Saturday, July 18, 2009

Featured Family Saturday: James Moon and Sarah Ann Moore – A Little Mystery?

Well, I was not able to get this in by Friday, even though this family, as far as I know, consists only of these two people. Actually, the document that is my starting point for the various member of the Bud Mathis Moore Family – the family history written by Furman Moore – gives only the following information: Sarah Ann Moore [oldest daughter of Bud Mathis Moore and Martha Brown Coulter], b. 8/17/1827 d. 4/11/1914, m. James Moon. And that’s it. When I did the censuses for the family, it was initially confusing, because they showed Sarah Ann living with her parents in 1850 and with her mother on the 1860, 1870, and 1880 censuses for Greenville County, South Carolina. So where was her husband? Of course, I was making the assumption that Sarah Ann Moore married and was widowed at a young age. My confusion was compounded by the fact that Moore was often spelled Moor in early documents and on the censuses, and that spelling was often confused with Moon, because written “r” and “n” are can be difficult to distinguish. And on top of that, there were a lot of Moores and Moons in Greenville County.

Upon careful examination, however, the 1900 and 1910 censuses, show Sarah Ann as Sarah Ann Moon, widowed, and she is living with the family of her nephew Samuel Toliver Moore, son of her deceased brother Samuel Alexander Moore. The answer, of course, is that she married late in life and was widowed before the 1900 census. Now all I had to do was find which James Moon she was married to.

I have a candidate. Since Sarah Ann apparently married late in life – when she was more than 50 years old – I would guess that her husband was not too far from the same age, and the chances are pretty good that he may have been married before and widowed.

Doing a little scouting on the censuses and Findagrave, I found the following guy:

James A. Moon, born 25 Feb 1827, died 11 Jan 1897

Mary J. Ashmore Moon, born 3 Jun 1826, died 16 Jul 1880.

They are buried in the Ashmore Family Cemetery, Piedmont, Greenville, SC, at the 2500 block of Fork Shoals Road. Sarah Ann Moon is buried with the Samuel Toliver Moore family in Simpsonville Cemetery.

James Moon and Mary Ashmore were married on 24 Dec 1846 by Rev. J. M. Roberts. Mary was the daughter of John Ashmore.

Here is the census information for this James and Mary Ashmore family:

James and Mary Moon in the Census

1850 US Federal Census, Greenville, SC, 8 Nov 1850

Line 39 1583 1580

James Moon 22 M Farmer $350 SC
Mary 24 F SC
Sarah 3 F SC

1860 US Federal Census, Fork Shoals Division, Greenville, SC p. 245, 4 Oct 1860

1856 1756

J. A. Moon 32 M Farmer $1000 $1087 SC
Mary J. 34 F House keeper SC
Sarah A. 12 F SC
John 9 M SC
Elizabeth E. 1 F SC

1870 US Federal Census, Grove Twp., Greenville, SC, p. 14, 17 Aug 1870

Line 17 96 95

Moon, James 44 M W Farmer $377 $225 SC
Mary J. 44 F W Keeping house SC
John P. 19 M W No occupation SC
Elizabeth 14 F W At home SC

1880 US Federal Census, Grove, Greenville, SC, p. 21, 14 Jun 1880

201 201

Moon, James A. W M 52 Married Farmer SC SC SC
Mary J. W F 53 Wife Married Keeping house SC SC SC

Another reason I think this James Moon is a good candidate is that his first wife was an Ashmore. From the beginning I believe the Moores lived near the Ashmore family (who may have actually been in Greenville first), so they are in the right neighborhood.

Mary Ashmore Moon died about a month after the census was taken, so James would have married Sarah some time after that, and James died in 1897, with the result that this James would only have appeared on the 1890 census with Sarah.

So, one of my research tasks is to find marriage records or some other evidence of the marriage of James Moon and Sarah Ann Moore.

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