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Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Maxwell's - My Maxwell's - Our Maxwell's

How much do I really know about my Maxwell family line?  I know some because they married into the McLaughlin Family in more than one marriage event.  My great-great grandmother, Ellen M. Maxwell, was born in the Parish of Moynalty, County Meath, Ireland, probably close to Shancarnan where I place her father, Joseph Patrick Maxwell.  I place her mother, Judith Shaffrey, also nearby in Dunshaughlin.  This is the early 1800s with Ellen being born on March 22, 1846.  She ultimately married Thomas Michael McLaughlin in Newport, New York, and made her way west to Napa, Califorina where she passed away in September 1928. 

The recent information which has been provided to me revolves around the Maxwell line that remained in Newport, New York.  Ellen had seven full siblings and two half siblings.  I have mentioned Catherine Maxwell Duffy who also made the journey west settling in Napa after Nevada like her sister, Ellen.  The information that I am reviewing talks about their older brother, Dennis Maxwell, who was born in Moynalty, Meath, Ireland, on June 16, 1836.  One of his granddaughter's, Alice V. Maxwell Knutty, took some time to write down some information about her family line.  It is always fun to sit down and read someone's first hand information in their own words.  Once I adjust to the handwriting (Alice's is pretty clear by the way), figure out who the people are that are being referred to, and establish a timeline, I'm off and running.

Alice's information was written down in 1998 when she was still alive.  She was born on April 11, 1910 in Newport, New York to James Maxwell and Margaret Reardon.  She is a great-grandchild of Joseph Patrick Maxwell and Judith Shaffrey and a grandchild of Dennis Maxwell and Mary Ward.

Page 2 of her 1998 note states the following:

"Our first home was the old farm homestead located in the Irish Settlement.  All of us attended school in District #6 in the Irish Settlement except Donald.  By the time he was ready for school we had moved to where Donald last lived."

Hopefully, I will figure out who Donald Maxwell was and how he fits in on my tree.  I think he is currently MIA (missing in action) on my tree.  Alice continues:

".....My grandfather, Dennis Maxwell (1836) - came from Ireland - worked on that farm and hoped some day he would own it.  He did and my parents bought that farm from him.  He was a very successful farmer.  He died before I was born so we didn't learn much about him.  His wife died and is buried in the "Irish Settlement Cemetery."  That was the 1st Catholic Church in Newport.  District #6 School was on the same property.  It was not a religious school."

As you can imagine, Alice talks about her family including the Maxwell's.  She also talks about the one room schoolhouse.  She was eventually a teacher at that location too with one of her sister's it sounds like.  Then she mentions some McLaughlin's.

"Our Uncle Bert Maxwell taught there and a Louise McLaughlin (my father's niece).  The only nieces and nephews my father had were Louise McLaughlin, Dennis McLaughlin, and Rose McLaughlin.  Their mother was Mary Maxwell McLaughlin."

Reading Alice's notes/letter is certainly a gift and treasure.  She wrote so well and you can tell that the school in the Irish Settlement and all of her family was very meaningful in her life.

It is interesting to read about the families of the "other" McLaughlin and Maxwell marriage between these lines.  I refer to it as the "other" marriage because I am associated with the Thomas Michael McLaughlin and Ellen Maxwell marriage which is the family line that ended up in Napa, California.  The "other" family line remained in the Newport, New York area.  It is wonderful to read something about these families and note their similarities.  They were all Roman Catholic, family was the priority as was education, and they were farmers.  I'm sure to find other similarities.

I do need to write about the Maxwell/McLaughlin marriages so that I can have the information straight in my mind.  It is so fun to see these family connections.  I have the same situation with the McLaughlin's and Gartland's.  I will write about both of these soon.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you again for your Maxwell treasures. I think I have some info. from Mary Knutty also, I'll dig through old papers and let you know. She was also mentioned in letters from Dennis Maxwell (cousin to my Mother, Jane O'Hara Meyers).