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 Maryland’s colonial capital, Annapolis. The Prerogative Court was also the colony’s court for equity cases–resolution of disputes over the settlement and distribution of an estate.
Volume XXVI of Abstracts of the Testamentary Proceedings of the Prerogative Court of Maryland, compiled by Vernon Skinner, is derived from this important source for Maryland genealogists. In compiling the series, Mr. Skinner has worked primarily from microfilm copies of the Prerogative Court records; however, when necessary to resolve problems of paleography, he has consulted the original manuscripts, located at the Maryland State Archives in Annapolis.
The series is arranged, volume by volume, chronologically by court session. Volume XXVI consists of abstracts for the periods 1749-50 and 1752-53 (allowing for the gap in records), as found in the balance of Liber 32; all of Liber 33, Part 1; and the first 126 pages of Liber 33, Part 2. In all, the latest book in this distinguished series refers to an additional 7,000 colonial inhabitants of the Province of Maryland. For the most part, the transcriptions state the names of the principals (testators, heirs, guardians, witnesses, administrators, and so forth), as well as details of bequests, names of slaves, appraisers, and more.
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