Contained in this index are Maine marriage records from 1713-1922. From 1713-1891, marriage records were not standardized, and therefore are sparsely recorded. Therefore, this collection contains a comprehensive marriage record set only from 1892-1937. In the United States, it wasn't until the 19th and 20th centuries that records were kept consistently by civil government; previously they were kept on a town by town basis, and often they were lost to fire, flood, or storage in private homes. For advice on obtaining marriage records see “Tying the Knot: Family History in Marriage Records” by Kathi Sittner in the Learning Center.
Maine was first settled in Popham in 1607 by the Plymouth Company in the same year of the settlement of Jamestown, Virginia; however, it didn’t survive the harsh winters. If your ancestor was a settler at that time they would have faced rugged climates, food deprivations, and Indian attack. Over time Indian attacks decreased and the Maine population began to grow. Later in the 1800s Massachusetts had purchased most of the land claims in the nearby wilderness territory including that of Maine so the territory was governed by Boston.
Was your ancestor part of the Continental Army, which was created by the Second Continental Congress in 1775 to fight the Revolutionary War? Maine lost about 1,000 lives, the local sea trade was destroyed, and the principle city, Castine, was leveled by British bombardment. Maine also carried a huge share of war debt. From this time on settlers became increasingly disgruntled with Massachusetts government, which increased during the war of 1812, when it was either unable or unwilling to protect its northern provinces against British raids. In 1820 Maine officially became the 23rd state.
After it achieved statehood, Maine’s economy grew in the industries of lumber, traditional fishing, mining, manufacturing, shipbuilding and ice harvesting. Do you know what trade your ancestor would have practiced if they lived in this region? Maine also claims the origin of the Temperance Movement and had a strong anti-slavery tradition. It contributed two successful generals to the Civil War: Oliver Otis Howard, who fought at Gettysburg and Bull Run, and Joshua L. Chamberlain, the hero of Little Round Top (who also became mayor of Maine after the War).
Information in this index:
- Parents’ Names