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Taconnet Falls Chapter of the Maine Genealogy Society



Volume 12 Number 6

June 2008


Secretary's Report | Library Report | Book Review  
Volunteer Coordinator | Tidbits and Tatters | Officers | Home

The Taconnett Falls Genealogy Library is located at 10 Lithgow Street in Winslow, Maine.
Library Hours:  Wednesday - Saturday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
In addition, the library opens at 1:00 pm on meeting days, the 3rd Sunday of each month.
Please contact us at



5th Annual Genealogy and Plant Sale
Saturday, June 14th, 9 am to 3 pm

There will not be a regular Sunday afternoon meeting this month. Instead, come to the Genealogy Fair and Plant Sale. Bring your friends. Bring your research. Get inspired. See old friends. Make new ones. Enjoy coffee, snacks, and lunch. Buy new plants for your yard.  Share your research with others. Learn more about genealogy.

The program committee has scheduled the following events for 2008:
Date Event

June 14 , 2008

Genealogy Fair with Plant Sale - No Regular Meeting

July 20, 2008


August 17, 2008


September 13, 2008

Winslow, Maine - Yard Sale

September 21, 2008

Nelson Madore on "Voyages" (his work on French-Canadian settlement history)

October 19, 2008

(unconfirmed) Kennebec Historical Society

TMG Workshop meets on the 3rd Saturday of the month

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Secretary's Report

by Barbara Gunvaldsen


Fred Clark, President, called the meeting to order at 2:10 p.m.


The Minutes of the previous meeting had been published in the newsletter. There were no amendments or corrections; Enola Couture proposed that the minutes be accepted as published and the motion was seconded by Linda Davis; passed.


Treasurer’s Report (Fred Clark) – The actual reports are on file with the treasurer and copies are available upon request.

The opening balance was $4011. Income was $467 while expenses totaled $756 for a final balance of $3722.

Thelma Brooks proposed that the Treasurer’s Report was accepted as presented and the motion was seconded by Herb Brock; passed.


Librarian’s Report (Thelma Brooks)

There were 33 members and 20 guests at the library this month. The members included 19 volunteers and the guest included 2 people from California. The Pittsfield Library has sent several items. The foyer has not been put back in order because the roof is leaking.


Membership Report (Enola Couture)

There are 64 paid members (8 of who are new).



The MGS meeting has been put off so there is no report.


Genealogy Fair

Linda Davis reported that everything is shaping up. There will be 11 tables and good food. She passed around a desert sign-up list.


Book Committee

No Report.


Old Business

  •      Plant Sale: it is necessary to pot up plants now. Fred Clark has display pieces and saw horses. The plant sale is scheduled for Saturday June 7th (9-12) with a follow-up sale on June 14th (the day of the genealogy fair). The cost of plants is generally in the range of $2 to $5. Although the sale has yet to name a chair, four people are willing to work on the 7th (Bob Chenard, Fred Clark, Kay Marsh and Barbara Gunvaldsen). Cindy Spaulding may have agreed to work on the 14th. So far plant donors are Margaret Viens, Bob Chenard, Cheryl Patten and Thelma Brooks. Plants need not be flowers — vegetables are welcome too.

New Business

  •      Enola Couture queried the timing of membership terms. It was agreed that October, November and December applications would include the remainder of that year plus the next.

  •      Jan Weymouth volunteered to contact those former members who had not renewed membership this year.

50-50 Raffle

  •      Janet Boynton was the winner. She donated her winnings to the book fund.

Upcoming Events

  •      June 7, 2008: Winslow, Maine. Annual Plant Sale

  •      June 14, 2008 (10 to 3): Winslow, Maine. Genealogy Fair with leftover Plant Sale (there will be no June meeting)

  •      September 13, 2008 (tentative): Winslow, Maine - Yard Sale

  •      September 21, 2008 (regular meeting): Nelson Madore on "Voyages" (his work on French-Canadian settlement history)

  •      October 19, 2008 (regular meeting - unconfirmed): Kennebec Historical Society

The meeting was adjourned at 2:30.


The business meeting was followed by a presentation entitled “Sprucing up Grandpa” by Cheryl Patten. Cheryl talked about appropriate procedures and methods in the care and maintenance of gravestones; the mantra is “Do no harm”. She also had some wonderful slides.


Respectfully Submitted,

Barbara Gunvaldsen, Secretary

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Taconnett Falls Chapter Library Report
by Thelma Eye Brooks, Chairperson

We had 43 members, 20 guests and 17 volunteers at the library since the last meeting. One day the visitors outnumbered the members. We had two visitors from California who are traveling by car on a research trip. We had two local visitors who were trying to identify the date of a picture of Civil War Veterans in front of Winslow Monument. They promised us a copy of the picture. The Pittsfield Library sent by mail several genealogy related items. The mail got left outside and it got wet but only the envelope. I was able to use the contents. The roof still isn’t repaired so the Foyer has not been put in order.


Added to the shelves this month:


    * From Thelma Hayward cont’d from last month.


“Marriage Notices 1784-1794 for the Whole US” copied by Charles Knowles Bolton;

“The Real Founders of New England” 1602-1628 by Charles K. Bolton 1974;

“Towns of N.E. & Old England, Ireland & Scotland” Vol. I & II 1620-1920 by State St. Trust Co. Boston Mass.;

“History of the Town of Exeter, NH” by Charles H. Bell 1888;

“The Isles of Shoals” by Lyman V. Rutledge 1965;

“Transcription of Ancient Old North Burial Yard Ipswich MA 1634 to present day” by Arthur W. Johnson & Ralph E. Ladd, Jr. 1935;

“A Guide to Plymouth and its History” Plymouth Antiquarian Soc.;

“Rambles about Portsmouth” by Charles W. Brewster 1st series 1971 & 2nd series 1972;

“Early Vital Records of Yarmouth, NS 1762-1811” pub. 1982;

“Joseph Howland of N. Yarmouth ME & Burton NB” by Johnson, Walsh & White;

“New Brunswick Loyalists” by Sharon Dubeau 1983;

“The Story of Sussex & Vicinity” (NB) by Grace Acton 1967;

“Newport, NS – A Rhode Island Township” by John Victor Dunconson 1985;

“Fascinating Trips to Historic Spots – Boston” 1952 American Oil Co.;

“Families of the Pilgrims – James Chilton” 1955 & George Soule 1955 by Hubert K. Shaw;

“A Sketch of the History of Newbury, Newburyport & West Newbury” by Joshua Coffin 1977;

“The History of the Town of Hingham MA” vol. II 1892 vol. II 1893 by George Lincoln;

“History of Newbury MA 1635-1902” by John J. Currill;

“Newbury Mass Vital Records” vol. I & vol. II, 1911;

“Marblehead Mass. Vital Records” vol. I 1903 & vol. II 1904;

“The Founding of Marblehead” by Thomas E. Gray 1984;

“History of Bridgewater, Mass” by Nahum Mitchell 1840;

“Early Mass. Marriages”;

“Harwich Mass 1620-1800” (includes Brewster) 1971;

“Townsend Mass Vital Records” by Henry C. Hallowell;

“The Hammatt Papers – Ipswich Mass” 1633-1700 by Abraham Hammatt 1980;

“Early Settlers of Rowley Mass” by G B Blodgett & A E Jewett 1981;

“Of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647” by William Bradford;

“Putnam County History” (NY) by Putnam County Hist. Soc.;

“Genealogies & Estates of Charlestown, Mass 1629-1818” by Thomas B. Wyman 1982;

“Families of the Pilgrims – Richard Warren” by David W. Hoyt 1981;


    * The following were duplicates and are for sale or have been sold:


“Maine History” vol 38 No 1 – 1998;

“Saints & Strangers” by George F. Willison 1945;

“Old Families of Salisbury & Amesbury, Mass” by David W. Hoyt 1981;

“Directory of Ancestral Heads of N. E. Families” 1620-1700 by Frank R. Holmes 1980;

“Genealogical Dictionary of Me & NH” by Noyes, Libby & Davis 1979;

“Genealogical Dictionary of the 1st Settlers of N.E.” 4 volumes by James Savage.


    * Pittsfield Public Library: “Beckwith Family Notes” by Frederick H. Beckwith; “James Connor Genealogy” by James Connor; “McCausland’s on the Kennebec” by Stephen McCausland 1991; “Small Family of Pittsfield Maine” unknown author;

    * From Muriel Johnson (in South Carolina): “Mass. Bay Acts & Resolves 1679-70”

    * From MGS: current issues of Geer Family NL and Minn. Genealogist

    * Purchased: “NE Court Records Guide” by Diane Rapaport

    * From Trickey collection: “Ingeraoll-Longly” Family Group sheets;

    * From Horne collection: Family Group Sheets of her Maine Ancestors by Ruby (Abbott) Cagle; vital records copied from “The Watchman” 1825-1829

    * From Mahlon Bickford: current copy of Bickford Newsletter

    * From David Hall: Draft copy of his Bradford Family research

    * From Thelma Brooks: “Hermon Landowners” “Munsey-Hopkins Genealogy (photo copy) by D.O.S. Lowell; “History of the Augusta House” “O’Neal Family in Maine”

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Book Review

by Thelma Eye Brooks


There is no book review this month, however, I found this in a Washington County newsletter. May be of interest to Book Committee:


New site “Genealogy Books in Maine” by Maureen Burnham Calnan of Brownfield - 43 pages of Maine Books -

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Volunteer Coordinator

by Jan Weymouth


Volunteers for this month are Margaret Viens, Barbara Gunvaldsen, Jan

Weymouth, Kay Marsh, Rowena Perry, Janet Boynton, Carolyn Browne, Herb

Brock, Enola Couture, Cheryl Patten, Suzanne Talbot, Marie Harrington,

Thelma, Fred Clark and Bob Chenard. A big thanks to all of you!


Jan Weymouth <>

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Tidbits and Tatters


from Fred Clark


Just a reminder to everyone of the plant sale next Saturday (14th). We need plants ready to sell before Friday night.


Thanks, Fred


from Jan Weymouth


Three special presentations will be highlights at the Taconnett Falls Genealogy Society’s 5th Annual Genealogy Fair June 14. Activities begin at 9 a.m. at the society’s library, 10 Lithgow Street, Winslow, with registration and lunch at the Winslow Congregational Church next door. There is no charge for the fair. Drinks, snacks, and lunch will be available for a small charge.


For beginning genealogists and family historians, Sarah M. Crockett, Lincoln, ME, will present “The Journey into Genealogy: a GPS for Finding Your Ancestors.”  This session begins at 10 a.m. in the library’s basement.


At 11:30 a.m. Jerry Gower, Maine First Families 1790’s contributor and Washington County expert, and Janet Weymouth, MGS 1st Vice president and Corresponding Secretary, will discuss ”Brick Walls” in a panel.


During the afternoon Jerry Gower will conduct an “Ancestors’ Road Show,” several 15 minute sessions of one on one help and advice. For this special program you must sign up for a time spot when you register. First come; first served.


The church will be full of display tables from vendors across Maine. The library will be open all day with free access to the myriad records and access to a copy machine for a small donation. Undoubtedly there will be a few Flag Day surprises to attract attention, so what have you got to lose? Come on down to Winslow and enjoy a day looking for ancestors right beside the Kennebec River.


ON THE SHELF, from Cheryl Patten


The following articles (to be continued over several upcoming issues) are some "old" (no date) Maine Memo columns from the Portland Telegram. Each one has a series of questions related to historical Maine info and a brief answer. I hope that all readers get a kick out of this “old” information.


ME Sunday Telegram; Fred Humiston - “Maine Memo”; undated - from Hope Horn Collection


So Hogtown It Became


   A Massachusetts reader wants to know if there really was a Maine community named Hogtown and if so, where it was located and why?


   Old Mrs. Newman wasn’t a hand to be put upon, and she definitely had no use for new-fangled notions -- like a steam railroad, for instance. So in 1836, when the word came down that Maine’s first, the Bangor and Piscataquis Canal and R.R. Company was laying track between Bangor and Oldtown, right past her farm, Mrs. Newman was somewhat disturbed. Nonetheless, she determined to make the best of a bad matter and hoped tat things would turn out all right -- while remaining bounden sure that they wouldn’t.

   Wellsir, the grading was done and the track laid, and whatever else needed doing. On Nov. 6, 1836, the first train left Bangor, in charge of a conductor named Sawyer. And as if to celebrate the momentous occasion and give substance to Mrs. Newman’s fears, the locomotive ran over her prize hog!

   This was indeed a shock, for Mrs. Newman had been almighty found of that hog, making a real pet of it. She had also pleasantly anticipated the money the cirtter would bring when butchered. Properly, that is and not by a locomotive.

   Even then the fiery little old lady was willing to make allowances and let bygones be bygones, providing that she received compensation. The Company, however, refused to pay her a cent. “Keep your hogs off the right of way,” they told her, a trifle bluntly.

   Mrs. Newman didn’t take this verbal slap in the face kindly. Silently vowing vengeance, she went home, build a fire and began to fry the lard out of the sadly deceased creature. When the chore was completed, she took her brimming buckets and headed for the right of way. Working like a Trojan, she greased the rails for a distance of two miles, then found a comfortable cover to await developments.

   There was distant whistle and a singing of the rails. Mrs. Newman sat up eagerly as the daily train rounded the bend and came roaring down the tracks, smoke and sparks pouring from the locomotive's broad stack.

   When it reached the greased rails, the wheels spun and the train came to a stop. Only by digging dirt from beside the track and spreading it continuously on the rails was the crew able to keep the train moving slowly. The train was over four hours late in getting to Oldtown. The usual running time for 12 miles was two and a half hours.

   Ironically, when the schedule was set up, the first stop out of Bangor was by Mrs. Newman’s farm. Evidently the Company had a sense of humor, for the stop was named Hogtown, in memory of that embattled lady’s loss.



   Writing of towns with odd names brings to mind a small community that existed briefly on the High Border some hundred years ago.

   A freak wind of cyclone-like proportions had blown down the timber for a distance of three miles and a half mile wide, as neatly as if felled by axe and saw. Some trusting souls, thankful for the comparatively cleared land, built cabins there and named the place ‘Blowdown.’ It must have seemed like a taunt in the face of Providence, for along came another high wind and the hamlet lived up to its name.


Brides Got Wed In Nude


   A Pennsylvania reader has a question concerning marriage customs of the early colonial days. “As I understand it, the groom was responsible for his bride’s debts. The only way he could avoid being charged with these debts was by non-reception. Can you explain what is meant by the term?”


   Just as religion and government, practically one and the same in the early colonial times, had a strong influence on the everyday lives of the people, tradition was also important and few dared fly in the face of it.

   In respect to marriage, it was generally assumed that by this union, responsibility for the bride’s debts was cast on the husband. Therefore, the only way to avoid such responsibility was by non-reception into his home or possession of any property that she might have. This exclusion, under the law, if the groom was a stickler for custom, tight-fisted, or both, was extended to require the complete nudation of her person, always with the assent of the minister or official who performed the ceremony.

   The practice was general in New England, but in the lower towns of Maine the contracting parties were apt to make a big deal of it.

   Thus, when Feb. 5, 1774, Abraham Brooks of York, a widower, was married to Mary Bradley, a widow, and she being heavily in debt, the groom insisted on observing the custom to the letter. Accordingly, Mary was completely denuded.

   The weather was cold, the house drafty. In the course of the ceremony the minister became somewhat annoyed when Mary, teeth chattering, couldn’t answer the question put to her. His annoyance changed to alarm when the poor shivering female’s skin began to turn blue, so he took off his coat and draped around her quivering shoulders.


Tideturning Was Daring Trade


   A Pennsylvania reader writes that in his research on early American history and colonial shipping, he had come upon the term “Tide-turners.” What does it mean, he asks?


   A “Tideturner,” generally used without the hyphen, was a local term for smuggler in Northern New England,. They were called by many other names, as well, especially by the authorities.

   Tideturners were always small vessels of the sloop type and it was the practice of the men who sailed them, also called tideturners, to wait outside the mouth of a river where patrols were apt to be on watch. It was only in the dark of the moon that they were active and when the tide turned they would ride it in, with full canvas if the wind was right.

   The mouth of the Kennebec offers an outstanding example. The Tideturner would stand off and on between the Whale’s Back and Seguin and when the tide turned, come shooting in past the fort and whatever longboat patrols were out. Even if the gunners were alert, the smugglers were past before the guns could be fired.

   The boat patrols were a more dangerous hazard, yet as a rule, the sloops were faster. At the Center, or some other point along the river, men would be awaiting with teams to unload and reload the cargo. The sloops would then be sunk in deep water and raised at a later date, if feasible.

   This procedure was more practical than going all the way up the river to Bath, where the Custom men were sure to be out in force. The smugglers were seldom caught for the reason that they were local people, with the backing of influential men in authority.


[More next month . . . ]

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If you have missing ancestors, send your query to Jeff Linscott, editor, and I will publish them as space permits. My email address is





Please note that Adelphia addresses are rapidly becoming invalid. Please let the editor or the membership chair know about your email address changes. Email Jeff at and Enola at



PLEASE NOTE: If you have paid dues and do not have a membership card, check at the library.



Don’t forget to take your bottles and cans to the library – we earn money for the fuel fund for every one we donate!!!

Taconnett Falls Officers - 2008

President Fred Clark
Vice President Robert Chenard
Secretary Barbara Gunvaldsen
Treasurer Laton Edwards
Membership Enola Couture
Board of Directors Thelma Brooks
Betty Michaud
Kay Marsh
Janet Weymouth as Past President
Editor Jeff Linscott





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Taconnet Falls Chapter of the Maine Genealogy Society

 NEWSLETTER - Volume 12 Number 6 - June 2008

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