History of the Moss Family

My maternal grandfather, Lloyd Joel Moss, was born in Virginia in 1907. As a young man, he served in the US navy, travelling to China and other countries. He explored every land he visited with enthusiasm and an intelligent, curious mind. My grandmother Florence (née Poirier) encouraged him to write some of his experiences down and you can now read his memoires. He described his boyhood living on various farms, his travels with the navy and his marriage to Florence.

In 2020, Lloyd's nephew Phillip L. Poirier Jr. compiled an annotated version of Lloyd's naval service memoirs that includes background information and photos.

During my childhood in the 1970s, Grandma and Grandpa Moss visited us every year and I visited them once or twice in California, where they lived in their retirement. Here Grandpa taught me to play acey-deucy (a navy variant of backgammon) and Grandma taught me to make lemonade with fresh-picked lemons from their garden. When they visited us in London, Grandpa would always walk to Billingsgate fish market very early one morning to buy lobsters. (He was an inveterate early riser and in earlier years would apparently awaken my mother and her brother at about 6 each morning singing "Get up, get up, the day's half over!"). The lobsters would live in the fridge until suppertime, and inevitably my mother would at some point forget about them, open the fridge and be extremely startled by two pairs of red waving claws. I'm not keen on eating lobsters myself, partly because they are fabulously primitive creatures that ought to live under the sea for uncounted aeons, and partly because I don't much like the taste. But the lobsters were a ritual part of their visits.

Lloyd and Florence Moss compiled a history of the Moss family up until their time, based on work done in the nineteenth century plus Lloyd Moss's own research and memories. I have transcribed the Moss History as I found it. I think there may be some errors in the genealogy but I am not able to investigate and correct them at this time.

I also include some reminiscences written in 1996 by Virginia Moss Wood and Walter Herbert Moss, siblings of my grandfather. I think Walter Herbert must be brother Herbert as described by my grandfather.

The Ely Family

Rubecca Irene Ely Hawkes Snider was the aunt of my maternal grandmother Florence Moss, née Poirier. She was born in 1898 and her memoirs tell us about life in the early 20th century in and around Salem, Massachusetts. I met her at Lloyd and Florence's 50th wedding anniversary in 1979, and wish I had had more opportunity to talk with this delightful woman. It amazes me, updating this page in the year 2020, that I have met a woman who saw Buffalo Bill Cody at the circus, and Sarah Bernhardt at the theatre. Her family home was burned down in the Salem Fire of 1914, and she survived the Influenza Epidemic of 1918.

I include the Ely family genealogy which was compiled by Florence Moss in 1975.

I include also scans of the original typed documents, Rubecca's memories and the Ely family genealogy, as part of the historic record.