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.
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