Legislators' Biographical Database
ABOUT THE CONTENTS
This beta version of the database includes the legislator's name, years of service, legislative body, political party affiliations, town of residence, birth and death dates when known, and incidental additional notes about Maine legislators primarily from 1820 forward. If a Maine legislator also served in the Massachusetts General Court from 1780-1819 that information will be found in the Notes field on the person's earliest service record. Mainers who served only in the Massachusetts General Court are not yet included in the database but are recorded in a card index in the Library.
The database is maintained regularly and updated for each session. Older information was taken from a card index maintained over a very long period of time by library staff. Especially for the earlier years, verification of some data is difficult to impossible. This may result in some duplicate records where we are unable to verify identities. If you discover any errors or problems we'd certainly appreciate you emailing us about them.
Things to keep in mind when searching the database by town :
The towns noted on the original cards were assumed to predominantly be that of the legislator's residence, as opposed to the towns served.
Some records do have multiple towns listed and in that case the first town is usually the residence, and the subsequent names are towns included in his/her district.
Town names can vary in spelling over time, such as: Eliot and Elliot; Islesboro and Islesborough; Gouldsboro and Gouldsborough, etc. Check the index listing for nearby variations.
Very early records for Senators may not have any towns listed at all, and have county names instead. The source for this early material was legislative pay roll lists in the Laws of Maine set. Representatives were listed by residence town but senators by county.
Things to keep in mind when searching the database by name:
Although we have tried to verify spelling when possible, variations may exist. It's a good idea to scan nearby names for any related possibilities. Records are entered under the surname in use that session. Cross references to name changes will be added when known. Given names are used, followed by nicknames if known.
Individual records exist for each term served. Any notes pre-1820 service in the Massachusetts General Court, are entered on the person's earliest record.
Notes pertaining only to a specific legislative session, such as change in party affiliation, are entered on the record for that session.
SAVING AND MANIPULATING TABULAR DATA
Search results can be highlighted (click and drag to select desired data), copied (CTL + C) to the clipboard and then pasted into a spreadsheet or word processor table for further manipulation to suit your needs. If CTL + C does not work try CTL + A to copy all of the results table and paste that into another document. Additional questions, not easily answered with a straight name or town search may be answered this way, using spreadsheet sorting functions.
If you have any questions contact our reference staff .