Yesterday I spent an absorbing three hours exploring the ledger books of the York County Courthouse. Totally cool! I was researching a specific house, and whatever documents I could accrue about the owner/family I am investigating.
Each document I found: Will, deeds, record of property transference, etc. held new names for me to research. The names intertwine. Towns were small in the 1800's, and the names reoccur throughout local documents, either as Notary Public, Witness, Signee...townspeople with positions of importance.
I even found a record of a lawsuit of a wife against her husband, within my family. She the Libelant, and he the Libelor - in 1888. She had attached his real estate and it was a discharge of same. This may have been a divorce.
Before you go to Alfred, do some preliminary scouting at the Maine courts website to narrow down your department of research. Also, many files are online, dating from 1966 forward. Click here: York County Courthouse
I was also researching a crime in 1890 which happened in Sanford ME and went to the Grand Jury. They have NO record of it, and told me it is possible it was lost in a fire they had around 1933.
"Here are oldest continuous court records in United States. Going back to 1636 they include patent conveying the land between Piscataqua and Kennebec Rivers from Charles I to Sir Ferdinando Gorges. Facade is copy of that of original courthouse built on this site 1807 and burned 1933. Town of Alfred." Erected by York County Tercentenary Commission.