Kinsearching March 11, 2007




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     V. L. Skinner, Jr., ushers in the new year with another addition to his popular series on early probate records: ABSTRACTS OF THE TESTAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS OF THE PREROGATIVE COURT OF MARYLAND, VOLUME VIII: 1697 - 1700, LIBERS: 17, 18A. This latest volume refers to between 6,000 and 7,000 inhabitants of Maryland at the end of the 17th century.

     Staffed by a judge and clerks, the Prerogative Court was the focal point for probate proceedings in colonial Maryland. All probate matters went directly to the court, located in the colonial capital of Annapolis. Administration of probate was later delegated to the county courts, but many documents related to probate were still filed at the Prerogative Court instead of in the appropriate county. As in earlier years, the Prerogative Court was also the colonial court for equity cases, which dealt with the resolution of disputes over the settlement and distribution of estates.

     Following the format of his previous volumes, Skinner arranges material in chronological order by court session. He combed through administration bond, will, inventory, administration account, and final balance entries to produce the collection of material in this new work. Generally, the information furnishes the names of the principals (testators, heirs, witnesses, and administrators, for example) and details concerning the bequests and the names of appraisers and slaves. Because facts pertaining to early residents and their activities may not be readily available in other records, genealogists tracing ancestors in the Old Line State may find invaluable data in ABSTRACTS OF THE TESTAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS OF THE PREROGATIVE COURT OF MARYLAND, VOLUME VIII: 1697 - 1700, LIBERS: 17, 18A.

     Containing 255 pages, the soft cover publication includes an introduction and a full name index. To the book's price of $29.50, buyers should add the charges for postage and handling. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $4 for one book and $2.00 for each additional copy; for UPS, the cost is $6 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. VOLUME VIII (item order #9985) may be purchased by check, MasterCard, or Visa from Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211 (for phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

     Charles N. Ferguson, 811 South Market, Shawnee, OK 74801 would like to locate the family Bible of William M. FURGUSON/FERGUSON and wife Martha. William died about 1869-1870 in Arkansas. Martha died after 1880, perhaps in Red River Co., TX. In 1880 three of their sons were living in Martha Ferguson's household: Francis Marion, Richard B., and Charles A. Does one of William and Martha's descendants possess the Bible? Charles is also interested in learning the date and place of their marriage and Martha's maiden name.

Newspaper advertisements often help family researchers discover the occupations of their ancestors. They are also an interesting and fun way to learn how people lived and the products they used in earlier times. Here are some selected items from the January 29, 1922 issue of the San Antonio Express, Section II, p. 16:

     1. Recipes for using New Way Flour

     2. LENTZ - LINDEN Co., Inc., tailors, 100 Soledad St.

     3. A big ad for HERRINGTON & HERRINGTON, established 1 January 1913; "Pioneer Palmer Graduate Chiropractors," 210-214 Gunter Building

     M. M. Elizabeth HERRINGTON, D. C., in charge of women's and children's department

     Lon H. HERRINGTON, D. C., in charge of men's department Costs: Outside calls $3.00 and up; 24 adjustments for $25

     The ad also contained a picture of Wilbur MACK.