Friday, August 28, 2009

The Maine Genealogist - August 2009

The August issue of The Maine Genealogist is now in circulation.

Four of the articles in this and the prior issue have something remarkable in common - the identification of children born to unmarried parents.

Editor Joseph C. Anderson II, FASG, writes:

Illegitimacy in Colonial times was treated as a moral and financial problem. Early church records frequently document confessions of the sin of "fornication" or admonitions against persons having illegitimate children. For example, in 1790 the elders of the Second Church of Berwick felt it their duty to express to Susanna Hamilton their "abhorrence of her conduct as evil by suspending her from their communion & from all special privileges of the same." The John Knight deed shows that the Massachusetts town fathers were more concerned about the support of the illegitimate children, and they took legal steps against the parents to ensure the children would not become town charges. As genealogists facing perplexing lineage problems, we should be aware that children born to unmarried parents was a fairly common event. Though it is often difficult to prove an illegitimacy, when proof is available it will most often be found in original church, town and court records.

A look at this issues Table of Contents shows the following:

Four Jonathan Nuttings of Cushing, Maine by William T. Ruddock

Marriages Performed by Reverend Thomas Gilmore Mitchell in Auburn, West Minot, and Madison, Maine, contributed by Cheryl Willis Patten

John and Mercy (Michener) Dennison of Cutler, Maine by Brent M. Owen

Destitute and Sick, contributed by Leslie Dow Sanders

Holding His Feet to the Fire! contributed by Janice D. Gower

Lemuel Rich Family Letter, Standish, Maine, contributed by Leslie Dow Sanders

Portland, Maine, Marriage Intentions, Volume 4, 1814-1837 (continued), copied by Joseph C. Anderson II

The Maine Genealogist is published quarterly. For more information, visit our website at

No comments: