View all series for REGISTER OF WILLS
The office of Register of Wills was provided for in the first Maryland Constitution (1776) which abolished the Prerogative Court. The register received his commission from the Governor. This was a lifetime appointment, as the register could only lose his commision due to "misbehavior, [or] on conviction in a Court of Law." (Maryland Constitution of 1776, article 40) The Register of Wills became an elective office under the Constitution of 1851, and served for a term of six years. (Maryland Constitution of 1851, article IV section 18) In 1922, a constitutional amendment provided for quadrennial elections. (1922 Laws of Maryland Chapter 227) An introduction to the surviving records of the Registers of Wills and where they were stored until transferred to the custody of the State Archives is be found in the on line volumes of the Archives of Maryland, 545 and 546, The County Courthouses and Records of Maryland ... and the histories and inventories prepared by the Historical Records Survey. As time and resources permit, the Archives is compiling the biographies of all public officials, including the Registers. What has been completed to date is listed in the agency history.
In some cases, the Archives has inventories of records still in the custody of the creating agencies available in MSA S1941.