National Maxwell Day takes place every year on January 30 to celebrate the history of the name and all the Maxwells worldwide. The name Maxwell is a Scottish surname, and a habitational name derived from a location near Melrose in Roxburghshire, Scotland. Maxwell was first noted in 1144 as ‘Mackeswell,’ meaning “Mack’s spring.” The surname Maxwell was also popular in Ulster, where it has, in some instances, been taken as a different form of the surname Miskell. Maxwell as a surname is represented in Scottish Gaelic as MacSuail. The name Maxwell is of Scottish origin and means ‘great stream.’
History of National Maxwell Day
Maxwell is a predominantly masculine English name that means “from Mack’s Spring.”
The name was first mentioned in 1144 A.D. as a place name for a location on the River Tweed in Scotland, spelled Mackeswell. In Scottish Gaelic, it’s spelled MacSuail, and it’s a common English surname. The name Maxwell is also said to have originated from Maccus Well, a pool in the River Tweed near Kelso in the Scottish Borders. David I of Scotland’s reign is thought to have been a Norse chief named Maccus.
Sir John Maxwell, the then Chamberlain of Scotland, was replaced by his brother upon his death. In the Ragman Rolls of 1296, a descendant of John Maxwell’s brother, Herbert Maxwell, swears fealty to Edward I of England. Caerlaverock Castle was held as a vassal of the English by Herbert’s son, Eustace Maxwell. In around 1440, another Sir Herbert, Eustace’s descendant, was made Lord Maxwell and elected to the House of Lords. The Maxwells of Monreith, a branch of the clan, are descended from his second son and were made baronets in 1681.
Maxwell has been used as a first name since 1880 when the U.S. started keeping track of names, and its usage peaked at 107 in 2014.
National Maxwell Day timeline
The name Maxwell is first mentioned.
Another Sir Herbert, Eustace’s descendant, is made Lord Maxwell.
The Maxwell Castle in Scotland is built.
Maxwell is used and recorded as a first name in the United States.
National Maxwell Day FAQs
What was the result of James Clerk Maxwell’s equations?
Maxwell proved that light is an electromagnetic wave.
Who built the Newark Castle in Port Glasgow?
Sir George Maxwell built it in the 15th century.
Is Maxwell a unisex name?
No, it is not.
National Maxwell Day Activities
Find your name day saint
Find the name of the saint attached to your day. If you are an Orthodox Christian, seize the day and ask the saint of your name to pray for you. Ask your friends and family to do the same, as it can be reassuring to know that others are praying for you.
Learn the saint hymn
Try to memorize the saint’s hymn song. Sing it aloud during your prayer time.
Put up an icon
On this day, you can put up the icon of your named saint. It can be a constant reminder of what this day is as you go about your daily activities.
5 Facts About The Name Maxwell
Two decades in the top
Maxwell has been all over the charts but has spent the previous two decades in the top 150.
It’s a common name
Maxwell is the ninth most common name.
Greatest popularity from 2015
The name Maxwell has enjoyed its greatest popularity in the last few years.
The ratio of people named Maxwell
For every 100,000 Americans, there are three people named Maxwell.
Lance Armstrong’s influence
After Armstrong named his son Maxwell, the name grew in popularity.
Why We Love National Maxwell Day
It’s a reason to rejoice
Life can be challenging, so we need reasons to rejoice. Moreover, we need a reason to celebrate ourselves, and this holiday provides just that.
It has a long history
Names have a long history. Some names go as far back as the 1st century! Your name is a lineage of its own, so celebrate it.
It’s a double celebration
Consider yourself lucky to have both a name day and a birthday. You essentially have two days each year that are distinctively yours. You get to celebrate your existence twice a year!
National Maxwell Day dates