Abstracts of the Testamentary Proceedings of the Prerogative Court of Maryland, Volume XV: 1719-1721; Libers 24, 25 (pp. 1-87)


The Prerogative Court was the focal point for probate in colonial Maryland. All matters of probate went directly to the Prerogative Court, which was located in Annapolis, Maryland’s colonial capital. The Prerogative Court was also the colony’s court for equity cases–resolution of disputes over the settlement and distribution of an estate.

Following is a representative abstract from Volume XV:

Per Henry Bayly, letter to Mr. Turbutt (Talbot County) exhibited: Lambert Clements has been dec’d many years and no Letters of Administration (LoA) were granted. If Henry Bayly and his wife Elisabeth do not apply for LoA, then LoA is to be granted to John Clements, as next of kin. Date: 26 June 1719.

Volume XV consists of abstracts of the records for the period 1719–1721, as found in Liber 24 and part of 25. The abstracts are arranged chronologically by court session. For the most part, the transcriptions state the names of the principals (testators, heirs, witnesses, administrators, and so forth) as well as details of bequests, names of slaves, appraisers, and more. In all, this volume refers to between 7,500 and 8,000 residents of the Province of Maryland during the first quarter of the 18th century.

Vernon L. Skinner, Jr.

2008, paper, 290 pp.

ISBN: 9780806353760