Ezra S Stearns.

Genealogical and family history of the state of New Hampshire : a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation (Volume 4) online

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from apprenticeship and conveying, under the



feudal plan bj- which all of the Gorges lands were
to be granted, a tract of one hundred acres of land
on Sagamore creek. In 1660 these acres were in-
creased to one hundred and eighty-three by a dis-
tribution of lands to "all such as were reported in-
habitants and free comyuers unto the year 1657."

In 1679 one-half of the "plantation farm or tene-
ment," as the instrument runs, was set off to Aaron,
John Moses' son. and it is noteworthy that the
original farm has for more than two hundred and
sixty-one years remained in the possession of the
first grantee's direct descendants and until recent
years has been held as well in the Moses name.
The farm lies on the south bank of Sagamore creek,
in Portsmouth, within sight of Sagamore bridge,
jet entirely secluded. On the crest of its slope
stands the homestead, the third structure erected on
the original foundation, and built about the middle
of the eighteenth century by one Nadab Moses, a
great-great-grandson of the first of his name in New
Hampshire. Near the house stands an old well, dug
no doubt by the first settler, and shading the low
roof is a quaint oak which as a sapling was probably
a companion of the pioneer's days. Within the
house are treasured the documentary links which
hind the present occupants to the soil chosen by
their ancestor, all the wills and deeds and the origi-
nal certificate of the first survey of the farm being

John Moses was not a great figure in his time,
but he bore a respectable part in the affairs of the
infant colony. From some source he secured the
title of sergeant ; presumably he was sent over as a
soldier by Sir Ferdinand Gorges, and in the church
records he is set down as having been allotted a
prominent seat in the first meeting house, under the
veritable drippings of the sanctuary, indeed, having
the first of the three seats "under the pulpit." To
his son "Aron Moses," was assigned a seat "in the
mens gallery fronting the pulpit." In 1658 the name
of John Moses is found leading a subscription for
the support of the minister, his contribution being
one pound.

He was twice married, but of his first wife no
trace is found.' His second spouse was Ann Jones,
widow, who appears in the early records (1661) as
executrix of her first husband's estate. To John
Moses his first wife bore one child, Aaron, who suc-
ceeded to his father's lands and made written agree-
ment with his father to pay five pounds to his sister
Sarah upon her marriage, doubtless as her portion.
She was the child of the second marriage.

(II) The date of Aaron Moses' birth is not to
be found. He married, in 1677, Ruth or Mary,
daughter of Henry Sherburne, and he died in June.
1713. He was a man of some note, holding several
offices of importance in the community. He was a
lieutenant in Captain Tobias Langdon's company,
and as such was summoned by Governor Usher to
sit on a court martial which convened at Nevv^ Cas-
tle. September 29, i6g6. His was a family suited to
a growing colony, numbering four sons and an equal
number of daughters: James, Joseph, Josiah, Mark,
Martha, Hannah, Abigail and Sarah. (Mention of
Mark and descendants forms part of this article).

(III) Of the four sons of Aaron Moses, the
eldest, James, clung closest to the old home. There
he -was born, lived and died, purchasing from his
iDrothers and sisters all their interest in the property.
He w^orked as a farmer and a cordwainer. married,
joined the church, and begat seven children. His
brother, Joseph, became a house-carpenter and was a
quaint character in early Portsmouth, one of the
•iirst of the "odd sticks" which have adorned so

many family stories there and won undying literary
fame from the loving fun of Thomas Bailey Aldrich.
The third son, Josiah, followed a tanner's trade, and
was in 1736 a constable. November 12, 1719, he
married a wife of whom no more is known than
that her name was Abigail Nelson and that she bore
him two sons, George and Daniel. The youngest
son of Aaron was Mark, farmer and cordwainer,
who married Martha Williams, October 29, 1794,
and had seven children. He moved from Ports-
mouth to Epsom and from there sent forth de-
scendants who now make up the chief portion of the
Moses family in central New Hampshire, and of
whom more hereafter.

(IV) The eldest son of Josiah Moses was
George, who was baptized at Portsmouth, July 5,
1722, when as was the custom then he w-as- probably
but a few days old. He, too, was a cordwainer, and
is so set down in a deed which shows him to have
been joint owner with his father and mother of two
small lots of land on Islington street, in Portsmouth,
which were mortgaged and redeemed, one of them
finally falling to the sole and unencumbered owner-
ship of George. He married and in October, 1754,
with his wife, Frances, is found conveying the title
to the Islington street property. In the deed he is
described as of Scarborough. York county, Massa-
chusetts, whither he had removed earlier in the same
year, and this deed was the severance of all his ma-
terial ties with New Hampshire. In Scarborough
he settled upon a farm in Scotlow's Hill, a promi-
nent headland used as a landmark in early surveys
and by mariners, and became the progenitor of the
sturdy branch of the Moses family in Maine, whose
members have had no inconspicuous share in the
work of carrying forward the name and fame of the
Pine Tree State. His children were numerous,
eight living to marry and rear families for them-

(V) Of these the eldest was George, who was
born in Portsmouth, and baptized there March 22,
1747. As a lad he went with his father to Scar-
borough and there, August 27, 1772, he married
Anna Harmon. He served as a private in the
Revolutionary war, having two enlistments and
tours of service. July iS. 1775. he enlisted in Cap-
tain Knight's company and served in the defence of
Falmouth. He enlisted again in 1779, in Captain
Benjamin Larrabee's company, in Colonel Mitchell's
regiment, marching in Juh- of that year on the Pe-
nobscot expedition, which returned two months later,
and he was discharged September 12, 1779. To him
were born seven children, of whom two sons, Will-
iam and John, came to manhood.

(VI) William Moses was the eldest of the sec-
ond George's family. He was born December 29,
1772, and died September 29, 1829. He lived as a
young man at Scarborough and at Buxton, in Maine,
and in 1822 removed to Eaton, in Carroll county,
New Hampshire. January 31, 1796, at Scarborough,
he had married Anne Milliken, who gave him nine
children, all of whom were born in Maine and wnth
one exception lived to an extreme age, most of them
evidently deeming it to die disgraced at less than

(VII) William's oldest child was Cyrus, who
was born at Scarborough, September 2. 1796. He
was a farmer and also followed his father in the
trades of tanner and shoemaker. As such he labored
at Eaton, where his father died, and where he is
recorded as administrator of the estate. He mar-
ried. March 20, 1819, Eunice Underwood, from a
family founded, according to tradition, by English
refugees from a family of consequence in the mother

1 868


country, who fled from British jurisdiction during
the early days of the Revokition because of irrecon-
cilable differences with the government as to policies
relating to the revolting colonies. They lived at
Eaton and at Freedom, in New Hampshire, and at
Parsonsficld, Saco, and Standish. in Maine. At
Standish he became possessed of an extensive farm,
where he and his wife both ended their days, and
where their youngest child now lives. Their family
numbered six sons and three daughters.

(VIII) The sixth child and fourth son of Cyrus
and Eunice Moses was Thomas Gannett Moses, who
was born in Eaton, New Hampshire, March 7. 1829.
His grandfather died a few months later than this
date, and his father removed to Maine not long
afterward. His boyhood was spent upon the farm,
with limited opportunity for education until the
family took residence in Saco, where young Thomas
made good use oi the advantages of the academy
♦here and js remembered by his fellows as a diligent
ind brilliant student, quick to assimilate knowledge
and securing far more from the limited sources of
the old-time academy than most of his mates. He
worked for a time at his father's trade of shoe-
maker and was also for a short period a carpenter.
But as a young man he went into trade and re-
mained in mercantile pursuits until about his thir-
tieth year, when he embraced religion, and such
were his intellectual gifts that it was at once pre-
dicted of him that he would become a preacher.

Setting himself to prepare for the ministry, he
turned again to his books with new zeal and pur-
pose and placed himself, as was the custom of the
time, under the tuition of the clergyman of the com-
munity for instruction in theology. In December,
1862, he was licensed to preach by the York and
Cumberland Christian Conference, and from that
time till now has been borne on the rolls of the
ministry of the Christian Convention, a sect once
numerous in New England, but now chiefly in-
fluential in the Middle West, where their churches
and colleges are leaders in religious and intellectual
life. The repute of the young licentiate had spread
through the counties in Maine where his conference
had jurisdiction and more than one pulpit was ready
to receive him. He was formally ordained, June
15, 1863, at Kittery, Maine, where he had his first
pastorate, which lasted till 1866. when he was called
from the extreme west to the extreme east of
Maine, and became pastor of the Christian Church
at Lubec. in Washington county. Here he remained
for six years, relinquishing his charge to accept the
pastorate of the North Church at Eastport, Maine.
Here he entered upon a most fruitful pastorate of
nearly twelve years' duration, during which his
parish became enlarged in numbers, with material
additions to its ecclesiastic plant, while the congre-
gations who flocked to hear the preacher were limited
only by the size of the church edifice.

In 1883 Mr. Moses accepted a call to the pastor-
ate of the Christian Church at Franklin, New Hamp-
shire, and remained tli.ere for more than ten years.
During all this time he served as secretary to the
New England Christian Convention, in which are
affiliated all the denominational activities of the
Christian connection in the territory designated by
its name, and his zeal and efficiency in that position
of executive responsibility so impressed his col-
leagues that, after repeated urgings, he resigned his
pastorate to become New England missionary for
his church, the funds of the denomination having
so increased during his incumbency of the secre-
tary's office that it had becorpe possible to establish
a permanent salaried field agent.

His resignation was regretfully accepted by his-
Franklin congregation, and Mr. Moses took up his
new duties. He found a peculiar situation con-
fronting him. His church had once held a place of
commanding influence in the religious life of many
a New England community and in many such places,
during its time of potency, the Christian Church had.
erected a fine church structure and had often pro-
vided itself with a parsonage. The sect had arisen
as a means to express religious liberty in respect to-
written creeds, and in many places had done a noble
work in freeing the elders ecclesiastical orders from
intolerant restraint. With the more general religious
freedom, not only in thought but in action, which,
has characterized the last quarter century, the
Christian Church necessarily found itself brought
into wide competition with other beliefs and in many
places its spacious meeting-houses sheltered a beg-
garly congregation, in point of numbers. As New
England missionary Mr. Moses deemed it better de-
nominational policy and wiser religious strategy to>
reclaim these decadent parishes than to attempt to
start new ones, while the, economic point of view was
plain in the attempt to save to the church in their
efficiency the parochial plants which a former gener-
ation had provided. To this task, unique as it then
was among church activities, Air. Moses gave him-
self ardently, and took up his residence at Skow-
hegan, Maine, where conditions presented themselves-
in such wise as to^ sum up the extreme of the prob-
lem he had set himself to solve.

For more than two years he remained in this
field, seeking to build up a parish to receive and.
maintain once more a permanent pastor. But more
than thirty years in the active work of some of the
largest parishes which his denomination could offer,
together with prolonged labor in the evangelical-
field, had drained the preacher's powers lower than
he thought, and it became necessary for him to seek
a less exacting field of activity. Accordingly, he
accepted a call to the pulpit of the Christian Church
at York, Maine, and from 1895 to 1900 ministered
to that people most acceptably. In the latter year
the parish to which he had given the strength of his-
younger manhood sought once more his guidance.
Family ties also drew him back to the former field
and he took up a vacant pastorate at Westport,.
which lasted until 1904, when his retirement from,
the active ministry became imperative through fail-
ing strength.

He now lives in retirement at Eastport, Maine,
the guide, counselor and friend of the community, tc
whom his fruitful years are filled with the odor of
blessing. His has been a rich and fruitful life.
Blessed with rare natural powers, Mr. IMoses has
had remarkable success as a preacher and an evange-
list, and many are those whom he has led to a better
life. The evening of his life is quiet and content,
and the leveling shadows of his sunset years are il-
lumined and cheered by the affectionate solicitude-
of his children and those amid whom his life has-
been spent in blessing.

He married, December i. 1850, Ruth Sprague
Smith, at Standish, Maine. She died in 1878 and
he married. June 6, 1880, Florence Delia Higgins, at
Westport, Maine. A daughter and five sons were
born to him by his first wife: Luclla Adelaide.
Frank Elbridge. Charles Thomas, William Herbert,
John Winfield, George Higgins. By his second wife
he had one son, Cyrus Arthur, who died in infanc}^
The other children are all living, except Luella Ade-
laide, who married Andrew T. Capen_, and died in.:
Palatka, Florida, in January, 1892.

(IX) George Higgins, youngest child of Thomas





Gannett and Ruth (Sprague) Moses, was born at
Lubec, Washington county, Maine, February 9, 1869.
When his father took a new pastorate in Franklin,
New Hampshire, the boy entered the public schools
at that place, and graduated from Franklin high
school in the class of 1885. Two years at the Phil-
lips Exeter Academy followed, and in 1887 he grad-
uated with high rank as a scholar. In the fall of
the same year he entered the sophomore class in
Dartmouth College without conditions, and received
the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1890, being elected
class day orator by his associates. In 1893 he was
made Master of Arts. In 1889 he was appointed
private secretary to David H. Goodell, governor of
New Hampshire, and served in that capacity during
the term of the legislature of that year, which was
the last summer session of the general court. In
1890, upon graduation, he became manager of the
N^ezu Hampshire Republican, and also served as
private secretary to the chairman of the Republican
state committee during the campaign of 1890. In
the fall of the latter year he joined the staff of the
Concord Evening Monitor and Independent States-
man, and was soon promoted to the position of
news editor, and in 1892 to managing editor, which
place he still holds. In 189S, upon the organiza-
tion of the Monitor and Statesman Company, he
became its president. In that same year he helped
to organize the Rumford Printing Company, and
was elected its treasurer. In 1893, when the law
was passed establishing a forestry commission, he
w-as appointed a member of the board and was made
its secretary, serving by successive appointments
until January, 1907, when he resigned. In 1905,
during the session of the Russo-Japanese peace con-
ference at Portsmouth, he acted as secretary to the
governor of New Hampshire, who was the official
host of the plenipotentiaries. In 1902 he was elected
member of the board of education for Union school
district, and was again elected in 1906, being still a
member of the board. A glance ..at what is above
written will show that George H. Moses is in the
front rank of New Hampshire men who do things.
While yet a boy his native ability and integrity at-
tracted attention and won him friends who helped
him to positions where he could be useful and re-
ceive proper compensation for his services. Leav-
ing college equipped to fill a place in the newspaper
field, he had no difficulty in finding employment and
efficient work brought rapid promotion, so that to-
day, while still a young man, he is ranked among
the foremost leaders in journalism in New Hamp-

His official life has shown that a pleasing per-
sonality and a faithful discharge of the duties of
office are recognized by an approving public. As a
citizen Mr. Moses has always supported with tongue
and pen those measures which benefited his fellow
citizens. His labors so far enumerated would prove
his life to have been a busy one ; but he Has done
much literary work not yet mentioned. In addition
to his newspaper writing he has contributed fre-
quently to magazines and other columns, and is the
author of "John Stark." published in 1891, and
"New Hampshire Men." published in 1893. In 1894
he had editorial supervision of the Granite Monthly^
and wrote one sketch for each issue of the maga-
zine; during this period the publication had its
largest success. Nor is this the limit of his activity.
He has been a frequent speaker on forestry and
other topics at farmers' institutes, grange meetings,
and meetings of scientific associations, including the
American Forestry Association and the American
Association for the Advancement of Science, numer-

ous clubs, boards of trade, etc. He has also been a
contributor to the arguments of the stump and be-
fore legislative committees. He belongs to no secret
orders except the Grange and college fraternities.
He attends the South Congregational Church.

George Higgins Moses married, October 3. 1893,
at Franklin, New Hampshire, Florence Abby Gor-
don, who was born May 11, 1870, daughter of Hiram
S. and Elberta C. (Martin) Gordon. They have
one child, Gordon, born October 5, 1900.

(III) Mark, fourth son of Aaron and Ruth or
Mary Moses, was probably born in Portsmouth.
He was a cordwaincr and also a farmer, and re-
sided first in Portsmouth, later in Greenland, and
settled in Epsom. New Hampshire, about the year
1760. His residence was about a half mile north-
east of the present railroad station. He was mar-
ried (first), October 29, 1724, to Martha Williams,
and their children recorded at Portsmouth in the
church and family records were: Elizabeth, Samuel,
Aaron, William., Sylvanus and James. (The last
named and descendants are noticed in this article).
The seventh child, Jennie, was baptized in the Ep-
som Congregational Church, December 18, 1763. at
which time she was probably an adult as the record
shows that she owned the covenant in the church at
that time. He married (second) Jane Wallace.

(IV) Aaron, second son and child of Mark and
Martha (Williams) Moses, was born in 1742, prob-
ably in Greenland, and died March 20, 1816, in
Greenland. He was married about 1765 to Dorothy
Sanborn, who died at Gilmanton, New Hampshire,
June, 1820. aged seventy-five. Their children were :
William, George, Abrathor, Aaron, and probably a
daughter Susan.

(V) Abrathor, third son of Aaron and Dorothy
(Sanborn) Moses, had sons John, William, and
Sanborn, and a daughter Olive.

(VI) William, son of Abrathor Moses, was
born in 1808, and for many years had a transporta-
tion line between Kensington and Boston, between
which points he hauled a great deal of merchandise.
He married Abigail Darling, born October 5, 1806.
They had children : Stephen T., Thaddeus S., Lydia
Almira and Robert T. He died February 14, 1875,
at the age of sixty-seven years. His wife died De-
cember 14, 1861, aged fifty-five years.

(VII) Thaddeus S., son of "William and Abigail
Darling (Keniston) Moses, was born at Campton,
New Hampshire. January 28, 1835, and was educated
in the common schools of Plymouth and the acad-
emy at Laconia. When a young man he learned the
trade of tinsmith at Plymouth. In i860 he removed
to Meredith, where he bought out a business which
he carried on for forty years. He was a prosperous
citizen, had the confidence of his fellow townsmen,
and in politics was a Democrat. He was one of
the selectmen, was town treasurer for ten years.
was representative from Meredith one term, in 1S8S
was elected state senator from his district, was a
delegate to the constitutional convention, and a mem-
ber of the building committee which had charge of
the construction of the court house of Belknap
county. In his religious faith he was a Baptist, and
for many years he was a deacon in the church at
Meredith. Mr. Moses married, February 22, 1862,
Emily S. Currier, daughter of Aaron and Anna
(Hoag) Currier, who was born November 26. 1840.
Of this marriage there were four children: William
H., Geneva A., now wife of Dr. Hawkins, of IMere-
dith; Chester S.. of New York City; and Mina M.,
wife of Frank H. Shumway, of Somerville, Ma.-sa-
chusetts. Thaddeus S. Moses died January 13, 1902.

(VIII) William Hammond, eldest son of Thad-



deus S. and Emil}- S. (Currier) Moses, was born
September 3, 1863, in Meredith. He was educated
in the common schools of Meredith and Tilton Sem-
inary, graduating from the latter institution in 1886.
He learned the business of his father while young,
and at the age of twenty-three went into partnership
with him. This relation lasted from 1886 to 1890,
when he came to Tilton, and began to learn the art
and mvstery of cloth making in the Tilton Mills.
After the death of Mr. J. J. Pillsbury, in 1895. Mr.
Moses was elected treasurer of the Tilton Mills, and
in 1901 was elected president of the company. Both
these offices he now holds. He is also president and
treasurer of the Tilton Electric Company, treasurer
of the Tilton & Northfield Aqueduct Company, and
director in each of them, and in the Concord &
JMontreal railroad and Manchester National Bank.
He is a trustee of the Tilton Seminary, of the Iowa
Savings Bank and of the Park Cemetery Associa-
tion. He is a member of Doric Lodge, No. 78,
Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and of the
Winnepesaukee Yacht Club. He is a member of
the Democratic state committee. Mr. Moses is one
of the leading citizens of Tilton, and well known
throughout the state as a manufacturer and finan-
cier. William H. Moses married, June ir, 1890,
Mabel T. Pillsburj^ daughter of Alpha J. and EHza
S. (Tucker) Pillsbur)', of Tilton, born August 27,
1870 (see Pillsbury, VHI). They have two chil-
dren. Hazel Pillsbury, born October 2, 1893, and
Margery, May 22, 1897.

(IV) Sylvanus. fourth son and fifth child of
Mark and second child of his second wife, Jane
(Wallace) Moses, was born August 25, 1754, prob-

.ably in Greenland, and died in January, 1832. in
Epsom, New Hampshire. He was a soldier of the
Revolution, serving nine months under Captain
Emery at White Plains. After his discharge he set-
tled on a farm in Sagamore. He was married Au-
gust 22. 1776, to Miriam Young, of Danville, New
Hampshire, and their children were : Sarah. John,
Joseph. David, Miriam, Joshua, Elijah and Polly.
On !May 6, 1820, he and his wife deeded the farm,
valued at two thousand dollars, to John B. Girard,
in consideration of support in old age. The wife
survived her husband eight years, and died in 1840.

(V) David, third son and fourth child of
Sylvanus and Miriam (Young) Moses, was reared
in Epsom, and subsequently resided in Concord,
Chichester, and Stewartstown, New Hampshire. A
deed on record shows that he sold one hundred and
ten acres in the northeast corner of Concord, Feb-
ruary 14, 1823. The inventory of his estate in Chi-

Online LibraryEzra S StearnsGenealogical and family history of the state of New Hampshire : a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation (Volume 4) → online text (page 95 of 149)