Penobscot County, Maine Genealogy

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Guide to Penobscot County, Maine ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Bangor
Organized: February 15, 1816
Parent County(s): Hancock
Neighboring Counties
Waldo  • Somerset  • Piscataquis  • Aroostook  • Washington  • Hancock  •
See County Maps
Courthouse
Maine, Penobscot County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Me-penobscot.png
Adoption

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Penobscot County was named for the Penobscot tribe. The county is located in the central area of the state.[1]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Penobscot County Courthouse
78 Exchange Street
Bangor, ME 04401
Phone: 207-561-2300
Penobscot County Website

Clerk Courts have divorce records from 1900 and court records from 1821. Probate Court has probate records.

Penobscot County, Maine Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1892 1892 1892 1816 1814 1816 1790
*Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1892. General compliance year unknown.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

MaineAroostook CountyPiscataquis CountyPenobscot CountyWashington CountySomerset CountyHancock CountyWaldo CountyPenobscot Indian Island ReservationTownship 8 R8Township 8 R7Township 8 R6Township 7 R8Township 7 R7Township 7 R6Township 6 R8Township 6 R7Township 6 R6Township 5 R8Township 5 R7Mount ChaseTownship 4 R8Township 4 R7PattenTownship 3 R8Township 3 R7StacyvilleTownship 2 R8Soldiertown TownshipHerseytown TownshipTownship 1 R8Grindstone TownshipTownship 1 R6Township 4 Indian PurchaseVeazie GoreTownship 3 Indian PurchaseMillinocketEast MillinocketMedwayLong A TownshipHopkins Academy GrantTownship A R7Township 3 R9Township 2 R9WoodvilleMattawamkeagKingman TownshipDrew PlantationSeboeis PlantationTownship 2 R8ChesterWinnWebster PlantationPrentiss TownshipMaxfieldHowlandMattamiscontis TownshipEnfieldLincolnLeeSpringfieldCarroll PlantationLagrangeEdinburgPassadumkeagLowellBurllingtonTwombly TownshipLakevilleWhitney TownshipDexterGarlandCharlestonBradfordCorinnaExeterCorinthHudsonAltonArgyle TownshipGreenbushSummit TownshipGrand Falls TownshipGreenfield TownshipMilfordIndian Island ReservationOld TownNewportStetsonLevantKenduskeagGlenburnOronoBradleyCliftonEddingtonHoldenPlymouthEtnaCarmelHermonBangorVeazieBrewerDixmontNewburghHampdenOrringtonTownship 9 R8Township 9 R7Oxbow (Plantation)Swett FarmTownship 9 R4Township 9 R3Township D R2BridgewaterTownship 8 R5Saint Croix TownshipTownship 8 R3Township C R2MonticelloTownship 7 R5Webbertown TownshipDudley TownshipHammondLittletonMoro (Plantation)MerrillSmyrnaLudlowNew LimerickHoultonHerseyDyer BrookOakfieldLinneusHodgdonCrystalIsland FallsTownship 4 R3Letter A R2 TownshipCary (Plantation)ShermanTownship 3 R4Bragg TownshipForkstown TownshipAmityBenedicta TownshipSilver Ridge TownshipTownship 2 R4Glenwood (Plantation)HaynesvilleOrientTownship 1 R5Upper Molunkus TownshipNorth Yarmouth Academy Grant TownshipReed Plantation (aka Wytopitlock)Molunkus TownshipMacwahoc (Plantation)BancroftWestonTownship 8 R4 NDanforthTownship 8 R3NKossuth TownshipTownship 6 R1NSakom TownshipTownship 6 NDTownship 42 MDTownship 43 MDTownship 36 MDTownship 30 MDDevereaux TownshipBedingtonTownship 24 MDDebloisTownship 18 MDOqiton TownshipTownship 3 NDTownship 41 MDTownship 40 MDTownship 39 MDTownship 35 MDTownship 34 MDGreat PondTownship 32 MDAmherstAuroraNumber 28 MD TownshipTownship 22 MDOsbornMariavilleWalthamEastbrookTownship 16 MDOtisDedhamEllsworthBucksportOrlandWinterportFrankfortMonroeJacksonThorndikeTroyUnityBurnhamBentonUnity TownshipClintonDetroitPittsfieldPalmyraSaint AlbansRipleyCambridgeOrneville TownshipAtkinsonMedfordMiloSebecDover-FoxcroftSangervilleParkmanGuilfordAbbotMonsonWillimanticBowerbankBarnard TownshipWilliamsburg TownshipBrownvilleLake View PlantationTownship 4 R9EbeemeeKatahdin Iron Works TownshipTownship 7 R9Elliottsville TownshipBowdoin College Grant W. TownshipBowdoin College Grant E. TownshipTownship B R11Township B R10Beaver CoveLily Bay TownshipFrenchtown TownshipShawtown TownshipTownship A R11Township A R10Ambejejus LakeTownship 1 R10Township 1 R11Township 1 R12Township 1 R13Spencer Bay TownshipTownship X R14Township 2 R13Township 2 R12Rainbow TownshipTownship 2 R10Township 2 R9Lobster TownshipTownship 3 R13Township 3 R12Township 3 R11Township 3 R10Mount Katahdin TownshipTownship 4 R9Township 4 R10Township 4 R11Township 4 R12Township 4 R13Chesuncook TownshipTownship 5 R12Township 5 R11Nesourdnahunk TownshipTownship 5 R9Trout Brook TownshipTownship 6 R10Township 6 R11Township 6 R12Township 6 R13Township 7 R13Township 7 R12Township 7 R11Township 7 R10Township 7 R9Township 8 R9Township 8 R10Township 8 R11Soper Mountain TownshipEagle Lake TownshipTownship 9 R13Township 9 R12Township 9 R11Township 9 R10Township 9 R9
Modern town borders in Penobscot County, Maine. Towns with records are named in black. Unincorporated green places usually lack records.


For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit Hometown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this census area:[5]

Cities
Towns
Unincorporated communities
Native American communities
Census-designated places
Unorganized territories

Listed from southeast to northwest. NBPP

  • North Penobscot
    • Mattamiscontis (Township 1 R7 NWP)
    • Township 2 R8 NWP
    • Township 2 R9 NWP
    • Township 3 R9 NWP
    • Township A R7 WELS
    • Hopkins Academy Grant
    • Long A (Township A R8 and 9 WELS)
    • Township 3 Indian Purchase
    • Township 4 Indian Purchase
    • Veazie Gore
    • Township 1 R6 WELS
    • Grindstone (Township 1 R7 WELS)
    • Township 1 R8 WELS
    • Herseytown (Township 2 R6 WELS)
    • Soldiertown (Township 2 R7 WELS)
    • Township 2 R8 WELS
    • Township 3 R7 WELS
  • North Penobscot (continued)
    • Township 3 R8 WELS
    • Township 4 R7 WELS
    • Township 4 R8 WELS
    • Township 5 R7 WELS (Upper Shin Pond)
    • Twp 5 R8 WELS (Whitney Ridge Plantation)
    • Township 6 R6 WELS (Lower Shin Pond)
    • Township 6 R7 WELS
    • Township 6 R8 WELS
    • Township 7 R6 WELS
    • Township 7 R7 WELS
    • Township 7 R8 WELS
    • Township 8 R6 WELS
    • Township 8 R7 WELS
    • Township 8 R8 WELS

Plantations[6]
Carroll Plantation | Drew Plantation | Seboeis Plantation | Webster Plantation

Extinct towns and plantations[7]
Argyle | Grand Falls Plantation | Greenfield | Kingman | Mattamiscontis | Prentiss | Summit Plantation | Twombly Ridge | Whitney Ridge Plantation [8]

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Occupations

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Penobscot County, Maine online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Maine Cemeteries for more information.

 

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1820 13,870
1830 31,530 127.3%
1840 45,705 45.0%
1850 63,089 38.0%
1860 72,731 15.3%
1870 75,150 3.3%
1880 70,476 −6.2%
1890 72,865 3.4%
1900 76,246 4.6%
1910 85,285 11.9%
1920 87,684 2.8%
1930 92,379 5.4%
1940 97,104 5.1%
1950 108,198 11.4%
1960 126,346 16.8%
1970 125,393 −0.8%
1980 137,015 9.3%
1990 146,601 7.0%
2000 144,919 −1.1%
2010 153,923 6.2%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Maine denominations, view the Maine Church Records wiki page.

Few church records have been published or microfilmed for Maine, making them a major untapped source for genealogical research. No complete survey of what exists has been made, but the Congregational Church was the largest denomination and its records were usually quite comprehensive. According to John Frost, “Genealogy in Maine: A Pragmatic Approach,” Family History in the Northeast, vol. 1, Hartford ’83 Conference (Hartford, Conn.: Connecticut Society of Genealogists, 1983) records for over two dozen Congregational churches are located at Maine Historical Society, as well as thirteen Baptist, three Universalist, and ten Quaker meetings.

Literally hundreds more church records probably exist in various repositories or the churches themselves. The most likely genealogical material can be found in the lists of memberships with letters of admission or dismissal and the baptisms.

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Online Court Indexes and Records

An extensive array of courts has existed in Maine since the beginning of the settlements in the early 1600s. Jurisdictional changes are quite complicated. A detailed publication of the early records can be found in Province and Court Records of Maine, 6 vols. (Portland, Maine: Maine Historical Society, 1928), as well as on microfilm through the FHL. All of the original court records for York County are at Maine State Archives. Counties formed from York after 1760 (Cumberland and Lincoln) and 1789 (Washington) from York were also under Massachusetts jurisdiction, although these records appear not to have been microfilmed. Most extant court records to 1929 for all counties except Lincoln can be found at the Maine State Archives. Later court records after 1929 continue to be received by the archives. Lincoln County court records are at the courthouse in Wiscasset.

Before statehood, Maine’s court of appeals was the Massachusetts Superior Court of Judicature (1692–1780). This also served as the original court for some other cases such as murders. Records for this court are filled as “Suffolk Files” at the Massachusetts State Archives where they are indexed. The supreme judicial court replaced the superior court of judicature after 1780. According to the Massachusetts State Archives, their holdings include circuit court records for this court for Maine counties through 1793.
Online access to some private held indexes to court records can be found through Maine GenWeb

Penobscot County Superior Courthouse
Penobscot County District Court - Bangor
County District Court - Lincoln
Penobscot County District Court - Millinocket
Penobscot County District Court - Newport

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents. See Maine Land and Property for databases, early land grants to individuals, and more information.

Online Land Indexes and Records
Maine is a state-land state. Lands were generally acquired by proprietor grants, deeds from proprietors, or deeds from other individuals. Land transactions are recorded at the county level and are available in the county deed office.
PENOBSCOT COUNTY REGISTRY OF DEEDS ($) (note that many deeds are also online)

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Penobscot County. They may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information, see Maine Local Histories.

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Maine denominations, view the Maine Church Records wiki page.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Somerset CountyAroostook CountyPiscataquis CountyPenobscot CountyWashington CountyWaldo CountyHancock CountyME Penobscot.jpg
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


• One superb map can be extensively used for research and traveling, detailing town divisions, geographical details, road surface types, routes of transportation, and locations of cemeteries. This map is the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer, which is published in updated versions by DeLorme Publishing of Freeport, Maine.
• A bicentennial project edited by Gerald E. Morris entitled The Maine Bicentennial Atlas: an Historical Survey (Portland: Maine Historical Society, 1976) is a superb composite of historical maps from the earliest grants and charters to the present. Railroad, lumbering, mining, recreation, population changes, court regions, and election districts illustrate the depth of this resource for genealogical purposes.
• Atwood’s Length and Breadth of Maine includes helpful maps of towns. Maine State Archives has a computerized index of its fine map collection for Maine after statehood, but it is the Massachusetts State Archives that holds the important plotting maps for the pre-statehood development of Maine. Included in many of the maps are location of residences and names of owners.
• Saco Valley Publishing, 76 Main St., Fryeburg, ME 04037, has been reprinting excellent county editions of nineteenth-century maps indicating occupants’ names for each structure.

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

For service in wars before statehood, refer to Massachusetts. However, a few printed sources have attempted to extract Maine soldiers from the Massachusetts holdings, notably Charles J. House's Names of Soldiers of the American Revolution who Applied for State Bounty...in Land Office (1893; reprint; Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1967); Charles A. Flagg's An Alphabetical Index of Revolutionary Pensioners Living in Maine (1920; reprint; Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1967); and Carleton and Sue Fisher's Soldiers, Sailors and Patriots of the Revolutionary War Maine (Louisville, Ky.: National Society Sons of the American Revolution, 1982).
• The Maine State Archives has a card index of each Civil War soldier and grave records for Revolutionary, Civil War, and War of 1812 soldiers as well as service records through World War I. More recent records can be found at the Bureau of Veterans Services, State House Station no. 117, Augusta, Maine 04333.
• The adjutant general's holdings for Maine, which include militia on state service in wars, state yearly published reports on Civil War soldiers. World War I and II reports are held at the Maine State Archives. The Spanish-American War service records are held but not published.
• For further information, consult: Neagles, James C. U.S. Military Records: A Guide to Federal and State Sources. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1994.

Revolutionary War

Civil War

Civil War service men in Penobscot County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (part of a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in this county:

- 1st Regiment, Maine Cavalry
- 2nd Regiment, Maine Infantry, Companies A, C, E, F, G and K.

World War I

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Online Probate Indexes and Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Maine tax records complement land records and can be used to supplement the years between censuses. There may be gaps of several years in the records. For databases and more information, see Maine Taxation

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

In Maine, vital records are kept by town clerks or selectmen. Although some towns have existed since the 1650s, most vital records date from about 1700. The vital statistics are often arranged by family. For more information, see the Wiki page for the town and the Wiki page, Maine Vital Records.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

How to Order Original Vital Records
Vital records are also kept by town clerks or selectmen. Although some towns have existed since the 1650s, most vital records date from about 1700. The vital statistics are often arranged by family.
Before 1892, records of births, marriages, and deaths were kept by the towns and cities of Maine. Some municipalities kept good records, some kept no records, and some kept adequate records only to have them lost to fire, flood, or storage in private homes. The information on these municipal records is in most cases sparser than found on more modern records. Marriages and deaths, for example, rarely listed parents' names or the parties' places of birth. When, in the 1920's, the State requested copies of pre-1892 vital records from the towns, only about 80 towns responded (these records are available at the Maine State Archives).The Maine State Archives holds original vitals from 1892-1922 and microfilmed records from 1922-1955 including a bride’s index (1892-present), groom’s index (1956-present) and a death index (1955-present).

To contact staff for questions regarding their holdings, email the Research Room or by phone at 207-287-5790, Fax: 207- 287-5517. Online indexes are available for marriages (1892-1996, excluding 1967-1976) and deaths (1960-96). Maine State Archives is the state’s official repository for state governmental records, beginning with 1639 court records and including many war and genealogical records for the state. In addition it holds all census records, adjutant general’s records, most court records, Maine land office records, a few county marriage returns, and the updated microfilm collection of extant Maine town records. Researchers will find the Maine Historical Records Repository Guide on the Maine State Archives website.

  • Maine Department of Human Services
    Office of Data Research and Vital Statistics
    220 Capital Street
    11 State House Station
    Augusta, ME 04333
    Telephone: (207) 287-3181
    Toll Free: 1-888-664-9491

The Vital Records Unit located at 244 Water Street in Augusta, is available to take walk in requests.
There is a 24 hour turnaround time for all requests made in person. You will be given a choice to have your records mailed to you, or you can pick them up the following business day.

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

  • Bangor Public Library
    145 Harlow Street
    Bangor, Maine 04401-4903
    (207) 947-8336, ext. 106
    reference@bpl.lib.me.us
  • Maine State Library
    State House Station 64
    Augusta, ME 04333
    www.state.me.us/msl
Located at the Maine Cultural Center. The east wing of the building houses the Maine State Library, which has the largest collection of town histories and family genealogies in the state, microfilm holdings of newspapers, town reports after 1902, and the two collections of cemetery indexes.

  • Maine Historical Society Library
    485 Congress Street
    Portland, ME 04101
    www.mainehistory.org
Open to nonmembers for a nominal fee, this superior col-lection includes extensive printed works on state and family history, and manuscripts (see Maine Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections). Its website includes access to an ongoing, online genealogical discussion forum to post and retrieve queries.

  • Penobscot County Libraries
    Bradford - John B. Curtis Free Public Library
    435 Main Rd
    Bradford, ME 44103
    Phone: (207) 327-2939

  • Brewer Public Library
    100 South Main Street
    Brewer, ME 44122
    Phone: (207) 989-7943

  • Carmel - Simpson Memorial Library
    8 Plymouth Road
    Carmel, ME 44190
    Phone: (207) 848-7145

  • Charleston Public Library
    Main Road
    Charleston, ME 44229
    Phone: (207) 285-3680

  • Corinna - Stewart Free Library
    8 Levi Stewart Drive
    Corinna, ME 49289
    Phone: (207) 278-2454

  • Corinth - Atkins Memorial Library
    360 Main Street
    Corinth, ME 44273
    Phone: (207) 285-7226

  • Dexter - Abbott Memorial Library
    1 Church Street
    Dexter, ME 49301
    Phone: (207) 924-7292

  • East Millinocket Public Library
    53 Main Street
    East Millinocket, ME 44301
    Phone: (207) 746-3554

  • Enfield - Cole Memorial Library
    789 Hammett Road
    Enfield, ME 44934
    Phone: (207) 732-4270

  • Garland - Lyndon Oak Memorial Library
    Main Road
    Garland, ME 49399

  • Glenburn Library
    991 Hudson Road
    Glenburn, ME 44011
    Phone: (207) 942-9897

  • Hampden - Edythe Dyer Community Library
    269 Main Road North
    Hampden, ME 44441
    Phone: (207) 862-3550

  • Howland - Thomas Free Library
    8 Main Street
    Howland, ME 44480

  • Lincoln Memorial Library
    21 West Broadway
    Lincoln, ME 44571
    Phone: (207) 794-2765

  • Mattawamkeag Public Library
    Main Street
    Mattawamkeag, ME 44590
    Phone: (207) 736-7013

  • Millinocket Memorial Library
    5 Maine Avenue
    Millinocket, ME 44621
    Phone: (207) 723-7020

  • Newport Public Library
    145 Main Street
    Newport, ME 49531
    Phone: (207) 368-5074

  • Old Town Public Library
    46 Middle Street
    Old Town, ME 44681
    Phone: (207) 827-3972

  • Orono Public Library
    16 Goodridge Drive
    Orono, ME 44734
    Phone: (207) 866-5060

  • Orrington Public Library
    15 School Street
    Orrington, ME 44743
    Phone: (207) 825-4938

  • Patten - Veterans Memorial Library
    30 Main Street
    Patten, ME 47650
    Phone: (207) 528-2164

  • Stetson Public Library
    70 Village Road
    Stetson, ME 44880
    Phone: (207) 296-2020

  • Kenduskeag - Case Memorial Library
    911 Stetson Road
    Kenduskeag, ME 44500
    Phone: (207) 884-8598

  • Levant Heritage Library
    3519 Union Street
    Levant, ME 44560
    Phone: (207) 884-8988

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Penobscot County Genealogical Society
Website

Websites[edit | edit source]

  • FamilySearch Catalog – The FamilySearch catalog contains descriptions and access information for all genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) in their collection.  Use Historical Records to search for specific individuals in genealogical records.

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Penobscot County, Maine" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penobscot_County,_Maine."
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Penobscot County, Maine. Page 304-305 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 275.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists, 181.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Massachusetts.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Penobscot County, Maine," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penobscot_County,_Maine, accessed 22 July 2019.
  6. For further details see Maine Plantations
  7. Before an extinct town (or plantation) was discontinued, it created official town records of interest to genealogists. For preservation these records were usually turned over to a nearby functioning town in the same county.
  8. Michael J. Leclerc, Genealogist's Handbook for New England Research, 5th ed. (Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2012), 109. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974 D27g 2012.