This collection consists of volumes of surveys for Baltimore County and Baltimore City either compiled by or collected by the Bouldin family. These records were in the possession of Augustus Bouldin's daughters according to Baltimore Sun article of June 9, 1912 and were given to the municipal government at an unknown date.
There is no secondary account of any value of the Bouldin family. The family consisted of a long-line of engineers and surveyors dating back to mid-seventeenth century Maryland. Jehu Bouldin set up a surveying firm in Baltimore in 1790 which passed to his son, Alexander J. Bouldin, and grandson, Augustus Bouldin. The company ceased in 1912 shortly after the death of Augustus. This surveying and engineering firm was often employed by the Baltimore municipal government in the nineteenth-century; Jehu Bouldin assisted Thomas Poppleton in 1816-1822 in an important survey of the city.
A portion of the collection covers the years 1659-1832 and generally represents the work of the Baltimore County deputy surveyors and surveyors. The land system in Maryland was formed in 1641 with the appointment of a surveyor general and, starting in 1661, the appointment of deputy surveyors for each county. Whether these records are complete copies of work of the deputy surveyors or selected copies to facilitate the projects of the Bouldins is difficult to determine. Several of the volumes are clearly marked as being the work of Baltimore County surveyors William Smith, 1764-1768; George G. Presbury, 1782-1790; and Thomas Gist, 1790-1804. Researchers desiring more information on the land system of early Maryland should consult Newton D. Mereness, Maryland as a Proprietary Province (New York: Macmillian Company, 1901); Elizabeth Hartsook and Gust Skordas, Land Office and Prerogative Court Records of Colonial Maryland, Publications of the Hall of Records Commission, No. 4 (Annapolis: Hall of Records Commission, 1946); and Donnell MacClure Owings, His Lordship's Patronage: Offices of Profit in Colonial Maryland, Studies in Maryland History, No. 1 (Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 1953).
Boxes 6-11, 15 contain estate surveys done by the Bouldins, ca. 1830-1880, for residents of both Baltimore County and City. These records include copies of estate inventories, plats, and other legal documents. Box 12 and 13 contain ejectment plats and certificates for property claims which Alexander and Augustus Bouldin researched; a handwritten index to these plats, purchased from the Bouldins by the municipal government, is included at the beginning of box 12. The remainder of the collection (part of box 13 and 14) consists of papers relating to Mounteney's Neck and Todd's Range, 1782-1846. These materials include copies of deeds, leases, land grants, patents for land and record extracts, correspondence, and arbitration bonds.
A complete container listing is available at the Baltimore City Archives.