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The Maxfield family

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The following is the history I have collected about my ancestor William Maxfield. He was my 4th Great grandfather with his wife, Mary Wescott. My family (including uncles, cousins and grandparents) had kept the records that were handed down since the time of William’s son, Josiah, and much of it is tradition, not provable. What I am including here is what has been documented by the written word, not necessarily by fact, but those of us who have descended through William believe this to be the true history of our forefather. The part that is not likely to be proven is that the family is of Scottish descent, since all evidence is that the family are long-time Englishmen, who originally lived in Macclesfield, England, where they got the name Maxfield. The family were Quakers (Society of Friends) who left Britain to escape religious persecution. As a family, for the most part, they remained Quakers well into the 20th century. William and his parents sailed to Maine, from Ireland, where they were living, no doubt having gone there from England, because of persecution.

Early in the eighteenth century, William Maxfield came to America with his mother, a widow. He was one of the first settlers of Windham, Maine, going there in 1737 with the family of William Mayberry from Marblehead, Massachusetts (at that time, Maine and Mass. were one place). He was then about seventeen years of age, and the date of his birth is considered among his descendents to have been 1720. In the published "History of the Town of Windham", he is mentioned as escaping, though severely wounded from an attack by Indians in 1747, although his only companion at the time, was captured.

"On the 27th of August [1747], following a party of some twenty or thirty Indians entered the town, and made an attempt to capture two young men who were out of the fort, William, son of Thomas Bolton, and William Maxfield who lived with William Mayberry. They were both well armed with muskets and made a brave resistance. Bolton discharged his musket upon his assailants, but before he could reload the Indians rushed upon him and made him a prisoner. Maxfield retreated, walking backwards towards the fort, and occasionally menacing the Indians with his gun, till he was rescued by a band of armed men from the garrison, but not till he had been seriously, though not fatally wounded by a shot from the Indians, having an arm broken. Bolton was carried captive to Canada, where he was purchased by a French naval officer and taken on board a French frigate as a servant. The French frigate was soon captured by an English vessel and taken to Boston, and Bolton became the servant of Lt. Wallace, fo the English Frigate. But his situation becoming known to the captain of a coasting vessel belonging to Falmouth, he was released on application to the Governor, and brought home to the great joy of his parents." History of the Town of Windham

According to a letter from Frank Dingley to Ellen Maxfield Jones, ".........came to Windham with William Mayberry from Marblehead,Mass, in 1737-38, and the tradition is that he came from Ballymore, Coleraine County in the North of Ireland with Mr. Mayberry. He is therefore of Scotch Irish descent. The date of his birth is missing, but he was a very small boy when he came to Windham. It is very probable that he is related to William Mayberry...........the story is handed down to us by Polly Maxfield Cook (William's daughter), that William Maxfield, when very small, started across the water with his parents in company with William Mayberry and that his father died on the passage thither, and that his mother gave him to Mayberry. His home was with him until he became a man.

His mother, whose name was "Elizabeth Steele", afterward married and settled in New York. Mayberry deceived young Maxfield in regard to his age and he worked a number of years for him after becoming of age, and he somehow became aware of the fact and went to New York hunted up his mother, got his right age, came back, went to law with Mayberry and recovered proper wages for the overdue time.

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Genealogy of my line of the Maxfields

Home Akers Maxfield Riley Foster Smith
Brothertown Indians Fowler Estes Varney Wescott Gifford
Coggeshall Otis Livingston Abell Cousins Royalty
Maxfield photos Hyde Partridge Tuttle Carr Strong
King Davies Patterson      


Marilyn's email:
herblst@earthlink.net