Moulton history can be traced back

One of my volunteer jobs for the Fayette County Genealogical and Historical Society is to print any books being published, as well as back issues of our genealogy publication, ‘Fayette Facts.”
Not long ago, I was called upon to reprint a back issue, since our copies on hand had dropped. I cranked up the society’s Risograph and began to feed the pages through.
Generally, while I’m standing at the machine, I read what is being printed, and in this particular book, Betty Jane Kyle had submitted information on her Moulton family.
The story of this family is so interesting and stretches so far into the past that I thought Leader-Union readers would enjoy it, as well.
“The first generation of Moultons in America was William Moulton ,who was born in Ormsby, County Norfolk, England.  In 1637, at the age of 20, he requested examination to sail with William Andrews of Ipswich aboard the ‘John and Dorothy,’ which would set sail in April. He came as a servant of Robert and Lucia Page, also from Ormsby, England.
“William landed with the first settlers of Newbury, Mass., about 20 miles north of Boston. After his marriage to the Pages’ daughter, Margaret, the whole group moved to Hampton, N.H.
“William died there on April 18, 1664, leaving a sizeable and well-defined will, which mentioned their ‘yet-to-be-born’ eighth child. This child, a son, was born on May 26, 1664 and is the ancestor of those in Fayette County. The baby was named William after his father.
“In 1682, 18-year-old William Moulton Jr. moved to Newbury, Mass., and married Abigail Webster, the daughter of John Webster. After their marriage, he established a home on Moulton Hill and became an inn holder and trader.
“He made friends with the Indians, and after they had shared with him the location of silver deposits, he fashioned silver buckles and ornaments that were traded at his post.
William and Abigail were parents of nine children, of whom the middle son, John, married Mary Noyes and is the link to the Moulton family in Fayette County.”
Joseph Moulton followed in his father’s footsteps and became a blacksmith and gold bead maker. His son, William Noyes Moulton, born in 1720, learned the art from his father and was engaged in silver and goldsmithing.
William married Lydia Greenleaf in 1752 and at age 68 left his family in Massachusetts and pioneered westward. He was among the 48 men who founded Marietta, Ohio.
His family followed a year later, with the exception of their eldest son, Joseph, who was a successful silversmith in Newbury and stayed behind to run the family business. Pieces of this Joseph Moulton’s work are found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and at the Yale Museum.
“Joseph built a three-story double house on Moulton Hill around 1801 that he and his wife, Abigail, shared with their newly married son, William, and his bride Judith Noyes. This home, located at 89-91 High Street, Newburysport, Mass., is beautifully preserved and in use.”
It would be William and Judith’s son, Joseph Moulton, who carried on the family name in silver smithing.  He would be the last of the Moulton’s to be associated with the family business in Newburysport, known as the oldest continuing silver company in the nation.  
Another of William and Judith’s sons, Nathan Noyes Moulton, left Massachusetts and headed to Ohio for a time before moving westward once again and landing in Vandalia in 1839.
The 20-year old, who gave his occupation as “horse trader,” found lodging in a carriage house in Vandalia across the street east of the capitol building. This was probably the two-story log Berner House built by Frederick Hollmann for the Ernst Colony.
“On July 18, 1842, Nathan married in Fayette County to Mary Jane McKinney from near Vera, the daughter of Daniel McKinney.
They were parents of three children: William, who married Nancy Ann Bennett and lived in Carson Township; Joseph, found in Ramsey Township; and Judith Noyes Moulton, who married John M. Morgan and died young.
Nathan died on April 27, 1870, preceded a few months by his daughter, Judith, whose death followed the birth of her daughter, Mary Noyes Morgan.  
The Moulton clan of Fayette County is descended of Nathan’s eldest son, William, who, with wife, Nancy Ann were parents of: Nathan, died age 22, Joseph; Mary Ella, married Rodey Bayles; Effie May and Iva Nora, died young; Charles, married Othel Ballinger; and Berriman Floyd, who married Jessie Diveley.
In 2004, the burial place of Nathan Moulton was found on the Frank McKinney place, Section 26, Sharon Township.  Six portions of tombstones were discovered while mowing, which included Nathan and the lower half of Julia Moulton Morgan’s stone, indicating she was aged 25 years and 8 months old when she passed. Most of the people buried here are related to the McKinney family.
It isn’t often that a family history can be traced so far back into the beginning history of our nation and that the link can be brought forward so many generations. The Moulton family is fortunate that the beginnings of their family have been traced and documented and, at least with Nathan Moulton, his history ends here, in Fayette County, Illinois.

Leave a Comment