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Maxcey Ewell

Maxcey Ewell's Property-- Taken by Robyn Ewell Johnson April, 2001
White Hall, Albemarle County, Virginia

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. The following is an overview of Maxcey's life, of which has been verified:

Maxcey Ewell's Name

Some have speculated that Maxcey Ewell's name is "Thomas Maxcey Ewell". In Hazel Ewell's (Maxcey's 2nd great granddaughter) research notes, she lists his name as "Thomas (?) Maxey Ewell" [Note her question mark]. Research does not prove that to be the case.

On all legal documents where his signature is found, he signed his name as "Maxcey Ewell". Various records such as land and court records, the 1790 census, and his signature on his Will are consistent in listing his name as Maxcey Ewell. Some research has been done on the speculation that maybe Maxcey's given name was chosen because it was his mother's maiden name. The Maxcey surname is found in Virginia but no connection has been found.

The Research for Maxcey Ewell's Parents

To date, documentation for parents of Maxcey Ewell has not been found. However, a William Ewell could be his father. A letter that I received in 1988, from Pansy Ewell, quoted a statement written by A. E. Heard, of Evergreen, Louisiana, to Charles Oscar Ewell.  A. E. Heard and C. O. Ewell were first cousins and great-grandsons of Maxcey Ewell. The letter was dated Dec 1, 1904:

"Grandfather Ewell [John Ewell] was born in Albemarle Co. Virginia in Feb 1772. His grandfather, William Ewell, was the original Ewell. Three brothers, John, William and Maxce [sic], came to America. Maxce [sic] died single and John went back home. Papa told me this."

Various Military records were searched in the hopes of finding parents listed for Maxcey Ewell. No pension records were found. However, letters written by Maxcey Ewell to Thomas Jefferson were located. Maxcey was asking for help to receive payment for the 3 years of service in the Revolutionary War. Thanks to Steve Lewis, these records were found in the Library of Congress, manuscript division, among the Jefferson Letters. This is the only proof, to date, that he served in the Revolutionary War. Now they can be found on the Internet at Type in the keyword search, "Maxcey Ewell".

Maxcey Ewell's parents are listed as Edward Ewell and Sophia Taylor in the IGI and Ancestral File at  Research hasn't found any proof for these parents. Lack of documentation, along with the fact that there is no evidence that they were in the same area, would give a researcher serious doubt to such a conclusion. Also, it appears that Maxcey followed the tradition of naming his children after relatives. Neither the name Edward nor Sophia has been found among their descendants. This seems to suggest that Edward and Sophia were not names in Maxcey's ancestry.

Edward and Sophia are believed by some to be the parents of Maxcey because of a letter written by Col. George W. Ewell to Dr. Nathaniel McG. Ewell in Jan, 1944, in which he listed his ancestors. This letter was printed in a family history book, "Baker, Combs, Ewell, Neale-Reede, Markland and Watts Families" by Caroline Opsus Markland Carpenter, found in the LDS Family History Library as 929.273 B 171c.  I also found a letter that Col. George W. Ewell wrote to William T. Ewell on the 6 Jan 1950, "I am of the opinion that Maxcey is the son of Edward."  No explanation or documentation were given in either of these letters.

A Son Named Maxcey?

There is a possibility that Maxcey had a son named Maxcey that was not named in Maxcey's will. Possibly died as a child? There are Family Group Sheets that one can find, that lists a Maxcey Ewell as a son of Maxcey, with no sources listed. However, it is interesting to note that in a 1950 letter from George W. Ewell to William T. Ewell Jr., George lists a Maxcey, as the 2nd child, with no birth date. Perhaps he had some family knowledge. Also, Hazel Ewell, in her research notes, lists a "Maxie" as a 12th child of "Thomas (?) Maxey Ewell". [Note the question mark that was in Hazel's notes]

The Possible Grave Site for Maxcey Ewell

On Maxcey Ewell's property, purchased from his father-in-law, John Mullins, there are three or four field stones located on a small hill, east of the present day house. This farm is located in a small community known today as White Hall, in Albemarle County, Virginia. Present day residents and neighbors are aware of those field stones, and believe them to be the markers for human grave sites. However, they have no knowledge of who is buried there. The story is told that when someone tried to bury a cow there, a neighbor protested, saying that those stones are marking grave sites. According to William Albertson's research, this property has switched hands only 4 or 5 times since Ann Ewell's death. Mr. Albertson has confirmed the burial places for all of the other people who once resided there, and did not move away. None of them were buried on this property. These stones are not accounted for. Likewise, the graves for Maxcey, his wife Ann, and their sons, Jesse, William and possible son, Maxcey, are not accounted for. All of the other children of Maxcey and Ann had moved away from Virginia. Mr. Albertson noted that it was customary, for the times, that the resident family would be buried on the first hill, east of the family home. This is exactly where the alleged grave markers are located.

Paul Johnson and Kimberly Johnson (children of Robyn Ewell Johnson) sitting near the fieldstones-- Taken by Robyn Ewell Johnson April, 2001

Maxcey Ewell's possible burial site. The two darker (shadowed) stones likely to be their headstones. They were standing up, instead of lying down-- Taken by Robyn Ewell Johnson April, 2001
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