Mailing List:2002-02-27 01, Maine & Research, by Janice Whitaker

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Mailing List Archives > 2002-02-27 01, Maine & Research, by Janice Whitaker

From: janwhit -at- (Jan Whitaker) Subject: [WHITNEY-L] Maine & Research Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2002 10:18:16 -0400 Hi! I know that there were heated disputes with "The Great Proprietors", who were given large portions of Maine. Settlers wanted to own what they settled, having paid a high price for traveling in an oxcart from Massachusetts, breaking open paths through the woods, clearing land and "farming rocks" before they could grow food. Many died of TB and starvation. ...Most of those settlers were from Mass. and named their new towns for those they came from ..such as New Gloucester, New Marblehead etc..then there were the designations such as NORTH Yarmouth to eliminate confusion with Yarmouth, Cape Cod Mass. Maine men had representation in the General Court(Legislature) of Massachusetts before 1820..statehood. Many men marched back to Mass. to fight for Independence.. Maine still celebrates "Patriots Day", April 19th, with Massachussetts! So I would guess that for the most part Maine was happy with the connection for many years. There were no laws governing the keeping of vital records in Maine until 1892, except for a brief period(I think I remember correctly) around 1860. So you have to be innovative in finding information on folks up there. I have learned that Deeds and Wills are a "gold mine" of information as well as NEHGR's wonderful town records reprinted. The Maine Historical Society keeps many manuscripts, family bibles and papers that also have proven valuable... The Maine State Library is very helpful and will take calls and e-mails and gladly answer your questions. Don't hesitate to call or write to the Reference Librarians in Portland and Bangor Public Libraries, for example..they can help greatly with newspaper Obits, Births and Marriages. David Colby Young has done a great service in copying and publishing those records that are hard to find...check out the Maine GenWeb site for some of his works. If you want to learn more about early Maine, I recommend "Liberty Men and Great Proprietors" Alan Taylor; "Maine in the Making of the Nation 1783-1870" Elizabeth Ring; and "A Midwife's Tale" Laura Thatcher Ulrich. The latter is a wonderful diary of a woman living on the Kennebec River 1785-1812! Jan Whitaker, with deep roots in in exile in Massachusetts ! :-)

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