Hi Chris,

Are you familiar with the Greenwood records, one part of which are prefaced by the 1971 note by Town Clerk Rowena Dunham, that states, “The enclosed papers are Vital Statistic records not recorded in the Town of Greenwood books. I think they were compiled around the turn of the century by the town officials to replace the records lost in the fire which destroyed much of the then business district of town.”

Do you know when this fire occurred? I'd like to cite these reconstructed records in an article I'm writing, but dating these items is tricky.

Thanks for any clues you can provide!


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I think my Aunt Rowena was incorrect. There was a major fire at Greenwood City in 1862, but by that time town business was conducted elsewhere. Greenwood town records are intact back to the days when it was a plantation (marriages were recorded contemporaneously and chronologically (to some extent), and there are no gaps), though clerks stopped recording births diligently by the latter half of the 1800s.

The pad in which these entries were recorded includes this page, showing that it was purchased from "F. A. Shurtleff & Co., Pharmacists, So. Paris." Frank A. Shurtleff died in 1909, and his business changed names a year or so later. I see entries in the pad dated as late as 1910, so the records were probably compiled around that time, or a bit later.

There was an effort in the years prior to 1916 to prepare a town history for Greenwood's centennial. Money was raised at town meetings for collecting historical data, but nothing came of it. It's possible that these records were compiled as part of that effort.


Thanks again, Chris.

I had read about the 1862 fire and I wondered whether that was the fire to which Rowena referred.

Interesting, also, that some of the people cited in this notebook didn't live in Greenwood. My Andrews family didn't, as an example, but their family record is reconstructed here. The Andrewses listed were early in Paris first and later in No. 2/Franklin Plantation. I wondered whether there was some connection between Paris (formerly known as Plantation #4) and Greenwood, which was also first designated as No. 4. That Frank Shurtleff was in South Paris would lead some credence to this, but of course, there's no way of knowing.


It was just a coincidence that Paris and Greenwood were both originally called Township/Plantation No. 4. Paris had inherited the name from a grant made earlier in New Hampshire that was found void. The proprietors were laid out a new grant in Maine and for some reason the name was kept. Greenwood was the fourth of five townships laid out by Samuel Titcomb in 1787 and 1788. To avoid confusion, on his original plan of Greenwood Titcomb called Paris "old Number IV" and the new township "Number IIII."

Oh, I'm not saying there was anything other than coincidence in the place names, just that some of the info in the notebook---the people referenced--is seemingly more connected to Paris than to Greenwood. Or to Rumford, or Noway, for that matter. It's an odd little collection, anyway.


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