The Probate Records of Lincoln County, Maine, 1760 to 1800


Author: Patterson, William D.
Publication Date: 1895
Reprint Date: 1999
Pages: 368 53 pp.


Prior to Maine’s statehood in 1820, Massachusetts had jurisdiction over what was then the Province of Maine. In fact the entire province was organized as York County, Massachusetts. In 1760, the Massachusetts legislature formed two new counties from the eastern portion of York County, naming the easternmost segment Lincoln County, with its county seat at Pownalborough. Lincoln County’s probate records, which commence November 1760, are displayed here to the year 1800. Mr. Patterson has faithfully transcribed all wills and abstracted all administrations of estates–the latter are in the majority–found in the Lincoln County courthouse. While the wills speak for themselves, they invariably give the name of the testator and witnesses, and dates of the will’s origination and probate. The administrations have the virtue of placing any number of persons at a particular place within Lincoln County at a particular time inasmuch as they furnish the names of the deceased with his date of death, his/her heirs and their hometowns, the appointment of guardians with dates of appointment, the identities of the persons who appraised the estate, and a variety of miscellaneous information related to the handling of the estate. Preceding the records themselves are an informative Preface by John Peters describing the history of the Lincoln County probate court and an equally enlightening Introduction by Rufus K. Sewall, which traces the history of Lincoln County from its antecedents in the early 17th century. All persons named in the aforementioned probate records may be found in the 8,000-name index at the back of the volume. The name index is enhanced by a separate index to places referred to in the wills and estates. Anyone searching for Lincoln County forebears on either side of the American Revolution should start here.

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