In my research into a variety of family groups who resided in Tuftonboro, NH (in Strafford County, which is now Carroll County) in the 19th Century, a common thread has emerged. Many of these family groups have ancestors who moved in the early part of 19th Century to Tuftonboro from Berwick, Eliot and Kittery Maine, a horse and buggy journey of about 30-40 miles northwest.
To name a few:
- Samuel Morrill family, which moved from Eliot Maine to Tuftonboro NH around 1810, and are cousins to my Morrill family of Tuftonboro, who later moved to Portland Maine.
- Hanson Libbey family, which moved from Berwick, Maine around 1800.
- Ichabod Libby family, which also moved from Berwick to Tuftonboro around 1800.
- William Copp family, which moved from Lebanon, Maine around 1795 (even though his father was born in nearby Dover, NH).
- Edward Grant family, which also moved from Lebanon Maine sometime between 1808 and 1840.
- Robert Haley family, which moved from Saco Maine around 1805. Robert was killed on the railroad. Perhaps the railroad was what brought people from York County Maine to Carroll County NH?
- Daniel Fernald family, which moved from Berwick Maine to Tuftonboro in 1815.
- Eleazer Fernald and his son Tobias (and his family) moved from Kittery Maine to Ossipee around 1820.
- Robert Swett and his brother Samuel Sweat migrated to Tuftonboro from Sanford Maine by 1812.
- Captain Elisha Smith of the Revolutionary War migrated from Hollis Maine to Tuftonboro by 1812.
I would love to find some kind of rationale, or common thread, if any exists, for these various Maine families to have moved west. Strafford County (later known as Carroll County) wasn't known for much outside of sheep and cattle farming and a couple old grist mills. Maine was where all the industrial shipping work was to be found. The Embargo Act of 1807, however, effectively bankrupted many families in Maine, and was the death knell for much of Maine's timber industry. Perhaps the move to rural NH was a reaction to the Act? Perhaps cheap farm land was the way to go? Perhaps these were all Revolutionary War (or War of 1812) veterans, and they received land patents for their military service?