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Wednesday, February 5, 2014


My 6th Great-Grandfather of wife of Great-Granduncle

Hugh Mosher sailed into Boston Harbor 1632 and settled in Salem where he became a friend of Roger Williams, pastor of the Salem Church whose religious views he was in complete sympathy. Roger Williams was persecuted by the civil authorities for openly advocating liberty of conscience in religious matters and the separation of church and state. When Roger Williams was banished from Massachusetts in October, 1636 , Hugh Mosher went with him to Rhode Island. Rev. Roger williams was grateful the the assistance rendered by Hugh Mosher and rewarded him by securing permanent title to a fifth part of the large and fertile township of Westerly, Rhode Island in August of 1676. In 1679, Hugh was appointed by the general court Ensign of a military company and he took part in the war against King Philip, distinguishing himself by his daring and bravely. He lost two sons during the 12 years of war. He became a Baptist and in 1674 was ordained pastor of Dartmouth, Mass near the border of Rhode Island. Even after his ordination he was always called Ensign. -- Information found in "The origin and History of the Mosher Family and the Genealogy of One Branch of that Family from the Year 1600 to the Present Time" compiled by William C Mosher,A.M. Alhambra,California 1898.


Notes for Hugh Mosher:

Ensign Hugh Mosher who settled Salem about 1636 was a friend of Roger Williams and followed him to Rhode Island, settling in Westerly. Ref: Abbe, Abbey Genealogy, p. 298

Hugh Mosher came to Salem, MA in 1632. Later he was one of the five who owned the township of Westerly, RI. Ref: Maxson Genealogy, p. 1-2

It seems probable, although absolute proof is lacking, that he was a son of Hugh Mosher, the early settler of Casco Bay and Saco, Maine Two of the latter's sons, James and John, removed from Maine to Brookhaven, Long Island, and it seems likely that a son Hugh went to Newport

Ref: The American Genealogist, Corrections to Austin's Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island..


Robert Charles Anderson in "The Great Migration Begins" p. 1302 states:

Origin : Unknown

Migration: 5 June 1632 in the James of London (as Hugh Moier) Hotten 150

First residence: Casco

OFFICES: Petit jury, 8 September 1640 [MPCR 1:67, 69].

ESTATE: On 26 July 1666, letters of administration on the estate of 'Hugh Mossier' were granted to 'James Mossier, being eldest son'; James Lane and 'John Mossier' were sureties to the bond [MPCR 1:313].

On 14 May 1683 'John Mosure of the Town of Brookhaven in the East Riding of Yorkshire upon Long Island' sold to Joseph Nash of Boston, mariner, 'all my right, title & interest of a certain parcel of land & meadow lying & being in Casco Bay running by the side of Aresiket River"; in addition to 'John Mosure,' who made his mark, this deed was also signed by 'James Mosure' (also by mark) 'and by 'Elisa[beth] Mosure" [YLR 17:102], suggesting that this was land the two brothers had inherited from their father.

BIRTH: By about 1613 based on estimated date of marriage (but see BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE below).

DEATH: Before 26 September 1666 (administration of his estate [MPCR 1:313]).

MARRIAGE: By about 1638 ____________. Her name is never seen and she probably predeceased him, since administration went to their son James. CHILDREN:

i JAMES, b. say 1638; living at Brookhaven, Long Island, in

1683 [YLR 7:102].

ii JOHN, b. about 1640 (deposed 1681 aged about 41

[GDMNH 497, apparently citing a record from a Long

Island town m. by 1683 Elizabeth -----, with whom

he resided at Brookhaven by that date [YLR 17:102].

ASSOCIATIONS: Noyes, Libby and Davis say that the lands of Arnold Allen 'in some way passed to the Moshers' [GDMNH 62].

The sons of Hugh Mosher interacted frequently with James Lane. James Lane joined John Mosher as surety for James Mosher in administering the estate of Hugh Mosher [MPCR 1:313]; John Mosher was fined in 1667 for travelling on the Sabbath, claiming that he did so because he heard that "Mr. Lane" was in danger of drowning [MPCR 1:335]; and in 1734 a deposition claimed that John Mosher had sold land to James Lane [GDMNH 497].

COMMENTS: At his death in 1635 Richard Williams owed 'Hugh Mossier" £1 15s. [MPCR 1:98].

BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: Mildred (Mosher) Chamberlain and Laura (McGaffey) Clarenbach, Descendants of Hugh Mosher and Rebecca Maxon through Seven Generations (Madison 1990) present in their introduction (pp. x-xi) a possible English origin for this Hugh Mosier as the son of Hugh and Margaret ( ) Moger of Wincanton, Somerset. The will of Hugh Moger of Wincanton, dated 9 July 1656 [PCC 1657 folio 228], left many bequests to his son Hugh, but when widow Margaret, son Hugh and others were sued by William Talbot 28 February 1656/7, witnesses made it clear that son Hugh was not present.


 Children of Hugh Mosher and Lydia Maxson are:

+Mary Mosher, b. 1641, d. 02 February 1717/18, Westerly, RI2019, 2020.

1. HUGH1 MOSHER1 was born Abt. 1633 in Manchester, England, and died Abt. December 07, 1713 in Newport, RI. He married (1) REBECCA MAXSON, daughter of RICHARD MAXSON and REBECCA ?. She was born in Portsmouth, RI, and died December 29, 1707. He married (2) SARAH BUTCHER February 25, 1707/08. She died in Newport, RI.

Notes for HUGH MOSHER:

Research for this history has been limited to American records, but it ma y be well to comment on what has been said by persons said to have searched Engl ish records. Their reports are rather frustrating, for with only one execption , sources of the information are not given, and few dates are found.

The Mosiers are said to have been Huguenots living in northeastern France u ntil the persecution culminating in the Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day in 157 2 resulted in their flight to Germany and England. It appears that only one fami ly had gone to England by 1600, and it had settled in Manchester, where it engag ed in the weaving and selling of silk. The names of Stephen and James Mosier app ear in Manchester in 1580, and Ezekiel in 1607 (said to have died in 1640). Samu el and William were in 1614 records.

William made his will 20 September 1620, and it was proved in the Distric t Probate Registry of Chester, Chester Consistory Court, 21 June 1621. He seem s to have been a young man, for he mentioned his mother and had only two childre n, both minors: John, under 21; and Mary, under 17. He named his "brother" Thoma s Rode and wife and siblings: Anne Ramney, John (married), Thomas, Steven, and G eorge. He requested that John, Thomas, and Steven "admitt my said wief (Thomasin ) to be Joint partner with them in all theire Tradings and Commersings...."

Three of the brothers are sied to have had sons Hugh, Thomas' son Hugh bein g the Hugh Mosier who sailed from England on the James 12 April 1632 for Boston . This Hugh settled in Maine not later than 1635 and died in Casco Bay befor 2 6 July 1666, when his eldest son James was named administrator of the estate an d James and John Mosier were bonded.

Stephen is said to have been the father of a Hugh who was in Salem, Massach usetts, in 1636, followed Roger Williams to Rhode Island, received a large gran t of land from him in Westerly 4 August 1674, and died in Newport 1694. Not on e of these statements is supported by Rhode Island or Massachusetts records.

A few English records in the middle-seventeenth century indicate that ther e were Mosiers elsewhere than in Manchester. On 18 January 1639 Mrs. Stephen Mos yer was bequeathed two silver salts in a will by the widow of Philip Hayse of St . Patrick, Exeter (Waters, GENEALOGICAL GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 1185), Mary Mosie r died 1653-4 at St. Gregories, London (INDEX TO PREROGATIVE COURT OF CANTERBURY , 257, vi Folio 95). Thomas Mosier of Sepulchres, London, left a will proved Jun e 1654 (ibid., vi Folio 101). On 18 February 1664 Susanna Mosier, 27, spinster , of St. Benet Fink, London, was licensed to marry John Ellys, 25, bachelor, o f Bromley, Co. Kent, at St. Benet Fink, St. Thomas the Apostle, or St. Anthony , "now called the French church in London" (Foster, LONDON MARRIAGE LICENCES, 15 21-1869, p. 450).

Despite this paucity of records, when in 1830 it was reported that the Engl ish government had advertised in the Untied States for heirs of a Sir Hugh Moshe r of the British East India Company, who had amassed a fabulous fortune and die d (when?) without issue, American and Canadian Moshers sprang into action, hel d meetings, constructed somtimes faulty lineages, donated money, and sent agent s to England to claim their inheritance. Invariably the agents were never hear d from, but nevertheless, every two or three decades the process was repeated.

A surprising feature of these "lineages" is that the mother of Hugh Moshe r of this book is always said to have been Lydia Maxson, though the father was e ither Hugh Mosier of Maine or Ezekiel of Rhode Island. Accompanying statements c ontain so many contradictions and errors that none of the can be taken as fact , but all should be studied carefully for possible truths.

In an article on some descendants of Hugh's son John in HISTORY OF MUSCATIN E COUNTY, IOWA, 2:505, the tradition is said to be that Hugh descended from a Si r Hugh. The statements that Hugh lived in Bristol, Rhode Island and that colonia l records and Dartmouth, Massachusetts, Friends records contain his marriage t o Lydia Maxson or Dixon are erroneous.

Hugh was not a Friend, and the Dartmouth Frends records begin in 1698.

It is commonly said that Hugh Mosier of Casco Bay was the father of Hugh Mosh er and Lydia Maxson his mother, but there are no records in Maine identifying Hu gh's wife, or any children other than James and John, and no early records of Ma xsons in Maine. Hugh Mosier was of an earlier generation than Hugh Mosher, but t heir having the same Christian name could as easily suggest uncle and nephew rel ationship as father and son. Furthermore, their children and grandchildren settl ed in different areas of New England and New York until the nineteenth century.

The tradition that Ezekiel Mosher and Lydia Maxson were parents of Hugh Moshe r is found among descendants of his sons Nocholas and Joseph. Ezekiel's sons Joh n, a bachelor; Daniel, with a family; and Hugh are said to have come to Rhode Is land, followed shortly by the parents, Ezekiel soon died, and John and Daniel an d family were massacred by Indians in 1636 (not a plausible date), leaving Hug h as sole heir. One account mentions a sister about whom nothing was known. Seve ral accounts say that Ezekiel left an immense fortune in Manchester. Still anoth er is that Hugh's siblings, disapproving his wife, managed to have Hugh's shar e of the fortune entailed until the youngest member of the third generation wa s of age, this causing the long delay in settlement of the estate.

The first mention of the three brothers that has come to the attention of th e compilers is in the day book of Christopher Mosher (1796-1866) of Albany, Ne w York. He wrote that three Mosher brothers, Hugh, John, and Daniel were the on es who came to America. The next is in the biography of Jonathan Brant Mosher (1 808-76) of Chemung county, New York, in HISTORY OF TIOGA, CHEMUNG, TOMPKINS AN D SCHUYLER COUNTIES, NEW YORK, 340c, which says that Hugh was one of three broth ers but doesn't name the other two. The name of Ezekiel as the father of the thr ee brothers appears in the story of a meeting in the Palmer House in Chicago 1 2 October 1883, and reported in an undated clipping from the Monmouth, Illinoi s GAZETTE.

Martin Mosher (1812-1900), son of David of Aurora, New York, told the gatherin g there that his father had commissioned Millard Fillmore, also of Aurora, to se ek Ezekiel's will while on a trip to England, that Fillmore had brought back a c opy, then in the Fillmore Papers in Aurora, and that Martin had seen it and coul d produce it. Perhaps it was later turned over to a Mosher, for in 1979 the thre e repositories of Fillmore Papers in New York - the Aurora Historical Society, t he Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, and the State University Colleg e in Oswego reported that the will was not in their collections.

That will may have been what Ina Sizer Cassidy, descendant of Martin's great-g randfather Nicholas referred to in a paper she deposited in the American Institu te of Genealogy in Chicago, saying that her grandfather John Hurd Covill had rec ords including the advertisement in 1830 for heirs, that she knew where to fin d all the proof and all the estate, but that "these things we are compelled to k eep to ourselves until the time is right to divulge them."

Lydia Maxson as Ezekiel's wife appears in 1891 in the compilation of the desce ndants of James (3) (Nicholas(2)) who settled in Nova Scotia in 1760.

In 1926 a Mosher woman, mistaken about her own lineage, knew the story of Ez ekiel and appealed to the chief of police in Trenton, New Jersey. to locate he r aunt and cousin, who were living there. After a search the police succeeded i n finding the two living in modest circumstances, and the New York TIMES of 2 Ma y carried an article about the two, who had "learned today" that they were amon g the heirs of a relative Ezekiel Mosher, who had "recently" died in England lea ving a fortune of $132,000,000.

Even today there are still persons living who have contributed to the search f or the fortune and who still hope for a share. But Hugh Moshers's "fortune" an d his ancestors have both eluded his decendants.

Other elements in the story of Ezekiel, however, are too similar to what has b een said and what is known about Hugh to be dismissed lightly.

If his sons John and Daniel and Daniel's family were massacred by the Indians , it was not likely that it was in 1636, when Hugh was only three years old, bu t perhaps in 1656, when Hugh, too, was grown, and only four years away from th e first Mosher record in Rhode Island (Hugh's).

The doubtful story has been told that two of Hugh's sons were killed in King Phi lip's War. Was it instead hi two brothers some time earlier?

Lydia Maxson as Ezekiel's wife fits in Rhode Island records perfectly. Hugh' s mother is known to have been living in 1677, and in 1680 Lydia and Rebecca Mos her were members of his church in Tiverton. He is not known to have had a daught er Lydia, and the first daughter-in-law Lydia was then about fourteen years in t he future. In early colonial days it was common for first cousins to marry, an d if Lydia Maxson was a sister of Richard Maxson of Portsmouth, whose widow Rebe cca married John Harndell of Newport, here were two marriages of first cousins : Lydia's daughter Mary and son Hugh to Richard's son John and Rebecca.

The record may yet be found that reveals Hugh's parentage.

He died in 1694 in Portsmouth,

Newport, RI. He has reference number 5026/5034

Marriage Notes for HUGH MOSHER and REBECCA MAXSON:

Hugh was born about 1633, according to his testimony on 4 Mar 1662/3, when he sa id that he was "aged thirty or thereabouts"; and died in Newport RI befor 7 Dec . 1713 when his will was probated in Bristol County MA.

He married Rebecca Maxson, daughter of Richard and Rebecca Maxson of Portsmout h RI; died between 29 Dec. 1707 and 25 Feb 1707/08. She is frequently identifie d erroneously as a daughter of John Harndell of Newport, probably because of som e unfortunate ommissions in the abstract of his will in Austin, Genealogical Dic tionary of RI. It is dated 9 Feb 1685 and proved in 1687. The original, in the l ibrary of the Newport Historical Society, in Book 5, pp. 131-2, names daughter M ary Stanton, her husband John, and their children, who received the land and bui ldings. It also names "daughter-in-law Rebeckah Mosure, wife of Hugh Mosure of P ortsmouth," to whom he gave only a good ewe sheep; and "son-in-law John Maxson " to whom he also gave a ewe. Austin omitted the words "in-law" before Rebeckah , and also all mention of John Maxson. "In-law" usually meant step at that tim e and it certainly does this time, for the wife of a son would have borne the na me Harndell. The name of the stepson identifies her maiden name as Maxson.


Marriage Notes for HUGH MOSHER and SARAH BUTCHER:

Hugh married Sarah Butcher Harding, widow of the Rev. John Harding. She died i n Newport May or June 1716.

Hugh first appears in RI records with his purchase of land in Westerly on 29 Jun e 1660. There having been little immigration during the preceding two decades, h e may have been a son of Hugh Mosier who settled in Maine in 1636, his estate be ing settled in Casco Bay, 26 July 1666. Nothing other that the same name for th e two, however, has been found to substantiate that relationship. He had a siste r Mary, who married his wife's brother John Maxson, according to many genealogis ts, none of whom cites the proof. If that is correct, Hugh's mother was living w ith the Maxsons on 24 Oct 1677, when John Maxson was excused from jury duty beca use both his wife and his mother-in-law were ill. The mother-in-law in this inst ance had to be his wife's mother, rather than his stepmother because he had a st epfather John Harndell. This mother-in-law may have been the Lydia Mosher whos e name precedes rebecca Mosher (wife of Hugh) in the membership list of the Tive rton Baptist Church in 1680 for no other Lydia Mosher appears in the family unti l about 1695.

Hugh probably lived for a time in Westerly, but in 1669 he was admitted freeman of Portsmouth. Town records show him there as early as 1668, and in 1670, 1673 , 1676, and 1677. In 1680 he was pastor of the Tiverton Baptist Church which served Tiverton and Little Compton RI and Dartmouth MA. John Harndell's will place d him in Portsmouth in 1685. Before 16 Apr 1690 he moved to Dartmouth, for on that day John Walley of Bristol Co. wrote to Thomas Hinckley, governor of Plymouth colony, "He is a substantial man.... Whatsoever Mosier doth, he doth publicly , and makes account he can in law answer anything he hath said or done". Deeds s how him a resident of Dartmouth as late as 1708, one in 1707 giving his occupation as blacksmith. A deed of Dartmouth land on 1 Mar 1709 gives Newport as his residence.

He made his will there on 12 Oct 1709, and it was proved in Bristol Co. MA. He named his wife Sarah, his sons James, John, Nicholas, Joseph and Daniel; grandson Hugh, son of Nicholas; grandsons named Mosher; other grandsons; and mentioned daughters without naming them. They are found in his deed of land to them.


2. i. HANNAH2 MOSHER, d. January 23, 1716/17.

3. ii. ANN MOSHER, d. Aft. 1721.




5. vi. DANIEL MOSHER, d. 1751, Dartmouth, MA.


viii. NICHOLAS MOSHER, b. Abt. 1666, RI.

6. ix. REBECCA MOSHER, b. Abt. 1677; d. Aft. April 28, 1746.





Hugh was born ca 1633 according to his testimony on March 4, 1662/3 when he said that he was "aged thirty or thereabouts." Evidence is convincing that he was a son of Nicholas, son of John Moger of Cucklington and Wincanton, Somersetshire, England. He had a sister, Mary, who married his wife's brother John Maxson, according to many genealogists, none of whom cites the proof. If that is correct, Hugh's mother was living with the Maxsons on October 24, 1677, when John Maxson was excused from jury duty because both his wife and his mother-in-law were ill. The mother-in-law in this instance had to be his wife's mother, rather than his stepmother because he had a stepfather, John Harndell. This mother-in-law may have been the Lydia Mosher whose name precedes Rebecca Mosher (wife of Hugh) in the membership list of the Tiverton Baptist church in 1680 for no other Lydia Mosher appears in the family until about 1695.

Hugh first appears in the Rhode Island records on June 29, 1660 when he and five others of Newport, bought certain land at Misquamicut (Westerly), of the Indian sachem Socho, which had been given the latter by Canonicus and Miantonomi, for driving off the Pequots in 1637. Hugh probably lived for a time in Westerly, but in 1664 he was admitted freeman of Portsmouth. Town records show him there as early as 1668, and in 1670, 1673, 1676 and 1677.

In 1665, Hugh married Rebecca Maxson, daughter of Richard & Rebecca (____) Maxson. Rebecca was born in Dartmouth, Massachusetts and died between December 29, 1707 and February 25, 1707/8. Hugh married secondly, Sarah Butcher, widow of Rev. John Harding. There were no children by this marriage.

In 1684 at Dartmouth, Hugh was ordained as pastor of the First Baptist Church at its organization. This church soon embraced people living in Dartmouth, and the Rhode Island communities of Tiverton and Little Compton.

A Portsmouth court record of July 8, 1668 indicates that Hugh, having purchased of Thomas Lawton part of his farm near Hunting Swamp, obliges himself and heirs to maintain a good fence in the line between himself and Thomas Lawton. On August 24, 1676 he was a member of the Court Martial, held at Newport for the trial of certain Indians charges with being engaged in King Phillip's designs. Several of them were sentenced to be executed. In 1680 Hugh was taxed £1, 4s., 1d. On November 7, 1691 he sold to Joseph Braman for 36s. "half my share belonging to purchasers of Westquadnoid. (The deed was witnessed by Rebecca Mosher and John Mosher.)

John Harndell's will placed him in Portsmouth in 1685. Before April 16, 1690 he had moved to Dartmouth, for on that day John Walley of Bristol Co. wrote to Thomas Hinckley, governor of Plymouth Colony, "he is a substantial manÉwhatsoever Mosier doth, he doth publicly, and makes account he can in law answer anything he hath said or done." Deeds show him a resident of Dartmouth as late as 1708, one in 1707 giving his occupation as blacksmith. A deed of Dartmouth land on March 1, 1709 gives Newport as his residence.

Hugh made his will at Dartmouth on October 12, 1709, and it was proved in Bristol Co. Massachusetts on December 7, 1713. The executors were his son James and friend Daniel Sabeere of Newport. Overseers, friend and kinsman, Jeremiah Clarke, and Captain John Stanton, of Newport. To son James, all land in Newport, with house, etc., there, and house and land in Dartmouth, and land in Squamicut (Westerly), Westquadnoid, etc. To grandson Hugh, son of Nicholas, 100 acres and to other grandsons of surname Mosher, 50 acres each. To wife, Sarah, all movables I had with her at marriage. To son James, ret of land. To each grandchild not of my name, 10s. To sons John, Nicholas, Joseph and Daniel, 12d. each. To each daughter, 10s. or 20s., as estate holds out. (He calls himself of Newport, at the time of making his will, but before his death had removed to Dartmouth.) His inventory totaled £290, 17s., 2d., and included purse and wearing apparel, bonds, bible and other books, dwelling-house and land, horse, 2 cows, 3 swine, carpenter's tools, pewter, silver plate, warming pan, estate brought him by wife, etc. His widow Sarah died in June 1716 at Newport, Rhode Island

Bible box is a small lockable container originally meant to store a bible. ... They were particularly popular in the 17th century, when printed bibles were very expensive and a treasured family possession.

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