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Special Collections: Guide to the Perkins Family Papers

Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves

Collection title: Perkins Family Papers
Collection number: MS 401
Dates of collection: 1700-1945
Size of collection: 1 box


Abraham Perkins, from whom the family members represented in this collection are descended, was born in England in 1613. He came to America sometime between 1630 and 1637 and was one of the founders of Hampton, New Hampshire. His son David was born in 1653 in Hampton, settled in Beverly, Massachusetts, and then moved to Bridgewater, Massachusetts in 1688, where he built an iron mill. David’s son Thomas was born in Bridgewater in 1688 and died in 1761. He succeeded his father in the family manufacturing enterprises.

Thomas’s son, also Thomas, was born in 1722 and died in 1773. He was a lawyer and civil engineer and was employed for a time as a surveyor in Kentucky. His son Enoch was born in 1754 and lived in Bridgewater until 1800 when he moved to Minot, Maine, near Auburn. There he established a sawmill and also worked as a blacksmith. He married Susanna Perkins. Their son Thomas was born in Auburn in 1810 and died in 1881. He succeeded his father in the mill business and also worked as a farmer, civil engineer and surveyor. Thomas’s children, Enoch, born in 1845, Newell Marden, born in 1849, and Sarah, born in 1854, also have papers in this collection.

Enoch, who appears to have compiled most of the family history found in the collection, was a soldier in the Maine 29th Infantry Regiment, Company B, mustering in at Auburn in 1865 and mustering out in 1866 at Charleston, South Carolina. He was in the cigar business in Auburn and Lewiston until 1887, when he established a cigar manufacturing factory in Boston. After moving to Malden, Massachusetts, he became the Maine agent for a cigar factory there. He also served on the staff of Governor Harris M. Plaisted of Maine.

Newell M. Perkins, born in 1849, was a musician and teacher of instrumentation. Sarah Perkins, born in 1854, was also a teacher of music and voice and taught at a college near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains notes and information on the Perkins family gathered and compiled from around 1911 to 1913 by Enoch Perkins of Malden, Massachusetts. Also included are letters to members of various generations of the family written between 1772 and 1885 as well as legal documents, wills, deeds, receipts and other family papers dating from 1700 to 1901. Newspaper clippings about family members, poetry, and various artifacts are also found as part of the collection.

A folder of letters from 1846 to 1888 written to Nelson Bean and his son Byron Bean, both of New Sharon, Maine, is also included in the collection. The relationship of the Beans to the Perkins family is unknown.

Contents of Box


1 Genealogy of Perkins family compiled by Enoch Perkins, 1911-1913

2 Letters to Enoch Perkins re genealogy, 1911-1913

3 Letters to Perkins family members, 1772-1885

4-7 Legal and financial papers, 1700-1901

8 Poems

9 Miscellaneous documents

10 Newspaper clippings re family, 1861-1945

11 Plan of burial grounds near the Nathan Briggs farm on the left of road from Auburn city to east Auburn, undated

12 Nathaniel Ames. An astronomical diary or an almanack for … 1754. Boston: printed by J. Draper; Robert M. Thomas. The farmer’s almanackfor the year of our lord 1838. Boston: published and sold by Charles J. Hendee, 1837

13 Confederate money

14-15 Miscellaneous artifacts: money changer’s scales, gavel, spectacles

16 Bean family letters, 1846-1888


Finding Aids for selected manuscript collections in the Special Collections Department at Fogler Library are accessible online in URSUS, in a browsable Guide to Manuscript Collections. Please contact Special Collections at or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

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Special Collections Staff: | Revised: 03/23/2015
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