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Maine Colonial Records

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Online Records[edit | edit source]

Many records from the colonial era in New England were kept at the town or county level. Search the catalog at the town or county level to locate those records.

History[edit | edit source]

The first settlement in Maine occurred in 1607 by the British, although permanent settlements were not found until the 1620s. Maine was originally part of the Popham Colony and later part of the Plymouth Colony. In 1639, the Province and County of Maine were charted, and in 1658 The Province of Maine was formed and the County of Yorkshire. In 1664, part of Northern Maine was granted to the Duke of York and Cornwall County was formed. In 1677, the "Georges Rights" of Maine were purchased by Massachusetts, and Maine was generally called York County. In 1716, Maine became York County in Massachusetts, and later the district of Maine before becoming a state in 1820.[1]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Because all of Maine was previously part of Massachusetts, court records are available in both Maine and Massachusetts.

  • Province and Court Records of Maine, (Portland: Maine Historical Society, 1928-75, fiche, 6046855).
  • York Deeds [1642-1737], 18 Vols., (Portland: John T. Hull, 1887-1910, fiche 6056839).
  • Suffolk County, Massachusetts Court Files, 1629-1797 by Suffolk County Massachusetts Court, film 0909879. Digital images online at FamilySearch. This collection contains records for Cumberland, Lincoln, Hancock, and Washington Counties in Maine, 1734-1797.
  • Maine Family Records: Miscellaneous Papers and Genealogies, (film 0010375 ff). Original records are located at the Maine Historical Society in Portland, Maine.
  • Maine Probate Abstracts by John E. Frost, 2 Vols., (Camden, ME: Picton Press, 1991, fiche 6332995).
  • Maine Wills, 1640-1760 by William M. Sargent, (1887, Reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1972, fiche 6046701).
  • Collections of the Maine Historical Society, (Portland: The Society, 1831-1906).

Maine Land Office[edit | edit source]

Original records are at the Maine State Archives in Augusta, Maine.

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Town and Church Records[edit | edit source]

In most New England towns, colonial records were kept at the town level. In order to find these records, search at the town level. Many of these records are kept locally at the town clerk's office, at the county clerk, or at the State Archives.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Christina K. Schaefer, Genealogical encyclopedia of the colonial Americas : a complete digest of the records of all the countries of the Western Hemisphere (Baltimore, Maryland : Genealogical Publishing Company, c1998), 227. WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 929.11812 D26 1998