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.
This is the twenty-first volume in a series of books based upon this important source for Maryland genealogists. In compiling the series, Mr. Skinner has worked primarily from microfilm copies of the Prerogative Court records; however, he has also traveled to the Maryland State Archives to work directly with the original manuscripts in order to resolve problems associated with 18th-century handwriting or limitations of the microfilming process.
The series is arranged, volume by volume, chronologically by court session. Volume XXI consists of abstracts for the period 1736-1739, as found in the balance of Liber 30 and the first thirty-two pages of Liber 31 of the records. In all, the latest book in this remarkable series refers to an additional 7,500 inhabitants of the Province of Maryland in the years just prior to 1740. 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.