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During colonial times, prior to the completion of the Mason-Dixon and the Transpeninsular Lines establishing the boundaries between Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania, portions of what is now Sussex County, Delaware were considered part of Somerset, Worcester, or Dorchester County, Maryland or one of the three lower counties of Pennsylvania. For more information and maps showing the changing boundaries of Somerset County, see the Old Somerset Hundreds and Land Grant Maps created by John C. Lyon at Somerset MDGenWeb.
Some of the records regarding these areas may occasionally be found in Pennsylvania repositories. For instance, the original of the Somerset County [Maryland] Land Warrant Book 1670-1682 of Francis Jenckins (Manuscript #1087), is housed at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. A microfilmed copy of this unique resource, giving names and other information about the land-holdings of the earliest settlers of the area, is at the Nabb Research Center. The majority of the book has been abstracted; the abstracts may be viewed by following the links in the boxes above.
The Somerset County Warrants Book of Francis Jenckins is actually not a warrants book at all, but primarily a surveyor’s record book. Its principal contents are descriptions of approximately 700 land tracts surveyed under Francis Jenckins and James Weedon during their tenures as Deputy Surveyor of Somerset County, 1670-1683. The surveys have been abstracted by G. Ray Thompson, Ph.D.
The Rent Roll is a list of the Somerset property owners and their patented lands for which rent was due the Proprietor in 1685. It was abstracted by John F. Polk, Ph.D. from the last 12 pages of the Jenckins Warrants Book. The list is compiled by owner and tract names of the properties owned, with size shown in acres.
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