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Sometime in the 1820s a teenager named Joseph Moyse made the journey from Sourton in Devon to North Hill in Cornwall. The following newspaper report shows Joseph working for Mr Pearce of South Petherwin.

After a few years in Trebartha village he married a young local girl, Mary Craddock, in St Torney’s Church in 1828. They had a long marriage of 62 years and both died in 1890; three weeks separated their deaths in May and June of that year.


 (photos courtesy of Richard Moyse)

Mary’s family had been established in North Hill for generations. Her grandfather was Richard Spoure Craddock (1737-1823) who was born in St Breward but was descended from a minor branch of the Spoure family who had arrived in North Hill in the late 1400s from Somerset. Click here to read more about the Spoure family who were the owners of the Trebartha Estate until 1729.

Joseph and Mary lived in Trebartha all their married lives, most of the time in Trebartha Mill Cottage, and it was here they had ten children. Only one of the children died as an infant which was remarkable in those times. Of the other nine children we know that the fourth child, Mary, lived at least until she was 16 years old as that time she was working as a house servant for James Buckingham, the blacksmith in Bathpool; no further life events have been discovered about Mary. The youngest, Henry, was 19 years old when he died in 1870 and was buried in St Torney’s Churchyard.


Posted on Facebook 2 August 2017 and copied with the permission of St Torney’s Church:

“Recently we [St Torney’s Church] were sent this story by an old friend of St. Torney's, Richard Moyse. Churches are a centre of community and it was lovely to read about his memories and connections to the church and North Hill. I've posted it in full here to show how interconnected in every small village the people, the church and the village are.

“My interest goes back a long way. I was born in Plymouth during the last war and I was first taken to North Hill in the mid 1950's by my father Joseph and his oldest brother Fred and we visited the grave of Joseph Moyse and his wife Mary whom I was told were my great great grandparents.

“This rather fired up my interest and by the time I was in the Sixth Form at Plymouth College I had started enquiring about the family history.

“I was interested in where the Moyse's came from as it is an unusual name and I remember cycling with a school friend from Plymouth to North Hill and taking a photo of the gravestone which I still have. (I can also remember that the cycle back to Saltash was easier as it was downhill most of the way!).

“I do recall spending a very cold afternoon in what was then the Rectory having booked an appointment with the Reverend Theophilus Willing. The room had a plain table and a threadbare carpet that was several sizes too small for the space it had to occupy and only one element of the antique electric fire was working, and fitfully.

“But for a fee of one shilling and sixpence I was able to handle the original registers which now, thankfully, repose in the CRO at Truro.

“I couldn't trace any Moyse reference other than the marriage of Joseph to Mary Craddock (who is a descendant of the Spoure family whose wonderful monument are one of the glories of the church. If you will allow a slight digression in his book on Bodmin Moor E.C.Axford refers to these and I quote: This collection of monuments, remarkable anywhere, seem particularly impressive in this remote and beautiful place. They are human documents speaking out of the past with a clear and commanding voice.

“And it was to this village that my ancestor Joseph came.

“It was then many years before I seriously took up the genealogy again and for a long time I did not know where Joseph came from.

“He had a large family, lived for a time at Mill Cottage as indeed did his eldest son Richard after him and the family worked on the Trebartha Estate for the Rodd family. At the end of his long life Joseph was living at Trebartha Lodge. Richard married a Buckingham but after her death he went to live with his daughter Mary Pearce at Trebullet where he died in 1912. Joseph's next son John is buried next to him. Two other sons went to St Breward but by the end of the 1900s most of the family had moved away to Liskeard or Plymouth and some had emigrated to Ohio.

“But Joseph was born just south of Okehampton and came from a long line of yeoman one of who married there in the mid-17th century but was in fact born back over the border at Boyton. (As a final digression there was a grant of land at Okehampton to a Richard Moys in 1301 but I haven't traced back that far although the land now built upon is still known as Moyse's Meadow although it no longer has any rustic character!)

“So, as you can see St Torney means a great deal to me. Axford describes it perfectly but it is a church and setting of singular beauty and it is a privilege to enter it. For these reasons we must find a way to avoid a padlock and chain being put over the door and for it to be left to the souls of the departed alone and be allowed to fall into decay.”





Richard Moyse (1828-1912)

Richard and Emlyn (nee Buckingham) lived all their lives in North Hill and had 11 children here. When their son Joseph Moyse died in 1919 his funeral was reported in the Western Morning News with a long list of relations:


Mitchell_CJH (Large).jpgTheir grandson, Claude John Hoskin Mitchell, is remembered on the North Hill Parish War Memorial. His comrades who were relatives of the Buckingham family are shown on the family page. Mark Duance who was killed in The Balkans was working for Richard Moyse’s son, Joseph, in 1911 and was listed on the census with Joseph’s family as a servant.


John Moyse (1831-1915) .. see image above

John & Elizabeth had seven children. They lived in Trebartha village in the home shown in these photographs and where their children were born. John was described as a farm labourer on all the census returns in which he appeared and as he lived in Trebartha it is almost certain that he worked on the Rodd’s farms.

Can you tell us which building this is?




The eldest child, William (born 1866), married Joanna Doidge in 1889 but no family link has been found between his wife and his mother who both had the surname Doidge.



William and Joanna moved to Somerset and there are descendants living in the Bridgwater area. William and Joanna are pictured here with their son, William.

The second child was Amos Moyse and his story is shown below.

Eliza was the third child and she married William Shovell. They lived at Notter in Linkinhorne, as can be seen on the photograph below. The photograph was taken in 1894 and Eliza sent it to her brothers Amos and Harry who had emigrated to the USA.

The fourth child was Henry, known as Harry, who emigrated to Cleveland in Ohio and married Beatrice Kempthorne there. There are descendants of this family living in the USA.

John and Elizabeth’s fifth child was: George Moyse (1874-1909) who married Helen Doney; he died suddenly on 16 April 1909; George and Helen had no children:

Ellen Moyse (born 1877) who lived beyond 1915 at which point she was unmarried and had no known children; the seventh child’s name and date of birth is not known but we know the child existed because Elizabeth declared on the 1911 census that she had had seven children.

Amos was named after his mother’s father. Amos emigrated to the USA in 1891 aboard the Aurania, following in the footsteps of his father’s younger sister, Grace. He married in New York around 1896 to Mary Knight (pictured on the right of the header of this page) and he was naturalized the following year. Amos and Mary settled in Cleveland Ohio where Amos became a stone mason. Their home near lake Cardinal is shown here:

Amos and Mary had two sons and a daughter: Dana was the eldest son, Emily Louise was their daughter but was always known as Louise and the youngest son was Craig. Louise can be seen here left of centre with her mother on the left of the photograph and Amos on the right; the other lady was Louise’s employer.

Dana and Louise were photographed as infants:

Dana didn’t like his name and was always known as DK. He joined the US Navy:

Dana married Janette Collacott and they had a daughter, Mary Louise, in 1929.

Emily Louise, known as Louise and pictured here with her dog, was the second child of Amos and Elizabeth. Louise never married but in 1938 she wrote an essay for her young niece, Mary Louise, entitled “When Your Father And I Were Young”. This is reproduced for you to read (2mb pdf) .. click here.

Louise also had a lengthy about her life with her nephew, Bill. Bill was Craig’s son and he recorded and transcribed the conversation which is also available for you to read (6mb pdf) .. click here.

Amos’ third child was Craig Moyse who was the father of James Moyse who still lives in Cleveland and is now in his 80s. James, pictured below, joined the US Navy and rose to the rank of captain. He was in charge of the USS Ajax.

Captain James Moyse

USS Ajax

Many of the documents and the images on this page have been kindly passed to the North Hill Local History Group by James (Jim) Moyse of Cleveland who wished to see them published. Jim died in Cleveland, Ohio in January 2018 just a few months after he first made contact with us. His ashes were brought back to North Hill, his family ancestral home. Given his interest, he would have appreciated being 'back home'. We are grateful for his very valuable contribution.


James Moyse (1833-aft 1881)

James entered domestic service and as a young man was the footman to Edward Brown, the Vicar of Kenwyn. He moved from Kenwyn to Redruth to take up a position as butler to Stephen Davey the Deputy Lieutenant of Cornwall his brother, Richard Davey, who was the MP for West Cornwall. At some point in the 1860s he moved to Netherseal on the Leicestershire / Derbyshire border where he was a butler in the nearby big house. Whilst there he married and had a son, Arthur. In 1881 James the steward of the newly renovated Derby Club on The Strand in the city Derby. Click here to read more about the Derby Club.


William Moyse (1838-1930) & Samuel Moyse (1841-?)

William and Samuel moved to St Breward where they worked as granite quarrymen. They lived there with their families for many years. You can see above that William and Samuel’s mother was descended from the Spoure family who lived in St Breward. Was their sojourn to St Breward prompted by a family link which provided them with work on the other side of Bodmin Moor? If you know the story, please let us know.


Grace Craddock Stephens nee Moyse (1846-1909)

Grace was the first member of the family to emigrate to Cleveland and it was her life there that prompted Amos and his younger brother Henry to emigrate there. Grace and her husband John can be seen in the oval image in the page header above.


The image shows Captain James Moyse, US Navy; Grace and John Stephens; Mary Moyse nee Knight (all images supplied by Jim Moyes of Cleveland, Ohio, USA).

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