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Pioneers of Old Monocacy : The Early Settlement of Frederick County, Maryland, 1721-1743 [Paperback]

Grace L. Tracey , John P. Dern
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2001 0806311835 978-0806311838
This is a definitive account of the land and the people of Old Monocacy in early Frederick County, Maryland. The outgrowth of a project begun by Grace L. Tracey and completed by John P. Dern, it presents a detailed account of landholdings in that part of western Maryland that eventually became Frederick County. At the same time it provides a history of the inhabitants of the area, from the early traders and explorers to the farsighted investors and speculators, from the original Quaker settlers to the Germans of central Frederick County.
In essence, the book has a dual focus. First it attempts to locate and describe the land of the early settlers. This is done by means of a superb series of plat maps, drawn to scale from original surveys and based both on certificates of survey and patents. These show, in precise configurations, the exact locations of the various grants and lots, the names of owners and occupiers, the dates of surveys and patents, and the names of contiguous land owners. Second, it identifies the early settlers and inhabitants of the area, carefully following them through deeds, wills, and inventories, judgment records, and rent rolls.
Finally, in meticulously compiled appendices it provides a chronological list of surveys between 1721 and 1743; an alphabetical list of surveys, giving dates, page reference--text and maps--and patent references; a list of taxables for 1733-34; and a list of the early German settlers of Frederick County, showing their religion, their location, dates of arrival, and their earliest records in the county.
Winner of the 1988 Donald Lines Jacobus Award!

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Pioneers of Old Monocacy : The Early Settlement of Frederick County, Maryland, 1721-1743 + Inhabitants of Frederick County, Maryland, Vol. 2: 1749-1800
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Clearfield (2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806311835
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806311838
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #506,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4.6 out of 5 stars
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For local historians and genealogists December 23, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Enormously dry but complete, this book should be thought of as a reference work. It's not intended to be a narrative history.

Written essentially as a record of colonial land transactions, the book also includes brief biographical sketches of the earliest settlers in Frederick County, Maryland. For serious local historians, this book is indispensible.

It's not an architectural survey, so readers with those interest should look elsewhere.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the book February 18, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been wanting a copy of this book for a long time. There is an entire chapter to my ancestors, the Hedges. Lots of info that I needed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible detail, but interest is very narrow. December 30, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's impossible to overstate the amount of work that went into this book - from the problems in going over 200 year-old land patents to fitting them all together into a meaningful set of maps, file cards and folders - all before pulling all that together into a book. Two generations of work by the Traceys (Drs. Arthur and Grace Tracey), laboriously converting old measures of perches and rods to current dimensions in the days before Xerox(R) machines, transferring old references to bygone trees and roads onto tissue paper and then organizing all the information, led to Grace Tracey's rough manuscript in the early 1970s. John Dern, Grace's co-author, then rebuilt the nearly two-decade patchwork into a well-written well-organized history of an early crossroad north and south as well as east to west..

What makes the book so valuable is the interweaving of local history and migrations with many individual pioneers and all those land documents. Footnotes are extensive and detailed. Though no fault of this book, the primary drawback to all this is that leases and rents on all the lands patented in Maryland were not documented anywhere in this time; many of the early settlers who passed through were never recorded.

Great book for those interested in early history and early land transactions in an important but obscure part of the frontier.

Unfortunately, the focus is narrow so the book will appeal mostly to a few historians and genealogists who have interest in this small area of Maryland in the years between 1721 and 1743.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pioneers of Old Moncacy a wonderful book November 8, 2013
By Richard
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Exceptional research. Any historian of Frederick Co. will find this an invaluable resource. Cross references are quite accurate. exceptionally good for Fred. co. research.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pioneers of Old Monocacy August 25, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a very dry, boring read; but it is full of good geanology information if you had family in the Fredricks County area of Deleware.

It also mentions families who passed through there on the way to VA & the Carolinas. If you had family who were in PA and went South, you might check in this book.

It has an index of sir names and given names in the back of the book with the page numbers where they are found. So you don't really have to read the whole book.

In reading the book I know the area was first settled in the early 1600s; who went to jail for breaking the Saboth or for not burning their tobacco (a practice to keep the price of tobacco high). I also learned that the population in a section of Fredericks Co were Quakers who came from Germany and Switzerland. There is also an Irish population there and a Methodist church was built in the early 1800s. Up until then there was only the Quaker meeting house.

Deleware and PA fought over the border so much that in the end property owners found themselves in both states.

The last thing I did every night was read a chapter (3-5 pages) because it put me to sleep.

Frances M McCrory-Meservy
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