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Founders of Saco and Biddeford, Maine

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  • Paul Mitchell, of Saco (c.1612 - 1653)
    Evidence needed to support as son of Richard Bartlett Mitchell & Elizabeth Mitchell Biography PAUL MITCHELL drowned 18 Nov. 1653 Boston Paul was one of John Winter's men at Richmond Island i...
  • Source:
    Rev. Thomas Jenner, II (1601 - 1676)
    All children born before 1635 were born in England, several sources prove this fact. Online ancestry trees have all of Rev Thomas Jenner's children born in the American Colonies by mistake. * Thomas Je...
  • Richard Randall, Sr., of Cape Porpus (c.1606 - 1713)
    Not the same as Richard Randall Randall brought his young family [???] across the ocean around 1640 arriving at Scituate, MA. [???] Soon they relocated to Boston and eventually he went to Saco, ME Marr...
  • Edward Small (c.1600 - 1664)
    Edward SMALL was born ABT 1600 in Bideford, Devonshire, England, and died AFT 10 FEB 1665 in Kittery, York, Maine or Bideford, Devonshire, England.Came to America with oldest son Francis in 1632===Fami...
  • Amias Maverick (1597 - aft.1672)
    Amias Cole===* Birth: Oct 3, 1597 - baptized St. Andrews, Plymouth, Devonshire* Death: After Sept 3, 1672 - perhaps her daughter's home in Saco, Maine* Parents: William Cole, Agnes Briant* Husbands: Da...

Please add Saco river valley pioneers to this project (actions menu > add profiles). Collaborators, please feel free to contribute resources, images, documents, edit the "project page,". .... And invite more collaborators.

From An Introduction to Saco History

In 1617 a company of adventurers led by Richard Vines weathered a winter at the mouth of the river in a place still known as Winter Harbor. After subsequent visits, permanent settlers arrived in 1631. Both sides of the river were considered as one town, known first as Saco, and after 1718 as Biddeford.

From Saco Valley Settlements and Families: Historical, Biographical, Genealogical, Traditional, and Legendary, Volume 1 (Google eBook) Gideon Tibbetts Ridlon The Author, 1895 - Carroll County (N.H.) - 1250 pages. Page 93:


“ Massachusetts, the mother of Maine,” is a phrase that might long ago have been relegated to the repository of unfounded error, but for the inexcusable ignorance or wilful disregard of truth exhibited by modern writers of our colonial history (2) who seem to find infinite pleasure in misleading the average reader by the use of this and kindred forms of expression. Indeed, the impression extensively prevails that the founders of our plantations on the coast of Maine were families of Massachusetts birth who had, perforce, like bees, swarmed from an over-crowded hive to find a “pitching place” to the eastward. Admitting this to be a “half-truth" it must be characterized as worse than absolute falsehood.

Confining ourselves to the settlements on the Saco river we shall find an example that will abundantly sustain our position. Of John Oldham, one of the original patentees, it was said: “ He hath, at his own charges, transported thither and planted there divers persons and had, for the effecting of so good a work, undergone great danger and labor.”

In addition to this settlement of “divers persons” in the plantation previous to 1630, Oldham and Vines had undertaken to transport at their own cost fifty additional persons within seven years “to plant and inhabit there.” We naturally inquire where in Massachusetts such a company could be found. A mental census of the colony at Plymouth, then only ten years inhabitants of the country, will show that they had none to spare. The fact is that Vines owned a vessel and made voyages to England, where he induced many of his own countrymen to come to New England to settle on his patent.

To Massachusetts we are under no obligations for the ancestry of our early Saco valley families.