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Aaron Moses

Birthdate: (63)
Birthplace: Sagamore, Old Norfolk County, Massachusetts
Death: July 1713 (59-67)
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Immediate Family:

Son of John Moses and Alice Moses
Husband of Ruth Moses and Mary Sherburne
Father of Ruth Waterhouse; Elizabeth Smith; Aaron Moses; Martha Moses; James Moses and 12 others
Brother of Mary Huff; Alice Creber; Joanna Moses; Sarah Moses and Elizabeth Walker
Half brother of Alice Creber

Managed by: Peter Maunsell KAHLE, Jr.
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Aaron Moses

Aaron Moses was born at the Old Homestead at Sagamore Creek. He was a Lieutenant in Capt.Langdon's Company. He was also a member of a court martial called by Governor Usher at New Cas September 29,1696. From Town and Provincial papers, it appears that he was a public man, having number of offices in the town and state.

According to the agreement dated January 6,1679, between Sergeant John Moses and his wife, with their son, Aaron Moses, Aaron inherited from his father the plantation farm on Sagamore Creek, Portsmouth, where he lived and died.

Aaron died June, 1713 at Sagamore Creek. He married 1st.on June 1,1676 to Ruth Sherburne, daughter of Henry Sherburne of Portsmouth, descendant of English noble family, came to Portsmouth 1631, member of church of England. She was born June 3,1660. He married 2nd Mary Leach, her surname dates are unknown. She married 2nd October 20,1720, John Sherburne who was probably a cousin of Aaron's first wife. Mary Sherburne left a will dated October 9,1732, executors, her sons, James and J Moses. John Sherburne witnessed the agreement between John Moses and his son Aaron, dates January 6,1679. The Town Tax-book of the year 1713 shows that the "Old Homestead" was taxed to the "Moses" and her son James. After the death of Aaron in 1713, his widow, Mary was appointed administratrix of his estate, and in 1733, his son James was appointed to close up its settlement. A son Aaron, and a daughter, Elizabeth (Moses)Smith, are mentioned as having died without issue previous closing up of the estate, September 10, 1734. The original will of Mary widow of Aaron Moses, dated October 9,1732 was in possession of the Moses Family at Portsmouth (1889) and was a personally examined by Zebina Moses. The will shows that her name was Mary and that she married October 20, a second husband, John Sherburne, and they lived on the Rye road near the line separating Rye and Portsmouth, in a field now owned by the heirs of Michael W. Tucker. The Old cellar is still visible about one-third of the way from "Sherburne's Well" to Tucker's barn. The line runs southwest from Samso Point, on Sagamore Creek, to Bellahack Brook, and the above mentioned place is on the Rye side. The copy of the will follows. (The above information was from Zebina Moses Volume 1 & 2)

(The following information is from the book titled The Ancestry of Joseph Waterhouse.)

Lieut. Aaron Moses was born at Sagamore Creek in Portsmouth about 1650. His only wife of whom contemporary documentary evidence is found was Mary ___________, whom he married about 1868. That he had an earlier wife whose name does not appear on the records is not conclusive, that she was Ruth Sherburne, youngest daughter of Henry and Rebecca (Gibbons) Sherburne of Portsmouth. Aaron Moses died in July, 1713 and his widow Mary Moses, married on October 20,1720 to Captain John Sherburne "of the Plains."

The statement that Aaron Moses and Ruth Sherburne were married on June 1,1676 appears in that version of Mary (Sherburne) Sloper’s family record printed in the "New England Historical and Genealogical Register" in 1863, while, in the version printed in he same publication in 1907, the marriage is again set forth bit the date is changed to January 1,1677. It does not appear in the version printed in the "Portsmouth Journal" of June 8,1867, and later reprinted in Rambles about Portsmouth, Second Series in 1869, which of the three, is the only one likely to have been an honest copy of Mary Sloper’s original manuscript. Thus far, therefore, we have no reputable evidence that such a marriage took place, but theirs is not to argue that it did not. The person who made the additions to the manuscript in 1863, reasonable supposed to have been Dr. George Gains Brewster (1797-1872) who was a descendant of Mary Sloper and also of Aaron Moses by three different lines of descent, may have had other manuscript evidence or traditional accounts on which he based the added entry, even if he used a synthetic date. Time and propinquity as well as family association are all favorable, and there is no contradictory negative evidence. As we have seen, the care of Rebecca Sherburne, the unfortunate sister of Mary and Ruth Sherburne, was entrusted to Mary Huff, the sister of Aaron Moses, which would have been a reasonable family arrangement.

Aaron took over the management of the family farm at Sagamore Creek in his father’s old age, and on it he lived his entire life. He made only one recorded purchase of land, a small tract on the south side of the mill-dam adjoining Thomas Beck’s land, from Richard Jose on February 11,1692/3, (NH Deeds 6:111). He sold to Elizabeth Savage, widow, a lot of 35 feet by 78 feet on which stood a house, near the meeting-house, on November 3,1701. His nephew George Walker bought from him a cart path from the King’s highway to Walker’s new field, and all of the Moses land on the western side of the highway in 1702 and in 1712 Walker also purchased for L40 the 45 acre grant made to Moses from the town commons in 1699, lying on the north side of the road from Capt. Langdon’s to Breakfast Hill (NH Deeds 6:826; 8:277). His only other conveyance was a small lot of 1½ acres lying on the hill about 50 or 60 rods from his dwelling house, to his well-beloved son James Moses on January 11,1711/2 (NH Deeds, 9:220). At his death the Moses farm contained about 98 acres.

Moses took an active part in local military life. His house was a garrison in 1690 when the New Hampshire settlements were in grave danger from the French and Indians, and on May 23,1691/2 five pounds of powder were delivered to him for its defense. By 1684 he was the lieutenant of Capt. Tobias Langdon’s company of Portsmouth militia, and an original order of Lieut. Col. Thomas Parker (Packer), dated November 9,1695, survives by which thirty men from the two Portsmouth companies were detailed and equipped to range the woods in a circuit from Portsmouth to Dover to Exeter and home to Portsmouth, "to performe thaire march under ye command of Lft Aaron Moses,(NH Council Book, II:78).

On the civil side, Aaron Moses was Portsmouth’s constable inn 1690 and by 1694 he was marshal of the colony his duties being comparable to those of a present day county sheriff. A warrant was addressed to him as "Provost Martiall" in 1684 and in that same year he called himself "Field Marshall," a title that sounds more impressive to our ears by association with great military figures than it did to his. He sat on a trail jury in 1696. The petition to Massachusetts Bay to aid in the defense of New Hampshire, dated February 20,1689/90, had borne his signature. In the seating-list of the Portsmouth meeting-house of 1693/4, Aaron was placed in the third seat in the ,men’s gallery fronting the pulpit, while his wife was in he third seat in the women’s gallery.

Administration on the estate of Aaron Moses was granted to his widow, Mary Moses, on November 21,1713, John Abbot and John Leach going on her bond, and an inventory amounting to L237:17:04, taken by Tobias Langdon and Hugh Banfield, was entered on February 5.1713/4 on the estate of "Aaron Moses who desesed July last past." Over four years later, on June 4,1718, the court ordered William Sevy, James Randall and Ephraim Denet to make a new appraisal of the land only which they did on July 12, giving it a value of L261. Fifteen years more were to pass however before steps were taken to divide and settle the property, (NH Probate, No. 479).

As before stated in 1720 at the North Church Mary Moses, Aaron’s widow, married John Sherburne. This was Capt. John Sherburne of the Plaines, who was born about 1650. Capt. Sherburne died between December 17,1723 and February 16,1730/1, the dates of the making and proving of his will, by which his estate was left to his many children and in which his wife was not mentioned, presumably because of the terms of a marriage agreement.

Mary Sherburne of Portsmouth, widow make her will on October 9, 1732. It was not placed in probate but was preserved with only family papers. To her sons, James Moses, Joseph Moses and Josiah Moses she left a sheep a piece. To her granddaughter Mary Moses, daughter of her son Joseph, her featherbed, the bedding belonging to it and her biggest iron pot. To her three granddaughters, Mary, daughter of her son Joseph, Abigail, daughter of her son Josiah and Mary, daughter of her son James, all her silver, either wrought into plate or in money, to be equally divided. To her four daughters, Martha Moses, Hannah Moses, Abigail Moses (her daughter-in-law), and Sarah Scott, all her wearing apparel, to be equally divided. To her son Mark Moses, all her household goods of what kind soever not hitherto disposed of, her oldest cow, one steer, and three hogs, he paying small debts owed to Joshua Peirce, Mr. Priest and Thomas Sibson. Executors: James Moses, Joseph Moses, Witnesses: Theodore Atkinson, Samuel Sherburn, Margaret Fickett.

Shortly before his mother’s death, James Moses took steps to settle his father’s estate to buy the interests of his brothers and sister in the farm at Sagamore Creek, securing quit-claim deeds from Josiah (December 20,1728) Mark (February 19,1730/1), Joseph (January 31,1731/2) and his sister Sarah Scott "one of the daughter of Aaron Moses" (March 9,1732/3) (NH Deeds 17:462, 19:372.387) He was appointed administrator de bonis non on October 19,1733, George Walker his cousin, and John Jackson, his brother-in-law, being his bondsmen. On October 22 a warrant was issued authorizing Thomas Beck of Portsmouth and John Sherburne of New Castle to appraise the estate, the widow Mary Moses (sic) having died. They wasted not time but signed the inventory of L191:15:0 on the following day, and on the day after that, the 24th, John Lang, Thomas Beck Jr., and Samuel Beck were ordered to repot on the division of the estate into eight equal parts. These steps must have been the subject of a previous agreement for on October 25 the three men reported that the estate could not be divided without damage to the whole----"if the Land be well improved the whole of it will not be more than sufficient to Maintain one small family great part of ye Land being Rocky & Barren & but Little firewood upon the whole." This being the case the court again appointed appraisers on the next day, they being Seth Ring of Newington, Samuel Brackett of Rye and Joseph Langdon of Portsmouth, who were to decided for what sum the eldest son might purchase the entire farm. They were more deliberate than their predecessors and more optimistic in their estimates for on April 3,1734, they produced much greater figure of L294:8:9 which was nearer the valuation put on the land in 1718. The court accepted the appraisal and on September 10,1734 allowed James’s account. He showed that he had paid to "his brother Aaron who is since Dead without Issue" L15:12:0. All expenses being subtracted from L294:8:9 left L239:10:0 which "Remains to be Divided into Seven Shares." On the same day the court ordered "to be Divided into Seven Shares among the Surviving Children the sum of L239:9....each share is L34:4:41/2."

Who were the surviving children? We know that Aaron out lived his father, but it was probably not for long as the only mention of him in the records is in James’s account where he is definitely stated to have died without issue. Elizabeth Smith died in Ipswich in 1725 also leaving no children. Mary Sherburne’s will names her five Moses Children---James, Josiah, Joseph, and Mark Moses, and Sarah Scott, all of whom were living in 1734. In a division into seven shares this leaves two share to be accounted for. The first theory since discarded, was that James, the oldest surviving son in 1734, had an extra share, leaving one share for a surviving daughter by their father’s first wife, who doubtless had her own mother’s personal belongings and was not mentioned in her stepmothers will. This provides a place for Ruth, wife of Timothy Waterhouse, as a surviving daughter. It does not explain, however, why the court contemplated division into eight shares on October 24,1733, but ordered division into seven shares in September, 1734. The final theory is that in 1733 the court believed that James, who was the oldest son then alive, was entitled to two shares, leaving six shares to be allotted to six other children, but that on further consideration the judge decided that only Aaron, the oldest surviving son in 1713 when the father died, would have been entitled to a double share, and, he being dead without issue, the seven surviving children as of the year 1734 should take a single share each. To make up the tally of seven we have (1) James, (2) Joseph, (3) Josiah, (4) Mark, (5) Sarah Scott, all named in their mother’s will, (6) and (7) two daughters by Aaron Moses’s first wife, one of whom I believe, or cumulative circumstantial evidence and no negative evidence to have been Ruth Waterhouse, and the other an unknown sister, on the "missing wives" subject to constant genealogical search.

Lt. in Capt Tobian Langdon's Company.

Member of a court martial at New Castle 29 Sept 1696

MOSES, Aaron (ca 1650-1713) & 1/wf Ruth SHERBURN (1660-); 1 Jun 1676? {McIntire Anc. 217; Waterhouse 9, 76, 101; Reg. 17:253, 58:227, 61:83; GDMNH 496, 629; Sherburne 1; Moses 96, 102, 200; Wentworth 1:190} (Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior To 1700 (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., 1985)).

NEHGR 1863 and 1907 disagree on the wedding date: 1 Jun 1676 vs. 1 Jan 1677.

See Anderson, Robert Charles, "The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633," [1995, NEHGS], v. 2, p. 1301, and Zebina Moses, "The Moses Genealogy," Hartford, 1890.

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Aaron Moses's Timeline

Sagamore, Old Norfolk County, Massachusetts
October 18, 1679
Age 29
Portsmouth, Rockingham Co, New Hampshire
Age 34
Portsmouth, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States
Age 40
Portsmouth, NH, USA
Age 44
Portsmouth, Province of New Hampshire
Age 46
Portsmouth, NH, USA
Age 52
Portsmouth, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States
July 1713
Age 63
Portsmouth, New Hampshire