Howard History

May 28, 2006

OLD-TIME REAL ESTATE

Ever suspect that buying real estate was simpler in the old days? Think again.

Colonial-era land purchases in Maryland involved a tangled series of legal arrangements, ranging from the "caution money" paid to Lord Baltimore's land agent as the purchase price, to the "patent" - or title - to the land itself.

In Howard County, the largest land grant was for Charles Carroll's 7,000-acre Doughoregan property. The smallest was patented by one Charles Welsh, on May 23, 1767. It was for a piece of land just one acre in size and was named, most appropriately, "Find It If You Can."

[Source: Howard County, a Pictorial History, Joetta M. Cramm]

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