Cornwall County, New York Genealogy

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Cornwall County was created by New York in present-day Maine and the Cornwall name was re-used until the last time it was attached to Massachusetts. Cornwall began in 1665 on land granted to the Duke of York mostly in today's Maine. The original New York county reached from the St. Lawrence River to the Atlantic Ocean between the Kennebec and St. Croix rivers. This area today is most of Aroostook, Piscataquis, Washington, Hancock, Penobscot, Waldo, Knox, Lincoln, Kennebec, Somerset, and Sagadahoc counties, and part of Quebec.[1] The Cornwall County name was extinguised in 1692 when Massachusetts renamed it Yorkshire.

In 1667 the French claimed the Quebec part of Cornwall County by the Treaty of Breda. As part of the Third Dutch-Anglo War in 1673 Massachusetts claimed Cornwall County and in 1674 created the new Devonshire County from the southwest part of Cornwall.[2][3][4] However, both counties were lost in war to the Abanaki Indians in 1675.[5] In 1683 Cornwall was reconstituted to its full size again as part of New York.[6] In 1687 New York's claim finally ended when Cornwall was transferred to the Dominion of New England.[7] When New England transferred it to Massachusetts in 1692, its name was changed to Yorkshire, and Cornwall ceased to be used in Massachusetts or Maine. Most of the land of the old Cornwall County was included as part of Maine when it was separated from Massachusetts and Maine became a state in 1820.

Records. Depending on the years involved, researchers should search for records of Cornwall County in New York state repositories, Massachusetts state repositories, Maine state repositories, or York County, Maine repositories.

History

Sources

  1. Williamson, William D. History of the State of Maine, from its First Discovery, A.D. 1602, to the Separation, A.D. 1820, Inclusive. 2 vols.; Hallowell, Maine; 1832. Vol 1; P.421.
  2. Williamson, William D. History of the State of Maine, from its First Discovery, A.D. 1602, to the Separation, A.D. 1820, Inclusive. 2 vols.; Hallowell, Maine; 1832. Vol. 1; P.443.
  3. Reid, John G; Maine, Charles II and Massachusetts: Governmental Relationships in Early Northern New England.; Portland, Maine: Maine Historical Society Research Series Number 1; 1977; Page. 138.
  4. Massachusetts. Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England.; Vol. 5; Page16.
  5. Williamson, William D. History of the State of Maine, from its First Discovery, A.D. 1602, to the Separation, A.D. 1820, Inclusive. 2 vols.; Hallowell, Maine; 1832. Vol. 1; P.446.
  6. New York: Commissioners of Statutory Revision:Colonial Laws of New York from the year 1664 to the Revolution, including the Charters of the Duke of York, the Commissions and instructions to Colonial Governors, the Duke's Laws, the Laws of the Dongan and Leisler Assemblies, the Charters of Albany and New York, and the acts of the Colonial Legislatures from 1691 to 1775, inclusive. Report to the Assenbly #107, 1894. five Volumes. Albany, New York; 1894 - 1896.Chapter 4; Volume 1; Page 122.
  7. Barnes, 69-70; New Hampshire. Laws of New Hampshire, Including Public and Private Acts and Resolves, 1680–1835, 1:166, 171.

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