Genealogy History

Isaac Moses and The Ebiezzer

The docks at Cawood. Only the footings can be seen at low tide, now.

I have 2 loves – knitting and genealogy.  Sometimes, the pair collide.  As in the case of my Moses ancestors who seem to have run vessels out of various places, including Cawood, Howden and presumably Hull, making a living from inland waterway shipping as well as farming along the banks of the Ouse.

Here is my great X 5 grandad, Isaac Mosey’s will. It was made in November 1820, and he died in the December. He was buried at Cawood, Yorkshire – I still live nearby.  He has no surviving monument.  His youngest daughter, Jane, married another relative of mine, Ben Roodhouse and they emigrated to Greene County, Illinois.  Jane’s twin sons Ben and John born in Cawood in 1825, went on to found the town of Roodhouse, Illinois.  I descend from the first marriage of Isaac – not sure which child of Isaac my grt X 4 grandmother was born to, but she was probably the daughter of Isaac Jr who was dead by the time his father made this will.


This is the Last Will & Testament of me, Isaac Moses, of Cawood, in the county of York, a farmer, being of sound mind and memory, do make this Last Will & Testament made this 24th day of November in the year of Our Lord 1820, viz:-

Now I order that all my just debts and funeral expenses by paid and distributed by my executor or executrix hereinafter named.

First, I give to my grandson ISAAC WOOD, son of CAPTAIN ABRAHAM and JANE MOSES WOOD, my clock, and he to have the same when he arrives at age to take care of her. And I also give my granddaughter MARY WOOD, daughter of CAPTAIN ABRAHAM & JANE MOSES WOOD, my silver teaspoons (1/2 dozen), one silver tablespoon and silver tea tongs, and for her to have the same after the decease of her mother, JANE MOSES WOOD. And I also give to my grandson WILLIAM MOSES WOOD, son of CAPTAIN ABRAHAM & JANE MOSES WOOD, my corner cupboard, and one oak table. And I also give to my grandson , ABRAHAM MOSES WOOD, son of CAPTAIN ABRAHAM & JANE MOSES WOOD, my chest of drawers.

And I also give to my daughter JANE MOSES WOOD, my Close (parcel of land) called Common Close, for and during the term of her natural life and six months after, and at the expiration of that time, I give my said Common Close to my grandson ISAAC MOSES, son of WILLIAM & ELIZABETH MOSES. And I further oder that the said Common Close not be sold or mortgaged until my said grandson ISAAC MOSES attain the age of 34 years, should it be in his possession at the time. And I also give my grandson ISAAC LOBLEY, son of GEORGE & MARY MOSES LOBLEY, one silver tablespoon. Now I give my half share of the vessel EBIEZER for the education of WILLIAM, MARY, ISAAC and ABRAHAM, children of CAPTAIN ABRAHAM & JANE MOSES WOOD, and the overplus, if any, to be paid out in clothing for the said children.

If my son WILLIAM MOSES should neglect to pay up the arrears of money due from these profits arising from the said vessel at any time when my trustees shall call upon him so to do, and on his non-compliance then my trustees to have full power to seize the said vessel and to sell the same to make good such out-standing arrears that at that time shall have become due, and my trustees to deduct such expenses as have inured by the seizure of the said vessel and William Moses to be subject to half the said expense. And should the said vessel be seized and sold, then the half share of the monies arising from the sale of the said vessel, expenses deducted, to be put out on mortgage by my said trustees for the use of the aforementioned children of Captain Abraham and Jane Moses Wood as aforementioned.

And it is my order that my trustees do not call into their hands any monies or property belonging the one at my decease until such time or times as the monies or property is required to be paid. And I further order that nothing is to be kept back that can be avoided. And should any dispute arise among my children, it is my positive order that such disptue be finally willed and determined by my trustees and in no other manner whatsoever.

And if my son WILLIAM MOSES do not settle with me all freights, debts, dues and demands due to me from the said vessel Ebiezzer before my decease, then my said trustees have full power to demand a true and just amount of all proceedings that may be in arrears and due to me at my decease and to recover the same immediately.

And should my son WILLIAM MOSES die and having no more children and while his son ISAAC is in his infancy, and if his mother do not put him to school and take proper care of him, I order that my trustees do take him and to raise him and put him to school and at the proper age to put him to such a trade as he may choose to go to.  But if my son WILLIAM should have any more children, then they must all remain with their mother, and fare one fare.

And I bequeath to my daughter MARY MOSES LOBLEY the interest of 200 pounds for and during the term of her natural life. And after the decease of my said daughter MARY MOSES LOBLEY, I order that the said principal of 200 pounds (with 40 pounds more, should it be to spare) be equally divided amongst my said daughter MARY MOSES LOBLEY’s then surviving children.

And I also order that my son WILLIAM MOSES do have 10 pounds per annum paid to him if it be to spare and after his decease to go to his son ISAAC.

And should any misfortune happen to the abovementioned vessel EBIEZZER so the she be lost or stranded, then I order that all the interest money be equally divided amongst any then surviving children.

Now I do nominate, constitute, and appoint WILLIAM BROWN of Lofthouse, a farmer; WILLIAM COPLEY of Cawood, a joiner; and BENJAMIN THOMPSON of Cawood, a farmer, as trustees to this my Last Will & Testament, hereby revoking all other Will or Wills at any time heretofore made by me, and to see that all the same punctually executed according to my desire.

And should any one of my trustees die then I order that the remaining two with the joint advice of my then surviving children shall have full power to choose another in order that there may be always three till such time as the whole tenor of the my Last Will & Testament be finally executed and concluded.

I also order that my said trustees do have all their expense allowed they may incur conconerning the same.

And I also niminate, constitute, and appoint my aforementioned trustees and executors of this my Last Will & Testament.

In witness hereof I have herewith set my hand and seal the day and year above written.


NB:  My Mary Moses married into the Thompsons of Wistow/Cawood.  One of the executors must be a relative too, but to date I’ve been unable to track down a baptism for him.  Mary was my grt X 4 grandmother, and married William Thompson in Cawood a few months before Isaac Sr died, in December, 1820  (Probably why she is not mentioned in the Will).  I can’t be sure whose daughter she is (no baptism record), but according to the 1851 Census she was born in Cawood in 1796, making it likely she is a child of one of the sons from Isaac’s first marriage.  Probably, given the dates, Isaac Jr.

Mary Lobley ended up a pauper, living in Stillington (George Lobley had been a Labourer).  Essentially, Isaac’s wealth ended up in Illinois as his descendants who stayed in Yorkshire ended up the poorest! Isaac Sr seems to have outlived his sons from his first marriage.  I can’t find what happened to The Ebiezzer, or the feckless son William.  He seems to be gone by the 1841 Census.

Jane had been a widow – Abraham Wood drowned in 1817 – but remarried in 1822, to another of my relatives, Ben Roodhouse.  They emigrated to Greene County, Illinois in 1830.  Jane’s half sister Mary Lobley is last seen in the 1861 Census, in her 80s.

Cawood Church, showing river in flood

These old gents are in Cawood and amongst my mum's photos. I think they may be Roodhouses.

8 replies on “Isaac Moses and The Ebiezzer”

Great article! I am a direct descendant of Jane Moses and Ben Roodhouse. My grandfather grew up in Roodhouse, Il. I live in Columbia, Missouri. I have our genealogy almost completely mapped out here in the states, but have very little info on our ancestors in Yorkshire prior to Isaac Moses. Do you have info on the lineages of Ben roodhouse and Isaac Moses going back into the 1700s or earlier?


Thanks Laura, that is brilliant stuff! I’ll send you some more pics when my other machine is back in action!

Holyrood is nothing to do with us, mate – it’s the only inaccuracy in Martha’s book. ‘Rood’ was just the Anglo Saxon word for ‘cross’ and lots of northern English names end with -house. The name doesn’t come from that specific place, it is just a generic name meaning ‘House of the cross’ – and there was one of them in every village in England from Anglo Saxon times on!!! I can’t find our family before about the 1720s/30s when they pop up in Darfield. I have had much more luck with our other shared ancestors – the Calams (which probably is a Scots name but I can get it back to the 17thC in Yorkshire) and the Moseys (also early 17thC). I was able to get them back as far as almost the start of parish records in Scrayingham and Skirpenbeck. There is at some point a marriage into the Cattons (one of our female ancestors marries a shoemaker, who oddly enough is the son of a vicar!) And later on of course, we have John Roodhouse the Sherburn-in-Elmet saddler, whose first wife is also a Catton.

Yes, I’ve been to the US! Lived there for a year. Missed England so much! The people were great though and we lived in a beautiful place (nice view of the Rockies). All that year in the US, I had no idea I had so many American rellies!


Hello again! Well I sent an email with some images of different information about the Roodhouses and their role in founding Roodhouse, etc. appox 2 weeks ago. I just sent another email too, with a few good stories. I forgot though, another interesting story. On the way over from England to the United States the Roodhouses and Woods, which I have met some of the Woods and Moses here in the US too, I have to tell you about. But back to the story. The twins Benjamin and John, a few of the children inbetween Jane and Benjamin. Well while aboard the great sailing vessel. Benjamin Jr fell off into the ocean. Grandpa said it took them quite a bit of work and time to fetch him out of the water. So, he was very fortunate, because this had happened during the night. They made their way from New York to St. Louis via the Erie Canal. They later settled north of where Roodhouse is now. Benjamin Sr. Died in 1831 from typhoid. He had gotten it from drinking water in MO, down by the Missouri Bottoms Road, close to Hwy 270. The winter they came over was known as the deep snow. The snow was so deep they had to tunnel to get around. They stayed with a family (the father was a preacher) in IL, until the early spring. They bought the property from the preacher, and lived there until after Benjamin Sr passed away. I have alot more to tell everyone. But I know that Jane had built a house like they had in Cawood, and a spring house as well. She had the bricks shipped from ??? trying to remember right now. Just had surgery on my foot yesterday late morning, the meds are making me loopy, and it is getting late here in Missouri. But, I found out about the preacher and some more info to go along with that 2 weeks ago, via my visit with Grandpa Roodhouse. I hope to hear from you soon! I will go through my pictures, etc, and try to send them in order via email, so that it will make as much sense as possible, since I am not right now. lol. Well off to bed, but I look foward to us sharing information, and maybe someday even meeting and getting to see each other’s places. I have been all over the world in the military, but never to the UK or Europe. I would love to take a trip sometime, especially to see HolyRoodhouse Palace. I have dreamed of it for years. Have you ever been to the US?


Hi Penny,

Thanks again for everything, and it is great to meet you! I was bitten by a snake in my garage yesterday evening. Needless to say, my ankle is quite swollen, and it is painful. But, I am headed up to go visit Grandpa Roodhouse, before he is moved to Illinois. That is so awesome that you found them birth records! I am so happy to hear that, and am anxious to tell Gramps. I sent you an email this morning, with some of the photos and info out of the Roodhouse Book. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I have tons more, just have had a very hectic weekend. Well hectic life in general. lol. I am sorry to hear about your mom. That is very hard. I know I wish I would have gotten more information from Grandma, before her passing at Thanksgiving. But, she was so sick the past 5yrs. The chemo really took it out of her. Grandpa is full of stories. Some has changed a little. He is 83 now, and one of only a handful WWII Veterans still alive. He was 17 when he enlisted in the Navy as a Seabee. He tells us and has told us stories of us helping Mary Queen of Scots, escape. The HolyRoodhouse Palace in Edinburgh, Scotland. That there was something of a casket of gold, filled with jewels, that we had when we came to America. My 2nd Great Grandpa, Weston C. Roodhouse, spent alot of it drilling for oil in TX and OK, back when the area was sparse with people; and the goods were available for the taking. So, he was a risk taker. Grandpa said he never hit it big. We could have been the next Rockerfellers. lol. But, I am going to interview him more today. I have the videos on my camera’s sd card. The files are big. I am not the best when it comes to technology. But, I’m working on it. lol. I hope some of the info I sent you this morning will help fill in some gaps. I have alot more to send you, as well as I am sure you do me. Again, it is so wonderful to have met you! I hope to speak with you again soon. I also hope you had a wonderful weekend!


Hi, I have quite a bit of information, and pictures of the city of Roodhouse, Illinois. Ben and John the son’s of Benjamin and Jane Roodhouse, were twin brothers. John Edward Roodhouse, was actually the founder of the town of Roodhouse, and made it a city. It was in it’s hayday the biggest booming train town between Chicago, Illinois and St. Louis, MO. John was responsible for bringing the railroad, etc to the town, and put up his own money, to make it possible for Roodhouse to become a city. I just got home from work, and am very excited to have gotten this, from my long lost relative, and I am in Missouri. So, I will by per request of my cousin??? I think that we’re distant cousins, will have to look at everything in a few minutes, the information pertaining to us Roodhouses in the United States. Thank you!


I’m so pleased to have found another of my US cousins. I’m both a Roodhouse and a Moses but also related to Jane’s first husband, Captain Abraham Wood. Abraham’s children emigrated with the Roodhouses to Greene County, so theoretically somewhere in the US, will also be Wood descendents I’d love to hear from yous, too!

Laura, before I knew the story of Jane’s emigration (I just wondered why they all vanished from the parish records!), one of the last things I found was the birth of the twins, John and Ben, in the Cawood parish records. Twins were still unusual at that date, so they stuck in my mind!

People here have no idea that those twin boys went on to found a town at the other side of the world! I’ve often thought Roodhouse and Cawood should be twin towns!

The name Roodhouse was utterly gone from family folk memory by the time I was growing up. I was ten when mum died so have never been sure whether she talked about the name, or not. It was the reason I started genealogy – to fill in the gaps my mum would have been able to tell me!


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