Family Research Tour ~ Maine


At the time of this writing I am in Machias Maine on the last leg of my three day family research trip.  I began this journey on Tuesday in York and have slowly made my way North West visiting small towns and cemeteries along that path my ancestors took prior to coming to Massachusetts.

My brothers and I have been engaged in genealogy work for the last 30 or so years and, like most genealogists, we go full speed ahead for a while and then back off, now we are back on the trail and we are having a difficult time finding two generations, well one generation anyway.  So I have come to Maine to ask questions and read vital records and visit cemeteries.

The Preble family first came to America in 1640 and settled in Scituate Massachusetts.  After a short stay there they moved on and became one of the founding families of York Maine.  Leaving York the family moved to Bowdoinham, Windsor, Whitefield, Winslow, and finally Machias before my great grandfather settled in Massachusetts.

One of the disturbing things along this journey is the condition of many of the cemeteries.  Now I know the winter has just ended and the frost is one reason stones tip over, but some of them have been toppled for years and the fact that they have not been cared for is disturbing.  One example is the Old Settlers Cemetery in Deer Isle Maine.  In this cemetery are the remains of many of the founding families of the town, including some of my Haskell relatives.  The condition of the cemetery is disturbing, overgrown, stones on the ground etc.  This is a major burial ground and it is not being cared for.

Another example is the Preble Point Cemetery in Arrowsic Maine.  This cemetery had fallen into disrepair and neglect until one family discovered it and cleaned it up, stood up and repaired the stones, and now takes care of this place.  There are only 6 or 8 people buried there but they deserve to be cared for so their final resting place is not lost forever.

The trip has been productive, well sort of.  We did not learn a whole lot that we did not already know but we did disprove some facts that we had been relying on.  Primary sources are invaluable in any sort of historical research especially genealogy.  Sometimes a secondary source, such as a town history or a family history can be used but there is no replacement for the actual record.  We had been chasing a person based on a town history book, but after reading his will and seeing the birth records we know that this person is not who we thought he was.  So for that purpose the trip was worth it.

We have much more work to do and I am sure I will be returning to Maine but for now it is time to make one more stop at a cemetery and then the long journey home.


  1. With so few graves in Preble Point, I hope you took photos to post on Find A Grave.

  2. I have direct ancestors in Preble Point cem., so it is good to know that someone is taking an interest. I am still on the trail, and might be able to shed some light.

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