The Maxwell GenealogyForum

Title: searching for info on John Maxwell, of PA; died circa 1799
Posted by: Dr. Craig Mohler
Date: 16 November 2007

I ran across your website while browsing the internet a few days ago, and couldn’t resist the temptation to forward a request for assistance.  I’ve struggled for a couple of years in trying to trace my Maxwell connections back a few more generations, without any significant success. 

My research has stalled with John and Margaret Maxwell, who lived in Lancaster or Chester County, Pennsylvania in the latter half of the 1700s.  John and Margaret had four daughters, and one son.  All four daughters and their husbands moved to Monroe County, Virginia (now West Virginia) between the years of 1780 and 1800, when our area was still very much a frontier.  They now have many descendents here among multiple families; and subsequent generations have gone on to settle other parts of the country. While significant local information exists on the descendents of the four sisters, I’ve yet to be able to find any reasonable data on the ancestry of either John Maxwell or his wife Margaret, or indeed any subsequent information on the one male offspring of the marriage.

The following data was obtained by a local Maxwell descendent from a Pennsylvania deed, and actually reflects the extent of the information I have in regard to either John or wife Margaret, or son Thomas:

In April of 1799, a deed was made from Margaret Maxwell, recent widow of John Maxwell, to a John Boyd for 100 acres in Sadsbury Township, Chester Co, PA. Listed  as grantors were:
Margaret Maxwell (wife of John);
son Thomas Maxwell;
daughter Margaret Maxwell Steele and son-in-law, Thomas;
daughter Elizabeth Maxwell Crossier (Crosier) and son-in-law Andrew;
daughter Isabel Maxwell Neel and son-in-law Owen;
and daughter Hannah Maxwell (apparently still unmarried, but later wed to Robert Dunbar). 
Price given was “900 pounds lawful Pennsylvania money.”  Deed stated that there was a survey to John Maxwell in 1745; and that Andrew McClery sold the land in April of 1760 to John Maxwell, who died intestate, leaving a wife and five children.

Wording on the deed seems to indicate that John had died not long before April of 1799. I don’t have a date of death for the widow, Margaret, nor do I know whether or not she remained in Pennsylvania. Likewise, I have no further information on Thomas.   As for the daughters, I would assume it likely they were born between 1750 and 1780 – but again, dates of birth have been elusive.  Most of their children were young when the families moved to Monroe County – and indeed, several of the Neel, Steele, Crosier, and Dunbar children were born here.  All four sisters are buried in a family cemetery on one of the original local homesteads; as are all of the husbands except for Andrew Crosier.  Morton’s History of Monroe County (published in 1916) states that this Maxwell family had lost in some sort of lawsuit with the “city” of Lancaster.

Any information or suggestions pertaining to the ancestry of this John Maxwell and his wife Margaret would be greatly appreciated.  Also, best of luck with your DNA project. I participated in a Y-chromosome study in regard to my surname last year.  The data confirmed a link in my paternal line which had previously been only an educated guess; and also provided a few significant surprises.

best wishes,

Dr. Craig Mohler


Title:Date:Posted By:
searching for info on John Maxwell, of PA; died circa 179916 November 2007Dr. Craig Mohler
     Re:searching for info on John Maxwell, of PA; died circa 179920 October 2014Jordan
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          Re:Re:searching for info on John Maxwell, of PA; died circa 179918 April 2018Pam Sherrick

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