John Moffitt 1833-1895 :: Genealogy
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John Moffitt 1833-1895

Journal by janilye

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by janilye Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2011-09-21 16:38:53

janilye - 7th generation, Convict stock. Born in New South Wales now living in Victoria, carrying, with pride 'The Birthstain'.

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by Meury73 on 2014-07-29 03:33:56

John Moffitt was a member of the large family of Michael Moffitt and Margaret Blackhall. We had knowledge of him only because he appeared in one lot of census papers as a child. Family legend had it that he went to Australia. Now we have found him. Very exciting. And the photograph of him could well be the man in a photograph that we have of two brothers. Two Moffitt brothers, George and Michael came to New Zealand on the Zealandia in 1861. An older brother, James, followed them a few years later, to Switzers in Southland, New Zealand. He is obviously the man mentioned in the posting following this one, because he spent some time in Melbourne before coming to New Zealand. This James was the father of one of NZ's great AllBlacks, Jim Moffitt. All had large families and we have traced the family back to Fowberry Mains farm, near Glanton and Alnwick in Northumberland, where their father worked on developing the Border Leicester sheep with England's famous agriculturalist, Mathew Culley, who owned most of Fowberry, including Fowberry Tower, which was where Margaret Blackhall, Michael's wife, came from. I have entered a great deal about the earlier family on one of the big genealogy forums. (I used my maiden name of Mary Moffitt on that forum. I need to check up on the address.) All brothers had large families, James having about 18 children from two wives, and the others about half as many each. They have been difficult to sort out because they tended to use the same family names. So pleased to have found your details about our missing John. I thought for a while that he was another John Moffitt who came to NZ. Now I will have to find another connection for that John who came from a similar area in Britain. THANK YOU.

by janilye on 2014-07-29 10:29:41

Private message me email addresses and I will forward a photograph of J. T. Moffitt's Drapery for those interested.

by janilye on 2014-08-05 08:37:04

by DaisyM on 2014-08-11 06:16:20

Hi Meury73, I am sorry to point this out, but the All Black, James Edward Moffitt b. 1887/8368 ( was not the son of James and Eleanor, but their grandson. Jim (James) parents were Michael (James' son) and Annie Kennedy. He is listed as born 1889 in the Rugby Museum site in NZ. James was the first of 5 children of Michael and Annie. James, b 1829 and Eleanor were in Aust. before going on to NZ and had 8 children (Michael being a second son - one born in Eng and stayed behind - born in Aust along with a daughter, Margaret Jane). The rest born in NZ. Eleanor died 1869 and James married Helen Turnbull and had another 8 children. He is my great great grandfather from his first marriage.
Thank you for the info re the sheep etc. I have Michael's wife Margaret Blackhall as born at Belford? I have Michael b.1793 parents as John Moffitt and Isabella ? and his parents as David and Hannah ?
Cheers DaisyM

by Meury73 on 2014-08-16 08:24:52

Yes, of course you are right. Don't be sorry. I have now decided that I am never going to rush into print again late in the evening without my notes beside me. I did correct myself in another thread, about James Moffitt, where I got the generations mixed up not only once, but twice. Sorry I forgot to correct this one immediately.

I started researching in the Waikaia Post Office in 1965, ie in the days when you were allowed to see the actual registers, even touch them! I also interviewed many of the older generations who were still living in Southland, including the daughter of Joanna in the James line, and Percy in the Michael line.

Have you seen the photograph of two of the Moffitt brothers in Lodge regalia? I have notes about James having been a Mason, but the photograph is said to be of Michael and George, although the man said to be Michael could just as easily be John from his looks, and maybe the other is James. It will all become clear one day perhaps.

I ave details about Margaret Blackhall's parents. Her father was Donaldson Blackhall which explains the name of another Moffitt brother. I have more notes about that line and further notes about John and Eleanor Moffitt, but I think that I had better have them beside me before I write anything. There were several possible John Moffitts who could have have been the father of Michael (b1793). I have different names for the parents of the elder John that we tentatively decided on, and I have David as the progenitor of another Moffitt line in New Zealand. I'd love to know more of your research which produced David as In Michael's line.

This other line I mention is that of Charles Henry Moffitt who came to NZ with his two sons, John Lindsay and Charles Henry Jnr, aboard the Louisa Campbell in about 1842 as ship's surgeon. I have researched that family extensively and tracked them back to David Moffitt, who came from the same town of Glanton in Northumberland as our lot. I do have a lot of notes about this David somewhere. Charles Henry had married Harriet, a niece of the Earl of Lindsay. They had a third child, a daughter, Harriet who did not come to New Zealand. Charles Henry must have been widowed, because he married again in NZ. John Lindsay became a prominent medical man in Wellington. Charles Henry Jnr became a lawyer in Blenheim. This is where the connection begins between the Moffitts and NZ's first suffragist, Mary Anne Mueller.

My research was mostly done in the days of pen and paper, so I have a very cumbersome stack of notes. It is wonderful how we can communicate so rapidly nowadays, but I still dream of getting those notes into some sort of order. Every generation doubles the stack, but it is still such rewarding fun.

by Meury73 on 2014-08-16 09:53:27

I've looked up some notes.

Michael Moffitt was the informant of the death of his mother, Isabella, d 4 July 1846. She was described as the widow of John Moffitt, joiner. This John Moffitt, joiner, of Fowberry was buried in 1794. We have tentatively identified Robert Moffat, taylor, of Eglinton, buried in 1805, aged 85, and Elinor, widow of Robert Moffat, taylor, who died in 1798, aged 79, as the previous generation. The interest in drapery ties in with the occupations of numerous descendants too!

Initially, along with others, we looked at the John Moffitt of Chatton, but he was still alive in 1841 at the time of the census when Eleanor was a widow, not dying until 1845, and the details of John's occupation as joiner in two records were convincing. Still more work to do though. There were other John Moffitts!

Donaldson Blackhall was married to Margaret, and I have the names of three of their daughters - Margaret, Jean, and Elizabeth - plus other bits and pieces of information.

by DaisyM on 2014-08-27 01:36:28

Hi Meury73. I see I was wrong about David and Hannah. As you say too many Davids and Johns, Williams etc. I have emailed you. I have a copy of the Lodge photo but was told they were, left James b.1829, my g.g.grandfather, and right Michael, his father, b.1793 ?? Your lady, Martha Griffen, sounds very interesting. Am still getting dates and people in some order. Any info is most welcome. Cheers DaisyM

by Meury73 on 2014-09-27 02:01:49

Sorry Daisy. I have just found this message. I have been so busy with genealogy in another line. I will look for your email. I have a very poor photocopy of the lodge photograph, and I can accept that it is James in the photograph although I would like it to be George. I have noticed that families always take a photograph when someone dies. Could this one have been taken when George died? Are you in New Zealand? I have loads of charts and notes, and I love it when people can add things or fix what I have wrong. I had some help from Nell Dey in your line. Cheers cuz

by DaisyM on 2014-09-29 06:03:45

Hi Meury73, When you sign in, there is a black line at the top with your name. Next to it is 'messages' - if you click on that, you might find the email. I am in Australia and would love to hear from you. Cheers Daisy

by bmoff on 2017-10-04 11:42:31

Hi. I am a descendant of Michael Moffitt and Margaret Blackhall via John Moffitt, their son who settled in Australia in 1858. He initially worked in Ballarat before moving to South Melbourne. Although he was a draper, remarkably, he wasnt the draper know as J T Moffitt. This was a completely unrelated family of Moffitts who settled in Melbourne around the same time. I have been in touch with my NZ cousins in the past and received a wealth of information about the descendents of George, Michael and James. Both my brother and sister have visited Waikaia (formerly Switzers) in recent years. I am happy to share more if you are interested in this line of the family. Regards Brett.

by janilye on 2017-10-04 12:36:41

Born on the 19 February 1833 in Glanton Northumberland England. The son of Michael MOFFITT 1793-1853 and Margaret BLACKHALL 1803-1883.

John Moffitt sailed from Liverpool, England on 30 October 1857 in the "Anglo-Saxon" (1104 tons) under Capt. George Welsh bound for Melbourne. Journey of 140 days had been scheduled but the vessel arrived in February 1858. John Moffitt's occupation was described in the ship's papers as "Acct", presumably accountant, and his age shown as 24 years. (Unassisted voyage).
John resided in South Australia for about five years before moving permanently to Victoria.

On the 18 February 1863 in Ballarat Victoria John married Sarah Ann O'DONNELL. Sarah had been born in London in 1843 the daughter of David O'DONNELL 1819-1886 and Sarah BOSDEN 1815-1906. Sarah had arrived on the ?Plantagenet? in Port Phillip Bay on the July 1853 after 3 months at sea, with her parents and syblings. (there were 18 ships in the harbour that day with the same number coming in every day because of the goldrush. (The crews jumping the ships and deserting for the goldfields.)

The children of John MOFFITT and his wife Sarah Ann were:-

Donald Henry Moffitt 1864 - 1867
John Arthur Moffitt 1866 -
Albert Edgar Moffitt 1868 - m. Elizabeth? in Ballarat
Margaret 'Maggie' Moffitt 1870 - 1870
Robert Percy Moffitt 1872 ?
Frederick Charles Moffitt 1873 - 1963 m. Jessie Ethel TULLOCH 1875-1919
Frank Blackhall Moffitt 1875 - 1964 m. Ethel May RAE 1879-1958
Edith Eliza Moffitt 1879 - 1879
Una Grace Moffitt 1879 - 1906
Arnold Hastie Moffitt 1884 - 1963 m. Alice Louisa SILVER 1882-1937

John worked as a draper between around 1875 until he died of pneumonia on 21 November 1895 at Malvern, Victoria.
Sarah Ann died on 22 October 1926 in a private hospital in Malvern Victoria

by janilye on 2017-10-04 12:54:20

The Argus, Friday 22 November 1895
MOFFITT.—On the 21st inst., at The Avenue, East Malvern, John Moffitt, son of the late Michael Moffitt, Fobery Mains, Wooler, Northumberland, aged 62.
MOFFATT.—The Friends of the late Mr. JOHN MOFFATT are respectfully informed that his remains will be interred in the St. Kilda Cemetery.
The funeral will leave his late residence, Muirhouse, The Avenue, East Malvern, To-morrow (Saturday, 23rd inst.), at 3 o'clock.

by janilye on 2017-10-04 14:25:27

Indeed there are several parallels.- this below is -
J. T. MOFFITT, FAMILY DRAPER, MERCER, CLOTHIER. CHAPEL-STREET, WINDSOR. Opposite Station. First Grand Show Spring Goods. Largest variety of new and fashionable goods.

John Thomas Lowry MOFFITT was born in the historic town of Enniskillen,on Loch Erne, in the north of Ireland, his father was Rev. James Moffitt, an Irish minister of wide repute as an able preacher and for devotion to his calling. His mother Mary LOWRY
Our subject began, at an early age, the battle of life in the county of Sligo, where he was apprenticed for six years to a large drapery firm. It is worthy of note that from this firm graduated several young men,
now in business in this colony, who were fellow apprentices of Mr. Moffitt, one being at the present time proprietor of a large warehouse in Flinders-lane, Mr. Moffitt, after serving his apprenticeship, held a position in the noted firm of James Lindsay and Company, of Belfast; and, later on, in that of Todd, Burns and Company, of Dublin. Amongst other advantages this firm provided was a library— one of the finest in Dublin ; and to this the employees had full access. As a result, it may be noted many of the young men acquired a taste for study, and, through the facilities offered in their leisure hours, several have risen to the front ranks amongst the clergy
and in other professions.
Our subject, always of a studious nature, was amongst those who acquired this desire for a profession, and for two years he devoted himself to study but to such an extent that his health broke down, and, acting on medical advice, he came to Victoria, arriving here in 1862.
Continuing to follow up the drapery trade, his first engagement was with the
firm of John Mansoti and Company, at that time a prominent soft goods firm, subsequently becoming manager of four of that firm's branch houses in succession.
Several other former fellow employees of Todd, Burns and Company were induced to come to Victoria, and, through Mr. Moffitt's influence, obtained positions in the firm of Manson and Company. With one of these, he subsequently entered into partnership, starting at Sandhurst. This gentleman, at
the close of the partnership, opened a business at tbe Gympie diggings, where he was fortunate enough to acquire a competency which he is now enjoying.
Mr. Moffitt continued in business in Sandhurst and other provincial towns for a period of 20 years, with varying success.
Being in the centre of mining communities he was induced to try his luck as a speculator, but generally managed to come out on the wrong side of the ledger, his losses being in many instances somewhat heavy.
During his 19 years* residence in Sandhurst, whilst he took a lively interest in all public movements, he never sought municipal honors, his contention- being that no man should aspire to snob a position unless he had the necessary time and means at his disposal to devote to the duties. Whilst at Sandhurst he took a special interest in the local Mechanic's Institute and School of Mines, of which he is an ex-president and one of the founders,
amongst his old colleagues being the late Mr. Charles Ross, and Messrs. Alex.
Bayne and Joseph Anderson. This is now looked upon as - one of the finest
literary and educational institutions in the Australian colonies, and Mr. Moffitt looks back upon his associations with it with, pardonable pride. He also took a great interest in the Bendigo Hospital.
About 1884 he was tempted to try his fortune in Melbourne, and succeeded to the old-established drapery business carried on by Mr. Isaac Thomas at the
corner of Chapel and Hanover streets, Windsor, for over thirty years.
In Mr. Moffitt's hands the business continued to expand, and in 1888 he was compelled to enlarge the premises Which are now as well known and as complete as any establishment in the city. During his residence in Prahran he has merited the esteem of his fellow men, and whilst for the reasons already
stated, he has not taken a prominent part in public affairs, he has always interested himself in local matters and has on several occasions been solicited to contest a seat in the Prahran city council; but, as he says, he finds that his business monopolises the whole of his time. When he has succeeded in securing a competency, which is not an easy matter in these days of competition and dull times, possibly he may aspire to the Presidentship of a Federated Australia. But until then, he will continue to remain Prime Minister at the Corner House.
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic) Thu 16 Feb 1905
MOFFITT.—On the 11th February, at Moreland-grove, Melbourne, John Thomas Lowry Moffitt, eldest son of the late Rev. James Moffitt, Knox, county Fermanagh, Ireland,
Bendigo Advertiser Tue 14 Feb 1905

News was received in Bendigo yesterday of the death of Mr. J. T. Moffitt, formerly a well-known draper in Bendigo. Mr. Moffitt passed away on Saturday at his residence, "Clovelly," Moreland Grove, More-
land, Melbourne, at the age of 61 years.
The remains were interred in the St. Kilda Cemetery on Sunday. The deceased gentleman, who was highly esteemed and respected, leaves a widow and two daughters. He was well-known in Bendigo, having established a drapery business in Pall Mall in 1870. Subsequently he took into partnership with him
Mr. Kitsen, and after the latter retired Mr. Schultz entered into partnership. Mr. Moffitt retired from business in Bendigo many years ago, and proceeded to Melbourne, where he accepted an appointment in the office of the Equitable Life Assurance Society, and only recently, on the occasion of
the presentation to Mr. G. G. McColl, on the latter gentleman's retirement from the position of manager, Mr. Moffitt occupied the chair at the gathering. During his residence in Bendigo he was an adherent of the Forest-
street Methodist Church, and for many years his wife was organist.

Event registration number 1211
Registration year 1905
Family name MOFFITT
Given names Jno Thos Lowry
Father's name Moffitt Jas
Mother's name Mary (Lowry)
Place of death Coburg
Age 64

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