James Dudley and Abigail Hook, of Orono and Veazie, Maine

There are a few family trees on ancestry.com, familysearch.org, and rootsweb.com that identify James Dudley, the husband of Abigail Hook, as the son of Samuel6 Dudley of Pittston, Maine. None, however, show how to make the connection between a James Dudley born in Pittston and one who died in Veazie. Since there was more than one James Dudley in Maine at the time, I thought I would lay out the reasons why we can come to that conclusion.

First of all, The History of the Dudley Family by Dean Dudley records the first six generations in this line from Governor Thomas1 Dudley as Samuel2, Stephen3, James4, Samuel5, and Samuel6. The book informs us that Samuel6 was born in New Hampshire and settled in Pittston, Maine, having bought land there in 1771 while still "of Brentwood, N. H."

The author then quotes a letter he received in 1888 from Mrs. Sarah Crocker of East Pittston, Maine, a granddaughter of Samuel6. In it she says "Uncle James went to Oldtown, Me., and kept a tavern there."Dean Dudley, The History of the Dudley Family, with Genealogical Tables, Pedigrees, Etc. (Wakefield, Mass.: Dean Dudley, publisher, 1886), pages 430, 431.

James Dudley and Abigail Hook filed an intention to marry in Pittston, Maine, in 1803, in which Abigail is described as "of Canaan."Henry Sewall Webster, editor, Vital Records of Pittston, Maine, to the year 1892 (Gardiner, Maine: The Reporter-Journal Press, 1911), p. 187. No location for James is given in the transcription, implying that James was of Pittston, the home of Samuel6 Dudley.

Secondly, the first son of James and Abigail (Hook) Dudley was named John H Dudley. His birth is recorded in the Pittston records and in the Maine Vital Records, Copied from Old Records, as occurring on Feb 29, 1803.Vital Records of Pittston, Maine, p. 51, as: "John, s. James and Abigail, Feb. 29 [sic], 1803″. Microfilm of Maine Vital Records, Copied from Old Records, at New England Historic and Genealogical Society, as: "John Dudley, Feb 29, 1803, Pittston. Father: James Dudley, mother: Abigail Dudley." Note: I wonder if recording the date as February 29, 1803, reflects some Quaker influence. I think it would have been a correct date in the Quaker year, which ran from March 1 to the end of February. His birth is on the Orono records as happening on February 29, 1804.Orono Town Records, 1806-1838, microfilm copy at New England Historic and Genealogical Society, as: Family of James Dudley and Wife: John H. Dudley born on 29 Feb 1804. Ruth Gray's transcription of the Old Town records gives the location as Pittston.Ruth Gray, editor, Vital Records of Old Town, Maine, prior to 1892 (Camden, Maine: Picton Press, 1996). Either two different boys named John H Dudley were born on the same leap year day, or his parents moved from Pittston to Orono/Old Town and recorded their earlier children's births there.

Finally, The Centennial Celebration and Dedication of the Town Hall, Orono, Maine, March 3, 1874, says:

"A settlement was commenced between fifty and sixty years ago about a mile west of the Bangor road, of which the late James Dudley, who migrated from Pittston, Kennebec county, was facile princeps."Centennial Celebration and Dedication of the Town Hall, Orono, Maine (Portland, Maine: Bailey and Noyes, 1874), page 137. Now digitized and at Google Books and HeritageQuestOnline.com.

For the preceding reasons, I believe we are on solid ground when we identify James Dudley, husband of Abigail Hook, as the son of Samuel Dudley of Pittston.