Author Topic: When is a Maxwell not a Maxwell?  (Read 299 times)

Offline Ryohei56

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When is a Maxwell not a Maxwell?
« on: Saturday 18 June 22 23:41 BST (UK) »
Hi. Just wanted to share the demolition of one of my oldest 'brick walls'

My maternal grandfather was William Maxwell, born 1902. His marriage and death certificates list his parents as Jane Ewing and John Maxwell, however his birth certificate was not to be found. I searched everywhere for it, but to no avail and his parents were similarly absent from official records. His sons would not discuss the matter, and his daughters (including my mum) knew nothing.

I eventually discovered that my grandad was in fact christened William Ewen. He was the youngest of four boys, born to Georgina Ewen and David Maxwell. Of the four, three started off with the Ewen surname, while son #3 was a Maxwell. The birth certs of sons 1, 2 and 4 show only the mother's name, that of son#3 shows both, alongside a date and place of marriage (which turned out to be fictitious anyway).

Errant dad David was of Orkney stock from the island of Stronsay, and he returned there permanently around 1903, leaving behind a destitute partner and four illegitimate children, all of whom spent parts of their lives in local poorhouses. David, however, became a tea merchant, and died around 1916, leaving about 7500 to his brother (and nothing to his ex or his offspring).

Totally not what I expected to find, but  I was so happy to finally get to the bottom of this family mystery.

Offline Josephine

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Re: When is a Maxwell not a Maxwell?
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 18 June 22 23:55 BST (UK) »
Congratulations -- that's great!

Were you able to figure this out through paper trails or did you also use DNA?
England: Barnett; Beaumont; Christy; George; Holland; Parker; Pope; Salisbury
Scotland: Currie; Curror; Dobson; Muir; Oliver; Pryde; Turnbull; Wilson
Ireland: Carson; Colbert; Coy; Craig; McGlinchey; Riley; Rooney; Trotter; Waters/Watters

Offline Ryohei56

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Re: When is a Maxwell not a Maxwell?
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 19 June 22 09:29 BST (UK) »
It was a bit of a mixture. The original information was wrong, leading to a total dead end. After I joined Ancestry and submitted my DNA test, someone contacted me with information that suggested other avenues. One of these avenues eventually led to my discoveries. It still took some hard digging,  but the results were worth the effort. The DNA element definitely helped, I don't think I'd have got the answers I did without it.

Offline Ruskie

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Re: When is a Maxwell not a Maxwell?
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 19 June 22 09:33 BST (UK) »
Good detective work.  :)

Have you confirmed via DNA that David was the father of all four boys?


Offline jim1

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Re: When is a Maxwell not a Maxwell?
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 19 June 22 11:01 BST (UK) »
Well done your perseverance has paid off.
It would be interesting to know how it could be proved that
David is the father to all 4.
Warks:Ashford;Cadby;Clarke;Clifford;Cooke Copage;Easthope;
Edmonds;Felton;Colledge;Lutwyche;Mander(s);May;Poole;Withers.
Staffs.Edmonds;Addison;Duffield;Webb;Fisher;Archer
Salop:Easthope,Eddowes,Hoorde,Oteley,Vernon,Talbot,De Neville.
Notts.Clarke;Redfearne;Treece.
Som.May;Perriman;Cox
India Kane;Felton;Cadby
London.Haysom.
Lancs.Gay.
Worcs.Coley;Mander;Sawyer.
Kings of Wessex & Scotland
Census information is Crown copyright,from
www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

Offline Josephine

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Re: When is a Maxwell not a Maxwell?
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 19 June 22 15:42 BST (UK) »
Fantastic!
England: Barnett; Beaumont; Christy; George; Holland; Parker; Pope; Salisbury
Scotland: Currie; Curror; Dobson; Muir; Oliver; Pryde; Turnbull; Wilson
Ireland: Carson; Colbert; Coy; Craig; McGlinchey; Riley; Rooney; Trotter; Waters/Watters