The Robert L. Taylor Genealogy Collection
Collection Usage Requirements
Because our collection is currently housed off site, all requests to view individual files from the collection container list have to be made at least one to two weeks in advance. Files are usually pulled from our remote storage location a week in advance of anticipated visits. This usually can only be done on Thursdays when we have two staff members working, so please plan accordingly with your requests. We simply cannot pull collection files on short notice requests.
Any of our staff members will be glad to try to help you but the librarian who handles most of our genealogy questions is usually available Thursday afternoons, so it is best to make an appointment well in advance of your anticipated visit.
We require, and provide, plain white cotton gloves to be worn while handling collection documents. Viewing of any collection documents or materials must be done at the community table in the library.
Besides the Robert L.Taylor Genealogy Collection, we also have a very nice selection of local and regional Maine genealogy books, scrapbooks and other related materials in the library. These genealogy reference books and materials can not be checked out like a regular library book but can be viewed at the library during regular operating hours. We can also photocopy from these materials. Photocopies are 15 cents a page.
Limington is fortunate in having a very nice Historical Society and we would encourage you to check out their webpage at
As a complement to our collection, we have copies of the book " Early Families of Limington, Maine" by Robert L. Taylor as well as the Limington Historical Society's book " A History of Limington, Maine" by Robert L.Taylor that you can purchase directly from us. Unfortunately, we can not accept credit cards so please e-mail or call us and we will be glad to make arrangements for you to purchase one of these books.
We love getting genealogy requests but we are a small community library with limited time and resources so we ask for your patience and understanding with our collection usage requirements. We can only provide information for simple genealogy research requests. If you require extensive research we would be glad to put you in touch with a local fee-based genealogy researcher.
A PDF file copy of the Robert L. Taylor Genealogy Collection container list is available for you to download on this page. Look the container list over and let us know if you'd like to view any files from our collection.
Robert L. Taylor Biography
by Brenda Steeves
Robert L. Taylor was born on October 23, 1939. His parents lived in Limington, Maine. A genealogist, historian and teacher, he received his education in Limington, graduated from Gorham State Teachers College in 1962, received his master’s degree in education and published his thesis, “A History of Limington, Maine,” in 1975. He married Rosemary Davenport in 1979. Mr. Taylor taught school in various places in Maine and Massachusetts.
He was a member of the Maine Historical Society and the Maine Genealogy Society. He served as executive director of the Androscoggin Historical Society, which included oversight of its Clarence March Library and Davis Wagg Museum. He also served as president of the Ancient Landmarks Society of Parsonsfield, Maine and as president and historian of the Limington Historical Society. He maintained an active correspondence with genealogists all over the country, generously sharing his research findings with them. He was also available to answer genealogical questions directed to the town clerk’s office in Limington. He was involved in various scholarly research projects, including those with the Maine Old Cemeteries Association and those involving religious sects in 19th century Maine. He was particularly interested in the Free Will Baptists in Limington and other Maine communities. He also compiled genealogical information gathered from various 19th century Maine newspapers.
A prolific author, he wrote and published numerous books on local history and genealogy. Most notable were those centered on various communities in southwestern Maine: “The History of Limington, 1668-1900,” published in 1975; “A History of Limington, Maine,” published as a bicentennial edition in 1991 and an outgrowth of his master’s thesis; and “Early Families of Limington, Maine,” covering records from 1792 to 1892 and resulting from over a quarter century of research.
Other books about Maine communities include: “Early Families of Limerick, Maine,” published in 1984; “Early Families of Cornish, Maine.,” published in 1984-1987; and “Sebago Families as Mentioned in the 1850 Census,” compiled in 1994.
Mr. Taylor also typed and published “Early Families of Standish, Maine,” by Albert J. Sears, based upon Sears’s historical and genealogical studies of early Standish from 1755 to about 1805. He published a work, “The Strout Family Genealogy,” after becoming interested in this family while compiling a history of Limington and its families. The Strouts were among the earliest settlers in Limington, and Mr. Taylor’s research extended to all of the Strouts in the United States who descended from a common ancestor.
He also collaborated with David C. Young to publish “Death Notices from Free Will Baptist Publications, 1811-1851,” in 1985. The 12,000 death notices were abstracted from various Free Will Baptist publications, most notably the “Morning Star,” which was published continuously from 1826 to 1911. The compilation was an important contribution to vital records of the northeastern United States in the first half of the 19th century, for it included information not only about Free Will Baptists but about other deaths as well.
Robert L. Taylor died on March 12, 1996, at his home in Danville, Maine.
Scope and Content Note of the Collection
by Brenda Steeves
Materials from the Robert L. Taylor collection are divided into two main subject groups: family genealogies and town histories. These reflect the areas of research in which Mr. Taylor engaged. The family genealogies section is arranged alphabetically by surname; files include correspondence, research materials gathered by Taylor, photocopies from published genealogies, news clippings, family newsletters, etc. A large group of materials in this section is devoted to the Strout family and contains Taylor’s research for his book on this family. The section on individual families is followed by a section of information gathered from family registers. Included here is material gathered from many sources, including family Bibles, local historical societies, antiquarian books, and directly from family members. The next section is made up of correspondence received by Mr. Taylor. Most concerns his research in genealogy and is arranged by family surname. This is followed by a section of general correspondence, arranged chronologically and dating from the 1960’s to the 1990’s.
The town histories section is arranged by community and primarily concerns Baldwin, Cornish, Hiram, Limerick, Limington, Parsonsfield, Porter, Raymond, Sebago, and Standish, all towns in southwestern Maine. Much of the material was gathered by Mr. Taylor in his research for the various town histories which he wrote. This material is found first in each town section. It consists of copies of articles, photographs, correspondence, news clippings, maps, vital records, and information about people and organizations of each community. Following these research materials, the remaining information is arranged by subject. Limerick and Limington are the most fully documented communities. There is also a small group of materials resulting from work on the publication, “Proprietors’ Records for the Ossipee Towns.” These records include information from Limington, Limerick, Parsonsfield, Newfield, Cornish and Shapleigh.
In addition to his concentration on these communities, Mr. Taylor also collected a wealth of material about other communities in the state. These are found in a section called Other Maine Towns. Material here is arranged alphabetically by community name. Included is cemetery information, town histories, news clippings, maps, vital records, information about churches, etc. This is followed by a small section about the state of Maine as a whole. A brief section containing information about Massachusetts and New Hampshire is also included here.
In addition to his work in genealogy and local history, Mr. Taylor engaged in several other areas of research. This is reflected in the Church History section of the collection, which includes clippings from two religious publications, “Zion’s Advocate,” and “Morning Star,” as well as historical sketches of churches. He was especially interested in the history of the Free Will Baptist church, and this is seen in the materials found here.
During the Bicentennial of the American Revolution, he became involved in a project organized by the Maine Old Cemeteries Association to document and publish information about all Revolutionary veterans buried in Maine. Mr. Taylor served as the chair of the York County section. His notes and research materials about the project, as well as a name index of these veterans, is included in the collection. Mr. Taylor also did research on two religious sects which flourished in Maine in the early 19th cenury, the Millerites, who believed that the world would end in 1844, and the followers of Jacob Cochran, a preacher who thought that he and his followers received direct divine inspiration. Information on both of these movements is contained in this section of the collection.
The last major section contains newspaper indexes and newspaper clippings gathered by Mr. Taylor. Included are clippings from the “Lewiston Journal” and other newspapers, arranged chronologically from the 1840’s through the 1930’s. Both originals and photocopies are found in this section; the clippings provide information about Maine people and places. Following this is a section of news clippings from various Maine newspapers, arranged chronologically from 1810 to the 1990’s. These also concern Maine people and places. The collection ends with a small group of scrapbooks of news clippings, similar in subject to the other clippings found here.