One of the most beautifully executed manuscript volumes in the Special Collections Research Center is a genealogy notebook compiled by Wilson Miles Cary (1838-1914). Cary, the grandnephew of Thomas Jefferson, was born in Harford County, Md. and later lived in Baltimore, Md. where he served as a court clerk and also pursued his genealogy interest.
The thick volume, compiled about 1900-1914, concerns the Cary family from the 16th century onward, and also contains information on the related branches of the Fairfax, Harrison, Randolph, Langhorne, and Jefferson families.
Wilson Miles Cary was meticulous and made very few mistakes. In some cases he made his entries on a separate sheet of paper which he then glued into the volume. He complemented his handwritten notes with newspaper clippings, some of which were added by someone else after his death. As can be seen on the accompanying image, Cary also possessed the skill to draw coats of arms. The book was clearly a labor of love for him.
While it is doubtful that Cary was able to provide new information on these well-researched families, the volume is a monument to penmanship!