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Re: [St.H.Fam.Hist.] Moss family on St. Helena

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  • Andrew Moss
    Dear Barbara, It was good to see your posting. Below are my notes on Moss family history in St Helena. Apologies to others for its length. It has been patched
    Message 1 of 2 , May 3, 2008
      Re: [St.H.Fam.Hist.] Moss family   on  St. Helena
      Dear Barbara,

      It was good to see your posting.

      Below are my notes on Moss family history in St Helena. Apologies to others for its length. It has been patched together from various sources. I have written to St Helena archives for further information/

      Many of these details still require confirmation – for instance I note that some children noted below may be from Isaac not George Moss. Please clarify... or add if you are able to.

      Hope the following is of interest... Regards, Andrew Moss

      The following are the known names of Moss family members I am related to – with George W Moss junior – who is my GG Grandfather.
      George W Moss (senior) in business with Saul Solomon
      Wife of George was Sarah, née Britton
      Children who travelled to New Zealand in the 1850s and 1860s:
      Frederick Joseph Moss – born at Longwood 1826 or 1827
      George W. Moss (junior) – born 1838
      Rose Adelaide Moss – date of birth unknown
      Agnes Georgina Moss – born c. 1943
      Possible other children (of George W Moss senior):
      Emma Jane Moss b. 19 May 1829
      Charles Phillip Moss, b. 22 Nov. 1830
      Joseph Moss b. 11 Nov 1834
      Possible other relatives:
      Isaac Moss – worked with George Moss at Solomon Gideon Moss
      I am still trying to establish whether all of the above people are from the same Moss family. There of course may be many others.
      Moss family emigrating to New Zealand
      It appears at least four Moss family siblings emigrated to New Zealand in the 1850s / 1860s on or about the following dates:
      1.    Frederick Joseph Moss – arrived in Lyttelton New Zealand in 1859
      2.    George W Moss – arrived Dunedin New Zealand in 1863
      3.    Rose Adelaide Moss – wife of Dr. Edward William Alexander – arrived in Dunedin New Zealand in July 1863 (from unknown location).
      4.    Agnes Georgina Moss – who arrived in New Zealand c. 1865 – wife of Mr. Thomas H. Sincock
      There is an Edward George Britton Moss living in New Zealand in the late 1800s – he shares the Britton name, so there is a family connection somewhere there – but not sure if he was born in St Helena, or when he was born.
      The husband of Rose Adelaide Moss is Dr. Edward William Alexander – who was also born / from St Helena. I am not sure of the date they were married. Dr Edward Alexander studied at King’s College London, qualifying in 1853. He returned to St. Helena as Surgeon-General. In 1861 he left to live in England and Europe for two years, before emigrating to New Zealand in 1863.

      Frederick J Moss
      I have the following on Frederick J Moss:
      Born at Longwood – in 1826 / 1827
      Educated at St Helena Grammar School
      Started work for his uncle – George Britton – in 1841 – at Algoa Bay in South Africa – until 1847
      Served with the Cape Burghers
      Returned to St Helena to work for his father (presumably George Moss)
      Married daughter of Captain Carew (date unkown)
      Re-visited Natal in 1857 – but later emigrated to New Zealand
      Listed as a Mason on St. Helena – and W. M. in Lodge in St Helena in 1858
      Emigrated to New Zealand in 1859 – in the ship Zealandia – arriving in Lyttelton – before settling in Otago
      The Brown Family Papers
      Details on the Solomon connection is as follows (researched from The Brown Family Papers, held at the University of Cape Town Library):
      1. Hannah Moss
      • Hannah Moss was born about 1793, probably in London, and died in Cape Town about 1858.
      • Hannah had a sister, Phoebe Moss, born about 1799 in London who married George Bagshaw in 1822.
      • The Cape Town Archives Repository hold 1858 papers on Hannah Moss: Solomon, Hannah.
      • According to the Brown Family Papers, Joseph Solomon was betrothed to Hannah Moss in England before he left for St. Helena.
      • Hannah joined him later and the two were married on St. Helena in 1814
      • In 1831 Joseph Solomon and Hannah Moss left St. Helena with their children (Henry, Saul, Richard, Benjamin, Edward, Isabella and Margaret) for Cape Town because of better opportunities.

      2. Solomons and Moss families related
      • In the Brown Family Papers: in about 1822 Henry and Saul Solomon (then ca. 6 and 5 years old) left St. Helena for England under the care of an efficient soldier's wife travelling by troop ship to spend several years with their grandmother.
      • With them travelled an "older cousin, George Moss, also a child."
      • There is no further mention of this George Moss in the papers.

      George and Isaac Moss
      • George Moss worked with Joseph's brother Saul Solomon
      • Isaac Moss also worked with Saul Solomon – and is listed as a boot and shoe maker

      Farm Lodge
      ·     Farm Lodge was built in approx 1690 and was owned by the Moss family who came here with the East India Company in the late 1700's
      ·      The eldest male sibling of the Moss family, either a George or Edward, (later Solomon, Gideon and Moss – at one stage Moss being the senior partner), stayed on this west side of the Island and the next eldest male always inherited the properties on the east side, i.e. Longwood House and the then racecourse (now the golf course).
      I learnt that Moss family members at various stages owned / or lived at:
      1.  Longwood
      2.  Farm Lodge
      3.  The Briars
      I also know there is a Napoleon connection with these properties. One paragraph in the Brown Family Papers says that Longwood was "secured for Napoleon" another paragraph says in was "rented for Napoleon from the Moss family."
      I would be keen to know more about what properties on St Helana were owned by the Moss family, by which family members, at what time and for how long.
      Moss Bros
      There also appears to be a connection between Moss Bros (London tailors) and the Moss family at St Helena.
      Solomon, Gideon and Moss
      George W Moss (senior) was a partner of the merchant firm Solomon, Gideon and Moss.

      The Moss family appear to be Jewish – as a reference in a New Zealand newspaper refers to George Moss as a Jewish businessman. The Moss and Solomon families appear to be part of a small Jewish community on St Helena.

      Some additional information on family origins
      Another piece of information that I have, are family notes made in 1933, from a relative in Melbourne (Australia), which are snippets of an oral account of how the Moss family came to St Helena. The handwriting is very poor – but this is something I could decipher – but it is confusing:
      • The Moss family originally came from England to settle in South Africa
      • Solomons and De Viliers are connections (doesn’t say how)
      • A young Moss left South Africa for St Helena
      • A Moss was at the ‘1st Siege of Lady Smith’
      • As a young man he was a guard for Napoleon’s body
      • Frederick Moss went to England and from there to Dunedin

      There was also a confusing passage that I could not make sense of:
      • The father of the Moss connection who came to St Helena may have served as a boy of 14 in Nelson’s navy – with the story suggesting he was involved in a mix-up whilst responding to a request from Lady Hamilton’s brother – but not running dispatches for Nelson – with the result that he was lashed for not following his duty – and ‘dropped overboard’! the boy was later found by Lady Hamilton – who offered him the choice of returning to the Navy or to join the merchant service – she also gave him a ring – and said if in difficulties he was to produce the ring!


      Andrew Moss

      On 27/4/08 11:45 AM, "bjlow115" <barbaralowrance@...> wrote:

      I am searching for my 3rd  and 4th great grandparents who lived on St.
      Isaac Moss and Sarah Caroline Merchant are the parents of Emma Jane
      Moss, born 19 May 1829. Emma married John Henry Powell George
      Blackford, on 23 May 1844, at St. Pauls Church. John was born in
      England about 1818-1819. I am not sure when he came or why he was on
      St. Helena.At one time Isaac Moss and George Moss worked for Saul
      Soloman, doing what I don't know.
      Emma and John had 6 children, all born on St. Helena. They left for
      Boston MA USA, arriving there 4 Aug 1854.
      I would love to know why this family was on the island,and why they
      Emma Moss Blackford died in 1910, Chicago, Illinois USA. Her death
      notice said her husband was the assistant commisary General, and that
      she lived in Napoleon's house for years.
      Does anyone out there know how I can find out more,more,more about this
      branch of my family? Yes, its an obsession for me.


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