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Aroostook County, Maine

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  • HIram B. Esty (1831 - 1870)
    Hiram B. Esty was born in Houlton, Maine, a small town on the border of the Canadian province of New Brunswick. He was the son of Hiram Esty, b. about 1797 in New Hampshire, and of Hiram's first wife. ...
  • Susan Collins, U.S. Senator
    Susan Margaret Collins (born December 7, 1952) is an American politician who currently serves as the senior United States Senator from Maine. One of six children, Susan Collins was born in Caribou, M...
  • David C. Savage (1836 - 1917)
  • George William Savage (1875 - 1958)

This project is part of the State of Maine Portal.

Aroostook County, Maine, situated along the Canadian border, is the northernmost part of the state. As of the 2010 census, the population was 71,870. Its seat is Houlton.

Known locally in Maine simply as "The County," it is the largest American county by land area east of the Rocky Mountains and the largest county by total area in Maine. As Maine's northernmost county, its northernmost village, Estcourt Station, is therefore also the northernmost community in New England and in the contiguous United States east of the Great Lakes.

Aroostook County is known for its potato crops, as well as its Acadian culture. In the Saint John Valley in the northern part of the county, which borders Madawaska County, New Brunswick, many of the residents are bilingual in English and Acadian French. Elsewhere in Maine, New England French is the predominant form of French spoken (apart from standard French).

History

Aroostook County was formed in 1839 from parts of Penobscot and Washington counties. In 1843, Aroostook gained land from Penobscot County; in 1844, Aroostook again gained land from Penobscot, plus it exchanged land with Piscataquis County. In 1889, Aroostook gained slightly from Penobscot, but gave back the land in 1903 when Aroostook County gained its final form. Some of the territory in this county was part of the land dispute that led to the "Aroostook War" that would eventually be settled by the Webster–Ashburton Treaty.

The county was also part of a route on the Underground Railroad, and was one of the last stops before entering Canada. Slaves would meet and hide just outside Aroostook or in deserted areas. Friends Quaker Church near Fort Fairfield was often a final stop.

Ethnic Groups

The racial makeup of the county in 2000 was 96.80% White, 0.38% Black or African American, 1.36% Native American, 0.47% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.17% from other races, and 0.80% from two or more races. 0.60% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 22.6% were of French, 15.4% United States or American, 14.6% English, 14.3% French Canadian and 10.2% Irish ancestry. As of 2010, 18.0% of the population reported speaking French at home; other than speakers of English, there were no other significant linguistic groups.

Acadians are the descendants of French colonists who settled in Acadia during the 17th and 18th centuries, some of whom are also Métis. Aroostook's Acadian culture is dominant, with several towns using French as their working language. The county has hosted several cross-border conferences and cultural festivals dedicated to Acadian life.

About the Project

Please use this project to add, research, document, and discuss your ancestors from Aroostook County. You can add profiles for:

  • People born in Aroostook County
  • People who lived in Aroostook County
  • People who died in Aroostook County

When you find helpful resources for research, please share them here so that others can benefit.

If you have projects related specifically to Aroostook County, like projects for towns or families centered within the county, you can also add those.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or general thoughts to share, please use the "Discussions" link at the upper right corner of the page.