William Moulton, II

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William Moulton, II

Also Known As: "Little William"
Birthplace: Hampton, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States
Death: July 24, 1723 (59)
Newburyport, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
Place of Burial: Newburyport, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of William Moulton and Margaret Sanborn
Husband of Abigail Moulton and Sarah Moulton
Father of Joseph Moulton; Abigail Bartlett; Batt Moulton; William Moulton; Jonathan Moulton, Sr. and 6 others
Brother of Joseph Moulton; Benjamin Moulton; Hannah Sanborn; Sarah Haynes; Ruth Sanborne and 1 other
Half brother of Capt. Jonathan Sanborn

Occupation: Weaver, Inn-holder, Merchant, Silversmith, Fullers Earth and Quicklime Maker and Tanner, Blacksmith & Whitesmith, weaver, inn holder, trader and merchant.
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About William Moulton, II

the second William Moulton

  • Birth: 25 MAY 1664
  • Married: 1) Abigail Webster 2) Sarah
  • Death: 1723 in Newburyport, Essex, Massachusetts
  • founder of the Moulton family of silversmiths; example Colonial shoe or silver knee buckle (artist unknown). "Mr. Towle informed the writer that many a time when he worked with the Moultons the old silver knee buckles made by their ancestors had been brought to their store for sale. They were relics of a vanished age ; the fashion of wearing them had passed away, and they were bought as old silver and melted up. Had they been spared till now, they would have brought their weight in gold, for the work of the ancient Moulton silversmiths is in great demand now, as a souvenir of colonial times." (Moulton Annals)

from Wikipedia

Although Towle Silversmiths was not founded until 1857 (as Towle & Jones) and then 1873 (as A.F. Towle & Son); its progenitors included several members of the Moulton family, whose silversmiths dynasty is claimed to have the longest continuous span of silversmithing of any American family. From father to son, this family produced silversmiths for two hundred years.
In 1637, William Moulton (1615-1664) came together with his two brothers John and Thomas from Ormesby, Norfolk, England, and settled on Winnacunnet Road in Hampton, New Hampshire.

In 1664 his son William Moulton II (1664-1732) was born. In 1682 at the age of 18, William Moulton II left the family farm in Hampton and settled near the Merrimack River in a section of Newbury, Massachusetts that would later become Newburyport. By some accounts, he was the first in six generations of silversmiths. While he did buy and sell silver goods, he was basically a general trader.


William and Abigail had nine children:

  • 1) Abigail - born June 13, 1686 Newbury, married Samuel Bartlett of Newbury
  • 2) Batt - born July 4, 1688, married 1st Hannah Sibly/Sible of Salem December 4, 1712 Newbury, 2nd Jemina George of Amesbury May 29, 1730, he died 1750
  • 3) William - born 1690, 1st married Sarah____,2nd Ruth Emery April 24, 1716 Newbury, he died 1762
  • 4) Jonathan - born September 7, 1692, married Rebecca Chase December 5, 1716, he died January 26, 1717
  • 5) Joseph - born November 25, 1694 Newbury, married Mary Noyes July 25, 1717
  • 6) Stephen - born February 14, 1697/8, married Rebecca Chase December 14, 1721, moved to Rehoboth, MA
  • 7) Margaret - born February 21, 1698/9, she died September 25, 1701
  • 8) Sarah - born July 4, 1701, married Ezekiel Moulton of Hampton July 4, 1727, she died August 7, 1783
  • 9) Mary - born August 2, 1705, married _______ Morse


II) William (2), son of William (i) Moulton, was born May 25, 1664, died in 1732. His will was dated October 12, 1732, and proved October 30, 1732. He owned land in Amesbury and Salisbury, MA, and his estate was valued at one thousand four hundred and thirty-three pounds, seven shillings. In various deeds on record he was called a weaver, inn holder, trader and merchant. He was the first of the famous Moulton silversmiths. The "Towle Manufacturing Company," one of the finest silverware manufactories in the world, has grown up from his small shop. Mr. Towle learned the trade from William's son Joseph, and his son William took the business after his death. William Moulton lived at Newbury and here began the manufacture of silver shoe buckles and some silver spoons.

In the church records the following entry is found : "Dinah, Indian, Servant to William Moulton, joined 1698." He married (first) May 27, 1685, Abigail, daughter of John Webster Jr., son of John Webster, of Ipswich. John Webster Jr. was the ancestor of the famous Daniel Webster, and Abigail Webster was a cousin of Hannah Dustin, who was held in captivity by the Indians. Abigail Moulton died July 24, 1723. He married (second) Sarah , who survived him.

The primitive Colonial silversmith of New England was William Moulton 2 , whose first silver shoe buckles appeared
about 1690, and his son Joseph Moulton was the first goldsmith of New England whose successors have continued the business down to the present time. This enterprising father and son were forerunners of the great army of craftsmen, who, two centuries later, offer magnificent products in the precious metals, turning out an infinite variety of spoons, cutlery, hol- low-ware and jewelry, in all the splendor of the modern art.

Yea, more. Out of a rude "Black-smith & White-smith shop" of about 1690 has grown through eight generations, in the direct line, one of the most superb solid silver-ware fac- tories in the world. The stately and extensive works of the "Towle Manufacturing Company," located in Newburyport, business. We, therefore, claim this large and successful manu- factory as the legitimate successor of "Little William," who founded the Moulton family and the silver and goldsmiths business in Newbury, away back in the far past, when the Indian still sped over its waters in his light canoe. I cannot forbear to sketch this ancestor, whose courage and enterprise were conspicuous in days when life was made up of a continual battle with a dreary climate, a barren land in a wilderness of savage beasts and savage men, environed by poverty! Yet cheerful and brave was this first silversmith born in America.


William MOULTON. Born 25 MAY 1664. He married (1) 27 MAY 1685 to Abigail WEBSTER, daughter of John WEBSTER, Jr. of Ipswich, Massachusetts. She died 24 JUL 1723. He married (2) Sarah. He owned land in Amesbury and Salisbury. He is called in various records, Weaver, Inn Holder, Trader, Merchant. He had a shop Near Moulton Hill in Newbury, and he made silver buckles and ornaments. His will was dated 12 OCT 1732, and was proved on 30 OCT 1732.


  1. Moulton Annals. By Henry William Moulton, Claribel Moulton. Published by Edward A. Claypool, 1906. Page 257, 259
  2. Some Descendants of John Moulton and William Moulton of Hampton, N. H., 1592-1892. Compiled by Augustus F. Moulton. Reprinted by Higginson Book Co., Derby Square, Salem, Mass. 01970.

WILLIAM MOULTON JR. (1664–1732) was born on May 25, 1664 in Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshire, and married Abigail Webster on May 27, 1685. There may have been a second marriage to Sarah Clark in 1728. He died in October of 1732 in Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts.

William Moulton, married Abigail Webster on May 27, 1685. She died July 24, 1723. He was a young man of energy and returned to Moulton Hill (as it was called) in Newbury in 1683. He was a weaver, inn holder, trader and merchant. He built a house at the foot of the hill for him and his family and opened a "Blacksmith & Whitesmith" shop, making silver buckles and ornaments. On a corner timber of the house was the Moulton Coat of Arms. His home was occupied by seven generations of Moulton's for two hundred years. See Moulton Silver.


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William Moulton, II's Timeline

May 25, 1664
Hampton, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States
June 13, 1688
Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts
July 4, 1688
Newbury, Essex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
March 8, 1690
Newbury, Essex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
September 7, 1692
Newbury, , Essex, Massachusetts, USA,
November 25, 1694
Newbury, Essex County, Province of Massachusetts
February 14, 1697
Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts
February 21, 1698
Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts
July 4, 1701
Newbury, Essex County, Massachusetts, Colonial America