The Prerogative Court was the focal point for probate in colonial Maryland, and it was also the colony’s court for equity cases–resolution of disputes over the settlement and distribution of an estate. Most of the entries for the docket from 1765 to 1767 involved situations where the personal representative had not filed the proper documents. Beginning in April 1765, moreover, entries for accounts no longer furnished the administrator’s name. There is also a gap in these Testamentary Proceedings from November 1, 1765 to May 23, 1766.
This series of Prerogative Court transcripts is arranged, with a few exceptions, chronologically by court session. Volume XXXVI, the latest one in the series, refers to roughly 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, and so forth), details of bequests, and names of slaves, appraisers, and more.