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Maxwell, William Kilburn, Captain (1828-1905) | Maine Maritime Museum Manuscript Collection Online Catalog

Name: Maxwell, William Kilburn, Captain (1828-1905)

Historical Note:

Capt. William Kilburn Maxwell was the son of Robert and Abigail Maxwell born on October 3, 1828 in Bowdoinham, Sagadahoc County, Maine. Robert Maxwell was brother of Capt. Noble Maxwell making William K. Maxwell his nephew and the grandson of James Maxwell. William's siblings were brother James and sister Susan.

Like his grandfather, James Maxwell, and his uncle Noble Maxwell, he too started his career in the seafaring business. United States Federal Census records show that William Kilburn Maxwell was a sailor in 1850 around the age of 21-22 moving up to shipmaster by 1870. He was shipmaster on a number of vessels including Albert (bark), Clara L. Preble (ship), Otseonthe (ship) and T. J. Roger (ship).  Capt. Maxwell married Elizabeth Deane, daughter of Capt. David Deane and his first wife Eliza Fernald Deane. They had two sons, Edgar J. and Alfred S. and three daughters, Francis E., Alice C. and Mabel C.  United States Federal Census records show his sons were both sailors in 1880 and like many seafaring men in those times, it would seem that Capt. William Kilburn Maxwell used his wealth to purchase a piece of land to farm.  This would seem to be the case based on the 1880 United States census identifying himself as a farmer under occupation. However, U.S. Federal census records for 1900 show that William Kilburn Maxwell was retired and together with his wife Elizabeth and daughter Mabel C. were living in Boston, Massachusetts. Captain William Kilburn Maxwell died on February 21, 1905 at 77 years. His wife Elizabeth died in 1915 at 86 years.

Sources: 1. Deane, Mrs. William James. "Maxwell Family." Letter MS-054, Box 010 of Maine Maritime Museum Reference Collection.

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