Joseph Moyse Richard Moyse John Moyse James Moyse
William Moyse Samuel Moyse Grace Moyse Henry Moyse
Reminiscence Moyse Family Tree and Gallery


Moyse is not an uncommon name in Cornwall and Devon. The cottage at Wakems in Trebartha was home to two apparently unrelated Moyse families, a century apart. Towards the end of the nineteenth century it was occupied by John and Elizabeth Moyse. In the late twentieth century Cecil (1923-2003) and Doreen Moyse (nee Bartlett) lived there. Both Moyse families trace their ancestry back to the Okehampton area in the late 1700s but no genealogical connection has been made between them.

The following story is of the earlier Moyse family and has been primarily researched in the UK by Richard Moyse and the late James (Jim) Moyse in the USA.


Joseph Moyse (bp1805-1890)

Sometime in the 1820s a teenager named Joseph Moyse made the journey from Sourton in Devon to North Hill in Cornwall. Joseph was the son of George Moyse (c1772-c1820) of Okehampton who married Catherine English (c1777-1850) in Okehampton Church in September 1803, where they had Joseph baptised on 20th January 1805.

After a few years in Trebartha village Joseph married a young local girl, Mary Craddock, in St Torney’s Church in 1828. They had a long marriage of 62 years and both died in 1890.

Mary’s family had been established in North Hill for generations. Her grandfather was Richard Spoure Craddock (1737-1823) who was born in St Breward. He was possibly descended from a minor branch of the Spoure family of Trebartha Hall, who had arrived in North Hill in the late 1400s from Somerset. The Book of Spoure was written by the last male of the line, Edmund Spoure. In all the 330 pages of the book in which Edmund describes the family and ancestry of the Spoure family at great length and in great detail, the 'other' Spoure family and the Craddock family are not mentioned once. This appears to be deliberate and may have been because of a family conflict or just a class related denial of the existence of the minor family.

The following newspaper report shows Joseph, in his latter years, working for Mr Pearce of South Petherwin. He would have made the daily four mile walk to get there from his home.

click on each image for a larger version

Joseph and Mary lived in Trebartha all their married lives, much of the time in Trebartha Mill Cottage (pictured above). They had ten children, shown below. Joseph lived until he was about 87 and Mary lived until she was almost 80 and can be seen in their retirement in the image above. She died in June 1890, three weeks after Joseph, and they are buried together in St Torney's Churchyard in North Hill. Click on the image for a closer look at their gravestone.

Only one of the children, the elder William, died as an infant which was remarkable in those times. Of the other nine children we know that the fourth child, Mary, lived at least until she was 16 years old as that time she was working as a house servant for James Buckingham, the blacksmith in Bathpool; no further life events have been discovered about Mary. The youngest, Henry, was 19 years old when he died in 1870 and was buried in St Torney’s Churchyard.

Joseph & Mary's Children
Richard Moyse
married 1850
Emlyn Buckingham
John Moyse
married 1865
Elizabeth Doidge
James Moyse
married 1863
Emma Barber
Mary Moyse
married 1857
Absalom Stephens
William Moyse
William Moyse
married 1863
Elizabeth Eddy
Elizabeth Moyse
married twice
Thomas Hooper and Elijah Sleep
Samuel Moyse
married 1866
Catherine Elford
Grace Craddock Moyse
married 1881
John Stephens
Henry James Moyse


Richard Moyse (1828-1912)

Richard and Emlyn (nee Buckingham) lived all their lives in North Hill and had 11 children here. When their son Joseph Moyse died in 1919 his funeral was reported in the Western Morning News with a long list of relations. Click on the image to read the newspaper report.

Their grandson, Claude John Hoskin Mitchell, is remembered on the North Hill Parish War Memorial. His comrades who were relatives of the Buckingham family are shown on the family page. Mark Duance who was killed in The Balkans was working for Richard Moyse’s son, Joseph, in 1911 and was listed on the census with Joseph’s family as a servant.

Their grandson, Percival Thomas Moyse, is remembered on the Liskeard War Memorial. He was serving in Palestine with the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry until his death on active service there. He is buried in the Jerusalem War Cemetery in Israel.

Their grandson, Archibald Francis Moyse (1903-1940) served with the Australian Infantry in Palestine. He had emigrated to Wingeel in Victoria, Australia. His estate was adminstered by his brother Richard from his home in England, indicating that Archibald had no wife or other relatives in Australia. He was buried in the Gaza War Cemetery in Palestine and is remembered on the Liskeard War Memorial.

Their great grandson, William John Moyse (1918-1945) was a originally in the DCLI and transferred to become a Sapper in the Royal Engineers. He is buried at Klagenfurt War Cemetery in Austria and is remembered on the North Hill Parish Roll of Honour, on the grave of his parents in South Petherwin churchyard and on the war memorial in Launceston Town Square. His home was with his wife Mabel (nee Titball) at 2 Western Terrace, Launceston.

Another grandson, James Ernest Moyse, died at the age of 29 in tragic circumstances. He drowned in a 'machine pond' at Oldwit in South Petherwin. He was married and had a daughter not yet three years old. The incident was reported at great length in the newspapers and the report can be seen in full by clicking on this newspaper cutting to the left. The cutting to the right is the report of the funeral..


John Moyse (1831-1915)

John & Elizabeth (nee Doidge) had seven children. They lived in Trebartha village in the home shown in these photographs and where their children were born. John was described as a farm labourer on all the census returns in which he appeared and as he lived in Trebartha it is almost certain that he worked on the Rodd’s farms. John and his wife Elizabeth are buried in St Torney's Churchyard (click on the image for a closer look at their gravestone) next to his parents, Joseph and Mary, who are also buried together (see above).

The following images are of Wakem's Cottage, Trebartha Village; this was the family home for the Moyse family for most of the second half of the 19th century

Their eldest child, William (born 1866), married Joanna Doidge in 1889 but no family link has been found between his wife and his mother who both had the surname Doidge.

William and Joanna moved to Somerset and there are descendants living in the Bridgwater area. William and Joanna are pictured here with their son, William.

The second child was Amos Edward Moyse (born 1868) and was named after his mother’s father. Amos emigrated to the USA in 1891 aboard the Aurania, following in the footsteps of his father’s younger sister, Grace. He married in New York around 1896 to Mary Knight (pictured on the right of the header of this page) and he was naturalized the following year. Amos and Mary settled in Cleveland Ohio where Amos became a stone mason. Their home near Lake Cardinal is shown here:

Amos and Mary had two sons and a daughter - Dana was the eldest son, Emily Louise was their daughter but was always known as Louise and the youngest son was Craig. Louise can be seen here left of centre with her mother on the left of the photograph and Amos on the right; the other lady was Louise’s employer. Dana and Louise were photographed as infants. Dana didn’t like his name and was always known as DK. He joined the US Navy.

Dana married Janette Collacott and they had a daughter, Mary Louise, in 1929.

Emily Louise, known as Louise and pictured below with her dog, was the second child of Amos and Elizabeth. Louise never married but in 1938 she wrote an essay for her young niece, Mary Louise, entitled “When Your Father And I Were Young”. This is reproduced for you to read (2mb pdf) .. click here.

Louise also had a description of her life with her nephew, Bill. Bill was Craig’s son and he recorded and transcribed the conversation which is also available for you to read (6mb pdf) .. click here.

Amos’ third child was Craig Moyse who was the father of James Moyse. James, pictured below, joined the US Navy and rose to the rank of captain. Jim, as he was known, was in charge of the USS Ajax, also shown below. Jim died in Cleveland, Ohio in January 2018 In Cleveland just a few months after he first made contact with us. We are grateful for his very valuable contribution and the assistance provided by his family in telling us the story of the Moyse family in the USA. Many of the documents and the images have been kindly passed to the North Hill Local History Group by Jim who wished to see them published.

Louise with her dog; Captian James Moyse, US Navy; USS Ajax


James Moyse (1833 - after 1881)

James entered domestic service and as a young man was the footman to Edward Brown, the Vicar of Kenwyn. He moved from Kenwyn to Redruth to take up a position as butler to Stephen Davey the Deputy Lieutenant of Cornwall whose brother, Richard Davey, was the MP for West Cornwall. At some point in the 1860s he moved to Netherseal on the Leicestershire / Derbyshire border where he was a butler in the nearby big house. Whilst there he married and had a son, Arthur. In 1881 James was the steward of the newly renovated Derby Club on The Strand in the city Derby. Click here to read more about the Derby Club.


William Moyse (1838-1930) and Samuel Moyse (1841-?)

William and Samuel moved to St Breward where they worked as granite quarrymen. They lived there with their families for many years. You can see above that William and Samuel’s mother was descended from the Spoure family who lived in St Breward. Was their sojourn to St Breward prompted by a family link which provided them with work on the other side of Bodmin Moor? If you know the story, please let us know.

William married Elizabeth Eddy in 1863 and they had seven children. One of the children, John Moyse, emigrated to the USA and married Sarah Clement in Massachusets in 1896 but settled in Vermont. An extensive family has resulted from this marriage.

Samuel married in 1866 to Catherine Elford and they had two children, both sons. His is a tragic story and includes the death of an infant son, Robert, in 1867, the death of a second son, William, aged 9 in 1880, and the death of Catherine in 1883. The last known record in the UK for Samuel is the 1871 census. At that time he was a labourer in one of the granite quarries near St Breward. It would not be unusual for him to have sought out work in the USA and sent money home to the family, as did many Cornishmen of the time. Other members of the Moyse family had already emigrated to the USA. In 1873 a volunteer fireman named Samuel Moyse died at Buffalo in New York State and was interred in Forest Lawn Cemetery. In 1880 Samuel Moyse, a stonecutter, was recorded on the census in Connecticut. Either of these, or indeed neither of them, could be Samuel Moyse from St Breward. Do you know any more about Samuel's story? If so, please contact Richard Moyse at rmmoyse @ [no spaces either side of @].


Grace Craddock Stephens nee Moyse (1846-1909)

Grace was the first member of the family to emigrate to Cleveland and it was her life there that prompted Amos and his younger brother Henry to emigrate there. Grace and her husband John can be seen in the Moyse photograph gallery.


Henry James Moyse (1850-1870)

The report incorrectly refers to Kilmar as Kilmarth.


Reminiscence of Richard Moyse posted on Facebook 2 August 2017 and copied with the permission of St Torney’s Church

"Recently we [St Torney’s Church] were sent this story by an old friend of St. Torney's, Richard Moyse. Churches are a centre of community and it was lovely to read about his memories and connections to the church and North Hill. I've posted it in full here to show how interconnected in every small village the people, the church and the village are."

“My interest goes back a long way. I was born in Plymouth during the last war and I was first taken to North Hill in the mid 1950's by my father Joseph and his oldest brother Fred and we visited the grave of Joseph Moyse and his wife Mary whom I was told were my great great grandparents.

“This rather fired up my interest and by the time I was in the Sixth Form at Plymouth College I had started enquiring about the family history.

“I was interested in where the Moyse family came from as it is an unusual name and I remember cycling with a school friend from Plymouth to North Hill and taking a photo of the gravestone which I still have. (I can also remember that the cycle back to Saltash was easier as it was downhill most of the way!).

“I do recall spending a very cold afternoon in what was then the Rectory having booked an appointment with the Reverend Theophilus Willing. The room had a plain table and a threadbare carpet that was several sizes too small for the space it had to occupy and only one element of the antique electric fire was working, and fitfully.

“But for a fee of one shilling and sixpence I was able to handle the original registers which now, thankfully, repose in the CRO at Truro.

“I couldn't trace any Moyse reference other than the marriage of Joseph to Mary Craddock (who is a descendant of the Spoure family whose wonderful monument are one of the glories of the church. If you will allow a slight digression in his book on Bodmin Moor E.C.Axford refers to these and I quote: This collection of monuments, remarkable anywhere, seem particularly impressive in this remote and beautiful place. They are human documents speaking out of the past with a clear and commanding voice.

“And it was to this village that my ancestor Joseph came.

“It was then many years before I seriously took up the genealogy again and for a long time I did not know where Joseph came from.

“He had a large family, lived for a time at Mill Cottage as indeed did his eldest son Richard after him and the family worked on the Trebartha Estate for the Rodd family. At the end of his long life Joseph was living at Trebartha Lodge. Richard married a Buckingham but after her death he went to live with his daughter Mary Pearce at Trebullet where he died in 1912. Joseph's next son John is buried next to him. Two other sons went to St Breward but by the end of the 1900s most of the family had moved away to Liskeard or Plymouth and some had emigrated to Ohio.

“But Joseph was born just south of Okehampton and came from a long line of yeoman one of who married there in the mid-17th century but was in fact born back over the border at Boyton. (As a final digression there was a grant of land at Okehampton to a Richard Moys in 1301 but I haven't traced back that far although the land now built upon is still known as Moyse's Meadow although it no longer has any rustic character!)

“So, as you can see St Torney means a great deal to me. Axford describes it perfectly but it is a church and setting of singular beauty and it is a privilege to enter it. For these reasons we must find a way to avoid a padlock and chain being put over the door and for it to be left to the souls of the departed alone and be allowed to fall into decay.”

Richard drew this image of St Torney's in March 2020. (Click for a larger version)


Moyse Family Tree and Gallery

family tree

The first six descendant generations of the Moyse family can be seen in the pdf file shown on the left. The file contains a family tree followed by basic biographical notes for the individuals shown on the tree.

We are grateful to Richard Moyse, whose reminiscence can be seen here, for his invaluable contribution to the content of this family story. There are more current generations but these have not been included for reasons of privacy.

Richard and the late Jim Moyse have provided a gallery of images that can be seen by clicking on the gallery icon to the right.

If you are researching the family and wish to see the larger tree, read the comprehensive biographical notes, contact Richard Moyse or wish to add to the family story, you can e-mail him at rmmoyse @ [no spaces either side of @].

Moyse Gallery


The banner image shows Joseph Moyse and his wife Mary (nee Craddock); Richard Moyse, their son.