Local History and Genealogy
Below is a list of items to help you navigate the Town of York’s history. Most items are available digitally, but the library also houses a collection of non-circulating items.
You can also access over 100 years of York newspapers through the York History Digital Archive.
Cemeteries and Burial Grounds From the York Comprehensive Plan inventory last performed in 2009.
Cemetery Records of York, Maine Available for use within the York Public Library only. It includes an indexed list of local cemeteries and 236 pages of records. Author notes that it is not a complete record, and there is no indication of the date of original publication.
Find a Grave A subsidiary of Ancestry.com, individual users contribute to cemetery listings. It is fully searchable, occasionally contains images, and includes many of York’s cemeteries.
First Parish Cemetery in York, Maine Scroll down the first page to access the Alphabetical Burial Index.
First Parish Cemetery – List compiled by Town Historian James Kences.
Maine Cemetery Records A list of cemeteries by county. In most cases a complete indice of gravestones at the time of inscription are included, but not not always.
Maine Old Cemetery Association Maine Old Cemetery Association is committed to caring for Maine’s long neglected cemeteris.
York Village Cemetery From the Digital Maine Repository. A map of the York Village Cemetery as it was created by the Works Progress Administration. It is marked as “Survey and Registration of War Veterans Graves” and includes which war each plot was a veteran of.
Digital Maps of York
1794 Plan of the Town of York Provided by the Digital Maine Repository. This is a plan of the town of York as it occurred in 1794 from the Massachusetts Archives.
1872 Map of York Provided by the Digital Maine Repository. This is a map of York as it occurred in the York County Atlas published in 1872.
1872 Map of York Village Provided by the Digital Maine Repository. This is a map of York Village as it occurred in the York County Atlas published in 1872. Includes a directory of local businesses.
1897 High Pasture Map of York Provided by the Digital Maine Repository. A map of the high pasture area of York as it occurred in 1897.
1913 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of York Harbor, York Village, and York Beach Provided by the Library of Congress. Sanborn Fire Maps were used across the United States in the 19th and early 20th century for insurance purposes. Due to their detail they provide an excellent glimpse of a community at a given time.
1919 Agamenticus Mountain Provided by Digital Maine Repository. A 360 degree panoramic map centered on the Mount Agamenticus fire tower in 1919.
1976 Coastal Marine Geological Environments of York Harbor Provided by the Digital Maine Repository. Information about the geological environments of York Harbor. Map created by Maine Geological Survey.
1976 Coastal Marine Geological Environments of York Beach Provided by the Digital Maine Repository. Information about the geological environments of York Beach. Map created by Maine Geological Survey.
1998 Significant Sand and Gravel Aquifers in the York Harbor Quadrangle Provided by the Digital Maine Repository. Information about aquifers in York Harbor. Contains description of the importance of water in Maine and well information. Map created by Maine Geological Survey.
2002 Coastal Bluffs in York Harbor Quadrangle Provided by the Digital Maine Repository. Information about the bluffs present in York, as well as a description of bluffs found in Maine. Map created by Maine Geological Survey.
2006 Coastal Bluffs in York Beach Quadrangle Provided by the Digital Maine Repository. Information about the bluffs present in York Beach, as well as a description of bluffs found in Maine. Map created by Maine Geological Survey.
Banks Maps Provided by the Town Clerk of York
The York Public Library maintains 16 shelves of prominent family histories. Some of these have been formally published, while others have been created locally and donated to the library. Items must be viewed within the library.
The library also houses a small collection of duplicate records given by the Old York Historical Society.
The family histories listed below are available online.
Freeman Families of New England in the 17th and 18th Centries Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3
The New England Descendants of the Immigrant Ralph Farnum of Rochester, Kent County England and Ipswich Massachusetts Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3.
History of the Kimball Family in America Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3.
A History and Genealogy of Captain John Locke (1627-1696) Volume 1, Volume 2
Descendants of Seth Savage of Berlin, Connecticut https://archive.org/details/descendantsofset00sava
History of York
1872 Statistics of York County Includes information about York such as acres of land, agricultural production, population, products of industry, social statistics, and cash value of farm land.
Agamenticus, Bristol, Georgeana, York: An Oration From the Internet Archive. Presented in 1902 on the 250th Anniversary of York, Maine by the President of the Maine Historical Society. It provides a history of York until the time of its publication.
All Along Shore: A Section Devoted to the Vacationist’s Enjoyment From the Internet Archive. A two page blurb about York, Kennebunkport, and Old Orchard published in a 1907 piece from the Boston and Maine Railroad Passenger Department.
Ancient City of Gorgeana and Modern Town of York: From the Earliest Settlement to Modern Times From the Internet Archive. A History of the Town of York as well as areas of note in 1874. Includes sections on ghosts, census, scalawags, churches, witches and witchcraft, and more.
Colonial Ramblings A booklet published by the Cape Neddick Branch of the American Association of University Women in July, 1975. Contains information about prominent York land marks including the Wiggly Bridge.
Garrison Houses of York Maine From the Internet Archive. A small pamphlet published in 1874 on the garrison houses in York.
The Geology of Southern York, Maine From the Internet Archive. A 1962 Publication of the Maine Department of Economic Development. Many maps related to the geology of York can be found under the Digital Maps of York section of this page.
Handbook History of the Town of York, From Early Times to Present Available through the Hathi Digital Trust. This is a history of the town as it stood when the document was published in 1914.
History of the State of Maine From the Internet Archive. A complete history of the state of Maine. Using the link here will do a search for all instances of the term Georgeana and list them in the left hand panel.
History of York, Maine, Successively Known as Bristol (1632), Agamenticus (1641), Gorgeana (1642), and York (1652) Volume 1. Volume 2. Available through the Hathi Digital Trust. This is a two volume collection of the history of York as it stood when the document was published in 1967.
History of York County, Maine: With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of its Prominent Men and Pioneers Available through DigitalMaine Commons. Compiled in 1880, this text contains the histories of many prominent families related to York and York county.
History of the Press of Maine From the Internet Archive. A history of printing in Maine. Includes a list of periodicals at time of publication, and is organized by county. York County begins on page 124.
The Indian Massacre at York, Maine, January 25, 1691-2 From the Internet Archive. A history of the Indian massacre at York, Maine as told by Mrs. Ida Wightman.
Inventory of Certain Town Properties, Easements, Monuments, and Partnerships Prepared by the Town of York, this white paper documents not only the town properties, monuments, and conservation areas, but the history of the town’s acquisition of these properties.
Jonathan Sayward Diaries 1760-1799 Finding Aid Full collection located at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts. This large set of diaries includes much about York and Jonathan Sayward’s views of the revolutionary war.
Library of Congress Holdings From the library of congress. A list of items available in their collection that pertain to York, Maine. Note that most of these items need to be requested from the Library of Congress directly
Maine Coast Romance: Ye Romance of Old York From the Internet Archive. A history of York with an index of images. Published in 1906.
Old York. From the Internet Archive. Part of A history from the Maine Coast Romance, by Milton Sylvester. Published in 1909.
York Deeds. From the Internet Archive. A list of historic deeds published by the Maine Historical Society in 1887.
York Town Reports Available through the University of Maine Digital Commons. Reports are from the year 1857 to the most recent submission. Please note that some dates are not available.
York War Monuments A list of War Monuments in the Town of York and their images.
Division of Public Health Services Information on how to order a vital record in the state of Maine. It notes that they started preserving records after January 1, 1892 and that prior records may be accessed from the local municipality or the Maine State Archives.
Maine Historical Society Complete vital records from every town 1892-1955 available on microfilm.
Town of York Vital Records Vital records may be obtained by contacting the Town of York Town Clerk / Tax Collector. The Town Clerk keeps Vital Records for all births, marriages and deaths that occur in the town, as well as those events that involve those people who were/are residents of York but gave birth, got married or died elsewhere in the State of Maine.
York County Maine Registry of Deeds Registry of deeds for York County. Records from 1965-present are easily searchable, and records from approximately 1886 (book 970)-1965 are searchable using the instructions provide on the website.
York History Digital Archive – Over 100 years of York’s history – history that existed nowhere else but on reels of microfilm held by Old York – is now digitized, fully keyword searchable, and available to anyone with a computer and an internet connection. Most documents range from 1891 to 2016, and include coverage from the York Courant, Old York Transcript, York Weekly, and York independent.
In addition to the links above, the resources below have a broader scope and may be useful in helping you retrieve information from other municipalities or states.
DigitalCommons@UMaine University of Maine’s digital repository. It contains many items related to the history of the state in addition to items relevent to York.
DigitalMaine Repository DigitalMaine Repository is Maine’s service hub for the Digital Public Library of America. It is a joint endeavor between Maine State Archives, Maine State Library, and partners across the state.
Digital Public Library of America: The Family Research Guide: DPLA is totally free to use and open to all – no library card, subscription, or sign-up required! Their collection offers a unique research resource for family historians and genealogists.
Hathi Digital Trust Hathi Digital Trust is a preservation repository with items of both national, state, and local interest.
Maine Memory Network Provided by the Maine Historical Society, the Maine Memory Network contains 45,000 items from 270 contributing partners.
Vintage Maine Images If you are interested in purchasing an image from the Maine Memory Network, this database provides you with the ways of obtaining print items of the many digital item listed in it.
State and Regional Genealogy Resources
Genealogy Web Resources Compiled by the Maine State Library this is an excellent list of online resources available for genealogy, as well as lists to guides to help show someone how to get started.
Maine City Directories These city directories are available at the Maine State Library. Not every year is available for each city or town.
Maine Genealogy From Access Genealogy. This is an overview of where to find genealogical resources across the state of Maine.
Maine Genealogy Databases and Collections A large assortment of genealogy resources for the State of Maine including where to find vital records, historical newspapers, and cemetery records.
Maine Genealogical Society The Maine Genealogical Society (MGS) is a non-profit educational organization that preserves over 80 titles in their collection including vital records transcriptions, family sketches, and various church, marriage and probate records.
Maine Historical Society A list of the resources provided by the Maine Historical Society including which vital records they have access to in which states, lineage society records, census records, obituaries, cemetery records, and more.
Maine Newspapers From FamilySearch. It provides links on where to find historic Maine newspapers.
Maine Newspapers on Microfilm A list of newspapers/journals with available publication dates available on microfilm through the Maine State Library.
Maine State Archives Services Available records include town history, genealogy resources, military documents, bills introduced into the Legislature, land deeds and surveys, judicial records, and more.
Maine State Library Genealogy Material Search the catalog for materials available through the Maine State Library. Click on the item you are interested in and follow the instructions to initiate a search of the catalog.
MyHeritage Access to genealogy records online through the Digital Maine Library.
New England Historic Genealogy Society The website for the New England Historic Genealogy society. It lists the services they provide as well as the opportunity to chat with a genealogist.
Obituary Search Search Maine obituaries using this online request form. This is a fee based service available through the Maine State Library.
York County, Maine From Genealogy Inc this is a good overview of where to find documents related to York County.
National Genealogy Resources
Access Genealogy A list of nationwide genealogy resources provided by Access Genealogy.
Ancestry Library Edition For in library use only. Provides instant access to more than 1 billion names, more than 3,000 databases, primary-source document images and a variety of genealogical research features. For tutorials please click here: Ancestry Library Edition Tutorials
Family Search A non-profit that is a free platform for genealogical education and resources.
Genealogy Provided by the Daughters of the American Revolution it provides excellent tips and trips on how to get started with genealogy.
Local History and Genealogy Reference Services provided by the library of congress, this is of archives and genealogical sources available nationwide .
MyHeritage Access to genealogy records online through the Digital Maine Library.
Roots Web Owned by Ancestry it is a means for people to upload and share their genealogies.
Regional Black History
Atlantic Black Box Through collaborative research, place-based education programs, digital humanities projects, events, and advocacy, The Atlantic Black Box Project seeks to engage the public in the collective rewriting of our regional history. Together, we ask: Why have we been telling certain stories about New England and not others? How did we come to unknow the region’s deep complicity in the institution of slavery and systems of oppression?
Portland Freedom Trail African Americans have lived in Maine for centuries. A good way to see that history is to follow their footsteps for about two miles through downtown Portland.
The Portland Freedom Trail is a self-guided tour through some of Portland’s oldest and most historic neighborhoods. The Trail will take you to important sites in African American history, specifically those dealing with 19th-century Black Mainers who stood in the vanguard of the fight against slavery.
Black Heritage Trail New Hampshire Portsmouth, New Hampshire has been home to Africans and African-Americans for more than 350 years. Upon examination of their stories, we find that against the odds of early enslavement and subsequent marginalization, Africans and their descendants built communities and families, founded institutions, and served their town, state and nation in many capacities.