Maine Aroostook County Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Aroostook County
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Aroostook, Maine, United States
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Location of Aroostook county, Maine
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Location of Maine
Record Description
Record Type County Records
Collection years 1837-1903
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites

What is in This Collection?

This collection includes Probate Estate Files (1837 to 2007) and Deed Books (1865 to 1903). The probate estate files include indexes and estate file packets. They are arranged by case number. The deed books include grantor and grantee land indexes and deed books for the Northern District and Southern District of Aroostook County.

You will be able to browse through images in this collection when it is published.

Collection Content

County officials, usually the county clerk, began keeping probate records and deeds or property records from the time the county was formed.

Probate records were used to legally dispose of a person’s estate after his or her death. If the deceased had made a will, the probate process transferred the following from the deceased to an executor or executrix: the legal responsibility for payment of taxes, care and custody of dependent family members, liquidation of debts, and transfer of property title to heirs. If there was no will, the transfer went to an administrator or administratrix. A guardian or conservator was appointed if the deceased had heirs younger than 21 or if the heirs were incompetent due to disability or disease. Deeds were used to track the legal transference of property.

Most facts such as names, dates, residences, monies transacted that were current at the time the records were made are reliable, but realize that there is still a chance of misinformation.

The records may omit details such as the names of deceased family members or those who had previously received an inheritance. In some cases, the spouse mentioned was not the parent of the children mentioned.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

Probate records in the state fall into two general categories: wills and estate papers. Genealogical facts in probate files may include:

  • Name of testator or deceased
  • Names of heirs such as spouse, children, and other relatives or friends
  • Names of witnesses
  • Residence of testator
  • Lists of belongings, property, and so forth
  • Document and recording dates (Sometimes the date of death will be given. Recording dates are also used to approximate event dates, i.e. a letter of administration was usually written shortly after the time of death.)

Maine Probate Records also include:

  • Wills
  • Depositions
  • Administrations
  • Guardianships
  • Inventories
  • Accounts

Books contain copies of deeds and conveyances of land transactions. Genealogical facts found in deed books may include:

  • Names of Grantor and Grantee
  • Land being transferred

How Do I Search the Collection?

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The place where your ancestor lived
  • The approximate date of the event (death, probate, deed, etc)

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

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How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?

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. Add this new information to your records of each family. The information may also lead you to other records about your ancestors.

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use probate or deed records to identify heirs and relatives
  • Use the probate document or the recorded dates to approximate a death date
  • Use the information in the probate record to substitute for civil birth and death records since the probates exist for an earlier time period
  • Use the birth date or age along with the residence or place of birth to locate census, church, and land records
  • Use the occupations listed to find other types of records such as employment or military records
  • You may be able to use the probate record to learn about:
  • Land transactions
  • Adoptions or guardianship of any minor children and dependents
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname as the ancestor; 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 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
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record

I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names
  • Check for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties

Record Finder

Consult the Maine Research Tips and Strategies and its Record Finder to search other records

Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation

"Maine Aroostook County Records." Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2017. Citing Aroostock County Clerk, Houlton.

Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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