Genealogical Dictionary of
Maine and New Hampshire

Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, by Sybil Noyes, Charles Thornton Libby, and Walter Goodwin Davis, Portland, Maine, 1928-1939. Originally published in five parts, this Digital Edition (1007 pages) has been reformatted and repaginated to improve readability (among other things, eliminating the small print of the original). The Digital Edition on CD-ROM © February 2005.

This compendium is THE standard reference for genealogists who had ancestors in Northern New England (Maine and New Hampshire) in or before 1699.  Its scope, however, is much larger than its title would suggest, for it contains much information about people who came from, or removed to, other colonies in New England (Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut), New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and points south.  Additionally, it contains information about several dozen, perhaps hundreds of women and children who were captured by raiding Indians and transported to Canada, where many remained to marry and raise families.  Though the cut-off date is 1699, the compilers carried the genealogies of many, if not most settlers well into the Eighteenth Century.

Most researchers will be interested primarily in the information provided for their own ancestors.  Nevertheless, the Digital Editions editor recommends perusing the work for the insights it affords about life in primitive New England.  For example:  the fact that most critical decisions in the colonies were made by committees (rather than imposed from above) gave the editor a new appreciation for the origins of democratic institutions in the New World -- institutions that profoundly affected the outcome of the American Revolution.  Other lessons learned: the perseverance of our immigrant ancestors, notwithstanding the fragility of life on the frontier (with frequent, deadly Indian raids), and the "wild west" behavior that did not conform to the standards that we normally attribute to "Puritan" ethics.  Within a mere ten pages of this compendium, we find the following "honest observations" of a type that we do not often find in the typical "family history":

A sobering thought: With so many children born out of wedlock, with the father not always identified, how certain can any of us be about our ancestry?

Being alphabetically arranged, the volume has no index.  Nevetheless, and notwithstanding ample use of cross references, readers of the Digital Edition will greatly appreaciate the search capabilities of their word processing software in their search for pertinent information.

The Digital Edition: Complete with three text files (8.5 Mb).

Enhancements: Quick links at the head of the text file to transport you instantaneously to the approximate location (within five to seven pages) of the surname you're looking for.  Format enhancements improve readability (these are similar in nature to the format enhancements used in Savages Genealogical Dictionary, for which see).  Nearly twenty pages of additions and corrections have been integrated with the text file.  "Topography and Abbreviations" and "Lists" have been published in separate files so that they can be opened concurrently with the main "Dictionary" file.

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Of Related Interest: The Digital Editions of Savage's First Settlers of New England and Pope's Pioneers of Massachusetts

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