07 September 2012

Honk! Honk!

(I wrote this posting last summer, and neglected to actually press the button to, well, post it.)

I'm just back from a wild goose chase in Maine.

The kind that starts with a rumor... and ends with lots of nothing. Okay, that's not entirely true... I did find scads of relatives in Brunswick and Thomaston; just not the ones I was searching for. It was nice to have a mission on our trip to Maine while Alex was learning how to plank a boat. I spent the last week making short forays to various libraries and historical societies in Knox County - Bath, Thomaston and Rockland all have wonderful resources for the genealogically bent traveller.

The story goes like this: Thomas Deane, son of Jonas Deane of Taunton and Eunice Turner, was born in 1691 in Scituate, MA. He married Lydia Cole of Swansea, MA, daughter of Hugh Cole of Plymouth, MA and Deborah Bucklin of Rehoboth, MA. Already the story gets a little sticky; depending on the sources, Lydia's parents could also have been John and his first wife Mary (Lewis) Cole. Fred E. Crowell says in his New Englanders in Nova Scotia column, that "Thomas Deane and family removed to Scarborough, ME before Feb. 17, 1740." and that "Mr. Deane is said to have later removed to New Meadows, now Bath, ME, where he died."

And there is where I started looking: Bath, ME. If Thomas Deane - or Dean - had died in Bath, no one seems to know about it. In fact there are no Thomas Deane records of death/burial (with the correct dates) in Maine that I have found. And it is from a want of searching either. I have since found a place not unreasonably far from Bath that is called Dean Hill. I wonder if it would be a stretch to go climb it and see what is there, maybe a gravestone conveniently marked with Thomas Deane on it?

Well, the next time I'm in Maine...


  1. Dear Sally,

    My ancestors are also from New Meadows. One side would have been Georgetown (now West Bath) and the other Brunswick. We're from both sides.

    The name Thomas Deane seems very familiar to me. I thought sure I'd find him in Wheeler and Wheeler's History of Brunswick, Topsham, and Harpswell. http://community.curtislibrary.com/CML/wheeler/ I was wrong.

    As you probably have seen, unsupported postings on Ancestry.com list him as dying in Brunswick in 1766. If he lived at New Meadows at that time it's possible he was buried on a family farm and or in one of the ancient burying grounds and that his headstone is no longer legible. Some in the area were buried under simple field stones.

    I found a Wickipedia reference to a Thomas Deane referencing a NEHGS Register entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Wingate_Thornton
    If I ever find him in my genealogical travels, I'll let you know.

  2. Hi Barbara,

    Yes, the legend of Thomas Deane dying in Brunswick actually goes back pretty far. I'm still sifting through information that I gathered while in ME, but I don't think I am any closer than when I started, except now I know where he isn't buried.

    Thanks for thinking of me in your genealogical travels! And thanks also for commenting on my blog. It means a lot to me!



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