Hugh Mosher and Rebecca Maxson Life In Rhode Island in the 1700's

Hugh Mosher (1633-1713) and Rebecca Maxson (1637-1707)

The Moshers (sometimes spelled Moger) begin in Rhode Island

Hugh Mosher was born in 1633 in Newport, Newport County, Rhode Island. The city of Newport is located towards the southern end of the middle island on the map at the right. (Thanks to Wikipedia for the map.)

Hugh married Rebecca Maxson in 1665 in Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts. He was 32; she was 28.

Rebecca Maxson was born 6 Feb 1637 in Quidneck, Washington County, Rhode Island. She was the daughter of Richard Maxson and Rebecca Marbury .

Buying Land, Starting a Family

In 1660, about five years before Hugh married Rebecca, Hugh (along with five others) bought lands at Westerly, Rhode Island from the Indian sachem Sacho. Presumably, it is here that he began his married life with Rebecca. Testimony given on March 4, 1662/63 said he was “aged 30 or thereabouts”.

Hugh and Rebecca had at least nine children, five boys and four girls. The dates of their birth and birthplaces are uncertain, but their names are consistent in nearly all records:

Life in Newport

Newport was founded in 1639 (just a few years after both Hugh and Rebecca were born) by William Coddington, John Clarke, and others who left Portsmouth, Rhode Island after a political fallout with Anne Hutchinson and her followers.

Anne Hutchinson [July, 1591 – July 1643] was the unauthorized Puritan preacher of a dissident church discussion group and a pioneer settler in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Netherlands. Hutchinson held Bible study meetings for women. They soon became so popular that men came, too. Eventually, she went beyond Bible study to proclaiming boldly facets of her own theological interpretations. Of course, controversy began, and she was eventually banished from her colony.

Newport soon grew to become the most important port in colonial Rhode Island. A public school was established in 1640.

In the mid-1600's, a group of Jews fleeing the inquisition in Spain and Portugal were allowed to settle in Newport, creating the second oldest Jewish congregation in the United States. At the same time, a large number of Quakers settled in Newport; the Quaker meetinghouse in Newport (1699) is the oldest house of worship in Rhode Island. As well as Jews and Quakers, a large population of Baptists settled in Newport.

In 1669, Hugh took the Oath of a Freeman at Portsmouth. (This may have been a similar Oath of a Freeman that Richard Ingraham took in 1630 in Massachusetts. For more information about the wording, see biography of Richard Ingraham and Elizabeth Wignall.)

Hugh was a landowner, a blacksmith and, in 1680, the pastor of the Tiverton (Rhode Island) Baptist Church. This church served both Little Compton, Rhode island, and Dartmouth, Massachusetts. This may explain the confusion about the location of their children’s births, as it is obvious that they went back and forth between the two towns. Tiverton, Rhode Island, is a small portion of Rhode Island which is located on the heel of the boot of Massachusetts. Dartmouth is not far from the Rhode Island/Massachusetts border, also (of course) in the heel of the boot. The distance between Tiverton and Dartmouth appears to be about ten miles.

Rebecca dies and Hugh remarries

Rebecca died, at the age of 70, on 29 Dec 1707 in Newport, Rhode Island. Rebecca and Hugh had been married for 42 years.

Hugh married again — to Sarah (Butcher) Harding, widow of Rev. John Harding — shortly after Rebecca’s death. He died, at the age of 80, on 3 Nov 1713, also in Newport. His will, dated October 12, 1709, stated his residence was in Newport, RI. His wife Sarah received only “all the moveable Estate I had with her in marriage.” His sons James, Nicholas, John, Joseph and Daniel were all named in the will, as well as his grandson Hugh Mosher (son of Nicholas). Executors were his son James and a friend, Daniel Sabeere of Newport. Friends Jeremiah Clark and “my kinsman” Captain John Stanton of Newport were Overseers of the will. Witnesses to the will were John Sakeer, John Bayley Jr. & Samuel Rhodes.

This page written and researched by Susan Overturf Ingraham, wife of Robert Philip Ingraham, a descendant of Hugh Mosher and Rebecca Maxson. Page last updated on October 8, 2012.

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