F O R E W O R D
This was taken from microfilm records of three newspapers in Ellsworth, Maine, and is an abstract of death and marriage notices, plus a few obituaries and resolutions of respect where they provided information not otherwise noted:
EASTERN FREEMAN....................................4/22/1853 thru 7/28/1854
ELLSWORTH HERALD which became ELLSWORTH AMERICAN...4/3/1858 thru 12/31/1891
Microfilm and/or paper copies of issues from January 1892 to the present are available in the newspaper's office, but have not been included in this abstract. Additionally, vital statistics from 1892 to 1955 are available at the Maine State Archives in Augusta. If information is not shown for the issue of a particular date, it is because the microfilm records are not available.
Records for the Ellsworth American are kept in the office of the Ellsworth American at 63 Main Street, Ellsworth, Maine; open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday; phone: 207 - 665/2576.
Microfilm copies are also available at the Fogler Library, University of Maine, Orono, Maine 04473; phone 207 - 581-1673.
Paper editions of the Ellsworth American are available at the Maine Historical Society Library, 485 Congress Street, Portland, Maine 04101; phone 207 - 774-1822.
The full notice is shown as it appeared in the newspaper, with the exception of poems in death notices and some of the other flowery narrative if it does not mention family or other facts. Occasionally a notice appeared in two different issues so we sugest you also look in the issue following the one where it origiinally appeared. Consulting each issue will sometimes yield different or additional information.
Occasionally there were "obituaries" or "resolutions of respect" published soon after deaths, so if you have located the actual death notice, it might be to your advantage to also look through the following issue for additional info.
Due to the condition of the paper copies available and/or microfilm made from them, some entries were not legible. Those entries have been included for which we could decipher a clear surname, and we have taken the liberty of guessing at partial or unclear given names. Where we have made guesses, those things are printed within square brackets -- [ ]. Those entries without a clear surname have been omitted from this abstract. We have tried to keep the spelling as it actually appeared in the newspaper.
Note that some proper names in the late 1800's were not used the same as in the late 1900's. For instance, Georgie was frequently used for a female, Myrtle and Pearl were used for a male, etc., so you should not rely too heavily on your own preconceived ideas.
If spelling or other details do not exactly match information you have previously researched, we strongly urge that you go back to the microfilm records to check against our interpretation of those old records.
Brief History of ELLSWORTH AMERICAN
The following excerpt is taken from an article entitled "The History of Newspapers in Hancock County," written by Hale G. Joy for the ELLSWORTH AMERICAN, and published in the July 13, 1989 edition, page 26:
"The history of successful newspapers in Ellsworth seems to start in October 1851, when Couliard and Hilton came to Ellsworth from Bangor and started the ELLSWORTH HERALD. After Hilton ceased his connection with the paper, Couliard continued to publish until the fall of 1854. After the discontinuation of this paper, the press and other material became the property of William H. Chaney, who bought out the ELLSWORTH AMERICAN in 1854. He became associated with Charles W. Moor of Ellsworth, and these two published the AMERICAN until December 1855, after which the editorship was taken over by N. K. Sawyer."
The masthead of the ELLSWORTH AMERICAN in 1851 described itself as "devoted to politics, literature and general news." Published by Sawyer & Burr, for $2.00 per year, in advance. Later the masthead showed "We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths." The HERALD was published every Friday morning, for $1.50 per annum, in advance.
Beginning with the October 31, 1872 issue, death notices began with the following: OBITUARY NOTICES BEYOND THE DATE, NAME AND AGE MUST BE PAID FOR.