1 / 18

Moss Family History: The Name Moss

The name has a vast range. It occurs among Jews, the Celtic Irish and the Saxon Nations. In England it has long been a common and honored name. An attempt was made in 1856 by some family members in Medfield, Massachusetts to trace the line as far back as possible. According to them our ancestors originated in Normandy and in England. The recognised progenitor of the Moss family seems to have been Sir Hugo do Mors, a knight during the reign of Edward III in 1358. The "Mors" is probably a derivation of the Latin "Mos".

Stories have come down to me that there were Mosses who sailed in English fishing boats before 1635 to the New England coast. They caught cod and spread them out on racks to dry on Cape Ann, near what is now Gloucester, then took the dried fish back to England for the market. There is a bronze plaque on a huge boulder at this place today to mark the area where the fishermen came ashore. At the time John Moss came over (1638), the bishop of Bath and Wells was Rt. Reverend Charles Moss, D.D. A daughter of his married Lord Grenville. Bartholomew Moss, M.D., was the founder of Lying-in-Hospital at Dublin. Our direct line seems to have come from Cotheridge Parish, which is four miles west of Worcester and east of the river Teme. However, in July of 1972 I found, lying in a prominent place in Ely Cathedral, a full-length stone with the Moss crest on it and it was inscribed "Robertus Moss, St. P. Deeanus Eliens Ob 16 MARTII 1729 tat: 63." Ely is a hundred miles east of Cotheridge Parish: quite a distance in horse and wagon days.

* In 1703 the bishop of Bath and Wells (probably not a Moss) was killed when the brick chimney of his home was blown down during the worst storm of all England's recorded history. See the account of that storm by Daniel Defoe, who lived from 1660 to 1731.

Note: Edward III reigned from 1327 to 1377.