The Moxons of Cawthorne

It is assumed that the individual who heads these Moxon Society Trees lived probably in Yorkshire prior to the 14th Century. The Moxons of Cawthorne, the largest of the Society’s Trees, had settled in Cawthorne, Yorkshire, by 1379 when Robert and his wife Margaret paid Poll Tax. DNA results suggest that the Moxons of Ferry Fryston and Ousefleet either link into the Cawthorne Tree or they share a common ancestor.

Today Cawthorne is a village in the metropolitan borough of Barnsley, West Yorkshire.

Finding Ferry Fryston today is slightly more complicated. As Don Moxon points out:

“The problem is that Ferry Fryston was the name of the whole parish which was centred on the Church of St Andrew which is just in the lee of the Ferrybridge Power Station, and most easily accessed from the Pontefract to Knottingley Road (B6136). In 1952, and because it was frequently flooded from the nearby River Aire and because the population had already moved to what is now Ferrybridge on that road, the decision was taken to move the church lock, stock and barrel to a new site on that same Pontefract to Knottingley Road. So, the Ferrybridge Parish Church now stands on its new site exactly as it was – except that in the rebuilding the church porch was moved round to the south side to provide easier access from the road.

The old church graveyard still remains where it was, dominated on the west side by the huge cooling towers of the power station.

A further complication for us genealogists trying to trace our ancestry is that Samuel and Lydia [the couple at the Head of MX06] lived at Water Fryston – what would have been a small hamlet within the parish, and about a mile or so to the north of the site old church.

And a further complication came with the opening of the coal mine, when the pit and miners’ houses were built at what was known as New Fryston (or just Fryston) at the northern end of the parish boundary.

According to their marriage certificate my Moxon grandparents were married in 1892 “at the parish church of Ferry Fryston” (i.e. long before the church building was moved to its new site); my grandfather was living at the time in “Pontefract”, my grandmother’s place of residence is given as “Ferrybridge”.

Pontefract is significantly closer to where the parish church is, whereas you have to drive round for quite some way before you get to Castleford” [Wikipedia says that Ferry Fryston is a suburb of the town of Castleford]

Today both Ferry Fryston and Ferrybridge fall within the metropolitan district of the City of Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

Further information for genealogists on Cawthorne, Ferry Fryston and the various places mentioned in the Trees in this group can be found on the GENUKI website.

Pre-2010 all of the Society’s Trees were compiled by John Moxon Hill (JMH). His notes documenting how the Trees were developed are reproduced below where available and the current position is also given.

N.B. The JMH 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.The original JMH Trees can be seen by clicking here.

The Moxon trees of Cawthorne Descent:

Over the years, the Society built several separate Family Trees that found their origins in Cawthorne. The aim has always been to try to unite these into one Cawthorne Tree and there has been some success in this respect.

MX01 20 Sheets Dated 27 Sept 01 251 Entries 
MX02 5 Sheets Dated 6 Jan 94 75 Entries (now merged with MX01)
MX11 19 Sheets Dated 12 Apr 99 147 Entries (now merged with MX01)
MX13 13 Sheets Dated 20 Nov 01 193 Entries
MX14 7 Sheets Dated 20 Aug 97 103 Entries (now merged with MX01)
MX19 11 Sheets Dated 17 Jul 01 129 Entries (now merged with MX01)
MX22 1 Sheet Dated 19 Jun 92 11 Entries (now merged with MX01)
MX31 7 Sheets Dated 18 No. 93 106 Entries (now merged with MX01)
MX44 No chart (now merged with MX01) 
MX48 2 Sheets Dated 12 Apr 99 23 Entries (now merged with MX01)

The Ferry Fryston Tree

MX06 12 Sheets Dated 12 Apr 99 164 Entries 
MX50 2 Sheets Dated 25 Oct 99 30 Entries (now merged with MX06)

The Whitgift/Ousefleet Tree

MX16 4 Sheets Dated 12 Apr 99 55 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 MX14 and MX31 were produced as separate trees. A copy of the JMH 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.

Trees in this group that were compiled by John Moxon Hill:

MX01 (Tree Guardians: Mary Ann Moxon, Scott Hults Moxon, David Michael, Chris Moxon), the basic tree for the Moxons of Cawthorne, is headed by Charles Mokeson, who made his will, and died, in 1592. An extract giving a brief introduction to the earliest known ancestor is reproduced here in an extract from Chapter 1 of the booklet “Charles Mokeson of Cawthorne and his Dynasty by John Moxon Hill and Alice Joan Rendall.

Research in Cawthorne has been hampered by the fact that the early Parish Registers from inception until 1653 have been lost. Only some 20 years of Bishop’s Transcripts have survived during the period 1600 to 1653. More recently Methodism became very strong in Cawthorne. Methodist baptisms, marriages and burials are of course not included in the Parish Registers, and so far, these Methodist records have not been found.

As indicated above, the earliest known Moxons in Cawthorne were Robert and his wife, Margaret, who paid their Poll Tax of 4 pence in 1379. There are later Moxons in Cawthorne, who are shown on Tree MX01 (sheets 1A and 1B) together with Moxons who were likely to have been brothers of Charles – these are shown as “?” links, as the firm evidence is not available.

It is apparent that there was an outbreak of the plague, or some other disastrous disease, in Cawthorne in 1592. Both Charles and Francis referred to their children as being in their nonage (i.e. under adult age) in their wills, inferring that both Charles and Francis were relatively young men, and because probate was granted so soon after the wills were written, they must have known they were about to die. Lawrence Mokeson also died in 1592, and Administration granted to a Robert Clough, suggesting that Lawrence was unmarried (and therefore possibly also a young man?).

Today Charles Mokeson’s descendants are scattered not just throughout the United Kingdom but throughout the world, including notable concentrations in Australia, the United States, Canada, and New Zealand.

The lineage back to Charles Mokeson from Thomas Moxon of Market Bosworth, born in Littleover in 1711, was researched by Alice Joan Rendall.

Ron Moxon provided the information about those Lancashire Moxons who are shown in the MX01 Tree chart.

MX02 was created as a separate tree because at the time it was not thought possible to definitively link it to MX01 through Samuel Mokeson (MX01/13) born 1614 due to a missing Parish Register, but a combination of evidence and logic has since enabled it to be combined with MX01. The circumstantial evidence for this is: we know from Charles Mokeson’s will (1592) that one of his sons was George (MX01/4) and we also know that there was a Samuel Moxon baptised in Cawthorne 23 Oct 1614 (Bishops’ Transcripts), son of a George Mokeson. If Samuel (MX01/13) had married at age 19 (in 1633, when neither Registers nor BT’s have survived) then John (MX02/2) could have been born c 1653 (also when no Registers nor Bishops’ Transcripts survived). John’s younger sister Jane was baptised in 1655. We also know that when John Mockson (MX02/2) made his will in 1666, all his children were “under age”, so that John, himself, was probably quite young. The eldest son of Richard Mokeson (MX02/3) was named Samuel. DNA test results from the current Moxon Society membership strengthened the argument and consequently MX02 was merged with MX01.

The late James Moxon of Cawthorne and John Moxon of Bitteswell provided the information for most of the original MX02 chart.

MX06 (Tree Guardian: Don Moxon), is headed by Samuel Moxeson who died in Ferry Fryston, Yorkshire, 20 Mar 1763. Unfortunately, it has not yet been possible to find a link into MX01, but the probability analysis of DNA Test results indicates a strong relationship. England and Yorkshire Cricketer Martyn Moxon can be found in this Tree. An account of the research that enabled MX06 to be compiled can be found in the book “Samuel and Lydia Moxon of Ferry Fryston and their descendants” by Don Moxon, John Edward Moxon and John and Anne Davies. An extract from it is reproduced HERE giving an outline of the research team and the work carried out. Don said that the research involved in compiling MX06 also led them to compile the 17th Century Pontefract tree (traced out in the book but now to be seen as the first section of MX21 as they thought at the time that Samuel of Ferry Fryston may have been descended from the 17th Century Pontefract Moxon line when it seems he was almost certainly not.

MX11 was headed by John Muckson who was buried 9 Jun 1815 in Stewkley, Buckinghamshire and whose descendants include the Moxons of Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia. The probability analysis of DNA test results indicated a strong link to Cawthorne and the Tree is now combined with MX01.

The parents of John Muckson were Nathaniel Muckson who died in 1760 in Stoke Hammond, Buckinghamshire and his wife Catherine Tragle who also died in Stoke Hammond in 1764. It had been assumed that Nathaniel was the same Nathaniel Moxon of MX01 who was born about 1709 in Littleover, Derbyshire, the son of Nathaniel Moxon (1687-1765). However, it has become apparent that merging the trees at this point was wrong. Nathaniel born 1709 was the executor of his father’s will and checking the probate made it clear that far from dying in Stoke Hammond in 1765 he was present at the probate of his father’s will in 1766. Additionally, we have discovered that in 1772 he went on to marry for the first time, at the age of about sixty-three, to an Ann Boddice in St Modwen’s church in Burton on Trent.

Given the irrefutable DNA analysis, the Moxons of Stewkley have been left within the overall MX01 Cawthorne tree on Ancestry but Nathaniel who died in Stoke Hammond has been separated again from the rest of the Tree. He and his descendants are floating there within the tree as a kind of MX01A. So, the search is on again to find the physical link into the main Cawthorne tree. Who were the parents of Nathaniel who died a Labourer in Stoke Hammond in 1765? When and where was he born?

MX13 (Tree Guardian: Paul Moxon), is headed by Thomas Moxon, butcher of Kexbrough, who was buried in High Hoyland 1 Nov 1785. His son John Moxon married Grace Dyson and the couple were childless, their only child dying in infancy. They appear to have adopted Elijah Skinner, the illegitimate son of Jemima Skinner, who became Elijah Moxon the Head of MX04 (see explanatory notes for Elijah in the Group “Moxons by Name only”). DNA tests were carried out on members of the original MX13 tree compiled by JMH and the probability analysis made it clear that the tree was in error. This resulted in the branch from John Moakson 1780-1861 (MX13/156) downwards being moved into tree MX27, the Moxons of Silkstone.

MX14 is headed by John Moxon, the “Father” of the Staffordshire Moxons, who is also shown on MX01/63. The Tree is now combined with MX01.

The late Francis Moxon of Norton Hall sent James Moxon a very complete dossier on the Staffordshire Moxons, from whom he was descended, just eleven days before he died. Apart from the genealogy, Francis Moxon gave a wealth of detail about the Staffordshire Moxons, including many biographies.

MX16 (Tree Guardian…..), is headed by John or William Mogson c1630 of Ousefleet, Yorkshire. Notable entries include Charles Moxon (1808-1890) the Royal Decorator (see Graham Jagger’s article in Moxon Magazine issue 34, Oct 2004) and Timothy Napier Moxon (1924-2006) of Jamaica (profile in Moxon Magazine issue 26, Oct 2000 ; obituary in issue 39, Apr 2007). The probability analysis of an Oxford Ancestors DNA test on Thomas Napier Moxon suggested an equal probability (52.73%) of a link to individuals in both MX01 and MX06.

MX19 is headed by widow Ellen Moxon buried in Felkirk in 1713. It seems probable that after her husband had died (Richard Mokeson MX02/3, the assumed son of Samuel Mokeson MX01/13) Ellen moved to Felkirk with their son Jacob (MX19/2) who had taken up the position of Clerk to Felkirk Parish Church. Jacob recorded in the parish register that he was born in 1681, and although he does not say where, there is a corresponding baptism in Cawthorne, 16 Apr 1681. The baptism and marriage of Richard (MX02/3) are missing in the Bishop’s Transcripts but of the male Moxons in Cawthorne at the time, only Samuel (MX01/13) could have been his father. The probability analysis of DNA test results added weight to this belief and consequently MX19 was merged with MX01.

MX22 is headed by Dr William Moxon of Matlock, born 1855 in Rugeley. Descended from the Staffordshire Moxons (Tree MX14). Now combined with MX01.

MX31 is headed by Richard Moxon, born 1773 in Mancetter (near Atherstone). Richard is also shown on Tree MX01/99. Lily Moxon of Sutton Coldfield passed on to the Society the research that her late husband, John Moxon, had carried out on the “Birmingham” Moxons that feature in this tree. Now combined with MX01.

MX48 is headed by John Moxon, a dyer, who had children in the 1770s and 1780s in London. It was established that although he had moved to London he was actually John Moxon of Tree MX02 (MX02/20) who was baptised in Cawthorne in 1747. As a result, the Trees were merged.

MX50 is headed by Michael Moxon, father of Edward Moxon 1808-1858, the renowned Victorian Publisher. This Tree was merged with MX06, the Moxons of Ferry Fryston.

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

MX61 was initially compiled by Margaret Tucker Moxon. In it was James Moxon of London (1783-1865), who was a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy and his story has featured in previous articles in the Moxon Magazine. James had gone to Rawdon, Hants, Nova Scotia, lived there for a while (bought property) but then returned to England with his family and died in Hertford. This James Moxon had brothers including a Thomas Moxon (born 1782 in London) and William Moxon (a London Pawnbroker who died in 1831 leaving a Will). Further research as outlined in Moxon Magazine no. 56, Oct 2015, linked this family directly into MX64 followed by the realisation that both should be combined into MX02.

MX64 was headed by a Thomas Moxon who, following the death of his first wife Elizabeth, married Lydia Wilson in Nova Scotia in 1833. The descendants of Thomas formed a large tree of mainly Canadian and American Moxons previously researched by Natasha Moxon and Gaylord Moxon that had been kept to one side in John Moxon Hill’s archive as an appendix to MX37, the Moxhams of Wiltshire. Some of the Wiltshire Moxhams had emigrated to Nova Scotia, where they used the spelling “Moxon” and it was assumed that these other Nova Scotia Moxons must belong in the same tree, MX37, although a link to MX37 could not be found. As outlined in Moxon Magazine no 56, Oct 2015, research brought to light that the head of MX64, Thomas Moxon, was the brother of the James Moxon mentioned above in MX61. A document was uncovered that indicated a direct link to the MX02 Tree, the two brothers being the sons of Richard Moxon (MX02/16) of Cawthorne and his wife Mary Ibbotson. Consequently, the tree is now combined with MX01.

MX79 (Tree Guardian: Philip Lord), compiled by Philip Lord in 2017, is the family tree of John Frederic Moxon of Pennsylvania, and is headed by William Moxon born c1822 in Barnsley, Yorkshire. A DNA test in 2017 confirmed that the tree should definitely link somehow into MX01, but the link is still to be found.

Other Moxons living in Cawthorne

Also in Cawthorne were two other distinct Moxon Families.

The first forms Tree MX04, (see Moxons by name only) headed by Elijah Moxon born 1790, who was actually born Elijah Skinner, the illegitimate son of Jemima Skinner but he was raised by adoptive parents John Moxon and Grace Dyson of MX13 and consequently all of his descendants are Moxons.

The second family is headed by Caleb Moxon of MX27, (see Moxons of Silkstone) who moved to Cawthorne from Silkstone in 1748 – see MX27/91.

A final word of acknowledgement

In constructing these trees, the Society is indebted to many Moxon researchers. Many more Members, and non-Members, have also contributed to our knowledge of this large Moxon Family – we thank them all.