Here is a true giant of a work, covering in full some twenty-two colonial Maryland and Virginia families and also treating hundreds of collateral families. Mrs. Doliante not only establishes the Virginia and Maryland ancestry of the twenty-two main families, but also corrects many longstanding inaccuracies and dispels some cherished myths, many repeated uncritically in one publication after another, such as the non-existent fourth wife of Henry Ridgley, the erroneous ancestry of Richard Duckett, Sr., and the putative maternity of the Sprigg children.
The physical specifications of the book are in themselves impressive. There are over 1,200 pages of text, more than 150 illustrations, a bibliography, a place name index, and an index of personal names with over 23,500 entries! In addition to the standard sources both in print and manuscript, the author has had recourse to a wide range of private and public records to substantiate her facts. Hence the book is amply furnished with transcriptions of such records as wills, inventories, and Bible records. Little will be found wanting here, and for those who are interested in these families, from their origins in Maryland or Virginia up to recent times, it is gratifying to know that someone has spared them the drudgery of sifting through thousands of pages of court records.
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