Moorhouse is my mother's paternal line. Although her parents are the most recent immigrants to America among my ancestors, the Moorhouse family is one of those which have been traced back the farthest. There were Moorhouses in and around the villages of Hepworth and Kirkburton in the West Riding of Yorkshire back to at least the mid-17th century. They were Church of England and they stayed in one place, factors which make it relatively easy to trace them.Note: I have combined these two families into one page for now,
for reasons which will become apparent below.
My grandfather Joseph Moorhouse 1872-1948 arrived in the United States on 3 Aug 1902. He, along with his younger brother Walter Moorhouse, was on the ship "Germanic" which came into Ellis Island on that date. A note on the ship's manifest says they were going to join their brother Samuel Moorhouse who was already in Pennsylvania. It is believed that Samuel had come in 1888 or 1890. Aother younger brother, William Moorhouse, came on the "Lusitania" in 1908.
My grandfather Joseph was one of thirteen children of William Moorhouse 1843-1916 and Hannah Charlesworth 1846-1910. In 1905, Joseph Moorhouse married my grandmother Sarah Elizabeth Whitehouse 1878-1958 (always known as Elizabeth). His brother Samuel Moorhouse 1867-1941 had married Elizabeth's older sister Emma Whitehouse in 1892.
The Whitehouse sisters were also immigrants from England, having come as children with their parents Samuel Whitehouse 1838-1900 and Elizabeth Walker 1844-1908. Samuel Whitehouse was born in Tipton, Staffordshire, one of nine children of Richard Whitehouse 1806 - ca 1866 and his wife Sarah.
It is believed that William and Elizabeth Whitehouse and their family arrived in America about 1888 or 1890. Whitehouse turns out to be a very common name in Staffordshire and I have not yet got the story back before my great great grandfather Richard. Since Samuel and Elizabeth Whitehouse had only girls, six of them, I am not closely related to any Whitehouses in America as best I can tell.
The wedding portrait of my grandparents Sarah Elizabeth Whitehouse and Joseph Moorhouse, 1905
Neither of the two younger Moorhouse brothers who came to America at about this time, Walter 1878-1946; and William 1885-1944, ever married, so all the American Moorhouses of this line are descendants of William and Hannah Charlesworth Moorhouse and also of Samuel and Elizabeth Walker Whitehouse. My grandparents Joseph and Elizabeth had six children, and Samuel and Emma Moorhouse had twelve. Anyone who has followed this far will see that all of the children of these two couples, and there were a lot of them, were 'double cousins'. So in my generation we have a lot of double second cousins.
In the summer of 1907, William and Hannah Charlesworth Moorhouse came from England to visit their sons in Pennsylvania; thanks to the Ellis Island site I have been able to pinpoint this exactly; they were on the "Caronia" which came into New York on 30 May 1907. The picture below, one of my greatest genealogical finds, was taken during this visit. It is explained below.
Moorhouse-Whitehouse family photograph, summer 1907
This photograph was taken during a visit of my greatgrandparents, William Moorhouse and his wife Hannah Charlesworth of Yorkshire, to their sons in Pennsylvania.
Back row:1. William 'Bill' Moorhouse b 1 Feb 1885 in Hepworth, Yorkshire, d Sep 1944, Penfield, PA; he came to America on the Lusitania, later a famous ship, in 1908. He never married.
2. William Moorhouse b 29 Dec 1843 Hepworth, d 9 Dec 1916 Yorkshire, the patriarch of this branch of Moorhouses; my greatgrandfather. After the visit he and his wife returned to England; he died there in 1916.
3. Hannah Charlesworth Moorhouse b 7 Dec 1846 Hepworth, d 18 Feb 1910 Yorkshire, his wife, my greatgrandmother. She died in England in 1910.
4. This young man I am not quite sure of but my best guess is that he was Herbert Moorhouse b 14 Sep 1892 in Hepworth, the youngest of the Moorhouse brothers, who always lived in England but I think he may have come with his parents on this visit, and gone back with them. He would have been 15 at this time.
5. Walter Moorhouse b 17 Nov 1878 Hepworth, d 1946, Penfield, PA, another of the brothers, who came to America with my grandfather Joseph in 1902. He also never married.Group on the left:This young couple are Samuel Moorhouse b 8 Sep 1867 in Hepworth, d 12 Jan 1941 Tyler, PA; and his wife Emma Whitehouse b 21 Feb 1870 in Staffordshire, d 14 Apr 1955 Tyler, PA. Their first child was William b 1893 but he had died in 1899. I know nothing else about him. Their children pictured, as best I can identify them, as follows: The two girls on either side of their father are twins: Effie Mae and Elsie Faye, b 20 Jul 1900. I do not know which is which. Effie Mae died in December of the year the picture was taken; my mother was only two at the time, and she did not remember her. Elsie lived until 1980 and I remember her; she had flaming red hair.The older woman seated at center:
The two boys seated in front are Frederick 'Fred' b 21 Dec 1895 and James Ernest 'Ernie' b 12 Mar 1898; I actually recognize him. The other two little girls are Ruth b 1 Mar 1903 and Edyth b 18 Dec 1904. I do not know which is which but I am in contact with Ruth's daughter Natalie and I am sure she will know. Edyth died as a young woman, according to my information in 1930, but I thought I remembered my mother saying she had died in the flu epidemic, presumably in 1918, so I am not sure. Natalie may know that too, I will ask her. The baby on Emma's lap is Nellie b 17 May 1906. This couple went on to have four more children, Albert, Eugene, Agnes, and Ada, all of whom lived long lives; I know that Ada at least is still living.
This is Elizabeth Walker Whitehouse, b in Staffordshire in 1844 and my other maternal greatgrandmother. She was the mother of Emma Whitehouse, above, and of my grandmother Elizabeth Whitehouse, below (and also of four more girls that I know of, not pictured. No boys, at least none that lived to grow up). Elizabeth Walker's husband, Samuel Whitehouse b 12 May 1838 in Staffordshire, had died in Pennsylvania in 1900 and Elizabeth herself died 12 Sep 1908, a little over a year after this picture was made. The family story is that after her husband's death Elizabeth Walker Whitehouse operated a boarding house, her daughters helped her with it, and that is how they met the Moorhouse brothers, single young immigrant men who were staying there. I have not actually verified this story.
Group on the right:The young couple on the right are my grandparents, Joseph Moorhouse b 18 Apr 1872 in Hepworth and Sarah Elizabeth Whitehouse (always called Elizabeth) b 30 Jun 1878 in Staffordshire. Joe Moorhouse died 4 Nov 1948, at which time he looked almost exactly as he does on the picture, a little heavier but hair and moustache still almost black. My grandmother Elizabeth died 22 Aug 1958, still with the exact same 'Gibson Girl' hairstyle although it was white by then.
The little girl on her father's lap is my mother, Alice Margaret Moorhouse (always called Margaret) b 31 Oct 1905; the baby Elizabeth is holding is her brother Herbert William Moorhouse b 31 May 1907; that I know when he was born is what initially, before I found them on the Ellis Island lists, enabled me to date the picture so exactly. This couple also had four more children, Florence, Grace, Mildred, and Martha, all of whom lived to fairly old age but all of whom are gone now. Here is another picture of my mother from about the same time or perhaps a bit later:
Alice Margaret Moorhouse, about 1907
Back to Top
This page copyright © 2000-2002 Janice A. Frank. All rights reserved.
This site may be freely linked to but not duplicated in any fashion without my written consent.