It was 9 p.m. on a Saturday night. I had spent the day writing up my research on Jotham Varney, father of the women in my previous blog, The Unvarnished Truth About the Varney Sisters. I felt I was still missing a key piece of information so I went back to Cumberland County’s deed website and refined the parameters of my search.
And just like that, I had my “ah ha!” moment. Unfortunately, this was immediately followed by a stomach-dropping “oh no!” moment.
Ah ha!: In the new search I found Jotham’s father, Estes, and several brothers and cousins. The deeds showed that by the late 1830s Jotham and brother Isaac lived side by side on Maine St. (Later, Varney sister Viola would buy Isaac’s house when he moved to Pennsylvania.) The other Varneys lived in the rural west end of Brunswick, near Durham.
Oh no!: It seemed odd to me that Jotham’s farm was in a different part of town, though it did explain very nicely how Varney Cemetery came to be. I reread the many deeds I had compiled only to discover I had made an error. Jotham Varney bought the land that became Varney Cemetery in 1857, not 1828. His farm was not bordered by Pine and Bath Streets; it was in the west end of Brunswick.
- Cumberland County Registry of Deeds, 25 Pearl St., Portland, Maine and https://me.uslandrecords.com/ME/Cumberland/D/Default.aspx