The Moxhams (Moxams) of Wiltshire

DNA analysis has established that the Moxhams (Moxams) of Wiltshire and Ireland are not related to the Moxons of Yorkshire, or to the Moxhams of Lancashire (who are descended from the Moxons of Yorkshire).

Much of the information below was originally compiled by John Moxon Hill and documents how the Trees related to these locations were developed and gives the current position.


There seem to have been three Moxham (Moxam) enclaves in Wiltshire:

1. An area centred on Great Chalfield is the most ancient, having “Moxham” records back to 1236, when Henry son of William conveyed to Thomas Cusin and Juliana his wife lands in “Mockesham”. A Henry de Mochesan appeared as a witness in a deed at the time of Henry III or Edward I, and a little later, Adam de Mockesham died in 1277, holding lands in Moxhams (later identified as being in Great Chalfield). Moxon Society member Joyce Chesmond Moxham (now deceased) researched her Moxham origins in Wiltshire, back to Robert Moxham, who married Prudens C. in 1607, although there is one query over the parentage of her Great Grandfather Robert Hale Moxham. MX49 shows this tree, which has been extended back (somewhat tentatively) based on the information furnished by Joyce, to Christopher Moxham, who held a messuage named Moxham in Great Chalfield, and paid the Hearth Tax of 20s in 1546.

The area around Great Chalfield, contains many Moxham records in parishes such as Melksham, Chippenham, Trowbridge and Bradford on Avon.

2. An area centred on Ebbesborne Wake, including Bower Chalke, Donwhead St. Mary and Berwick St. John. Gaylord Moxon and Natasha Doreen Moxon undertook a huge amount of research on Canadian and US Moxon and Moxham descendants originating from this area and Natasha supplied an extensive detailed tree which has been incorporated into MX37. It appears that the “Moxham” name changed to “Moxon” in many of the Canadian and US Moxham descendants.

3. The area including Winterbourne, Idmiston, Porton, Boscombe and Salisbury.

Joyce Chesmond Moxham’s research also found the following pertinent references in “The History and Antiquities of The Manor House and Church at Great Chalfield, Wiltshire” by T. L. Walker (1837):

The estate known as MOXHAMS is of ancient origin. In 1236 Henry son of William conveyed to Thomas Cusin and Juliana his wife lands in “Mocke¬sham”. Henry de Mochesam occurs as a witness in a deed probably of the time of Henry III or Edward I (i.e. between 1216 and 1307 Ed.) Adam de Mockesham, who died in 1277, had held in Moxham 62 acres arable, 5 acres meadow, 2/3 acre pasture and 5½ acres wood. John de Mockesham held land in East Chalfield about I300. John de Moke¬sham was a juror at Bradford in 1342. John of Moxham and Robert his son occur in 1460 in deeds concerning Atworth Cottles. Christopher Moxham, who died in 1596, held a messuage called Moxham in the parish of Chalfield and various appurtenant lands. This estate was then held of Lady Sharington, and in 1610-11 when the inquisition on Christopher’s death was made, it was held of Sir Anthony Mildmay and Grace his wife as of the manor of Woodrow (in Melksham, q.v.). Christopher left a relict, Joan, who enjoyed all the issues of the estate for six years after his death, and thereafter ½ of the issues up to the time of the inquisition. Christopher’s heir was his son John. The estate apparently remained in the Moxham family until the end of the 18th century, if not later. In I692-3 a messuage, 40 acres arable, 5 acres meadow, and 5 acres pasture in Moxhams and Great Chalfield were the subject of a conveyance by Christopher Moxham and Anne his wife and James Moxham and Thomasine his wife. In 1720 it was deposed that the parish of Great Chalfield consisted of three estates: Great Chalfield Farm, Farmer Moxham’s estate, and Bowood, all of which owed tithes. In the following year James Moxham, Christopher Moxham, and Susan his wife conveyed the estate to John Moxham. James Mox¬ham, described as a sugar refiner of London, held Moxham’s farm in 1783.

The jurors of 1671 reported that Mr. Bradshaw, the previous incumbent, had had his diet, the keeping of a horse, and £16 per annum out of the manor of Great Chalfield in lieu of tithes. They said that the then rector (John Wilton) had received an annual composition of £32 from the owners of the manor in lieu of tithes, together with the keeping of a horse. The rector also had £5 a year in tithes from Moxhams Farm and 10s. from “a ground lying within the same parish called Bowood”. In 1705 the tithe amounted to slightly less: £32 from the tenant of the manor (John Sartain, holding of John Hall) and £4 from Christopher Moxham. In 1731 the tithe arising from the manor was compounded at £36. In 1783 the rector received in composition for his tithes £50 from the manor, £3.10s. from lands belonging to John Blagden of Gray’s Inn, and in the occupation of John Reynolds, and 19s. from Bowood field. He also had tithe of hay, wool, and lambs for lands belonging to James Moxham of London, sugar refiner.

We know very little of the James Moxham who held Moxhams farm in 1783. John Moxham (1685-1750), probably James’ father, is said to have had various plantations in Jamaica, Sugar refinery business and confectionery business. He left this to his son, James, who apparently left it to his son, John. Eventually these passed to Joyce’s Great Grandfather, Robert Hale Moxham, probably born in Jamaica, but eventually returned to England. More detailed research is required.


The current main researcher for the Irish Moxham family is Neil Moxham (not a member of the Moxon Society) whose website contains much interesting and useful information. Moxon Society Tree MX59, the Moxhams of Ireland, which includes a large contingent of Australian descendants, was compiled largely by Sharon Lowry, (Tree Guardian for MX59), who obtained much information for the Irish section at the top of MX59 from Neil Moxham. Neil also corresponded with Joyce Chesmond Moxham. This is his opinion, from an article in 2014, on the origins of the Moxhams in County Longford who are the family at the Head of Moxon Society Tree MX59:

The origins of the Moxham family in Ireland are lost to history, but the earliest reference I have found is a lease agreement dated 5 June 1688, whereby William Moxham was granted the townland of Rasala (Rathsallagh) in south County Longford for £16 annually, by Robert Choppyne. A townland is the smallest unit of division of Irish property, and can range from a few to a few hundred acres. The family have lived in this or adjoining townlands to this day.

A bit of background on this: Longford was traditionally the territory of the Farrell clan, and was known as Annaly. Due to a dispute over the succession, the clan divided into two rival subgroups around 1445, of which the O’Farrell Buí (yellow) controlled the south and the O’Farrell Bán (white) the north. Annaly managed to resist colonization by the English authorities up to the reign of King James I, who confiscated the territory by force and reorganized it as a county along the lines of an English shire. As elsewhere in Ireland, the process of consolidating control involved removing the Catholic native population and giving the confiscated land to Protestant British colonist ‘Planters’. The plantations of Longford began in 1620/1621. In the rebellion of 1641 the native Irish reclaimed much of Ireland, and exaggerated accounts of genocide of the settlers were a major factor in the English civil war, where outraged Puritan Roundheads were determined on revenge. In due course Cromwell reconquered Ireland and in addition to restoring the planters he confiscated even more land to reward his soldiers and ‘adventurer’ supporters. The restoration of the monarchy was followed by the interconnected Acts of Settlement (1662) and Explanation (1665), in which a small proportion of Catholic lands were restored but the Protestant ownership of most land was confirmed.
With their English surname and Church of Ireland (Anglican) religion, the Moxham family were certainly among these planters arriving in Longford during the 1600s. The earliest records of the name can be traced to the region of Great Chalfield in Wiltshire, not far from Bath, a Roundhead stronghold in the 1640s. Whether William Moxham came directly from England in 1688, came to Longford before this time, was the son of an earlier Longford settler, or moved from elsewhere in Ireland, may never be known, but he himself was almost certainly too young to have arrived with Cromwell. (Church records include a William Moxham, son of Robert Moxham, [the same Robert Moxham in MX49 in Joyce Chesmond Moxham’s ancestry, Ed] baptized in Great Chalfield in December 1645, who would fit well with this William, but it would be pure speculation.)

Further information for genealogists on the various places mentioned in the Trees below can be found on the GENUKI website.

N.B. The tree charts below are now out of date. Some may contain inaccurate information. They have been superseded by more accurate and detailed trees and some have been merged together. Their value is in their historic use in examining how the Moxon Society Trees were originally compiled. Facsimiles of John’s original trees can be found HERE.

MX37 5 Sheets Dated 2 Feb 02 57 Entries
MX49 6 Sheets Dated 6 Mar 00 83 Entries
MX55 1 Sheet Dated 19 Apr 02 8 Entries
MX59 3 Sheets Dated 12 Apr 99 33 Entries

John Moxon Hill began to compile the above Tree charts in the early 1990s, when the kind of genealogy software that we now take for granted was not available. He used a custom computer program that was quite restricted in its capabilities. The programme was limited to a maximum of 255 people per tree and providing that the resultant tree size did not occupy more than 12 sheets in width, and no more than 20 generations (three sheets deep). That was the reason why the Moxons of Silkstone MX27, MX26 and MX15 were produced as separate interlocking trees. A copy of the John Moxon Hill original chart for each of the above trees is available by clicking on the tree number. The sheets for each Tree are labelled with the tree reference, and a page and letter reference. All sheets numbered 1 form the top row, with 1A on the left. Sheets numbered 2 form the second row, with the letters lining up vertically. If there is a third row (as for MX01) then those sheets are numbered 3. Where a sheet would not contain any information, it is not supplied e.g. there is a sheet MX14 sheet 1D, but no sheet 2D.

As the number of individuals in the Trees grew far beyond the numbers recorded above, John’s original numbering system for individuals within Trees was generally abandoned, but his numbering system used to identify individuals in his trees remains the easiest way to refer to individuals nearer the top of Trees when discussing possible tree mergers, as used below.

MX37 (Tree Guardians: Natasha Moxon & Mary Morrissey) – This tree was headed by Thomas Moxam bapt. 1688 (the son of Edmund Moxam of Chippenham) who married Joan Lipes and founded a dynasty in Ebbesbourne Wake. Today the tree is headed by John Moxam bapt. 1623 in Chippenham, the father of Edmund. John Moxon Hill produced a “best guess” tree (this can be downloaded by clicking HERE) beyond this point, which takes the family back to Henry Moxame, born c1550 but there are a few question marks along the way. Three brothers from Ebbesbourne Wake, James, Joseph & Benjamin and a cousin emigrated to Nova Scotia in the early 1800’s and there are numerous descendants in the USA and Canada today, many of whom use the spelling “Moxon”. Their brother John was a convict, transported to Tasmania in 1830, and there are also many descendants in Australia.

MX49 (Tree Guardian: Sharon Lowry), is headed by Christopher Moxham who held a messuage (residential building taken together with its outbuildings and assigned land), presumably a farm, called “Moxham” in the Parish of Chalfield in 1545 where he paid Hearth Tax of 20s. In MM26 (October 2000) we featured “Roots 9 – the Moxhams of Great Chalfield”, not many miles from Ebbesborne Wake. As indicated above, Joyce Chesmond Moxham, whose ancestors originated in Great Chalfield, had researched the early history of Great Chalfield, and determined that the name “Moxham” had originated in the area. This was a new discovery, since, until then, we had believed that all “Moxons” had originated in Yorkshire! There are many variations of the name in Wiltshire – Moxam, Moxsom, Moxson etc.

MX55 is a small tree, currently headed by Edward Moxham who raised a family in Boscombe, Wiltshire, between 1740-1764, and their descendants.

MX59 (Tree Guardian: Sharon Lowry), is the tree of the Irish Moxham family, who appear to have arrived in Ireland from Wiltshire as “Planters” in the 1600’s (see Neil Moxham’s article, quoted above). It is headed by the William Moxham mentioned by Neil who in a lease agreement dated 5 June 1688 was granted the townland of Rasala (Rathsallagh) in south County Longford. It is assumed that William was probably born around Great Chalfield or Chippenham in Wiltshire. Descendants today include a large family in Australia centered around Parramatta, New South Wales.

Trees compiled since John’s death in 2010 follow below.

MX69, the Moxoms of Grand Rapids, was compiled by Philip Lord in 2015 following the discovery of an Obituary dated 1996 for a Shirley M Moxom who had died aged 103 in East Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. A sizeable family, all using the surname “Moxom”, headed by the Rev. Job Hibbard Moxom (1816-1895) who was born in Ebbesbourne Wake, went to Canada with the Grenadier Guards, married there, became a Baptist Minister and emigrated from Canada to the USA. The tree was merged with MX37.

MX70 (Tree Guardian: Philip Lord), the Moxhams of Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire, was compiled by Philip Lord in 2015 while looking for the ancestors of a new Moxon Society Member. It is headed by John Moxham bapt. 1690 in Bradford on Avon. Descendants include the very successful U.S. engineer and industrialist, Arthur James Moxham (1854-1931), some of whose family married into the DuPont family.

MX71 (Tree Guardian: Philip Lord), is headed by Robert Moxham who married in Corsham, Wiltshire, in 1705 and includes a number of Descendants in Australia. It was compiled by Philip Lord with much information supplied by Kenneth Ewing Moxham, in 2015.

MX72, compiled by Margaret Tucker Moxon in 2016, was headed by Henry Moxam who died in Sixpenny Handley, Dorset, in 1839. It included a very big family of Moxhams who settled in Maitland and Newcastle, New South Wales, in 1849. Some descendants found their way to Parramatta, so many online family trees have mixed them up with the Moxhams of Ireland (MX59). Henry’s baptism in Ebbesbourne Wake in 1753 was identified and the tree was merged into MX37.

MX75 (Tree Guardian: Philip Lord), was compiled by Philip Lord in 2016 while compiling an article for the Moxon Magazine on the Moxons and Moxhams who are listed on the Thiepval memorial, for the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. It is headed by James Moxham who raised a family in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire, between 1813 and 1831.

MX77 (Tree Guardian: Philip Lord), is headed by James Moxham who married Hester Walter in Barrow Gurney, Somerset, in 1723. The tree contains many Moxham descendants in Kansas and Iowa, USA. It was compiled by Philip Lord in 2016.

MX84, (Tree Guardian: Ken Moxon), compiled by Ken Moxon in 2017, is headed by John Moxom, Yeoman of Purton, Wiltshire, who married Elizabeth Cooper in 1707 in Somerford Keynes. In it are a family of Moxham’s in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, including Arthur William Moxham who was killed at Ypres in Oct 1917.

A final word of acknowledgement

In constructing these Moxham trees, the Society is indebted to Neil Moxham, Sharon Lowry, Joyce Chesmond Moxham, Gaylord Emory Moxon, Natasha Doreen Moxon and many Moxon researchers. Many more Members, and non-Members, have also contributed to our knowledge of this large Moxon Family – we thank them all.