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Cornwall County, New York Genealogy

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United States  Gotoarrow.png  Maine  Gotoarrow.png  Cornwall

Cornwall County was a creation of New York, starting in 1665 on land granted to the Duke of York mostly in present-day Maine. The county reached from the St. Lawrence River to the Atlantic Ocean between the Kennebec and St. Croix rivers. This area today is most of Aroostook, Piscataquis, Washington, Hancock, Penobscot, Waldo, Knox, Lincoln, Kennebec, Somerset, and Sagadahoc Counties, and part of Quebec.[1] This area was also claimed for awhile by Massachusetts.

History[edit | edit source]

  • formed in 1664 from the Colonial Lands.
  • A Gazetteer of the State of Maine, by George J. Varney:
    • York County, formed the south-western portion of the State, grew into its present name and form by degrees, and during a long period. Its beginning may be considered to have been the establishment of the government of the Province of Maine in 1640, by the proprietor, Sir Ferdinando Gorges.
    • The limits of this province extended from the Piscataqua River to the Kennebec. The province soon came to be considered as two districts, first spoken of as the East and West districts, or counties, of which the Kennebunk River was regarded as the dividing line.
    • The town of York being the shire town of the western section, that portion gradually came to be called York district, or county, the other being call Somerset, or New Somerset.
    • The Kennebunk River also proved to be the western boundary of the temporary Province of Lygonia.
    • In 1652, Maine came under the control of Massachusetts, and the Isles of Shoals and all the territory northward of Piscataqua River to the White Mountains, and thence eastward to Penobscot Bay, were included in the re-named and extended juristiction of Yorkshire. All this was overturned by the King's commissioners in 1664, who revived the divisions as established by Georges, and formed the territory east of the Kennebec into the county of Cornwall.
    • In 1667, however Massachusetts purchased the Province of Maine of Georges' heirs; and again Yorkshire was extended westward as far as the Kennebec.
    • In 1716, the General Court ordered the extension of Yorkshire, as to include all the settlements eastward; and accordingly Penobscot Bay became again the eastern boundary.
    • In 1735, courts were ordered to be held at York and Falmouth, and the county received its present name.
    • The establishment in 1760 of the new county of Cumberland, gave York County its present boundary on that side.
    • In 1805, Oxford was formed when York County firs assumed its present limits.
  • Under Treaty of Breda, half of Cornwall went to France and half went to Massachusetts, according to Maine History, Louis Clinton Hatch, Ph.d, 1919, The American Historical Society, page 16.

Sources[edit | edit source]

  1. Williamson, William D. History of the State of Maine, from its First Discovery, A.D. 1602, to the Separation, A.D. 1820, Inclusive. 2 vols.; Hallowell, Maine; 1832. Vol 1; P.421.