We left John purchasing a farm of 72 acres on the border of Scarborough and Saco not far from the family farm of his father. It was here that John and Hannah had their first three children.
That John was not living on the family farm isn’t surprising since a subsistence farm can only support so many people. John’s oldest brother, Richard Jr. would in time take over the family farm after their father died. This is similar to the European practice of primogeniture, where the eldest son would get the farm and the younger sons would have to go forward and make their own way in life. John had tried the sea but that experiment had come to an unfortunate early end. He had now turned to farming (and probably some lumbering on the side) with his 72 acre plot of land not far from his parent’s home. There is no record of why after 5 years on this farm in Scarborough John would want to move his family to Newry. It is possible that Scarborough was becoming too congested or possibly the forests were becoming depleted. But for some reason John chose to move his family. First, though, came several land transactions.
In two different deeds in 1808 and 1809 John sold this land off to Jonathan Foss and Jonathan McKenney. The first deed dated 23 March 1808 for $600 he sold half of the 72 acres to Jonathan Foss. This deed was presented by Foss to be recorded 11 Aug 1809. (York County, Maine, Deeds, 80:201 - misindexed as p. 281. Family History Library Film #12682.) On 8 March 1809 John sold to Jonathan McKenney the rest of the 72 acres (including the home that he lived in and his barn. This deed was returned on 14 July 1810. (York County, Maine, Deeds, 83:66-67 Family History Library Film #12684.)
John appears to have remained on at least part of the above property after he had sold the property. The second deed was drawn up March 8, 1809 but not received (or recorded) until July 14, 1810. That time spread could be there for several reasons. One might be that the John was slow in turning in the deed. Another reason could be that John didn’t actually receive the payment for the land until shortly before the recording date. Another possibility is that John entered into an agreement to sell but with the understanding that the he would continue to live on the land for a certain amount of time (possibly to harvest his crops, etc.) For whatever reason John remained on the property for a year after the initial instrument was drawn up.
Interestingly, while John is selling his land in Saco/Scarborough but still living there he had already begun to purchase land in Newry. This move was preceded by two purchases of land in Newry. For whatever reason, just two months after Almira was born, on 8 March 1808, John made his first purchase of land in Newry, Oxford County. A second deed was entered into on 6 May 1809 for more land in Newry. At the time Hannah was pregnant with their third child, Hannah, and probably wanted to wait for her birth before actually making the move.
The first Newry deed signed and delivered on 6 May 1809 for $110 was between James Beaty of Newry and John Carter of Scarborough for land “being part of lot number one in the third range (vis) fifty acres to be taken off the south end of said lot with a parallel line across said lot. “( Oxford County, Maine, Eastern District, Deeds, 4:270-271 Family History Library Film # 11606.)
On 8 March 1809 (but not recorded until 8 May 1809) John previously purchased for $500 “a certain lot of land in the town of Newry in the County of Oxford, being lot number three in the third range of lots in said town containing one hundred acres more or less … Also another lot of land in said town of Newry being lot number two in the third range of lots in said town, containing one hundred acres more or less. – Also a certain track of land situated in said town of Newry viz. twelve acres taken off the fourteenth lot in the third range bounded easterly on William Bucks land & westerly Bear river so called & northerly on a brook that empties into said river.”( Oxford County, Maine, Eastern District, Deeds, 4:271-272 Family History Library Film # 11606.)
Land in Newry was quite a bit cheaper than in Saco. The sum of the four previous deeds is that John sold his 72 acres in Saco for $1200 and bought 262 acres in Newry for $610. So sometime after the 1810 census was taken in Saco and before the 1811 tax was collected in Newry, the John Carter family actually made the move to Newry.