This is a free database provided by Maryland State Archives for The New Early Settlers of Maryland and comprises 34,326 entries from Gust Skordas’ Early Settlers of Maryland and Carson Gibb’s Supplement to the Early Settlers of Maryland.”

The site recommends trying variant spellings in search queries and has a very informative article on spelling variations in the 17th century.

Here’s a quote: “The twenty-first century is like the seventeenth in having these variations but unlike it in worrying about them. As they were illiterate, most people of the seventeenth century couldn’t worry about them, and the few who could probably didn’t, for the notion that one spelling was correct and all others wrong didn’t yet exist. Within limits, all spellings were acceptable. What mattered was sound. This is the view which twenty-first-century readers should take of seventeenth-century spelling. …In the seventeenth century the alphabet had 24 1/2 letters. “J” represented two sounds, the ones now represented by “I” and “J” ( whose capitals in cursive are still the same). Usually it is easy to tell which sound is meant: if “I” is followed by a consonant, the sound is “I” as in “Insley” and “Inglis”; if by a vowel, the sound is “J” as in “James” and “Jones.” Unfortunately, as in manuscripts of all centuries,  “n” and “u,” a consonant and a vowel, often are similar or identical. “Ines” or “Inez” is recognizable as a woman’s name. But what is “Iues”? The 1/2-letter was “U,” which, though it looks like modern “U,” is included in indexes of the time under “V.” Simple enough, but occasionally “w” substitutes for “u” or “v,” as in the first name of Levin or Lewin Denard in Patents WC2:118 or the surname Douty or Dowty in Patents GG:128,363 & 11:104,402, and as mentioned above, “u” often is indistinguishable from “n.”


One response to “Early Settlers of Maryland”

  1. Carson Gibb, in Supplement to Early Settlers of Maryland, seems to think that ABH6, listed for Thomas Gerrard, may instead refer to Thomas Green. However, ABH6 indicates a man of means who received large amounts of land. In ABH67, Thomas Green was an indentured servant who received meager amounts of land. Clearly, these are two very different people.

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