((Originally posted at "West in New England"
on 25Jan 2009))
Negative Searches: Back in November of 2007 I posted "The Search Goes On"
and told about how those of us researching John Cutter West have so far had
no luck in finding any record of his birth in either Plymouth County or the
town of Plymouth, Ma. So far that still remains the case. Randy Seaver kindly
tried his hand at it and found several leads but so far none of those have panned
out as well. I've also searched at the NEHGS website for any reference but
that has not been successful either nor have the several visits to the local
FHC center in Hingham.
Resources to check: I need to get into Boston to the NEGHS and the State
Archives so that I can follow up on Randy's suggestions about looking into
the probate records for Plymouth Ma. and Oxford County, Maine. I also
need to look further into purchasing a copy of John Cutter West's death
certificate if it is available. More trips to the FHC also, since I'm well
aware that it might take quite a bit of searching before I find what I need
I've also begun looking into the families that first settled Canton and Sumner
Maine. I recently found a brief history of Sumner from George Varney's
"Gazetteer of the State of Maine"(1886) that gives a list of the early
settlers there and says most came from Plymouth County and were
Revolutionary War veterans. I'll widen the search out to the neighboring
towns as well since many New England towns broke off from each other
and it's possible there is a record of John Cutter West's family in one of
the newer towns that might once have been part of Canton.
Of course, if he didn't come to Maine with his family but came on his own as
a worker of a bachelor seeking to make his way in the world, then I may not find
a record of his parents in Maine at all!
But in any case, as I've said before, the search goes on!