Select Moon Surname Genealogy

The Moon surname in England seems to have been a corruption of the place-name Mohun near St. Lo in Normandy. William de Mohun came over with William the Conqueror in 1066 and was granted large estates in Somerset.  It has also been argued that the name, although brought over by the Normans, had Danish origins.  Mohun became Moone and then Moon.

Moon from mun is a common Korean name.  The best-known Moon has been Sun Myung Moon, the founder of the Unification Church.  His followers are often called Moonies

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EnglandThe Norman de Mohun family was initially established at Dunster in Somerset.  They remained there until the last of their line died in 1376.  By that time the name had spread elsewhere in SW England.  The spellings were up to Elizabethan times, and in some cases beyond, Mohun and Moone. 

There was an early Moone or Moon line at Ash in Devon.  Thomas Moon, Sir Francis Drakeís best captain, was born in Bristol in 1520. 

One line Ė that of Fleet House in Dorset - began at Ottery St. Mary in Devon in 1516 (and possibly there earlier) and prospered later in the 1500ís through Richard Moone and his son Robert. 

ďWhen Richard Moone died around the year 1548, it was said that his younger son Robert suppressed evidence of a will while his elder son was abroad.  Whether a valid will existed or not, the two brothers fell out over the inheritance and their respective families took sides in the ensuing litigation which continued for several generations.Ē 

Inside the chancel of the old church at Fleet is a brass plaque commemorating the lives of Robert and Margaret Mohun.  Behind Robert are nine sons, behind Margaret eight daughters

Moone burial records began at Liskeard in Cornwall in 1605.  The will of George Moone, brother of Theophilus, was recorded there in 1696.  John Moone or Moon married Elizabeth Rundle in 1700; while a later Theophilus Moon married Honour Hawkey in 1754.

There may have been Moon history in SW England.  But there have been more Moon numbers elsewhere, primarily in Lancashire and SE England.

. The Moon name in Lancashire has been concentrated around Preston and nearby places such as Eccleston and Chorley, although there were some departures from there to America: 
  • a Moon family had made their home in this area at Woodplumpton in the 1570ís.  A century or so later John Moon was persecuted for his Quaker faith and left for Pennís Pennsylvania in the 1680ís.  
  • then Henry Moon of Eccleston - who could trace his ancestry there back eleven generations to Robert Moon who was born in 1610 - converted to Mormonism in 1837.  Three years later he departed for Nauvoo with thirteen of his family and relatives.  Henryís home - the Horse Stone estate which had been in his family for generations - was sold.
There were still 59 Moons recorded in the village of Eccleston in the 1881 census.

SE England
.  Moon was also a name of the Kent and Sussex Weald.  

The earliest reference appears to have been a John Peter Moon who was born in Rotherfield, Sussex in the 1540ís. There were Moons in Rotherfield and nearby Westfield in the 18th and 19th centuries.  A Moon family in Rye, Sussex in the mid-1700ís were the forebears of William and Henry Moon who emigrated to Australia in 1838 and 1839 respectively.  

Moons were to be found in Folkestone, Kent in the early 1800ís.  William Moon who created Moon type, the first widely used practical reading alphabet for the blind, was born in Horsmonden, Kent in 1818
.  Keith Moon, the drummer with The Who, had Kentish forebears.

Ireland.  Moon in Ireland could be an anglicized form of the Gaelic O'Mochain found in Connacht and Ulster. However, this usually became Mohan.  Donovan Hurst did compile a pamphlet, Moon Surname - Ireland, of Moons who lived in Ireland between the 1600's and 1900's.

AmericaThere were Moon arrivals into Virginia and Pennsylvania.  Moons migrated to Georgia as early as 1770. 

.  Moons appeared at an early time at the Jamestown colony.  It is thought that Nicholas and Churchill Moon were in Jamestown possibly by 1607.  However, they did not stay. 

Captain John Moon from Alverstone in Hampshire, who had been plying ships between England and Virginia between 1606 and 1619, settled in Virginia in 1623.  He married twice, but left no sons on his death in 1655.  His family line continued through his brother Abraham who had come to Virginia in 1638.  Many think that these Moons were grandsons of Drakeís Captain Thomas Moon.

There was another Virginia Moon family, probably related, that began with Stephen Moon who was born in New Kent county around the year 1660.  This line extended in the early 1800ís to Edward Moon, a wealthy merchant who owned the 1,500 acre Viewmont tobacco plantation near Scottsville.  Edward had four remarkable daughters for his time Ė Orie who became a doctor, Sallie a teacher, and Lottie and Edmonia famous Baptist missionaries in China.

James Moon was a Quaker from Bristol who came with his wife Joan and six children to Fallsington, Bucks county in 1682.  One of his sons Jasper moved onto Virginia and North Carolina.  Another son Roger lived in the same place for nigh on seventy years, dying at the ancestral home in 1759.  And Rogerís descendants were still there a century or so later.  It was said that Roger had never fired a gun or quarrelled with any man in his life.

A later Moon line began with Henry Moon, an apparent deserter to the American cause during the Revolutionary War.  After the war he ran an inn at McCandless fownship in Allegheny county.

.  Moons from Virginia descended on Georgia in the late 1700ís

John Moon, a descendant of Jasper Moon in Virginia, migrated to Columbia county in Georgia around the year 1770 and became part of the Quaker community in that county.  His son Thomas was a prosperous farmer with a large plantation there who died in 1855 at the good age of ninety six.  Of his progeny:
  • Lewis Moon served two terms in the lower house of the General Assembly of Georgia and one term in the Georgia Senate.
  • Jesse Moon moved to Randolph county in Alabama in the late 1840ís where he had bought himself a farm.
  • whilst the youngest son Joseph Moon remained in Georgia.  He married for the third time at the age of seventy five and died in 1893 at the age of ninety seven. 
The family history was recounted in William Moonís 1920 book History of the Moon Family.

Meanwhile Jacob Moon - from New Kent county and a descendant of Abraham Moon - was rewarded for furnishing supplies and services during the Revolutionary War with land in Georgia.  He and his family moved to Greene county, Georgia in 1786.  His sons William and Pleasant settled in Elbert county.

.  Robert Moon came to New England and was recorded as a tailor working in Boston in 1644.  He moved to Rhode Island in 1651 where his descendants lived for many generations.  One branch later settled in Vermont and then in upstate New York.  Judge Walter Moon, born there, was one of the early settlers of Nebraska in 1873.

Canada.  Two brothers Robert and Henry Moon left Cornwall for Simcoe county, Ontario in 1832 at around the same time as two of their cousins departed for Australia. 

Australia and New Zealand
.  Philip Moon, also from Cornwall, was an earlier settler in New Zealand, arriving there with his family on the Blenheim in 1842.   He lived and died as a stonemason in New Plymouth. 

Australian Moon immigrants included: 
  • William Moon and his family from Kent who came to Sydney on the Maitland in 1838.  They were assisted emigrants who managed to survive the crowded and unhygienic conditions on-board the vessel during the voyage.  On their arrival they moved south to farm, eventually settling in Ulladulla.  
  • and James Moon and his family from Hampshire, also assisted emigrants, who came to Sydney on the Bussorah Merchant in 1853.
Select Moon Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Moon Names

William de Mohun who came over with William the Conqueror is considered to be the progenitor of many of the Moons in England.
Thomas Moon
was one of Sir Francis Drakeís most trusted sea captains.
William Moon
was the English creator in the 1840ís of Moon type, the first widely used practical reading alphabet for the blind.
Lottie Moon
 was a pioneer American Baptist missionary in China, from 1873 to 1912.
Rev. Sun Myung Moon was the Korean founder of the Unification Church that has spread globally.
Keith Moon was a distinctive and wild drummer who played for the English rock band the Who in the 1970ís.

Select Moons Today
  • 10,000 in the UK (most numerous in Kent)
  • 15,000 in America (most numerous in Georgia) 
  • 7,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)

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