Sunday, March 11, 2012


More and more records are coming online that are of use to genealogists and
family historians. The other night cousin Chris Dunham sent me an email to let
me know about the Oxford County Eastern District Registry of Deeds website.
Oxford County Maine is where my West and associated families moved to from
Massachusetts back in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Chris also included the following image. 

As Chris wrote:
"I'm not sure how deeply you've delved into Oxford County deeds, but I found
a record showing that John C. West lived in Boston before coming to Canton
and marrying Arvilla Ames.

I've attached the deed from book 36, page 540, by which Elisha Turner of Peru
sold to "John West of Boston City, State of Massachusetts, Blacksmith," and Elisha
W. Thomas of Minot, blacksmith, land in Canton with a blacksmith shop on it on
16 Jan. 1827.

In book 35, page 474, Elisha W. Turner of Canton quitclaims his share of this 

property to "John West of Canton in the County of Oxford aforesaid Blacksmith" 
on 17 May 1827.

This shows that John settled in Canton in the late winter or spring of 1827—at least
four months before marrying Arvilla. Just to establish that this was the same John
West (the records don't always give his middle initial), a deed on page 542 of book
36 has John C. West of Canton, blacksmith, selling to John B. Douglas of Letter B
the same land and blacksmith shop in Canton. This was on 9 Dec. 1831. The deed 

has his wife Arvilla relinquishing her right of dower in the property."

Now this is the first time I've seen any document that has John Cutter West living
anywhere in Massachusetts other than Plymouth.  I don't know yet if John was related
somehow to either Turner or Thomas but how else would he know two blacksmiths
from Maine when he was living in Boston? The only other answer I can think of is
that perhaps they were apprentices together with another blacksmith and they decided
to set themselves up in business together in Maine.  Perhaps if I find an answer I can
break down the John Cutter West brick wall.

I went to the website and found quite a few records concerning my West family. Most
of them involve my 2x great granduncles Hiram F and Asa A West, but there are others
with transactions made by my 2x great grandmother Louisa A Richardson West and 3x
great grandmother Arvilla Ames West.  I checked this afternoon and there are also
many records involving my Ellingwood family, and I've still Richardson, Coburn, Ames,
and Barker lines to search for as well. It costs .50 cents to download a record but I plan
to go through them before I select what I want. I've already got 7 records for the sum
of $3.50!

Thanks, Chris for help and the heads up!

BTW,if you have Maine roots, be sure to visit Chris' Maine Genealogy Network page!


PalmsRV said...

There's so much information to be found in deeds. What a nice clue.

Carol said...

Yummy! This might keep you busy for a week or so! Have fun! Great piece.