The Skillin Book (1926)

By Edgar Yates, son of Edward M. and Rose Ann (Skillin) Yates

VERY LIKELY, there are a few mistakes in this; the book would be the eighth wonder of the world if there weren’t any.

The name Skillin or Skilling or whatever like spelling is perhaps Gaelic, perhaps Saxon. Harrison says it is from the Gaelic “sgillin”–a coin. Woulfe traces the family back to one Skallin, which O’Hart says means scholar. Another authority says it means skilled folk–the “ing” meaning folk, as in Browning, Whiting, etc. No one knows.

Thomas Skillin, The Founder

Thomas, the founder of the whole family here, couldn’t write; he made his mark thus: :T:S:. Other people wrote his name Skilline, Skillion, Scellen, Skelling, etc., but no final s. Early descendants who cou3d write signed Skilling. The law says a man may spell his name anyway he chooses, provided it is a word “same-sounding” with what other people call him. Because Grandfather and Grandmother and most of their children made it Skillin, I have used that spelling, except where I am told a different spelling is now used or where it is early thus.

THOMAS SKILLIN, the founder, was of Salem, Mass., prior to 1640, says Felt.   A lot was laid out to him in Wenham in 1644. A little later, he was of Gloucester; his land there was near the ancient burying ground. As early as 1651, he had moved to Falmouth (now Portland, Me.) but had returned and was living in Gloucester in 1658. That same year he went back to Falmouth and bought of George Cleeve a farm on Back Cove, half a mile beyond Deering bridge.  This he occupied till his death nine years later. His wife’s name was Deborah, and she was born in 1623. They had six children–Thomas (b. 1643), Deborah, John (b. 1649), Abigail, Joseph, and Benjamin. His will, dated Nov. 14, 1666, and proved Oct. 2, 1667, is found on the old York records-the seventh will ever be recorded in Maine. This is it:

The last Will & testament of Thomas Skelling, being very Weake In body, but in Prfect memory/ I giue to my sun Thomas one Cow, & a young steare & a Calfe / further I glue to my sun John one Cow / & I giue my Towles to bee deuided between them both / further it is my will to make my wife executrix to receiue & pay my debts, and all the goods yt I have to bee at her dispose dureing her Widdows estate, & if shee marry she shall haue but the thirds, & the rest to bee deuided aequally to all my children. Dated the 14th of Novembr 1666 /The Marke of THOMAS //#// SKELLING

Immediate Kin

JOHN SKILLING, the second son of the founder, was born in 1649, probably in Gloucester. Coming of age in Portland, he became a large land-owner and prominent in town affairs. His farm was at Stroudwater, west of Long Creek. He also owned a place where the Preble House later stood. Twice married, his first wife’s name was Mary, his second’s Elizabeth. Tradition says he was killed by Indians at Long Creek.

SAMUEL SKILLING, the founder’s grandson, is called by Sar­gent, the historian, “the second founder of the family.” He, too, was a selectman and acquired much property. He lived on the old place at Long Creek, and his tombstone there reads: “Here lyes Buried the Body of Lieu. Samuel Skilling, Who departed This Life JanY ye 2, 1757, in ye 80th Year of His Age.” His only son,

SAMUEL SKILLING (Jr.) was born in Kittery in 1706. He was Grandfather Skillings grandfather and maker of the famous Skill­ing lease. He was Portland’s leading man, commander of its mili­tary forces, and fought in the French and Indian war. Chapman says of him: “He was prominent in everything, sawmill owner, trader, innkeeper, selectman, a military genius.” Among his possessions were three slaves. His tombstone at Long Creek is inscribed: “In Memory of Capt. Samuel Skillin. Obt. March 12, 1799. Aet. 93.” His wife was Rebecca Sawyer.

SIMEON SKILLING, their son, was born at Long Creek in 1740. His father gave him a farm there when he married his second cousin, Rebecca Skilling, in 1772. They had 13 children, grandfather being one of them. He was a witness to the famous “lease.”

JOSIAH SKILLIN, born in 1791, was 26 when he married Grand‑mother, then 16. He farmed it at Stroudwater and in Scarboro till he was nearly 50. Then he removed to Biddeford, and engaged in heavy teaming with an ox-team and later with a two-horse team. About 1849, he removed to Portland, thence to Gray, then back to Biddeford. There he teamed it, and his wife took boarders.           When nearly 70, he became broken in health, and he and his Grandmother went to Danville, Me., to live with their son Woodbury. Then he kept house in Lewiston a few months, then lived with son Hiram and daughter Julia, with whom he died. He was a tall, robust, slow-moving, slow-spoken man, with a long face and small blue eyes and a “touchy” disposition. Grand­mother, daughter of Nathan and Abigail (Davis) Libby, was a brisk, dark-eyed little woman, mother of 15 and proud of them and of us. She is buried in the family lot in Biddeford. Roswell Skillings of Brockton has framed pictures of each of them.

The Skilling Lease

Just before the “lease” ran out, the lawyer of the Skilling League died, and his successor said they had no proof that Captain Samuel ever owned the land he gave the lease of.

The Skilling Lease (On which the famous Skilling Claim was founded)

THIS INDENTURE OF LEASE, made and concluded upon this tenth day of April Annoq Domini, One thousand seven hundred ninety-two, by and between SAMUEL SKILLING of the District of Cape Elizabeth in the County of Cumberland Gentm. of the one part and ENOCH ILSLEY, of Portland in the County aforesaid, Mercht. of the other part.

WITNESSETH: That the said Samuel Skilling,
for himself, and in behalf of the other heirs of his Father Samuel Skillings, Deceased, for the Consideration hereafter mentioned hathn leased and to farm Letten, and by these presents doth lease and to farm let unto him the said Enoch, his heirs and assigns all the land lying Between yeSouth Westerly part of the County Goal Yard and the South Westerly part of the Hay Scales and between Back Street and Middle Street in the said Town of Portland (whereon Capt. Joseph Baily Now Dwells, and who has been a Tenant at will under us many years, past, and now Hires the House on said land, of the aforesaid Enoch Ilsley) for the full term of Ninety Nine years from the Hereof to be fully compleated, to improve as he the said Enoch his heirs or assigns may think proper and improve them as he chooses for and During the Term of time aforesaid. And the said Enoch Ilsley doth Covenant and engage to pay unto the said Samuel Skilling for himself, and the other heirs aforesaid One Dollar per year yearly for the rent of said land and at the expiration of said term of Ninety Nine years to yield and Deliver unto the said Samuel and the other Heirs aforesaid Quiet and Peacable Pos­session of said land and all the Buildings thereon, provided he or they pay the said Enoch his heirs or assigns as much Money as three Indiferent men may Judge said Buildings to be then worth

when Delivered up at the end of Ninety Nine Years. To the True performance of each and Every article aforementioned the parties bind themselves their heirs Executors and administra­tors, Each to the other in the Penall sum of thirty Pounds.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, they have hereunto Interchangably set their hands and seals the day and year before mentioned.

Signed sealed and delivered in presence of us



Received August 30, 1869, at 10 h. 33 m., and recorded according to the original.            Attest: Eben Leach, Register.

Josiph Skillin’s Family Bible

A COPY OF RECORDS IN JOSIPH SKILLIN’S FAMILY BIBLE, Now in Pos­session of George H. Mason. (A mark like this / indicates the beginning of a separate line in the Bible.)

Family Record / Birth,/ Josiah Skillin June 15th, 1791 / Sarah Skillin Nov. 14th 1301 Time & place of their children’s birth / Silas Skillin March 24 1819 Scarborough / Hiram Skillin Dec 2 1820 Scarborough / James Skillin Feb 15 1822 Scarborough / Moses D. Skillin Aug 29 1823 Scarborough / Woodbury Skillin Jan 29 1825 Scarborough / Orrin Skillin July 18 1826 Westbrook / Julian Skillin Sept 16 1828 Portland / Rose Ann Skillin Dec 11 1830 Cape Elizabeth / Catharin Skillin June 21 1332 Cape Eliz­abeth / Jennett Skillin Feb 24 1834 Scarborough / Lorenzo Skil­lin Apri 26 1837 Scarborough / Elizabeth Emily Skillin Nov 29 1838 Scarborough / Almon L Skillin April 2 1840 Scarborough / Edwin Manson Skillin Sept 11 1842 Scarborough / Albanus Skillin Feb 15 1846

Marriages / Mr. Josiah Skillin to Miss Sarah Libby Feb 15, 1818, both of Scarborough Me by Elder Heath / Mr. Hiram Skillin & Miss Henrietta D D Sheppard by Elder Moses Sheppard Dec 2, 1845, at Unity Me / Mr. Moses D. Skillin to Miss Jane Black / Mr. Silas Skillin to Miss Mary A Sproul / Mr. James P Skillin to Miss Emily J Mayo by Rev Mr. Page Sept 3, 1848, in the town of Bridgton Me / Mr. Lewis S Reed to Miss Julia A Skillin By Elder Hiram Skillin July 3, 1850 / Mr. Edward M. Yates to Miss Rose A Skillin by Rev Mr. Belcher June 1851 in the town of Elsworth / Mr. John H. Mason to Miss Catharin P Skillin by Elder S L Sinklar Aug 7, 1852 / Mr. Woodbury Skillin to Miss Julia A Lovering by Elder E Cox April 22, 1855 / Mr. Orrin Skillin to Miss Pheby A Smith by Elder Burges June 30, 1855, in Lewiston

(On the “Deaths” page, all except the first five entries were made by George H. Mason, words in parenthesis ( ) are his.)

Josiah Skillin Nov 6th 1e69 Aged 77 Years 5 Months (Harmony) / Sarah Skillin Aug 13ch 1872 Aged 70 Years 9 Months (Fall River–Buried Biddeford) / 2,1banus Skillin Mar. 25 1846 Scarborough / Edwin M. Skillin. Doe 23 1858 Biddeford / Catherin Mason Mar 28 1866 (Biddeford) / James Skillin Portland / Silas Skillin Danvill Canada / Woodbury Skillin Wakefield / Orrin Skillin (t86 or ’87) Portland / Hiram Skillin Minneapolis / Moses D. Skillin Marshall Minn / Loranzo D Skillin Sept 8 1902 Old Orchard

(Note by E. Y.–Aunt Julia Reed’s marriage date is wrong by several days, so other errors are possible. A family record in Grandmother’s own hand, now owned by Charles Skilling of Saco, has these variations: “Julia”-“Lorenzo”–“Mary A Sprole of Gray”–“Jane Doughty Flack of Gray”–“Almon L. (married Mary Emah (of) Wells” A record in my own mother’s hand reads “Julia A.” and “Jennett N.” And both these two records vary now and then in exact dates, from the Bible record and from each other.)


#Sarah Augusta Eugenia Skilling, m. William Armstrong, and had:

  • Hattie Armstrong, d. young.
  • Frank Armstrong, d. young.
  • Minnie Rose Skilling Armstrong, m. Alvah Ellsworth Bail of Saco, Me., and had: Roger Jason Bail.

Edwin Wellen Skilling, d. young.

Charles Richardson Skilling, d. young.

Kate Rachel Skilling, (4 HiE;h1dnd st., Biddeford, Me.), m. Warren Wesley Carter, and had:

  • Mary Elizabeth Carter,(Dr.), m. (1st) Fred Tim; (2d) Harrison I. Whitney; children by 1st husband (adopted by 2d): Rutha Emelia (m. Leverett P. Jenness, and had Rutha Elizabeth Jenness) and Jessie Kathryn Whitney.
  • Otto Losen Carter, m. (1st) Grace Edith Means, who d. with­out issue; m. (2d) Martha M. Whitehead and had Kath­ryn Carter.
  • Nellie Martita Carter, m. William Andrews Foss.
  • Ula Ada Carter, m. Irving W. Mason, and had Irving Carter Mason.
  • Sarabelle Edna Carter, (R.N.)
  • Rachel Gertrude Carter.
  • Alta Lillian Carter, (Dr.)

Charles Edwin Skilling, (31 Bradley St., Saco, Me.), m. Nellie R. Deering, and had:

  • Edward Deering Skilling, (Ensign), m. Ruth M. Bugbee and had Raymond Lowell Skilling, d. young, and Mildred Shirley Skilling.
  • Donald Silas Skilling.

Robert Gibson Skilling, (Danville, P. Q.), m. Annie Louise Nutting, and had:

  • George Herbert Skilling.
  • Roy Nutting Skilling, d. young.
  • Gordon Frank Skilling.


Martha Hunt Whitehouse Skillin, m. Frank P. Fuller, (88 Fuller Road, Bangor, Me.), and had:

  • Winifred Fuller, m. (1st) George H. Sharp and had: George H. Sharp Jr. (m. Mildred Hall, and had Phyllis, Norma and Lorraine Sharp); m. (2d) Calvin Bachelder, and had: Donald (m. Gladys Moores), Mandel (m. Loretto Libby, and had Loys and Betty), Russell (d. young), Winifred and Cecile Bachelder.

Emma Skillin, d. young

Charles Walter Skilling, (Cotati, Calif.), m. Elizabeth Benson, and had:

  • Esther Skilling.
  • Ray Skilling, (Lieut.)
  • Alma Skilling, m. Harry E. Allen, and had: Charles W. and Dorothy L. Allen.
  • Bessie Skilling.
  • Leonard Skilling.
  • Clyde Skilling.
  • Genevieve Skilling, m. Guy Mainwaring and had Guy A.
  • Unknown Skilling, d. infant.

Emma Almanza Skillin, (Berkeley, Cal.), m. Clinton H. Coffin, who d. without issue.

George Wilbert Skilling, (Berkeley, Calif.), m. (1st) Eunice Washburn, and (2d) Laura Akerman. Children by 1st m.:

  • Wilbert Skilling, m. (1st) Bonita M. Thompson and had
  • Arbutus B.; m. (2d) Olive Bailey.
  • Georgia Skilling, m. Samuel R. Smith, and had Lyle R., Eugene A. (who d.), Lovisea, and John Darrell Smith. Children by 2d marriage:
  • Waldo Skilling, m. Florence M. Misener and had James E. and Mamie E. Skilling.
  • Donal Skilling.
  • Edward Skilling.


Ansel Skillin, d. young.

Unknown Skillin, a daughter who d. in infancy.


Nelson Merrill Skillings; served in the Civil war and died in the Soldiers’ Home at Minneapolis; no children.

Roswell Reed Skillings, (14 Carlton st., Brockton, Mass.), m. (1st) Mary Jane Johnston, (2d) Ella Louise Johnson.

Children by 1st marriage:

  • Roswell Jr., d. young.
  • A son, d. infancy.
  • Reynard Nelson Skillings, m. Gertrude Thomas and had Merton and Dorothy Skillings (m. Lossing of Kans.City). Children by 2d marriage:
  • Kenneth Roswell Skillings.
  • Ruth Elizabeth Skillings.

Colby Rich Skillings, (R. 1, Middleboro, Mass.), twin brother to Roswell; m. (1st) Margaret Campbell, (2d) Maude Lucia Blanchard. Children by 1st marriage:

  • Clarence Colby Skillings, m. (1st) Lena Alice &rave, and had Maggie Mabel (m. Rollie Blumenschein and had Don­ald Rae and Harold Lyle Blumenschein), Ralph Herbert (married), Dwight Mayo, Sidney Merton, Olive Rosa­mond and Philip (d. with his mother) Skillings. He m. (2d) Ella Glidden and had Lucille and Percy Glenn Skillings.
  • Walter Bruce Skillings, m. Lydia May Minick and had Lydia May, Olive Evelyn, Walter Bruce Jr., Reynard Merrill,
  • Irene Edith, Ruby Maude, Blanche Belle, Dorothy Mabel, and Harvey Kenneth (d. young) Skillings.
  • Edith Jane Skillings, m. (1st) Joseph C. Goddard, and had Joseph Henry, Robert Bruce, and Talbot Roswell Goddard (the last two being twins, of whom Talbot m. Eulalah Dopkins, and had Dorothy Ellen, who d. young); m.(2d) Ira J. Wilson.
  • Elizabeth Ethel Skillings, m. Frank Elmer Fuller and had Myrle Margaret (m. Alex J. Rutger), Mabel Irene, Asa Rich, Mason Munroe, Jane (d. young), Edith Hannah, Ethel Ersell (d. young), and Davis Calvin Fuller.
  • Robert Leroy Skillings, m. Edith. Bessie Blanchard, and had Alice Bessie, Reynold Robert, Claude Roland, Clifford Leigh, Clyde, Glenn Howard, (d. young), Norman David, Roscoe (d. young), Loring, Gordon, and Janet Ruby Skillings.
  • May Belle Skillings, m. Harry Munroe Fuller and had Harry M. and Leslie Bruce Fuller.

Children of Colby and Maud Skillings:

  • Roswell Blanchard Skillings, m. Doris Cline and had Ros­well Blanchard Skillings Jr.
  • Everett Frederick Skillings.
  • Etta Evelyn Skilling.
  • Russell Elliott Skillings (d. young).
  • Ruth Emily Skillings.

Edith Skillings, m. John Roscoe Mason, son of John H. and Cath­arine (Skillin) Mason.

Davis Valentine Skillings last heard from in Neosho, Mo., unm.

Edwin Manson Skillinss, last heard from in Neosho, Mo., m. Nancy Brown and had

  • Frank Skillings, married and living in Minnesota.
  • Davis Skillings, m. Marie Staason; lives in Ghent, Minn.
  • Guy Skillings.
  • George Skillings, m. Mary Johnson and had a daughter.
  • John Skillings, in the West; unm. at last accounts.


Frank drowned at sea in young manhood.


Eight were born, but all died young except the seventh:

Ralph Herbert Skillings, (500 Main St., Brockton, Mass.), m. Minnie Warren Wade, and had:

  • Mildred Skillings, d. at 10.
  • Ethel May Skillings.
  • Gertrude Ermine Skillings, m. Harry W. Gustafson, and had Glennis and Harry N. Gustafson.
  • Minnie Irene Skillings, m. Harry A. Martin and had Beverly Ann Martin.
  • Ruth Genevieve Skillings, m. Elmer B. Leonard, and had Elmer, Herbert, Ruth G., and Edgar W. Leonard.
  • Helen Bernice Skillings, m. Kenneth. R. Leonard, and had Mildred S. Leonard.
  • Dorothy Evelyn Skillings, m. Howard A. Gott, and had Dorothy Phyllis Gott.
  • Hazel Eloise Skillings.
  • Edith Muriel Skillings, m. James E. Foster.
  • Ralph Herbert Skillings Jr.
  • Beatrice Wade Skillings.
  • Eula Gladys Skillings.
  • Avis Barbara Skillings.
  • Milton Hallett Skillings.
  • Eleanor Pearl Skillings.


Eugene Reed, d. young.

Reuel Henry Reed, (Harmony, Me.), (1st) Celia Pearl Bartlett, and had:

  • Theo P. Reed, d.young.
  • Erroll Bartlett Reed, m. Pearl Hannah Marble and had Victor, Marguerite, Marble, and Kenneth Reed.
  • Agnes Sylvina Reed, m. Chester Bartlett Rhoades and had
  • A daughter, d. infancy, and Gilbert Reed Rhoades.
  • Reuel Reed m. (2d) Lelia Marble Davis, who d. childless.
  • Reuel Reed m. (3d) Ella May Hurd, and had:
  • #Myron Leslie Reed, m. Calla H. Corson, and had Reuel H. and Myron Reed.
  • Vaughn Henry Reed, m. Florence Ruth Manson and had Arline Lillian and Ronald Reed.
  • Ethel Mae Reed, m. Clarence Raymond Day.

Mary Etta Reed, d. young.

Lillian Ethel’Reed, m. (1st) Arthur Henry Bartlett; m. (2d) Robert Slemons Gilpatric, (189 Graham st., Biddeford, Maine.

Everett Sherman Reed, (Harmony, Me.), m. Sadie Mabel Hatch. (Adopted children.)


Edgar Allan Poe Yates, (23 Guild st., Stoughton, Mass.), m. Flora Louisa Richmond and had

  • Edward Millwood Yates, d. on 6th birthday.

Willie Clarence Yates, a. at 19.

#Oscar Hubert Yates, m. Clara May Fogg and had

  • Carleton Allan Yates, m. Mary McKeering, and had Virginia Yates.
  • Stanley Paul Yates.


Hiram A. Mason, d. young.

#Harrison Alonzo Mason, m. Esther Jane Butterworth, and had:

  • Hiram Mason, d. young.
  • Catherine Mason, d. young.
  • Annie Mason, d. young.
  • Herbert Mason, d. young.
  • Elmer Alonzo, Mason, (103 Whipple St., Fall River, Mass.), m. Amy Frances Drohan.

John Rosooe Mason, (798 Second St., Fall River, Mass.), m. Edith, dau. of Moses Skillin, and had:

  • John Roscoe Edwin Mason.
  • Everett Mason, d. young manhood.

Elmer E. Mason, d. young.

Catherine Mabel Mason, d. young.

JOHN H. MASON married (2d) ELIZABETH (SKILLIN) HERRICK (see below)

Their child: George Henry Mason, (354 N. Underwood St., Fall River, Mass.) m. (1st) Lillian Jameson, and had:

  • Gertrude Mason, m. James J. Mullen, and had Gertrude Mason Mullen.

He m. (2d) Rose Howard. (An adopted daughter, Mabel Louise.)


Orrin Manson Skillings, m. Mary Burke, and d. without issue.

Laura Almay Skillings,(R.F.D. 3, Biddeford, Me.), m. William Allen Rumery, and had:

  • Mabel Jane Rumery, m. (1st) Howard Percy Andrews, and had Paul Albert Andrews, who m. Phyllis Hatch and had Dorothy and Robert Andrews. She m. (2d) Jacob De Witt and had Francis Wilton and Philip DeWitt.
  • Linwood William Rumery, m. Helen Eliza York and had Lin- wood William Jr, Ruth Myrtle, and Donald Paul Rumery.
  • Frederick Dow Rumery, m. Helen Frances Dickson and had Richard Allen, Roger Arnold, and Doris May Rumery.


A daughter, d. young.