Record transcriptions & notes on this line can be found online at the following sites:
The John Moreshed, who was the father of Nicholas Moreshead who emigrated to PEI, is said to be the John who was born on 5 Jun 1743 in Duloe, Cornwall, England to John and Elizabeth (Congdon) Moreshead. However, I personally, am not entirely convinced of this yet due to the lack of support for this. It does seem our John married Elizabeth Sleep on 8 May 1769 in Menheniott, Cornwall, England. Elizabeth was born Oct 19 1750, daughter of Ferdinando Sleep and Blanch Geach who were married 12-28-1749 in Menheniot. It seems Elizabeth may have been buried on Apr 10 1823 in Menheniott, Cornwall, England, but again I can’t be certain at this time it is the same woman. The record indexed in the Cornwall Online Parish database lists her age as 73 and her residence as St. Keyne. It doesn't seem she had a will. I would love to know if there is a grave marker or burial location with both John & Elizabeth in Menheniot. That would clarify a few different things.
It is possible our John Moreshead died in Menheniot Aug 12 1814 at the age of 71 but I have been unable to determine if this is definitely the same man or if there was a will - it does not seem there was. This naturally poses a problem in supporting proof of his children. Also - other questions remain because it states - "Aug 12 1814, Menheniot, John MORSHEAD, a71 Cutparrot? Parish of Morval" and this hasn’t exactly proved to line up very clearly either at this point.
If there isn't a will - this is not good for our line because the baptism record for our Nicholas Moreshead baptized Jun 4 1781 in Menheniot, Cornwall, England, quite to my surprise has been transcribed on the online Cornwall Parish Records as being the son of John Moreshead & Elizabeth _______ further stating "Base child". This notation was not at all mentioned in the work that Alice Grant had hired out to Mr. J. Bastin in 1977. The term generally means illegitimate, and naturally that threw the research into discombobulated mess leaving me flummoxed. So, I've found over the years the best thing to do in that case is try to forget almost everything you think you know and look again for more supporting documentation that might have been missed. In addition, I have ordered the original record of the baptism to see for myself what exactly is states.
The main thing that caused was concern was that a Sir John Morshead, Baronet b. 1747 in Menheniot also floated around the area in the course of his duties at the time, and had married an Elizabeth - in addition in the family notes by Alice Grant she had implied that there was rumor on the Island that there was a title in the lineage - something that had not been proven and was dismissed. Anyway, long story short, it seems at this time, any connection to Sir John Moreshead is still not proven, although that may change the further back we go- maybe he was a distant cousin. I can say that indications are that Sir John's parents were William Morshead & Olympia Treise, William's parents seem to be William Morshead & Joane/Janne Herring who also had John who died unmarried, Edward died unmarried & dau Jane & Mary, That William's parents were William Moreshead & Catherine Cole & besides William they had John who died unmarried & Elizabeth, That William was the son of Edward who married Phillippa Mitchell other children unknown; Edward was the son of William & had several siblings; the next William back was the son of Edward & had siblings Robert & John - so now that is clear as mudd - any connect is pretty far back. The above can be found in The Parochchial and Family History of the Deanery of Trigg Minor…Vol 1 pg 82. It's on Google Books. By the way…not one Nicholas in the bunch.
Once I was able to determine it did not seem Sir John was our man it led me back to John Moreshead & Elizabeth Sleep but why would Nicholas's baptism record say base child if they were his parents, after all they had been married 12 years by then? It just doesn't make sense. I pondered briefly ..what if Nicholas was the son of the John Moreshead who died in 1781 - and maybe these deaths were confused…theorizing maybe because Nicholas was baptized July 1781 & that John Moreshead died May 1781, if his father was dead - could that cause his baptism to say "base child"? But…this doesn't seem possible, although there is no age noted on the transcription for the death in 1781 - it seems much more likely that the John who died in 1781 could be Nicholas's grandfather (let's prove one generation at a time…) So…perhaps Nicholas's father did die in 1814… because John who married Elizabeth Sleep continued to have children..it seems. The good news is there is a will for the John who died in 1781 & it has been ordered, just haven't received it yet, maybe it will mention his grandson Nicholas, that would be fabulous but I digress from the topic at hand...
As I mentioned before - there does not seem to be a will for the John who died Aug 12 1814 at the age of 71. So, there clearly wasn't enough evidence now to be sure our Nicholas was the son of this John, more digging was required. Eventually, through the National Archives website I found a notation for a "reversionary lease" which in simple terms is a least that commences in the future - say when minors become adults. In the old days men often held lifelong leases on property - a reversionary lease would be put in place to secure the lease to the sons when they came of age sometime in the future. I have also ordered a copy of this record from the Cornwall Record Office. In part, it confirms that on Dec 25 1783 a Reversionary Lease was written including - "(i) Jn. Trehawke, esq (ii) Jn. Moreshead, Menheniot, yeo. …..Lives: Jn. 8 yrs., + Nicholas, 3 yrs., (sons ii) added to life (ii) Witd: Mary Cowper"
We see here that the lease was created between the first party, John Trehawke & the second party, John Moreshead of Menheniot, yeoman, who lines up to be ours. Further, the lease mentions sons of this John Moreshead as John Moreshead age 8 & Nicholas Moreshead age 3. We then compare the baptisms of John Moreshead & Elizabeth’s children and we find that John & Nicholas were the only sons born as of Dec 1783, and the ages of our John & Nicholas add up exactly. Bingo! Finally, something that directly connects our Nicholas - the only one around - to this John. So despite what the baptism transcription says we can be sure they are connected.
However, don't get too excited because plenty of questions still remain….like why does the death of John Moreshead say "Aug 12 1814, Menheniot, John MORSHEAD, a71 Cutparrot? Parish of Morval" - Well, we now know our John was a yeoman, aka farmer, so was his farm in Morval? At the time - not everyone lived on their farm land…it's possible, but at the moment not provable. As you have now gathered there are a lot of holes that need to be sorted out which is why I have hesitated sharing this post. This family clearly needs to be an ongoing research project. I welcome all the help I can get in clarifying this and likewise as I gain more information I will share it here.
Children of John Moreshead & Elizabeth [Sleep]:
1. Mary Moreshed was christened Jul 12 1769 in Menheniott, Cornwall, England.
2. Jennie Moreshed was christened May 3 1772 in Menheniott, Cornwall, England.
3. John Moreshed was christened May 21 1775 in Menheniott, Cornwal, England.
4. Elizabeth Moreshed was christened May 31 1778 in Menheniott, Cornwall, England.
5. Nicholas Sr Mooreshed was christened on 4 Jun 1781 Menheniot, Cornwall, England.
6. William Moreshed was christened on 11 Oct 1784 in Menheniott, Cornwall, England.
Amylynne B. Murphy