Maine, Washington County Courthouse Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Maine, Washington County Courthose Records, 1785-1950 .
- 1 Collection Time Period
- 2 Record Description
- 3 How to Use the Record
- 4 Related Websites
- 5 Related Wiki Articles
- 6 Contributions to This Article
- 7 Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
Collection Time Period
The collection covers the years 1785 to 1950.
The collection consists of records and indexes from the Washington County Courthouse. It includes the following types of records:
- Census (1850-1870)
- Probate (1785-1950)
- Military (1785-1869)
- Naturalization (1785-1950)
County officials began keeping records from the time the county was formed For a list of records by date and event currently published in this collection, select the Browse.
Citation for This Collection
The citation below refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
- Washington County Registrar. Washington County Courthouse records. Register of Probate, Washington County, Maine.
Information about creating source citations for FamilySearch Historical Collections is listed in the wiki article Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.
The record content varies by record type. It may include any of the following pieces of information:
- Name of primary individual
- Event date
- Event place
- Names of parents
- Biographical information about parents such as date and place of birth
- Names of heirs, such as spouse, children, other relatives, or friends
- Names of the executor, administrator, or guardian
- Names of witnesses
- Dates the documents were written and recorded (used to approximate event dates since a will was usually written near the time of death)
- Description and value of property or land
How to Use the Record
To use the records it is helpful to know:
- The place where the event occurred
- The approximate date the event occurred
- The name of the individual or individuals such as the names of the bride and groom
To begin your search do the following:
- Check the index for the family name (surname) and then the given name. Indexes enable you to access records quickly by searching for the names of the primary individuals. Realize that some entries in earlier years may have been missed. Indexes may also contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings or misinterpretations.
- Make a list of the volumes and page numbers for each deed you wish to check.
- For each deed, search the noted volume and page number.
Compare the information in the records to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.
- Use the event date or age along with the residence find the family in census, church, and land records.
- Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
- Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
- The name of the officiator may be a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.
- The name of the undertaker, mortuary, or cemetery could lead you to funeral and cemetery records, which often include the names and residences of other family members.
- Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname. This is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
- Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have been born, married, or died in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
Keep in mind:
- The information in the records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
- Earlier records may not contain as much information as more recent records.
- There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.
If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:
- Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Check for an index. There are often indexes created by local genealogical and historical societies.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records).
Why the Record Was Created
Each type of record within the county was created for a different purpose, but most were created to keep track of the vital events happening in the lives of the citizens and to safeguard their legal interests and the legal interests of their heirs.
Facts current at the time of the event are generally reliable.
Related Wiki Articles
- Maine Census
- Maine Military Records
- Maine Probate Records
- Maine Naturalization and Citizenship
- Washington County, Maine
Contributions to This Article
| We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records. |
Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.
Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
"Maine, Washington County Courthouse Records, 1785-1950: digital images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 22 September 2011). Willam Anderson, censuses 1860 & 1870; Census Records>Census index, 1850-1870, Pembroke>Image 16; Washington County Registrar, Machias, Maine, United States.