Conducting Family Research in the Boothbay Region
Sources for conducting Family Research
Town of Boothbay Harbor11 Howard Street, Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538, (207) 633-7714 Office hours are 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mon-Fri. www.boothbayharbor.org
Birth, marriage, and death records for Boothbay Harbor residents and for events that took place after the Town was incorporated in 1889. Copies of some Boothbay records dating back to 1763. Call for more information on services available.
Boothbay Region Historical SocietyP. O. Box 272, 72 Oak Street, Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538, (207) 633-0820 Thursday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., (all year)
Extensive collections of family materials and local history; 18-foot card file on pre-1980s residents; five feet of family files; documentary collections on local history. The society houses a museum with six rooms of displays.
Inquiries: Please visit our website or call the museum for more information.
Membership: Dues levels are $15, $25, $50, and $150 per year.
Books: Available for sale on the region’s history and other subjects of local historical interest. Historic photos may also be purchased.
Graveyard lists: the Boothbay Region Historical Society has lists of pre-1980s gravestone information. The Simmons, Harrington & Hall funeral home in Boothbay Harbor may be contacted for additional information, including post-1980s listings.
Town of BoothbayP. O. Box 106, 1011 Wiscasset Road, Route 27, Boothbay, ME 04537, (207) 633-3531 Office hours are 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. www.townofboothbay.org
Birth, marriage, and death records for Boothbay residents and for events that took place after the town was incorporated in 1764. Call for more information on services available.
Southport Historical SocietyP. O. Box 3, Southport, ME 04576
Hours: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Tues, Thurs, and Sat, July and August. Southport Town Clerk (207) 633-6311 www.hendrickshill.org
Large collection of materials on Southport families and events.
Lincoln County Courthouse
32 High Street, Wiscasset, ME 04578
Hours 8:00-4:00 Mon-Fri
Probate records (207) 882-7392; deeds (207) 882- 7431).
Pre-20th century court cases and commissioners’ records are available in the vault controlled by the Registry of Deeds.
www.lincolncountymaine.me – links to towns in Lincoln County
Maine State Archives
84 State House Station (mailing), 230 State St. (physical),
Augusta, ME 04333-0084
Hours: 8:00-4:00 Mon-Fri, www.maine.gov/sos/arc/
Search Room (207) 287-5795, State Records Center (207) 287-5792
Birth, marriage, and death records for each town in the state from 1892 – 1922.
Before 1892 vital records were kept by the towns and cities.
Maine Department of Health and Human Services/Vital Records
11 State House Station, (mailing) 221 State Street (physical)
August, ME 04333-0011
(207) 287-3707 or 1-888-664-9491, www.maine.gov/dhhs
Birth, marriage (1892-1966), and death records (1960-1996) for each town in the state. Also maintains divorce records from state courts.
Maine State Library
64 State House Station (mailing), 230 State Street (physical)
Augusta, ME 04333-0064
Has large genealogy section.
(207) 287-5600, Reference Desk 287-5608, www.maine.gov/msl/
Maine Historical Society
Brown Library, 489 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
Has extensive Maine genealogical information; limited fee-based research available. 1st visit free then $10/day to use the library for non-members. Some online resources available.
(207) 774-1822, www.mainehistory.org
National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR)
Exclusive cemetery indexes, data from graves of Revolutionary War soldiers, more. (202) 628-1776, www.dar.org
New England Historic Genealogical Society – Boston Nations Nation’s oldest society 1-888-296-3447
National Archives and Records Administration Military records, old census records, ship passenger lists, etc.
(866) 272-6272, www.archives.gov
www.ancestry.com – Includes social security death index; census and military records, other databases.
www.familysearch.org – Family History Library, Church of the Latter Day Saints, Salt Lake City ; offers free copies of its Personal Ancestral File software program
www.cyndislist.com – Links to tens of thousands of genealogy sites; everything from ship passenger lists to prison rolls
www.lcweb.loc.gov/rr/genealogy – Library of Congress Local History and Genealogy Reading Room
www.genealogypages.com – Useful gateway to multiple internet genealogy web sites.
The Boothbay region, originally called Winnegance, was settled in the latter half of the 1600s by English settlers, but those residents were driven out in 1689. Maine was a province of Massachusetts during the 1700s and until 1820. The region was renamed Townsend and permanently resettled in 1730 by principally Scotch-Irish settlers. However, no local family records predate Boothbay’s incorporation in 1764. There are some pre-1764 records, such as marriages, in adjoining towns and in Boston. Mentions of pre-1764 residents occur in petitions to Massachusetts, court cases, county commissioners’ records, and deeds.
The 1730 population of the Boothbay region was about 200. It rose to about 1,000 by 1800, 3,600 by 1900, and 5,500 by 1990.
In 1842 Cape Newagen Island left the town of Boothbay to become the town of Southport. In 1889 the densest commercial area of Boothbay left the town of Boothbay to become the town of Boothbay Harbor.
The settlers supported themselves, nearly until the 20th century, with fishing, transporting goods along the coast by vessel, wood harvesting, shipbuilding, and farming. With the 1880s, tourism developed, which is now the biggest industry, though shipbuilding and fishing are still carried on in the towns.
The principal historic locales and villages of Boothbay are east to west: East Boothbay, Linekin, Back Narrows, and Pleasant Cove along the Damariscotta River; North Boothbay, Dover, and Boothbay Center are in the midpart; Back River, Barters Island, Sawyers Island, and Hodgdons Island are along the Sheepscot River.
The principal historic locales and villages of Boothbay Harbor are the Harbor area itself, the east side, West Harbor, Spruce Point, and Lobster Cove.
Both towns contain many summer colonies, created principally in the late 1800s and 1920s.
1760: Lincoln County was formed from York County.
1764: The Town of Boothbay, formerly called Townsend, was incorporated.
1820: Maine, formerly part of Massachusetts, became a state.
1842: Southport, formerly Cape Newagen Island and part of Boothbay, was incorporated.
1889: Boothbay Harbor, formerly part of Boothbay, was incorporated as a town.
All towns may have auxiliary research sources, such as newspaper offices and libraries. It is a good policy to contact sources in advance, to make sure of their hours and availability of staff.