Robert J. Brugger, Maryland, A Middle Temperament,
Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University PRess, 1988, p. 26
To examine the nature of civil liberty and the quality of life in 17th and early 18th century Maryland using wills, inventories, & a plat from the period 1660s-1715. One indicator that can be used for comparative purposes in answering the question what life was like in the New World is the information to be found in probate records. Probate records are public documents that provide details of what property people owned at death. Carefully read the enclosed wills. Compare and contrast the inventories. Try to read the actual inventories using the typescripts as a guide. Bear in mind that in Maryland, inventories only include personal effects, NOT land, while wills will mention land. When disputes arose over ownership of land, maps of the property in question (called "plats") were often included in the court case and can be found among the court records.
The Documents for the Classroom series of the Maryland State Archives was designed and developed by Dr. Edward C. Papenfuse and Dr. M. Mercer Neale and was prepared with the assistance of Dr. R. J. Rockefeller, Lynne MacAdam and other members of the Archives staff. MSA SC 2221-03. Publication no. 3916. ©1993 Maryland State Archives.