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Kent County Delaware ~ Prothonotaries ~ Recorders ~ Registers

The counties of New Castle and Sussex established the stocks and whipping-posts soon after the organization of their courts. The loss of all early records of Kent County, except those of register and recorder, reader it difficult to determine many things that were known to exist.

The first county records concerning stocks and whipping-post is in the account of Dr. Charles Bidgely, treasurer of Kent County.

It shows that John Vining had contributed five pounds for the erection of stocks and whipping-post and had paid to Samuel Johnson three pounds and ten shillings for building the stocks. Where they were located is not known. In 1793 the Levy Court had ordered the erection of whipping-post and pillory on the public square in front of the court-house, but the General Assembly, on the 14th of June in that same year by act ordered it erected on the court-house lot, east of the court-house or in some place the prothonotary thought best.

Civil List of Kent County
Prothonotaries1

Wm. Rodney, June 10, 1693
Benjamin Shurmer, 1702
Hugh Durburrow, Aug., 1735
John Houseman, April 7, 1736
Samuel Chew, 1738
Nicholas Ridgely, 1743
John Vining, Feb. 26, 1765
Samuel Chew, Nor. 21, 1770
James Sykes. March 8, 1777
James Sykes March 15, 1782
James Sykes April 4, 1787
Joseph Hale Oct. 1, 1798
Joseph Hale Oct. 1, 1798
John Hamin Oct. 3, 1803
Jonathan Pollen Jan 9, 1806
James Harper Sept. 2, 1807
Nathaniel Smithers, Dec. 22, 1810
Nathaniel Smithers, Dec 23, 1815
Joseph Smithers, Dec. 25, 1820
Joseph Smithers, Sept. 28, 1825
John H. Ecclestine, Aug. 24, 1830
John H. Ecclestine, Jan. 18, 1831
John H. Ecclestine, Jan. 18, 1837
Charles Kimmey, Jan. 18, 1843
Robert H. Moore, 1846
Samuel Biddle, Jan. 18, 1847
Alex. J. Taylor, Aug. 10, 1861
Richard N. Merriken, Oct. 13, 1856
Wm. Sharp, Oct 14, 1861
Benj. Donobo, Oct. 15, 1866
Wm. D. Fowler ....Oct., 1872
J. D. Burton Oct. 16, 1876
Joseph Burchenal, Oct. 17, 1881
Joseph Burchenal, Oct 18, 1886

Recorders

Wm. Rodney2, June 10, 1693
Benjamin Shurmer 1702
Hugh Durburrow, Aug. 5, 1736
John Houseman, April 7, 1736
John Vining, Dec. 6, 1764
Theodore Maurice, April 1, 1766
Cesar Rodney, 1764
Wm. Berry, 1776
Simon W. Wilson, 1780
Francis Many, 1790
Simon W. Wilson, Nov. 1, 1794
John Giton May 26, 1802
John Caton, Jan. 14, 1806
Wm. Russell, March 20, 1805
Mascal Clark, Feb. 2, 1811
Archibald McCall, June 7, 1813
John W. Boyer Jan. 28, 1814
John W. Manny, July 20, 1816
Charles Kimmey, Feb. 8, 1823
Henry M. Ridgely, March 1, 1833
Peter Adams Jan. 18, 1837
Wm. H. Cooper, Oct 3, 1838
Wm. H. Cooper, May 1, 1841
James B. Ralston, May 1, 1846
Warner M. Cowgill, Jan. 20, 1848
James Legg, Aug. 7, 1861
George M. Collier, Feb. 28, 1862
George E. Ralston, Feb. 29, 1868
George B. Dickson, Feb. 29, 1860
A, J. Wright, March, 1865
John Slay March 9, 1870
Andrew J. Wilson, March 9, 1876
John C. Gooden, March 9, 1880
Presley Spruance, March 9, 1886

Register of Wills

Benjamin Shurmer, 1702
Hugh Durburrow, Aug. 5, 1736
John Houseman, April 7, 1736
Theodore Maurice, Feb. 26, 1766
Caesar Rodney, May 26, 1766
Thomas Rodney, Oct., 1779
Francis Many, Oct. 4, 1788
Thomas White, Oct. 18, 1794
John Laws, Feb. 26, 1796
Isaac Davis, July 26, 1799
Thomas Commeford, Sept. 1804
N. Smithers, Apr. 9, 1806
James Harper, Dec. 22, 1810
John Clark, Nov. 27, 1816
Arthur Johns, Nov. 27, 1820
Wm. K. Lockwood, Mar. 6, 1828
Henry M. Ridgely, Mar. 13, 1833
Wm. H. I. Comegys-Mar. 13, 1833
Charles Polk, Mar. 18, 1843
John Roughley, Mar. 18, 1843
R. W. Reynolds, Mar. 15, 1853
Daniel O. Godwin, Mar. 16, 1858
James L. Heverin, Mar. 19, 1863
Moses Harrington, Mar. 20, 1868
John C. Pennewill, Mar. 23, 1872
John C. Pennewill, Mar. 22, 1878
J. Frank Wilds, Mar. 22, 1883
James L. Heverin, Jan. 22, 1888

Registers of Court of Chancery and Clerks of Orphans' Court

Joseph Hale, Jan. 18, 1794
Jonathan Pollen, Jan. 4, 1606
James Harper, Feb. 2, 1807
Wm. P. Russell, Dec. 22, 1810
Mascall Clark, Aug. 28, 1811
Archibald McCall, June 16, 1813
Nanthl. Smither Jr, Feb. 7, 1816
Joseph Harper, Feb. 7, 1821
Joseph L. Harper, Feb. 9, 1831
Foster Prickett, Nov. 6, 1836
Wm. K. Lockwood, Sept 24, 1838
James F. Allee, Sept 24, 1842
John A. Moore, Mar., 1848
John K. Jarvis, Mar., 1857
James F. Allee, Oct. 1857
W. H. J. Comegys, Oct, 1862
W. R. Cahoon, Sept., 1863
Alex. J. Taylor, Feb. 24, 1868
Henry Todd, Feb. 27, 1873
Henry Todd, Feb. 27, 1878
Wm. H. Hobson, Feb. 27, 1883

Footnotes:
1. The word prothonotary is recorded in English since 1447, as "principal clerk of a court," from L.L. prothonotarius (c. 400), from Greek protonotarios "first scribe," originally the chief of the college of recorders of the court of the Byzantine Empire, from Greek ?????? protos "first" + Latin notarius ("notary"); the -h- appeared in Medieval Latin. The title was awarded to certain high-ranking notaries. (Wikipedia)

2. He was appointed by Governor Benjamin Fletcher, who says, "to be my Deputy in the County of Kent and as such to enroll and record all such deeds and other wrightings that are fitt to be recorded in the said county, as also to be my Deputy Clerk of the Provincial courts in the said County."

Kent County

Source: History of Delaware, 1609-1888, Volume I, by J. Thomas Scharf, L. J. Richards & Company, Philadelphia, 1888.

 
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