Descendants of John Maxfield
of Salisbury, Massachusetts
Fourth Generation


JOHN N.4 MAXFIELD (Michael3, John2-1) was born at Salisbury, Essex County, Massachusetts, on 25 March 1755[1] a son of Michael Maxfield and his wife Susannah Carr. He died at Chichester, Merrimack County, New Hampshire, on 11 May 1836.[2] He married at Salisbury on 17 December 1777 RHODA FRENCH.[3] She was born at Salisbury on 21 January 1755,[4] a daughter of Benjamin French and his wife Joanna Jackman. She died at Canterbury, Merrimack, on 1 September 1841.[5]

John Maxfield was baptized at Second (Congregational) Church, Salisbury, on 19 January 1756.[6] He grew up in Salisbury, the second of nine children.

John Maxfield responded to the Battle of Lexington and Concord by joining the Contitnental forces the next day. He served for several terms of varying lengths in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, up to 12 August 1779. In the records of Revolutionary soldiers he is entered more than once, under variant spellings of his name. I have arranged them chronologically as follows.[7]

Private, Capt. Stephen Merrill's co., Col. Caleb Cushing's regt., which marched April 20, 1775, in response to the alarm of April 19, 1775; service 3 ½ days;
Salisbury. Private, Capt. Jonathan Evans's co., Col. James Frye's regt.; list of men in camp at Cambridge, dated May 17, 1775;
also, list of men returned as serving on main guard under Lieut. Col. L. Baldwin, dated June 22, 1775;
Capt. Jonathan Evans's co., Col. Frye's regt.; receipt for advance pay, signed by said Moxfield and others. dated Camp Cambridge, June 28, 1775.
also; Capt. Jonathan Evan's co., Col. James Frye's regt.; company return dated Cambridge, Oct. 6, 1775;
also, Capt. Jonathan Evan's co., Col. James Frye's regt.; order for bounty coat or its equivalent in money dated Cambridge, Nov. 13, 1775.
also, Capt. Joshua French's co., Col. Edward Wigglesworth's regt.; pay abstract for travel allowance, etc., from Albany home; 245 miles travel allowed to said Maxfield; warrant allowed in Council Jan. 30, 1777;
also, Capt. Samuel Huse's co., Col. Jacob Gerrish's regt. of guards; enlisted Nov. 10, 1777; service to April 4, 1778, at Winter Hill.
Private, Capt. Lemuel Clap's co., Maj. Nathaniel Heath's detachment of guards; enlisted May 24, 1779; discharged Aug. 12, 1779; service 2 mos 20 days at Dorchester Heights.

John and Rhoda's pension applications, transcribed below, fill in some more of the story of his military service. Following the outbreak of hostilities, a Continental Army gathered at Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, and George Washington soon arrived to take command. Cannon were stationed at Dorchester Heights, and the Continentals isolated the British in Boston until they withdrew, 17 March 1776. John Maxfield participated in this Seige of Boston. Then he went west to join the continental forces stationed at Bound Brook, New Jersey. In October 1777 John Maxfield participated in two important battles, at Saratoga, a critical American victory, and at White Plains, part of an American retreat. The Continantal Army constructed a fort at West Point, New York, in 1778. By controlling this critical point, the Americans could prevent another British advance up the Hudson River. John Maxfield served through 1778 as a carpenter ("artificer") in the construction of West Point.

John Maxfield found time in between his periods of service to marry Rhoda French on 17 December 1777. Their first child was born on 25 March 1778, while the father was stationed at West Point. Following the War the John Maxfield family moved to Chichester (part of Rockingham County to 1823), New Hampshire. John purchased land there on 3 April 1779. The birth of their second child, on 23 August 1780, was recorded in both Chichester and Pittsfield (part of Chichester until 1782), New Hampshire. When his father Michael sold to John the homestead in Salisbury, on 25 December 1783, he was described as "John Maxfield of Chichester, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, husbandman." The John Maxfield family remained in Chichester, farming for the rest of their lives. There he paid taxes, bought and sold property, was recorded in censuses, and the remainder of their children were born.

John Maxfield paid taxes of $11.70 on his property in Chichester in 1812.[8]

John Maxfield bought and sold property in both Salisbury and Chichester. His wife Rhoda also engaged in property transactions in Chichester. The following summarizes those transactions:

John and Rhoda Maxfield each signed their name with a mark, indicating the inability to write.

The Censuses from 1790 through 1840 only recorded the names of the head of household, with the numbers of persons in different categories by age and sex. Here follow the census records for John Maxfield of Chichester, with the possible identification of family members.[29]

1790
male 16+ Michael, father, 74
male 16+ John, 35
male 16- James, 12
male 16- Ezra, 6
female Rhoda, 35
female Mary, 9
female Betsy, 4
female Susanna, sister, 21

1800
male 45+ John, 45
female, 26-45 Rhoda, 45
male 16-26 James, 22
female 16-26 Mary, 19
male 10-16 Ezra, 16
female 10-16 Betsy, 14
male 10-16 John, 11
male 0-10 Benjamin, 8
male 0-10 Enoch, 5
male 0-10 unidentified

1810
male 45+ John, 55
female 45+ Rhoda, 55
female 16-25 Betsy, 24
male 16-25 John, 22
male 10-16 Enoch, 15

1820
male 45+ John, 65
female, 45+ Rhoda, 65
female, 45+ unidentified
male 16-25 Enoch, 25
male 0-9 unidentified

1830
male 70-79 John, 75
female 70-79 Rhoda, 75
male 20-29 unidentified
male 15-19 unidentified
female 15-19 unidentified
female 10-14 unidentified

As John Maxfield's father, Michael, had sold to John the homestead in Salisbury, and would die and be buried in Chichester, it is likely that John's father could have been living with him in 1790. John's only remaining sibling at home, Susannah, could have also been included in the household that year. I cannot explain why son John, age 1, did not appear in the 1790 Census, nor why son Benjamin, age 18, did not appear in the 1810 Census. The unidentified household members could be other relatives, perhaps grandchildren, or hired hands and their families. At the time of the 1840 census, widow Rhoda Maxfield may have been included with the family of her grandson Daniel, son of Ezra.

When John N. Maxfield died the Independent Statesman described him as "a soldier in the Revolution and a United States Pensioner, 82."[30] John Maxfield wrote his will on 21 May 1834 and it was proved on 28 June 1836.[31] The will is shown below. In it, John remembered his wife Rhoda, his daughters Polly Blake and Betsy Ring, the children of his deceased son James, his two sons John and Enoch, Daniel P. and Ezra, the children of his deceased son Ezra. Son Enoch received administration of his mother Rhoda's estate on 28 September 1841.[32] Arearage on their pension constituted most of her estate.

John N. Maxfield and his wife Rhoda French had the following children:

  1. JAMES FRENCH5 MAXFIELD b. on 25 March 1778.
  2. MARY5 MAXFIELD b. at Chichester on 23 August 1780;[33] d. at New Hampshire on 11 July 1856;[34] m. at Loudon, Rockingham Co., NH, on 4 August 1802 JOHN B. BLAKE[35], b. at Pittsfield on 4 March 177[5].[36] She is sometimes called "Polly" or "Molly."
  3. EZRA FRENCH5 MAXFIELD b. at Chichester on 22 January 1784.
  4. BETSEY5 MAXFIELD b. at Chichester on 4 June 1786;[37] d. aft 1859;[38] m. at Loudon on 15 May 1814 THEODORE RING,[39] b. at New Hampshire abt. 1773/4[40] d. at Loudon on 1859.[41] This was his second marriage, they were both of Chichester, Rev. Jedidiah Tucker performed the ceremony. The 1850 Census reported this couple at Loudon.[42] Theodore was 76 years old, born New Hampshire, with real estate valued at $1200. Betsey was 64 years old, born New Hampshire.
  5. JOHN5 MAXFIELD b. at Chichester on 12 October 1788.
  6. BENJAMIN FRENCH5 MAXFIELD b. at Chichester on 15 July 1791.
  7. ENOCH5 MAXFIELD b. at Chichester on 25 September 1794.


Revolutionary Pension Records of John Maxfield[43]

Declaration ... 28th August 1832 ... John Maxfield of Chichester, NH, aged 78 years:
that he enlisted some time in April or May, 1775 at Salisbury in the county of Essex and state of Massachusetts in the Massachusetts Militia for eight months in Capt. Jonathan Evans company in Col. Frye's regiment and marched to Cambridge, Mass., and served the term of eight months out and dismissal, have no written discharge.
That in July 1776 he enlisted at Salisbury aforesaid for three months in Mass. militia under the same Jonathan Evans and marched directly to Ticonderoga, from there down to Albany, served the three months out and dismissed, have no written discharge.
That he enlisted at Salisbury aforesaid in Dec. 1776 for three months in Mass. Militia under Capt. Benjamin Evans, Col. Pickering's regiment and marched to Danbury, Connecticut, then to White Plains, thence to a place called Bound Brook; served the three months and dismissed in March 1777, had no written discharge.
In August or September 1777 he enlisted at Salisbury aforesaid for three months under Capt. Jonathan Evans, Col. Johnson's regiment of Mass. Militia and marched to Bennington, Vermont, thence to Mount Independence, then to Saratoga; was there at the surrender of Burgogne, and was discharged at White Plains, having served the full term of three months, had no written discharge.
That he enlisted in Salisbury aforesaid in January 1778 for eleven months in the Mass. troops in Capt. Law's company in Col. Baldwin's regiment and marched to West Point and served in the vicinity of West Point the eleven months and was honorably dismissed at Fishkill, had no written discharge. During this service a part of the time he was put to work among the carpenters.
That he actually served under the above mentioned enlistments 28 months--as therein stated--that he has no documentary evidence and knows of no person whose testimony he can procure who can testify to his service except the affidavits hereunto annexed.

Declaration in support of John Maxfield by Dudley Maxfield

I Dudley Maxfield of Salisbury in the county of Essex and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, aged eighty years, on oath testify and declare, that I am personally acquainted with John Maxfield of Chichester in the county of Merrimack in the state of New Hampshire, and I do know that said John Maxfield did enlist in Captain Benjamin Evan's company, Col. Pickering's regiment in the month of December 1776, for three months after arriving in camp; that we marched together in said company to Danbury and to White Plains; and were discharged at Bound Brook, in March 1777, after having served the full term of three months; and that said John Maxfield did serve faithfully during said term. I do further testify that said John Maxfield did enlist in the latter part of January 1778, in Captain Law's company, Col. Baldwin's regiment and marched to West Point and that said John Maxfield served in said company eleven months, and we were discharged on the last day of December 1778 at Fishkill; in this last service we were among the artificers. I also testify that I have this day seen and conversed with said John Maxfield, and know him to be the same John Maxfield above named. Dated at Salisbury the seventeenth day of July, 1832.
Dudley Maxfield

Declaration of Rhoda Maxfield

Declaration
In order to abtain the benefit of the Act of Congress of the 4th of July 1836.
That I, Rhoda Maxfield of Chichester in the county of Merrimack and state of New Hampshire, certify that I am the lawful widow of John Maxfield late of Chichester in the county and state aforesaid, a Revolutionary Pensioner under the act of 1832; that I was lawfully joined in marriage with the said Maxfield at Salisbury in the county of Essex and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, on the seventeenth day of December A.D. 1777; that I have lived with (excepting when in the service of the Revolution) and remained his legal wife until his death, which was in the 11th day of May 1836. ...
X Rhoda Maxfield her mark
witnesses Joshua Stone and Enoch Maxfield
sworn Jan 2 1837



Will of John Maxfield
Merrimack County, NH, Probate Records
familysearch.org


NOTES

1Vital Records of Salisbury, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (Topsfield, MA: Topsfield Historical Society, 1915), 152.
2"Cemetery Transcriptions from the New England Historic Genealogical Society Manuscript Collections," database, American Ancesters (americanancestors.org : accessed 2012), Perkins-Maxfield Cemetery, Pleasant Street, Chichester, Merrimack Co., NH.
3Vital Records of Salisbury, 416.
4Ibid., 111.
5"Cemetery Transcriptions," database Perkins-Maxfield Cemetery, Pleasant Street, Chichester, Merrimack Co., NH.
6David W. Hoyt, The Old Families of Salisbury and Amesbury, Massachusetts (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1982), 445.
7Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of the Secretary, ed., Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the Revolutionary War (Boston: Wright L. Potter, 1902), 10:366-67; 11:181.
8D. Hamilton Hurd, ed, History of Merrimack and Belknap Counties, New Hampshire (Philadelphia: J. W. Lewis & Co., 1885), 252.
9Deeds, 112:67-68; digital images, Rockingham County Registry of Deeds (nhdeeds/rockingham : accessed 2012).
10Ibid., 166:287; Essex County, Massachusetts, Land Records, 191:233, accessed 2013; Essex County Courthouse, Salem, MA (familysearch.org).
11Essex County, Massachusetts, Land Records, 141:247-48.
12Ibid., 150:234
13Deeds, digital images, Rockingham County, 140:94.
14Ibid., 142:326
15Ibid., 140:93
16Ibid., 166:297
17Ibid., 166:301
18Ibid., 166:300
19Ibid., 190:372
20Ibid., 193:101-03
21Ibid., 193:103-04
22Ibid., 190:371
23Ibid., 201:152-53
24Ibid., 200:45
25Ibid., 206:179
26Essex County, Massachusetts, Land Records, 209:34-35.
27Deeds, digital images, Rockingham County, 208:323.
28Ibid., 223:50
29First Census of the United States: 1790, population, Chichester, Rockingham Co., NH, 5:217; digital images, Ancestry (ancestry.com : accessed 2012); Second Census of the United States: 1800, population, Chichester, Rockingham Co., NH, 20:332; digital images, Ancestry (ancestry.com : accessed 2012); Third Census of the United States: 1810, population, Chichester, Rockingham Co., NH, 25:315; digital images, Ancestry (ancestry.com : accessed 2012); Fourth Census of the United States: 1820, population, Chichester, Rockingham, NH, 60:136; digital images, Ancestry (ancestry.com : accessed 2012); Fifth Census of the United States: 1830, population, Chichester, Merrimack Co., NH, 76:179; digital images, Ancestry (ancestry.com : accessed 2012).
30"Deaths," Independent Statesman, [28 May 1836]; 19th Century U.S. Newspapers (infotrac.galegroup.com : accessed 2012).
31Merrimack County, New Hampshire, Probate Records; "New Hampshire, County Probate Records, 1660-1973," digital images, Find a Grave (findagrave.com: accessed 2014); 8:377.
32Ibid., docket #1295
33Bureau of Vital Statistics, State of New Hampshire, Concord, NH. Index of Births to 1900.
34"New Hampton Village Cemetery, New Hampton, Belknap Co., NH," database, Find a Grave (findagrave.com : accessed 2012),
35Bureau of Vital Statistics, State of New Hampshire, Concord, NH. Brides' Index, 1640-1900.
36New Hampshire, Birth Records, Early to 1900; digital images, Family Search (familysearch.org : accessed 2012).
37Bureau of Vital Statistics, State of New Hampshire, Concord, NH. Index of Births to 1900.
38French, Harry Dana. Descendants of John Maxfield of Salisbury, Mass., New Hampshire Historical Society Library, Concord, NH, about 1952. She was living when her husband died.
39Bureau of Vital Statistics, State of New Hampshire, Concord, NH. Brides' Index, 1640-1900.
40Seventh Census of the United States: 1850, population, Loudon, Merrimack Co., NH, 436:17A, 294; digital images, Ancestry (ancestry.com : accessed 2011). Based on his reported age and state of birth
41French, Descendants of John Maxfield.
421850 Census, Loudon, Merrimack Co., NH, 436:17A, 294.
43Selected Records from Revolutionary War Pensions and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files, microfilm publication (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, ), John Maxfield.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

"Cemetery Transcriptions from the New England Historic Genealogical Society Manuscript Collections." Database. American Ancesters. americanancestors.org : 2012.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of the Secretary, ed. Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the Revolutionary War. Boston: Wright L. Potter, 1902.

Essex County, Massachusetts. Land Records. Essex County Courthouse, Salem, MA (familysearch.org).

French, Harry Dana. Descendants of John Maxfield of Salisbury, Mass. New Hampshire Historical Society Library, Concord, NH, about 1952.

Goss, Mrs. Charles Carpenter, compiler. Colonial Graveside Inscriptions in the State of New Hampshire. Dover, NH: Clearfield Co., 1942.

Hoyt, David W. The Old Families of Salisbury and Amesbury, Massachusetts. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1982.

Hurd, D. Hamilton, ed. History of Merrimack and Belknap Counties, New Hampshire. Philadelphia: J. W. Lewis & Co., 1885.

Independent Statesman. Concord, NH [28 May 1836].

Merrimack County, New Hampshire. Probate Records. "New Hampshire, County Probate Records, 1660-1973." Digital images. Find a Grave. findagrave.com: 2014.

New Hampshire, Birth Records, Early to 1900. Digital images. Family Search. familysearch.org : 2012.

"New Hampton Village Cemetery, New Hampton, Belknap Co., NH." Database. Find a Grave. findagrave.com : 2012.

"Pleasant Street Cemetery, Chichester, Merrimack Co., NH." Database. Find a Grave. findagrave.com : 2012.

Rockingham County Registry of Deeds. "Land Records." Digital images. Rockingham County Registry of Deeds. nhdeeds/rockingham : 2012.

Selected Records from Revolutionary War Pensions and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files. Microfilm publication. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. Onondaga County Library, Syracuse, NY

State of New Hampshire. Bureau of Vital Statistics, Concord, NH. Index of Births to 1900. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

________. Vital Records: Bride's Index, 1640-1900. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

United States, Department of the Census. First Census of the United States: 1790, population. Digital images. Ancestry. ancestry.com : 2012.

________. Second Census of the United States: 1800, population. Digital images. Ancestry. ancestry.com : 2012.

________. Third Census of the United States: 1810, population. Digital images. Ancestry. ancestry.com : 2012.

________. Fourth Census of the United States: 1820, population. Digital images. Ancestry. ancestry.com : 2012.

________. Fifth Census of the United States: 1830, population. Digital images. Ancestry. ancestry.com : 2012.

________. Seventh Census of the United States: 1850, population. Digital images. Ancestry. ancestry.com : 2011.

Vital Records of Salisbury, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849. Topsfield, MA: Topsfield Historical Society, 1915.

Wright, Elizabeth. "John Maxfield of Salisbury, Massachusetts, 1652, and Some of His Descendants." The Nebraska and Midwest Genealogical Record (19281930): 6:52-56; 7:20-24, 42-47, 61-71, 87-96; 8:15-22.


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