John Thomas Moden

John Thomas Moden (also known as John Dewey) was the oldest, and illegitimate child of Esther Moden of Haddenham and Wentworth in Cambridgeshire, England.

According to his birth certificate, John was born at the Union House in St. Mary's Ely, Cambridgeshire. Presumably his mother Esther had gone away from the small village she called home to give birth to him, in an attempt to avoid the shame of being an unmarried mother.

John next appears in 1852, when his grandparents Thomas and Rebecca Moden present him for baptism as if he was their own. However, the register notes his date of birth - which matches that on the birth certificate - therefore confirming that his mother was actually Esther.

Three years after his birth, his mother married Henry Dewey of neighbouring village Witchford, and together they went on to have a further ten children. John appears alongside these half-siblings on the 1861 census, where he has been noted (perhaps intentionally to avoid the social stigma of illegitimacy) as 'John Dewy'.

By the time of the 1871 census, he has flown the nest and is living in nearby Haddenham. Soon after this he marries Charity Barrett of Feltwell, Norfolk. The couple have a son (also named John) and then begin moving away from Cambridgeshire whilst they grow their family to eleven children.

The family appears in Wittering near Peterborough, a brief stop in Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria, but eventually return southwards to settle in Easton-On-The-Hill in Northamptonshire, England.

John's father-in-law, Richard Barrett joins the family in time for the 1891 census, where he's listed as an 86 year old retired agricultural labourer. John has a similar line of work - seemingly staying in agriculture from 1881 onwards, rising to the rank of Farm Foreman by 1911.

Of the couple's eleven children, two are noted as having died by the time of the 1911 census - but I have yet to identify which children they are.

Life Events


  • 13th July 1851 at Union House, St. Mary's Street, Ely, Cambridgeshire, England.


  • 30th May 1852 with his aunt Susan Moden (under the guise of his 'sister') at St. Peter's Church, Wentworth, Cambridgeshire, England.


  • Charity Barrett (1853-1934) on 4th November 1871 at St. Peter's Church, Wentworth, Cambridgeshire, England.


  • John Moden (1872-?)
  • Lizzie Maria Moden (1876-?)
  • Thomas Moden (1878-1918)
  • Harry Moden (1880-1949)
  • Annie Eliza Moden (1882-1951)
  • George Moden (1885-1935)
  • Ada Ellen Moden (1887-?)
  • Lily Hester Moden (1889-?)
  • Walter Moden (1892)
  • Walter James Moden (1894-?)
  • Herbert William Moden (1897-1917)

Census and Residence

  • 1861: 9yrs, Main Street, Wentworth, Cambridgeshire, England.
  • 1871: 19yrs, Staple Lees, Haddenham, Cambridgeshire, England.
  • 1881: 29yrs, Wittering, Cambridgeshire, England.
  • 1891: 39yrs, Collyweston Road, Easton On The Hill, Northamptonshire, England.
  • 1901: 49yrs, Easton On The Hill, Northamptonshire, England.
  • 1911: 59yrs, New Town, Easton On The Hill, Northamptonshire, England.


  • 1871: Servant for Robert Ellis
  • 1881: Agricultural Labourer
  • 1901: Yardman on Farm - Cattle
  • 1911: Farm Foreman


  • During 1927 in Lincolnshire, England.


  • Not yet known.



  • Illegitimate Line
  • Illegitimate Line

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