These two indexes provide references and abstracts of records documenting land records, court transactions, and more records in Somerset and Worcester counties (including present-day Wicomico County) before 1870. The document includes two separate indexes, originally handwritten by John E. Jacob Jr. and transcribed by Jane Burt: the first arranged by location and the second by surname. The original indexes are found in the John Jacob Collection at the Nabb Research Center.
These 1745 and 1755 debt books for Worcester County, Maryland were transcribed and compiled by Jane Yantis from microfilm roll MSA SR7944.
According to Skinner's 2016 abstracts, "The Provincial Land Office of Maryland was responsible for distributing land from 1634 to 1777 on behalf of the Lord Proprietor. The Lord Proprietor’s rent rolls and the debt books, the means by which the Lord Proprietor kept track of the rents due him, both commence in 1715 (though some are no longer extant). The surviving rent rolls consist of entries for each tract of land patented, the name of the person for whom the land was originally surveyed, the present owner, acreage, and rent. Alienations, or subsequent sales and leases of the piece of land, are also included. The debt books’ great value is that they enable the researcher to track land ownership over various years in cases of intestate estates, land inherited by women, and land that is not specified in a will."