The Moxons of Silkstone

The following account of how the Tree of the Moxons of Silkstone was compiled was recorded by John Moxon Hill in 1998 and the record references relate to the original Tree Charts.

Graham Jagger provided a transcript of the available Parish Registers and Bishops’ Transcripts up to the early 1700’s to which John Moxon Hill added information from the 1988 IGI, Feet of Fine information, details of Wills and Administrations, and some Monumental Inscriptions. This information, tabulated in a similar manner to that for the IGI, was used as an aid to construct the trees.

NOTE: All dates from 1st January to 24th March prior to 1752, the year when the Gregorian calendar was introduced into England, have been “corrected” (as are IGI dates) by adding 1 to the year number for all dates in the period for 1st January to 24th March. For example, a date given in a pre-1752 will of say “1st January 1653” would be transcribed as “1st January 1654”.

Volume I of the Silkstone Parish Registers covers Marriages from 1558, Burials from 1569 and baptisms from 1571 all up until 1597. Volume II 1598 to 1653 is missing. The Registers from 1654 onwards are complete, but I have only had access up to 1715 for marriages, 1730 for burials and 1716 for baptisms – thereafter I have relied upon the IGI.

The gap left by the missing Volume II of the Registers has only partly been made up by recourse to the Bishop’s Transcripts (BTs) which are fragmentary and cover only 22 years out of the missing 57 years!

Apart from the missing years, there is the additional problem concerning the adequacy of the information. Early on, often baptisms do not include even the father’s name, burials are sometimes just for “Widow” Mokeson, or “Wife of” etc.

In later years the records are a bit more precise, but then either parents did not baptise their children, or the cleric omitted to put the entry in the register! (There are a number of obvious instances!)

This leads to the early part of the tree (MX27) being somewhat conjectural – and open to other interpretations!

The first reference to a Moxon in Silkstone is that of the Administration of Robert Mokson dated 8 July 1531 – we have no further details. The next reference is the will of John Mokeson of Thurgoland dated 21 July 1560 and proved 4 December 1561. He mentions his wife Agnes, and two under age daughters Isobel and Janet – but no sons. The fact that his daughters were under age, suggests that John was possibly only aged about 40 when he died, giving a date of birth of about 1520.

The Feet of Fines* for 1565 refers to John Mokeson senior, gentleman and John Mokeson junior, gentleman. That for 1574 refers to John Mokeson senior, gentleman, and John Mokeson his son and heir apparent. It seems unlikely that son John would be involved with land deals unless he was of age, and therefore he is assumed to have been born about 1545, and his father perhaps 20 years earlier about 1525.

(*N.B. Feet of Fines were the legal instrument for the transfer of land and property in the 1500’s)

Thus, we have two contemporary “Johns”, born around 1520-1525, neither of whom it would seem could have been sons of Robert who died in 1531. There is also a record of Thomas Mooke (an abbreviation for Mookeson?) marrying Johanna Smythe in 1558. The best guess is that Robert had at least two sons who fathered the two Johns and Thomas.

A John Mokeson (MX27/11) baptised 5 children 1588 to 1601. As this is unlikely to be the John born about 1545 (MX27/8), we are left with the assumption that the father of these children was born about 1565, and probably the son of John born about 1545. There were six children baptised during the period 1569 to 1575, whose father’s names were not given. We only know of one Moxon who could have been their father – and that is the John born about 1545 (MX27/11).

We now turn to three wills:

Francis Mokeson of Hoylandswaine – will dated 1651 (or 4?) (MX27/74) and proved 1662. Francis refers to his mother (so assume his father had already died), to Daniel his brother, and to Daniel son of brother Daniel. He also refers to his brethren and sisters, and to John his brother. He mentions Emor Moakeson and George Moakeson, but it is not clear whether they were his brothers or not.

Emor Moakson Yeoman of Hoylandswaine – will dated 1 Dec1681, proved 26 Nov 1684 (MX27/76). He mentions his wife Jane, sons Jonathan and John, and the children of John Wordsworth, his son-in-law (assume his daughter married John Wordsworth). Later he again mentions John Moakson (MX27/75), “my brother”, and his nephew Francis (inferring Francis is John’s son).

John Moakson of Hoylandswaine, will dated 20 Jun 1714, proved 26 Oct 1714 (MX27/84). The will mentions his wife, Mary, and children John, Caleb, Grace Bailey and Sara Milns.

Thus, we have, it appears, five brothers Daniel, Francis, John, Emor and George, and at least two sisters. The BTs show John son of Daniel of Hoylandswaine baptised in 1630, Mary daughter of Daniel of Hoylandswaine baptised in 1632 and Hellen daughter of Daniel of Hoylandswaine baptised in 1640.

This all points to the father of the four other “brothers” being a Daniel, who we can guess was born about 1603, and died before Francis wrote his will in 1651 (or 1654?). There are two “candidates” for the father of this Daniel. The first would be John born about 1565 (MX27/11), who we know baptised five children 1588 to 1601 – the last three entries quote “John of ST” (Stainborough), and the second, Nicholas baptised 1572 (MX27/15), who married Ann about 1598. All but one of the Feet of Fines involving Nicholas, concerned land and cottages in Hoylandswaine. Since the records of the three children Daniel baptised, all referred to Daniel of Hoylandswaine, and since Emor’s will was that of “Emor Moakson, Yeoman of Hoylandswaine”, I am inclined to believe that Daniel was the son of Nicholas of Hoylandswaine, rather than of John of Stainborough.

John (MX27/75), son of Daniel Moakeson of Hoylandswaine was baptised in 1630. At first we thought that he married Mary Bockin in 1659, but John was born in Hoylandswaine, and the children of John and Mary Bockin were born in Stainborough. See the next paragraph. It leads one to believe that John son of Daniel married Dinah Caldwell in 1666, and had the two children shown.

John (MX27/34) son of Francis of Stainborough baptised in 1623 married Mary Bockin 4 Aug 1659, and they had three children baptised from 1661 to 1666, where two of the entries quote John of Stainborough. There was an earlier entry “Infant of John of Stainborough born and buried 21 May 1658”. There is a record of John Mokson marrying Jane Wordsworth 22 Nov 1655, and then Jane wife of John Mokson of Stainborough being buried 22 May 1658 – the day after the infant was born and buried. It seems therefore that Mary Bockin was John’s second wife.

We know from John’s will of 1714, that he had two sons, John baptised 27 Apr 1693 and Caleb baptised 1696, and two daughters. John appears also to have had three other children (all baptisms/burials of John of Hoylandswaine), David baptised in 1699, buried in 1711, a Stillborn child in 1704 and a Stillborn child in 1706.

John (MX27/89) baptised in 1693 appears to have married Lydia, since a gravestone records the deaths of John as 18 Nov 1770, aged 78, and Lydia his wife as 25 Mar 1760, aged 66. John’s age is consistent with him having been baptised 27 Apr 1693.

There is some difficulty in sorting out which children baptised by “John”, were the children of John and Lydia. For this we have to rely on the place shown in the Registers. John and Lydia presumably lived in Hoylandswaine in the property left to him by his father. Also, at the time his father wrote his will in June 1714, John did not have any children.

There are two children specifically baptised by John of Hoylandswaine, John 22 Mar 1717 and David 8 Sep 1728, buried in 1730.

A “Caleb” was baptised by John Moakson in 1722 and surely this would have been the John who had a brother Caleb? There was an earlier “Caleb” who was buried 4 April 1674. Since these are the only “Calebs” known at Silkstone, it seems probable that the Caleb who died 1674, was another brother of the John (who made his will in 1714, and son of Emor). Information from Jack Mallin confirmed that Caleb (baptised 1722) was the son of John of Hoylandswaine.

It has been assumed that the “David” shown as being born about 1731, was also the son of John baptised 1693, because of the earlier “David” baptised and buried, and because of the name appearing earlier in that family.

The rest of the tree falls into place fairly obviously.

The big problem was in defining which “John” was the father of Christopher, who heads Tree MX26. One candidate was the John baptised 22 Mar 1717 (MX27/136), son of John of Hoylandswaine (MX27/89). The other was John son of John baptised 7 Jul 1717, who was not shown on the tree.

In the period 1700 on there were a number of children baptised by “John Moxon”. This list was revised, taking into account the information received from Jack Mallin, and sorting under place name, resulting in some being added to the trees:

John son of John of Thurgoland baptised 2 Dec 1708 (Not shown)
Anne daughter of John of Thurgoland buried 1714 (Not shown)
George son of John of Thurgoland buried 1716 (Not shown)

We know of two “Johns” in Thurgoland – Firstly (MX27/33) baptised 1663, and second MX28/2, born about 1661 at Tankersley. The above three children could belong to either – but if John baptised 1708 was the son of John born Tankersley, then he must have died before his father made his will in 1728.

Elizabeth daughter of John of Silkstone baptised in 1714 (Not shown)
John son of John of Silkstone baptised 7 Jul 1717 
Alice daughter of John of Silkstone baptised in 1721 (Not shown)

The records clearly show “Silkstone” at a time when other entries were showing Hoylandswaine or Thurgoland. So, these children were born in Silkstone village, but we know of no John Moxon of Silkstone village at this time.

Eliz. Daughter of John of Hoylandswaine baptised in 1719 (Not shown – but to be added as daughter of MX27/89)
Caleb son of John of Hoylandswaine baptised in 1722 (son of John baptised in 1693 – see above – MX27/91)

David son of John baptised in 1728 and buried in 1730, son of John of Hoylandswaine (No.137)

John son of John of HS baptised 22 Mar 1717 (MX27/136 – father of tree MX26)

Vera Moxon (wife of Fred) has solved the problem of Christopher’s parentage. She has examined the Land Registry information held at Wakefield, and been able to trace land left by John Moxon in his will of 1714 (MX27/84 through his son John Moxon (MX27/89), John Moxon his son (MX27/136) to Christopher Moxon, his son (MX26/1)

Francis son of Jno. baptised 1725 (on IGI, but not on JM’s list Not Shown)
Fra. Son of John baptised 1727 (on IGI, but not on JM’s list Not Shown)

The two Francis, baptised 1725 and 1727, cannot be identified, since place names are not known.

Under each entry on the tree charts there is a reference, which identifies where the information was derived. The references are:

PR Parish Register
BT Bishops Transcript
IGI 1988 international Genealogical Index
MReg From an early index I made from the IGI and PR’s
MR45 Fred and Vera Moxon (née Thornton) of Barnburgh
OVS53 Jack Mallin (1929-2001) of Pasadena, Arizona 
LRS Leon Ronald Simon of Charlotte, North Carolina
GJag Graham Jagger of Leicester
MPM Maurice Percy Moxon of Mansfield