Maine Church Records
Church baptism, marriage, and burial records are a major source of information about people from Maine.
Before 1829, a few churches kept birth and death records, but most kept marriage records. For this time period there are almost no Methodist records and few Episcopal records. You may find some records by writing to the church in a town. Records for the Congregational Church and Society of Friends (Quakers) are in the Maine Historical Society.
The Family History Library has some published and microfilmed church records for these groups.
A helpful list of churches existing in 1940 is:
- Historical Records Survey (Maine). Directory of Churches and Religious Organizations in Maine. Portland: Maine Historical Records Survey Project, 1940. FHL Collection book 974.1 K24h; film 1035515 item 13. These records show locations of over 1,700 churches and religious organizations in Maine and give a brief history of the beginning of the various religions in Maine.
Many denominations have collected their records into central repositories. Many records of the Congregational and Society of Friends churches are at the Maine Historical Society. The following archives also have important collections of Maine church records:
American Baptist Samuel Colgate Historical Society
1106 South Goodman Street
Rochester, NY 14602
Phone: (716) 473-1740
Fax: (716) 473-1740
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons)
Early church records, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for Maine Wards and Branches can be found on film and are located at the LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake City. The film numbers, for each ward, can be locate through the Family History Library Catalog . Or by refering to Jaussi, Laureen R., and Gloria D. Chaston. Register of Genealogical Society Call Numbers. 2 vols. Provo, Utah: Genealogy Tree, 1982. (FHL book 979.2258 A3j; fiche 6031507). These volumes contain the film numbers for many (but not all) membership and temple record films.
The Archives of the Diocese of Portland
P.O. Box 11559
510 Ocean Avenue
Portland, ME 04104-7559
Phone: (207) 773-6471
Fax: (207) 773-0182
The diocese includes the counties of: Androscoggin, Aroostook, Cumberland, Franklin, Hancock County, Maine, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Oxford, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Sagadahoc, Somerset, Waldo, Washington and York
The Drouin Collection
Early U.S. French Catholic Church Records, 1695-1954 ($) (Ancestry). This database only contains the French Catholic parish records from the United States in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, and Pennsylvania. It is the U.S. part of the U.S. and French-Canadian Drouin Collection. For more details see "The Drouin Collection: Six Databases"
The types of records include baptisms, marriages, and burials as well as confirmations, dispensations, censuses, statements of readmission to the church, and so on. They are written mainly in French, as well as English, Latin, and Italian.
The Congregational Library
14 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: (617) 523-0470
Archives of the Diocese of Maine
143 State Street
Portland, ME 04101
Phone: (207) 772-1953
Boston University School of Theology Library
745 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215