In 1939, Sybil Noyes, Charles Thornton Libby, and Walter Goodwin Davis, published The Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire (to which I refer as GDMNH). Genealogical Publishing Co. has reprinted this important work several times and I own the 1988 edition. Simply put, you cannot do colonial New Hampshire and Maine genealogy without it. The work is based solely on primary records and the authors viewed every extant early record they could. They distilled it into separate individual or family accounts using abbreviations and cross-references into a 777-page work (two columns per page). It's huge. It has an incredible amount of information. I've also spent the last ten years correcting it.
Its really no wonder and I want to start my comments off with gratitude for the work and the competence of the work as a whole. Without computers or the Internet or any central depository like the Family History Library, these three authors (two of whom were Fellows of the American Society of Genealogists), did an incredible job. However, because there were no computers, what is written under one account varies when you look at the parallel spouse's account.
What gets me mad (hence its inclusion in Madness Monday), is trying to track down the exact document the authors saw. They use this awful shorthand for things and some are plain and many are completely obtuse. They use the phrase "known children" and then sometimes add additional children. They never tell why the known children are known. It means they saw a vital record, probate or deed that gave that explicit relationship. Now you have to find it!!! The authors certainly knew when they were up against a wall and the text has phrases like "His family is taken up with misgiving." (p. 409) or "head of a family which, owing to complete lack of vital records or any indication of relative ages, is difficult to tabulate." (p.774). Naturally I know this because p. 409 is the Lamos family on which I'm currently working and p. 774 is the Yeaton on which I expended a great deal of energy re-assembling. I personally love the Lamos entry when they give complete dates for a daughter and say "in Canada"--no town!!! Mon Dieu!
Although researched and written only 80 years ago, documents seen by the authors seem to no longer exist. Some documents are referred to by title, but take much energy in finding. Maine was part of Massachusetts at the time and records can be at the Mass. State Archives as well as in Maine. So, I'm always chasing things down, because I know that the authors didn't make things up out of whole cloth and saw something. I just have to find the something they saw. Of all my books, this is the most used and consequently the one with a broken binding.