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Maine Deed History

Until it was granted statehood, Maine was part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In 1820, Maine voted to secede from Massachusetts, and was admitted to the Union as the 23rd state on March 15 of that year under the Missouri Compromise. Before statehood, Maine had been part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony since its founding in 1628.

Maine has 16 counties, the last of which was formed in 1860. Cumberland is the most populous county. The oldest county is York, which was created in 1636. The first patent establishing the Province of Maine was granted in August of 1622 to Ferdinando Gorges and John Mason by the Plymouth Council for New England. In the 1650s, the Massachusetts Bay Colony asserted territorial claims and absorbed what is now southwestern Maine.

The first known recorded deed for a purchase of land in York County was in 1668 and was between Francis Small and Chief Wesumbe following a dispute and a plot against Small’s life. Chief Wesumbe sold Francis Small all the lands bound by the Great and Little Ossipee Rivers, the Saco River, and the New Hampshire border. This deed was recorded by Edward Rishworth, Recorder of Deeds for York County.