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June 16, 2022 / Joanne Yeck

The Maxey Family of Buckingham County, Part I

Buckingham County_Minnie Garland Harris_Iowa_1894

Minnie Garland Harris

While I do not descend from a member of the Maxey family, I have many Maxey cousins as a result of shared maternal lines. Additionally, my great grandfather’s first marriage was to Mary Ellen Maxey of Well Water, Buckingham County.

On December 1, 1875, Clayton Eugene “Clay” Harris married Mary Ellen in Buckingham County, uniting two core families of Sharon Baptist Church. Mary Ellen died of a fever on October 17, 1885. They had one daughter, Mary “Lula,” who was born profoundly deaf in 1876. She was being educated in Staunton, Virginia, at the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind, when she died of pneumonia on December 22, 1891.

After Mary Ellen’s death, Clay married my ancestor Mary Elizabeth Woodson. She died of tuberculosis on September 15, 1891, leaving him alone to care for my infant grandmother, Minnie Garland Harris. Soon they would leave Buckingham to settle in a small town in southern Iowa, where Clay joined his brothers and extended family.

Many years ago, on my first visit to Buckingham County, I met Bill Maxey who lived near Muddy Creek. He showed me Mary Ellen (Maxey) Harris’s unmarked grave and the site of the cabin where the Harrises lived. It was a wonderful introduction to exploring my grandmother’s heritage in Buckingham County.

As a result, my curiosity about the Maxey family grew and I was eager to learn more about their significant contribution to the county’s history and connections to my Buckingham County ancestors.

Coming Next: The Maxey Family of Buckingham County, Part II


Leave a Comment
  1. Deb (born a Duncan) / Jun 16 2022 11:14 am

    This thread greatly interests me as I found the 1740 will of Edward Maxey of Albermerle to contain the following wording “”I give to John Dunkin a young mare of three years old when the said John Dunkin doth come of age.” I believe this John Duncan to be one of my earliest US ancestors. John Dunkin aka Duncan is also found later in Buckingham County, as an ancestor James Duncan when he turns 21. I know there is a relationship there, I just haven’t discovered what it is yet. I am interesting in collaborating on this issue with anyone who is also interested. Thank you.

    • Joanne Yeck / Jun 16 2022 12:37 pm

      Thanks for your comment. Here’s hoping you connect with someone interested in John Dunkin.


  1. The Maxey Family of Buckingham County, Part VII: Tragic Buckingham County Fire, 1907 | slate river ramblings . . . .
  2. The Maxey Family of Buckingham County, Part VI | slate river ramblings . . . .
  3. The Maxey Family of Buckingham County, Part V | slate river ramblings . . . .
  4. The Maxey Family of Buckingham County, Part IV | slate river ramblings . . . .
  5. The Maxey Family of Buckingham County, Part III | slate river ramblings . . . .
  6. The Maxey Family of Buckingham County, Part II | slate river ramblings . . . .

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