Early Families of Alfred, Maine (2006) provides genealogies of about 150 families in what has been York County's shire town for about 200 years. This book completes the author's research into the families of Sanford-based or Sanford-connected towns. Since Alfred was until 1794 a part of Phillipstown [later Sanford] many of the families covered in this volume were among the earliest settlers of the latter town. The coverage of the Coffin family, which was in town by 1764, is the most extensive genealogy of this "first family of Alfred" in print. The book covers families settling in Alfred before 1850 and carries them forward through those families in which there was a birth by 1900. The uniqueness of this book is the amount of coverage obtained through contacts with individuals and family associations by e-mail.
The book is hard-bound, 499 pages in length, fully footnoted, with an all-name index. $65.00, $3.58 tax for Maine residents, $6.00 postage and handling.

From the preface to the book:

Alfred was known by several names before it chose its current name in 1794. The area around the current Shaker Pond and the area near the town of Waterboro was known as Massabesic. One section close to the Lyman line shared with Lyman the name Coxhall. Geographically it was a part of the town of Sanford, originally called Phillipstown, and often referred to as Sanford's "North Parish," not to be confused with North Parish Congregational Church in Sanford where some of Alfred's first settlers worshiped, married and had their children baptized.

Alfred was first settled in 1764 by the Simeon Coffin family who we are told had a wigwam along the Massabesic [now Shaker] Pond for their first home. By 1771 there were probably twenty-five separate households in the area that was part of Sanford, according to the Massachusetts Tax Evaluation List for that year.

By 1790 the households still in Sanford had grown to about one hundred. A number of "Alfred" men fought in the American Revolution, some heeding the alarm raised with the Battles of Lexington and Concord. As with Shapleigh and Acton many of the new settlers were themselves veterans of the American Revolution.

A number of neighborhoods developed in the town. Nathaniel Conant of Beverly, Mass., the principal land speculator of the early years, lived near one present-day Lyman line and attracted other Essex Co., Mass. families, such as the Friends, who lived on the present-day Clark Road. Alfred Gore, located close to Shapleigh and Waterboro, saw a good influx of settlers, many of whom were of the Baptist faith and chose Henry Smith as their pastor. Some were attracted by the Eastern Branch of the Mousam River and began to move in from Wells-Kennebunk to build saw and grist mills along the waterway. Part of this neighborhood was called Mouse Lane. A number of inter-related families from York found pastures and established farms and mills near the Middle Branch of the Mousam River on what is now Mast Street. Alfred village began to expand after the establishment of the courthouse attracting many brilliant lawyers, merchants and educated people who built a Congregational Church in the center of town and started an academy. More mills were built in the Littlefield Mills area south of the Village. The Methodist-Episcopal Church was built in the Village area in 1832. Early in its history a sizeable part of town was acquired by a group of Alfred Shakers who developed a large settlement of faithful people and built their own community east of what is now Shaker Pond.


"Early Families of Alfred, Maine and the other books in the series comprise an outstanding resource for York Co. genealogists. The series is the best and most up-to-date account of these early families now available in print. The complete set (all of the books may be ordered via the website or by contacting Mr.Boyle) should be a standard part of any library specializing in Maine or New England genealogy."
From the Review in The Maine Genealogist, May 2006, by Joseph Anderson, II, editor



Other books by Frederick R. Boyle
Early Families of Sanford-Springvale, Maine (1989)
Later Families of Sanford-Springvale, Maine (1995)
Early Families of Shapleigh and Acton, Maine (2002)
Early Families of Waterborough, Maine (2012)
Early Families of Lyman, Maine (2017)