WHO. Thomas (christened 1619) and Mary ___ Axtell, with two children, immigrated from England and are the progenitors of
almost all American Axtells (except the Nez Perce line and some much-later
arrivals). Thomas and Mary had only one son, Henry, so he and his wife, Hannah Merriam, are also progenitors of
most American Axtells. The early Axtells were frontier subsistence farmers.
WHEN. Sometime in 1642. (Some sources say 1643.)
WHERE. They settled in the wilderness of Sudbury, Massachusetts, about 20 miles west of Boston, along with some other settlers from their hometown in England. (To: Sudbury's History Page). Their only son, Henry, was one of the first settlers in Marlborough. (To: Marlborough's History Page). Henry's children settled in Taunton and Grafton MA (where Joseph Axtell Aldrich still lives on the farm that has been in the family since 1736). In generation 4, some descendants moved to central New Jersey. In Generation 5, some moved to western Pennsylvania and Vermont and. In Generation 6, some moved to central New York, Ohio, and as far west as Illinois and Michigan. Generation 7 (mid 1800's) saw settlement in Kansas and Oregon. In each migration, Axtells scratched out a living as frontier farmers. See the Early Axtell Migration Map for a better view.
WHY. Thomas and Mary's reasons for immigration are not recorded, but religious/political refuge seems likely. In 1642, a civil war broke out in England pitting the Puritans and the merchant class (supporting the Parliamentary Army under Oliver Cromwell) against the nobility, gentry, and clergy (supporting King Charles I). Thomas and Mary were of Puritanical leanings. Thomas's younger brother, Daniel rose to Major in Cromwell's army before being executed in 1660 as one of the 13
most-guilty regicides of Charles I. But the New World did nothing for longevity. Thomas died, apparently from the rigors of pioneer life, at 27. Daniel lasted until age 38 before his one-way trip in a hangman's cart up Tyburn Hill. Even so,
some of Daniel's children emigrated to the New World about 1678, to South Carolina where the name Axtell died out in
1692 (See Carolina Colony Axtells).
HOW. Nothing is recorded about the ship, sailing dates, or ports for Thomas, Mary and their two babies, Mary and Henry.
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Last revised 04 Jan 2003
by Dan Axtell