George Cleeve

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George Cleeve (ca. 1586- after 1666) was an early settler and founder of Portland, Maine. He was Deputy President of the Province of Lygonia from 1643 until the final submission of its Maine towns to Massachusetts authority in 1658.

Born about 1586 in Stogursey, Somersetshire, England, he came to New England in 1630, settling first at Spurwink (near today's Cape Elizabeth), and at today's Portland in 1633. In 1637, Sir Ferdinando Gorges granted Cleeve and associate Richard Tucker 1,500 acres (6.1 km2) at Machegonne (Portland Neck) that included the area of today's downtown Portland.

His career was both contentious and litigious, engaged in frequent land disputes and vying with Gorges' Province of Maine for jurisdiction over the area north of Cape Porpoise. He is known to have convened provincial courts at Casco in 1644 and Black Point in 1648.

Under Massachusetts governance of the area, he was Commissioner for Falmouth (from 1658) and Representative to the General Court, 1663-1664.

He died sometime after November 1666, last known record of his life.

He married Joan Price 7 September 1618; daughter Elizabeth (born 1619) married in 1637 Michael Mitton, from whom there are numerous descendants.


  • Noyes, Libby, Davis, Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire (Genealogical Publishing Company reprint, 1996)
  • James Phinney Baxter, George Cleeve of Casco Bay (Gorges Society, 1885)
  • W. Williamson, "History of Maine", Volume I
  • Robert C. Anderson, The Great Migration Begins, bio. entry.