Kennebec County, Maine Deeds

I want to start by saying that while I take the quality of my work very seriously; I don’t take myself too seriously.  Sharing my mistakes is not a suggestion to make them or an endorsement of them.  That being said, this a small humorous cautionary tale, “don’t do as I did.”

Who knew that deed records could sometimes be found online?  Not me, at least not before my Boston University course.  Thank you BU.  After I learned how to research deeds from the comfort of my own desk chair, I decided to do a search for some ancestors in Maine.  Whenever I get a new tool, I always want to practice.  Learning about a new type of record and where to find it feels a lot like a magic to me.  Kennebec County has a great website for deed research.  I might have struggled with the lesson initially, but my good grade helped me feel pretty confident about the steps to take.

✔  Find the county register of deeds

✔  Register

✔  Install Java  (this seemed to be necessary at both sites I searched)

✔  Clicked “name” and search

✔  Order the records

This was easy, and when names and towns I was looking for popped up with deeds and mortgages, I got really excited.  I started putting document requests in my basket.   This was proof that I had learned the lesson well.  It was pretty satisfying as I closed the page and settled down to wait for the copies to come in the mail.

A few weeks later when there was a lull in my projects I started thinking that this was taking a long time to get the deeds.  With so many things available on the web, we are getting used to instant gratification for information.  I figured I better check back and see what the story was.

Well, so far I did not put “✔  Read directions” on the above list.  That probably should have been first since after you check out you DOWNLOAD the records!  I had unnecessarily waited those few weeks.  It was a silly mistake and didn’t really cost me anything but time.  Mistakes can be good learning opportunities and in this case it provided a few laughs and slightly delayed instant gratification.

I went back to the Kennebec County Maine Register of Deeds to re-trace my steps.  Effective October 9, 2013, “you will receive 500 free images per calendar year.”  The copies were pretty inexpensive when I did the research but free, how great is that?

Hopefully “✔  Read directions” has moved up to the top of the list.   Hopefully.


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