According to Libby's "GDMNH" on page 156, my 6th great grandfather Philip Cole and wife Mary were given "letters" by the Amesbury church to the Wells church on June 4, 1716 and were subsequently  granted 50 acres in Arundel fronting on the ocean at Cleaves Cove.  Were churches empowered at that time to effect land grants?  Do records of the First Congregational Church in Wells from that time still exist today?  If so, where could I find them?  Any and all info would be greatly appreciated.

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The GDMNH entry mentions Philip Cole's neighbor Nicholas Barto, who also received his land in Arundel as a grant. Barto's grant, courtesy of "the Proprietors Freeholders & other Inhabitants of the Town of Arundel alias Cape Porpus," is recorded here. Presumably the same proprietors granted Philip Cole his land.

The records of the First Church of Wells were published in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register in 1921 and 1922. They begin here, and are continued in this volume.

Thank you for this information Chris.

I have found the Barto grant under the spelling "Barttoe".  The Town Meeting approving his 50 acre grant was held on Nov 18, 1719, the lot was surveyed on Oct 5, 1720 and it was noted that it was bounded on one side by "the Widow Cole".  I cannot however locate the Cole grant which obviously would have happened before the Barttoe survey was undertaken.  Philip's widow Mary surrendered her dower rights on August 31, 1722 when her son John Cole sold the 50 acre grant to John Murphy.

One question I have for you Chris is whether there would be some legal document filed when a man died and his son became the owner of the father's land?

Ideally there would be a record at the probate court conveying the land, but I see no estate file in York County for Philip Cole.

Thank you for your assistance Chris.

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