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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Joseph Patrick Maxwell and Family - Part 1

My past posts about any Maxwell's have mostly included McLaughlin's too.  The two families do have a strong connection originally based in the Irish Settlement of Newport, New York.  The families had two marriages between them.  This post, however, is intended to be the family unit of Joseph Patrick Maxwell and Judith Shaffrey Maxwell, along with Joseph's second wife, Rebecca O'Harriet.

Joseph Patrick Maxwell:
  • b. 9 May 1812, Shancarnan, County Meath, Ireland
  • His father was James Maxwell, b. 1786, Scotland.
  • d. 31 Jan 1899, Newport, Herikmer County, New York
  • m. 24 Sep 1834, Moynalty, County Meath, Ireland to Judith Shaffrey
  • Arrived in New York on 2 Jun 1853
  • When Judith died, he later married Rebecca O'Harriet.
  • He lived in and around Newport and Schuyler, New York from about 1853 to 1899

I have family tree worksheets that include information about Joseph, my great-great-great grandfather.  There really isn't anything spectacular on the sheet except that his date of birth is indicated as circa 1815 rather than 1812.  I don't think that it is that unsual to find a small discrepancy like that. 

One of the wonderful finds in my box of treasures is a letter that my grandfather's sister, Aunt Ellen Maxwell Flanagan, wrote to a cousin, Philip Duffy.  I find this letter to be highly informative.  It does contain Duffy information but also Maxwell information.  I have a strong need to retype the entire letter right here in my blog.  Ellen typed all of her letters so I don't have to decipher her handwriting.  I kind of wish I had to though.  I may still have a card that she sent me as a child stowed away with her handwriting.

February 15, 1978

Dear Philip,

According to my records, you are the great grandson of Joseph Maxwell, not Dennis Maxwell.

Joseph Maxwell, a teacher, I believe, married Judith Shaffrey, September 24, 1834 in Moynalty, Meath County, Ireland.  The marriage information is from the Moynalty Catholic Church Marriage Record Book.

Seven children - two sons and five daughters - were born of this marriage.  Six of them were born in Ireland, one in America.  Five of them, including our grandmothers, are on record in Moynalty.

The eldest son, Dennis Maxwell, was born June 16, 1836.

Your grandmother, Catherine Maxwell, fifth child, was born July 7, 1849.  Her baptismal sponsors were Byron Fanell and Catherine Carpenter.

Our grandmother, Ellen Maxwell, fourth child, was born March 22, 1846.

The family arrived in America somewhere in the 1852-1854 period and had a rough time financially.  The parents and children, with the exception of your grandmother and our grandmother, remained in the Upper New York State area.

After the death of Judith Shaffrey, Joseph Maxwell remarried and had an additional son, John Maxwell.

I have family extensions of this group from the Anne Gray you mentioned in your letter but doubt that you would want them.  Its involved!

To be continued.................

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