Maxwell Name Study - Ireland

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Maxwell Name Study


Maxwells In Ireland - Study manager Maria Maxwell


The early Scottish Maxwell history is covered in the Clan Maxwell pages of the Scotland Project. This part of the study is concentrating on Maxwells in Ireland. Although originally aimed at County Fermanagh the study now covers the whole of Ireland.

I hope to be able to start adding the early stats for all counties some time this year - 2023. In the meantime if you have time please feel free to start a page on your ancestors Counties. (Many thanks - Maria)

History of Maxwell in Ireland

Clearly the first Maxwells ( and Macusswells) were from Dumfriesshire in Scotland. It is only a quick sail over the sea to Northern Ireland. When, why and to what parts of Ireland did the Maxwells therefore move.

Ulster Plantation 1607 to 1633

Scots Settlers Number of results from this database: 14 *Scots in Ulster - Ancestry Ireland. com

Sir William Stewart's Tenants, Maxwell, Herbert, For a term of 21 years, 1/6/1616
Sir William Stewart's Tenants, Maxwell, Alexander, For a term 7 to 19 years ( between the year 1617 and 1627)
Sir Robert McLelland's Tenants, Maxwell, William, of Gribbon in scotland, knt; freehoder to all that Townland, called ballereskmore.
Sir Robert McLelland's Tenants, Maxwell, Herbert, of kvrkennell in Scotland, gent; freeholder to half that Townland called Enish Conoher.
Estate of Hugh Montgomery Lord of Ards, Montgomery, Sarah, nee Maxwell, Viscountess Ards, 28/11/1626
Estate of Lord Claneboy, Maxwell, Edward, Dunoner, 20/5/1617
Estate of Lord Claneboy, Maxwell, James, Granshaw, Inishargie, 20/5/1617
Estate of Lord Claneboy, Maxwell, John, Ballyhalbert, 20/5/1617
From other Sources, Maxwell, John, Ballyeasborough, ballyhalbert, 1623 Ballea, Maxwell, com.
Early Scots Settlers in the County of Donegal, Maxwell, James, Dunmoyle, Stranolar, 1629
Early Scots Settlers in the County of Armagh, Maxwell, Robert, Dean of Armagh, 20/5/1617
Early Scots Settlers in the County of Armagh, Maxwell, Edward, Lisdrumchor, Loughgilly, 12/2/1619
Early Scots Settlers in the County of Armagh, Maxwell, John, Carrickfergus, 20/5/1617

Maxwells contained on Muster Rolls and Estate Maps of the eight Plantation Counties of Ulster for the period 1607 - 1633, which was the initial phase of the plantation scheme.

Below from lists 17 Maxwells in the muster roll.

Dunluce, [Undertaker Earl of Antrim], Maxwell, John, No Armes.
Dunluce, [Undertaker Earl of Antrim], Maxwell, Archbald, No Armes.
Toome, [Undertaker Mr Adare], Maxwell, John, No Armes.
Fewes,[undertaker,Sir A Atchison,3000 Acres],William Maxwell,Sword.
Lourg,[undertaker,Sir G Lowther,2000 Acres],John Maxwell,Sword & Pike.
Lourg,[undertaker,Sir G Lowther,2000 Acres],Robert Maxwell,Sword & Musket.
Lourg,[undertaker,Sir G Lowther,2000 Acres],James Maxwell,Sword & Pike.
Enniskillen,[Townsmen Of Enniskillen],John Maxwell,No Arms.
Tyrkenedy,[Undertaker,Sir R Gower,1000 Acres],Edward Maxwell,No Arms.
Omy,[Undertaker,Sir P Crosby,3000 Acres],John Maxwell,Sword.
Omy,[Undertaker,Sir P Crosby,3000 Acres],John Maxwell,No Arms.
Omy,[undertaker,Capt Mervin,6000 Acres],Richard Maxwell,Sword & Pike.
Strabane[undertaker,The Master of Abbercorne,2500 Acres],Homer Maxwell,Sword & Snaphance.
Strabane[undertaker,The Master of Abbercorne,2500 Acres],Archibal Maxwell,No Arms.
Strabane,[Townsmen of Strabane],Hugh Maxwell,Sword.
Strabane,[Townsmen of Strabane],Arthur Maxwell,Sword & Pike.
Strabane,[Townsmen of Strabane],Hugh Maxwell,No Arms.

Plantation of Ulster 1609 - Surviving Plantation surveys

The government commissioned four surveys between 1611 and 1622 to investigate the progress being made in the Ulster Plantation and the information contained in these is the basis for most Plantation studies. These surveys and where they may be found are detailed below. .

1611 – A survey carried out by Sir George Carew: Calendar of the Carew Manuscripts, 1603–24, pp. 68–9, 75–9, 220–51. Read online at

Sir George Carew had considerable experience of Ireland and Irish affairs, having served there in various capacities between 1574 and 1603, latterly as president of Munster, and was considered by the government as the ideal man to carry out an investigation into the initial progress of the Plantation. He received his instructions in mid June and set off for Dublin a short time afterwards. Preparations for his journey north were then made and in late July he and his fellow commissioners set off on their ‘perambulation about Ulster’. Travelling via Newry, Carrickfergus and Dunluce, Derry was reached on 14 August. Thereafter they made their way through Donegal, Fermanagh, Tyrone and Armagh before returning to Dublin on 5 September. Their investigations were carried out with such haste that it was not possible to visit every county – Cavan was missed out – let alone every proportion. Much of the information collected during the survey was provided by the governors and sheriffs of each county. Because of this, some caution must be exercised as to the accuracy of population figures and progress of the building projects. Nonetheless it is possible to gain an insight into progress in the escheated counties at the very start of the Plantation. .

1613 – A survey carried out by Sir Josias Bodley: Historical Manuscripts Commission, Hastings Mss, iv (London, 1947), pp. 159–92.

Concerns that little progress had been made in the months after Carew’s survey resulted in December 1612 in the king ordering a further investigation to be carried out. This was conducted between 2 February and 25 April and was led by Sir Josias Bodley, an experienced English official in Ireland. In late 1612 Bodley was appointed director-general of fortifications in Ireland. He had also carried out a detailed investigations of fortifications in Ireland in 1608 and in 1609 oversaw the large-scale mapping exercise of the escheated lands in Ulster. Bodley spent nearly four times as long as Carew in carrying out his survey and his report can be considered a much more accurate account of the progress of the Plantation. He visited most of the proportions in person. Bodley’s experiences as a military engineer and his understanding of fortifications is reflected in the detailed descriptions he sometimes gave of castles built by the undertakers. He was also careful to assess the information provided to him on the numbers of tenants on each proportion. .

1618–9 – A survey carried out by Captain Nicholas Pynnar. This survey is printed in full in George Hill, An Historical Account of the Plantation of Ulster at the Commencement of the Seventeenth Century (Belfast, 1877). A copy is available in the Manuscripts Room of Trinity College, Dublin.

Hill's book is available online - .

On 28 November 1618 Captain Nicholas Pynnar was issued with a commission to carry a new survey into the progress of the Plantation in the escheated counties. Like Bodley and Carew before him, Pynar had considerable experience of Ireland. He himself had been the recipient of a servitor’s proportion in County Cavan though he did little to improve his lands. He spent the best part of four months – 119 days in all – carrying out his investigations and this is reflected in the level of detail he was able to provide on each proportion. Like Bodley he visited most of the Plantation estates in person and, in addition to describing the buildings, agricultural practices and numbers of tenants, he also distinguished between the different categories of tenant, indicating the number of freeholders, leaseholders and cottagers.


1622 – A survey carried out by commissioners appointed by the government. The official reports for each county were published as follows: 1622 – A survey carried out by commissioners appointed by the government. The official survey for each county has been printed in Victor Treadwell (ed.), The Irish Commission of 1622 (Dublin, 2006), published by the Irish Manuscripts Commission.

. The 1622 commission was the most detailed of all the investigations into the progress of the Plantation. Preparations for it probably began in late 1621. The commission was concerned with far more than simply the state of affairs in the escheated counties and its remit extended to investigating the Church, legal system, trade and a host of other issues affecting Ireland. Seven of the 21 persons on the commission were chosen to visit Ulster. The names of these men and the counties they investigated were Lord Caulfield, Sir Dudley Digges and Nathaniel Rich (Armagh and Tyrone), Sir Thomas Phillips and Richard Hansor (Donegal and Londonderry), and Sir Francis Annesley and Sir James Perrot (Cavan and Fermanagh). Their visits to Ulster took place between late July and mid September. . The methods employed in compiling the reports differed from county to county. For Armagh and Tyrone there is considerably more documentation than for the other counties. In these two counties each undertaker or his agent was required to submit a certificate detailing the number of tenants on his proportion(s) as well as the building activities that had been undertaken. The certificate might then have been checked and comments made on its accuracy. Much of this material has been included in Treadwell’s abovementioned volume. While this survey was more thorough than the others mentioned above, it is clear that not every proportion was visited. For example, it was reported of Connor McShane O’Neill’s proportion of Clabby, 1,500 acres, ‘This was much out of our way so as we went not to see it’. Instead the commissioners relied instead on information from the high sheriff and ‘other gentlemen of credit’ and Pynnar’s survey.

Source of above - Ulster Ancestry ---

County Fermanagh History of Enniskillen page 198 - Muster role c 1630

1. Lists the Townsmen of Enniskillen and their arms. Only one Maxwell is listed out of 53 households.

John Maxwell - no armes (some had only a sword or pike - 16 had no armes )

2. Page 207/208 - Muster Role - Barony de Lourgg - Sir Gerrard Lowther KT, undertaker of 2000 acres

John Maxwell - sword and pike.
Robert Maxwell - sword and musket
James Maxwell - sword and pike (total of 47 men listed for this undertaker)

3. Page 216 - Muster Role - Barony de Tirkenedy - Sir Ralph Goer Knight - 1000 acres Manor of Carrick

Edward Maxwell - no arms (31 men listed all had no arms)

A total of five Maxwells listed out of a grand total of 971 men - confirmed at page 219. No Lloyds listed. Searchable data base of Ulster Plantation Muster Rolls.

John Maxwell Lourgg Sir G. Lowther Fermanagh
Robert Maxwell Lourgg Sir G. Lowther Fermanagh
James Maxwell Lourgg Sir G. Lowther Fermanagh
John Maxwell Magherbuy Enniskillen Town Fermanagh
Edward Maxwell Tyrkenedy Sir R. Gower Fermanagh

3. A Census of Ireland circa 1659

  • Lists principal Irish and English/Scottish surnames for combinations of parishes. Maxwell not listed for Fermanagh.
  • The Number of People in ye County of Fermannagh

Eng &c. (1800); Irish (5302); totall of Eng & Irish (7102).

4. 1747 to 1768 Fermanagh Freeholders Registered to Vote

MAXWELL Dav. Tattykeep M'culmoney Oct-67
MAXWELL James Carrigolagh I'macsaint Jul-51
MAXWELL James Shankhill Devenish Oct-47
MAXWELL Robert Sandhill I'macsaint Oct-67
MAXWELL William Drumsoo Clones Jan 47/48
MAXWELL William Tattykella M'culmoney Oct-47

5. ===1766 Religious Census===

Religious Census 1766 - A Perfect List of all the Families in the Parish of Devenish and Diocese of Clogher, determined and reckoned by the Head of each Family. 25 March, 1766.

Total of Protestant Families 309
Total of Catholic Families 224
Overall Total 533
No Maxwells are listed.
No Maxwells listed
Maxwell, David Mullybreslin Protestant
Maxwell, John Mullybreslin Protestant
Maxwell, John Lowtherstown Protestant

Flax Growers Bounty List 1796 - County Fermanagh

There is only one Maxwell listed out of "hundreds" of names -

William Maxwell - Devenish, Fermanagh.

1821 Census - I've created profiles for all the Maxwell families from all counties in the available fragments.

1831 Census I started creating profiles for Maxwell's listed but quickly realised only the name of the head of the house is given. No age is shown. It is therefore near impossible to create or match with existing profiles. So I've stopped. Here's a link to the 1831 census records.

Maxwell households in each county in the Primary Valuation property survey of 1847-64.

  • Antrim 47 Armagh 27
  • Belfast city 30
  • Carlow 6 Cavan 47 Cork 2
  • Derry 31 Donegal 46 Down 119 Dublin 14 Dublin city 7
  • Fermanagh 31
  • Galway 4
  • Kildare 6 Kilkenny 5
  • Laois 2 Leitrim 25 Limerick 8 Longford 11 Louth 9
  • Mayo 9 Meath 6 Monaghan 15
  • Offaly 6
  • Roscommon 17
  • Sligo 7
  • Tipperary 14 Tyrone 61
  • Westmeath 17 Wexford 8

Distribution of Maxwell Surnames (Scotland 1881) and Ireland 1901

Highest Incidence of Maxwells in Irish Counties 1901

Rank County No. of People  % of Region
1Down 632 0.22
2Antrim 564 0.12
3 Dublin 196 0.04
4 Donegal 140 0.08
5 Armagh 126 0.10
6 Tyrone 117 0.08
7 Londonderry 93 0.06
8 Westmeath 88 0.14
9 Leitrim 78 0.11
10 Fermanagh 76 0.12
11 Cavan 52 0.05
12 Roscommon 50 0.05
13 Tipperary 38 0.02
14 Monaghan 37 0.05
15 Sligo 26 0.03
16 Cork 22 0.01
17 Galway 19 0.01
18 Kildare 15 0.02
19 Louth 15 0.02
20 Carlow 150.04
21 King's County 15 0.02
22 Mayo 14 0.01
23 Longford 12 0.03
24 Wexford 12 0.01
25 Clare 9 0.01
26 Queen's County 7 0.01
27 Meath 7 0.01
28 Wicklow 5 0.01
29 Limerick 5
30 Kerry 4
31Kilkenny 2
32 Waterford 1

Census and BMD Review - Maxwell Profiles - Progress

See - Maxwell Name Study - Ireland, Census and BMD Review Records for blow by blow details of number of Maxwell records in each Registration Office for all counties !

Antrim -1901 - 564 Maxwells listed - review started 18 May 2018 (profiles done to Mary Ellen Maxwell bottom page 41 @ 4 Jul 2018) This review picked up again from where previous one stopped plus 1911 census for same families - this review commenced 26 July 2019 and completed 17 Aug 2019. 1911 census review - 589 Maxwells listed - review commenced 17 Aug 2019 and completed 29 Sep 2019.
Armagh - 1901 and 1911 - ( 126 Maxwells listed in 1901) Review completed 26 Jan 2019. BMD record review started 22 Mar 2021 and completed 16 jun 2021.
Carlow Review of all census records started 29 Dec 2019 and bycompleted 30 Dec 2019. BMD review completed 31 May 2020.
Cavan - 1901 and 1911 review completed. BMD Review started 23 Aug 2020 and completed 18 Sep 2020.
Clare Review of all census records started 12 Jan 2020 and completed 14 Jan 2020. BMD review started 23 Apr 2020 and completed 2 May 2020
Cork - Review of all census records started 16 Dec 2019 and completed 18 Dec 2019. BMD Review started 20 Jun 2020 and completed 27 Jun 2020.
Donegal - 1901 and 1911 review completed . BMD review started 16 Jun 2021 and completed 23 Jul 2021.
Down - 1901- 640 Maxwells listed - (with 1911 for same families) commenced 26 Jan 2019. Review completed 30 Apr 2019. 1911 - 590 Maxwells listed. follow up review to catch "newbies etc" commence 1 May 2019, Review completed 26 july 2019
Dublin - Review of all census results started 13 Oct 2019 and completed 12 Nov 2019.
Fermanagh - 1901 and 1911 review completed- second review of 1901 started 12 Oct 2019 and completed 13 Oct 2019. The temptation was too much !! I've jumped up to Fermanagh with my BMD review as of 13 Mar 2020. Review completed 18 Apr 2020.
Galway - Review of all census records started 18 Dec 2019 and completed 24 Dec 2019. BMD review started 6 Jun 2020 and completed 20 Jun 2020.
Kerry - Review of all Census records started 19 Jan 2020. Review of 1864 +BMD records also done.
Kildare - Review of all census records started 24 Dec 2019 and completed 25 Dec 2019. BMD reviewed 6 Jun 2020.
Kilkenny - Review of all census records started 21 Jan 2020 plus BMD review.
Laois (Queens County) - Review of all census records started 14 Jan 2020 and completed 15 Jan 2020. Review of BMD records started 6 Mar 2020 and picked up again 18 Apr 2020 - review completed 23 Apr 2020.
Leitrim - 1901 and 1911 review completed. BMD Review started 18 Sep 2020 and completed 8 Oct 2020.
Limerick - Review of all census records started 18 Jan 2020 and completed 19 Jan 2020. BMD Review completed 20 Jan 2020.
Londonderry - 1901 with 1911 for same families - review started 29 Sep 2019 - follow up review of all of 1911 census completed 12 Oct 2019. BMD review started 30 Oct 2020 and completed 6 Jan 2021.
Longford - Review of all census records started 7 Jan 2020 and completed 11 Jan 2020. BMD review started 6 May 2020 and completed 16 May 2020.
Louth - Review of all census records started 26 Dec 2019 and completed on 29 Dec 2019. BMD review started 1 Jun 2020 and completed 6 Jun 2020.
Mayo Review of all census records started 4 Jan 2020 and completed 7 Jan 2020. BMD review started 16 May 2020 and completed 26 May 2020.
Meath - Review of all Census records started 15 Jan 2020 and completed 16 Jan 2020. Review of all BMD records started 21 Feb 2020 and completed 6 Mar 2020.
Monaghan - 1901 and 1911 review completed. BMD review started 10 Jul 2020 and completed 31 Jul 2020.
Offaly (Kings County) - Review of all census records started 30 Dec 2019 and completed 4 Jan 2020. BMD review started 26 May 2020 and completed 31 May 2020.
Roscommon - Review of all census records started 27 Nov 2019 and completed on 6 Dec 2019. BMD Review started 8 Aug 2020 and completed 23 Aug 2020.
Sligo - Review of all census records started 12 Dec 2019 and completed on 16 Dec 2019. BMD review started 27 Jun 2020 and completed 10 Jul 2020.
Tipperary - Review of all census records started 6 Dec 2019 and completed 12 Dec 2019. BMD review started 31 Jul 2020.
Tyrone - 1901 review completed 3 Jan 2019 - 127 Maxwells listed - 1911 review completed 6 Jan 2019. BMD review started 6 Jan 2021 and completed 22 Mar 2021.
Westmeath Review of all census records 1841 to 1911 started 12 Nov 2019 and completed 27 Nov 2019. BMD review started 8 Oct 2020 and completed 30 Oct 2020.
Waterford - Review of Census and BMD records started 25 Jan 2020 and completed 2 Feb 2020.
Wexford - Review of all census records started 11 Jan 2020 and completed 12 Jan 2020. BMD review started 2 May 2020
Wicklow - Review of all census records started 16 Jan 2020 and completed 18 Jan 2020. BMD Review started 3 Feb 2020 and completed 21 Feb 2020.

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Categories: Maxwell Name Study