Descendants of Ichabod Maxfield
of Litchfield, Connecticut, and
Stanford, New York
Seventh Generation

JAMES LOUIS7 MAXFIELD (probably Samuel6, probably Ichabod5) was born about March 1839 at Massachusetts, probably a child of Samuel Maxfield and his wife Jeanette Lerna. Census and other records give varying places of origin and ages, as follows:
Event Place Date
1850 Census CT 1836/7
1860 Census (jail) NY 1839/40
1860 Census (home) MA 1837/8
second marriage Cincinnati, OH 1838
1870 Census MA 1838/9
1880 Census CT 1838/9
1900 Census MA March 1839
1920 Census MA 1837
Death record MA 1835/6
Perhaps one should not expect a bigamist to always tell the truth. On his second marriage record, James identified his parents as "Samuel and Genett Maxfield." There is only one Jeanette in my Maxfield database, and her husband was Samuel. On this basis I suggest that James Lewis Maxfield is possibly the child of Samuel Maxfield and his wife Jeanette Lerna.

The 1850 census (306:121) reported Lewis Maxfield, age 13, living in a household of 60 unrelated persons at Tyringham, Massachusetts. The 1860 census reported James Maxfield twice at Oconto County, Wisconsin. He was reported in jail (1424:256:15) at Oconto on assault and battery charges. He was also reported at home at Peshtigo (1424:288:6-8):

Name Age Sex Occupation R.E. P.E. Birthplace Other
6. James L Maxfield 22 M laborer MA
7. Eliza Maxfield 15 F WI
8. Idella Maxfield 2/12 F WI

James Lewis Maxfield had married ELIZA TOURTELLOTT probably around 1859, probably at Wisconsin. The young bride was born at Oconto, Wisconsin on 11 August 1845 (1900 census, place from second marriage record), a child of Thomas and Josephine Tourtellott.

James L. Maxfield enlisted on 22 October 1861, and was soon (November 5) transferred from Company F to Company H of the Wisconsin 12th Infantry Regiment. He served throughout the Civil War, but was reported Absent WithOut Leave on 16 July 1865 (Civ War Sol).

James never returned to Wisconsin. Within five months, he married at Virginia MARTHA WASHINGTON JOHNSON. The record states (Russell Co. M):

On 9 Dec 1865 James L. Maxfield, age 27, single, b. Cincinnati, Oh., son of Samuel and Genett Maxfield
married Martha Johnson, age 25, single, b. Russell Co., Va., daughter of William and Margaret Johnson
- by E. D. Kernan
This is the only record on which James claimed to be born in Ohio, and the only record that names his parents. The illegality of the marriage could explain why James might manufacture an original birth place; for this reason, the identity of his parents remains questionable. Martha was born at Virginia about 1841 (census records), the child of William Johnson and his wife Margaret "Peggy" Fuller.

James and his new family appeared in the 1870 census (1677:1:448B) at New Garden, Russell County, Virginia, in the household of William (62) and Margaret (58) Johnson. The family included James, 31, a farm hand, Martha, 28, Samuel, 3, and Hugh, 1. James appears to have been working on his father-in-law's farm. The 1880 census (1389:72.2:23-28) reported the growing family at New Garden:

Name Race Sex Age Related MS Occupation B FB MB
23. Maxfield, James L. W M 41 ---- M laborer CT CT CT
24. Maxfield, Martha W F 39 wife M keeping house VA VA VA
25. Maxfield, Samuel W M 14 son S at home VA VA VA
26. Maxfield, Hugh W M 12 son S at home VA VA VA
27. Maxfield, Henry W M 9 son S VA VA VA
28. Maxfield, Margaret W F 7 daughter S VA VA VA

By the time of the 1900 census (1727:1:176) James and Martha had an almost empty nest at Honaker, Russell County, Virginia:

Name Related Race Sex Born MS B FB MB Occupation
Maxfield, John head W M Mar 1839 M CT NY NY miller
Maxfield, Maria W. wife W F 1841 M VA VA VA
Maxfield, Sylva granddaughter W F May 1890 S VA VA VA at achool

In spite of the variation in name, this appears to be James and Martha. Sylvia was also reported with her father and step-mother, Hugh and Annie Maxfield. The record also indicated that this couple had been married 34 years, and the wife had four children, two of whom were still living. In 1920, James and Martha Maxfield, aged 82 and 80, were reported with their son Samuel at Dickenson County, Virginia.

James L. Maxfield died at Russell County, Virginia, on 7 June 1924; Martha died there on 16 November 1924. Martha died at the Poor Farm at Lebanon, Virginia (Russell Co D 1924).

Meanwhile, back in Wisconsin:

When James Maxfield, enlisted, he left behind his 16 year old wife, a daughter of 19 months, and a son of 6 months. For almost four years she awaited his return; then she assumed he was dead. Great-granddaughter Audrey Roser reported about Eliza (Roser):

. . . in 1915 she applied for a land grant from the government. I'm sure she was surprised to find out that her husband J. Maxfield was not lost on Shermans march to the Sea he was in Va.
Eliza and family moved to Escanaba, Delta County, Michigan, where she married on July 1870 A. C. POMEROY. The marriage record gives the following information (MI M 1:211:1):
Delta Co., Jul 1870 Escanaba, N E Pierson, clergy
A C Pomeroy of Escanaba, 24, b. N Y, lumberman
Eliza Maxfield of Escanaba, 23, b. Oconto WI
By 1880 (1440:330C) Eliza Pomeroy was a widow, living at Oconto, and working as a washer woman. In her household were sons James Maxfield, 17, saw mill worker, and Samuel Pomeroy, 9, also her father and mother, Thomas and Josephine Tourtillotte, 67 and 60, and her siblings, John, Annie, and Rosa, aged 23, 19, and 16, blacksmith, domenstic, and washer woman, respectively.

In 1900 (1808:4B:84-90) Eliza Pomeroy was living with her mother, Josephine Tourtillott, at Second Street, Oconto. This census record listed actual birth dates. Eliza was born 11 August 1845, and had three children, of whom two were still living. Her son Samuel Pomeroy was born at Wisconsin on July 7, 1871 and worked as a teamster on an ice wagon. The household included four nephews of Eliza (grandsons of her mother).

The 1910 census (1729:12A:11-13) reported Eliza Pomeroy at 130 Adams Street, Oconto. She was not employed. The household included two nephews. The last reference I have to her is the above quoted message board message, which states she applied for a land grant in 1915.

James Louis Maxfield and his first wife Eliza Tourtellot had the following children:

    • b. at Oconto Co., WI, about March 1860 (1860 census)
    • d. at Oconto Co., WI, on 3 May 1869 (Evergreen Cem) scarlet fever
  2. JAMES WESLEY8 MAXFIELD b. at Oconto, WI, on 25 March 1861

James Louis Maxfield and his second wife Martha Washington Johnson had the following children:

  1. SAMUEL WESLEY8 MAXFIELD b. at Russell Co., VA, on 10 September 1867
  2. HUGH JOHNSON8 MAXFIELD b. at Russell Co., VA, on 31 July 1868
    • b. at Russell Co., VA, on 9 October 1871 (Russell Co B 1871)
    • d. at Russell Co., VA on 15 September 1891 (Russell Co D 1891) railroad accident
    • b. ar Russell Co., VA, on 10 April 1873 (Russell Co B 1873)

Eliza Tourtellott and her second husband A. C. Pomeroy had the following child:

    • b. at Wisconsin on 7 July 1871 (1900 census)


Information on this family is found in:

Other sources abbreviated above include:
Civ War Sol
American Civil War Soldiers.
Evergreen Cem
Evergreen Cemetery, Oconto, Wisconsin. U.S. Gen Web Archives.
Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925.
Russell Co B
Russell County, Virginia, Birth Index. U.S. Gen Web Archives.
Russell Co D
Russell County, Virginia, Death Certificates/Index. U.S. Gen Web Archives.
Russell Co M
Russell County Marriage Register 2, 1853-1908. Russell County, Virginia, Marriages, 1865. U.S. Gen Web Archives.
Roser, Audrey J. Roots Web Message Boards - Wisconsin - Oconto Co. - # 175.24.26. 27 Dec 1998.

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