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American Immigrants
English Ewells
'Ewell' Origin


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This page is a compilation of both facts and folklore, of how the different branches of the Ewell families may have migrated to America. We are retelling here the stories that have been told.

Three Brothers Tradition
Henry Ewell
James/Charles Ewell
Maxcey Ewell

Three Brothers Migration Traditions

We have come across several stories about three Ewell brothers who came to America. We present four of these varied versions below.

Three Brothers Tradition, as mentioned in "Ewells in America and Some Allied Families, 1635-1990" (pg. ix)
"One of the main sources of information about the Virginia Ewells has been the book on "Virginia Genealogies" by the Rev. Richard Hayden. Hayden obtained much of his information about the Eolder family from the grandson of Charles Ewell of Lancaster Co., Va. Charles was given this information by his father, Bertrand, about the arrival of the brothers from England."

Three sons of Charles Ewell of London, England; Charles being the oldest, along with his brothers, James and Solomon, arrived in Virginia about 1690, with the contract from the King to build the new capital for Virginia at Williamsburg. At the conclusion of the contract, Charles settled in Lancaster, while James and Solomon retired to the eastern shore because of Indian troubles.

Three redheaded Ewell brothers coming to America, as told by Powell Davidson Ewell to his grandson, Edward M. Ewell.

Three Ewell brothers came from Scotland when there was a revolt and their wealthy parents were killed. They first fled to England for safety. England was uneasy to have them remain in the country so they gave them a large land grant to live in the new world. The three redheaded brothers set sail, one being older, and the other two being a set of twins. There was a storm during the time of landing and one of the twins drowned.

It was difficult to determine just what land was the land grant, so they just settled in the place where they thought it might be.

It was said that the whole Ewell clans were redheaded for generations. However, Powell Davidson Ewell was barely redheaded.

Three Brothers Tradition, unknown origin. Possible handwritten copy was by Charles Oscar Ewell. Found by Pansy Ewell in research papers of Hazel Ewell.

About 1690 three brothers, Leighton, Jesse and Maxie Ewell came from Wales and settled in Virginia. Jesse returned to Wales. Leighton never married. Maxie was the father of John Ewell who was born in Albemarle County, Virginia, February 15, 1772.

It is interesting to note that in an account of John Ewell, Jr., that was written while he was still living, it states that his grandfather [Maxcey Ewell] "came to Virginia from Wales." This account was submitted to US Genweb by Randy DeCuir and can be found here.

Three Brothers Tradition, unknown origin. Found by Pansy Ewell in research papers of Hazel Ewell.

About 1700 three brothers, William, John and Maxie Ewell came from Scotland and settled in Albermarle County, Virginia. Maxie died childless; John returned to Scotland, but William married and raised a large family. I have no record of his children, but his grandsons, by one of his sons, were John, Leighton, Dabney and Pleasant.

Henry Ewell

At the time when the first Ewell set foot in America, in what is now Massachusetts, the first boatload of colonists had been there for approximately 14 years.

The earliest known Ewell to land in America was young Henry Ewell from the town of Sandwich, county of Kent, England.

From a search of the records of Old Church, Ewell, Surrey County, England, which are kept in the tower dating back to 1570, and a search made among the records of St. Peter's Church at Sandwich, England; it seems that Kent and Surrey Counties were the original home of the Ewell family in England. In the St. Peter's Registry are shown the children of John Ewell: Joshua, bp. 1611, Zecheus, 1614, John, 1617, and Sarah, 1617. Several leaves of the registry are missing -those which might have recorded the birth of Henry Ewell about 1615.

He reached the Plymouth Colony in 1634 aboard the "Hercules", captained by John Weatherby, Master. From the records, it seems that all of the colonists on board the ship were from the county of Kent. Henry was about 17 -19 years of age at the time, and was listed as an apprentice shoemaker or cordwainer as they were then called. Henry initially went to the town of Scituate, Mass., a town composed mostly of "Men from Kent." Later he was in Barnstable and then returned back to Scituate. Several years after landing, Henry married Sarah Annable, the eldest daughter of Anthony Annable and his wife Jane Monfort. Henry and Sarah had a family of eleven children. The records state that Henry was a serious church-going man.

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James/Charles Ewell

The information on this family was primarily obtained from the documentation found in the Ghotes website in The Miles Files

The Miles Files show no posterity for Charles Ewell (born circa 1675), son of James Ewell, but in this website we have the descendants of Charles Ewell and Mary Ann Bertrand. Discrepancies have arisen between the conclusions of various researchers attempting to discern the lineage of Charles Ewell from the fragmented records. For that reason, we have not linked Charles as the son of James Ewell and Ann. However, there have been some researchers who were confident that the Charles, son of James, in Accomack County, Virginia, is in fact the same Charles that moved to Lancaster County, Virginia. Also, that he was the father of the Charles in Prince William, Virginia.

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Maxcey Ewell

No verifiable data has thus far been located as to Maxcey's ancestral beginnings. He may be considered an immigrant ancestor from England, Scotland or Wales. However, future research may prove that he was born in America. The earliest record we find of Maxcey is his marriage to Ann Mullins in Goochland, Virginia on 5 Jan 1769. His first son, Thomas, was born in the same parish in Goochland. Two years later, at the time of his next son's birth, we find the family living in Albemarle, Virginia. He purchased John Mullin's land (John is Maxcey's father-in-law), and this farm is where he lived the rest of his life. For more information about Maxcey Ewell, go to our Maxcey Ewell Personal Page

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