Descendants of Clement Maxfield
of Dorchester, Massachusetts
Seventh Generation

JOHN7 MAXFIELD (perhaps Daniel6, probably Daniel5,4, Ebenezer3, Samuel2, Clement1) was married at Barrington, Rhode Island, on 12 January 1814 (VR RI 6:Barrington:14), to ANN DROWNE. She was commonly called "Nancy." This John Maxfield could possible be a child of Daniel and Deborah Maxfield. The identity of the parents of this John Maxfield can not yet be proven. The problem is complicated by the fact that there were two John Maxfields, both married to women named Nancy, in the same area at about the same time.

The evidence is as follows:

  1. We have the death records of two widows named Nancy Maxfield:
  2. The will of Benjamin Drowne, dated 25 May 1826, mentioned daughter Nancy Maxfield and six of her children.
  3. The marriage of John Maxfield and Ann Drown occurred at Bristol, on 12 January 1814, according to the Vital Records.
  4. The 1850 Census reported John Maxfield, age 56, living in Bristol in the household of Charles and Lydia Fales.
  5. a John Wood Maxfield of Bristol, married as his second wife, at Providence, on 21 January 1864, Patience Hill Cole. This John Maxfield was age 62 years, child of David and Meribah.
  6. John Maxfield of Bristol died at Swansea, Mass., on 13 December 1864. He was 68 years old, born in Bristol to David and Meribah.
  7. Patience Emily Hill Maxfield died at Providence on 3 May 1896, age 69-2-25. She was born at Bristol, widow of John.
I interpret this data as follows (I welcome other interpretations and more information): Of the two Maxfield families in the Bristol area at the time, that could be the parents of these John Maxfields, John Wood Maxfield was clearly the son of David and Meribah. This means that the other John was a son of Daniel and Deborah, unless another Maxfield family can be found.

Ann "Nancy" Drown was born at Bristol on 10 October 1790 (RI GR 14:206) to Benjamin and Almira Drown.

The 1820 census reported a family of John Maxfield at Bristol. John was engaged in commerce. The family consisted of:

age male female
0-9 1 3
16-25 0 2
26-44 1 0

John was the adult male. If one of the women between 16 and 25 was supposed to be Ann, her age was underestimated; the other woman is not identified. Nathaniel and Elmira were two of the children; the other two were probably Betsey and Sybil.

The family of John and Nancy Maxfield was described in the will of her father (RI GR 4:35). The will of Benjamin Drown of Barrington, yeoman, written on 25 May 1826, proved on 7 August 1826, mentioned

The 1830 census did not report this family; the 1840 census reported a household of Nancy Maxfield, which appears to be this family, and does not indicate an adult male of John's age. We therefore conclude that John Maxfield probably died some time between 1829 (his father-in-laws will) and the 1840 census.

The 1840 census (505:198) reported the household of Nancy Maxfield at Smithfield, Rhode Island, composed of a female, 40-49, two females 20-29, and two males 15-19. These categories correspond to the information we have on Ann, Betsey and Sybil (if we have identified them correctly in the 1820 census), Albert and Hiram.

Nancy Maxfield died at Johnston, Rhode Island, on 31 October 1873 (VR RI D 1873:1008); it was reported as follows:

Johnston: Oct 31, 1873, Nancy B. Maxfield, 84-11-20 d. Johnston, female, white, widow, b. RI to Benjamin and Almira Drowne, old age and paralysis
John and Nancy Maxfield may have had the following children:
    • b. at Barrington on 13 January 1815 (VR RI 6:Barr:33)
    • d. probably bef 1820 (not indicated in census), and more probably bef 1826 (not in grandfather's will)
  2. NATHANIEL DROWNE8 MAXFIELD b. in Rhode Island in 1816
  3. ELMIRA D.8 MAXFIELD (information on Elmira from Family Search Ancestral File submitted by Mark David Walker)
    • b. at Rhode Island abt 1818
    • d. on 20 January 1892
    • m. bef 1841 ARNOLD JENKS ANGELL
      • b. in Rhode Island abt 1814
      • d. in Illinois
    • b. bef 1826 (in grandfather's will), probably bet 1814 and 1820 (after parents' marriage, before census)
  5. SYBIL C.8 MAXFIELD (RI GR 4:35)
    • b. bef 1826 (in grandfather's will), probably bet 1814 and 1820 (after parents' marriage, before census)
  6. JOHN H.8 MAXFIELD (RI GR 4:35)
    • b. at Rhode Island abt 1821/2
  7. probably HIRAM DROWNE8 MAXFIELD b. at Bristol on 20 October 1823
  8. ALBERT J.8 MAXFIELD b. in Rhode Island abt 1824/5
    • b. at Bristol abt 1829/30 (death record)
    • d. at Bristol on 6 June 1890 (VR RI D 1890:584)
        Bristol Record: Jun 6, 1890, Sarah T. Maxfield, 60 yrs., d. Bristol Asylum, female, white, single, b. Bristol, American, to John and Nancy Maxfield, apoplexy cerebral
NOTE: Click here for more on the other John and Nancy Maxfield.


Information on this family is found in:

Other sources abbreviated above include:
Rhode Island Genealogical Register.
Rhode Island Department of Health, Providence, Rhode Island. Vital Records. microfilm, Genealogical Society, Salt Lake City, Ut.
Arnold, James N. Vital Records of Rhode Island, 1636-1850. Vol. 6: Bristol County. Providence: Naragansett Historical Publishing Co.,1894.

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