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About Maryland Land Records
Prior to 1683, land was granted to those who transported settlers to the colony. The names of such immigrants found in the land patents, 1633–80, are listed in Gust Skordas, ed., The Early Settlers of Maryland (1968; reprint; Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986). Land patents, with indexes, from 1634 are at the Maryland Hall of Records in Annapolis, as are quit rents, rent rolls (1639–1776, incomplete), certificates of survey (1705 to date), and warrants and assignments (1634–1842). A separate index covers private and proprietary manors as found in the patent records. See Elizabeth Hartsook and Gust Skordas, Land Office and Prerogative Court Records of Colonial Maryland (1946; reprint; Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1968, 1989).
Deeds, mortgages, and bills of sale were recorded in the county circuit court, where standard indexes are also available. Mortgages were often recorded separately in later years. Films of all county land records are available at the Maryland Hall of Records, which also has the original record books and indexes of many counties. Many microfilm copies are also available at the FHL. Early deeds could be recorded in both county courts and provincial and general courts. Indexes to the latter for 1658–1815, by name of person or tract, are available at the Hall of Records.
Background information can be found in Clarence P. Gould, The Land System in Maryland, 1720–1765 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1913), and Paul H. Giddens, "Land Policies and Administration in Colonial Maryland, 1753–1769," Maryland Historical Magazine 28 (1933): 142–71.
Maryland BLM Office:
Eastern States Office
Maryland State Historical Society:
Maryland Historical Society
Maryland County Courthouses:
Anne Arundel County
Prince George's County
Queen Anne's County
St. Mary's County
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