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

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