Maine History

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The following important events in the history of Maine affected political boundaries, record keeping, and family movements.

1607-1632: English settlements were begun at Saco, Biddeford, Scarboro, Cape Elizabeth, and Portland.

1632-1759: Troubles with the French and Indians continued until the fall of Quebec in 1759.

1677: Massachusetts purchased the Gorges rights to the province of Maine.

1716-1760: The entire area was called York, a county of Massachusetts. Many of Maine's early residents are listed in Massachusetts records.

1760: Lincoln and Cumberland counties were formed. These counties and York were called the Province of Maine of the Massachusetts Bay Colony until 1779, when the area became known as the District of Maine.

1816-1819: Severe winters, rocky soil, and limited opportunities influenced the emigration of many inhabitants.

1820:  Became a state as part of the Missouri Comprimise.

1819-1820: Maine was officially separated from Massachusetts in 1819 and became a state in (March 15,)1820.

1838-1839: Some 10,000 troops from Maine were called into service during the Aroostook War to settle a boundary dispute between Maine and New Brunswick. The dispute was settled by treaty in 1842.

1861-1865: About 72,000 men from Maine served in the Union armed forces during the Civil War.

A comprehensive history of Maine is:

Hatch, Louis Clinton, Editor. Maine: A History. Five Volumes. New York, New York: American Historical Society, 1919. (Family History Library book 974.1 H2me; film 1750652 item 3). Part of volume three and all of volumes four and five contain bibliographic material. Volumes three, four, and five contain indexes.

Two bibliographies of local histories for Maine are:

Committee for a New England Bibliography. Maine, A Bibliography of Its History. Boston, Massachusetts: G. K. Hall, 1977. ( Family History Library book 974.1 H23c).

Williamson, Joseph. A Bibliography of the State of Maine from the Earliest Period to 1891. Two Volumes. Portland, Maine: Thurston Print, 1896. (Family History Library book 974.1 A3w; film 928375 items 1-2). This work contains a comprehensive list of published works dealing with Maine history and families through 1891.

A helpful description of Maine state and county records from 1894 to 1932 is in:

American Historical Association. Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1908. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1909. (Family History Library book 973 C4ah; films for Maine 896558-59).