John Maxwell, The Oath Taker
Facts and Events
John Maxwell was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
- Source:Chalkley's Chronicles
- Source:Summers, 1929
- Source:Houston, et al. 1916
- Analysis. Vita and Family of John Maxwell (88)
- Analysis. Wife of John Maxwell (88), the Oath Taker
- Transcript:Records for Maxwell in Chalkley's Chronicles
- Transcript:Records for John Maxwell in Chalkley's Annals Covers his presence in Augusta County prior to 1770
- Transcript:Records for John Maxwell in Summers, 1929 Covers his presence in Botetourt County after 1770
- Transcript:Inventory and Estate of John Maxwell, Rockbridge County, 1786
- Transcript:Proof of Importation, John Maxwell, Orange County, 1740
- Notes. Miscellaneous Notes for John Maxwell of Augusta and Botetourt Counties c1740-c1775
- Land Transactions of John Maxwell in Augusta County, c1736 to c1770
This article is for John Maxwell who in 1740 "made oath that he imported himself...from Ireland to Philadelphia". He is the immigrant ancestor of a substantial family tree.
John Maxwell testified in 1740, for purposes of obtaining headrights,  that he had imported himself, Margaret, John Jr, Thomas, Mary & Alexander Maxwell from Ireland to Philadelphia, and thence to Orange County, Virginia:
July 24, 1740 - John Maxwell came into Court and made oath that he imported himself, Margaret, John Jr, Thomas, Mary & Alexander Maxwell, from Ireland to Philadelphia, and from thence to this colony at his own charges, and that this is the first time of his proving his rights in order to obtain land. Which is ordered to be certified. [Orange County Virginia, Court Order Book B., 1739-1741 (fide Source:Houston, et al. 1916.
Johns wife is most commonly identified as "Mary Margaret". This designation may be in error, and could be an attempt by genealogists to reconcile conflicting records. The Margaret listed in the importation oath is sometimes identified as a daughter. The Thomas, Mary, and Alexander also listed in the importation are presumably other children. There's no mention of a "Mary Margaret". Perhaps his wife's name was not listed at all, though this seems unlikely. However, late in life (1779) John sold a parcel on the Botetourt /Rockbridge Border in which his wife is identified as "Mary" (See Source:Houston, et al. 1916; Summers, 1929 gives the name as "May".) Some genealogists may have interpreted the importation records as showing his wife to be named "Margaret". Other genealogists may have focused on the 1779 transaction as proof that her name as Mary. Yet others may have combined the two, assuming that she was "Mary Margaret".
In anycase, the DOB's for John's children, as usually accepted by genealogist, seem to point to a 1735 marriage in Ireland, which in turn implies the c1712 DOB for John, as assumed by most genealogists.
Sometime before the 5th of April 1749, John acquired 439 acres on Beverley's Manor from William Beverley:
It is likely that John was living on this property long before the sale, and perhaps from about the time he proves his importation in 1740. In anycase, after the deed was recorded in 1749, the property was resold. This begins a series of land sales and purchases that will extend over the next four years in Orange, Augusta, and Botetourt County land records. (See:Land Transactions of John Maxwell in Augusta County, c1736 to c1770). Most, if not all, of these purchses and sales were in what became Botetourt County (1770), and later fell into the southern portion of Rockbridge County. Most occurr in the Forks of the James, and particular on Cedar Branch near Natural Bridge in modern Rockbridge County. It seems clear that in his 1749 sale of his property on Beverley's Manor, John was in the process of relocating to the Forks of the James area, where he would live the remainder of his life.
In 1770 Botetourt County was formed from Augusta. John Maxwell was appointed one of the "Gentleman Justices", as well as receiving other court appointments. Relatively few court actions, however, seem to be attributed to him, the last occurring in 1773. At this time he would have been into his 60's. He seemingly retires from active civic life after that date. A number of court records show a John Maxwell appointed to the position of High Sheriff in 1773. It seems likely that these records refer to John Maxwell the son, not the father. In anycase, a Rockbridge County record of his estate inventory in January of 1786, shows that he was deceased by that date, probably dying sometime late in 1785. He would have been 73 years of age, if his 1712 DOB is accepted.
- Rockbridge County, Virginia Wills, Will Book 1, pg. 251. January 17, 1786. Inventory of the estate of John Maxwell, deceased, made by Samuel Cloyd, Hugh Barclay, Jr., and William Taylor. Amount. £110.3.4.
- "Processioning" was the periodic review and agreement of property lines between settler's lands. Processioning Lists are useful in determining the general area of a settler’s lands and their neighbors at specific time periods:
- Page 279.--1760: Processioned by James Trimble, John Maxwell, viz: For Joseph Lapsley (bad state health), for John Moore, for Robert Alexander, for John Wiley, for James Campbell, for Patt Young, for Robert Moore, for Joseph Walker, for John Smiley, for Abraham Brown, for Peter Wallace, for Francis McCoun, for David Tilford, for Robert McKlehaney, for William Hall, for George Campbell, for John Paxton, for Wm. Paxton, for Alex. McKorkle, for James Campbell.
From Chalkley’s Augusta County Records:
- Vol. 2 - Augusta County List of Musters of 1742 - Capt. John Christian's List: John Christian, Captain; William Christian, Lieutenant; Fran Betty, Ensign; Jhn. Holms, Josep Read, Finley McClewr, George Camble, George Caldwell, Wm. Caldwell, Alex. Thompson, Jas. Caldwell, Isaac McCulough, Jas. Armstrong, Wm. Armstrong, Thos. Henderson, Wm. Henderson, Rob Conigham, Wm. Conigham, Thos. Black, Wm. Johnston, Joh Davison, And. Cowin, Jas. Moody, Jas. Willson, Niol. Leeper, Jno. Turk, Wm. Adams, David Mitchel, Rob. Ramsey, George Breakinsed, John Mitchel, Jas. Fulton, John Fulton, John Brownlee, Chas. Camble, Jas. Camble, Will Camble, Jno. Buchanan, Nathan McClewer, Jas. Robinson, Antho Black, Will Long, Thos. Bell, Jas. Bell, Jno. Black, Wm. Robinson, Thos. Shields, And. McCord, Thos. Beans, Arth. Hamilton, And. Scott, John Maxwell, Pat. Barney, Alex. Brackinsedg, Rob. Brackinsedg, James Brackinsedg, _____ McCoulough, Jas. Miler, Rob. McClenachan, Jno. Doacke, Sam Doacke, Patt Hayes, And. Boyd, Jas. Black, Alex. Fordice, David Steel, Moses Thompson, John Thompson, And. Russell, Rand McDonel, Hug Martine, Joh Robinson, Jas. Beans, Rob. Alexander, Ths. Lewis. (The List of Musters was a list of able-bodied men serving in the Militia).
- Vol. 1 - JULY 16, 1746. - (70) John Maxwell and William Thompson to make road from the Co. Ho. to Tinkling Spring.
- Vol. 1 - JUNE, 1747. - Charles Clendenning vs. Thomas Anderson.--Attachment dated 14th February, 1745, levied in hands of John Maxwell--40 sh., paper money, due defendant from estate of James Brackenridge, late of this County, and I am informed of a certain tract of land joining the plantation of Alexr. Brackenridge, deceased, belonging to said James Brackenridge.
- Page 346.--18th August, 1747. Francis Beaty to Andrew Alexaner, £25 current money Virginia; 158 acres in Beverley Manor; corner to Robert Wilson's land; corner to Thomas Shield's land; Thomas Brown's line Teste: John Maxwell, James Hamilton, Michael Dickey. Acknowledged by Francis, 19th August, 1747, and wife Martha releases dower.
- Page 349.--18th August, 1747. Francis Beaty to Robert Wilson, £20; 230 acres in Beverley Manor; corner to Joseph Reed; Thomas Brown's line. Teste: John Maxwell, James Hamilton, James Mafet. Acknowledged by Francis, and Martha releases dower, 19th August, 1747.
- Page 305.--19th August, 1747. John Anderson to John Hogshead, £9 current money Virginia; 270 acres patented, 1st December, 1740, to Jno. Anderson. Teste: Thos. Lewis, John Maxwell, James Hogshead. Acknowledged by John, and dower released by Jane, his wife, 19th Auagust 1747.
- Page 83.--25th May, 1748. George Robinson, gent., to Stephen Rentfrow; cor. John Buchanan. Teste: Jno. Ramsey, James Miller, Jr., Jno. Maxwell.
- Vol. 1 - 1749. Examination of John Maxwell and James McDowell, as to the death of Edward Hogan, taken 14th May, 1750. John says: On Sunday, 13th May, 1750, he, with Edward Hogan and James McDowell, being at the house of
James Greenlee, went over the main branch of James River in a canoe to a place of James McDowell, and on their return the canoe overset and they fell out into the river. John swam ashore and McDowell stuck by the canoe, and after some time got on its bottom by which he saved himself. John and James stripped themselves and made every effort to save Hogan, but were unable. James McDowell says the same. John Carmichael testifies. James Frazier testifies. John Fetter Soling testifies. One, Salix, fetched him the news. William Frazier.
- Page 680.--2d March, 1749. Same (From William Beverley) to Wm. Preston, 334 acres in Beverley Manor. In Beverley Manor, John Maxwell's line; Col. Lewis' line.
- Vol. 1 - AUGUST 1750 - 1739--Credit by six foxes, seven raccoons, and one beaver. John Maxwell, ditto. (Note: proves John Maxwell's presence in Augusta County by 1739).
- Vol. 1 - AUGUST, 1750 (C). - Samuel Smith vs. Beaty.--Mr. Michael Woods, formerly of Paxtunk, Pennsylvania. Account dated 1733. Thomas Renich, on 1st September, 1750, deposed: About 8 years ago, at his own house, he saw and spoke with said Smith and Robert Buchanan, the then Sheriff of Lancaster County. He heard Smith (then merchant at Connoy) say, &c., several accounts: Smith vs. James Cathey, 1737; Smith vs. Adam Thomson, 1736-7-8; Smith vs. William Robinson, 1739; Smith vs. Richard Woods, 1738; Smith vs. Mrs. Margaret McDowell, 1737; Smith vs. Mrs. Mary McDowell, 1737; Smith vs. Michael Woods, 1738-9; Smith vs. John Maxwell; Smith vs. Samuel Woods, 1734-5-8; Smith vs. Francis Beaty, 1735-6; Smith vs. John Christian, 1737; Smith vs. Robert Christian, 1733-4-5-6 Smith vs. Randell McDaniel; Smith vs. William Hutchinson; Smith vs. George Hutchinson. All sworn to by Samuel Smith, late of County of Lancaster, before a Justice, in Philadelphia, 13th October, 1743.
- Vol. 1 - AUGUST 29, 1750. - (432) Mary, wife of John Maxwell, relinquished dower in deed John M.--to Robt. Breckinridge.
- Page 142.--27th February, 1750-51. William Preston to George Campbell and Saml. Tencher, 215 acres on head of Gr. Calfpasture. Teste: James Caldwell, John Bigham, John Maxwell.
- Page 430.--24th August, 1751. Andrew Johnston to David Stewart, Gent., 218-1/2 acres. From John Maxwell; corner Robert McClenachan (formerly John Madison's land); corner Robert Breckinridge (formerly John Maxwell's land). Teste: John Harman, Audley Paul, Pat. McCluskey, Mary Paul.
- Vol. 1 - AUGUST 19, 1752. - (313) James Campbell, qualified Captain of Foot; John Maxwell, qualified Captain of Troop of Horse; Robert Renix, qualified Cap. of Troop of Horse; John Poage, qualified Cap. of Troop of Horse; James Edmondson, qualified Cap. of Troop of Horse; John Hogshead, qualified Cap. of Troop of Horse; Mathew Edmondson, qualified Cornet; Adam Harmon, qualified Cap. of a Troop of Horse; George Anderson, qualified Cap. of Troop of Horse; Augustine Price, qualified Lieut. of a Troop of Horse; Jacob Harmon, qualified Cornet.
- Page 484.--23d March, 1753. James Connerley's appraisement by Joseph Kennedy, John Maxwell, James Campbell. Vendue by George Breckinridge, administrator.
- Page 493.--21st November, 1753. Thomas Williams to John Mathews, Jr., 65 acres on North Branch James opposite Ann Sally's land. Delivered to John Mathews, son of Richard, 6th March, 1773. Teste: John Maxwell, Jno. Sprott, Joshua Mathews.
- Vol. 1 - NOVEMBER 23, 1753. - (75) John Mathews to be overseer of road from North Fork of James River, near John Mathew's, to Renix's Road, with these workers: Henry Brown, John Smiley, James Trimble, John Berriford, James Edmondson, Wm. Edmondson, Michael Finney, Wm. Holdman, Stephen Arnold, Hugh Means, John Harger, Wm. Scot, Edward Bishop, Alexr. McCorkall, Pat. McCorkall, Henry Fuller, Joseph Pain, Edwd. Baley, James Baley, John Peter Salling, Jas. Simpson, James Wolson, Alexr. Beggs, John Mathews, Joshua Mathews, John Maxwell, Jas. Frazier, John Hutcheson, Senr., John Hutcheson, Jr., George Sailing, Richd. Beton, Wm. Boil, John Sprowl, John Smith, Saml. McClure, John Smiley, John McCuley, Richd. Mathews, Sampson Mathews, Daniel Sancion, Saml. Paxton, Wm. Paxton, John Oleston, Samuel Oleston, Saml. Walker.
- Page 30.--15th March, 1754. Valuation of improvements on John Mathews' place in Forks of James River, by Jno. Poage, Jno. Maxwell, Jno. Hargar.
- Vol. 1 - MARCH 23, 1754. - (126) Road ordered from Campbell's School House to Renix's Road--Saml. Walker, overseer--with these workers: William Bradshaw, John Maxwell, James Frazier, John McColley, John Peter and George Salley, Henry Fuller, Joseph Ryan, John Hutchings, John Hutchings, Jr., John Sprowl, Mathew Vance, Richard Benton, Wm. Burt, John Smith, Joseph Smith, John Allison, Wm. Byers, Richard Mathews, Sampson Mathews, Saml. Walker, Thos. Shaw, Stephen Arnold, John Peteet, Wm. Noble, Saml. Allison.
- Page 69.--8th May, 1754. Philip Chittam's inventory, by John Maxwell, Saml. Walker, Michael Dougherty. Note--(Spinning wheel in nearly all inventories).
- Page 335.--16th August, 1756. John Mathews Sr. (Jr ?), and Anne ( ) to Richard Mathews, £10, 300 acres in Forks of James upon Mill Creek, joining George Mathews. Jno. Maxwell's line, cor. Jno. Mathews, Sr. Teste: Jno. Mathews. Jr., Geo. Trout, Ann Mathews, Jr. Delivered: James Lockhart, June, 1757.
- Page 337.--16th August, 1756. John Mathews, Sr., gent., and Ann to George Mathews, £10, 300 acres in Forks of James on Mill Creek, joining Jno. Poage. John Maxwell's line, cor. Richard Mathews.
- Page 172.--17th November. 1756. John Maxwell's bond (with John Ramsey) as guardian ( ) to John Campbell, orphan of Jno. Campbell.
- Vol. 1 - NOVEMBER, 1757 (A). - Maxwell vs. Allen.--John Maxwell was Captain of a Company in 1756 and called out Allen, one of his Company, to go against the Indians, but Allen refused and Maxwell sues qui tam Malcomb Allen. Maxwell denies he ever made out the writ.
- Page 255.--1st March, 1758. John Mathews' appraisement, by Alex. Beggs, Jno. Maxwell, James Simpson.
- Page 203.--17th February, 1758. Colonel James Patton's estate; appraised by Thomas Stewart, John Ramsey, Edward Hall. List of bonds, bills, &c., due the estate: Page 205. John Maxwell, 26th August, 1752. (listed among many others).
- Vol. 2 - Page 267.--1759: Processioners appointed, viz: John Maxwell, James Trimble, Joshua Mathews, John Armstrong, on James River below road that crosses North River at the Widow Allison's and westwardly to James River. William Lusk, Alex. McClure, in Capt. Samuel McDowell's Company. John Stevenson, Nathaniel Evins, in Capt. David Moore's Company.
- Vol. 1 - MAY 20, 1760. - (355) Hugh Thompson has lost his reason, and Bryce Russell and Andrew Leeper are appointed to take care of his estate. John Maxwell, qualified Captain of Militia.
- Page 429.--21st August, 1760. Robert Breckinridge and Lettice to Alexander Gibson, £160, 219-1/2 acres in Beverley Manor, part of 439 granted to John Maxwell and 219-1/2 conveyed to Robert by John; cor. Andrew Johnson. Delivered: Alex. Gibson, May, 1761.
- Page 45.--18th August, 1761. Isaac Cunningham's appraisement, by Jno. Maxwell, Joseph Lapsely, Jno. Moore, Jno. Paxton.
- Page 239.--18th August, 1761. Archibald Buchanan's bond (with Jno. Maxwell, Chas. Hays), as guardian (appointed) to Jno. McFerrin, orphan of James McFerrin.
- Page 328.--27th November, 1761. John Mathews' will, farmer--Wife, Ann, 2 gold rings made by Mr. John Hanna; son, Edward, infant, tract called Poplar Spring, and a negro man named Fryday; daughters, Lettis, Jane, Ann, when 18; son, John, tract called Little Bottom; son, George, tract bought of John Maxwell. Executors, wife Ann and brothers Sampson and George. Teste: Wm. Patton, Joseph Gamwell, Richard Wilson. Proved, 22d March, 1764, by the witnesses. Ann is dead; other executors qualify, with Jno. Madison, Thos. Stewart.
- Vol. 1 - JUNE 21, 1763. - (113) New Commission--John Chiswell, John Buchanan, John Wilson, Silas Hart, Andrew Lewis, James Lockhart, Richard Woods, Robert Breckinridge, Patrick Martin, Wm. Preston, Alexr. Sayers, John Bowyer, John Dickenson, John Christian, Francis Tyler, Daniel Smith, John Archer, James Buchanan, Archd. Alexander, Israel Christian, Mathew Patton, John Maxwell, John Poage, James Lockridge, Felix Gilbert, Abraham Smith, James Trimble, Charles Lewis, Samuel McDowell, George Moffett, Benj. Hawkins, Francis Kirtley, Andrew Bird--dated 16 April, 1763.
- Vol. 1 - 1763-4, Pt. 2. - 23d November, 1762. William Fleming and John Maxwell, recognizee for William's appearance. William was a carpenter.
- Vol. 1 - JUNE 19, 1764. - (500) John Maxwell refused to swear in as Justice.
- Page 295.--15th October, 1765. John Davis, son and heir of Nathaniel Davis, deceased, and Sarah Davis, relict of Nathaniel to Moses Cavet, £36, 115 acres by patent, 30th August, 1763, on Bufflo Creek. Teste: John Maxwell, Audly Paul, George Wilson. Delivered: Samuel McNabb, June, 1779, by order.
- Vol. 1 - OCTOBER 16, 1765. - (8) Mary, wife of John Maxwell, private examination commission.
- Vol. 1 - OCTOBER 17, 1765. - (16) John Maxwell and one other and 200 acres added to tithables.
- Page 39.--19th August, 1766. George Mathews and Ann to John and James Wilson. £130, 300 acres, part of 1600 acres patented to John Mathews, on Mill Creek in Forks of James River, joining John Poage's land, Mr. Mathews' patent line; John Maxwell's line; corner Richard Mathews. Delivered: John Anderson by order of James Wilson.
- Page 138.--9th September, 1766. John Moffete, Robert Moffette and Jean to John Buchanan, gent., £40, 170 acres, part of 340 acres made over to John and Robert by Samuel McDowell, 18th August, 1764; corner Robert Moffette in Samuel Walker's line, corner Robert Moffette in James McGavock's line. Teste: John Maxwell, John Taylor, Alex. Walker.
- Vol. 2 - Page 428.- 1767 - Pocessioners appointed, viz: Hugh Crockett and Isaac Taylor, from head of Roanoke to Fort Lewis. Edward Carvin and Nathaniel Evans, from Fort Lewis down on Waters of Roanoke. Thomas McFerran, James Moore, Jr., James Alcorn, Wm. Rolands, on waters of Cuttawba and James River on South Side. James Simpson, n Maxwellohn Mitchell, Jonathan Whitley, between Buffelow and James River. Joseph Lapsley, Wm. Hall, Wm. Paxton, Saml. McClure, John Gilmer, Jonathan Cunningham, between Buffelow and North River to the North Mountain. John Lyle, David Gray, Wm. Caruthers, John Paul, from North River to Beveriey's Line on South Side of Burden's land road that leads to John Paxton's. William Kennady, Robt. Steel, Archibald Reach, William Reach, John Thompson (James's son), Henry McClung, from North River to Beverley's Line between the Great Road to the Court House by Cap. McDowell's and to North Mountain. William McFeeters, Jr., George Berry, James Sawyers, Jr., William Bell, Jr., from Burden's line to the Road that goes from Staunton to Jenning's Gap on the North Side of Kennady's Road.
- Vol. 2 - Page 432.--18th March, 1768: Vestry met. William McElheny and Paul Whitley appointed processioners vice John Maxwell and Jonathan Whitley. Robert Moor appointed processioner vice William Hall; Andw. Buchanan appointed processioner vice Wm. Reach; Peter Evans appointed processioner vice Nathl. Evans; John Anderson, Jr., appointed processioner vice John Young, Jr.; James Belshey appointed processioner vice John Frazier; Jno. Harrison Jr., appointed processioner vice John McDonnald; Alex. Hamilton appointed processioner vice William Elliott, who is unfit through age and infirmity. The processioners exempted above are such as have served before or such as the Vestry judges unqualified.
- Vol. 1 - JUNE 22, 1769. - (222) Following recommended for appointment as Justices. Matthew Harrison, William Ingles, William Christian, George Mathews, John McClenachan, James Robertson, Stephen Trigg, William Horbert, Philip Love, Anthony Bledsoe, John Bowman, John Thomas, Roberl Doage and John Montgomery. The following to be left off and reasons given to the Governor by the Clerk: John Chizwell, John Wilson, John Archer, Alexr. Boyd, David Robinson, Benj. Estill, John Maxwell, Charles Lewis. Andrew Bird, Richard Woods.
- Page 587.--7th August, 1769. Patrick ( ) Wilson to William McClenachan, mortgage, £36.6.2, on James River, George Poage's line, purchased by Patrick of Malcomb Allen by deed, 9th March, 1760. Teste: John Maxwell, Audly Paul, James Neelly, John Buchanan, William Hall. Delivered: William McClenachan, August, 1770.
- Vol. 1 - AUGUST 16, 1769. - (324) Following recommended as Justices, viz: Mat. Harrison, Wm. Ingles, Wm. Christian, George Mathews, John McClenachan, James Robertson, Stephen Trigg, Wm. Herbert, Philip Love, Anthony Bledsoe, John Bowman, John Thomas, Robert Doage, John Montgomery, Alexr. Thompson, James Craig, Waiter Crockett, Andrew Lockridge, Walter Cunningham and James McGavock. The following to be left off, reasons to be given by the Clerk and former order discharged, viz: John Chiswell, John Buchanan, John Wilson, John Archer, John Maxwell, Charles Lewis, Alexr. Boyd.
- Vol. 1 - MAY 23, 1773. - (121) John Maxwell--a witness from Botetourt.
- Source:Houston, et al. 1916, pg. 25-27.
- ↑ :"Headrights" were grants of 50 acres of land per "head" - or per white male over the age of 16 who transported himself to the colonies. They appeared in the Court of Common Pleas in Orange County, Virginia. These headrights functioned as the only real immigration record for English, Scot or Irish immigrants during that time period. The headright identifies the country of origin and generally the port of entry in the colonies.