Maine Land and Property

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United States Gotoarrow.png Maine Gotoarrow.png Land and Property

Maine land.jpg

Colonial Records

Land ownership in the colonial period can be traced to royal charters, proprietary grants, and Indian deeds. During this period, all of Maine was included in York County. You will find many of the early records for 1642 to 1737 in:

  • York Deeds. 18 Volumes. (Portland, Maine: John T. Hull, 1887-1910). Each volume is well indexed.Volume (book)2 is free on the site. All 18 volumes are on the New England Historic Genealogical Society site ($). The Family History Library has all 18 volumes FHL Collection book 974.195 R2m; film 599904 item 3 through film 599914; on 186 fiche 6046839]. Volume 10 is on film and fiche only.

Post-Revolutionary War Records

In 1783 the Massachusetts Committee for the Sale of Eastern Lands was formed to sell unclaimed land and distribute grants to soldiers. In 1794 more than 2,000,000 acres were sold.

The Maine State Archives has the records of the Maine Land Office. A list of the principle collections with an index of the Revolutionary War Land Grants, 1830s is shown on the Web site.

  • Massachusetts, Land Agent. Massachusetts Deeds, 1794-1860. (Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1954). On five Family History Library films starting with 010248 item 3. Each volume is indexed.

From 1820 to 1853, the state of Maine purchased the remaining land from Massachusetts and held auctions to distribute it. The Land Office of Maine was established in 1824 to distribute this land. 

  • Maine. Land Office. Record of Deeds of the Land Office of Maine, 1824-1861. Ten Volumes. Indexes are in the volumes. (Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1954). Family History Library films 10238-41

After 1835, Revolutionary War veterans or their widows made applications to the Land Office for land. The following includes claims, applications, and declarations.

  • Maine. Land Office. Revolutionary War Veterans Land Records. (Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1954). Family History Library films 010249-60.

A partial index to these records is:

County Records

After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were recorded by the register of deeds in each county. The addresses and a description of each county's records are in:

  • Lindberg, Marcia Wiswall. Genealogist's Handbook for New England Research. 3rd ed. (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1993). This is an excellent guide to Maine towns and counties, location of public records, and genealogical societies. Family History Library book 974 D27g 1993. .

The Family History Library has copies of deed records for all counties, most to about 1900. See the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under MAINE, [COUNTY] - LAND AND PROPERTY.

Web Sites