Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
[Please see Index page for full citation.]
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]
For many long years the Maxwell family has been known as one of the msot honorable, influential and prosperous in the state of Maine, and this fine reputation has been recognized far and wide. All this is largely due to the fact that the members of this strong old family have been able to make choices of a very wise kind at early periods in life, and to hold to these in the midst of discouraging circumstances, or to make other choices when many a keen observer saw no good reason for such a course. Many of the Maxwells have early been aware that they possessed the ability to succeed in many different spheres of life's activities, and have learned this from what they have seen their relatives doing, and from the work which they have tested in the quiet, sanguine manner which has ever characterized them. With this discovery has come no false pride, or straying now in this path and now in that, but there has been a choice of some worthy work which was as zealously followed as if the toiler could do only the kind of service to which he laid his hand.
Many of these Maxwells have seen around them opportunities which were as clearly revealed as the green field about their homes, or the wide stretches of ocean seen from some neighborhing hill. But they have known it was wisdom to seek other chances of service through these were only as glimpses of far-off mountains, with patches of sunlight here and there on their crests, and they have not wasted one precious moment in looking at the field or sea. While wise ones shook their heads, and muttered ominous warnings, these wise choosers have gone forth to work in some distant place which they helped to transform from a shaggy forest to a cluseter of well-tilled farms.
Such was the course of the brothers, James and George Maxwell, of Scarboro, Maine, when they seemed but unwise lads to many who observed them. They left their native town and made their way up the Kennebec river to where a few cabins were dotted over what is now the town of Bowdoinham, Maine. Here they began to work manfully. But at the call of their country they left the homes they were hewing out from the forest and entered the revolutionary army, doing valiant service. Again this wise choice was made, though many said that the cause of liberty of which they had such clear hopes was but a delusion. After this service each young man made choice of a wife, which was characterized by the same wisdom as their other acts in life.
James Maxwell married Margaret, daughter of the worthy John and Mary (Means) Patten, of Topsham, Maine. George Maxwell chose a Margaret from the famous and patriotic old family of McLellan. With these they spent a very long and happy married life, surrounded by their children and descendants who added to the brightness and worth of the Maxwell name.
Though these Maxwell brothers had been warned at Scarbobo, Maine, that their going into the wilderness of the Kennebec would shorten their lives, George Maxwell lived to see seventy-five years, and his brother James saw his ninetieth autumn. "You will lose yourselves in those new places," was the warning given. But each bore the name of captain in a community that loved and honored them and spread their fame far and wide.
(I) Captain James Maxwell was born in Scarboro, Maine, Aug. 13, 1746, and died at Bowdoinham, Maine, Sept. 16, 1836. He cleared one of the best farms in Bowdoinham, and helped many a neighbor by his kindly advice and work of his strong arms. His smile and cheer often did more to brace others for the storms and toils of life than scores of words from others would have done. In the last day of his life his smile was still bright, and his advice was clear and helpful. He aided greatly in every important undertaking in his town. He was selectman from 1789 to 1791, and also from 1801 to 1809. His service as town clerk covered the years 1789 to 1794.
He married, Nov. 27, 1777, Margaret, born at Topsham, Maine, March 8, 1853, died at East Bowdoinham, Maine, July 26, 1831, daughter of John and Mary (Means) Patten, of Topsham, Maine, and granddaughter of the sturdy ancestor, Actor and Pauline (Sutor) Patten.
1. Mary, born Oct. 17, 1778, died Oct. 10, 1845; married Timothy Merritt.
2. Peggy, born Sept. 7, 1780, died Nov. 15, 1879; married Elihu Hatch, a very successful farmer of Bowdoinham.
3. Betsy, born May 4, 1782, died April 22, 1843; married William Decker, of one of the strong old Maine families, and was the mother of nine children who were loved and respected by all who knew them.
4. James, born March 10, 1784, was lost at sea in January, 1810.
5. John, born July 3, 1786, died at Port Au Prince, April 12, 1822.
6. Robert, born Jan. 21, 1789, died in Bowdoinham, where he had been a very successful farmer and lumberman, and an ensign in the war of 1812, Feb. 19, 1865. He married Abigail G. Hathorne, of Woolwich, Maine, one of the most successful tleachers of her time, and who grandly helped in the training of the six children.
7. Noble, born April 9, 1792, died in Boston, Mass., Sept. 13, 1887; was a noble soldier in the war of 1812, and the successful commander of many ships and a man of noblest qualities.
8. William, whose record is given below.
9. Actor, born March 9, 1797, died at sea May 13, 1816.
(II) William, son of Capt. James and Margaret (Patten) Maxwell, was born at Bowdoinham, Maine, Feb. 22, 1794, died in that town June 14, 1879. He was a successful farmer and most helpful in the affairs of his town and state. Many fine opportunities for service beckoned him here and there, but he wisely chose to remain in the town so dear to his heart.
He married March 14, 1826, Betsy Wilson, born at Topsham, Maine, Nov. 14, 1796, died Aug. 13, 1871; thus making as wise a choice of a wife from one of the old pioneer families of Maine as his father had made. She was a woman of noble character, and dialy rejoiced in the successful and helpful lives of her eight children.
1. Margaret P., born March 13, 1827, married Charles Woodbury Purington, of Topsham, Maine.
2. Noble, born Nov. 27, 1828, died Jan. 31, 1833.
3. Charles, born Dec. 14, 1830, became a well-known resident of Bath, Maine.
4. Thomas C., whose record is given below.
5. Pamelia H., born Dec. 22, 1834, died Oct. 29, 1899; married Andrew J. Reed.
6. John F., born March 12, 1837.
7. Albion K. P., born March 15, 1840.
8. Rachel, born Aug. 29, 1842, married Robert Dunning of Richmond, Maine.
(III) Thomas C., son of William and Betsy (Wilson) Maxwell, was born in East Bowdoinham, Maine, Jan. 12, 1833, died at Richmond, Maine, April 10, 1895. In his earlier years he cultivated his farm with fine success; sold the farm in 1883 and moved to Richmond and lived retired until his death. At the call of his townsmen he served Bowdoinham as one of the most helpful of her selectmen for seventeen years, and in score of other ways helped the community where he lived and many people in other towns and cities.
He married Oct. 27, 1860, Ruth Ann, born at Bowdoinham, Maine, June 26, 1840, and who still (1908) makes her home at Richmond, granddaughter of James SEDGLEY, one of Bowdoinham's best soldiers in the revolutionay war, and inherited that strong patriotic spirit of his which led three of the Sedgley name in that town to enter the civil war for three years of good service. Robert and Joseph Sedgley settled in Bowdoinham as early as 1749, being of one of the strong old families of York, Maine.
1. Mattie C., born Feb. 3, 1862, married Samuel Garretson, and resided in Los Angeles, California.
2. Noble, born April 21, 1863, one of the prominent business men in Maine; married Feb. 23, 1892, Florence S., born at Augusta, Maine, April 3, 1867, daughter of Joseph and Philena Whitmore (Hatch) Hill.
3. Gilbert, born April 3, 1866, married Lily Foye, two children, Noble and Marjorie.
4. Ruth M., born Nov. 7, 1879, married Jefferson Southard.
All these children have inherited the noble and helpful qualities which have made life a blessing and success for their ancestral lines.