In many biographies of Maryland immigrant Ninian Beall, you will read that, on the losing Scot side, he was taken prisoner by the English at the Battle of Dunbar, and sent to Maryland, perhaps via Ireland or Barbados, as a prisoner of War. No documentation has been found to confirm this very prevalent story.
Several sites on the internet illustrate how important review of an original source can be, for they contain this quotation:
"Then came Ninian Beall of Calvert County, planter, and proved his right to 50 acres of land for his time in service, as military prisoner, performed with Richard Hall of said county. This servitude which came to him through the fortunes of war was an Honor." (From Liber 2, Folio 195, Maryland Land Office, Jan. 16, 1957)
Obviously, if the quotation came directly from the land record that is quoted, it would be some strong evidence that the story about the Battle of Dunbar is plausible. But what does the Land Office record actually say? The way this quote is worded, it sounds very much like someone writing about, rather than quoting, the land record-- and interjecting into it things that they imagined to be true.
Does anyone have access to the actual land office records? I believe this calls for an inquiry with the Archives of Maryland, but if they already exist on microfilm, say at a Family History Center library, that someone has access to?
I don't believe in the necessity of looking up an original record for every single fact, but once a question has been raised and a controversy generated, then it becomes critical to establish what the facts actually were -- or weren't!