This week I am grateful that two of my distant Moore cousins, George Moore and Mary Newton, got in touch with me to get an update on Moore research. It confirmed their interest in my research (and reassured me that I don’t bore them when provide them with news on the latest items I’ve found) and encouraged me to really get going on my Descendants of Samuel Moore project.
George provided me with the transcript he has of the will of Bud Mathis Moore, brother of my great-great-grandfather William Spencer Moore. There were two items of particular interest, and they gave me the necessary clues to fill in information on the two daughters of Bud Mathis Moore on whom we have the least information, his two oldest children: Elizabeth Moore, his only child with Elizabeth Brashier, who died a couple of weeks after her daughter Elizabeth’s birth, and Sarah Ann Moore, his oldest child with Martha Brown Coulter.
Up to this point, almost all that was known about Elizabeth Moore were a couple of items from a brief history of the Family of Bud Mathis Moore written by James Furman Moore: her date of birth (1827) and the fact that she had married a James Bayne. I tried to find her and James starting with the 1850 census in Greenville, South Carolina (she did not appear with Bud and Martha and would have been old enough to have been married), but could not find them, even trying various spellings of the name Bayne. I tried to find Elizabeth from her first name and age, but I believe that turned up too many hits. My guess was that they had moved out of Greenville and possibly out of South Carolina. Bud Mathis Moore’s will mentioned daughter Elizabeth Bain and also gave “the land on which George Bain now lives” to one of Bud Mathis Moore’s sons. To look for a Bain family with these two names in Greenville I checked the Bain GenForum and found them; George Bain would have been James’ brother. The post also clued me in to the three censuses on which James and Elizabeth can be found; on the 1850 Greenville census their last name is given as Bains, and on the next two censuses they and their children are in Alabama. So from these three censuses I have something to start with.
George also pointed out that daughter Sarah Ann was not mentioned in Bud Mathis Moore’s will. This was curious. In all the censuses (1850 through 1910) that Sarah Ann appears, she is always living with family members. J. Furman Moore’s history indicates that she was married to a James Moon. Her name on her tombstone is Moon and on some censuses she is shown was Sarah Moon, widowed, and others she is Sarah Moore, single. My original assumption had been that Sarah had married James Moon early on and become a widow before the 1850 census, but the omission of her name from the will spurred me to look more closely at the census listings – Bud Mathis Moore died in 1856, and perhaps she was looked on as a single woman who would not be expected to be living on her own. My mistaken assumption, and the fact that the Moore and Moon names are often confused on the census, had kept me from carefully putting the census information together: from 1850 to 1880, she had been Sarah Moore, single, and from 1900 to 1910 she was Sarah Moon, widowed. She had married after 1880 and become a widow before 1900! Originally I had never thought of her marrying in middle age, but that could have explained her omission from the will. I looked for a James Moon on Findagrave that might fit the bill: born around the same time as Sarah, died after 1880 but before 1900, and possibly married before he married Sarah. Bingo – there was a James Moon born 1818, married a Mary Ashmore (who died right after the 1880 census was taken), and died in 1897. Of course, he’s still just a “candidate” for Sarah’s husband, but at least there is something to look into.
These two are the only children of Bud Mathis Moore for whom we had little information, so these developments have really given the research some momentum. So to my Moore cousins: thank you George and Mary!
(I hope that Thankful Thursday can be a (semi-)regular feature wherein I write about various advances in my research, but be forewarned, it's likely to be counterbalanced by some Moaning Mondays and Woeful Wednesdays.)