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Hugh Mosher

Birthdate: (81)
Birthplace: Newport, Newport, Rhode Island, USA
Death: November 3, 1713 (81)
Newport, Newport, Rhode Island, USA
Place of Burial: Dartmouth, Bristol County, Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Son of Nicholas Mosher and Lydia Mosher
Husband of Rebecca Mosher and Sarah Harding
Father of Nicholas Mosher; John Mosher; Joseph Mosher; Hannah Cornell; James Mosher and 5 others
Brother of Daniel Mosher; Mary Maxson; John Mosher; James Mosher; Joseph Mosher and 1 other

Occupation: religious minister, farmer, blacksmith
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Hugh Mosher

Date of birth has also been (erroneously?) reported to be 1633.

Baptist minister

in Newport RI 1660

friend of Roger Williams (founder RI)

5. HUGH MOSHER (Nicholas2, John MOGER1). Born bef 1633 in England. Hugh died in Newport, Newport Co., RI, bef 7 Dec 1713; he was 80. In 1665 when Hugh was 32, he first married Rebecca MAXSON, daughter of Richard MAXSON & Rebecca ?, in RI. Born in Dartmouth, Bristol Co., MA. Rebecca died aft 27 Dec 1707 in RI.

They had the following children:

  • 7 i. Hannah (->1716)
  • 8 ii. Ann (->1721)
  • 9 iii. NICHOLAS (ca1666-1747)
  • 10 iv. John (ca1668-1739)
  • 11 v. Joseph (ca1670-<1754)
  • 12 vi. Mary (>1670-<1748)
  • 13 vii. Daniel (-1751)
  • 14 viii. Rebecca (ca1677->1746)
  • 15 ix. James (1675-ca1768)

Bef 25 Feb 1708/1709 when Hugh was 75, he second married Sarah BUTCHER. Sarah died in Jun 1716 in Newport Co., RI.



I don't know the exact date of Hugh's Birth but he is quoted as saying he is about 30 years old in 1663 so it is estimated that he was born in 1633.

Evidence is convincing that he was the son of Nicholas Hugh Mosher who is the son of John Moger of Cucklington and Wincanton Somersetshire England.

He had a sister Mary who married his wife's brother John Maxson.

1669 was admitted as a freeman of Portsmouth RI.

In 1680 was the pastor of Tiverton Baptist Church which served Tiverton,Little Compton,and Dartmouth Mass. Deeds show him residing in Dartmouth Mass as late as 1708. (occupation Blacksmith)

He was a member of the court martial held at Newport for the trial of Certain Indians charge with being engaged in King Phillips designs. Several of them were sentenced to be executed.

Hugh MOSHER1 {M} [P1] = Rebecca MAXSON {F} [P2]


Born ca. 1633, Manchester, England

Died ca. 7 Dec 1713, Newport, RI

Research for this history has been limited to American records, but it may be well to comment on what has been said by persons said to have searched English records. Their reports are rather frustrating, for with only one execption, sources of the information are not given, and few dates are found.

The Mosiers are said to have been Huguenots living in northeastern France until the persecution culminating in the Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day in 1572 resulted in their flight to Germany and England. It appears that only one family had gone to England by 1600, and it had settled in Manchester, where it engaged in the weaving and selling of silk. T

he names of Stephen and James Mosier appear in Manchester in 1580, and Ezekiel in 1607 (said to have died in 1640). Samuel and William were in 1614 records.

William made his will 20 September 1620, and it was proved in the District Probate Registry of Chester, Chester Consistory Court, 21 June 1621. He seems to have been a young man, for he mentioned his mother and had only two children, both minors: John, under 21; and Mary, under 17. He named his "brother" Thomas Rode and wife and siblings: Anne Ramney, John (married), Thomas, Steven, and George. He requested that John, Thomas, and Steven "admitt my said wief (Thomasin) to be Joint partner with them in all theire Tradings and Commersings...."

Three of the brothers are said to have had sons named Hugh,

  • Thomas' son Hugh being the Hugh Mosier who sailed from England on the James 12 April 1632 for Boston. This Hugh settled in Maine not later than 1635 and died in Casco Bay befor 26 July 1666, when his eldest son James was named administrator of the estate and James and John Mosier were bonded.
  • Stephen is said to have been the father of a Hugh who was in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1636, followed Roger Williams to Rhode Island, received a large grant of land from him in Westerly 4 August 1674, and died in Newport 1694. Not one of these statements is supported by Rhode Island or Massachusetts records.

A few English records in the middle-seventeenth century indicate that there were Mosiers elsewhere than in Manchester. On 18 January 1639 Mrs. Stephen Mosyer was bequeathed two silver salts in a will by the widow of Philip Hayse of St. Patrick, Exeter (Waters, GENEALOGICAL GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 1185), Mary Mosier died 1653-4 at St. Gregories, London (INDEX TO PREROGATIVE COURT OF CANTERBURY, 257, vi Folio 95). Thomas Mosier of Sepulchres, London, left a will proved June 1654 (ibid., vi Folio 101). On 18 February 1664 Susanna Mosier, 27, spinster, of St. Benet Fink, London, was licensed to marry John Ellys, 25, bachelor, of Bromley, Co. Kent, at St. Benet Fink, St. Thomas the Apostle, or St. Anthony, "now called the French church in London" (Foster, LONDON MARRIAGE LICENCES, 1521-1869, p. 450).

Despite this paucity of records, when in 1830 it was reported that the English government had advertised in the Untied States for heirs of a Sir Hugh Mosher of the British East India Company, who had amassed a fabulous fortune and died (when?) without issue, American and Canadian Moshers sprang into action, held meetings, constructed somtimes faulty lineages, donated money, and sent agents to England to claim their inheritance. Invariably the agents were never heard from, but nevertheless, every two or three decades the process was repeated.

A surprising feature of these "lineages" is that the mother of Hugh Mosher of this book is always said to have been Lydia Maxson, though the father was either Hugh Mosier of Maine or Ezekiel of Rhode Island. Accompanying statements contain so many contradictions and errors that none of the can be taken as fact, but all should be studied carefully for possible truths.

In an article on some descendants of Hugh's son John in HISTORY OF MUSCATINE COUNTY, IOWA, 2:505, the tradition is said to be that Hugh descended from a Sir Hugh. The statements that Hugh lived in Bristol, Rhode Island and that colonial records and Dartmouth, Massachusetts, Friends records contain his marriage to Lydia Maxson or Dixon are erroneous.

Hugh was not a Friend, and the Dartmouth Frends records begin in 1698.

It is commonly said that Hugh Mosier of Casco Bay was the father of Hugh Mosher and Lydia Maxson his mother, but there are no records in Maine identifying Hugh's wife, or any children other than James and John, and no early records of Maxsons in Maine. Hugh Mosier was of an earlier generation than Hugh Mosher, but their having the same Christian name could as easily suggest uncle and nephew relationship as father and son.

Furthermore, their children and grandchildren settled in different areas of New England and New York until the nineteenth century.

The tradition that Ezekiel Mosher and Lydia Maxson were parents of Hugh Mosher is found among descendants of his sons Nocholas and Joseph. Ezekiel's sons John, a bachelor; Daniel, with a family; and Hugh are said to have come to Rhode Island, followed shortly by the parents, Ezekiel soon died, and John and Daniel and family were massacred by Indians in 1636 (not a plausible date), leaving Hugh as sole heir. One account mentions a sister about whom nothing was known. Several accounts say that Ezekiel left an immense fortune in Manchester. Still another is that Hugh's siblings, disapproving his wife, managed to have Hugh's share of the fortune entailed until the youngest member of the third generation was of age, this causing the long delay in settlement of the estate.

The first mention of the three brothers that has come to the attention of the compilers is in the day book of Christopher Mosher (1796-1866) of Albany, New York. He wrote that three Mosher brothers, Hugh, John, and Daniel were the ones who came to America. The next is in the biography of Jonathan Brant Mosher (1808-76) of Chemung county, New York, in HISTORY OF TIOGA, CHEMUNG, TOMPKINS AND SCHUYLER COUNTIES, NEW YORK, 340c, which says that Hugh was one of three brothers but doesn't name the other two. The name of Ezekiel as the father of the three brothers appears in the story of a meeting in the Palmer House in Chicago 12 October 1883, and reported in an undated clipping from the Monmouth, Illinois GAZETTE.

Martin Mosher (1812-1900), son of David of Aurora, New York, told the gathering there that his father had commissioned Millard Fillmore, also of Aurora, to seek Ezekiel's will while on a trip to England, that Fillmore had brought back a copy, then in the Fillmore Papers in Aurora, and that Martin had seen it and could produce it. Perhaps it was later turned over to a Mosher, for in 1979 the three repositories of Fillmore Papers in New York - the Aurora Historical Society, the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, and the State University College in Oswego reported that the will was not in their collections.

That will may have been what Ina Sizer Cassidy, descendant of Martin's great-grandfather Nicholas referred to in a paper she deposited in the American Institute of Genealogy in Chicago, saying that her grandfather John Hurd Covill had records including the advertisement in 1830 for heirs, that she knew where to find all the proof and all the estate, but that "these things we are compelled to keep to ourselves until the time is right to divulge them."

Lydia Maxson as Ezekiel's wife appears in 1891 in the compilation of the descendants of James (3) (Nicholas(2)) who settled in Nova Scotia in 1760.

In 1926 a Mosher woman, mistaken about her own lineage, knew the story of Ezekiel and appealed to the chief of police in Trenton, New Jersey. to locate her aunt and cousin, who were living there. After a search the police succeeded in finding the two living in modest circumstances, and the New York TIMES of 2 May carried an article about the two, who had "learned today" that they were among the heirs of a relative Ezekiel Mosher, who had "recently" died in England leaving a fortune of $132,000,000.

Even today there are still persons living who have contributed to the search for the fortune and who still hope for a share. But Hugh Moshers's "fortune" and his ancestors have both eluded his decendants.

Other elements in the story of Ezekiel, however, are too similar to what has been said and what is known about Hugh to be dismissed lightly.

If his sons John and Daniel and Daniel's family were massacred by the Indians, it was not likely that it was in 1636, when Hugh was only three years old, but perhaps in 1656, when Hugh, too, was grown, and only four years away from the first Mosher record in Rhode Island (Hugh's).

The doubtful story has been told that two of Hugh's sons were killed in King Philip's War. Was it instead his two brothers some time earlier?

Lydia Maxson as Ezekiel's wife fits in Rhode Island records perfectly. Hugh's mother is known to have been living in 1677, and in 1680 Lydia and Rebecca Mosher were members of his church in Tiverton. He is not known to have had a daughter Lydia, and the first daughter-in-law Lydia was then about fourteen years in the future. In early colonial days it was common for first cousins to marry, and if Lydia Maxson was a sister of Richard Maxson of Portsmouth, whose widow Rebecca married John Harndell of Newport, here were two marriages of first cousins: Lydia's daughter Mary and son Hugh to Richard's son John and Rebecca.

The record may yet be found that reveals Hugh's parentage.

He died in 1694 in Portsmouth,

Newport, RI. He has reference number 5026/5034

Rebecca MAXSON:

Born Portsmouth, RI

Died between 29 Dec. 170



James MOSHER {M} [P54]

Rebecca MOSHER {F} [P42] = John KIRBY {M} [P43] > Family [F15]

Rebecca MOSHER:

Born ca. 1677

Died after 28 Apr 1746


Born March 1672

Died 1927

Daniel MOSHER {M} [P41] = Mary ? {F} [P55] > Family [F16]

Daniel MOSHER:

Died 1751, Dartmouth

Mary MOSHER {F} [P26] = Joseph RATHBUN {M} [P27] > Family [F13]

Married Saturday 19 May 1691, New Shoreham, RI

Joseph MOSHER {M} [P25]

John MOSHER {M} [P24]

Nicholas MOSHER {M} [P23]

Born ca. 1666, RI

Ann MOSHER {F} [P18] = Peter LEE {M} [P19] > Family [F11]

Married before 30 Jan 1693, Dartmouth, MA


Died after 1721

Hannah MOSHER {F} [P8] = Stephen CORNELL {M} [P9] > Family [F8]

Married Tuesday 21 June 1707

Hannah MOSHER:

Died 23 Jan 1716/17


Hugh was born about 1633, according to his testimony on 4 Mar 1662/3, when he said that he was "aged thirty or thereabouts"; and died in Newport RI befor 7 Dec. 1713 when his will was probated in Bristol County MA.

He married Rebecca Maxson, daughter of Richard and Rebecca Maxson of Portsmouth RI; died between 29 Dec. 1707 and 25 Feb 1707/08. She is frequently identified erroneously as a daughter of John Harndell of Newport, probably because of some unfortunate ommissions in the abstract of his will in Austin, Genealogical Dictionary of RI. It is dated 9 Feb 1685 and proved in 1687. The original, in the library of the Newport Historical Society, in Book 5, pp. 131-2, names daughter Mary Stanton, her husband John, and their children, who received the land and buildings. It also names "daughter-in-law Rebeckah Mosure, wife of Hugh Mosure of Portsmouth," to whom he gave only a good ewe sheep; and "son-in-law John Maxson" to whom he also gave a ewe. Austin omitted the words "in-law" before Rebeckah, and also all mention of John Maxson. "In-law" usually meant step at that time and it certainly does this time, for the wife of a son would have borne the name Harndell. The name of the stepson identifies her maiden name as Maxson.


1 : ; Page 146; Primary evidence

The Harrison County Genealogical Society and The Harrison County Historical Society. Harrison County 1784 Heritage

1995. 146.


HUGH MOSHER (Nicholas2, John MOGER1). Born bef 1633 in England. Hugh died in Newport, Newport Co., RI, bef 7 Dec 1713; he was 80. In 1665 when Hugh was 32, he first married Rebecca MAXSON, daughter of Richard MAXSON & Rebecca ?, in RI. Born in Dartmouth, Bristol Co., MA. Rebecca died aft 27 Dec 1707 in RI. They had the following children:

i.  Hannah (->1716) 
ii.  Ann (->1721) 
iii.  NICHOLAS (ca1666-1747) 
iv.  John (ca1668-1739) 
v.  Joseph (ca1670-<1754) 
vi.  Mary (>1670-<1748) 
vii.  Daniel (-1751) 
viii.  Rebecca (ca1677->1746) 
ix.  James (1675-ca1768) 

Bef 25 Feb 1708/1709 when Hugh was 75, he second married Sarah BUTCHER. Sarah died in Jun 1716 in Newport Co., RI.


Hugh was born ca 1633 according to his testimony on March 4, 1662/3 when he said that he was "aged thirty or thereabouts." Evidence is convincing that he was a son of Nicholas, son of John Moger of Cucklington and Wincanton, Somersetshire, England. He had a sister, Mary, who married his wife's brother John Maxson, according to many genealogists, none of whom cites the proof. If that is correct, Hugh's mother was living with the Maxsons on October 24, 1677, when John Maxson was excused from jury duty because both his wife and his mother-in-law were ill. The mother-in-law in this instance had to be his wife's mother, rather than his stepmother because he had a stepfather, John Harndell. This mother-in-law may have been the Lydia Mosher whose name precedes Rebecca Mosher (wife of Hugh) in the membership list of the Tiverton Baptist church in 1680 for no other Lydia Mosher appears in the family until about 1695.

Hugh first appears in the Rhode Island records on June 29, 1660 when he and five others of Newport, bought certain land at Misquamicut (Westerly), of the Indian sachem Socho, which had been given the latter by Canonicus and Miantonomi, for driving off the Pequots in 1637. Hugh probably lived for a time in Westerly, but in 1664 he was admitted freeman of Portsmouth. Town records show him there as early as 1668, and in 1670, 1673, 1676 and 1677.

In 1665, Hugh married Rebecca Maxson, daughter of Richard & Rebecca (____) Maxson. Rebecca was born in Dartmouth, Massachusetts and died between December 29, 1707 and February 25, 1707/8. Hugh married secondly, Sarah Butcher, widow of Rev. John Harding. There were no children by this marriage.

In 1684 at Dartmouth, Hugh was ordained as pastor of the First Baptist Church at its organization. This church soon embraced people living in Dartmouth, and the Rhode Island communities of Tiverton and Little Compton.

A Portsmouth court record of July 8, 1668 indicates that Hugh, having purchased of Thomas Lawton part of his farm near Hunting Swamp, obliges himself and heirs to maintain a good fence in the line between himself and Thomas Lawton. On August 24, 1676 he was a member of the Court Martial, held at Newport for the trial of certain Indians charges with being engaged in King Phillip's designs. Several of them were sentenced to be executed. In 1680 Hugh was taxed £1, 4s., 1d. On November 7, 1691 he sold to Joseph Braman for 36s. "half my share belonging to purchasers of Westquadnoid. (The deed was witnessed by Rebecca Mosher and John Mosher.)

John Harndell's will placed him in Portsmouth in 1685. Before April 16, 1690 he had moved to Dartmouth, for on that day John Walley of Bristol Co. wrote to Thomas Hinckley, governor of Plymouth Colony, "he is a substantial manÉwhatsoever Mosier doth, he doth publicly, and makes account he can in law answer anything he hath said or done." Deeds show him a resident of Dartmouth as late as 1708, one in 1707 giving his occupation as blacksmith. A deed of Dartmouth land on March 1, 1709 gives Newport as his residence.

Hugh made his will at Dartmouth on October 12, 1709, and it was proved in Bristol Co. Massachusetts on December 7, 1713. The executors were his son James and friend Daniel Sabeere of Newport. Overseers, friend and kinsman, Jeremiah Clarke, and Captain John Stanton, of Newport. To son James, all land in Newport, with house, etc., there, and house and land in Dartmouth, and land in Squamicut (Westerly), Westquadnoid, etc. To grandson Hugh, son of Nicholas, 100 acres and to other grandsons of surname Mosher, 50 acres each. To wife, Sarah, all movables I had with her at marriage. To son James, ret of land. To each grandchild not of my name, 10s. To sons John, Nicholas, Joseph and Daniel, 12d. each. To each daughter, 10s. or 20s., as estate holds out. (He calls himself of Newport, at the time of making his will, but before his death had removed to Dartmouth.) His inventory totaled £290, 17s., 2d., and included purse and wearing apparel, bonds, bible and other books, dwelling-house and land, horse, 2 cows, 3 swine, carpenter's tools, pewter, silver plate, warming pan, estate brought him by wife, etc. His widow Sarah died in June 1716 at Newport, Rhode Island.

   Came to Boston in 1636 to seek religious freedom.  He was part of the puritan movement,and a close friend of Pastor Roger Williams.  He went with Williams to Salem, Mass., and when Williams was banished he went with him to what is now Rhode Island.  Williams bought the property that is now Rhode Islanf from the indians and is credited with founding Rhode Island.  Hugh Mosher was there with him and suffered deprivation with Williams.  Williams rewarded his loyalty with a large property grant R.I.
   Rev. Williams is credited with starting the First Baptist Church.

A member of the court martial for the trials of Indians engaged in King Philip's plot


Note: Many of Hugh Mosher Senior's records are confused with his son, Hugh Mosher Jr.

From: Genealogical and Family History of the State of Maine, pa. 911-912

"Hugh Mosher, immigrant, was born in England and came in the ship "Jane" (should read "James" ) to Boston, Massachusetts Bay colony, sailing from Falmouth and making the passage to Boston, where the ship arrived June 12, 1632, in eight weeks. He was apparently a mere lad at the time, and no doubt was bound out in some family. He removed to Providence Plantation in 1660 and resided in Newport. he engaged with william Vaughn and nine others in purchasing the Indian Plantation, Mesquamicutt or Askomicutt. Westerly, Rhode Island, joining in the petition sent to the court of commissioners assembled in his Majestes name for the colony of Providence Plantation of Portsmouth, August 27, 1661, which petition secured the right to purchase the land from the Sachem Socho, who had received it as a gift from Canonicus and Miantomi for driving off the Pequots. ... He had a share of the purchase at Westerly appointed to him September 9, 1661, but he probably never lived on the land. On July 8, 1668 he lived in Portsmouth having purchased at that date a part of the farm of Thomas Lawton, near Hunting Swamp, he obliging himself and his heirs to maintain a good fence between his land and that of Thomas Lawton adjoining. he was accepted as a freeman of the colony of Providence Plantation, May 4, 1662.

On August 24, 1676, he was a member of the court martial held in Newport, before which body Indians charged with being engaged in the King Philip's war were tried and several were by order of the court sentenced to be executed. In 1680 he paid taxes amounting to 1 pound 4 shillings 1d. In 1684 he was ordained as pastor of the first church (Baptist) at it's organization in Newport, and the church soon embraced the people living in Dartmouth, Tiverton and Little Compton. A deed was given by him to Joseph Braman for half his share belonging to purchasers of Westquadnoid, the consideration being thirty-six shillings and the date was November 7, 1691, and was witnessed by Rebecca Mosher and John Mosher. His will was made October 12, 1709, and proved December 7, 1713, and his son James and friend, Daniel Sabeere, of Newport, were executors, and the overseers were his friend and kinsman, Jermiah Clark and Captain John Stanton, of Newport. He gave to his son James all land in Newport, with house, etc. there, and house and land at Dartmouth and land in Squamicut (Westerly), Westquadnoid, etc. To grandson Hugh, son of Nicholas, one hundred acres, and to other grandsons of surnames Mosher fifty acres each. To wife Sarah all movables I had with her at marriage to, to son James remainder of land. To each grandchild not of his name ten shillings. To sons John, Nicholas, Joseph and Daniel twelve pence each. To each daughter ten shillings or twenty shillings as estate held out. He calls himself as of Newport at the time of his death he removed to Dartmouth, Massachusetts, where he died in 1713. His estate was inventoried at 290 pounds, 17 shillings, 2d.

From Chronological History: The Mosher Family

"Ezekiel Mosher lived in Manchester, England, according to the records, in the 17th century. Hugh Mosher, his sons, came to Rhode Island with Lydia Maxon, his wife, in the 17th century; also, Daniel and family, and John, a bachelor, sons of above Ezekiel. Daniel and Family and John were massacred by Indians. The old man Ezekiel came out to Rhode Island soon after his sons, and died, leaving Hugh his only heir. Hugh having one daughter and five sons"

There is lots of confusion on the two Hugh's. The above history lists Rebecca, John, James, Nicholas, Joseph, Daniel, and Hugh as children. He also shows the Hugh who married Lydia Maxin died in 1713. Other records show it was the Hugh who married Rebecca Harndel who died in 1713.

Hugh was an original owner of Westerly, RI.

view all 51

Hugh Mosher's Timeline

March 3, 1609
Cucklington, Somerset, England, United Kingdom
June 12, 1632
Newport, Newport, Rhode Island, USA
June 12, 1632
Arrived in Boston, MA.
Left England In the "Jane".
Westerly, W, Rhode Island, USA
Age 22
Age 25
Rhode Island, USA
Age 33
Probably Dartmouth, Plymouth Colony
August 16, 1668
Age 36
Dartmouth, Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States