Monday, November 12, 2018

Hidden History - Elizabeth Lamy

Historians have, and still do today, overlook the stories and accomplishments of women. While doing research into my family history, I have come across documents relating to numerous colonial-era women whose stories have not been told, but should be.

Elizabeth Lamy appears in only a handful of records, but when you piece them together, she begins to emerge as a fascinating figure, an unconventional woman for her time. Digging into her story gives more dimension to the stories of better-known people she interacted with, and challenges some of our notions about the time period.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Hidden History - Convicts Deported to Maryland

Convicts Deported to Maryland from England in the Colonial Maryland Land Records

In this post, I'll be looking at convicted felons deported from England to Maryland. During the 1700s, along with the illustrious figures of history, England also sent some of their worst individuals to America. Depending on the crime, men and women were convicted to either seven or fourteen years of hard labor in the colonies.

Land records, especially from the colonial era, are an overlooked treasure trove for genealogists and historians. Sifting through the records is time-consuming and tedious, but well worth the effort.

While researching my own family history in Maryland's land records, skimming through the thousands of pages available online, I've come across quite a few items of interest which can be found only by viewing each page.

Every book of land records includes an index, but the index refers only to actual land deeds and includes only the names of the primary buyer and seller. During the colonial era, the Maryland land record books included a wide variety of other types of records: the sale of slaves, the marks of stray animals, supersedeas and judgment cases, even the occasional bill of lading. None of those records were included in the index.

Since I was taking the time to skim every page, I decided to keep track of these hidden treasures. I'll be posting them here to aid other researchers in their work.