Axtell Family OrganizationAxtell Family Organization Front Page Archive

Archive of what used to be on the opening AFO page (newest first).
(Some of the links on this page will be outdated)

On the 3rd Saturday in August 2003, Axtell Family Members will gather at the Deposit Fireman's Park, Deposit, NY for the 102nd Axtell Reunion to held since being instituted in 1901 (1918 was skipped).

Date & Time: August 16, 2003. 12:00 Noon. Chicken Pie dinner at 12:30.
Place: Fireman's Park, Borden St., Deposit, NY (same as last year)
This reunion is primarily attended by descendants of Moses Axtell (6-1), a sixth generation descendant from English immigrants Thomas and Mary Axtell, but all Axtell descendants, family, and friends are welcome.

Bring old photos, stories, and items of interest to share. Contact Warren Axtell of New London for more information (email address on the Current Research page).

If you cannot make it, please send an update on what is happening with you and your family.

I finally got my own copy of the original hard-cover 1945 Axtell Genealogy. The first thing I did was brutally bend back the binding in order to get scans of the photographs from the Axtell Genealogy. I didn't post baby pictures of living Axtells on the Web. (2002)

On August 17, 2002 at noon Axtell Family Members will gather at the Deposit Fireman’s Park, Deposit, NY for the 101st Axtell Reunion to be held since being instituted in 1901 (1918 was skipped). See the Reunion page for details.

The 1945 Axtell Genealogy has been reprinted! Clayton Axtell, Jr. has 100 soft-cover reprints of the original Genealogy compiled by Carson A. Axtell and 100 soft-cover copies of the 1962 Supplement by Gladys Axtell Brooks.  Prices:
    $15.75 for the 1945 Axtell Genealogy
    $10.50 for the 1962 Supplement, or 
    $25.00 for both if ordered together.
Send orders to Clayton M. Axtell, Jr., 700 Security Mutual Bldg., 80 Exchange Street, Binghamton, NY 13901. Check the Past Research page for more info on the books.

100th Axtell Reunion at Deposit

The Deposit, NY Axtell Reunion will be at the Fireman's Park on Borden St., Deposit, NY, August 18th (the third Saturday), 2001. This reunion was first held in 1901 with 1918 skipped, so this will be the 100th gathering. This reunion is primarily attended by descendants of Moses Axtell who came from Massachusetts and settle at Deposit, NY around 1800 but all Axtells are welcome, especially those in NY and the surrounding eastern states. We usually have a few AZ and CO too. To learn more about this reunion, read the Secretary's Reports at the bottom of the Reunion Page. You can also visit Moses's gravestone.


Luke Axtell's Best Rebound... was from a college basketball career that was nothing but nettles. The 6' 10" Texan perseveres with music and faith. (2001)

On the Reunion Page is a report from the June, 2000 Rhinelander, Wisconsin reunion of descendants of Lloyd A. Axtell (8-633). It's great to hear from around the country. Please email me with news of Axtell reunions in your branch of the family (email link is at bottom).

Yes, Axtell has been used as a genuine first name. Back in 1995, I asked on the About the Name Axtell page if anyone knew if Axtell Byles used "Axtell" as his preferred name. After all, it's not unusual to name a child to honor the mother's family and then never actually use the name. Maybe, I thought, they had middle names that they used as first names, like Calvin Coolidge and Eleanor Roosevelt. After only 5 years (brief by genealogy standards), I got 2 responses:

Pat Wagner writes (Nov 2000):
 I am the daughter-in-law of Axtell Byles, married to his son Calvin Axtell Byles. You asked if Axtell Byles uses his first name - he does - his nickname at one time was Ax. His father, Axtell J. Byles, went by A.J. 
I have only heard the emphasis on the first syllable, Ax-tell, but it is a slight accent.

Marcy Byles writes (Feb 2001):
My name is
Marcy Byles, granddaughter of Axtell Julius Byles, daughter of Axtell Byles. To answer your question, my father does not have a middle name, and as far as I know, his older brother, Julius Byles (deceased), didn't either.

Thanks, Pat and Marcy.

"The books are still selling well," wrote Laura to Cousin Lottie. Lettice Jane (Carpenter) Axtell, wife of Robert Arthur Axtell (8-622), was Laura Ingalls Wilder's first cousin. That also makes all their descendants first cousins (once or twice or more generations removed). Here is a Letter from Laura to Cousin Lottie from 1948. Both families spent time in Pepin, Wisconsin, site for the book Little House in the Big Woods. (Dec 2000)

Rev. Henry Axtell (6-39) is fondly remembered in Geneva, NY as one of the founders of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He was the first American Axtell to get a college degree and probably the earliest American Axtell to have a surviving portrait. (Dec 2000)

"Miss Valerie Axtell, beautiful debutante of Nashville, Tenn." This 1941 ad in The Saturday Evening Post shows that Axtells were not afraid of crossing the Mason-Dixon line. (Dec 2000)

Axtells in the Civil War. 86 (at least) Axtells served. Before you click, guess how many served in the Union Army. Remember that 220 years had passed since Thomas and Mary Axtell settled in Massachusetts. Thanks to Charlie Axtell and Tom Gauthier for the research. (2000)

Here is the Location Index for the 1945 Axtell Genealogy. Over 1300 places are listed with over 3000 references to where you will find these places mentioned in the Genealogy. Towns are matched to their counties, so you can quickly see who else was nearby in the same county.  It's currently a plain text document. You can print it out with a Courier 10 font, but it going to be 48 pages. I'll work on a 2-column version some year. You may just want to save it on your computer and refer to it on screen.

I'm getting together some notes on the Axtells in the Carolina Colony in the 17th Century, where the surname died out in 1692. These cousins have some good stories--and lots of confusion with all the Daniels (and not one David!). This is a work in process. (2000)

How are Luke and the KU Jayhawks doing?

Here are some notes on the World War II flying ace, George Clifton Axtell ("The Big Ax"), thanks to his brother, William Everett Axtell. Bill was an instructor in the Army Air Corps in the War and I met him at the Fairfield Church Bicentennial in 1999. On the Fairfield page, I've added a transcription from the church's session notes that tells of a scandal in 1858 involving Joseph Monroe Axtell (7-322) and his wife, Sarah Franklin. It's not at all a scandal by today's standards, so I don't hesitate to web-publish this great story. And besides, Dr. Samuel Axtell said it was possible that the baby (who was born 6 months after the wedding) had had only a 4 1/2 month gestation! (added 2000)

Welcome to! That's right, the AFO is still technically non-existent, but it has a new, permanent home in cyberspace. This is the same website that's been here since August 1995 with a new name that won't change when my ISP disappears into merger-merger land. The old bookmark ( should forward you here for a couple of years, but it's best to change your bookmarks now. (added 1999)

A transatlantic Axtell Christmas story 50 years in the making

Back in March (1999), I received a greeting from Arthur Axtell in England, a descendant of Col. Daniel, the regicide. He remembers, "My great grandmother used to say that we were his direct descendants - but that we children must never talk about it!" I wrote back with excerpts of the 1949 AFO Christmas letter which mentioned that the AFO sent turkeys to several Axtell families in England, to spread some cheer during those austere post-war years. One of the families was literally familiar. He wrote back:

Please excuse the half century delay, but would you please pass my thanks to whoever sent our family the turkey dinner in 1949.

- We lived in Byfleet during and after WW2
- Margery Viola Axtell is my mother - she is still alive at 87.
- Emma Blanche Axtell was my grandmother, who died in 1951 (but not before the turkey)
- I was 9 years old at the time. My sister Pam Axtell was 8 and my sister Jane Axtell was 7

Although I don't specifically remember the turkey, I've been in touch with my mother and she recalls it. We do clearly remember some correspondence which we received at around that time from the Axtell Family Organisation in the US. I clearly recall being fascinated by a group photograph which was included, but which was lost many years ago.

My mother says that she suspects that we failed to send any acknowledgement or thanks for the turkey and the kind thoughts at the time. Life was quite difficult and busy just after the WW2. However, she's tickled pink to have the chance to pass on her thanks - but wonders whether there's anyone still alive to receive them!

Maybe I'll try to hunt down one or two other turkey recipients.

Well! - There's an omission righted.

Kind Regards,

Arthur Axtell

I was able to email several of Silas Blake Axtell's children and grandchildren. Son Tom wrote:

It was a delight, a total thrill, to receive this transatlantic e-mail about the turkeys. I had never heard about the story; a great one to add to our family stories and of course it makes the legend of Silas Blake, my father, grow even larger. My daughter (15) grinned and said, "cool".

The AFO has been defunct for about 30 years now, but once again, the spirit is remarkably alive.

Axtell Mechanic's Hand SoapYou can find the darnedest stuff on eBay, the big internet auction site. The Axtella Cigar Box Label for auction is a mystery to me. Anybody ever hear of Axtella before? The empty Axtell Hand Soap container at left went for $17.30 on 21 Nov 1999. Floyd James Axtell (#10-84), son Robert Floyd (#11-38), and brother Wayne Edwin Axtell (#10-87) engaged in pumice mining in Eustis, NE, but I can't figure outAxtell Hand Soap label, Eustis NE where the name "Larue" fits in. Three Axtells (none of whom are in the Floyd James line) joined the bidding. It was cousin-against-cousin for a week. OK, I'll admit that I was one of the bidders. It's much cheaper just to save the images right off of the eBay web pages. You can check out the Hand Soap auction page here. It's always fun to search for "axtel*" on eBay. An HO-scale Axtell Grain Co-op train car, which comes up from time to time on eBay, went for $16.50. sponsors thousands of message forums including an Axtell Family Genealogy Forum. You can ask and help answer questions there. It's an excellent website, a joint venture with the parent company (Mattel) of the parent company (Learning Co.) of the parent company (Broderbund) of Family Tree Maker.

Please say hello or ask a question in the Guest Book. This feature is one of the advantages to having a new, better server. [Oct 1999]

Looking for Greg. Ron and Sherril Hanson are trying to locate their friend Greg Axtell, GAX from WNVT/53. Phone ... [They found Greg in 2002]

Here are notes and photos from the Fairfield Presbyterian Church Bicentennial Celebration in western Pennsylvania on 12 Sept 1999.  Daniel Axtell (5-40) was a founding elder in 1799. Some of the children of his brother, Thomas (5-41), were also early members. Eight Axtells attended.

Ken D. Axtell has gotten in touch with his old companions in Australia. Fred's note was posted here on May 8th, and on May 26th [1999], Ken found this website for the first time:

I am the Ken Axtell Fred has been looking for and I would love nothing more than being able to contact him after all these years, and possibly attending the 50th reunion of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Authority in Australia this fall. I thought it was a miracle when I went to the LDS's new web site and a link took me to your page where I found your message. 

Fred Vines in Australia had inquired:

I would like to contact Ken Axtell who was an engineer/ geologist that worked on the Australian Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme, Blowering Dam, in 1964. This year is the 50th anniversary of start of this project and a big reunion of ex-workers will be held on 16/17 October at Cooma and Jindabyne. Ken worked on investigation of the quarry for rockfill for the dam. Fred Vines and Barry Christie would like to make contact. I think Ken was from the midstates, possibly Kansas, and I think would now be in his 60s.

The NY Axtell reunion will be at noon on Sat., Aug 14, 1999 at Oquaga Creek State Park near Binghamton, NY. See the Reunion page for more. Also, The triennial Axtell/Norman Reunion was held at Dead Horse State Park in Cottonwood, AZ   June 18-20, 1999. This is put on by descendants of John Gordon Axtell (8-552) b. 1845. I hope to get a report sometime.

You can get a poster of Horace Axtell (he's the elder in the picture) AND help support the recently-acquired Spalding-Allen Collection of Nez Perce artifacts. Here is information about the poster and collection, but ignore the ordering information and instead send $10 (postpaid, made out to "Nez Perce Tribe") to:
Nez Perce Tribe, PO Box 305, Lapwai, ID 83540, Attn: Rachel Edwards.

You can hear historian James L. Axtell speak on "The Columbian Encounter" at the Talking History website. He is the authority on Colonial American Indian history and provides an unusual, balanced perspective of 1492 when two cultures first discovered each other. (Note: There is no connection between James L. Axtell's historical work and Horace Axtell's current work.)   The October 15, 1998 web radio program uses RealAudio streaming audio which will be no problem if you have if you have a recent version of a web browser. Otherwise, there is a link there for downloading the free player from RealAudio.

Here are Pictures of Axtell, Utah, thanks again to Dean Axtell.

Here's an overview of the 1963 book Puritan Village, all about the origins and early life of Sudbury, Massachusetts around 1640. It's an exhaustive scholarly work that details the lives and times of those early settlers. Thomas and Henry are mentioned several times and it's probably the best way to get a sense of their lives in the inland wilderness of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It's a must-read if you're visiting Sudbury.

A separate American Axtell lineage. Horace Axtell explains how his family got an English name in his book, A Little Bit of Wisdom: Conversations with a Nez Perce Elder.

The 1947 AFO Christmas card and a reunion photo are here thanks to Bruce Axtell. Anybody have names to go with the faces?

A happy coincidence from a web-surfing County Historian in Terre Haute has yielded much information about the "Grand Young Trotting Stallion AXTELL" including a clue that he was named after Loveridge Samuel Axtell (#7-320).

Axtell, Kansas has their own website now with some history.  There are pictures, too, but it's hard to read "Axtell" in them.  I guess most people don't get excited about seeing AXTELL in big letters on ordinary things :)
For that experience, you'll still need to visit our own web page on Axtell KS.

The Reunion near Deposit, NY will be on 22 Aug 1998.  It's the 4th Saturday this year because the 3rd Saturday was already taken. There's some new information about other Axtell reunions on the Reunion Page, too.

Visit beautiful Axtell Bridge, Montana!

I'm now using FrontPage to maintain this website [Feb 1998]. I'll be able to post new information much more quickly and surely now. I had been using a word processor and typing all the formatting tags manually because when I started this website in July 1995, there were no good web authoring programs--and I had to walk 7 miles to school in 3 feet of snow, too :) .  The days of mistyped hyperlinks and pages copied to the wrong directory on the web server are over.

Read about the old Axtel telephone exchanges. How did 8 areas in the U.S. get this name?

Axtells in Chile!. I have received this e-mail (translation below): [1997]

"I'm writing to you from Chile, South America. In this country there is only one family by this name. It's fairly small. The progenitor of this line was Maurice Axtell. My name is Roberto Cazenave Axtell and there's always been the name Thomas (Tomás in Spanish) in the family, including a son of mine who bears that name. Today, I'm explaining why this name is maintained in my family. I'd love to know more about Maurice if possible.
Axtell in Chile." I e-mailed back that there is a Maurice recorded in the 1945 Genealogy, the son of Ebenezer [6-67] of Oneida County NY. Ebenezer's entry says, "His only son, Maurice is supposed to have perished in an earthquake in South America." I asked if he knew whether Maurice really died in an earthquake, but have received no response yet. Note: in the Spanish-speaking custom, Axtell is Roberto's mother's maiden name. "Roberto Cazenave Axtell" would be his full name and he would most often go by the shortened version, Roberto Cazenave. (Many thanks for the translating go to my wife, Charlotte Gifford, who teaches French and Spanish.)
[As of September 1997, I still hadn't heard back. I emailed him again and if I ever hear back I'll post it on the main page.]

The 96th Annual Axtell Family Reunion will be held on Saturday, August 16, 1997 at the Oquaga Creek State Park (northeast of Binghamton, NY) at 12:00 noon with the traditional Chicken Pot Pie Dinner at 12:30. All cousins are welcome; bring a dish to pass, individual place settings, swim suits, softballs, bats, lawn games, etc. Oquaga Creek State Park is a beautiful spot with camping and a lake with a sand beach. It is close to the Axtell Cemetery in Barbourville with the Moses Axtell Memorial. If you need an excuse to make the trip, you'll be reasonably close to the Baseball Hall of Fame and Howe Caverns. Warren H. Axtell is the secretary of the Reunion and can be reached at

See the 1953 AFO Plaque by the First Parish Church in Sudbury, Massachusetts!

14 Apr 1997. The Army Corps of Engineers is seeking the next of kin of Bertha (Coleman) Axtell, b. abt 1877 (husband's DOB). The Abbey Mausoleum's trust fund went broke a while back and is in disrepair. The Department of the Navy will reinter the 280 graves elsewhere in the Arlington (VA) Cemetery and would like to notify the nearest known relatives before doing so. (The mausoleum is in the middle of land used by the Marines.) They have had no luck in finding relatives on the Coleman side. She was married to Leo-Rae [9-616] Axtell and had no children. Resourceful engineers Kenneth Baumgardt and Scott Watson searched the Web for clues, checked out the Axtell GEDCOM, and contacted me. I checked the 1962 Supplement and was able to confirm that they had no children and to give names of 4 grand-nephews/-nieces born with the name Axtell in the 1940's (descendants of Robert John [9-622]), who might be interested in the fate of the remains of a great-aunt by marriage with the same surname. They will try to contact these relatives. If you are a descendant of her parents-in-law, SAMUEL PRESTON AXTELL [8-515] and FRANCES KESSLER, then you are among the closest next-of-kin and should contact Scott Watson at the Army Corps of Engineers, 410-962-9500.
29 Apr 1997 The Corps has many families to search for and has no new leads on Bertha's kin. They haven't yet gotten around to seeking out Axtells. Ultimately, they have to demonstrate to the Justice Department that they made a sufficient effort to find next-of-kin. Her reinterment will also be noted in future Genealogy updates.
28 Jun 1997 I haven't heard anything new. My guess is they had so many relatives to track down and the Axtell leads were such distant relations that they had to call it quits on finding an interested relative to notify.

Can you guess what states have the highest concentration of Axtells? (That is, if you were to pick a person at random, there would be the highest chance that his/her surname is Axtell.) You can check out Hamrick's Surname Distribution for the surname Axtell. If you don't have your display set to 16-bit color (thousands of colors), then you won't see the continuous variation in color that will make the top two states stand out. The answer is at the bottom of this page.

FLASH! Check out Frances Axtell at the Seattle Times' Centennial website. She was elected to the Washington State Legislature in 1912. As with most women, her accomplishments are not mentioned in the 1945 Genealogy, but she was probably Frances (Cleveland) Axtell, wife of William Henry Axtell (9-613), a physician in Bellingham, WA.

Numan Axtell Line Linked!

Larry Axtell in Utah spent most of a day in October 1995 at the Latter-Day-Saints Family History Library in Salt Lake City and managed to find the father of "Numan" Axtell (his great grandfather). The 1945 Genealogy listed him as a separate lineage with "ancestors unknown." From the 1850 Census of Hamilton Twp., Lee County, IL, he found that Newman Axtell (correct spelling) is the son of Lewis Axtell (#8-61). It took perseverance, "some help from the volunteers there, and a little luck." Great sleuthing! (added Feb 1996)
Page last revised 20 Mar 2004 by Dan Axtell