Joseph Holmes & Silence Brown, York, County, ME, 1700s

It’s time to take a look at the family of Joseph Holmes and Silence Brown, who, it is believed, lived in York, County, Maine in the mid-1700s.

My Holmes line is a hot mess for several reasons. First, my documented Holmes line is through Robert Wilson, who married Dorothy (Dolly) Holmes in May 1790 on Campobello Island, Charlotte, New Brunswick, Canada.

Dolly was born c1769, probably in York County, Maine. She is said to be the daughter of Joseph Holmes and Silence Brown, likely based on the fact that she named a daughter Silence Holmes Wilson.

Assuming that Joseph Holmes married in his early-to-mid 20s, he would have been born c1738 and he reportedly died c1788, probably on Campobello Island.

He reportedly married Silence Brown c1760. The family reportedly lived in Scarborough or Berwick, at the time part of York County, Maine.


  1. Silence, born 11 January 1761, Scarborough
  2. Luther, born 23 May 1762, Scarborough
  3. Calvin, born 27 November 1763, Scarborough
  4. Dorothy, born c1769
  5. Daniel, born c1774; married Hannah Mitchell, 1 March 1795, Campobello Island, Charlotte, New Brunswick, Canada
  6. Thankful, born c1779; died 18 August 1857, New Brunswick, Canada; married (1) Ezra Mitchell, 1 May 1801, Campobello Island, Charlotte, New Brunswick, Canada (2) Mr. Parker, who died before 1851 census

The data on the first three children are found in Scarborough records. The last three children were probably also born in Maine.

The family was obviously in Canada by 1790, when Dolly married, However, their arrival date is not known, nor is it known whether Joseph Holmes was a pre-Loyalist or a Loyalist who settled in New Brunswick at the close of the Revolutionary War. He might even have just been an adventurer, seeing life possibilities in Canada after the war and moved his family there for non-political reasons.

Due to the scarcity of documentation, most of the information found in online trees about Joseph Holmes is garbled with no documentation.

If you are descended from this family, and have found primary records to support or disprove anything in this family sketch, I would love to hear from you.

There is more to be said about the origins of Joseph Holmes. That is coming up.

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