Genealogy Chat

Top tip - using the Genes Reunited community

Welcome to the Genes Reunited community boards!

  • The Genes Reunited community is made up of millions of people with similar interests. Discover your family history and make life long friends along the way.
  • You will find a close knit but welcoming group of keen genealogists all prepared to offer advice and help to new members.
  • And it's not all serious business. The boards are often a place to relax and be entertained by all kinds of subjects.
  • The Genes community will go out of their way to help you, so don’t be shy about asking for help.

Quick Search

Single word search

Electoral Rolls

Looking for living relatives?

Search our UK Electoral Rolls (2002-2013) and find your living relatives today.

Search Electoral Rolls

New electoral roll records


  • New posts
  • No new posts
  • Thread closed
  • Stickied, new posts
  • Stickied, no new posts

To the MOON and back!

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Mandy Report 10 Nov 2012 12:55

I need help finding information about a member of my family that I am really not sure is my "correct" Great great Granddad.

I have been seriously researching my family tree for the past year and have discovered lots of really useful websites, forums and chat rooms, but still I have the same question that no one seems to be able to answer. I think my Great great Granddad was Henry Moon, but what do others think?

Henry Moon b. 1836 Brookland, New Romney, Kent. Mothers name: Sarah Moon b. 1816 Brookland. He was christened on: 02.10.1836 Brookland (listed as illegitimate). He married Amelia Ann Smith on 29.04.1861 New Romney.

They apparently had 4 children together:

John William Moon b. 1864 Orlestone, Ashford, d. 1865 Ashford
Lenora Jane Moon b. 1866 Orelestone, Ashford
William Collins Moon b. 1868 Warehorne, Ashford (My Great Granddad)
Benjamin Thomas Collins Moon b. 1869 Orlestone, Ashford

Amelia Ann then re-marries in 1870 to William Collins b. 1827 Ruckinge

My dilemma is that I can find no trace of Henry Moon after the 1861 census so I assume he must have died as Amelia re-married in 1870, but I can not find any record anywhere of his death?

The other thing that is really strange is the fact that my Great granddad was named William COLLINS MOON - how would Amelia have known she would re-marry someone named William Collins?

I have William COLLINS MOON's birth certificate (my Great granddad) and it states Henry Moon as his father, but I have that "gut feeling" that Amelia may have lied about this and that in fact William Collins was his father, but because she wasn't married to him at the time she lied on the birth register.

If anyone has information on Henry Moon, especially a death date that would be great. I have been able to trace his family line back to Thomas Moon b. 1760, married 10.04.1784 to Jane Maybourne, but I want to be sure (well as much as I possibily can be) that he is indeed my Great great Granddad.

Any suggestions welcomed. :-)


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 10 Nov 2012 13:32

One suggestion, not researched

Unless there is a Collins link from another part of the family, I'd agree that

William Collins Moon b. 1868 Warehorne, Ashford
Benjamin Thomas Collins Moon b. 1869 Orlestone, Ashford

were likely to be the children of a Mr Collins, probably William Collins.

Unless the biological father (at least in later years) attended the registration, it was assumed that the husband of a married woman was the father of all her children. Even the children of documented widows have the deceased husband named as their father!

That would explain why Henry Moon is 'assumed' to be the father.


Nyx Report 10 Nov 2012 14:31

Just to note that on the 1870 marriage ( on Freebmd) the name is Collings with a 'g' ? Have you got this cert to check ?

Marriages Dec 1870 (>99%)

COLLINGS William W. Ashford 2a 1053

MOON Amelia Ann W Ashford 2a 1053


KathleenBell Report 10 Nov 2012 15:00

Have you considered that Henry and Amelia may have just split up and she went on to marry William Collings bigamously because she had children with him? It happened quite a lot in the 1800's.

There is this death which would be about the right age:-

Name: MOON, Henry
Registration district: Maidstone
County: Kent
Year of registration: 1918
Quarter of registration: Jan-Feb-Mar
Age at death: 82
Volume no: 2A
Page no: 1245

I'd say that it is likely that William Collins Moon is the son of William Collins/Collings and not Henry Moon. His surname would come from the fact that his mother's surname was Moon, so whether Henry was alive or not Moon would still be the child's surname. It would seem strange to give the children the middle name of Collins if Henry was indeed the father. Lots of illegitimate children were given their "real" father's surname as a middle name.

Kath. x


safc Report 10 Nov 2012 16:43

groom's name: Henry Moon
groom's birth date: 1836
groom's birthplace:
groom's age: 25
bride's name: Amelia Ann Smith
bride's birth date: 1835
bride's birthplace:
bride's age: 26
marriage date: 29 Apr 1861
marriage place: New Romney, Kent, England
groom's father's name: Richard Reeve
groom's mother's name:
bride's father's name: John Smith
bride's mother's name:
groom's race:
groom's marital status:
groom's previous wife's name:
bride's race:
bride's marital status:
bride's previous husband's name:
indexing project (batch) number: I04505-1
system origin: England-EASy
source film number: 1866564
reference number: item 10 p 77


Mandy Report 10 Nov 2012 18:04

Thanks for all the replies.

+++DetEcTive+++ I didn't realise that it was assumed who the father of a child was - this could indeed explain a lot.

Rambling Rose - Yes I had already looked on FreeBMD and had noted the mispelling of the Collins surname (it happens alot) haven't got the marriage certificate yet to confirm this, but I think it is about 99.99% that I have the right William Collins. My Great Granddad William Collins Moon later dropped the "Moon" surname and just became William Collins although his children (my nan) were all registered with the "Collins Moon" or "Moon Collins" surname. My dad remembers my nan telling him that it was Amelia who registered all the births and insisted on the "Moon" being used in the surname. Nearly all the family have dropped this surname now and just use the Collins.

Kathleen Bell - Yes others have suggested that Amelia just remarried William Collins as divorce was really unheard of. I would like to think that he died though and she wanted to keep his name "Moon" alive by using it for all her grandchildren. I do know there was another Henry Moon born about the same time and lived in the Maidstone area, so I have a feeling the record you have found could be his, again maybe I will have to pay for the certificate to be sure.

safc - I have all that information on the marriage of Henry Moon to Amelia and I also suspect that Richard Reeve (who Sarah - Henry's mother married) could be Henry's real father.

Who would have thought things could be so complicated - it is a little worrying how obsessed I am becoming over one member of the family

I will continue my search.


KathleenBell Report 10 Nov 2012 18:39

This is the only likely Henry Moon death I can see between 1865 and 1870:-

Name: MOON, Henry
Registration district: Lambeth
County: London
Year of registration: 1865
Quarter of registration: Oct-Nov-Dec
Volume no: 1D
Page no: 241

Kath. x

Kim Annette

Kim Annette Report 11 Nov 2012 17:56


never obsessed... i have found lots of relatives but the one i am stuck on like you i am spending lots of time on it... not getting anyway and have also asked for help on this site...
i suppose this addiction is better than others...



Merilyn Report 6 Aug 2013 03:50

my grand parents John W Moon Collins & Lilian Emma (nee Goldup). My father Vernon JK Collins is 85, lives in Aust & hasn't seen his family since about 1940..bombings in Ashford. Long story, but we (my siblings & I) think we are now on the right rack to locate whoever may still be alive. We are keen to hear if anyone knows the family and we can compare notes. regards
Merilyn Collins


jax Report 6 Aug 2013 04:45

Hi Merilyn welcome to the boards

Mandy Posted this last year and may not be checking for replies now. If you click on her name and send a private message Genes will notify her she has a message waiting


Mandy Report 6 Aug 2013 19:35

Hi Merilyn

Great to get a reply to my post. I believe you are on the right track with your research. My grandmother was Fanny Amelia Collins Moon (only ever known as Anne) and would have been the younger sister of your grandfather John W Moon Collins (or Collins Moon!!) She was born 08.07.1912 in Ashford and married Sidney James Collins (no relation to the Moon Collins family!) on 08.08.1936 in Maidstone, she died on 11.01.1992 in Sittingbourne. They had 3 children: Brian Sidney Collins - who also lives in Australia, my father Ivor James Collins and Wendy Jill Collins. I think this connection makes us 2nd cousins?

I have lots of information on John W Moon Collins's brothers and sisters and have managed to trace the family tree (through the Moon line) back to 1760 so far.

If you would like any information then you can message me and I will try to help.

Mandy Snell (nee Collins)