III. DESCRIPTION OF RECORDS
The procedures employed in listing the records have been kept as simple as possible.
Each record series is listed in a single paragraph, beginning with the title. If there are
variations in the title, the one that best describes the record is used, with other titles being
shown in parenthesis. Minor variations are not indicated. All titles appear in capital letters.
Thus, a sample entry might be "COURT PROCEEDINGS (JUDGMENTS)." Occasionally, a
word or two has been inserted to clarify the nature of the record listed. Such words (as well
as any other matter inserted by the editors) are enclosed in brackets and normal capitalization
is used, e.g. "DECLARATION OF INTENTION [Naturalization]."
The dates covered by the record appear immediately after the title, for example, "LAND
COMMISSIONS, 1723-1801, 1810-34, 1836-43," or "EQUITY RECORDS, 1852--." The use
of the double dash indicates the record is current.
Cross references to other series where the record may be found are also given as in the
following example: "ACCOUNTS, 1709--. 1673-1709 in Wills." If material other than that
designated by the title of an entry is included in the record, this too is indicated. Thus, the
reverse of the example cited above would be "WILLS, 1673--. Also contains Accounts, 1673-
Next is a description of the record. This will not be necessary for the items described in
the section entitled, "Basic County Records," unless there is some variation or unusual feature
that requires mention. Records not included in this section will be described as they occur.
Often some or all of the volumes of a record series will have self-contained indexes. This
means that in a special section of each volume, usually front or back but sometimes in a
separate booklet, a page or more has been set aside for each letter of the alphabet and the
index references entered accordingly, quite often on a current basis. Thus, such references
are alphabetical by the initial letter of the name indexed only.
The entry for a record series indexed in this manner will include a statement to that
effect, such as, "Each volume indexed" or "Most volumes indexed." In most cases, the index
references are self-evident, for example, Wills are indexed by the name of the decedent, Land
Records by name of grantor and grantee, and so forth. Where there is a possibility of con-
fusion, further explanation is given, as in the case of the Stet Dockets of Frederick County
which are "Indexed by name of defendant" only.
Certain records are described as being "Arranged alphabetically," which means that a
certain number of pages in the volume are reserved for each letter of the alphabet and entries
are made under the appropriate letter.