Four Brothers From Downham
The Waxham Family Biography

by Robert D. Waxham


In the early 1830’s, four Waxham brothers left Downham, a small village near the cathedral city of Ely in Cambridgeshire, England, and settled in the United States. These children spread across their adopted country and put down roots in several states.

What kind of book is this? I conceive it to be a “family biography.” Whether or not this is a new genre, I seek to present a narrative examination of the character and experiences of an entire family. Although there are long gaps in the Middle Ages, our story extends over a span of some 800 years. Just as a few vital statistics would be insufficient to present the story of an individual, a simple listing of who begat whom gives an inadequate rendering of the history of a family. We have therefore attempted to tell enough about the lives, circumstances, and relationships of those long departed so that they live again in our memories. For those interested in genealogy but having no tie to the Waxham family, we will also try to describe some of the research techniques used since they are not specific to this publication.

This is the story of these four brothers—John, William, Thomas, and James Waxham—including their forebears and, especially, their descendants.

The publisher, Community Press, is no longer active.
Copies are available only from the author.
Please contact Robert D. Waxham via
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or standard mail at 222 Institute Street, Smithfield, VA 23430.


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Robert D. (Bob) Waxham has been researching the Waxham family in both the United States and England for over 35 years. Now 80 years of age, he retired after a long career in the medical electronics industry to write this book. He lives in Smithfield, Virginia. His three children and three grandchildren reside nearby.