As many of you know, Family Search publishes online scans of original documents such as wills and probate record books. Some of those original volumes contain at least a partial index in the front or back. You must look at each book to discover if you are lucky enough to find one with an index, and further, whether the surviving pages contain names you seek.
I recently discovered that the Caroline County, Maryland Administration Accounts Books available on Family Search do not have any such index. Finding anything related to my ancestors meant I had to page through every image. I felt like I was back in front of a microfilm reader scrolling, scrolling, and scrolling, forever.
Knowing that I would never know every name to capture on the first run through the volume, I decided to make an index. Then, I could come back later and pick up people I had missed the first or second time through the record.
There are seven volumes of Admin Accounts from 1703-1850. Initially, I completed an index for the volumes for 1790-1805 and 1805-1817. I asked the Upper Shore Genealogical Society of Maryland (USGSMD) to publish them on their website free of charge to all interested parties, and they have gladly complied. Here is a link … http://usgsmd.org/research-links.html#wills
I recently finished the index for 1703-1776 and have sent it to USGSMD. I expect them to post it soon. Most of this particular record, of course, is for Dorchester County, prior to the formation of Caroline. By the way, this record contains data not included in the books previously indexed. Many of these accounts indicate surviving children of the deceased, sometimes noting those of age and those who are minors. If your ancestor did not leave a will, an administration account containing children’s names might be the only direct evidence available of those relationships. You will want to check out the result to see if you are among the lucky ones!
Once you have found a name in the index at usgsmd.org you will need to find that item at Family Search. This link goes straight to the page in Family Search containing the Administration Accounts (and many other records) https://www.familysearch.org/search/image/index?owc=SNYC-K68%3A146535101%3Fcc%3D1803986
However, the link may not work unless you are already signed in to your (free) account at Family Search. Therefore, here is the step-by-step approach.
1) Login to Family Search. If you do not have an account, create one for free.
2) Select “Search” and then “Records” from the pull down menu.
3) At the Research By Location page, click on the US map and select “Maryland.”
4) On the Maryland Research Page scroll below the section titled Indexed Records to “Image-Only Historical Records.”
5) Scroll down to the fourth subsection, “Probate and Court.”
6) In that subsection, click on “Maryland Register of Wills Records, 1629-1999.”
7) When the next page comes up, click on “Browse through 1,933,787 images.” Browsing through 2 million records really sounds like fun doesn’t it? Don’t worry … press on.
8) Select “Caroline.”
The next page will display all the available records including the seven volumes of Administration Accounts from 1703-1850. Unfortunately, the records from 1776-1790 are missing.
Again, the indices for the first, second, and third volumes are available at Upper Shore Genealogical Society of Maryland. I will get to the other four in due time.