Dr. Arthur G. Tracey patent/tract index and map locations for
Carroll, Frederick, and Washington Counties

an ebook edition of the original microfilm prepared by

Dr. Edward C. Papenfuse and Sarah Patterson

Maryland State Archives, October 2009

For the benefit of  researchers wishing to locate the original land grants (patents) in Washington County, the Carroll County Historical Society deposited two reels of microfilm with the Washington County Circuit Court. The first reel contained an index to land grants (patents) in Carroll, Frederick, and Washington counties that were keyed to maps created and annotated by Dr. Arthur G. Tracey on the second reel of film.  This is an ebook edition of those two reels of film with an introduction on its use.

1) Index Cards to Land Patents of Carroll, Frederick, and Washington Counties-
Showing their location on the land- their adjoining tracts-the relationship to one
another-plus other useful information concerning them.

Reel msa_scm13085 (which begins here and ends here-a total of 277 images).

Index cards alphabetical by Tract name. Generally they all give:
name of tract
name of owner
date of survey/resurvey
date of patent
patent record citation
neighboring tracts
CFW map coordinates of Tracey gridded maps (images 40-101)
Certificate number
Sheet number (aka page number) of Tracey maps (images 257-854 in eBook)

Some index cards give additional information:
name of surveyor
district number

2) Land Patents of Washington County, MD. Showing their location on the land-their
adjoining tracts- the relationship one to another-plus other related information.

Reel msa_scm13086 (begins here and ends here-a total of 898 images)

There may be  three or four shots of each map or part of a map, all of varying lighting.

Images 1-9: Title pages
Images 10-27: CFW (Carroll, Frederick, Washington) Key, “Location of patents issued
before the end of the year 1756.”
Images 28-39: Early Roads of Washington County
Images 40-101: “Washington County First One Hundred Surveys.” Detailed listing of the
surveyed land and grid maps of Washington County with the tracts mapped out.
Comparative drawings of Tracey’s maps with previous maps of the area.
Images 102-115: Maps/plats of Hagerstown
Images 116-215: “Map of Western Section Washington Co. Maryland Showing Original
Land Grants & Surveys.” Map and listing of Patent Names. Gridded maps of
tracts. “Sheet” numbers listed, but they do not seem to match with what is on the
Images 216-257: Typed Lists/Histories:
IMG 216: File B-8, ENV #4: “Indian References Washington Co.,” Shenandoah
Valley Pioneers Cartmell, Ferries,”
IMG 221: File C-8, Envelope #4: “CFW Roads, Ferries, Fords, Etc., as taken
from the Old Frederick County Court Records,”
IMG 240: File C-8, ENV #4: Prince George and Frederick County Rent Rolls
IMG 251: File C-8, ENV #4: “History of Frederick County—Williams”
IMG 254: File B-8, ENV #4: “Copy of the History of the Lemen Family in the
Hands of Mrs. Mish”
IMG 255: File B-8, ENV #4: “The Town of Maidstone and Watkins Ferry”
IMG 257: File B-8, ENV #3: “Early Mills of Washington County”
Images 257-854: Drawings and descriptions of tracts. These are the “sheets” referred to
in the index cards.
Images 855-893: Variety of maps showing waterways and their origins
Images 894-898: “Title” pages ending the reel

To use both reels of film now presented here as on-line images in an ebook format, the user should first look for the tract/patent of interest in the index cards on the first reel.  These index cards are hand written and are in alphabetical order by tract/patent name. They contain referencing coding related to the maps on the second reel of film which is explained below. When the maps on the second reel were filmed, they were captured a number of  times at different light settings to make them as legible as possible on the microfilm reader and reader printers of the day. That means that the ebook of map images may contain several images of each map. While the index card film was in fair condition, the map film had been heavily used prior to scanning and poorly filmed. The images reproduced here are the best that can be obtained from the surviving film.  If resources permit they will be replaced over time by scans of the originals.

Note that the jump script at the top of each of the ebook page can be used to move quickly around within the ebook, but not from ebook to ebook.

Dr. Tracey's tract index:



























Dr. Tracey, who began his work in 1943, used published topographical maps to which he added his own  grid/coordinate system to place the tracts described on his index cards.  Generally, his horizontal grid was numeric and his vertical grid was alphabetical.  For example this card:

Tracey: sample index card

provides the initial location (CFW_FF-56-57) on a master map for patents issued before 1756,  in what became Carroll, Frederick and Washington counties. The best image of  that map to locate this tract, Zachariah,  is here.  By following his hand drawn coordinates down the side and across the top of the map to where they intersect on the map, you find where Dr. Tracey thought the tract was located in Frederick County.  The tract tracings on the film, however, do not go up to sheet 757, but stop with sheet 550.  The film is hard to read and there are often three images of his overview maps taken at different light settings, but basically the film moves from the overview of three counties which is hand drawn  (the best images of which are linked  here and here) to the printed topographical maps with the same handdrawn grid system (the best images of which are linked here, here, and here), followed by an analysis of the early roads beginning here, his identification of the first 100 surveys in Washington County, and then detailed tract maps coordinated with his same hand drawn grid system keyed to county maps, followed by his tract plottings to scale for tracts.  For example:

This card refers to "CFW 0-31, WAS CO 5, Sheet  301"  the metes and bounds plotting of which is to be found here on the microfilm.

Dr. Tracey explained his index to tracts and his maps as follows:

Land patents of Carroll, Frederick and Washington counties - showing their location on the land - their adjoining tracts – the relationship one to another - plus other useful information concerning them.
prepared by
Dr. Arthur G. Tracey
Hampstead, Maryland.
The topographical maps of Carroll, Frederick and Washington Counties are divided into blocks one inch square – each square represents one square mile.

These maps are lettered down the side and numbered across the top - beginning with the Northwestern corner of Washington County. This is the key to the location of the several Land Patents as shown on each card. (examples: CFW C-3 = the Northwestern corner of Washington County CFW C 86-87 = the Northeastern corner of Carroll County).

In the files of the Land office [now the State Archives] at Annapolis are envelopes containing Certificates of Survey for the several Patents to land. These are filed under the name of each County as Counties were at the time the Survey was made. These files are indicated on the cards as : E.C.= Baltimore County, F.C.= Frederick County, P.G.= Prince George's County, and W.C.= Washington County.

The reel of film containing Dr. Tracey's maps also includes the following notation explaining that the maps were filmed in 1974:

Filmed from the records of the Carroll County Historical Society
By Paula Dickey, William Shoemaker, John Frye
December 10, 1974
Copies placed in the Washington County Court House
Washington County Free Library
Carroll County Historical Society