Thursday, December 28, 2017

English Ancestry of the Moulton Family Part II: John and Thomas Moulton of Ormesby St. Margaret

Part II

John and Thomas Moulton of Ormesby have had multiple revisions in their ancestry. Once thought to be cousins, it has been proven that they are brothers; sons of Robert and Margaret Watts of Ormesby. Their family tree looks like this:

John was possibly the second son of Robert and Margaret Watts Moulton. It seems there was a son, Robert, who died prior to his father. In the subsidy roll of 1523/24 there were two Robert Moultons; one was taxed for land, the second taxed for wages. These are assumed to be father and son. With his brother's death, John found himself the heir.

Robert Moulton wrote his will in 1535, after making the usual bequeaths, he gave the bulk of his estate to his son John, but only after the death of his mother, Margaret. Both John and Margaret were on the subsidy roll of 1545/1546 and again on the roll for 46-47, both mother and son are taxed. The next subsidy roll is for the year 1552 and John is the only Moulton on the roll. His mother must have died in the years between the rolls and by 1552 he had inherited his fathers house and property.

John seems to have been married twice. His first wife was Jone (Joan) Grene (Green). Joan was the daughter of Richard Green and his unknown wife. She was the mother of three children; Robert, Margaret and Grace, all named in their father's 1573 will.

John's second wife was called Thomazine _____. It is believed that she was significantly younger than him. In earlier articles about John, (NEHGR 141:317) she was called Thomazine Greene, but this was corrected in a later article (NEHGR 163:169-170). Joan Moulton was named in her father's 1561 will.

Thomazine was born around 1530. She bore John a son, also John, in about 1563. He was only ten when his father died. His older siblings were all under the age of 20 as well. His half brother Robert died by 1600.

Thomazine remarried and had a one son with well to do John Hodgekyn of Ormebsy. In his will dated 8 September 1579, he left a significant amount of money to his 'little child.' He instructs that the boy be sent to school and when finished he tells his wife, 'bind him to son friends, so that he may make a living.' Thomas Moulton, her brother in law and Mr. William Greene, brother of John Moulton's first wife, were overseers of the will.

On 9 November 1580, Thomaszine married a third time to a William Taylor. The marriage took place at nearby Hemsby. He died in 1616 making her a widow for the third time. Thomazine died in 1619, a widow of Great Yarmouth. She names in her will her son John Moulton and leaves money to his children.

john's will
John wrote his will on 22 June 1573 and it was probated in October of that year. He was identified as a yeoman. He left his son John, the house and land where they then lived, it would be his when he reached age 21. Robert, his eldest son was given the house and land and the appurtenances (equipment) that had belonged to his parents. He also gave him some land in nearby Caister. He made an exception in the Ormesby property as he had sold four acres of it to his brother in law, William Green, who was not yet of age. His brother Thomas lived on that land.

His will is a window into the world of people on the edge of modern history. Such items as a bed standing in the solar eve, a bedstead, a feather bed, a bolster and sheets, a flock bed with a transom, a coverlet and a brass pot ignite the imagination. Most of these items are identifiable, others not so much. A flock bed, for instances, was one that laid directly on the floor. He also makes distribution of pewter plates, a table, livestock including, horses, milk cows, ewes and lambs, his market cart, and combs of wheat and barley. The will points to the most valuable possessions in the home were beds, linens and cooking and eating utensils.

John gives a detailed description of the land in Ormesby and the owners of land which bounded it. Two names jump out; Mr. William Paston, esq. and Edward Clere, esq. Sir William Paston was the grandson of John Paston, the younger, a member of The Paston Family of Norfolk, authors of the Paston Letters. He lived at Oxnead in Norfolk. If you've never read about the Paston Letters I recommend you do, it is a fascinating insight into the lives of medieval people. Sir Edward Clere was Lord of the Manor of Ormesby. The manor had been held by his family for several centuries.

Thomas was the younger son of Robert and Margaret Watts. He was born around 1513 and this is confirmed by a deposition in 1587 when he stated that he was 74 years old. His brother the heir got the house and land. Thomas was given money. Thomas was misidentified by William Haslett Jones as Thomas of the 'Scratby Line,' in his 1987 Register article (141:313-328). This has caused much confusion over who he was and where he lived. This has been corrected in subsequent articles.

Thomas does not appear to have ever owned land. It is believed that he leased the land  he lived on from William Green, his brother John's brother-in-law. It has been suggested that he had some other occupation, possibly some formal training, as well as being a part-time farmer. The fact that Thomas was appointed supervisor of the estate of William Ballard, Vicar of Ormesby, in 1579 indicating he held a position of importance in his community. His brother also chose him to supervise the estate of John Hodgekyn, his sister-in-laws second husband.

Like his brother John, Thomas married later that average. His wife was another Jone (Joan) Grene (Green). Joan was the sister of Richard Green of Ormesby, who daughter Joan married John Moulton. This makes the relationship between the two women, sisters-in-law as well as aunt and niece.

Richard, whose parents are unknown, as is his wife, was born about 1505 and died in 1561. Haslet-Jones says he was a blacksmith. Joan, his sister, was born about 1530. She was married to Thomas and had a daughter Mary, who was named in her brother's will. She and Thomas had at least five children. Robert, the heir, William, Edmund, Rebecca (who married Thomas Hodgekyn, s/o John and Thomazine Hodgekyn) and Mary.

Thomas wrote his will in 1578. He asked to be buried in the churchyard of St. Margaret's in Ormesby. He gave his eldest son Robert two horses, one black, one brown. He gave him farm implements, plows and traces and horse collars. William was to receive twenty pounds when he reached the age of 21. All else was to go to Joan.


All the sources for the genealogy of the Moultons comes from a series of articles in the New England  Historical and Genealogical Register.

William Haslet-Jones, "The English Background of Some Early Settlers of Hampton, New Hampshire From Ormesby St. Margaret, Norfolk," (The Moulton Family) The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (October 1987) Vol. 141, 313-329, digital images, American Ancestors ( : accessed 28 December 2017).

Joan Wade Moulton, "Some Doubts About the English Background of the Moulton Family," The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (July 1990) Vol. 144, 245-263; digital images American Ancestors ( : accessed 28 December 2017).

Barbara MacAllen, "More Thoughts on the Moulton Family," The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (April 1993) Vol. 147, 129-145; American Ancestors  
( : accessed 28 December 2017).

Myrtle Stevens Hyde, "Revised Ancestry for William Moulton of Hampton, New Hampshire, Including Some Revisions of the Early Ancestry of His New England Cousins," New England Historical and Genealogical Register (July 2009) Vol. 163, 165-173 and 273-277; digital images, American Ancestors ( : accessed 28 December 2017).

1 comment:

looking4ancestors said...

I believe there is a mistake, probably a typo, in the paragraph regarding Thomas, the son of Robert Moulton and Margaret Watts. It says he was born around 1565 and deposed in 1687 confirming he was 75 years old.
Thomas deposed in 1587 (not 1687). If he was 74 years old in 1587, he was born about 1513. Otherwise all the rest checks out. And great blog!

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