I love Maine research. The Pine Tree State has made major efforts to digitize their records, increasing the odds of finding your ancestors in both free, online databases and government repositories. Additionally, I’ve found most town clerks and registrars very helpful and friendly, often willing to communicate via email regarding a research request.
The state portal for the Maine Registers of Deeds is found here.
Each county has various levels of digitization underway. Kennebec County, for example, has indexed all of their deed books, including most historic deeds dating back to the late 1790s. Continue reading
A visit to the Maine State Archives last week provided the following priceless document:
Signatures of those petitioning for the incorporation of Milo, Maine
To the honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Maine in Legislature assembled January 1823. Continue reading
Ancestry.com – great for finding our ancestors, and spectacular for making cousin connections.
On February 2, 2014, I sent a message through Ancestry.com to Sherece Lamke, whose family tree contained information on Aaron Day and his wife, Martha. What ensued after that initial contact was a flurry of emails back and forth, as we joyously exchanged information. Sherece, who was significantly further along on tracing her Day family lines, generously shared with me the findings of consultants whom she’d paid to help break down brick walls. Together, over the last 1 1/2 years, we’ve taken that initial research and have solved additional puzzles, having a blast along the way! I’d hoped that one day we’d get to meet, and that day finally came! Last Friday Sherece, accompanied by her mother and aunt, met my son and I in the small town of Readfield, Maine, starting off at the Case Cemetery, where our 5th great grandfather, John Day, is buried.
Lauren and Sherece meet at Case Cemetery next to the gravestone of their 5th great grandfather, John Day
For the genealogist, little can compare to finding the homestead of your ancestor. And with the help of Dale Potter-Clark of the Readfield Historical Society in Maine that is exactly what we did!
This house is believed to be the homestead of John Day
First, some background:
On 24 October, 1796, John Day purchased from Benjamin Allen a portion of Lot 41, then described as Winthrop, in the County of Lincoln, Maine. Continue reading
Five years ago I took a DNA test with one goal in mind: to solve the mystery of Cynthia (Day) Bursley’s parentage. If you’ve been following this blog, you know that the last couple of years I’ve been just a *tad* bit focused on researching Cynthia’s parents, and published a proof argument linking her to parents Aaron Day and Martha Tibbetts. You can find posts about Cynthia’s parentage here, and the discovery of her mother’s maiden name here.
However, besides my own proof argument that demonstrated there was no other plausible set of parents for Cynthia, there was no paper that directly linked to her to this branch of the Days. Until yesterday. Well, it existed before, but I didn’t know about it! :-) Continue reading
Call the genealogy police! An impostor has posed for the wife of my 4th great grandfather, Aaron Day! Who the heck is Marion Harris? How on earth did she make it into SO MANY family trees???
46 Ancestry trees erroneously include Marion Harris as wife of Aaron Day
Marion Harris was sneaky. She saw an opportunity and she joyfully GRABBED it! Continue reading
I’ve often wondered what really drives me in my passionate search for my ancestors? Certainly the enjoyment of solving endless puzzles and the adrenaline-rushes with the thrill of the find make genealogy exceedingly fun. But is there another reason so many of us are obsessed – and may I add, COMPELLED – to learn our ancestors’ stories???
Megan Smolenyak’s book, In Search of Our Ancestors, features stories of genealogy sleuths whose experiences of serendipity have led them to incredible finds. I can certainly relate and have story after story of things that certainly shouldn’t have been. Like the time my husband and I decided to get off the highway at a small town in Minnesota. He was hungry and didn’t want to wait until we reached our destination to eat, so while he went into McDonalds, I visited a neighboring, old cemetery – and found the gravestone of a family member I had no idea was buried there!
One has to wonder if it is simply serendipity or random coincidences that result in such finds, or if there is another reason that we are so often successful in unlikely discoveries such as this? Like a little help from beyond? :-) I thoroughly enjoyed this book, which was both heartwarming and inspiring, and think you will too!