I am looking for the birthplace and parentage of Ambrose Sayward , born cir 1805 and died in Burnham, Maine 14th Mar, 1875. He is buried in the Reynolds cemetary in Burnham, Maine.

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    Carol, welcome to the new Genealogy StackExchange. This site works in a question and answer format, so your post should be edited so it reads as a question rather than a statement. Also, your question should include information about what research you have already done in attempt to locate this information. This way, those who answer you can offer specific suggestions for further research.
    – efgen
    Oct 17, 2012 at 2:59
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    I am not up or down voting this question. However, I think we have to decide whether we want this kind of question on this site. This is a basic query. I had the impression that this group was intended to be at a more "meta" level than just queries. If the collective judgement of the group is that queries like this are fine, then that's fine with me also. But it may still be a decision we should make. Oct 17, 2012 at 3:41
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    @TomWetmore - See discussion on the meta site.
    – efgen
    Oct 17, 2012 at 3:58
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    This is the meta discussion that @efgen refers to - in the meantime I will try to turn the title into a Question
    – PolyGeo
    Oct 17, 2012 at 7:06
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    I've answered this on the basis that it will eventually be reworded as a question seeking advice on how to track down the information sought about the individual's birth.
    – user104
    Oct 17, 2012 at 11:47

2 Answers 2


First step, since you know the date and place of death is to research the place of death for other clues or relations.

Burnham, Maine has an information page that has various links that may be of interest. If I go to the 2nd page of the death record, I do see four people named Sayward who passed away between 1916 to 1934 who may have been relations. If they were, their birthplaces may lead to the birthplace of Ambrose.

If this is the picture of Ambrose's cemetery stone, then it identifies Ambrose's birth as around July 1805 which narrows it down a little more. His wife would then have been Martha Sayward. Can you find information about Martha? Maybe you can track down where they were married?

There might be records with the church or cemetery where he is buried.

These are a few ideas that might allow you to go further.

  • Since the death was in 1875, it is not so likely that there is a death certificate. The vital records at that time were kept by each town, and may be limited to the name and death date.
    – RobertShaw
    Oct 17, 2012 at 6:53
  • @RobertShaw - Looking further, you are likely correct. Prior to about 1892, if there was a death certificate issued, it would not be with the state but with the Town Clerk at Burnham.
    – lkessler
    Oct 17, 2012 at 12:46

You don't say what research you've already done.

If you haven't done so already, you should search for him in the US censuses. Don't be too prescriptive about the birth date or the spelling of his name. FamilySearch.org is one place you can search free of charge. Even though the censuses don't give you detailed information about his birth, they can help you locate him in different places through time, which may help. I would also investigate what other Saywards were living in and around the same place as Ambrose; if you can identify a likely sibling, that gives you another route to identify the parents.

You should also search for a marriage record for Ambrose, which should also contain useful information. (I presume he was the Ambrose Sayward who married Martha Sayward also buried at Burnham, Maine).

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