Maxwell Name Study

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Surnames/tags: Maxwell Maccuswell
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Hi everyone and welcome !!

Maxwell Name Study has WT multiple page format for your personal research etc from 2 Aug 2020. It would be great if you link any Maxwell research pages you have on WT below.


About the Project

This is a One Name Study to collect together in one place everything about the surname Maxwell worldwide. The hope is that other researchers like your good self will join our study to help make it a valuable reference point for people studying lines that cross or intersect.

How to Join

Please :-

  • Contact the project leader Maria,
  • Add your name and research interests to the list below.
  • Add our sticker to your Maxwell profiles !!

{{One Name Study| name = Maxwell| category = Maxwell_Name_Study}}

This profile is part of the Maxwell Name Study.

The project warmly welcomes new members as the number of Maxwell researchers on WikiTree is steadily growing. We have 230 Wikitreers following Maxwell at Feb 2024.

Good luck with your research - give me a shout if you think I could help - or you could help us !! Maria

Participants - (feel free to add your name and area of interest here )

Individual and Teams - Research Pages

HIstory of the Maxwell name

The name is Scottish in origin.

Maccus, son of Undewyn, a Saxon lord in the reign of the Scottish King David I, was granted land on the River Tweed at some time before 1150. His salmon fishery there became known as Maccus's Wiel (from Old English wael, a 'pool'). The lands acquired the same name and the Maxwell family took their name from them. It is thought that the placename and surname Maxton of Roxburghshire derive from the same Maccus. One of the Maxtons of Perthshire penned the famous 'Maxton Litany" which offers an interesting aside on a few Ulster names:

From the greed of the Campbells,
From the ire of the Drummonds,
From the pride of the Grahams,
From the wind of the Murrays,
Good Lord, deliver us.

The first on record to use the name Maxwell in its modern form was Sir John Maxwell, chamberlain of Scotland in the 13th century. The Maxwells were based in Annadale in Dumfriesshire and became Lords Maxwell and Earls of Nithsdale.

They were the strongest of the riding clans of the West March of the Scottish Borders until they were eclipsed by the Johnstones in the 16th century. For centuries they were wardens of the West March and stewards of Annandale and Kirkcudbright. Their feud with the Johnstones was perhaps the longest, bloodiest and most famous in Scottish history.

After the riding clans were broken by James VI and their social system eradicated, many Maxwells turned to the Plantation of Ulster to escape persecution. Perhaps not surprisingly they did not follow their neighbours the Johnstones, the Armstrongs, the Irvines and so on, to Co. Fermanagh, preferring to settle in Down and Antrim.

Maxwells Worldwide

I invite all WikiTree Maxwell researchers to join the study and add your research here.

Maxwells in Australia

Joe Maxwell was awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia in the Great War. More about him here:

Maxwells in Canada

In the 1911 census, Surname Maxwell occurs in the following provinces: Alberta (165) British Columbia (158) Manitoba (165) New Brunswick (323) Nova Scotia (179) Ontario (912) Prince Edward Island (2) Quebec (201) Saskatchewan (142) Yukon Territory (2) All (2249)

  • New Brunswick

Several Maxwell lines came to Canada during various mass migrations.

With the New England Planters in 1762, William Maxwell was an early participant in establishing the Township of Sackville, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, later Westmoreland County, New Brunswick, in 1762. In 1776, William sided with the Americans and was deported to Maine. However one son Gershom Maxwell and one daughter Pheobe Maxwell Wry stayed behind and their descendants are numerous in the area and around the world.

  • Thomas Maxwell immigrated to Moncton, Westmorland County in 1906 from Fermanagh, Ireland.

3 separate Maxwell families settled early in Charlotte County. These weren't the only Maxwell immigrants to the area. Between them, this is the largest concentration of Maxwells in New Brunswick.

  • James Maxwell born about 1762 in Ireland, immigrated to New England in 1768 and then to Shelburne Nova Scotia with the Loyalists in 1783. He came to New Brunswick in 1784 and settled in St Stephen, Charlotte County.
  • James Maxwell immigrated to Saint Andrews, Charlotte County from Ireland in 1825. On the same page of the 1851 Census, a likely brother John Maxwell also arrived in 1825.
  • Maxwell Families of Ireland who settled in Saint George, Charlotte, New Brunswick. Andrew, Robert, and William purchased adjoining lots; and all of the listed families are believed to be related. Many descendants went to Greater Boston and Southbridge/Sturbridge, Massachusetts:
    • Andrew James Maxwell (1825-1904) the son of John Maxwell, immigrated to St. George, Charlotte County from Ireland about 1846, traveled often to and from Boston where he married Mary Jane Simpson, and returned to Saint George.
    • Robert Maxwell (abt.1819-1892) and his wife Ellen Moore arrived in Saint George in 1845 with three children born in Ireland - Rebecca 1839, Margaret 1841, and Sarah 1844.
    • William Maxwell (abt.1812-1901) with his wife Nancy and his mother Ann Maxwell, were in Boston in 1850 before settling in Saint George.
    • James Maxwell (abt.1811-abt.1899) lived in the Town of St. George and married Rebecca (who may have previously married Rutherford).
    • John Maxwell (1820-1897) and his wife Jane Fernes had a child William born in Ireland in 1844, arrived in New Brunswick in 1847, were in Boston in 1850, and settled about 1855 in Bonny River, Saint George.
    • Margaret W (Maxwell) Gray (abt.1801-1893) arrived in 1847 and married Robert Gray in Saint George.

An early (1845) resident of Barnesville, Kings County, New Brunswick was James Maxwell born in 1814 in Donegal, Ireland. Probably related, David Floyd Maxwell (1864-1939) was also in Barnesville but parents are unknown. (Now connected by death certificate)

Other immigrants to New Brunswick are gathered here:

New Brunswick Vital Records has several hundred Maxwell records.

  • Nova Scotia

William Dunbar Maxwell (1789-1852) was born at Dunfrieshire, Scotland, in 1789. He was married to Jane McCallum and they lived at Loch Broom, Scotland. Maxwell emigrated to Nova Scotia with his wife and their children Hugh, Archie, Robinia and George. Their son John arrived later in the spring of 1834, and their other son Duncan emigrated in 1836. The Maxwell family lived at Mount Thom, N.S.

  • Quebec

William Sutherland Maxwell son of Scottish immigrants, brother of the famous architect:

Maxwells in USA

1650 - Alexander Maxie aged 17 at the time was removed from Scotland on the ship "Unity" with a group or prisoners from the Battle of Dunbar. It's likely that his name was Maxwell, but that he took the short form for his own. Several descendants switched back to Maxwell.

1711 - Dr. Anthony Maxwell of New Jersey. Lived at Pahaquarry, where he was part owner in the "Old Dutch Mines".

1730 - Hugh Maxwell immigrated from Tyrone, Ireland to Heath, MA. Although he died in 1759, several of his sons went on to distinguish themselves in the French Indian Wars and later the War of Independence. Descendants are numerous in the US and Canada.

1740- John Maxwell immigrated from County Down, Ireland to Philadelphia before moving on to Orange County, Virginia. He was active in the War of Independence as were several descendants.

1747- William Maxwell immigrated with parents from Ulster, Ireland to New Jersey. Became a General in Washington's Army. He never married and left no children.

1812 - An African American family in Maine that spread to New Brunswick was headed by Joseph Maxwell (abt.1812-aft.1860) who was born in Delaware.

1835 - Thomas George Maxwell Medical Doctor from Massachusetts, migrated to Santa Barbara, California. Ancestor of the founder of Microsoft.

1800s - John Maxwell born in Scotland, settled in Maine. Had at least 1 son and several descendants in the US and Canada.

Famous Maxwells

Gavin Maxwell- author of Ring of Bright Water

Horatio St John Maxwell - Governor of Manipur (now part of India)

Vice Admiral John Robert Maxwell, John Maxwell (-1791) British sailor and Governor of The Bahamas - He arrived to take up governorship of the Bahamas in 1780 and was there through the tumultuous times of the Spanish occupation of Nassau (1782), the restoration of the islands (1783) and then the onslaught of refugees from America.

This is a good article. Follow the link for more information. Page semi-protected

James Clerk Maxwell - Scottish scientist in the field of mathematical physics.

Lois Maxwell - Canadian Actress who played Miss Moneypenny in the first 14 James Bond movies.

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Comments: 6

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Very impressive set up. It's giving me many ideas to improve my own studies. I'm recommending this to the ONS group as an example for others.
posted by Kevin Ireland
Hi Kevin, this is the general format that is suggested and approved by the ONS Project. Maria has indeed done a great job setting this page up!
posted by Steven Harris
Wow!! I am so impressed!! This profile is amazing.. great job!
posted by Laurie Lowman
Thanks Laurie, glad you like it !!
posted by Maria Maxwell
edited by Maria Maxwell
Maria, Is this strictly a Maxwell study, or are any of the Maxwell cepts appropriate to be included? Either way, I find this to be a very interesting subject.
posted by Brian Lange
I have ancestors from Scotland whose last name is Maxwell. I also found out that one of Catharine Lowe's children - Mary G. Lowe- married Timothy Maloney, son of James Maloney and Margarette Neyland.
posted by Tanya Kasim