The Maryland State Archives in Annapolis, Maryland has a treasure trove of historical documents on the Gaither family. Fortunately for genealogists, Maryland claims to have digitized more documents than any other state, and many gems on the Gaither family can be found on line.
Maryland’s State Archives’ Internet address is www.msa.maryland.gov, and the homepage provides an overview of its contents. Two particular sites that are especially helpful for conducting research are: 1) Archives of Maryland Online www.aomol.msa.maryland.gov, which contains a variety of records, including probate, judicial, and military records; and, 2) www.mdlandrec.net, which contains digitized land deeds back to the 1600s.
You won’t be disappointed in what you’ll find on these sites. To whet your appetite check out Volume 10, pages 194-195 (beginning at the bottom of p. 194). It is the record, often referenced, in which: “Letters of administration were issued to widow Mary on John Geather’s estate, 24 November 1652.” As a researcher, it’s exciting to have the source of that oft-quoted synopsis, and to read the entire court entry, which is as follows:
“In the name of the Keepers of the liberties of England under authority of Parliament and according to the power by the Right Honorable Cecilius Lord Baron of Baltimore Lord Proprietary of this Province of Maryland given unto me Thomas Hatton Gentleman his said Lordships Secretary here in that behalf, I do hereby grant and commit unto you Mary Geather the widow and relict of John Geather late of the County of Anne Arundel in the said Province of Maryland, deceased, the Administration of all the rights debts goods and chattels within this province heretofore of your late husband deceased charging and requiring you the said Mary by virtue of your oath in that behalf that you cause a true and perfect inventory of all the said rights debts goods and chattles so far as you may to be made in the presence and by the discretion of two able persons to be approved of and sworn by the Commander or one of the Commissioners for the said county of Anne Arundel with the just value of the said goods and estate according to the appraisement of the said persons as aforesaid, and that you exhibit the same inventory into the Secretary’s Office for this Province by the first day of May next, if you may, unless further time be given you by the said Secretary, and that you pay all and only the just debts of the said decedent according to law as near as you may, and that you keep and make a true and perfect account of this your Administration, so far as you may, when you shall be thereunto required by the Governor and Council of this Province or other Judge thereunto lawfully authorized within this Province for the time being. Given at St. Maries under the Great Seal of this Province of Maryland the four and twentieth day of November in the year of our Lord 1652. Signed, Thomas Hatton, Secretary.”
Source: Judicial and Testamentary Business of the Provincial Court 1649/50-1657,” Liber B, p. 344, 24 November 1652, as provided by the Archives of Maryland Online, www.aomol.msa.maryland.gov, Volume 10, pp. 194-195.