John Moors (1841 – 1914)

My great great grandfather,  John Moors, is somewhat elusive on my ancestral search.  I am having a difficult time finding his parents.  Through a number of links, I have his birthplace as Yeovil, Somerset, England. 

Birth Certificate John Moors of Jane

It may be  that he is the son of a Jane Moors, resident of the Swan Inn at the time.  Jane disappears soon afterward, so I am also going to make the assumption that John ended up lost in the struggles of the community at the time, likely orphaned…dunno.

Birth Record

He married a Grace Rebecca Porter and together, they had four girls and one son, also named John.  It was this lad who ended up on a ship at the age of 13, a home child to Canada, working on a piece of land in the Arthur area until 1898, when his father, mother and family also immigrated to Canada.

Substantiating documentation for my Great Great…

Initially, I find on John’s marriage certificate to Grace, that they are living at 9 George Street.  In 1912, the name of George Street becomes Ontario Street, very close to Blackfriar’s Road on the Thames. George Street is just below Borough Road.  John was listed as a sawyer and his father, John Moors, is listed as deceased.

1868 Map

1868 Map

George Street became Ontario Street in London UK just below Borough RoadOntario Street new name for George Street 1912Above, see Ontario Street as it appears today.

Here is the marriage certificate.  We learn that Grace’s father’s name is William.  We also see John’s father’s name listed as John Moors, deceased.  The residence for John and Grace is listed as 9 George Street in 1869.  Finding Grace’s mother has been a challenge.  I know that at this time, I’ve made the assumption that she was Mary Franks.

Marriage John Moors and Grace Rebecca Porter note John Moors DeceasedGrace and John’s daughter, Grace, is baptised at Christ Church in Southwark.

Christ Church Map

1817 Etching of Christ Church, an Anglican Church in Southwark

1817 Etching of Christ Church, an Anglican Church in Southwark

Grace Moors daughter of John and Grace baptized in 1870 Southwark

We find that the family moves to 29 Hatfield Street and that in 1872, John’s occupation is still listed as sawyer.  Surrounded by workhouses, it is unknown if the Moors family is living, at this point, in a crowded tenement sort of dwelling, as was the case for most inhabitants of this part of London at the time, or if they have their own private residence.  Marion Ada is baptized in Christ Church, Southwark.

Neighbourhood pub, as it appears today Hatfields…originally established by Charles Wells in 1876, this might have been my Great Great’s community pub, although it probably looked quite different.

Credit: Google Maps

Credit: Google Maps

Backview and location of 29 Hatfield Street, now Hatfields according to Google Maps.

29 Hatfields, London, UK

29 Hatfields, London, UK



Hatfield Street Residence, Baptism at Christ Church in Southwark

Hatfield Street Residence, Baptism at Christ Church in Southwark

After this, we find the family at 42 Princes Street and Stamford Street, Blackfriars and they begin their attendance at St. Andrew’s.  See bottom right hand corner of map.  Here, John and Grace own a shop…a grocery store of sorts.  On records about their son John’s passage to Canada as a British Home Child, we learn that at some point my Great Great becomes ill and is unable to sustain the family income.  Their son leaves, at the age of 13, for a ‘better’ life in Canada.  See John Moors.

The baptismal records for daughters Alice, and Margaret Rose and son, John Moors are found at St. Andrew’s, Lambeth in 1873.  So, the family has already moved to 42 Princes Street.  I can surmise that church is central to this family as Hatfield Street, now called Hatfields, is directly across from Christ Church.

Princess Street and Stamford StreetBaptism of Moors Children 2While living at 42 Princes Street, a court room case is documented where John and Grace have a couple of individuals try to use bad coin…read the transcript here.  What the piece tells me is that John Moors, my great great, had the same resolve as all of the John Moors folk down the line.  It is a pleasure to read.  I want to note, here, that all of this part of London, at this point in history is the world of Jack the Ripper, slums, floods and Charles Dicken’s novels.  This was not an easy life and I’m amazed as I read about and learn the narratives of my ancestors by piecing bits together and reading history.

This time piece, pictured below, was presented to my Great Great before he immigrated to Canada in 1898.  It, in turn, was passed on to my Great Grandfather who passed it to my Grandfather.  Unfortunately, it fell under disrepair before it found its way into my father’s hands.  Still, the historical inscription remains.


1865 to 1935 Canadian Passenger List

Based on the 1906-passing of William James Moors, a twin and son of John Moors (dies 1918), the son of John Moors (dies 1914), I have located some information around the land/location of John and family in Wentworth County, Barton Township…

Note* I believe my Grampa Moors to be incorrect when he remembers that the Dr. E. T. Boyes who races to William’s care, lived in Powassan, rather I find Dr. E.T. Boyes living in Glanford, still 16 miles away from Hamilton.

Dr. E.T. Boyes Glanford

Physician E. T. Boyes

This was such a powerful memory for my Grandfather…I needed to include it here.

Paris_GreenWilliam James Moors (1906 - 1908)Finally, I have located the homestead for John Moors based on information accessed on William’s death certificate.

Where Barton twp. fits into Wentworth County can be seen below…Concession 8 is the bottom…so, easy to find.  To the south lies Glanford, the twp where Dr. E. T. Boyes and his family lived.

Wentworth County 1875 Map

Lots 17 and 18 on Concession 8 in Barton twp.

Barton County of WentworthDetail…bottom section of the map Concession 8….the reader can also see the church.  Now I have some hope of locating the school where Grampa John Moors attended school.

Barton Lot 17 and 18 Concession 8

Barton Township Map Labelled

These are the days when the Haddow family and the Moors family collide.

As described in Dick Chandler’s research on the Haddow family…

He writes…”K10 John Haddah/Haddow John, Mary and children, William Thomas, Agnes, Mary Eleanor and Margaret travelled from England to Canada on HMS Sea King at some time between October 1880 and June 1882.  John was honorably discharged from the British Navy at Montreal on 22nd June 1874.  He put his money down and took his family to Ryckman’s Corners, on the outskirts of Hamilton, Ontario He had a good farm there until it burned down.  He then started work for the Steel Company of Canada at Hamilton.”

In May of 1884, I find John Haddow and his wife, Mary High living on Lot 10 Concession 7 Barton twp.

(38967-84 (Wentworth Co) HADDOW, Henry, m, b. 20 May 1884, father – John HADDOW, farmer, mother – Mary HIGH, infm – mother, Lot 10, Con 7, Barton Twp)

Son, Henry Haddow is born to John and Mary in 1884, but dies of a brain malady in 1887, just three years of age.  I calculate that the fire that is mentioned by my Grandfather must have happened between 1887, Henry’s death, and 1891, when I find the family living in Hamilton.

John Haddow Lot 10 Con 7 Barton Twp

This 1875 map would have included the pioneer families prior to the settlement of my ancestors on the same land.

So, in perusing these particular maps, I would say that the Moors family and Haddow family were neighbours.  Thank you, dearest boy-child, William, for what your life and death have taught me today.

Of his grandfather, MY grandfather, John Moors, says…

“My Grandfather Moors was a red-headed man with the most beautiful blue eyes that you ever did look at!  He was a very quiet man.  And Grandma Moors was a ver short lady, especially when compared with my father who was 6’2″.  When we wnet down to visit Grandma and Grandpa, just as a joke, Father would pick Grandma up by the elbows, right up off the floor, and give her a great big kiss.  He’d put her down and we’d all laugh.  Of course, Grandma rather enjoyed it too, I’m sure!

Grandfather Moors took me to the Toronto Exhibition to see another new-fangled idea, the milking machine.  He promised me that we would go to the midway.  Of course we didn’t make it because all he did was look at the cattle, hogs and horses.  The result of that trip was the purchase of a cream separator.  He told us that if he caught any of us playing with this machine, wheat he would do to us would fill a book.  But I noticed that after the beauty and novelty wore off, we soon got our turn to run it.  There wasn’t much fun in it after all!”

I am looking for anyone reading this who knows of my Great Great’s start in life, to contact me.  I’m looking for substantiation for his birth parents and for what his early childhood was like…where he lived and such.  I am looking for details of potential workhouse placements and such information as this.  Would love a lead or two.

He was laid to rest in 1914 in an unmarked grave in the Hamilton Cemetery, sharing the space with my great Uncle Robert A. Moors.

John's signature on his marriage certificate...

Marriage Certificate DetailP1130137The spot where Robert rests is well marked.  His wife, Jessie Maclean, has also slipped beneath my genealogy radar.

Robert A. Moors 1910 - 1979

Resting Place for Robert A. Moors and to the left of this flat marker would be John Moors, Robert's grandfather.

3 thoughts on “John Moors (1841 – 1914)

  1. I am the oldest son of Robert and Jessie Moors my Brother Robert John Moors has passed away. I now live in Roseville California and would be interested in following up on the family history as well. I do know that my Mother, was adopted and move to Hamilton Ont. as a child from Scotland with the last name McLean.

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