Updated: Feb 4, 2019
Learning new things about my ancestors is what I love most about genealogy. Each clue is another piece to the "Where did we come from?" puzzle, which is seemingly infinite and ever-expanding. Each ancestor made choices that impacted our lives, even today. While writing this blog about the Moody family, I learned about my most influential ancestor, Edmund Moody. Family or not, he probably influenced your life, too.
Edmund was my 14th great-grandfather on my mother's side. He wasn't a King or an Emperor, but in one single day of his life, he seems to have altered the course of history forever. The story is almost 500 years old, so varying accounts remain, but from what I have gathered, it all started in the 19th year of the reign of King Henry VIII, who was then about 33 years old. The King was practicing a sport called "Hawking", a method of bird hunting. At one point, Henry was out of the sight of his party, in hot pursuit of his prey. He carried with him a long pole, and while attempting to pole-vault across a creek, the pole snapped in half just as he was mid-air. He fell head-first into the muddy clay below. In one account, he was said to have been unconscious, with his head in the mud. In another, he was flailing and struggling to escape, but was trapped by foliage and the muck of the clay mud. At any rate, Edmund Moody, was the only person around and he promptly rescued the King from the mud. He was later knighted and granted a coat of arms for his heroism.
After this event, Henry realized the urgency of producing a male heir to succeed him. With his wife, Queen Catherine of Aragon, he had only one daughter, Mary, and Catherine passed the age of child-birthing. Soon, Henry fell head over heals for Anne Boleyn, a younger woman who he was sure would produce a son. He appealed to the pope for a divorce from his Spanish queen, but his request was denied. Henry was not taking no for an answer. He responded by removing the Church of Rome from England. He ordered all the monasteries and churches shut down and replaced them with the new "Church of England", with himself as it's Supreme Head.
About nine years after Moody's rescue of the King, Henry commissioned the first English translation of the Holy Scriptures, The Great Bible. Three other translations were made before the King James Version commonly used today was completed in 1611.
Meanwhile, those who refused to convert and dissenters of the new church were charged with treason and heresy, often punishable by death. Clergymen who refused to enforce the doctrines of the Church of England were stripped of their titles and forbidden from even entering villages, for fear that they would influence more parishioners to rebel. It was this force of power that fueled the Protestant Reformation and other movements, as people searched to find the truth and the freedom to practice their faith according to their beliefs. Later, the Puritans and Pilgrims and many others would leave the land of their fathers for the New World to avoid punishment and to create a new land, one with God as it's Supreme Head and Sovereign. In the end, Henry regretted providing the people with the translation of God's Word, because it caused much rebellion and turmoil in the country as people discovered the truths that had been hidden from them.
If King Henry VIII had died in the creek that day in 1524, England and Christianity would almost definitely be much different today. With Queen Catherine and her daughter, Mary (both devout Catholics) on the throne, surely England would have returned under the authority of the Vatican. The English wouldn't have received the Bible translation. In fact, during Mary's five year reign (1553-1558), she imprisoned Protestant churchmen and executed around 800 protestants in 1555 alone. The English may have never left the United Kingdom for the New World. America could be under the control of England, France, or another nation right now. The possibilities are endless! What a destiny Edmund Moody fulfilled.
Moody - Reese Genealogy
Edmund Moody (or Edmond Moodye, Mowdye, Modye, Mody, etc.) of Bury St. Edmunds, in Co. Suffolk, was knighted and granted arms by King Henry VIII on October 6, 1541. He is said to have been the son of Edward Moody. After Edmund was rewarded for saving the life of King Henry VIII "he left the court and lived at St. Edmunds Bury." The story is described in the old English novel, "Darnley", by G.P.R. James. In this work seemingly of historical fiction, the main character is Sir Osborne, who appears to be the central figure in many of the stories, which, aside from the names, are for the most part true. The author names Vonderbrugius as his source, another fictional character who "justifies" the use of the false names in the novel. [Source]
Richard Moody was born in 1528 in Fryettes, Moulton, Suffolk, England. Moulton church records show that a man by the name of Richard Moody was buried there on April 28, 1574. His widow, Ann (1525-1577), married Edward Coult about five months after Richard's death, on Sept. 6, 1574. Richard and Ann's children were: George, Margaret, Mary, Judith, and Thomasyn who married Henry Smith. [Source] His sons were:
George (1559-1607), mentioned below
Robert (1563), had sons: George of Sudbury, who married in 1601 to Mary Bacon, and William of Sudbury who married in 1603 to Agnes Collyn.
John, had children: Richard, Anne, John who died before 1637, and John.
Edmund (1570), Had children: Anne b. 1599, Richard b. 1602, and Margaret b. 1615.
George Moody of Moulton, Suffolk Co., England, was baptized at Moulton on Sept. 28, 1560. He lost his father when he was 14 and his mother when he was 17. He married Margaret Newce, daughter of Walter Newce. She was born on Nov. 1, 1568 in Moulton. Margaret, his wife, was buried Jan. 25, 1602. He died on Aug. 23, 1607. They had the following children:
Elizabeth, bp. Oct. 2, 1582, married in 1610 to John Pratt, father of John Pratt, early Settler of Connecticut
Frances, bp. Oct. 11, 1584, married Thos. Kilbourne, Sept. 5, 1604.
George, bp. Feb. 19, 1585/6, of Moulton, (married Lidda Hovell alias Smith? Source), died 1652
Sarah, bp. May 8, 1589, married William Cooke of Bury
Samuel, bp. March 31, 1592, married Mary Boldro. Their daughter Mary married John Browne, alderman of Bury, died 1658. [Read] Sons: George (1616-1695), Samuel (1620), John of Ipswich (Co. Suffolk), and Thomas (1627-1645).
John, bp. April 8, 1593, died abt. 1655, mentioned below
Margaret, bp. July 19, 1595, married Major Westhorp of Hundon.
Ann, bp. Sept. 5, 1599
Mary, bp. Jan. 25, 1602
Source: Historical notes concerning the Moody family [Click here to read more].
Dea. John Moody (1593-1655)
John Moody, was born in England in 1592 or 1593. He came to America in 1633 and settled in Roxbury, Massachusetts, first. In 1635 he represented the General Court at New Town (now Cambridge), and he moved to Hartford in 1640, where he was among the first settlers. His home was located on the spot that would be later called Wylly's Hill, and was replaced by the South Congregational Church. John's home was "40 rods west of what afterward became the Charter Oak" (one city block). He was a church Deacon and served various positions of public office. He was also Lieutenant in the the Militia. He died in Hadley in 1655. His estate was valued at 300 pounds, 14 shillings, all of which was given to his wife and son, Samuel, except 25 pounds which was given to Elizabeth Piper, a servant. Sarah, his wife, died in Hadley on Nov. 4, 1671.
Genealogical Gleanings in England (Read)
Some genealogical notes regarding the Moodys of Co. Suffolk, and America (Read)
Bio. Sketches of the Moody Family (Read)
History of Hadley (Read)
Note: There was a man named William Moody who arrived in Ipswich in 1633 and moved to Newbury. He had a son named Samuel born abt. 1630, and others. [Source]
Samuel Moody, (1634-1689) the only surviving child of John and Sarah (History of Hadley), was born in 1634 and removed to Hadley in 1659. He died there in Sept. 22, 1689. He married Sarah Deming, daughter of John Deming of Wethersfield. Samuel had three sons:
John Moody, mentioned below.
Samuel Moody, Jr. (1670-1744), was born Nov. 28, 1670, in Hadley, Hampshire County, Mass. He married Sarah Lane, daughter of Sarah Dickinson and Samuel Lane. (Source?) She was born May 7, 1680 in Suffield, Hartford County, Connecticut. He died Nov. 10, 1744 in Hadley, where she also died almost 15 years later, on June 22, 1759.
John Moody (1702-1769)
Jonathan Moody (1708-1798)
Capt. Ebenezer Moody (1675-1757), married Editha Kellogg (1683-1757) and had children: Ebenezer (1707-1790), Sarah (1709-1789) who married Chileab Smith, Joseph (1712-1803), Daniel (1715-1792), Josiah (1721-1794), Editha (1722-1793) who married Joseph White, and Miriam (1733-1770) who married Reuben Smith.
and three daughters
John Moody (1661-1732), returned to Hartford and married Sarah Evetts (or Evarts) in 1700 and had five children. He died in Hartford in 1732. (Findagrave #156932918)
Sarah Moody, daughter of John and Sarah Moody, was born May 21, 1702, and died March 10, 1776 at West Hartford, Connecticut. She married David Ensign, son of David and Mehitable Ensign. (See my previous post, Ensign Genealogy).
Datus Ensign, sometimes spelled "Datis", son of David and Sarah, was born September 22, 1729 (or 1727) in Hartford, Connecticut. He married Lucretia Seymour on August 1, 1750. She was born August 1, 1730. According to the source, they were married on her 20th birthday. She was the daughter of John Seymour and Lydia (Mason) Seymour. In Hartford records, a record from 1752 reads, “Datis Ensign may build a dam for a fulling mill on his property” in Hartford. A fulling mill was used for converting light cloth into heavy cloth, such as canvas and the cloth used for sails. They lived in New Hartford, Connecticut, and in Westfield, Massachusetts. ). Datus the elder died on the 11th of November, 1787 at Westfield. Lucretia died April 22, 1814. Together they had five children: Datus (mentioned below), Lucinda, who died young, Isaac, Lucretia, and Sarah, who married Thomas Ashley. Generation 9 Datus Ensign, son of Datus and Lucretia, was born in May or June of 1752 in Westfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts. He married Abigail Woolworth, on February 9, 1780, in Westfield. She was born in May or June of 1754, in Murraysfield, England, and died on Dec. 28, 1825. During the American Revolution, Datus Ensign was in Capt. David Moseley's Company from Westfield in Nov 1776 and also Sept and Oct 1777. He died in 1832. Both he and his wife died in Boston, New York. Boston is a town in western New York, near Buffalo. Together they had nine children: Seymour, Reuben, Datus, John, Aaron, Royal (mentioned below), Abigail, who married William Walker, William, and Hiram A. Ensign. Note: His name is alternately found as Datis Ensign or Datus Ensingn (sic). Generation 10 Royal Ensign, son of Datus and Abigail Ensign, was born on January 22, 1792 in Westfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts. He married 1st to Polly Warner Rood of Plainfield, on May 26, 1814. Polly was born on May 11, 1789, and died on Feb. 9, 1822. With Polly, Royal fathered three children: Ozia, Datus W., and Ezra R. Ensign. He married 2nd on Sept. 27, (year?) to Mrs. Sally Rood. Sally was from Plainfield and was born on Aug. 30, 1796, at Bristol, New York. She died on Feb. 14, 1875. Royal and Sally had four more children: Mary Parthenia Ensign, who married Seba Johnson, Ezra Rood Ensign, Esther Abigail Ensign, (mentioned below), and Sarah Ann Ensign, who married John Q. Talbot. They appear to have moved to Lisle, Broome County, New York between 1826 and 1828. Royal died at the age of 76, on the 11th of September, 1868, in Lisle and was buried in Hunts Corners Cemetery in Lapeer, Cortland County, New York. Sally died on the 14th of February, 1875, at the age of 78. Generation 11 Esther Abigail Ensign, daughter of Royal and Sally Ensign was born August 27, 1826, in Herkimer, New York. She married John Shirley, son of Bradford Shirley and Parthenia Stanton, on December 31, 1844, at Lisle, New York. He was born in March of 1822, possibly in Lisle, and was a farmer. Together they had two sons. In 1850 and 1850 they were living in Richford, Tioga County, New York. According to the Ensign Genealogy, she died 4 Aug 1864, in Richford. Her gravestone at Hunts Corners Cemetery in Lapeer, Cortland County, New York is barely legible, but it appears her death date is inscribed as 1 Aug 1861 at the age of 37 yrs, 11 mos, 22 days. If this is true she was born 10 Aug 1823. If the Ensign genealogy has her birth date right and the age on her gravestone is also accurate, her death date would have been 18 Aug 1864, so there is some confusion regarding her exact dates and which is true has yet to be determined. After Esther died, John married a woman named Elizabeth, who was born abt. 1832 and died on the 9th of August, 1886, in Cortland. In 1870, 1875, 1880, and 1892, he was listed on the census in Cortland, and in 1900, at the age of 78, he was widowed, living in Harford. He gave his parents’ birthplace as Massachusetts. He died at the age of 80, on the 31st of January, 1903, in Sempronius, Cayuga County, New York. (See my Shirley page) Generation 12 Royal J. Shirley, son of John Shirley and Esther (Ensign) Shirley, was born on May 19, 1851 in Richford, Tioga County, New York. He married Mary, whose last name has evaded us so far. Royal died three years later, at the age of 76, on the 6th of April, 1928, in Groton, Tompkins County, New York, and was buried at Willow Glen Cemetery. Generation 13 Gertrude Esther Shirley, daughter of Royal Shirley and Esther Ensign, was born on August 4, 1878. She lived in Cortland, New York, when the 1892 N.Y. State Census was taken. There was one younger sister, May Shirley, age 11, in the home at the time. On February 23, 1898, at the age of 19, Gertie married Archibald “Arch” Bell in Harford. Arch and Gertie were divorced before 1904 and Gertie married Newman Archelaus Harvey on the 9th of January, 1904. They raised three daughters and were active in the church. Gertie was a member of the Red Cross and a minister of the gospel. Her mother died on February 7, 1937, and Gertrude followed her eight months later, on the 9th of October, 1937. She was 59 years old and is buried in Willow Glen Cemetery, where she was joined later by her husband.
Mary E. Harvey, daughter of Newman and Gertrude Harvey, was born on March 16, 1910, in Newark Valley, Tioga County, New York. Perhaps the photo shown below (Gertrude with three daughters) was taken in Newark Valley, where the family was counted on the census in 1910. In 1920 they were living in Dryden, and in 1930 they were living in Groton but four days after the census was taken, on April 14, 1930, Mary married L. John Reese, son of Maynard Reese and Ada Temple. She was 20 years old and was employed as an inspector at Smith Corona typewriter factory. John and Mary divorced and Mary married second, William H. “Bill” Gaul Sr., on the 19th of October, 1962, at Dryden, New York. He was born on the 24th of November, 1897, in Bloomsburg, Columbia County, Pennsylvania. Bill Gaul died in 1980 in Ithaca, Tompkins County, New York. Mary died from colon cancer, on the 22nd of September, 1988, at Cortland Memorial Hospital in Cortland, New York. Her funeral was held two days later and her remains rest at Willow Glen Cemetery (Lot 19-39), in Dryden, Tompkins County, New York, with her sisters and parents. Mary and John had three children: Lloyd, Harold, and Maryruth Reese. (See my Harvey page or Reese page)
Record of the descendants of James Ensign and his wife Sarah Elson, 1634-1939, by Nelson, Martha Eunice Ensign, 1888- (Read)
To the descendants of Thomas Dickinson, son of Nathaniel and Anna Gull Dickinson, of Wethersfield, Connecticut, and Hadley, Massachusetts, by Frederick Dickinson, 1897 - (Read)
History of Hadley, including the early history of Flatfield, South Hadley, Amherst and Granby, Massachusetts, by Judd & Boltwood, 1905 - (Read)
Kingsbury-Bush : American ancestry of Wayland Briggs Kingsbury, son of Joseph B. and Hannah Brown Kingsbury, of Windham Co., Vt. and Osage, Iowa, and Flora Jane Bush Kingsbury, daughter of Alva and Eliza Moore Bush of Chautauqua Co., N. Y. and Osage, Iowa, by Forrest Kingsbury, 1958 (Read)
Colonial History of Hartford, by Rev. William D. Love, 1914 - (Read)
Biographical Sketches of the Moody Family, by C. Moody, 1847 - (Read)
Historical Notes Concerning the Moody Family, by Herbert A. Moody, 1947 - (Read)
Vital Records for the Town of Hartford from NEHGR Vol. 22. p. 195 - Moody births (Read)
Some genealogical notes regarding the Moodys of Co. Suffolk, and America - (Read)
NEHGR Vol 39 p. 69
The family tree : seven hundred years of Moody ancestors - (Read)
Bury St. Edmunds, St. James parish registers (Read)
See also David L. Moody's information on Edmund Moody (Click here)
See also the Moody Rootsweb page which possibly features the true coat of arms for Edmund Moody, in full color. (Click here)
Note: This is not a complete genealogy. It is the line of descent from Edmund Moody to my great-grandmother, Mary (Harvey) Reese. Corrections and/or additions are welcome in the comments below, or by contacting me. Updates will be made to this page as more information is recovered.