Where are Leavitts in Maine? They’re everywhere

Posted Jan. 02, 2011, at 6 p.m.

When it comes to Leavitt ancestry, I think I’m Thomas 12.

Starting with my dad, the line is: Gayland Moore Jr. 1, Ione Alvara Bennett 2, Rena Alice Bennett 3, Mary Alice Cummings 4, Silas Harris Cummings 5, Deborah Harris 6, Mercy Haskell 7, Nathaniel Haskell 8, Mercy Leavitt 9, Thomas Leavitt 10, Aretas Leavitt 11, Thomas Leavitt 12.

My line goes from Abbot to Guilford to Greenville to Parkman to Greene to New Gloucester to Hampton Falls and Hampton, N.H.

(A side note: My Nathaniel Haskell was the father of Nathaniel Haskell who settled Greenville. So the Walden, Cummings and some Bennett families who trace back to Greenville Nathaniel also are descendants of Thomas Leavitt.)

I got thinking about this recently when a friend shared the November issue of Leavitt Leaves, the newsletter of the National Association of Leavitt Families.

Perhaps the better-known Leavitt family included in Leavitt Leaves is the descendants of John Leavitt of Hingham, Mass., which includes sons Samuel, Israel, Moses, Josiah and Nehemiah.

Next summer will offer a wonderful opportunity to get together with Leavitt descendants, including some who know scads of information about Leavitt lines.

The National Association of Leavitt Families will hold its reunion on Saturday, June 25, in Turner, which is north of Lewiston and west of Greene.

This issue of Leavitt Leaves also includes some Leavitt cemetery listings for Turner, many of the Leavitts buried at Howes Corner Cemetery.

Roland Rhodes of Gorham, the genealogist for the National Association of Leavitt Families, made good use of his trip to Northport in September to attend the Maine Genealogical Society meeting.

He wrote about some of the cemeteries and other places he visited along the way, and who he “found” there. Even those who may not be related to him are worth recording to Rhoades. They’re not nonrelatives, but rather “unplaced Leavitts.”

Turner, Rhodes wrote, is heavily settled by descendants of Israel Leavitt, and also many Nehemiah Leavitt branches.

This issue of Leavitt Leaves includes obituaries for Natalie Brown Johnson of Kennebunk, Thomas Whittlesey Leavitt of Saunderstown, R.I.; Gerald Merl Wittwer of St. George, Utah; George E. Kenney of Palmer, Mass.; Kelly Leavitt Gates of southern Utah; and Virginia Hay Leavitt of Chittenden, Vt.

Dues to the National Association of Leavitt Families is $10 a year. Life memberships are $100-$200 depending on your age. Send checks to NALF Inc., c/o Richard H. Leavitt, 50 Woodland Road, Pownal, ME 04069. Include what you know of your line back to the immigrant ancestor.

Visit the website for NALF at leavitts.org.

You may remember some weeks ago I wrote about Bud Leavitt, the late sports editor for the Bangor Daily News. He was Ralph Leavitt, but his ancestors actually were Lavoies, not connected to John or Thomas Leavitt.

And the Buddy Leavitts of Monson and Guilford? Cyril M. Leavitt III is the young fella. Cyril M. Leavitt Jr. is my age, let’s say 50-something; and Cyril M. Leavitt Sr. served in the U.S. Marines in World War II. He died in 2006, and you can read his obituary on the Bangor Daily News website. Go to www.bangordailynews.com, click on Obituaries, then click on Obituaries Archive/In Memoriam and enter Cyril Leavitt in the search box.

This Leavitt branch was in Mars Hill, Aroostook County, before 1900, but I don’t know if they’re connected to John or Thomas. There certainly were many Leavitts in Sherman in Aroostook County, as well.

For those of you who know that your Leavitts were here “early,” before 1700, and so possibly linked to John or Thomas, check out the “Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire” by Sybil Noyes, Charles Thornton Libby and Walter Goodwin Davis. Genealogists often refer to this book as “Noyes Libby Davis.”

It is one of the few resources I consider so important that I keep a copy at home and a copy at work.

Several Maine libraries have this book.

One of my copies came from a friend who bought it from a library in the Bangor area (not Bangor Public Library.) To any Maine library who would let this book go, except to another library, I say, “Please don’t do that.” It is a priceless resource, and it is out of print.

Many new books pertinent to Maine genealogy have been published in recent years.

Check out the website of Picton Press in Rockport at www.pictonpress.com. Note that Picton is having an after-Christmas sale on some CDs if you order by Jan. 8.

Send queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, PO Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402; or e-mail familyti@bangordailynews.com.

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