Mosier Family Origins

Mosier Family Origins as “said to be” by Alvion Mosier (i.e., the “oral tradition”)

“The Mosier Family was a large family living in Germany at the time of the Thirty Year War, and they were driven out by the invaders for being Protestant; some went to Alsace Lorraine, some to Holland. The ones that went to Alsace were driven back to Germany, it was then that they added the ‘i’ to the name which until then had been spelled ‘Moser’ –they were now known as French Alsatians.

“After a while most of them migrated to the New World, settled in what is now Philadelphia. When the British took control of Philadelphia the Mosier Clan moved out, some to Allentown, Pennsylvania; this group dropped the “I” from the name, another group went to what is now known as Reading, Pennsylvania, they kept the spelling as we have it today, this group was very large.

“When Daniel Boone migrated south, a number of them went along, some settling in Virginia, others in North and South Carolina. When Daniel Boone moved on to Kentucky, our part of the family went with him. Two of the boys, Christian and David Mosier moved to Indiana, David married and had one son, Albert, moving out west.

“Christian Mosier married Sophronia Blair, the Blairs were a Scotch family who had to leave Ireland because they were Protestants. They settled in what is Roxborough, a suburb of Philadelphia. Christian & Sophronia Mosier were my Dad’s Mother and Father, they had 5 boys and 4 girls. There is still a Blair family in Roxborough, when talking to one of the girls, an English teacher at Roxborough High School, she told me that her brother looked enough like me to be my brother.”

Reconciling the “oral tradition” to the historical framework:

  • In 1618, The Thirty Years’ War began with a revolt in Bohemia, spread to Germany and involved England, Spain, the Dutch United Provinces, Denmark, Sweden and France
  • In 1623, the Palatinate region of Germany (bordered by Alsace and Lorraine on the south) was conquered by Spain with the aid of Bavaria (Duke Maximilian of Bavaria was head of the Catholic League) and the region was ravaged by disease and warfare
  • In 1635, French troops took over the Alsatian cities which had been captured by the Protestant King of Sweden between 1630 and 1634
  • In 1648, the Treaty of Westphalia ended thirty years of warfare, starvation and pestilence that reduced the population of Germany by 40 percent in the countryside and 33 percent in the cities; Alsace became French; Germany became a loose federation of German princes, and internal conflicts invited foreign intervention; between 1648 and 1697, France expanded its territory to encircle Lorraine
  • Lutheran churchbooks for various parishes in Mittlefranken (now Bavaria) Germany for the period 1653 to 1727 include record of the births, deaths, and marriages of our Moser ancestors –i.e., the children and grandchildren of Hans Moser a peasant farmer who was born about 1623 in Lower Austria and emigrated about 1653 to Mittlefranken where he purchased property at Hetzweiler for the price of 20 Guilders1.
  • In 1681, William Penn received a charter from King Charles II to found the colony that became Pennsylvania as a “Holy Experiment” where “all good people could live together in peace”
  • In 1683, group immigration began with the arrival of the first group of German immigrants, who established the first permanent German settlement in America at Germantown, Pennsylvania near Philadelphia; this marked the beginnings of the German immigration to the New World on a massive scale, and this occurred in the early 1700’s with the immigration from southwest Germany and from the neighboring regions of the southwestern German-speaking area of Europe, which included Alsace-Lorraine and Switzerland
  • In 1728, Johann Martin Moser, our immigrant Mosier ancestor (grandson of Hans Moser), sailed from Rotterdam aboard the ship James Goodwill and arrived in the port of Philadelphia on September 11, 1728 with his wife and young children, among them Georg Fredrich (aka Frederick) Moser. The Moser family settled in the Perkiomen Valley at New Goshenhoppen, in Philadelphia County (now Montgomery County, near the Berks County line).
  • In 1734, Daniel Boone was born in Berks County, PA (the present-day location of Reading, PA); the Boones were a Quaker family that had come to America from England in 1717
  • In 1750, the Boone family migrated to the Yadkin River valley in North Carolina after stopping for awhile in the Shenandoah Valley
  • In 1762, Frederick Moser (son of Johann Martin Moser) migrated with his wife and eight children from Berks County, PA to North Carolina settling on land along Stinking Quarter Creek in Orange County (now Alamance County). The Moser family was part of the mass migration of German and Scots-Irish farmers who traveled south along the Great Wagon Road after 1735 as the supply of land grew short in Pennsylvania and other northern colonies.
  • In 1767, Daniel Boone took his first trip to Kentucky, spending the fall and winter hunting in what is now Floyd County, KY
  • In 1773, Daniel Boone and his wife with five other families constituting a party of 40 set off for Kentucky but were attacked by Indians and returned to the settlements in North Carolina
  • In 1775, Boone and a company of men began building the Wilderness Road through the Cumberland Gap and pushed the road forward to the south bank of the Kentucky River where Boone founded the settlement of Boonesborough; Boone brought his family to Boonesborough and other families followed
  • In 1777, the British moved into Philadelphia, and Washington spent the winter at Valley Forge with his troops
  • In 1806, Philip Moser (son of Frederick Moser) migrated with his wife and children along the Wilderness Road from North Carolina to the Indiana Territory and settled on land just across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky that later became part of Floyd County, Indiana.
  • In 1820, Christian Moser (grandson of Philip Moser) was born in Floyd County IN; his brother David was born there in 1824. Christian also had a brother, John, born about 1818 in Harrison County IN.
  • In 1833, Sophronia Blair was born; in the 1850 Indiana Census, Sophronia stated that she was born in Indiana and she is thought to have been born in Harrison County, Indiana. In the 1880 census, Sophronia stated that both parents were born in Virginia.
  • In 1857, Christian Mosier married Sophronia Blair in Floyd County, Indiana. Their marriage registration record is the first instance found to date of the present-day spelling of the family name as “Mosier.”

Related Materials:

1Gary C. Moser, “Moser of Middle Franken and Pennsylvania, 1653-1732”.