I know I’ve mentioned the Internet Archive many times. I think they are amazing, and I thank them so much for their efforts and work. Besides the 125+ Scarborough Historical Society books that I’ve uploaded, the Internet Archive and their Wayback Machine provide a historical archive of the Internet, they have many additional resources.
One feature I knew about, but I had never used, is their Genealogy Collection. It provides a shortcut to many collections such as those from the Allen County Public Library and “Reclaim the Records.” A search of the Genealogy Collection for “Scarborough, Maine” yielded three items. I knew about the two Scarborough Town Reports posted by the Allen County Public Library. However, the third was The ancestry of Charity Haley, 1775-1800 : wife of Major Nicholas Davis of Limington, Maine. In it, there was a chapter, “Edgecomb, of Scarborough and Biddeford.” The chapter begins with Nicholas Edgecomb arriving at Richmond’s Island about 1638. If you have Edgecomb ancestors, you definitely will want to read the 16 pages of information.
Besides my SHS uploads, I donate financially occasionally to help fund this extraordinary resource. I hope you will consider donating here.
By the way, my thanks to Roberta Estes for her blog, DNAeXplained. Her post reminded me about the Genealogy Collection. I highly recommend following her blog-It’s a good one.
Paul, the husband of my wife’s niece, said he didn’t know much about his great-grandfather, Laurance Louis Harmon. I was invited to be the godfather to his children several years ago. As I believe it to be important for children to learn about their ancestors, I am excited to learn about Paul’s ancestors so I can help my godchildren to learn more about where they come from. Finally, Paul’s ancestor was born in Scarborough, to a family name long known to me as a volunteer at the historical society. As I quickly learned, besides Paul’s great-grandfather, I learned of six more greats in his family tree, which means much more research in the future.
Howell-Welch Project – Ancestor #14
List of Greats
1st Great-grandfather: Laurance Louis Harmon (1897-1941)
2nd Great-grandfather: Lewis Lunbard Harmon (1863-___)
3rd Great-grandfather: Joseph Harmon
4th Great-grandfather: John S. Harmon
5th Great-grandfather: Joseph Harmon
6th Great-grandfather: Nathanel Harmon
7th Great-grandfather: John Harmon
Laurance Louis Harmon (1897-1941)
Although spring had arrived a few weeks earlier, the morning that Laurance Louis Harmon was born, April 11, 1897, there was light snow and a temperature of 33. Laurance was the third, and last, child born to Lewis and Lucille (Cousins) Harmon. Medical Doctor, Martin Coffin, attended the birth in Scarborough, Cumberland County, Maine.
The 1900 Census found 3-year-old Laurance living with his father, a farmer, mother, and two siblings, Ernest (age 11) and Velma (age 8). They were at school and Laurance was too young to attend school yet.
The 1910 Census found 13-year-old Laurance attending school but his siblings were both working. Earnest was laboring at a sawmill and Velma was doing housework. His father was still a farmer.
Laurance followed his father into farming, as the 1915 Portland City directory reports. The 17-year-old was living with his father (L. L. Harmon). His mailing address was RFD 2, Gorham.
Laurance married Mildred R. Swain on 1 October 1917. The ceremony was performed by Rev. John A. Ford in Gorham, Cumberland County, Maine.
Laurance and Mildred would have four children, a boy and three girls.
On 5 June 1918 Laurance registered for the draft. He and his new wife were living at 7 Grace Street, Portland, Maine. He was employed as a machinist at Peterson Motor Company, 327 Forest Avenue, Portland. It was described as tall, with a slender build, blue eyes and brown hair.
Two months later, on 28 August 1918, John was inducted into the army as a private. He was assigned to the 43rd company, 11th Rec Batallion, 151st Depot Brigade at Camp Devens, Massachusetts.
Camp Devens was an epicenter for the Spanish Flu in 1918 where over 850 soldiers, mostly privates like Laurance, died. The War ended on 11 November 1918. Laurance was discharged, three months after arriving, but a month after the war ended, on 5 December 1918 with an honorable discharge.
After his short time in the service, the young family located to Westbrook where Laurance worked as an auto mechanic until at least 1922.
The 1930 Census finds Laurance living with his wife and three oldest children in Gorham. He is still working as a mechanic in a garage. He is living on County Road in Gorham, near the Scarborough line.
The 1940 Census continues to find Laurance living with his wife and four children on County Road, and working as a mechanic at a machine shop
Laurance Louis Harmon died 4 April 1941. He was buried in the South Gorham Cemetery, Gorham, Cumberland County Maine. He was survived by his wife and his four children.
1900 Census, Various, 1900 Census – Lewis L Harmon – Scarborough, Cumberland, Maine. “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MMLF-FL3 : accessed 20 December 2020), Lewis L Harmon, Scarborough town, Cumberland, Maine, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 78, sheet 18A, family 436, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,591.
1910 Census (NARA, 1910), Various, 1910 – Lawrance C. Harmon – Scarboro, Cumberland, Maine. “United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MR3M-H97 : accessed 19 December 2020), Lawrance C Harmon in household of Lewis L Harmon, Scarboro, Cumberland, Maine, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 101, sheet 20A, family 467, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 538; FHL microfilm 1,374,551.
1930 Census (FS), Laurence Harman – Head – Gorham, Cumberland, Maine. “United States Census, 1930,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XM8L-7KP : accessed 19 December 2020), Laurence Harman, Gorham, Cumberland, Maine, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 17, sheet 7A, line 2, family 105, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 830; FHL microfilm 2,340,565.
1940 Census (FS), Family Search, 1940 Census – Lawrence Harmon – Gorham, Cumberland, Maine. “United States Census, 1940,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KMMW-WMH : 28 February 2020), Vyra A Harmon in household of Lawrence Harmon, Gorham Town, Cumberland, Maine, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 3-27, sheet 6A, line 37, family 92, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 – 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 1474.
Find a Grave, Laurance L Harmon – Memorial #127906305. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 19 December 2020), memorial page for Laurance L Harmon (1897–1941), Find a Grave Memorial no. 127906305, citing South Gorham Cemetery, Gorham, Cumberland County, Maine, USA ; Maintained by Maine 101 (contributor 47130320).
Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Birth – Alton [No Name] Harmon – 11 May 1919. Citing this Record. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q24N-7HYM : 16 December 2020), MM9.1.1/Q24N-7HYM:, Birth 11 May 1919; multiple sources, Maine; FHL microfilm 10,133.
Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Birth – Laurence L Harmon – 11 Apr 1897. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VZQD-3P8 : 16 December 2020), Lawrence L Harmon, 11 Apr 1897; citing Scarboro, , Maine, United States, multiple sources, Maine; FHL microfilm.
Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Birth – Ruth Marie Harmon – 19 Jul 1922. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q24N-9GQ7 : 16 December 2020), Ruth Marie Harmon, Birth 19 Jul 1922; multiple sources, Maine; FHL microfilm 10,128. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q24N-9GQ7.
Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Marriage – Laurence Harmon & Mildred R Swan – 1 Oct 1917. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q24N-SHR3 : 16 December 2020), Laurence Harmon and Mildred R Swan, 01 Oct 1917; citing Westbrook, Cumberland, Maine, United States, multiple sources, Maine; FHL microfilm.
Maine, Marriage Index, 1892-1966, 1977-1996, Family Search, Marriage – Laurence Harmon & Mildred R Swan – 1 Oct 1917. “Maine, Marriage Index, 1892-1966, 1977-1996,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KCN2-TRK : 27 November 2014), Laurence Harmon and Mildred R Swan, 01 Oct 1917; citing Marriage, Maine, United States, State Archives, Augusta.
Maine, State Archive Collections, 1718-1957, Family Search, Military Service – Laurance or Laurence Louis Harmon 1918. “Maine, State Archive Collections, 1718-1957,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KG9Q-67X : 11 March 2018), Laurance Or Lawrence Louis Harmon, 28 Aug 1918; citing Military Service, United States, State Archives, Augusta.
Maine, World War I Draft Register Index, 1917-1919, Family Search, Draft Registration – Lawrence Louis Harmon – Inducted 28 Aug 1918. “Maine, World War I Draft Registration Index, 1917-1919,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2HM-P1F5 : 15 March 2018), Lawrence Louis Harmon, 1917-1919; citing Draft Registration, Portland, Cumberland, Maine, United States, Maine State Archives, Augusta; FHL microfilm 005652220.
Portland Press Herald (Portland, ME, ), Genealogy Bank, Alton S. Harmon – Obituary 27 May 1998. Portland Press Herald (Maine) 27 May 1998, obit for ALTON S. HARMON CONSTRUCTION WORKER, WWII VETERAN, GenealogyBank.com (https://www.genealogybank.com/doc/obituaries/obit/0F9C33C5B8BC7A98 : accessed 19 December 2020). https://www.genealogybank.com/doc/obituaries/obit/0F9C33C5B8BC7A98.
S. City Directories, 1822-1995, Ancestry, Portland, Maine – 1915-’17 – Page 212 – Harmon – Portland, Maine – 1915-’17 – Page 213 – Harmon. Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
S. City Directories, 1822-1995, Ancestry, Westbrook, ME – 1930 – Gorham Directory – Page 241 – Harmon. Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
S. City Directories, 1822-1995, Ancestry, Westbrook, ME – 1934 – Gorham Directory – Page 178 – Harmon. Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
S., Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, 1925-1963 , Ancestry, Laurence L Harmon (1897-1941). National Archives at Washington DC; Washington DC, USA; Applications for Headstones for U.S. Military Veterans, 1925-1941; NAID: A1, 2110-C; Record Group Number: 92; Record Group Title: Records of the O.
S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, Ancestry, Alton Swain Harmon (1919-1998) – No Image. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/28283679:60901.
S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, Ancestry, Lawrence Louis Harmon (1897-1941) – No Image. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/89437:60901.
United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Family Search, Draft Card – Laurence Louis Harmon – Registered 5 June 1918. “United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KZFY-BQX : 24 August 2019), Laurence Louis Harmon, 1917-1918.
 Laurence and Laurance are used interchangeably throughout many documents. His military service record even uses both on the same page. I have standardized by using “Laurance” because it is the spelling used on his tombstone and is likely the spelling he used later in life.
This week, for Photo Friday, I’m reviewing four photos, one child, two women photos, and one small photo with two women in it.
Mrs. Carrie Johnson & Daughter Lillie.
This photo kind of has two backs. There is the original small 2-3/4” x 2” black & white (pictured above). Also, there is a blue-tinted printed copy of that same photo but only has the left inch, thus leaving out the daughter. However, the backs of the two are slightly different. One says, “Mrs. Carrie Johnson & daughter Lillie,” the other states, “Carrie Johnson Mrs. R. M. Johnson.”
A search for Carrie Johnson, with a spouse of R. M. and a child named Lillie, immediately found a 1910 Census record with Richard M. Johnson, head of household, Carrie E. Johnson, his wife, and Lillie R. Johnson, as a daughter. In 1910 they lived in Hallowell, Kennebec County, Maine.
Carrie E. (Murphy) Johnson – Family Search ID: 9XYH-Z1X.
Lillie Richardson Johnson – Family Search ID: G71N-9FJ.
Kenneth F Bartlett
The back of the photo says, “Kenneth F Bartlett.” The picture is by “Smith Photo Co, 27 Monument Sq., Portland, ME.”
There was a Kenneth F. Bartlett, born in Scarborough, ME, on 30 June 1905, the son of Ferdinand M. and Ruth E. Bartlett.
A review of potential other Kenneth Bartletts did not yield any other candidates.
The child appears to be between ½ to 1-1/2, and the photo style is consistent with approximately 1906. So, I believe this to be Kenneth Bartlett.
US Census Records are essential records used in genealogical research. They are a treasure trove of information; however, they come out only once every ten years leaving huge gaps. With the 1890 census having lost so many records in a fire, often there is a twenty-year gap in our family research. Don’t overlook city directories as a potential source to fill in those gaps.
Many cities and counties have had directories published over the years.
They were created for salespeople and merchants to be able to contact businesses and individuals. Every publisher had their format for information they presented, but if you find one that includes your ancestor, it can be the source for new information.
Typically, city directories give the name and address of the head of the household. Often they give the wife’s name, usually in parenthesis, and sometimes the names of adult children living at the same address. They also typically provide the occupation of the individual. Sometimes there is a reverse directory included which goes by street address and contains the names of the individuals living there. Always look for your ancestor in the name section, the business section, and, if included, the reverse directory to see who else might live at the address.
Sometimes a directory can provide an answer to a question or clarify what was happening. As an example, for many years I thought a great-grandmother of mine moved from one address to another on the same street. I thought it was odd, but not unheard of before. A city directory revealed that they renumbered the street one year. The neighbors stayed the same, but the numbers changed for all of them.
Directories often show maps, street name changes, addresses of businesses, churches, schools, cemeteries, post offices, hospitals, newspapers and the like. Some will give a history of the city as well as the names of elected officials.
Another significant bit of information often given is if a person is a widow. That can be key to narrowing down the year of someone’s death and provides a “died before” date. In some occasions, the city directory may even list marriages, and deaths, including date, during the previous year.
Google Books is always worth a quick look to see if they have a directory you need. Go to books.google.com and then enter in the search box: City Directory [city of interest]. You may be surprised at what is available online. I noted the 1850-51 City Directory for Portland, ME, was available as a free eBook.
Probably better than Google Books is Google’s US Online Historical Directories site. A click on “Maine” shows that eight of the 16 counties have directories online and that seven Portland City Directories are available online. Five of those directories are accessible through Don’s List, which is one of my favorite online sources for information. Check them out at: (www.donlist.net).
Another excellent source for directories is the Internet Archive (www.archive.org) and has Many Maine directories. A quick search of Directory Maine yielded 257 results including directories for Lewiston, Casco Bay, Bangor, and Portland.
One of the best sources for Directories is Family Search. After logging in, select Search – Catalog. Then under titles, enter Directory and State. For “Directory Maine” there are 64 results returned. Be sure to look at the available directories closely. There is a directory for “Greater Portland” and directories for “Portland” which are separated by quite a bit. Many of the directories are still only available on microfilm at various libraries but pay attention to them as they are likely to become available online soon.
Of course, Ancestry has many directories available with a subscription. A search for “Directory” in the title with a keyword of “Maine” yielded 27 results. Several of them were city directories.
Many libraries and historical societies have city directories in their possession. It is always worth an email or telephone call to find out if a library has a city directory. Often, they will do a look-up for you without charge or for a small fee. Occasionally the directories have been microfilmed so be sure to speak with a reference librarian who knows the various collections available on microfilm. Sometime those resources may be ordered via interlibrary loan.
Scarborough Historical Society & Museum Collection
The Scarborough Museum has a small collection of city directories of Portland, including the following:
1942 – Thomas Henley – K11
1952 – Thomas Henley – K11
1956 – (Upstairs Archive)
1963 – Thomas Henley – K04
1965 – Thomas Henley – K12
1970 – Thomas Henley – K12
1975 – Thomas Henley – K12
1977 – Thomas Henley – K12
These directories are available for members to use at the museum for research. If you cannot make it to the museum, the Genealogy Volunteers will be happy to look up a couple of names for you. Just let them know the surname and the year.
Of course, if you have a Greater Portland city directory, or another directory that includes Scarborough, please consider donating it to the museum. We would be extremely pleased to add it to our collection.
Other Public Collections
The Scarborough Public Library also has many city directories including Greater Portland & Surrounding Communities from 1960 thru to the current 2019 directory.
The South Portland Historical Society also has many city directories, plus it is a great museum to visit. Check it out.
Finally, both the Maine Historical Society in Portland and the Maine State Library in Augusta have substantial collections of interest to genealogists that include many city directories. Either are great resources.
I am a volunteer at the Scarborough Historical Society and Museum. I am using it in this article as an example of what might be available at any local historical society.
I had the opportunity to visit the Maine State Library and scan the 1875 Scarborough, Maine, Tax Valuation Record using their Zeutschel OS 12002. It is a multi-camera book scanner that creates high-resolution images of bound and oversized materials. The scanned images were then combined into a PDF file. A “Scarborough Books” collection was created and the PDF file uploaded with some metadata information. Thank you so much for the assistance of Adam Fisher of the Maine State Library for his help and assistance in this Project. The scanned images were then combined and compressed into a PDF file. I then uploaded the resulting file to Digital Maine to make the images publically available.
Pages 1-28 (as numbered at the top left corner of a page) are Scarborough residents, generally arranged alphabetically by surname. That is to say, all people whose surname begins with a “C” are together.
In the second section are non-residents who owned property in Scarborough. These pages are unnumbered and are divided by the towns the individual lived in and then semi-alphabetically by surname. The towns include:
A third, unnumbered, section indicates residents and non-residents that live in Scarborough but do not own property.
If you have ancestors who lived in Scarborough, Maine, in 1875, this book may provide information of great interest. It provides information on real estate values, personal property (horses, oxen, cows, swine, sheep, carriages, and furniture. Also included are stocks and bonds, money lent at interest, and logs and timber held.