I didn’t think I had any connections to Maryland, but a quick search of events in my database proved me wrong. I do have some of my own connections, some very distant cousins that I know very little about.
And then I saw a name I didn’t recognize at all: Johann Diel Bohn. Who is the world is that? Turns out, it’s on my husband’s side, and perhaps Johann is hubby’s eighth great-grandfather. I say “perhaps” because this line was pretty much “borrowed” from a tree on Ancestry and I have not done any research on this family beyond hubby’s second great-grandmother, Eliza Ann Matilda Boone and her probable father Martin Alexander Boone.
Having never used any Maryland records before, I figured I’d look around and see what I could find for Johann. I thought that if I found something, it would either help me work down to hubby’s second great-grandmother, or if I ever do get back to Johann, some work would already be done.
All I knew from this Ancestry tree (which sourced other trees, ugh!), was the following:
Johann Diel Bohn, was born in 1711 in Obermoshel (should that be Obermoschel?), Germany and died before 5 April 1764 in Frederick County, Maryland. He married Anna Maria Dicker before 1741 in Germany. I only had one son (Johann Jacob) in my database, the line that apparently descends to my husband, but looking back at the online tree, there were other children.
I headed to FamilySearch to see if they had any records online for that time period. Boy was I in luck, early probate records. This was probably a good place to start since Johann’s death date was a “before” date, I figured that it was because the date was based on when his estate was probated.
After a little bit of searching, I managed to find two documents. The first was the administration account, which was dated 24 August 1766.
|Frederick County, Maryland, Administrators accounts, Book A1, 1750-1767, p. 378-379|
Then I found his will, dated 1 November 1761, apparently written before his “voyage to Germany.” It appears that it was filed(?, or recorded?) on 13 April 1764.
Frederick County, Maryland, Will Records, Book A1, 1744-1777, p. 209
I did not find an inventory, which is odd because it is referred to in the final account from the administrator. A look through the Probate Records, Colonial, Index, 1634-1777, which are digital images of the index cards through the Maryland State Archives website, shows there is at least one additional record, Balances of Final Distribution, which I assume is referring to the books held by the Prerogative Court.
And since duplicate records were kept by the county and the Prerogative Court, I’m not sure whether the county has them and they just weren’t filmed by FHL (they’re not digitized or filmed) or if the county lost or destroyed them. But the FHL does have the Prerogative Court “Balance Books of Estates After Payment to Heirs,” which I’m assuming is what the index card is referring to.
There is another index card labeled “Accounts,” and I assume this is the duplicate held by the Prerogative Court (makes sense since book 55 falls with in the year range). I gather that it is the duplicate of the the first record I discussed in this post.
And finally, there is an index card for the will. However, it does not refer to either the county will books or the Prerogative Court will books. Instead, it refers to a box and folder at the county level. Could this be the original will?
So this was a fun little jaunt into a state I’ve never researched and on a person who may or may not be hubby’s eighth great-grandfather. Certainly a learning experience nonetheless, so I can’t complain. Clearly more work needs to be done, but for now, I’m happy with what I’ve found and the start I’ve made. And if this Johann is in fact hubby’s ancestor and was from Germany, it’s nice to know that I’m not the only stubborn German in the household ;)