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Moon Family Start Page

James Moon



James Moon was an Englishman who had converted from the faith of the Church of England to the Society of Friends, also called "Quakers." He brought his wife Joan (traditionally believed to be a Burgess by birth) and six children to the Penn Colony (Pennsylvania) to live and worship free from religious persecution. There are varying and conflicting stories of the origins and arrival of the family, as may be expected in a history that is almost four hundred years old. But it is certain that James, Joan and their son James Jr. and his wife are buried in the old Quaker Cemetery in Fallsington, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

I will try to include as much information as possible that addresses the core issues for this family, for it is my family too and I have a vested interest in ferreting out the most accurate story that can be told. Below you will find excerpts from writers who relate story and fact; possibly we can sift through it all to uncover the nearest truth.

It is generally believed that James Moon was baptized in the Church of England, St. James at Ashwick Church of England St. James Ashwick

He is believed to be have been born between 1639 and 1643. He married his bride Joan in England and they had a home near Bristol where unto them were born six children. Around 1682, they left Bristol and transplanted their family in America in what was at that time the Penn Colony. Some say they traveled with William Penn on the ship "Welcome" or "Friendship" but I have not been able to confirm that account. In any case, we do know they settled in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and attended the Fallsington Monthly Meeting of Quakers. James died in 1713 and Joan survived him by a number of years, passing away in 1739. Their oldest son James Jr. is burined with them in the old Quaker cemetery at Fallsington. In fact all of their children lived and died in Bucks County with the exception of Jasper who moved to Burlington County, New Jersey and died there.

My descendancy comes through James Jr. and his son Simon whose mother was Mary Wilsford. Simon moved his family to Frederick, Virginia where he died in 1748. His son James moved to North Carolina where my ancestors lived until 1871 when my great-great-grandfather Larkin Moon moved to Wayne County, Indiana. He died there in 1900, never having transferred his membership from the Friends Church in North Carolina.

So . . . on to more information about the original immigrant, James Moon Sr.

There is a tradition that William Penn offered his coachman, whose name is said to have been Moon, the half square on which Leatitia court is situated in Philadelphia, in lieu of a year's wages, £15, but he refused this, and accepted a tract of land in Bucks county. As the country was settled up, and the inhabitants increased, land gradually appreciated in value.

By 1700 improved land was generally sold by the acre, the nominal price being the value of 20 bushels of wheat, and continued with little variation for several years. When wheat was two shillings six-pence per bushel land was sold at 50 shillings per acre, equivalent to about $12.50, without allowing for the increased value of money. The price, however, depended on the price of wheat, and it fluctuated in a sliding scale. When wheat brought 33 cents land was $6.67, wheat 40 cents land $7, wheat 46 cents land was $9.33, wheat 56 cents land was $13.31, wheat $1 land was $20, and with wheat at $1.12 land sold for $26.62 an acre. As a rule rye sold for a shilling less per bushel, and Indian corn and buckwheat two shillings. At this era of low prices beef sold for 2-1/2 cents per pound, and pork for the same.

from the discovery of the Delaware to the present time by W. W. H. Davis, A.M., 1876 and 1905* editions


Buck's County Deed

688 20th of 10th month in Bucks County

James Moone and James Hill to Phineas Pemberton and Randolph Blackshaw

Know all men by these Presents that we James Moone of the County of Bucks in the Province of Pennsylvania Plantor and James Hill of Burlington in West Jersey Yeoman do owe and acknowledge ourselves to be indebted unto Phineas Pemberton and Randolph Blackshaw of the said County of Bucks in the sum of one hundred pounds of lawful money of said Province for payment whereof will and truly to be made we bind ourselves and either of us jointly and severally our heirs executors and assigns firmly by these presents As witness our hands and seals this twelfth day of the Ninth Month and fourth year of the Kings Reign over England etc. and eight of the Proprietarys Government Anno Domini 1688.

The condition of this obligation is such that if the above bounden James Moon and James Hill they or either of their heirs executors or assigns procure and cause good assurance to be made unto Joan Moon wife of the said James Moon one hundred twenty five acres of land with improvements on the same during her natural life when James the son of ye said James Moon shall come unto the age of twenty one years which said tract of land being sold to the said James Moon the elder and James the younger as joint purchaser by the abovesaid James Hill lying and being in the abovesaid County of Bucks and butting and bounding as is expressed in one deed or Conveyance from the said James Hill to the saidJames Moon the elder and James the younger as may more fully appear reference thereunto being had the deed bearing date ye day after these presents then this obligation to be void or else to stand and be in full force power & virtue.

James Hill (seal)

James (his mark) Moon (seal)

Signed Sealed and Delivered in the presence of

Thomas Lambert

Henry Margerum

Joseph Cross

Recorded the 20th 10th month 1688.

Ref: Randolph & Allis Burgess Blackshaw, 1688 Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Deed Book A-1, page 195

James Moon's Will


Will Mentions Children

History of Bucks County, Pa Volume 3 by William H. Davis: James Moon's will mentions six children: Sarah, James, Jonas, Jasper, Mary and Roger. (James married Mary Wilsford, (1) in 1696, and afterward (2) Agnes Priestly, in 1714; he deceased 4th mo. 6, 1755.


JAMES MOON of County of Bucks.  
Dated January 20, 1710/11.  Proved January 9, 1713.

Wife. --- Eldest son James 1 shilling.  
Sons Jonas and Jasper each 1 shilling.

Daus. Mary and Sarah.  
granddaus. Sarah Curtis and Elizabeth Moon.  
Son Roger, exr.
Wit: Richard Hill and Nathaniel Tyler.

Ref:   Abstracts: Books A and 1 : Bucks Co, PA  1685-1739


Descendents of William Edward Moon Notes

James Moon , Sr.

Other source lists DOB as 1643.
Buried in the Old Quaker Graveyard, Bucks Co, PA.

Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania, Volumes I-III --Hon. Reuben O. Moon

"James Moone was actively associated with the affairs of Bucks county; his name frequently appearing on the early records of the courts of that county after 1685 as a member of grand and petit juries, and as serving in various capacities by appointment of the court up to the time of his decease, in September, 1713.

Joan (Burgess) Moone, wife of James Moone, received a legacy from her parents or other relatives in England, in1695, and obtained a certificate from the Bucks County Court on December11, 1695, to enable her to receive it, the court entry of which is as follows: "A Certificate of Joan, the wife of James Moone being alive Signed in Court shee being then there present." She survived her husbandover a quarter of a century, dying December, 1739, in her ninetieth year,at the home of her son, Roger, the old home plantation in Falls township,the title of which had been transferred from James Jr. to his father and by the latter to Roger in 1706.

Children of James and Joan (Burgess)Moone: Sarah, Jasper, James, Roger, Jonas and Mary.

Jasper, the eldest, located in New Jersey, and died in Burlington county, letters of administration being granted to his widow Susannah, April 29, 1726; the records of that county show that he was resident there as early as 1704. James, Roger and Jonas Moon remained in Bucks county, and have left descendants. James was deputy sheriff of the county in 1714."


Notes from Mrs. Elmer Anderson:

Of the two early Moon Quaker immigrants to Pennsylvania, John and James, the Lancashire connections of John are well documented, for his marriage record refers to him as a son of Edward Moon of near Preston. Coming at about the same time was James Moon (my ancestor) and his wife Joan (maiden name said to be "Burgess", but no good evidence for that which Iam aware of). To my knowledge, no good evidence has ever been offeredthat James was a brother of John, or that James came from Bristol, butboth of those alleged "facts" have been stated on numerous occasions.Stewart Baldwin.

James Moon Sr. and Joanna Jane sailed with William Penn on the Friendshipand brought with them six children--Sarah, James, Jonas, Jasper, Mary and Roger, they settled in Bucks County, Pennsylvania in 1682. (EugeneCordell [jcorde@ibm.net])
He lived at Fallsington, Bucks Co, PA. He was an innkeeper in Bristol,Bucks Co, PA. In 1688, he was listed as a labourer and planter. With his eldest son, James Jr, in 1688 he purchased about 125 acres from James Hill from a 500 acre tract Mr Hill bought from Wm Penn. He bought James Jr's portion of the land for 125 Eng. Pounds in 1701 at Pennsbury Manor,Bucks Co, PA. He transfered the title to that 125 acres to his son Rogerin 1706. His will was dated 1710, in Bucks Co, PA.

The Moon Family

Source: "A Short History of the Moon Family" by Mrs. Elmer Anderson, Manhattan, Kansas - 1964


The story of the Moon family from the Snipes, descendants of the Moon family in Pennsylvania, who own the Snipes Farm:

The history of the Snipes family in Bucks County, PA began in 1682 when James and Joan Moon arrived in the colony of Pennsylvania. James and Joan were among thousands of Quaker refugees who fled religious persecution in England. Governor William Penn, himself a Quaker, called his colony a "Holy Experiment," where government based on New Testament principals and religious freedom would provide a better life for all. James and Joan Moon bought a tract of land near present day Morrisville. Joan Moon's brother and sister-in-law James and Eleanor Burgess settled in Fallsington, donating land for the construction of a Quaker Meeting House where the Snipes family still worships today, 11 generations later. The grandson of James and Joan Moon, also named James Moon, began to grow and sell ornamental trees in 1767. Generations of Moon nurserymen and women followed. In 1848, Mahlon Moon and his wife, Jane Craft Moon, moved to the farm today known as "Snipes." Trees they planted on these grounds in 1865 have grown to become state and national champions. Mahlon Moon entered a major display at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia.

During the late 1800's and early 1900's, Mahlon and Jane's son, Samuel became a leading propagator and grower of rare plants on the east coast. Large estates from Philadelphia to New York were planted with nursery stock from these grounds. After Samuel's death In 1910, his daughter, Jane Moon Snipes, continued to sell specimen trees from the grounds and schooled her children in horticulture.

See more about this nursery/farm here: http://www.snipesfarm.com/about/

Legend: Origin of the Moon name

Legend gives us the origin of the name Moon and tells us it was first bestowed as an honor. Here is the story as it was given to us:

"The Norsemen were great travelers and some of them went to France andsettled in what is now Normandy, becoming a part of the Normans. They hada brotherhood called the "Order of the Crescent", the men of which weretall, with fair complexion and blue eyes, with character above reproach.When William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, invaded England in 1066,the Order of the Crescent accompanied him. One of the native strongholdsproved to be very stubborn and the duke was unable to take it. He calledfor volunteers and the Order of the Crescent stepped forward. Theysuccessfully stormed the castle and William ordered that each member ofthe brotherhood should be called Moon, in honor of the event."


The members of the Moon colony in England prospered through the years,leading honorable lives, giving of their time to the religious life of the community. During the Protestant Reformation and later, during the times of rebellion against the Church of England, the Moons were staunch Protestants and Puritans. Among the many who suffered persecution fortheir religious beliefs, we find a number of Moons. They were followers of George Fox, founder of the Society of Friends, members of which were called "Quakers". (The term Quaker resulted from Fox telling a magistratehe should "tremble at the word of God". Another derivation of the termsays that the name came from the fervor of their religious services.)

William Penn was imprisoned numerous times for writing and working to forward the Friends movement. On September 1, 1682, a band of about one hundred persons set sail from Deal, England on the ship "Welcome" (or"Friendship" or "Bristol Merchant") with William Penn. They were bound for Penn's recently acquired province in the new land across the oceanwhere they could worship in freedom. They reached Newcastle on theDelaware River on October 27, 1682, one-third fewer in number due to theravages of smallpox on shipboard.

Among those who came to the new land were James and Joan Moon and their six children. The family settled near Falsington in Bucks County, Pennsylvania on a land grant given them by Penn. The original homesite isnow said to be a freight yard near Morrisville, PA.



We have the following information on the family. James Moon was born in Bristol, England about 1640 and died in July 1713. He was married about1665 to Joan Burgess, born 1649 and died October 1739. Their children were Sarah, James, Jonas, Jasper (married twice and by his first wife had a son about 1700; by his second wife he had a son, John, born about1715), Mary and Roger.

From the original home in Pennsylvania descendants of James and Joan Moon have scattered far and wide. Often times the moves were prompted by pressure because of their religious beliefs, as was that first long journey to the new land.


For an outline of the descendents of James Moon, please click HERE.

Moon Family Start Page

Our Family Lineage Descends As Follows:
Richard Mohun (1495) * Robert Mohun (Moone) (1525) * Robert Moone (1555) * William Moon (1600) * James Moon (1639) Immigrant * James Moon Jr (1668) * Simon Moon (1700) * James Moon (1724) * John Peter Moon (1752) * William Moon (1776) * John Moon (1822) * Larkin Elfridge Moon (1845) * Maude Arbella Moon (m. Henry Willis Harris) * Leona Fern Harris (m. Earl Monroe Sparks) * Sheila Marie Sparks (Living) * Other Living Descendants *

For Notes on family members who are not in this direct line, please visit the lineage page and look for a link on their name. If they have a Notes page, you will be directed there using that link..



Site Contents Copyright 2010

Site Contents Copyright 2010