May 25, 2018
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Birth records on microfilm organized by name of father

Roxanne Moore Saucier
By Roxanne Saucier, Special to the BDN

Last week I wrote about looking up the children born to Herbert and Lucy (Given) Baker in Millinocket. I didn’t have to go to the Maine State Archives in Augusta because the University of Maine’s Fogler Library in Orono has Maine vital records on microfilm for 1892-1955 in the microforms room on the first floor.

I knew that Lucy Baker died of influenza in 1918, so I chose the roll of film including Baker for the years 1908-1922. The vital records are organized like this for each surname: 1908 births, 1908 marriages, 1908 deaths; 1909 births, 1909 marriages, 1909 deaths; and so on.

But I didn’t have to look at every single birth in the Bakers to find the ones I wanted to see. That’s because the births are organized alphabetically by first name of the father. So I only needed to check the middle of each section of Baker births to find children of Herbert Baker. A child born to Herbert would come after a child born to Alan or Frederick Baker, but before a child born to Robert or Samuel Baker.

Why not just alphabetize the children by their own first name? Well, many times the baby hadn’t been named by the time the doctor filed the birth certificate.

Here’s something else I found interesting. We have all known the frustration of not being able to find the father’s name on some birth certificates. But I noticed among the 1917 death certificates one for an infant that included the father’s full name even though the child was born using the mother’s surname.

There’s always something new in a library, or at least something I hadn’t noticed before.

Fogler Library has microfilm of All Souls Congregational Church Library, 1811-1995, and All Souls Congregational Church Women’s Association, 1912-1987, both of Bangor.

Also on microfilm is the Index to Compiled Service Records of Union Volunteer Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Maine. These are basically index cards.

One resource I had looked at before on microfilm was Alphabetical Manifest Cards of Alien Arrivals in Calais, Jackman, Fort Fairfield, Van Buren and Vanceboro, 1905-1982. This set is also referred to as the St. Albans (Vt.) Manifest Cards.

Another set covered Manifest Cards of Alien Arrivals for Eastport, Fort Kent, Lubec and Madawaska, 1906-1952.

Another set was Manifest Cards of Alien Arrivals for Bangor and Houlton, 1906-1953, although the cards for Bangor didn’t start until 1924. These included arrivals of Canadian Indians, 1941-1953, and war brides, Maria Aguilar to Greta Young.

Fogler also has microfiche of records of the Montreal Prison, 1784-1886.

I could spend days looking up resources through URSUS at, the card catalog covering Maine State Library, Bangor Public Library and the campuses of the University of Maine. I’m always surprised at how many items I find relating to other states and countries.

For information on researching family history in Maine, see Genealogy Resources under Family Ties at Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402, or email


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