I always thought I was German! I grew up with the surname Hults, which I thought was an Americanization of the name “Holtz” which means “wood” in German.

I also questioned why my father’s surname was Hults while his father’s was Moxon. My father never gave me a proper answer. He once said that for one reason or another, his father, who was born and lived in New Haven, Connecticut, changed his name from Moxon to Hults during World War I.

After my father passed away, I found a marriage certificate among his belongings stating that his father, Arthur S. Moxon, married Rose Severns (my grandmother) in 1922. My grandfather, who had chosen to carry the name Arthur S. Hults for most of his life, then became known as Arthur S. Moxon using that name until his death in 1939, leaving me wondering why he made the name change from Hults back to his original surname, Moxon.

It remained a mystery to me for many years until several months ago when my wife, Vivian, began looking into her Italian family on Ancestry.com. Her maiden name is DiBona and her ancestors are from Sicily and northern Italy – she is 100% Italian.

Out of curiosity I typed in the name “Arthur Hults” to see if Ancestry.com had any information on my marriage to Vivian in New York City in 1979. Up pops a marriage certificate showing the first marriage of Arthur Hults, my grandfather, in New York City in 1906 – a surprise to me; it proved to be the clue that sparked my interest in uncovering my ancestral roots, because on the document Arthur Hults’ father was listed as born in England. From that point, our investigation confirmed that his father was indeed Arthur Moxon from England! We were getting somewhere!

We returned to Ancestry.com and discovered an Arthur Moxon on the passenger list of the steam ship Assyrian Monarch which sailed from London to New York City in 1880. Arthur settled in New Haven, Connecticut and was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 1889. From there we learned that Arthur Moxon, whose profession was listed as “bottler” in the New Haven City Directory 1891- 92, married and had two children, one of whom was my grandfather, Arthur.

Wanting to discover more about my great grandfather Arthur Moxon’s English background, we chanced upon Graham Jagger and The Moxon Society. What a brilliant find!

We joined The Moxon Society and asked Graham for guidance. At first, believing my “Arthur Moxon” was listed in the MX15 family tree, Graham said he and I were fifth cousins. Alas, this was not to be. After further clarification, we discovered my great grandfather, Arthur Moxon, was born in 1860 in Lambeth, London, the son of George and Louisa Caroline Moxon (nee Scott), who were married on October 20, 1839 at Spitalfields Christ Church, Stepney, London. We believe the middle name of “Scott” in my family comes from my great grandmother whose maiden name was Louisa Caroline Scott.

Graham went on to say my great, great grandfather, George Moxon was born in London in 1811, the son of Isaac and Rosetta Moxon (nee Turville). George was listed in the 1861 London census as a soda water manufacturer. Our Connecticut research disclosed that Arthur Moxon was himself a bottler of non-alcoholic spirits, adding creditability to our research.

Isaac Moxon, my great, great, great grandfather was baptized on 6 April 1780 at New Broad Street Independent Church, London. Bringing us as far back as possible with this information, Graham was able to identify the top individual in our tree, MX48, John Moxon. More on him in a bit.

As a bonus, Graham told us that a Moxon Society member, Barbara O’Neill, also descended from John Moxon and is my distant cousin.

My wife and I continued our research on the members of the MX48 branch and discovered some interesting items:

Returning to our Connecticut research, we discovered that Arthur’s first wife Teresa’s second marriage was to a New Jersey canal boat captain – William Hults. The 1900 U.S. Census lists William, Teresa, Arthur, 10 years-old (my grandfather) and Tess “Hults” as residing in New Jersey.

Evidently, Arthur Moxon’s children had assumed their stepfather’s surname, Hults, finally clearing up the mystery of the origin of my name and bringing us to the end of our findings on Ancestry.com.

As I might be the last living male descendant of the MX48 branch, Graham asked if I would be interested in taking a YDNA test to determine if I matched any of the other 12 male members of the Moxon Project who had been YDNA tested earlier. Of course, I said yes.

We set up the test with a Texas-based company, Family Tree DNA, and after my results were added to the Moxon Project there, Graham told me “with virtual certainty” that I was linked to the Cawthorne branch of the Moxon Family which can trace its ancestry back to Robert Mokeson (MX01) of Cawthorne who “paid 4 pence Poll Tax in 1379.” He said about 25% of the membership of the Moxon Society belong to this tree, so I should meet a few cousins at the Annual Gathering.

Graham was also able to determine that the MX48 John Moxon, Dyer of Bethnal Green, was baptized 12 September 1747 at Cawthorne, Yorkshire. He appears in the MX02 branch which ties me to John’s father, Richard Moxon (c. 24 January 1716, Cawthorne, All Saints). My ancient Moxon roots were now firmly established.

As you read this account, my wife Vivian and I have traveled to the Isle of Wight to attend our first Gathering to meet my cousins and make new friends. We remained another week in London to explore the City and visit the churches where several members of our Moxon family branch were baptized and married.

While looking forward to visiting England for the Gathering, we became regular listeners of BBC World Service on satellite radio, and enjoyed watching TV coverage of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and viewing the 2012 Summer Olympics, taking note of the sights and scenes around London as much as of the competitions themselves.

I am indeed proud to be of English heritage and I’m especially proud to be a member of the ancient Moxon Family. I am very grateful to Graham Jagger and the Moxon Society for providing so much help in my research and discovery. It is safe to say I am definitely an American Cousin with deep English roots. “God Save The Queen!

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