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 XXVII of this series by Vernon L. 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 more or less chronologically by court session. Volume XXVII consists of abstracts for the balance of 1753 and then backtracks to pick up abstracts for 1750-1751, owing to the contents of the balance of Liber 33, Liber 34, and part of Liber 35. (Volume XXVI covers 1752 and part of 1753, as found in the balance of Liber 32 and part of Liber 33.) 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.