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Mosley, Joyce

Baby Boomer (born 1943 to 1963)


Joyce Mosley was born in Chester, Pennsylvania.  Her mother was a teacher from Darby, PA and he father was an instructor, born in Scranton, PA.


The oldest of five children, Joyce grew up in Ardmore, PA and graduated from the Lower Merion High School.  Joyce attended Widener University earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business.


In her professional career, Joyce worked thirty years in the employee benefits and human resources field with three international companies.


Joyce describes her most significant life accomplishment as adopting her son as one of the first single-parent adoptions in Pennsylvania.  She has three grandsons.


Joyce has been honored as the Adoptive Mother of the Year, Outstanding Volunteer of the Year, and Church Trustee of the Year.


She is her family’s historian and has led genealogical workshops helping others learn how to organize information when searching for their African American family lineages.


Joyce is also a member of the Colonial Daughters of the 17th Century, the Society of Founding Families of New Jersey, The Society of Founding Families of Pennsylvania, African-American Genealogy Group, and the Sons and Daughters of the United States Middle Passage.


Joyce is the author of Gram's Gift, a children's book about her family history.  She was featured in a PBS episode  of "Movers and Makers" and her family history was also featured on the PBS Documentary "The Montiers: An American Story".

Mosley, Joyce

  • Oral History Summary

    Listen to Joyce Mosley's oral history podcast episode


    Single-parent adoption pioneer. Early Philadelphia prominence.


    Joyce was first to adopt as a single-parent in Philadelphia, she complied a cohesive record of her complex family history tracing back to the 1600's and joined the Daughters of the American Revolution despite passing the grave of Marian Anderson when visiting family members, who played with Marian, buried in the same cemetery. She talks about being on the Board of Directors of the National Adoption Center; membership in the Colonial Daughters and Founding Families of PA, NY, NJ; her Revolutionary War patriot, formerly enslaved Quaker, Cyrus Bustill, who baked bread for troops at Valley Forge; Cyrus bringing his enslaved mother to live with him and handwritten letters to his brother-in-law who still owned her at the time of her death; Cyrus helping the Underground Railroad, raising money for churches started by Absylom Jones and Richard Allen, founding the Free African Society, and starting a school; her family being free people of color in the 1700's; historical figures in her family: Aaron Burr's great granddaughter, Paul Robeson, and Humphrey Morrey- the first mayor of Philadelphia and his son Richard who owned and freed "wife" Cremona, one of richest women in Pennsylvania; writing a children's book; meeting white relatives unaware of their black DNA due to ancestors passing for white; her family documentation at Howard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges, and at William and Mary; and building a database of 90,000+ African Americans interred at Eden Cemetery, including 90 family members. 


    Joyce Mosley's oral history was recorded on August 8, 2020

  • DAR Service

    Membership State: Pennsylvania

  • DAR Patriot Ancestor(s)

    Bustill, Cyrus: New Jersey

    Mixed Race Male

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