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Genealogist of the Maxwell DNA project



My name is Daniel James Maxwell. I have been doing genealogy for several years now, and could probably be called 'experienced amateur' or 'semi-professional'. I had known about WeRelate for several years, but finally decided to sign up when I realized it was probably the best means of publishing my own research without having to put in a paywall site (Ancestry) or one of those web tree programs. I also recall my early days of genealogy; all of the time wasted chasing fake lines that had poor/no research behind them. If it doesn't have a source, it didn't happen! After several years of this, you learn that most of what people out there have in their trees is either unprovable, legendary, or outright nonsense.

My research goals

I stopped doing major investigations of the mysteries in my tree about 2 years ago, when I decided that I want to get the known parts of my tree completely finished and sourced, each and every event, person, etc. I have come a long way, but there is still much work to be done. There are quite a few records that are not available in any online database, and may require in person visits (this is especially true for some county will books). Several other lines require me to purchase some pricey books (Palatine Families of New York, for example, a 2 volume set I need for about 3 people, but containing information available no where else).

My own ancestry

All of my ancestors were in North America by 1860, and the great bulk were here before 1776. As a result of having some LDS ancestry (note: I am a Catholic and not LDS myself), I have several lines of 19th century British LDS converts, and one non-LDS English line from the later part of the 1850s (my last line to arrive in North America).

The 19th century immigrants, starting from the earliest:

Manuel Maria Gonzalez - Uncertain immigration date. Family tradition claims that he came from Santander, Spain (and my grandmother has living memory of her father, Manuel's great grandson, Gilberto, stating as much). His son (also named Manuel Maria Gonzalez) was supposed to have been born in Veracruz, Mexico about 1827, but in searching the parish books of Veracruz around that time period, I was unable to find him.
Ramon Lafon - French immigrant by at least by 1821 to Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico
Emilio Manautou- French immigrant by 1827 to Matamoros. Friend of Ramon Lafon's
Frederick Barker - English LDS convert, immigrated to New York in the early 1830s, from there moved to Utah. Missing Shelfanger, Norfolk register that is needed to complete ancestry.
Ann Bligh - Frederick Barker's wife - research on her origins in Tibenham, Norfolk (done by myself) is mostly finished. The birthplace and marriage of her mother, Sarah Pease or Pearce, has not been established, however.
James Staples, formerly Stapleton - English LDS convert, left England in 1850, later sent for his wife and children. Other than a baptism record for a James Stapleton baptized in Gloucester, Gloucester about 4 months after the birth of James (and matching the parentage given in James Staples's of Utah's death record), there are almost no records available in the key areas needed for research into his origins in Gloucester.
Sarah Limbrick - James Staples' wife, is living in London in the 1851 England Census, leaves shortly thereafter. Is sometimes called 'Sarah Limerick' in certain accounts. There are some unverified claims that she 'served as a maid for Queen Victoria', but I have not seen the evidence, and this may be apocryphal.
John Lee - Immigrated by 1860 to Illinois. Parentage is established, but records for the key parishes of Stoke Rivers, Goodleigh, and Charles, Devon (the home parish of his mother) are either incomplete or not available before a certain date.
Ann Woolway - John Lee's wife. Daughter of Thomas Woolway and Elizabeth _______, their origin is not yet established.
Henry Lee - their son
Levi Sawyer - LDS convert - uncertain immigration date, but living in Utah by 1860. Also uncertain where he is in the 1841 and 1851 England Censuses. Online trees claim that he is synonymous with a Joseph Sawyer, son of Ralph, from Berselem, Staffordshire, but I have not seen the evidence. Levi Sawyer of Utah did have a son named Ralph. My request posted on both and the Rootsweb mailing list asking for collaboration went unanswered.

Current Projects

1. Finishing up the first 2 generations of descendants of Family:John Converse and Joane Unknown (1).
2. Putting together what is provable with Family:John Carrington and Joanne Unknown (1), who were executed for witchcraft in the early 1650s (exact date not known). Person:Rebecca Carrington (1) and John Carrington of Waterbury are supposed to be their children, but I don't think this has ever been proved (or really even properly studied to see if it there is any truth to it). John Carrington is believed NOT to be the 'John Corrington' who sailed on the Susan & Ellen.
3. Clean up Person:Edmund Jackson (2) and his large family.
4. Basic outline of the first couple of generations of the descendants of George Puffer of Braintree.
5. Finish what I started with the family of Cotton Flack
6. Major cleanup of the Hutchinson/Marbury ancestry, and the first generation of William and Anne's children.

Long Term Projects

1. Designing a DNA Project Template to be used at WR, starting with my own Maxwell DNA group, perhaps having some manner of making it official looking to be used at DNA project sites.
2. Better sorting and documentation of American colonists who were executed for Witchcraft
3. Designing a 'when and where to use FindAGrave' guide. Too often I have seen links to 'memorials' on the site where there is no evidence that a person is even buried there.
4. Work with other admins and more experienced users to create a cleanup guide (<--- major undertaking, considering style differences)
5. Finish creating Governor infoboxes, which combine the colonial with post independence office holders.
6. When and where of using transcriptions - a guide is needed. One other user sometime ago mentioned to be it was better to quote the vital record directly instead of secondary sources (where possible) and I agree completely.
7. Getting my pile of Mexican records transcribed and translated so I can source my Mexican ancestry on WR better (my command of Spanish is very light and although I have many records, I can only really read dates and basic words).