When Worcester County was set up, copies of the major probate series of Somerset
County, from which the new county was formed, were made for use at Snow Hill. These
copies are still extant as are all of the Will books of the county and most of the other probate
records for the later period. The minor series and the Orphans Court Proceedings have
suffered important losses, and the original papers preceding the fire of 1893 have been lost
almost in toto.
The Land Records have been preserved. However, the loss of three volumes, Libers A.F.,
A.G., and A.H., for the period from January 11, 1815, to August 20, 1818, was noted in the
General Index to Grantees, 1742-1844. There it is explained that these books were burned in
the fire of 1834. Unfortunately, there is no explanation of why these books and no others were
lost at that time. Almost all of the Judgment records and the miscellaneous records of the
county court have also been lost.
Of the administrative records, the Levy Court, the Commissioners of the Tax, the early
records of the Board of County Commissioners, nothing survived the two fires. This is probably
due to the fact that in the fire of 1893 the records of the Clerk of Court and Register of Wills
were in vaults which had been built only ten years earlier; but none of the other county
records were safeguarded in any way. It is interesting to note that the correspondent who
wrote the description of the fire in the Baltimore Sun of August 9, 1893 reported that when
the "Phoenix" of Wilmington and the Salisbury fire department arrived at Snow Hill at 5:30
in the morning "They immediately commenced throwing water on the vaults in the court-
LAND RECORDS, 1742-1815, 1818--. Libers AF, AG and AH, 1815-18 destroyed by fire in
1832. Also includes Mortgages, 1742-1921; Chattel Records, 1742-1921; Indentures, 1742-
1855; Bonds, 1742-1901; Appraisal of Orphans Property, 1742-75; Plats, 1742-1915; Court
Proceedings, 1778-79; Oaths of Office, 1742-84; Civil Commissions, 1792-1884. Most vol-
umes indexed. C.H. 1742--. L.O. 1948--, microfilm. H.R. 1742-1789; 1742-1850, microfilm.
INDEX TO LAND RECORDS, 1742--. Liber index, 1742-1876; Cott Key, 1876-1917; Cott
Family, 1918-49; Cottco Universal, 1950--. C.H. 1742--. L.O. 1844-1947, microfilm. H.R.
1742-1844; 1742-1868, microfilm.
MORTGAGE RECORD, 1921--. 1742-1921 in Land Records. Includes Chattel Mortgages,
1921-35. Each volume indexed by name of mortgagee. C.H. 1921—. L.O. 1949--, microfilm.
INDEX TO MORTGAGES, 1925--. 1742-1924 in Index to Land Records. C.H.
PLAT BOOK, 1890--. See also Land Records. Each volume indexed by name of property. C.H.
CHATTEL RECORDS, 1935--. 1742-1921 in Land Records; 1921-35 in Mortgage Records.
Each volume indexed. C.H.
PLAT BOOK, 1890—. See also Land Records. Each volume indexed by name of property. C.H.