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. From 1765 to 1767, most of the entries for the docket involve situations where the personal representative has not filed the proper documents. Beginning in April 1765, moreover, entries for accounts no longer furnish 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 XXXVII, the latest one in the series, refers to in excess of 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, names of slaves, appraisers, and more.
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