HOMEMaine / Etymology
There is no definitive answer for the origin of the name Maine. The state legislature in 2001 adopted a resolution establishing Franco-American Day, which stated that the state was named after the ancient French province of Maine. Other theories mention earlier places with similar names, or claim it is a nautical reference to the mainland. The first known record of the name appears in an Aug. 10, 1622 land charter to Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason, English Royal Navy veterans, who were granted a large tract in present-day Maine that Mason and Gorges "intend to name The Province of Maine." Mason had served in Royal Navy in the Orkney Islands where the chief island was called Mainland, a more likely name derivation for these English sailors than the French province. Whatever the origin, the name was fixed in 1665 when the King's Commissioners ordered that the "Province of Maine" be entered from then on in official records.
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