Beginning from Maryland, and over the generations, the Maddox family moved westward as the frontier opened, first to South Carolina, then to Tennessee, Kentucky and Illinois (one half went north, while the other half went south to GA and then AL). They didn’t go it alone. The pioneers travelled as groups, probably for safety, and followed a few established trails and highways. Over the years of our research, often by accident, we’ve found the same recurring family names next to the Maddox name in land and personal documents. Here is a chart – that still requires some work – of the associated families over the generations.
Many of the descendants of Cornelius Maddox, including our Benjamin Maddox (II) and Benjamin Maddox (III) moved from Maryland to South Carolina in 1790, along with the Poseys, Wares, Lucketts, Knights, Greys and Fords. From South Carolina, our Benjamin (III) moved to Kentucky (via Tennessee) around 1808, along with members of the Knight, Grey, Ford and Magee families. At about the same time, Benjamin (III)’s brother William and his sons and some nephews moved south to Georgia and then Alabama. From Kentucky, our Benjamin (III) and his son Joseph moved to Illinois around 1823-1830, where they rejoined descendants of the Gaines, Brashears and possibly Posey families, who they had lived next to in South Carolina.
Lolith Irene Maddox‘s teenage escape from the family land in Illinois in about 1920 was a dramatic leap from the agrarian lifestyle of six previous generations in America, and parallels America’s more general urbanization (she moved to Chicago in the 1930s). Her frustration with the family farm, however, probably was not a reflection of most new urbanites’ attitudes. She was strongly independent.