WINNER OF THE SUMNER A. PARKER PRIZE for the best genealogical work concerning a Maryland family published in 2015. Awarded by the Maryland Historical Society. John F. Polk Jr. This book of the Polk / Pollock family traces the family of Robert and Magdalen Polke who came to Somerset County, Maryland, from Donegal, Ireland, about 1687, among the first Scotch-Irish settlers in colonial America. They settled in an area called (for good reason) Damned Quarter but now known more genteelly as Dames Quarter. Beyond Damned Quarter is a carefully researched account of the family’s initial struggle and ultimate success over its first three generations. Drawing from the original colonial records of the Maryland and Delaware State Archives much new information is introduced which changes some of the long-accepted beliefs about the family’s history. The book runs almost 400 pages and contains detailed accounts of the lives of Robert and Magdalen and their 10 children, with a 4 generation family tree. Also included are family genealogical letters written in the 1800s and an extensive compilation of actions from the Somerset Court records involving Polk/Pollock family members.