Category Archives: Moore

John Moore & Elizabeth Rice, Hertfordshire, England to Sudbury, MA, 1600s

As the Moore line is moving back generation by generation, we have reached the immigrant ancestor of this family – John Moore.

His origins aren’t known, but he was born c1600 in England and may well be the John Moore who lived in Henham, Essex, England in the 1620s. This man was married to Elizabeth (MNU), who died between 1630 and 1633. They had three children whose baptisms appear in Henham church records, although the third child, a daughter, lived but a short time.

On 27 November 1633 at Little Gaddesden, Hertfordshire, John Moore married (probably as his second wife) Elizabeth Rice, the daughter of Henry Rice and Elizabeth Frost. She was baptized on 18 November 1612 at Stansted, Essex, England.

Given that the two surviving children of John and this first Elizabeth also settled in Massachusetts and were named in his will, it seems quite certain that John Moore did, indeed, marry twice.

John and Elizabeth had been living in Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire for almost ten years when they decided to move to Massachusetts and settled in Sudbury, where they spent the rest of their lives.

John Moore died on 6 January 1673/74 and Elizabeth died on 14 December 1690, both in Sudbury.

Children (with Elizabeth (MNU) in Henham:

1. Elizabeth, born c1626, probably Henham, Essex, England; died 25 August 1705, Framingham, Middlesex, Massachusetts; married Henry Rice, 1 January 1643/44, Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

2. John, baptized 11 November 1628, Henham, Essex, England; died befre 23 September 1702, Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts; married (1) Ann Smith, 16 November 1654, sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts (2) Mary (MNU), 20 August 1683, Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts.

3. Susan, probably born c1630, Henham, Essex, England; buried 18 July 1630, Henham, Essex, England.

Children (with Elizabeth Rice):

4. Anna, baptized 121 October 1634, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England; no further record.

5. Richard, born c1627; buried 7 November 1640, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England.

6. William, born c1639, England; died 25 March 1688, Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts; apparently never married.

7. Mary, baptized 9 January 1641/42, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England; died 10 January 1702/03, Framingham, Middlesex, Massachusetts; married (1) Richard Ward, 8 September 1661, Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts (2) Daniel Stone, 2 November 1667, Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

8. Lydia, born 24 June 1643; died 23 November 1723; married (1) Samuel Wright, 31 May 1664 (2) James Cutler, 15 June 1665, all in Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

9. Jacob, born 28 April 1645; died 23 March 1715/16; married Elizabeth Loker, 29 May 1667, all in Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

10. Joseph, born c1647, probably Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts; died 2 January 1725/26; married (1) Lydia Maynard, c1669 (2) Ruth (MNU), between 1 January 1718/19 – 2 June 1725/26.

11. Elizabeth, born 10 January 1649/50, Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts; no further record.

12. Benjamin, born c1652, probably Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts; died 29 October 1729, Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts; married Dorothy Wright, 11 November 1686, all in Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

Will of John Moore 1674
Middlesex County, MA File 15362

This is an especially long will that my eyes can’t decipher in a timely manner, so I leave it to others if someone wants a transcription.



Joseph Moore & Elizabeth Cleveland, Sudbury, MA

Joseph Moore and Elizabeth Cleveland of Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts don’t have the easiest family to document. For whatever reason, there is a scarcity of vital records and probates pertaining to this family.

Joseph Moore was born 1 August 1671 in Sudbury, the son of Joseph Moore and Lydia Maynard.

He married Elizabeth Cleveland, who was the daughter of Moses Cleveland and Ruth Norton. No record of Elizabeth’s birth has been found and her family lived in Woburn, Martha’s Vineyard and Southold, Long Island, New York at various times.

No marriage record has been found for Joseph and Elizabeth.

However, her parents married in Woburn in 1676 and her father doesn’t appear to have purchased land in Dukes County, Massachusetts (where Martha’s Vineyard is) until 1683. Therefore, it is likely she was born in Woburn, c1677-1679.

Elizabeth’s death is recorded in Sudbury, where the Moores spent their married lives, on 11 March 1748/49. She is called “wife of Joseph,” so he survived her.

However, for whatever reason, Joseph’s death is not recorded in Middlesex County, nor is there a probate record for his estate. He likely had died before May 1756. His son, Eliab, had died that month and Eliab’s heirs were his widow Keziah and his siblings Elias and Zebiah Stow, along with deceased sister Saphira’s children.

As Eliab had no children and, after his wife received her one third portion, it seems that Joseph would have also inherited something, but he is not found in any records after 1749.

The next set of missing records involves the birth records for Joseph’s and Elizabeth’s two sons, who were apparently older than their daughters.


1. Eliab, born c1699, probably Middlesex County, Massachusetts; died 1 May 1756, Wayland, Middlesex, Massachusetts; married Keziah Stone, 5 March 1728, Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts. Eliab was described as “in his 58th year, ” so 57 when he died.

2. Saphira, born 4 August 1701, Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts; died 9 February 1738/39, Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts; married John Woodward, 1 August 1721, Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts

3. Elias, no birth record found; died 21 October 1770, Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts; married Susannah Thompson, 9 July 1724, Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

4. Zebiah, born 8 May 1704, Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts; died after 5 March 1783, probably Southborough, Massachusetts; married Benjamin Stow, 4 June 1728, Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

The names Eliab and Elias are so similar, and not very common for the time period, I wonder if the boys might have been twins? If not, then Elias was probably born no later than 1703 if he was 21 years old (or more) when he married. He could possibly have been the firstborn child and actually been born c1697, which would be a better match with a 1724 wedding date when males were typically around 25 at the time they married.

It is also possible that the report that Eliab was in his 58th year when he died was incorrect and he was a year or two older.

In any case, the family of Joseph Moore and Elizabeth Cleveland left little in the way of a well documented paper trail.




John Woodward & Saphira Moore of Sudbury, MA, 1700s

I promised earlier in the month to cover the Woodward family, who settled early in Sudbury, Essex, Massachusetts until Mary Woodward married Robert Wilson in 1759 and they settled on Campobello Island in Canada.

Today, we return to the family sketch about Mary’s parents, John Woodward and Saphira Moore, and her siblings in Sudbury, a very old town in Middlesex County, founded in 1639.

Both the Moores and the Woodwards had settled in Sudbury by the 1640s.

John Woodward was born on 17 April 1692 in Sudbury, the son of John Woodward and Susannah Grout. John died in Sudbury and probate on his estate, which was eventually declared insolvent, began on 5 April 1762. He married (1) Saphira Moore, 1 August 1721 in Sudbury. She was born 4 August 1701, the daughter of Joseph Moore and Elizabeth Cleveland, and died on 9 February 1738/39, both in Sudbury.  Saphira died giving birth to her 7th child, Abigail, born on 8 February 1738/39. Abigail died on the same day as her mother. (2) Abigail Learned, 10 March 1739/40, Sherborn, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

Children of John Woodward and Saphira Moore (All events in Sudbury unless otherwise noted.):

  1. Josiah, born 20 November 1721. No further record. He likely died young.
  2. Elizabeth, born 27 December 1726; married Edmund Allen, 10 March 1748. The Allens removed to Kennebec County, Maine. Edmund died in 1803. Elizabeth reportedly died in 1776.
  3. Mary, born 24 February 1728/29; died before 7 February 1806, when probat4e on her estate began on Campobello Island, Charlotte County, New Brunswick, Canada; married Robert Wilson, 22 February 1759.
  4. Isaac, born 13 April 1732; died 9 March 1814, Swanzey, Cheshire, New Hampshire; married Susannah (Parmenter?), c1756.
  5. Joseph, born about July 1734; died 28 July 1734
  6. Susannah, born 21 August 1736; married William Clark, c1769, probably on Campobello Island, Charlotte, New Brunswick, Canada.
  7. Abigail, born 8 February 1738/39; died 9 February 1738/39.

This branch of the Woodward family suffered many losses. Josiah, Joseph and Abigail all died at very young ages. The four surviving children lost their mother when they were small.

Their father left an insolvent estate when he passed away in 1762. He had remarried after Saphira’s death, but second wife Abigail had one child with John, a daughter, also names Abigail, born 26 August 1742, but who died at the age of 8 on 13 November 1750.

Not long after John died, Elizabeth, Mary and Susannah had all removed from Sudbury with their husbands. Even Isaac, whose children were born in Sudbury up to 1771, eventually left and moved to New Hampshire.