The Maxwell GenealogyForum

Title: Maxwell family DNA study
Posted by: Don Maxwell
Date: 26 August 2002


I wanted to post a simplified summary of the DNA study goals with a few caveats:

We would prefer 2 samples per line(from distant cousins proven genealogically). This will avoid a mutation or a "non-paternal event" from being established as the standard for a certain line.

3.Find and obtain samples from nonrepresented (ie new)lines.

4. Obtain upgraded tests ("refinement from 12 loci to 25 loci")supported and paid for by members of a clan/family already sampled in the "core group".The orginal sample can be utilized.

5. Need participation (ie sponsorship, group donations,toward more sophisticated tests {see #2 and #4 above}) from Maxwell descendents, without the Maxwell surname, as they will be the largest available contact group and will also benefit from the data compiled from the DNA studies.

Again the administrators do not benefit monitarily from this study and orgainized it in an attempt to link previously unrecognized clans in to "related families".

Don Maxwell



Wilmer "Max" Maxwell and I (Don Maxwell ) are putting together a MAXWELL FAMILY DNA project , acting as the group
The TEMPORARY webpage for this project is:
****you may have to maximize your browser page to view entire page****

and (as alternate)

Here is some basic information about the Maxwell DNA study:
  We have already established (ie obtained samples from) a core group of approximately 12-14 living male Maxwell descendants (LMMD). These individuals were carefully chosen based on the the following:
1. availability and willingness of a LMMD to participate.
2. "probable" relationships to early (colonial and Rev War era) Maxwell clans based on standard genealogical techniques.
3. LMMD in Maxwell lines already thoroughly studied thru standard techniques and currently at a "brickwall".
4. Those lines with "proposed but unproven" relationships to other known Maxwell lines.

Current lines with samples in process


01 Thomas Maxwell (1738-1785 Pa)/Anne Blackmar>>Henry Maxwell /Magdalena Whistler...RESULTS POSTED on webpage.
02 John, b1770 Co. Down>>Robert/Margaretta Mowery RESULTS POSTED on webpage
03 Robert Maxwell (d 1792 PA)/Elizabeth>>sons: Thomas M., Jas., John, Robt WVa line. RESULTS POSTED on webpage.
04 Henry Maxwell/Agnes Carson>>seven sons>>York Co.Results due in 2-3 weeks...
05 William Maxwell b. 1755 or 1763 /Nancy Robinson>>famous Ohio printer>> RESULTS POSTED on webpage.
06 John Maxwell /Izabel McGrew>>Robert Maxwell/Deborah Wierman
07 Samuel Maxwell>>Edmund Maxwell clan
12 William Maxwell >>Charles>>David/Sarah Ball
15 Rev. Thomas Maxwell/Mary Pemberton of Va
17 James Maxwell>>William/Elizabeth Parke, of PA&TN
18 William b bef 1740 m. Eliz McCutcheon>Thomas Maxwell /Nancy Purviance>>Chester Co, Pa. RESULTS POSTED on webpage
19 Albert Maxwell/unknown>>5 sons>>Perry Co., PA
20 John Maxwell m. Mary> William Maxwell /Ruth Duff>>Orange Co., VA...Results due in 2-3 weeks...
21 Rufus King Maxwell/Phoebe Goss>>Wm/Betty Keith>>AL&TN

NOTE: Clans 1, 3, 5, and 18 matched exactly, they therefore have a common MAXWELL ancestor and are closely related!!!! More specific testing is in progress.

Lines with a "priority status"(sponsorship to pay fees MAY BE available)

09 Nathaniel/Esther Carson>>parents unkn, 12 ch. MALE MAXWELL descendent found status pending
14 Thomas Maxwell Sr./unk Hamilton of NJ> Thomas Maxwell Jr. of Montg Co Ohio>J. Warren Maxwell, George McCann Maxwell, Nathanial Van Maxwell etc...MALE MAXWELL FOUND status pending.
08 James Maxwell/Margaret Hammond>>parents unkn >>LOOKING FOR LIVING MALE MAXWELL
10 RobertMaxwell/Catherine (Boyd?) of Lancaster Co , Pa.>>m: Porterfield Pa>NC
11 William Maxwell /Sarah Duncan>>Cumb. Co, 9 children
13 Audley Maxwell /Hannah Powell clan of PA&GA
16 Abraham, Chester Co s/o Robt/Elizabeth?
19 Albert Maxwell /unknown>>5 sons>>Perry Co., PA (living male Maxwell known but status pending).
22 James Maxwell b 1650 /Alice Adams of Kent Co., Delaware>>Robert/Millicent Bedwell , James , William (living male Maxwell known but status pending).

General background information

There are about 200 such family studies currently in progress.
We chose the paternal lineage study because ......the Y chromosome is passed unchanged from father to son, generation after generation (ie a son can only get Y chromosomal genes from the father...mutations occur only every 40 generations or so) can see why this would allow distant cousins to compare genes and prove a common ancestor! Depending on how sophisticated test you run you can predict 50% chance of linking to a MRCA ("most recent common ancestor") at 6-7 generations.
Maternal lineage tests are available (mitochondrial DNA), but they test for a "anthropologic pattern" (ie nonspecific family origins). Y chromosomal studies test for a "specific family" relationship.

To participate:
you will need a living male MAXWELL(s) to provide a sample....hopefully you, your son, an uncle, father or male Maxwell cousin will be willing?

The testing doesnt prove exact relationships (theoretically it will be able to in the future but not yet), but does prove or disprove a close family relationship.
Therefore those of us stuck at a "brick wall" genealogically
MAY be able to identify other common lines and therefore focus our research on a "closely related line" as a "back door" to ID the father of the "brick wall" .... and hopefully link to other known Maxwell lines.We hope there will be some "surprise results" which will help us focus on specific closely related lines previously unknown thus opening a "backdoor" connection to common lines in Ireland/Scotland!

Family Tree DNA of Houston, Texas

We chose the company, Family Tree DNA to do the DNA processing.
Family Tree DNA's webpage is:

and family reconstruction projects:

There is normally a $149.00 fee for the test (other companies' fees range from $123-$237). If you wish to participate in the Maxwell family study you will receive a discounted rate of $99.00 plus $4.00 s&h. To receive this discount you must order your collection kit thru the Maxwell DNA Study website:

or (alternate)

We will request that a collection kit to be mailed to you. We will also need your address and your genealogically documented line (oldest 4 generations) back to your oldest known Maxwell ancestor.
The sample is simple to obtain rub a Qtip on the inside of your mouth (at home) and mail it back to the company....test results take about 5 to 7 weeks!!!

Privacy Concerns

If you have concerns about providing DNA you can read the article pasted below. Remember: you control the release of all information, we hope you will sign the Family Tree DNA release so they can notify you by email of any future common ancestors (they will not release your name or identity to anyone you do not approve). You would be providing such a small sample, there would be no way for a unscrupulous person or anyone whom you did not release your results to, to identify you specifically.

GENETIC GENEALOGY CONCERNS. By Kristen Knight of I can understand the worries of the individuals who responded to the Genetic Genealogy information. I had similar concerns when I first heard about genetic testing for genealogical purposes. So I did my homework and found, to my relief, that I had nothing to worry about concerning genealogical DNA testing and privacy with First and foremost, is meticulous at protecting customer data, including DNA analysis. It does not share personally identifiable data with anyone, including the U.S. government, or the LDS Church. The only way this data would be shared is if the user requests it. .......Secondly, the DNA tests themselves protect the customer from any possible misuse by insurance companies or other entities. The Ancestry GenWeb DNA tests do not analyze, nor do they provide a report, on the entire DNA strand, but rather these tests only look at specific markers. These markers provide no health-related data. The markers analyzed do not actually create proteins, or "do" anything in the body. They are rather markers that simply "sit" in the DNA, and are passed on from generation to generation with little variance, making them ideal for assessing common ancestry between individuals. Even if another individual were to access this information (through a means other than, it would tell them nothing that would have anything to do with the health, ability, IQ, hair color, or other attributes of the individual tested. As others learn of the characteristics of this kind of testing, it is hoped that they will begin to see the power of genetic testing to help solve even difficult genealogical questions. Many customers have been able to verify their research through Genetic Genealogy. Others have been able to get past a previously dead-end paper trail. For many family historians Genetic Genealogy has given them answers that have saved countless hours and a lot of money. For information on using DNA testing to aid genealogical research see:

If you visit our website you will  notice that we will protect your privacy by posting only the 4 oldest generations of Maxwells along side their migration pattern and the 12 -25 loci (numbers) for your specific Y chromosome (ie we do not post your name).

I know this is alot to please feel free to visit our webpage and review the links, especially the the FAQ (frequently answered questions). Please feel free to contact either one of us if you have any further questions!

I hope you find this idea as new and exciting as we do. Hopefully this will give some of the needed "jumpstart" we need for those of us with dead end lines!

Thank you so much for your consideration.


Don Maxwell

Wilmer "Max" Maxwell

Maxwell Family DNA Study Co-Administrators


Title:Date:Posted By:
Maxwell family DNA study26 August 2002Don Maxwell
     Re:Maxwell family DNA study05 September 2002Don Maxwell
          Re:Re:Maxwell family DNA study21 September 2004Keitha Knowles
     Re:Maxwell family DNA study27 September 2002Andrew Maxwell
          Re:Re:Maxwell family DNA study28 September 2002Don Maxwell
     Re:Maxwell family DNA study04 April 2003gordon maxwell
          Re:Re:Maxwell family DNA study05 April 2003Don Maxwell
     Re:Maxwell family DNA study22 September 2004Francis Maxwell
     Re:Maxwell family DNA study22 October 2004Jerry W. Pickens
     Re:Maxwell family DNA study18 March 2005Susan Maxwell Bobbitt-Schumaker
     Re:Maxwell family DNA study13 May 2006Jared A. Maxwell

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