; naturally the citations are the same. Also the book labelled and indexed as 1755 is actually 1758 and the one labelled and indexed as 1758 is actually 1755. The book labelled and indexed as 1760 probably dates from around 1738.

CH -1753-1774

DO -1734, 1737, 1756, 1758, 1766-1767, 1770

FR -1753-1756, 1759-1763, 1766, 1768-1773

KE -1734-1744, 1747, 1752-1754, 1756-1757, 1760, 1769

Note: There are two copies of 1734 (A is indexed, B is not) and three of 1735 (1 is indexed, C and D are not). There are substantial differences in these books and Hartsook refers to them as different "parts" of these years. All five parts are indexed in the volume indexes to Debt Books.

PG -1753-1756, 1758-1769, 1771-1772

QA -1734, 1747, 1754, 1756-1758, 1763, 1765-1767, 1769, 1775

Note: There are two versions of both the 1756 and 1757 Debt Books. Only the ones in Liber 36 are indexed. The ones in Liber 37 are however in alphabetical order. Hartsook believes the 1757 return in Liber 37 is actually for 1758. A 1745 return in Liber 37 containing notes on landowners, acreages and arrears is not indexed but is arranged alphabetically. This book is misidentified as 1758 in the volume, but our label is correct.

SM -1753-1771, 1773-1774

SO -1733-1735, 1745, 1748, 1755, 1759, 1761, 1764, 1768-1769, 1774

TA -1733, 1738, 1744, 1748, 1756-1757, 1759, 1761, 1766, 1768-1772

Note: There is a return labelled 1739, but this is actually a Rent Roll organized by tracts. It is not indexed.

WO -1756-1757, 1759-1762, 1768-1769, 1771, 1773-1774

Note: The Worcester County Debt Book Liber 52 for 1746 and 1755 is not indexed in Index 58. It is however indexed in the volume indexes to Debt Books.

Please note that liber 54, which contains additional Debt Books for the Eastern Shore has not been indexed at all. A check of several names suggests that this volume contains information not found in our current index. The following counties and dates are found in this volume:

CE - 1738-1759

DO - 1734-1759

KE - 1749-1759

SO - 1734-1759

TA - 1734-1759

WO - 1744-1759

Hartsook also mentions three unbound Debt Books, a duplicate of the 1734 Queen Anne's county volume and two undated Cecil County books. I was unable to locate these volumes. I believe there are also Debt Books in Scharf which are not indexed, but I could not check since the Maryland State Papers notebook is missing.

Vol. 2, No. 35
19 September 1988


In last week's Bulldog, the editor claimed there was no Index to Debt Book Liber 54. This week he noticed in Hartsook that she mentions such an index, and sure enough under STAGSER 14, the first entry is a volume index to Debt Book 54, located at 1/24/5/20. This index to additional debt books running from 1734 to 1759 for the Eastern Shore counties should be suggested to anyone searching land records for this time period since they provide information not found in Index 58.

Index of the Week Ben Primer

Index 56 - (Rent Rolls--Index to Name of Owner), 1639-1776. Includes all counties with Rent Rolls except Worcester. Also indexes Lands Patented 1782-1790 for Anne Arundel, Cecil, Kent and Talbot counties. Only indexes Rent Rolls 1-13. See Rent Roll 0 and Calvert Rent Rolls on Microfilm for earlier indexed Rent Rolls. See also Index 57.

Land patented in Maryland was subject to a yearly quit rent to be paid to Lord Baltimore. The Rent Rolls are essentially Lord Baltimore's financial records for keeping track of these rents. The Rent Rolls are arranged by county with tracts for each county indexed in the front of the volume.

The earliest Rent Rolls (our Liber 0) date from 1659 (CV, CH, KE, SM) and come originally from the Calvert Papers at the Maryland Historical Society. The Calvert Papers include three groups of later rent rolls as well: 1700-1707 (AA, BA, CV, CE, DO, KE, SM, SO, TA); 1705-1724 (AA, BA, CV, CE, CH, DO, KE, PG, QA, SM, SO, TA) and 1753-1762 (AA, CV[2], CH[2]). All of these are available on film and almost all are indexed on the film. For Rent Rolls prior to 1724 patrons should be advised of the existence of these Rent Rolls as long as the county is known (there is no general index).

Our own Rent Rolls generally are the working copies used either by the Land Office or the Revenue Office up until the time of the Revolution. Most contain entries that continue roughly to 1776. The chief differences in the Rent Rolls for each county are the dates for which certificates of survey issued run, whether they include additional annual rent rolls, the final date for which alienations are recorded and whether they include lists of tracts patented after 1782. Remember that simply because a volume includes a single alienation from a late date does not mean that the volume has a complete run of alienations. For detail about each county's several Rent Rolls see Elisabeth Hartsook's article "Land Office Records of Colonial Maryland."

Patrons particularly interest in checking information found in Rent Rolls would be well advised to use the tract names found in Index 56 (or in Indexes 54 and 58) to look at other county Rent Rolls that are not indexed. For instance Rent Roll #3 for Frederick County only includes surveys for 1748-1751 and no later alienations, but Rent Rolls 32-36 include alienations as late as 1775 and Rent Roll 36 in particular has surveys through 1775 and lands patented 1783-1790. For the truly enthusiastic, there are many additional rent rolls in the Scharf Papers, Boxes 16-34.

Other indexes to Rent Rolls include our own Index 57 for all Anne Arundel County Rent Rolls, the tract and name indexes found with Rent Roll 0, the index to Saint Mary's County Rent Rolls 43 and 44 available in the St. Mary's City Commission (Research Files) in 1/10/12 and the indexes to the Maryland Historical Magazine's publication of Anne Arundel and Baltimore County Rent Rolls for 1700-1707 and circa 1724 found in volumes 22-26.

Index 56 is an alphabetical index to names of persons granted an original certificate of survey and to persons in possession of the patented land over time (either by alienation, sale or lease). Only Rent Rolls 1-13 (including 12A) are indexed. Thus only 14 of 51 Rent Rolls are indexed here.

The index includes the names of properties held by the person indexed and for each property the acreage, the date of the original survey, the date of the subsequent transaction involving the person indexed (if the person indexed is the person for whom the land was initially survey, there is no second date) and the citation (#3-4 = Rent Roll #3, page 4).

The following Rent Rolls are indexed:

#1 -AA - Certificates 1651-1746, Alienations to 1774

BA - Certificates 1658-1746, Alienations to 1773

#2 -continuation of BA portion of #1

#3 -CV - Certificates 1651-1751, Alienations to 1776

FR - Certificates 1748-1751, No alienations

PG - Certificates 1651-1751, Alienations to 1772

#4 -continuation of PG portion of #3

#5 -KE - Certificates 1658-1775, Additional Rent Rolls 1734-1776, Lands Patented 1782-1790

#6 -CE - Certificates 1658-1775, Additional Rent Rolls 1734-1776, Lands Patented 1782-1790 [includes Durham County, Delaware Rent Roll that is not indexed]

#7 -CH - Certificates 1642-1751, Alienations to 1775

SM - Certificates 1639-1751, Alienations to 1771

#8 -continuation of #7

#9 -SO - Certificates 1662-1721, Alienations to 1772

#10 -DO - Certificates 1659-1730, Alienations to 1772

SO - Certificates 1662-1730, Alienations to 1772

#11 -TA - Certificates 1658-1775, Lands Patented 1782-1790

#12 -QA - Certificates 1640-1750, Alienations to 1772

#12A-QA - Certificates 1640-1755 [Alphabetical by name of person paying rent]

#13 -AA - Certificates 1753-1768, Alienations to 1776, Additional Rent Rolls 1769-1775, Lands Patented 1782-1790

This index is valuable of course for finding information about the transfer of land in seventeenth and eighteenth century Maryland, particularly for those counties whose land records burned. Genealogists make use of the Rent Rolls to infer relationships between individuals with the same surname paying rent on the property over time.

Vol. 2, No. 36
26 September 1988

Library Libations Doug McElrath

Archival Theory Again!?!

Just when you thought it was safe, "Archival Theory" once again rears its ugly head to confound and amuse us! Readers of this column will remember a summary of the Burke-Cappon Debate of song and legend which appeared in Bulldog Vol. 1, no. 19. Now comes the news that an entire session at the upcoming SAA conclave in Atlanta will be devoted to the topic, "Is There Archival Theory?" The combatants this time are John Roberts whose obvious neo-Capponite leanings are reflected in his paper title, "Archival Theory: Myth or Banality?," and one of the original perpetrators, Frank Burke himself, who will respond with "In Defense of Archival Theory, or Pinkett's Last Charge!" Our own Ben Primer says he will observe the bloodletting and report on what surely will be a repeat of the Battle of the Titans.

Those who follow these theoretical disputations will find a lively exchange of barbs in the Summer 1987 (only recently received!) American Archivist where Donald N. Yates, a dyed-in-the-wool Burkian, takes offense at John Roberts' portrayal of archivists as "textual janitors." He proceeds to draw parallels between archivists and such eminent practitioners of textual criticism as A.E. Housman, Cicero, Petrarch, "emperors, popes and statesmen throughout the ages." An unrepentant Roberts properly dismisses this as an example of the "status anxiety ... that bedevils the archival community." Such silliness reminds him of a Monte Python skit that explored "existential football" and "Proustian" goaltending. I take back everything I once said about archivists as milquetoasts when it comes to writing!

Although the rest of this issue hardly matches the fireworks of the "Forum" section, there is a case study of the Barrow lamination process at the North Carolina State Archives that is relevant to our conservation techniques. There are also articles on women in the SAA (no mention of their theoretical accomplishments), a survey of archival literature by Richard Cox (another veiled attempt at promoting the status of archivists through claims of a coherent "literature"), and some truly awful book reviews ("as archivists, we are information handlers" or "the archival profession has come a long way in the past generation").

Two additional issues (Fall 1987 and a combined Winter and Spring 1988) have also arrived. For now the Burkians are avoiding direct confrontation with their opponents through thinly disguised justifications of a separate professional status ("Who are the Archivists and What Do They Do?" Winter/Spring 1988). Let's hope things heat up in Atlanta so we can achieve a true Hegelian synthesis in archival theory.

Index of the Week Ben Primer

There is one major correction to last week's article on Index 56 (Rent Rolls). In addition to the fact that the index only covers a few of the rent rolls that we possess, Lois Carr pointed out that the index in general fails to include the names written on the left hand page of the rolls (patentee, possessor or surveyor). In general, only if the person is involved in a transaction found on the right hand page is that name recorded. Since most of these rolls reflect the names of possessors at the time at which they were originally prepared, this means that the names of persons prior to roughly 1730 are frequently omitted. As I said last week, one should make certain that individuals looking for names prior to that date consult the Calvert Rent Rolls available on microfilm, assuming that a county is known. Those indexes include every name, even the surveyors. Also note that the Calvert Rent Rolls include a few rolls of later date (Anne Arundel, Calvert and Charles Counties) which should be consulted as well when appropriate.

Vol. 2, No. 37
10 October 1988

Record Series of the Week Ben Primer

ADJUTANT GENERAL (Commission Applications) 1862-1865 MdHR 5600

This is a chronological list of all individuals applying for military commissions in the Maryland Volunteers as required by Acts of Congress. The volume includes the name, date of application, place of residence (usually omitted after 1862), type of office sought, testimonials (letters of reference, petitions), date of commission if granted and remarks (transfers of papers, appointment to office other than one sought, cross references, withdrawals).

This volume is indexed by a vowel index. For officers receiving commissions it can be used to locate names in (Militia Appointments) 1861-1865 MdHR 5594 which is arranged by regiment and is not indexed. This latter volume provides information on subsequent promotions, discharges, deaths, resignations, dismissals and disabilities.


In conjunction with her work on discovering the first elected States Attorney for Baltimore County [who happened to be Lloyd W. Williams as found in GOVERNOR (Election Returns) for 1851], I asked Pat to tell us a little bit about the office. She reports:

The States Attorney office for each county and Baltimore City was established by the Constitution of 1851. This is an elective office and the term of office is four years. The States Attorney acts as the state prosecutor in all criminal cases in the circuit courts and the district courts. Prior to 1851, except for four years, the state Attorney General appointed one or more deputies for each judicial circuit. The Attorney General would also prosecute cases himself. For the years 1818 to 1822 the Governor appointed a District Attorney for each judicial circuit and the Baltimore City Court in place of the deputies. The reasons for enacting and then repealing this law are unknown.

Index of the Week Ben Primer

Index 54 - LAND OFFICE (Patents--Index to Patentee) 1634-1985

This index provides name access to individuals granted certificates of survey and patents from the beginning of the colony to the present. White cards in the index indicate the name, patent date, tract name, current county (not the one for which it may have been issued which is not included), acreage and citation for each patented tract.

Usually the certificate and patent are issued to the same person, but when the two are different, the remarks section indicates who received the certificate or patent. Note that the date given is the patent date; if the person issued the certificate of survey is different from the patentee, the certificate may have been issued many years earlier. These references are often important because the certificates may indicate the heirs who ultimately sold the certificate to the patentee (or the patentee may be an heir).

Acreages may also be given in square feet or perches. Some acreages are given as acres--[square] rods--[square] perches (e.g. 74-3-29). The dictionary defines rods and perches as the same so I could not fathom the distinction. Perhaps Richard can provide illumination here. The remarks section sometimes includes duplicate recordings of the same patent or certificate.

The pink cards provide the name, survey date, tract name, current county, acreage and certificate number for unpatented certificates of survey.

Note that the cards index (but do not distinguish) the Eastern Shore Patents from 1796-1842. These patents do not appear on the cross-reference sheet in the stacks (they are included in the Primer). Some of these Eastern Shore volumes have the same liber number as in the general patents series which can cause confusion.

This index is notable for its incredible lack of alphabetical order.

Vol. 2, No. 38

17 October 1988

Record Series of the Week Ben Primer

ADJUTANT GENERAL (Muster Rolls) 1861-1867 STAGSER 343

These volumes are primarily copies of original muster out rolls that are the in Adjutant General (Civil War Muster Rolls and Service Records) STAGSER 936. These record books were copied under Adjutant General John S. Berry (1864-1869), presumably shortly after the end of the war. Only company level muster out rolls were copied; rolls for detachments and individuals are not included. Muster in, descriptive, prisoner, deserter and other rolls were not copied.

In addition, not all information found in the original rolls was copied, especially in the remarks section. Not all Maryland regiments are included in the rolls, presumably because original muster out rolls were never sent to the state Adjutant General. These rolls only include enlisted men; no officers are included.

Each of the books provides the following information if available: a roll number (the original rolls used were numbered-this number appears in red ink on the original rolls); a date of the roll (this date is usually the date of the formation of the company, not the actual date of the muster out roll which can cause some confusion); the number of the soldier (for each rank soldiers were numbered on the original rolls); name; rank; company; regiment; date and place of enrollment; date and place of enrollment and by whom; age (Phebe believes this is age at time of muster in); term of service; to whom credited for state quotas; reenlistment date; transfers; remarks (desertions, AWOLs, date and place of discharge, promotion/reduction in rank, date and place of death or injury).

The books are arranged alphabetically by first letter of last name, then numerically by regiment and alphabetically by company. In effect, this is an excellent index to the original rolls which contain much additional information about the individual soldiers. Unfortunately these original rolls desperately need conservation work.

The individual volumes are as follows:

MdHR 5596 - Maryland Infantry

Includes 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 11th regiments

MdHR 5599 - Maryland Cavalry

Includes 3rd regiment, Smith's Company Independent Cavalry; 1st Potomac Home Brigade Cavalry

MdHR 5597 - United States Colored Troops

Includes 1st, 2nd, 4th, 7th, 9th and 19th regiments

MdHR 5598 - United States Colored Troops

Includes 28th, 30th, 38th and 39th regiments

Note that the 1st, 2nd, 28th and 38th regiments of the U.S.C.T. are not normally considered Maryland units. Apparently Maryland blacks were recruited into these regiments and credited to Maryland's quota. These names are not found in the History and Roster of Maryland Volunteers.

I also compared all these volumes with the History and Roster and found many discrepancies as to name (different spellings, reverse of last and first names), length of service, company and regiment. Also many names found on these rolls are not in the History and Roster.

This series has three other volumes as follows:

MdHR 4434

This is a volume kept by the Mustering Officer for Maryland of the United States Army. It contains memoranda, letters, recommendations, orders and regulations as well as musters of officers into all kinds of units and from all states 1862-1864. The 1862-1863 list is indexed.

MdHR 4491

This volume includes officers elected by Maryland National Guard units in 1867 and a list of property at various sites in 1872.

MdHR 4492

This is a muster roll of Maryland National Guard officers for 1867.

Index of the Week Ben Primer

Index 55 - LAND OFFICE (Patents--Index to Tracts) 1634-1985

This index provides access to tract names for all original land patents in Maryland. The index is arranged alphabetically by county and then alphabetically by tract name so one must know the county where the land is currently located in order to use the index.

White cards in the index indicate the tract name, patent date, name of patentee/certificate holder, current county (not the one for which it may have been issued which is not included), acreage and citation for each patented tract.

Usually the certificate and patent are issued to the same person, but when the two are different, the remarks section indicates who received the certificate or patent. Note that the date given is the patent date; if the person issued the certificate of survey is different from the patentee, the certificate may have been issued many years earlier. These references are often important because the certificates may indicate the heirs who ultimately sold the certificate to the patentee (or the patentee may be an heir). Acreages may also be given in square feet or perches. Some acreages are given as acres--[square] rods--[square] perches (e.g. 74-3-29). The remarks section sometimes includes duplicate recordings of the same patent or certificate.

The pink cards provide the tract name, survey date, name of certificate holder, current county, acreage and certificate number for unpatented certificates of survey.

Note that the cards index (but do not distinguish) the Eastern Shore Patents from 1796-1842. These patents do not appear on the cross-reference sheet in the stacks (they are included in the Primer). Some of these Eastern Shore volumes have the same liber number as in the general patents series which can cause confusion.

This index, like Index 54, is notable for its incredible lack of alphabetical order.

Vol. 2, No. 39

24 October 1988


With regard to Index 54 and 55, please note that the Archives no longer creates cards for unpatented certificates, and probably has not done so since 1967.

Index of the Week Ben Primer

INDEX 114 - LAND OFFICE (Certificates of Survey Index) 1668?-1980?

This is a 23-volume index to patented and unpatented certificates of survey and to petitions. The index was produced by the Land Office between 1893 and 1911 when every certificate was placed in alphabetical order for the county in which the certificate was originally issued (not for the county in which the land is currently located, which makes moving from the Land Office card indexes to this volume index problematic at times).

Certificates issued or discovered after the original arrangement have been interfiled using alphabetical appendages (e.g. 27-A) or occasionally additional numbers. Some of the certificates discovered at a later date have been filed with the current county, not the original one. For an example of the problem of misidentified counties (especially unpatented certificates and petitions), see Lorena Walsh's note in the front of the St. Mary's County volume.

Until 1967 the Land Office apparently entered all patented and unpatented certificates of survey in this index. The current practice is to enter neither, but some (not all) of the patented certificates from 1967 to roughly 1980 were added. More recent certificates of both kinds may be located using the warrants docket maintained by the Deputy Commissioner of Land Patents.

The current checklist of indexes states that the index begins in 1705 (Pat thinks because that is the date of the State House fire), but there are many certificates prior to that date. The earliest I could locate was 1668, but no intensive search was made. Interestingly, many of the early certificates are additions to the original indexes suggesting they must have been found or given to the Archives after 1910.

All 23 volumes have at least two sections. Patented certificates are arranged alphabetically and unpatented certificates are similarly listed. For AA, CV, CE, DO, PG, SO, SM, and WA there is a third section of alphabetical name indexes to petitions (SO is not alphabetical).

The certificates indicate the names of persons to whom warrants to survey were issued, the name of the tract, the courses of the survey, a plat and scale of the property, the surveyor's name and recordation information. Unpatented certificates often contain information on why a patent was not issued (caveats).

Petitions are for special warrants of resurvey, for patents that for one reason or another seem not to have been recorded and for escheatment warrants. They can be of value in tracing family history since petitioners must explain how they came to hold the property they want patented or resurveyed. Unfortunately, many of the family names in the petitions are not found in the index.

Vol. 2, No. 40
31 October 1988

Library Libations Doug McElrath

International Council on Archives. International Directory of Archives. Munich: K.G. Saur, 1988. [Lib. 536; Rm. 105]

National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Directory of Archives and Manuscript Repositories in the United States. 2nd Ed. Phoenix: Oryx Press, 1988. [Lib. 536; Rm. 105]

Two new archival directories have arrived which provide an enlightening, if not alarming, study in contrasts. The long-awaited NHPRC Directory replaces the 1978 edition which, in turn, replaced (more-or-less) the classic Hamer Guide to Archives and Manuscripts in the United States (1961). One should not, however, assume that this new edition features current information. The introduction states that the entries from the 1978 edition were updated in 1980 and 1983 through questionnaires sent to all listed repositories. Some telephone numbers were corrected in 1986, but essentially Oryx Press is asking $55.00 for information that is at least five years old. In defense of NHPRC, budget cuts in 1981-82 and problems with the SPINDEX program hindered production. Of course, the most egregious error is that we will now be listed under our old name and address until the next edition (1998 !?!). In addition to the main text with its entries listed by state and then city, the NHPRC Directory has an index to repositories and a subject index of dubious value (we were not listed under Maryland!). Oh well, better luck next time.

The ICA, based in Paris, publishes their International Directory as an issue of Archivum, the journal of that august body. Say what you will about those Parisians, but they and their Teutonic publishers got our correct name, address, telephone number, days and opening hours, and other essential information for the international researcher. All this at a time when the United States decided to withdraw financial support from ICA's parent organization, UNESCO. There are a few peculiarities to watch out for when using this directory, for example, the United States section appears under the letter E for Etats-Unis D'Amerique (no doubt in revenge for our budgetary parsimony). You will have to get Bernie's help on the section for the U.S.S.R.; it's in Cyrillic!

So, whether it be the American Lutheran Church Archives in Dubuque or the Centre National des Archives in Burkina Faso, we have the directories for you. Both publications are in the library office (Rm. 105) because most of the calls for addresses and telephone numbers come to Shashi or me. The search room staff is welcome to circulate them to patrons, provided that you use a properly filled request slip (got to keep up those stats!).

RECORD SERIES Robert A. Oszakiewski

Baltimore County Circuit Court (Condemnation Papers) 1856-1906

Condemnation is defined as the process by which the property of a private owner is taken for public use, without his consent, but upon the award of a just and fair compensation, being in the nature of a forced sale.

This collection of court papers was filed with the Baltimore County Circuit Court, in conjunction with cases where a private property owner and a corporate entity could not agree on a fair price for a specific piece of land. Before these papers can be used, a patron should be directed to the Baltimore County Circuit Court (Inquisitions), TRANSER 1528. These are an original docket and a transcript prepared for the court's use. The index in the front of these volumes is particularly useful since it is cross-indexed by plaintiff and defendant. The docket gives some information about the case, including what papers were filed and the outcome. More importantly for the patron, it gives a case number and the (Judicial Record) where the recorded case may be found. There is a separate Baltimore County Circuit Court (Condemnation Docket) series for 1912 to 1968, picking up where this docket leaves off.

The papers are filed in case number order and are generally in good physical condition. There are some gaps in the papers, but since these have been noted in the docket, I can only imagine that they were missing before transfer to us. The case file itself holds the application and petition of the plaintiff stating that the land would be taken for the public good (the fact that the corporation would also benefit was not stated openly until after 1890), a listing of the jury members, the report of the jury, the decree of the court awarding the land to the plaintiff, the award for damages to the defendant, a description of the metes and bounds of the land, and a plat. A notation of the (Judicial Record) where the recorded version may be found is usually on the front of the decree, but not all cases have been recorded.

The papers fall into three distinctive groups. The first, 1856-1858, were filed by the Baltimore Water Company, seeking the right of way to bring fresh water into Baltimore City. The second group, 1858-1870, are a mixture, filed by various turnpike and private road companies, the Baltimore Water Company, and one Baltimore County agency, the Baltimore County School Commissioners. The cases from 1870 to 1906 were filed by various railroad companies, the Baltimore and Ohio being the most prominent.

The laws concerning condemnations are complex and beyond the scope of this article. If the reader or patron wishes to more fully explore the subject, The Maryland Code: Public Local Laws compiled by Scott and McCullough, (1860), The Maryland Code: Public General Laws, compiled by John Prentis Poe, (1888), and The Annotated Code of Public Civil Laws of Maryland, compiled by Bagby, (1911) all describe how condemnation proceedings were to be conducted. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, the power to obtain land by condemnation was extended from government on the State and local levels to specific corporations and then Chapter 471 of the Laws of 1868 extended the power to acquire land by this means to "any corporation incorporated under the laws of this State." Although railroads were the primary beneficiaries of this law, other corporations, such as public utilities, found obtaining the land that they wanted was greatly eased.

While this particular collection is for Baltimore County, it should be remembered that the laws applied state-wide. For instance, Maryland Survey Papers (Division Plats) MdHR 40282-117 is a plat of lands condemned for the use of an Eastern Shore railroad. The Montgomery County Circuit Court (Plats) include a number of plats prepared for cases involving disputes over railroad rights of ways. These plats do not give much information and the patron would be advised to check the Montgomery County Circuit Court records before using the plats for any research. Jacob H. Hollander's The Financial History of Baltimore (1899), in discussing the emergence of public parks in Baltimore City, indicates that the condemnation of lands around the Federal Hill and Madison Street areas was recorded in city ordinances. Presumably there are also condemnation papers and proceedings contained in the various circuit court papers and records that await processing.

This collection would be of most use to those patrons doing title searches for property in Baltimore County, supplying information that will not be found in the Baltimore County Land Records. They may also have some legal use in relation to the planned light rail system, should disputes over the rights of ways arise.

Index of the Week Ben Primer

Index 31 - (Death Records, Index) 1648-1918

This is an alphabetical name index to records from three time periods. Cards may supply information on date of death, race, age and spouse's name. Over 90% of these cards are for the Annapolis (Death Register) from 1899-1918.

Colonial Records

For each of the colonial volumes, the dates of the volume are given, not necessarily the dates of the deaths. The current Checklist supplies other dates (which may be accurate dates of death), but I did not determine whether they were accurate. Records indexed are as follows:

Charles County Court (Births, Deaths and Marriages) Q#1 1654-1706 MdHR 8129-3 [volumes C#1 and P#1 also have death records which were probably transcribed into Q#1; these volumes are not indexed]

Kent County Court (Births, Deaths and Marriages) A 1648-1679 MdHR 8504

Kent County Court (Births, Deaths and Marriages) B 1679-1692 MdHR 8505

Kent County Court (Births, Deaths and Marriages) C 1692-1720 MdHR 8506

Somerset County Court (Births, Deaths and Marriages) IKL 1649-1720 MdHR 6950-3

Talbot County Court (Land Records) BB#2 1669-1670 MdHR 9088

Circuit Court Records

The following death records are indexed, but are not noted on the current Checklist:

Anne Arundel County Circuit Court (Death Record) 1865-1880 MdHR 4750

Prince Georges County Circuit Court (Death Records) 1865-1866 MdHR 6190

Annapolis Records

Annapolis Mayor and Aldermen (Death Register) 1899-1906 MdHR 5154 [indexed as Annapolis Register of Deaths I]

Annapolis Mayor and Aldermen (Death Register) 1906-1911 MdHR 5155 [indexed as Annapolis Register of Deaths II]

Annapolis Mayor and Aldermen (Death Register) 1911-1918 MdHR 5156 [indexed as Annapolis Register of Deaths III]

The current Checklist states that Calvert County (Death Record) is indexed for 1898-1930; it is not.

Vol. 2, No. 41
7 November 1988

Record Series of the Week Ben Primer

PREROGATIVE COURT (Testamentary Proceedings) 1657-1777

Prior to 1657 court proceedings related to probate were recorded in general record books kept by the Governor and Council (some of which were later transcribed into early Patent Record libers). Beginning in 1657, the proceedings of the Provincial Secretary in probate matters, the Commissary General for Probate of Wills (1672- ), and the Prerogative Court (established in 1681) were recorded in separate books known as Testamentary Proceedings.

The early Proceedings (Volumes 1-9; 1657-1677) contain a variety of other records, including land records, cattlemarks, wills, inventories, accounts judicial citation, and trials of libels. (Most of the early wills found in the general records books and in the early Testamentary Proceedings were later transcribed into Wills, Volumes 1 and 2.) Volumes 8 and 9 contain a few inventories and accounts added at a later time. From Volume 10 on (1678-1777), these records contain only the proceedings of the court. Volumes 1-47 (1657-1777) are indexed by name in Card Index 2.

All of these records are described more thoroughly in Gust Skordas, Prerogative Court Records of Maryland, Hall of Records Publication No. 4 (1946). Note that Skordas provides old liber numbers for each volume.

Index of the Week Ben Primer

Index 2 - (Testamentary Proceedings - Index), 1657-1777

This is an alphabetical name index to every name appearing in the Proceedings of the Prerogative Court from 1657 to 1777. For names with multiple cards, the cards are arranged first by county (cards without county designation are placed before other cards), then chronologically. Cards also provide citations for each liber.

The index does not provide access to Testamentary Proceedings prior to 1657 which will be found in Governor and Council (Proceedings) liber Z (1637-1642), liber E (1642-1644) and liber A (1647-1650); to Land Office (Patent Record) libers 1 and 2 [old liber B] (1651-1658); and to Provincial Court (Proceedings) liber S (1658-1662). Indexes to these volumes may of course be found in the Archives of Maryland, in Index 139, and in volume 1 of (Patent Record, Index).

Vol. 2, No. 43
28 November 1988

Index of the Week Ben Primer

Index 32 (Family Bible and Tombstone Records-Index)

Index 32 provides name access to two types of records: printed volumes of tombstone inscriptions and family Bibles found in Special Collections. The index includes family names [for Bible records], cemetery names [for cemetery records] and some subjects. For printed sources, a title and page number are cited; for manuscript Bible records a gift collection number is given. A few items are found in miscellaneous microfilm. Most printed volumes have name indexes.

The Archives has the following printed volumes related to Bible and cemetery records. Those indicated with asterisks are indexed in Index 32.

General Works:

Archdiocese of Baltimore, Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Baltimore (1987)

*Brumbaugh, Gaius Marcus, Maryland Records, Vols. 1-2 (1915, 1928)

*Cooch's Bridge Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution (Delaware), Old Bible

Records with Charts and Genealogical Sketches (1941-1944)

List of Confederate States Soldiers and Sailors, Prisoners of War Deaths-Norther Prisons [M-1021]

*Maryland State Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, Maryland Genealogical Records, Vols. 31, 33-35 [Vol. 31 missing]

Revised Report of the Select Committee Relative to the Soldiers' National Cemetery. . . [Gettysburg] Pennsylvania (1865)

Ridgely, Helen W., Historic Graves of Maryland and the District of Columbia (1967)

Roll of Honor: Names of Soldiers Who Died in Defense of the American Union Interred in the National Cemeteries at Marietta, Ga., Fort Donelson, Tenn., Chattanooga, Tenn., Murfreesboro, Tenn., Knoxville, Tenn.

*Scharf, J. Thomas, History of Western Maryland, 2 vols. (1882)

Troop 379, Ft. Meade, Maryland, Census of Deceased Personnel Buried on Fort George G. Meade, Maryland (1979)

Allegany County:

*Cresap Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, Allegany County Records, Vols. 1-6 [Volumes 3 (Family Bible and Cemeteries) and 4 (Family Bibles) are indexed in Index 32]

Anne Arundel County:

Gurney, John Thomas, III, Cemetery Inscriptions of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, Vols. 1-2 (1982-1987)

*Marlborough Towne Chapter, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Tombstone Inscriptions of Southern Anne Arundel County (1971)

*Peggy Stewart Tea Party Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, Anne Arundel County Tombstone Inscriptions (1942) [missing]

Baltimore City:

Green Mount Cemetery, Green Mount Cemetery: One Hundredth Anniversary (1938)

Baltimore County:

Baltimore County Genealogical Society, Tombstone Inscriptions . . .St. Mary's Cemetery (1985)

Baltimore County Historical Society, Baltimore Cemeteries, Vols. 1-4 (1985-1986)

Calvert County:

O'Brien, Jerry and Mildred and Merle L. Gibson, Calvert County Maryland Old Graveyards (1986)

Carroll County:

William Winchester Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, Carroll County, Maryland Tombstone Inscriptions, Krider's Cemetery, Westminster

Cecil County:

*Head of Elk Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, Tombstone Records of Cecil County, Maryland, Vols. 1-4 [only Volumes 1-3 are indexed in Index 32]

Charles County:

Historical Society of Charles County, Tombstone Inscriptions in Cemeteries in Charles County, Maryland (1987)

District of Columbia:

Sluby, Paul E., Sr. and Stanton L. Wormley, Holmead's Cemetery (Western Burial Ground) (1985)

Sluby, Paul E., Sr. and Stanton L. Wormley, Selected Small Cemeteries of Washington, D.C. (1987)

Dorchester County:

Dorchester County Tombstone Records [M-405]

Dorchester County Historical Society, Bible Records of Dorchester County, Maryland, 1612-1969 and Baptismal and Marriage Records 1855-1866, Zion United Methodist Church, Cambridge (1971)

Marshall, Nellie M., Tombstone Records of Dorchester County, Maryland, 1678-1964

Frederick County:

*Holdcraft, J. M., Gravestones of Frederick County, Maryland, Vols. 2-7 (1957-1959)

Holdcraft, Jacob Mehrling, Names in Stone, Vols. 1-2 (1966)

Holdcraft, Jacob Mehrling, More Names in Stone (1972)

Harford County:

Mullin, Ron, Slate Ridge Cemetery (c. 1977)

*Governor William Paca Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, Bible Records of Harford County, Maryland Families

*Governor William Paca Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, Tombstone Records of Harford County, Maryland, Vols. 1-2

Garrett County:

Youghiogheny Glades Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, Maryland's Garrett County Graves (1987)

Howard County:

Colonel Thomas Dorsey Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, Tombstone Inscriptions from a Few Cemeteries in Howard County, Maryland (1958-1960)

Howard County Genealogical Society, Howard County Maryland Records, Vols. 1-5 (1979-1985) [mostly cemetery inscriptions]

Kent County:

Kent and Queen Anne's County Cemetery Inscriptions [M-951]

Calena Cemetery Company Registration Book [M-1411]

Montgomery County:

Bottony Cross Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, Tombstone Records, Monocacy Cemetery, Beallsville, Maryland (1960)

Prince Georges County:

Prince George's County Genealogical Society, Stones and Bones: Cemetery Records of Prince George's County Maryland (1984)

*Toaping Castle Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, Prince Georges County, Maryland Tombstone Records (c. 1956)

Queen Anne's County:

Kent and Queen Anne's County Cemetery Inscriptions [M-951]

Washington County:

Conococheague Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, Index of Washington County Maryland Cemetery Records (1959) [indexes the volumes listed below]

*Conococheague Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, Washington County, Maryland Cemetery Records, Vols. 1-7 [see index above; found on M-399-402]

Register of Persons Who Died in the Sharpsburg Area. . .Whose Graves are Marked [M-1106]

Vol. 2, No. 44
12 December 1988


Anne Arundel County Historical Society Collection, 1665-1888, G-21

This is a small group of records collected by the Society and given to the Land Office. In 1936 the Land Office transferred the material to the Archives. Most of the collection consists of early land and estate papers (1665-1783), mostly on Anne Arundel County. A second large part of the collection is a number of nineteenth-century letters related to various Maryland topics. Finally, there is an extract from the Upper House Journals of 1698, single copies of the Maryland Journal (1773) and The Carrolltonian (1827), and information on fairs and markets in Frederick Town.

The collection includes original patents for Hope, Wayfield, Anthony's Purchase, Parrish's Purchase, Bigg's Purchase, Honest Mann's Lott, Warfield's Addition, Welch's Delight and Anna's Desire. Deeds for Hope, Encrease, Woodyard, Howard's Heirship and Honest Man's Lott and wills for John Beale and Elizabeth Beale are among the papers. The Browne, Dorsey, Howard, Warfield and Winchester families figure prominently, and other individuals named include Anthony Smith, John Parrish, Seth Biggs, John Duvall, Amos Gault, Cornelius Brooksby, Elizabeth Gunn, William Woodyard, Mary Homes, John Welch, Daniel Dulany, Jonathan Hudson and Thomas Rutland.

The most important of the letters are four from John Wilmot relating to the Battle of North Point, the Mexican War, the national army and military training, the Know-Nothing Party and the battle of Bladensburg. Other letters deal with St. Anne's silver, the Durant family, the nature of the Upper House Journal extract, Arundal of Warden on Anne Arundel's painting by Van Dyke, the seals of Maryland, and the Society's Handbook of Annapolis. There are pamphlets and clippings about George W. Childs, Philadelphia Ledger editor, and Charles Carroll of Carrollton.

Vol. 2, No. 45
19 December 1988

Serendipitous News

Doug came across information on changes in the ward boundaries for Baltimore City which of course are helpful with the manuscript census. They are as follows:

1797 - 8 wards (Acts of Incorporation, Sec. 1)

1802 - 3 wards, boundaries changed (Ord. 35, 1802)

1817 - 11 wards, 3 added (Ord. 40, 1817)

1818 - 12 wards, boundaries changed (Ord. 16, 1818)

1831 - 12 wards, boundaries changed (Ord. 9, 1831)

1841 - 14 wards, boundaries changed (Ord 14, 1841)

1845 - 20 wards, boundaries changed (Laws of MD, 1845, Ch. 282)

1860 - 20 wards, boundaries changed and election precincts created - changes made after federal census so one must use maps dated before September 18, 1860 and after 1845 for the 1860 census (Ord. 79, 1860)

1882 - 20 wards, boundaries changed (Ord. 36, 1882)

1888 - 22 wards, 2 more added (Ord. 92, 1888)

1890 - 22 wards, boundaries of wards 9,11,12,20 changed (Laws of MD, 1890, Ch. 186)

1898 - 24 wards, boundaries changed (Laws of MD, 1898, Ch. 10)

1901 - 24 wards, renumbered with 10,12,23,24 remaining same (Laws of MD, 1901, Ch. 8)

1918 - 28 wards, 4 added (Laws of MD, 1818, Ch. 82)

Index of the Week Ben Primer

Index 3 - (Probate Records-Index), 1777-1854 incomplete

This index picks up where Index 1 leaves off in 1777 following abolition of the Prerogative Court and creation of the county Orphans Court.

Cards are arranged alphabetically by name, then in most cases by type of record, then by county, then by date. The cards provide names of individuals, year of record, county, type of record and a citation. There are a few pre-1777 cards in this index; patrons would be advised to check here as well as Index 1.

When used in conjunction with Index 1, this index covers all names for the series indicated below prior to the final date given (except that there may be other items not indexed for the last year). There are gaps in some series. The number of boxes of folders indexed in Indexes 1 and 3 are given in brackets.

Anne Arundel County:

(Administration Accounts) 1777-1821

(Testamentary Papers) 1777-1820 [155]

(Wills, Original) 1777-1820 [24]

Baltimore County:

(Accounts of Sale, Original) 1780-1788 [3]

(Administration Accounts, Original) 1674-1788 [25]

(Inventories, Original) 1676-1788 [33]

(Petitions) 1780-1789 [1]

(Wills, Original) 1664-1788 [22]

Caroline County:

(Administration Accounts, Original) 1695-1791 [7]

(Administration Bonds, Original) 1675-1790 [8]

(Inventories, Original) 1690-1791 [11]

(Wills, Original) 1688-1797 [9]

Cecil County:

(Administration Accounts, Original) 1678-1791 [16]

(Inventories, Original) 1675-1790 [25]

Charles County:

(Administration Accounts) 1673-1825

(Guardian Accounts) 1788-1825

(Guardian Docket) 1788-1825

(Inventories) 1673-1825

(Orphans Court Proceedings) 1777-1791

(Testamentary Proceedings) 1716-1720, 1760-1767

(Wills) 1665-1825

Note: Bulletin 17 says that (Guardian Bonds) are indexed, but I could find no series by this name.

Frederick County:

(Administration Accounts) 1750-1823

(Inventories, Original) 1748-1788 [16]

(Wills, Original) 1748-1789 [11]

Kent County:

(Administration Accounts, Original) 1673-1777 [20]

(Administration Bonds, Original) 1664-1799 [21]

(Inventories, Original) 1668-1790 [41]

(Wills, Original) 1676-1801 [12]

Prince Georges County:

(Administration Accounts, Original) 1723-1724, 1735-1740, 1782-1789 [1]

(Administration Bonds, Original) 1696-1789 [24]

(Inventories, Original) 1696-1793 [29]

(Wills, Original) 1697-1799 [16]

Queen Anne's County:

(Administration Papers) 1707-1797 [34]

(Wills, Original) 1667-1788 [14]

Somerset County:

(Administration Accounts, Original) 1751-1790 [10]

(Wills, Original) 1664-1788 [10]

Talbot County:

(Wills) 1668-1716, 1726-1746, 1777-1794

(Wills, Original) 1665-1789 [25]

Washington County:

(Distributions) 1778-1805

(Wills) 1749-1854

Worcester County:

(Wills) 1742-1790

Note: Wills volume MH#3 (1666-1742) is not indexed in Index 1


The Journal of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Vol. 9, No. 1 (Spring 1988) contains an interesting history of Fairmount Heights, a black suburban community in Prince Georges county. The article includes a complete index to all individuals living in that area of the county found in the 1910 Census.

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