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From the First Settlement of the State to the Present Time. JOHN LEWGER—1637.
Member of the Council-Officer in charge of land grants, etc. JOHN LANKFORD- 1641.
“ During his natural life."-Surveyor General.
JOHN LLEWELLIN—Register for Western Shore.
ters, 1747. BENEDICT CALVERT and GEORGE STEUART- Judges and
G. G. BREWER-Register, 1827.
G. G. BREWER-Register for Western Shore.
SAMUEL ROBERTS—Register for Eastern Shore.
LAND OFFICE OF MARYLAND,
ANNAPOLIS, November ist, 1899.
To his Excellency, LLOYD LOWNDES,
Governor of Maryland : SIR:-I respectfully submit the following report of the business transacted in the Land Office of Maryland for the two years ending September 30, 1899, with some suggestions which I hope the Legislature will carefully consider, as they all tend to the preservation of the valuable records therein stored, and the more efficient conduct of the Office by the Commissioner and his assistants.
THE OBJECT AND VALUE OF THE LAND OFFICE. The object and value of the Land Office is not generally understood by our people. In it are preserved the most important records, documents, chancery proceedings, maps and other valuable papers collected by the Province and State, since the office was created in 1680. The Land Office, therefore, must be considered as the fountain and depository of th primitive muniments of title to all the landed property in the State-in which respect, the surveys returned to, and the patents recorded in it, together with the chancery records, constitute Maryland's Domesday book, in which a more accurate description of all the lands of the State is to be found than of the lands in the records of any country whatever. By the Acts of 1780 and 1781, all the lands belonging to British subjects were confiscated to the use of the State, and with these lands Maryland rewarded the officers and soldiers who faithfully served in the revolution in the Maryland Line. The Act of 1781 created a Land Office for the Western Shore, and another for the Eastern Shore, and placed each of them under the direction and care of a Register. In 1841 these two offices were consolidated, and the present Land Office was established at Annapolis. By the Constitution of 1851, the “Commissioner of the Land Office” was created and directed to perform the duties formerly discharged by the Chancellor, Register and Examiner-General, and to act as Judge in caveat cases. In 1853 the General Assembly passed an Act declaring the Court of the Commissioner of the Land Office to be a Court of Record. The Act of 1862 and the Constitution of 1864, made the Commissioner of the Land Office the keeper of the Chancery Records and the anterevolutionary and revolutionary papers. By the Constitution of 1867 he was further required to collect, arrange, classify and keep all papers, records and relics connected with the early history of Maryland.”
Besides performing the duties required by the Acts mentioned, the Commissioner of the Land Office, among other things, has to issue warrants; to make searches; to furnish copies; to prescribe rules and regulate the conduct of Surveyors in making surveys and returning certificates and plats; to examine and pass upon certificates returned to his office by Surveyors and to hear, examine and decide upon all caveats which come before him as Commissioner.
Warrants have been issued as follows:
PATENTS ISSUED. Fifty-three patents have been issued, granting five thousand four hundred and five acres and fourteen perches of land, of which one thousand nine hundred and forty-three acres, three rods and twenty-seven perches were vacant land. A complete list of said patents is subjoined: