Chris Dunham's Blog (142)

Maine Civil War Enlistment Papers, 1862-1865

The latest collection of Maine Civil War records at FamilySearch features indexed images of enlistment papers, acquired from the Maine State Archives. Not every enlistee is included, but many thousands are.

From the Library…

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Added by Chris Dunham on October 22, 2016 at 3:30am — 1 Comment

War of 1812 Pension Application Files

The campaign to digitize 180,000 War of 1812 pension files has reached its fundraising goal. About two-thirds of the total are already online and free to view at Fold3. I counted 359 pension application files for Maine soldiers, with many more still to come.

The first applications were based on disability or death of a soldier. Beginning in…

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Added by Chris Dunham on September 3, 2016 at 12:43am — No Comments

Maine Revolutionary War Bounty Land Applications, 1835-1838

In 1835, the Maine Legislature passed a "Resolve in favor of certain Officers and Soldiers of the Revolutionary War, and the widows of the deceased Officers and Soldiers," granting 200 acres of land to those who had served three years while residents of Massachusetts or the District of Maine. The land would be taken from the "Indian Purchase" in Penobscot County and from…

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Added by Chris Dunham on August 26, 2016 at 1:00am — 2 Comments

Finding Maine County Marriage Returns

In Maine we don't usually go to the county courthouse to find vital records. In this and other New England states, birth, death and marriage records have been kept by towns and cities since colonial days. Municipal clerks in Maine were sometimes expected to return copies of these records to the state, but only in 1892 did this become standard practice. There is, though, one important set of vital records that may be found at Maine courthouses.…

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Added by Chris Dunham on August 20, 2016 at 7:00pm — No Comments

The Legend of Isaac Patch's Gold

This is the sixth in a series of posts I am writing in celebration of the bicentennial of my hometown of Greenwood in Oxford County, incorporated February 2, 1816.

The most entertaining parts of a town's history are often its legends, for which the best evidence is hearsay. The historian is obliged to relate these legends as such, but also to seek out any possible…

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Added by Chris Dunham on August 12, 2016 at 5:00am — No Comments

Greenwood in the Civil War

This is the fifth in a series of posts I am writing in celebration of the bicentennial of my hometown of Greenwood in Oxford County, incorporated February 2, 1816.

For tips on finding records of Maine Civil War soldiers, see this…

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Added by Chris Dunham on May 29, 2016 at 6:30pm — No Comments

Finding Records of Maine Civil War Soldiers

In recent years FamilySearch has added two essential Maine Civil War resources to its website: the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Card Index, 1861-1865, and a collection of images of enlistment and muster rolls for Maine regiments. The former has been indexed and may be searched here. The latter can only be browsed. By using the first resource as a finding aid for the second, one can locate and view images of…

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Added by Chris Dunham on May 29, 2016 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Grievances and Remonstrances: The Struggle to Keep Greenwood Whole

This is the fourth in a series of posts I am writing in celebration of the bicentennial of my hometown of Greenwood in Oxford County, incorporated February 2, 1816.

Greenwood began as Township Number Four — fourth in a line of five townships laid out by surveyor Samuel Titcomb of Hallowell between November 1787 and April 1788. Constrained by the boundaries of existing…

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Added by Chris Dunham on May 7, 2016 at 11:00pm — No Comments

Greenwood and the Legacy of Tambora

This is the third in a series of posts I am writing in celebration of the bicentennial of my hometown of Greenwood in Oxford County, incorporated February 2, 1816.

The advance and final retreat of the Laurentide ice sheet shaped the landscape of Greenwood, exposing and eroding ancient bedrock and depositing untold tons of sand, silt and gravel within its borders. But it was a…

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Added by Chris Dunham on March 23, 2016 at 7:00am — No Comments

The School on Alder River

This is the second in a series of posts I am writing in celebration of the bicentennial of my hometown of Greenwood in Oxford County, incorporated February 2, 1816.

This past week came the expected…

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Added by Chris Dunham on March 11, 2016 at 5:00pm — 2 Comments

Viewing Maine Town Records on FamilySearch

FamilySearch has collection pages for town records from MassachusettsVermont and New Hampshire, but not from Maine. Nevertheless, images of the records from many Maine towns are in fact available on FamilySearch, if you know…

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Added by Chris Dunham on March 7, 2016 at 4:00pm — 1 Comment

A Failure of Tradition: The Forgotten First Settlers of Greenwood

This is the first in a series of posts I am writing in celebration of the bicentennial of my hometown of Greenwood in Oxford County, incorporated February 2, 1816.

A note appears in the town…

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Added by Chris Dunham on February 2, 2016 at 2:00am — 6 Comments

Burial Ground Rediscovered in Canton

I was excited to read in Tuesday's Lewiston Sun Journal a story about Canton Mountain Cemetery in Oxford County—suspected to be the resting place of my ancestor Simon Coolidge.

Nelson Coolidge of East Dixfield (my father's fourth cousin) had seen the graveyard years ago while hunting with his father, and was able to…

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Added by Chris Dunham on October 15, 2014 at 2:30am — 2 Comments

WPA Cemetery Plans

Here's a great collection of cemetery plans drawn up by WPA workers in the 1930s.

During the Great Depression, the Work Projects Administration (WPA) put millions of Americans to work on public works projects that ranged from building trails in National Parks to creating over 500 surveys of Maine cemeteries. These cemetery plans, transferred from the Office of the Adjutant General and now part of the…

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Added by Chris Dunham on August 5, 2014 at 10:00pm — No Comments

Sanford North Parish Congregational Church Records (1786-1823)

An article in today's New York Times shines a light on a project to preserve and digitize New England Congregational Church records. So far the Congregational Library & Archives' online collection includes records from one Maine church:…

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Added by Chris Dunham on July 30, 2014 at 10:30am — No Comments

Broken Headstone Fished Out of Androscoggin River in Auburn

The Lewiston Sun Journal reports that a fragment of a headstone was found in the Androscoggin River behind Great Falls Plaza in Auburn on Monday.

The polished granite fragment of a headstone appeared to have been in the river some time because the broken edges had all been worn smooth. What little writing was discernible was "Herrick" and a…

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Added by Chris Dunham on July 1, 2014 at 2:02am — No Comments

The Travel Journals of Rev. Paul Coffin

Beyond their names and dates of birth, marriage and death, it is often difficult to learn details of distant ancestors' lives. We are fortunate that Rev. Paul Coffin (1737-1821) of Buxton kept…

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Added by Chris Dunham on February 24, 2013 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Mabel (Morgan) Dunham's First Autograph Book

These pages are from an autograph book belonging to my great-grandmother, Mabel C. (Morgan) Dunham (1879-1960). The entries end around the same time that she obtained her second autograph book.

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Added by Chris Dunham on August 18, 2012 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Mabel (Morgan) Dunham's Second Autograph Book

These pages are from an autograph book belonging to my great-grandmother, Mabel C. (Morgan) Dunham (1879-1960). Most of the autographs were written in the months prior to her marriage to Elton L. Dunham in September 1896. The book seems to have been in use around the same time as Elton's second autograph book. See also…

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Added by Chris Dunham on July 30, 2012 at 4:30pm — 3 Comments

Wedding Reception Guest List of Mr. and Mrs. Elton L. Dunham

Elton Lee Dunham and Mabel Claire Morgan of Greenwood, Oxford County, Maine, were married Sept. 26, 1896, in West Paris. This is a list of those who attended their wedding reception on Oct. 15, 1896, and where in Greenwood they lived. It was amended at some point to indicate who had died, and who was present at their 50th anniversary celebration in 1946. A transcription follows.

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Added by Chris Dunham on July 12, 2012 at 6:30pm — No Comments

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