Saturday, January 29, 2011

Moore Families in Union County in 1850 (Part 2)

Last week’s introductory column to early settlers with the last name of Moore in Union County in 1840 listed the households of Abraham, Joseph, Samuel and Ransom Moore, with nineteen people as the total Moore population. An examination of the next census, 1850, reveals nine households of Moores with a total of forty-six people with the Moore surname. The 1850 census was the first to list names of children. I was hard-pressed to find households in 1850 that carried through with age and constituency that might have been from those living in Union in 1840. But let us see the 1850 listing with names and ages:

Household 141: Robert Clark, head of household, age 49, born in Georgia was listed as head-of-household whose occupation was wagonwright. Last name, Clark? But then go further in this listing. In the household with him was Milly Moore, age 55, born in Virginia, and Amanda Moore, age 24, born in North Carolina, and a baby, Marion Moore, age 8 months (census-taker did not specify whether the baby was male or female; the name Marion was often used for either sex). When I examined the early Union County marriage records, I found that a Robert Moore (or Moon—writing not easily deciphered) married a Matila C. Carroll on October 12, 1856, with G. Hughes, Minister of the Gospel, performing their ceremony. Could Matila have been rendered Milly Moore in the 1850 census, and was the wagonwright, head of her household, a Moore incorrectly listed in the census as Clark? This is just one of many problems of examining early records to try to decipher ancestral puzzles.

Household 177: Samuel Moore, age 38, farmer, born in South Carolina, with wife Elizabeth, age 25, born in North Carolina, and children Eliza 9, Alonzo, 7, Clarinda, 5, James, 3, and Rebecca, 8 months—with all children born in Georgia. This household matches up with the Samuel Moore of the 1840 census (see last week’s column). However, marriage records lead us to believe that Samuel’s wife, Elizabeth, may have died and Samuel (or a Samuel Moore) married (again) on August 25, 1857 to Naomi Clements.

Household 234: Albert Moore, age 30, born in North Carolina, farmer, with his wife, Sarah, age 31, also born in North Carolina, and children Tillitha, 11; Nancy, 8: Christopher, 7; Altha, 5; Andrew, 4; Sarah, 2; and Mercilla, 2 months. From subsequent records, we learn that this family of Moores became residents of Towns County when that county was formed from Union in 1856. Later, Albert and Sarah had two more children, Tursey born in 1852 and Clarissa Melvina born in 1854. Union County marriage records show that daughter Tillitha Moore married John N. Parker on May 15, 1856; she would have been 17 at the time of her marriage. A Nancy Moore married J. K. Moot on September 2, 1875 in Union County. We can assume these two marriages were of children of Albert and Sarah Moore.

Household 290: Burton Moore, age 32, born in South Carolina, a farmer, his wife, Martha, age 22, born in North Carolina, and children, all born in Georgia: Mary, 7; Jehu, 5; and James, 2.

Household 291: Joseph Moore, age 63, born in South Carolina and his wife, Rebecca Moore, 63, also born in South Carolina. There was a Joseph Moore in Union’s 1840 census, but he was young, between the age of 20 and 30. I am wondering if the Burton Moore could be Joseph Burton Moore, listed as the young man Joseph in the 1840 census, and if the 63 year-old Joseph could be his father, since their households were close together. More unanswered questions!

Household 293: William Moore, age 25, a farmer born in South Carolina, his wife, Easter Moore, 22, born in North Carolina, and children John, 5; Lydia, 4; and Joseph, 2. I found a marriage record for Esther Muriel Beasley and William Moore, dated June 19, 1844, with Rev. Elisha Hedden performing the ceremony. A Civil War record shows that a William H. Moore of Union County served in the 23rd Regiment of the Georgia Infantry Volunteers, Army of Tennessee, Company B.

Household 341: Hugh Moore, age 26, farmer, born in South Carolina, his wife, Margaret, 23, born in South Carolina, and children, all born in South Carolina; Mary Ann, 6; Edy, 3; and Burton, 1. In this household was Mary Moore, age 70, born in South Carolina, whom I am assuming is Hugh Moore’s mother now living with her son. In that household is also a young man named Joseph Bryson, age 21, born in South Carolina. Could he be the brother of Margaret Moore?

Household 374: Thornton Moore, age 45, born in South Carolina, a farmer, with wife, Rebecca, age 48, born in North Carolina, and five children, all born in North Carolina: Mary Ann, 19; Benjamin, 18; William, 16: Elisha, 15; and Samuel, 13.

Household 627: James Moore, age 70, born in North Carolina and his wife, June, age 67, born in North Carolina.

Many questions remain about the early Moore families of Union County through the 1850 census. I did not find cemetery records matching names from the listings of Moores in Union in 1840 and 1850. Either they were buried in unmarked graves or they left the county before they died. I hope this research is of value to Moore descendants who are trying to find their ancestral roots.

c 2011 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Jan. 27, 2011 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Four Moore Families in Union County by 1840

With Christmas holidays and the New Year—and yes—the “deep freeze” of these early weeks of January behind us, it is time for some serious research to continue on early settlers of Union County.

I have had a request from some descendants of early Moore families to seek out what I can find about these family lines. It has not been easy to do, with no individual Moore stories submitted to the wonderful book, The Heritage of Union County, 1832-1994 about these hardy pioneers. However with census records, marriage records, and research here and there, I have pieced together some interesting information about early settlers with the surname of Moore.

Moore was a very common name in both Ireland and England, but it seems that in Ireland, especially, they were known as O’More, O’Moore, and finally, with the prefix O dropped, the surname became Moore or More. Researchers tell us that the surname Moore, in its various forms, ranked in 20th place among surnames in Ireland. It was common in England, as well. Not quite as popular in England, it was, nonetheless, a surname frequently heard in that country.

There were no families with the last name Moore in the first 1834 census of Union County. However, by the second census in 1840, four households were registered. Even examining these records carefully leaves us with many questions. We find heads-of-households and constituents as follows:

In the Abraham Moore family he himself was listed as between 20-30 years of age, with one male under five and 3 females under five. With no other facts forthcoming from that census, this leaves us to believe that Abraham was perhaps a widower at an early age, with one small son and three small daughters, all under the age of five.

In the next Moore household was Joseph as head of household, and it seems that he, as well as Abraham (Were they brothers? We don’t know.) may have been a widower. In Joseph’s household was himself as head of household between 20 and 30, one male child under five, another lad between 15 and 20, and one female listed as between 50 and 60. Could this older female have been Joseph’s mother who was living in his household? And perhaps the male between 15 and 20 was Joseph’s brother, not his child, as it is not likely he had a son that old in 1840 since Joseph himself was between 20 and 30.

In the Samuel Moore household were only two persons, Samuel himself listed as between 20 and 30 and a female (assumed to be his wife) “15 and under 20.” In examining the Union marriage records, I find how an error in last-name spelling was recorded: Samuel K. Moon (not Moore) was listed as marrying Naomi Clements on August 25, 1857. But this marriage, coming seventeen years after the 1840 census when Samuel and his wife were listed without offspring, seems to indicate that Samuel K. Moore was married twice. A note in the marriage records shows that “Moon” should have been listed as Moore. One Andrew Young, Justice of the Inferior Court, performed the marriage ceremony in 1857 for Samuel Moore and Naomi Clements.

The fourth Moore household in Union in 1840 was headed up by a male “ 30 and under 40” with the unusual name of Ransom. I did find a marriage record for Ransom Moore to Adaline Murray, performed on February 21, 1838 by Jesse Reid, Justice of the Peace. This would give us a name for the “20 and under 30” female listed in Ransom Moore’s household. Ransom is the only male listed in his household. But when we examine the marriage date listed for him and Adaline Murray, we wonder about the two females listed—one between the ages of 5 to 10 and another female between the ages of 15-20. Since these children had the last name of Moore, it makes us wonder about their parentage. Then in Ransom’s household was a female between 70 and under 80 with the last name of Moore. We can imagine that she was probably Ransom’s mother who was, in her dotage, living under Ransom’s roof.

Besides Ransom Moore’s marriage record to Adaline Murray on February 21, 1838, there is a second marriage of a Moore listed before 1840. Mary Moore married Nathaniel Pain (sic; probably should have been spelled Payne) on December 24, 1839 with Justice of the Peace R. W. Roberts performing their ceremony. I found the household of Nathaniel S. Payne listed in the 1840 Union census with Nathaniel between 20 and 30 and the female in his household (his wife Mary Moore Payne) between 15 and 20 years of age.

Perhaps more questions than answers have been raised about these four households of Moores who resided in Union County in 1840. A total of 19 bearing the Moore last name were here, 9 males and 10 females. Available records, at best, are incomplete and do not give us a concise picture of how some households do not seem to have a wife or mother present, as denoted by ages listed for the genders in this Moore census. Next week we will examine Moore families in Union County as denoted by the 1850 census. Perhaps we can begin to piece together a better composite picture of the Moore families who were here prior to the Civil War.

To end today’s thoughts, I go back to Irish poet, Sir Thomas Moore (1779-1852) whom many of you, no doubt, read about in your high school or college literature courses (or maybe you’ve sought out some of his literary works on your own). One of his famous poems is “Believe Me if All Those Endearing Young Charms.” His poem was set to music and published in “Irish Melodies” in 1807. Here are his inimitable words:

“Believe me, if all those endearing young charms,
Which I gaze on so fondly today,
Were to change by tomorrow, and fleet in my arms,
Like fairy gifts fading away!
Thou wouldst sill be ador’d as this moment thou art,
Let thy loveliness fade as it will,
And, around the dear ruin, each wish of my heart
Would entwine itself verdantly still.”

Like Sir Thomas Moore expressed for his love whose beauty fades with time but who still is dear, dear to him, so we, in our relentless pursuit of our ancestors and what life was like for them, imagine them still young, determined and beautiful as they pursue their dreams of a better life and worked to make that dream come true.

c 2011 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Jan. 20, 2011 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The American Flag, Our Nation’s Symbol

What truly patriotic American does not get a thrill to see the stars and stripes, our nation’s flag, flying in the breeze?

The evolution of the American flag as we see it today had several significant dates and milestones along the way. Let us consider a few of them.

On June 14, 1777, the first Flag Act was passed by the Continental Congress in session. It read: “Resolved, That the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.”

Due to no records—or perhaps records lost—we cannot be absolutely certain who designed and made the first flag ordered by the Continental Congress. Congressman Francis Hopkinson is credited with designing it, but there is no concrete evidence to this attribution.

All the stories and books we’ve read about the Philadelphia seamstress, Betsy Ross, who made the flag that rallied the Revolutionary War soldiers may have not contained the full truth about the originator of the flag. History tends to get rewritten at times, or adequate records proving facts get lost or misplaced. We are told now that “few historians believe that Betsy Ross made the first flag.” (from “Evolution of the United States Flag,” at: I regret these doubts, for as a school child, and also as a teacher, I can remember loving the story of Betsy Ross and the Flag.

The next act of record was in the US Congress on January 13, 1794, which stipulated that the flag have “15 stripes and 15 stars after May 1795.” The reason for this addition was to recognize the states of Vermont (entered the Union March 4, 1791) and Kentucky (entered the Union June 1, 1792). It had taken two years to make this change including the new states, and it proved, as we will see later, to be a rather unwise move on the part of the Congress, for stripes could not be added with each state that came into the Union. It would have made the flag too large, as states were being added frequently to the growing nation. Eventually, the stripes went back to thirteen, to represent the original colonies of Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island. These states are listed in the order they officially joined the Union from December 7, 1787 through May 29, 1790.

An Act of Congress on April 4, 1818 cancelled out the fifteen stripes from the act of 1794, and called for the original thirteen stripes representing the thirteen original colonies. This act also provided for the addition to the flag of a star to represent each state. The flag was to be updated on the 4th of July each year after each new state was added. James Monroe, 5th president, signed this bill into law. When he signed the bill there were twenty states in the Union. In addition to the 13 original colonies, Vermont (1791) and Kentucky (1792), Tennessee joined on June 1, 1796, Ohio on March 1, 1803, Louisiana on April 30, 1812, Indiana on December 11, 1816, and Mississippi on December 10, 1817.

The next Act was an Executive Order by President William Howard Taft, 27th president, dated June 24, 1912, establishing standard proportions to the flag. Prior to that, there was no standard size. This act also asked for arrangement of the white stars in the field of blue, representing the states, set in six horizontal rows of eight stars per row. This was, of course, after the nation had grown to 48 states. It was directed that a single point of each star point upward in the new design. Arizona had been added to the Union as the 48th state on February 14, 1912.

But the states were to grow by two more states, Alaska, added January 3, 1959 and Hawaii on August 21, 1959. While President Dwight D. Eisenhower served as president, he signed two executive orders regarding the flag, which made provision for the two new states added during his administration. On January 3, 1959 his order provided for the arrangement of stars in seven rows of seven stars each, “staggered horizontally and vertically.” Then seven months later, on August 21, 1959, his executive order asked for “nine rows of stars staggered horizontally and eleven rows of stars staggered vertically.”

Since the design of the flag in 1959 that included all fifty states, with a star for each, we have had no changes in our beloved national banner.

Henry Ward Beecher, noted American writer and minister, wrote in 1861 just prior to the Civil War when our country was about to be split asunder: “Our flag carries American ideas, American history, and American feelings. It is not a painted rag. It is a whole national history. It is the Constitution. It is the Government. It is the emblem of the sovereignty of the people. It is the nation.”

We know that some of the statements of statesman Beecher are highly metaphorical and symbolic. As we see the flag, may we be moved, as he was, to remember that it is a representation of a strong union of the people. It has inspired in battle and in peacetime. “Long may it wave!”

c 2011 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Jan. 13, 2011 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Constitution to Be Read Before 112th Congress

Will publicly reading the United States Constitution as the 112th Congress opens for work on January 6, 2011 make a difference?

Will hearing the preamble, which people of my vintage memorized as a part of their study of U. S. History in high school, make a difference to the legislators and inspire those gathered on capitol hill to transact the nation’s business in 2011?

Read the inimitable words. Do they not still thrill you, bring visions of the men gathered from the states following the winning of the Revolutionary War to replace the Articles of Confederation with a more binding document that would work in 1787 and in succeeding generations?

“We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Following this preamble are Seven Articles which cover almost every subject our founding fathers saw as appropriate for a strong national government to enact. Section 1 clearly stipulates the parameters of the major body charged with the heavy duty of enacting and upholding the laws of our beloved land:

“All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” (Article I, Section 1).
Every Congressman and Senator must, when assuming the high office, take an oath to “uphold the Constitution of the United States.”

How far have we come from the ideals our founding fathers had in mind when they met, debated and finally drafted and passed the Constitution which was signed September 17, 1787? There followed ratification by the required nine states as specified in Article VII, a process which took until June 1788 when New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify, with Virginia and New York following shortly. The whole debate for that crucial year before ratification hinged on states’ rights and individual rights. Did Article I, Section 8 give Congress too much power to promote “the general welfare” at too great a cost to states’ sovereignty? James Madison has sometimes been called the “Father of the Constitution” because of his hard work in drafting it, and especially for his promise to insure the “Bill of Rights” would be passed (which was enacted in 1791 with its first ten “rights” clearly specified).

What has been behind this movement to have the U. S. Constitution read as this 112th Congress convenes? According to the Congressional Record which reports actions of Congress, in the 111th Congress, there were 408 incidents of “unconstitutional” pointed out and used in congressional debates. That was up from the high number of 283 “unconstitutional” attributed to debates in the 110th Congress. These incidents alone show that a familiarity with the Constitution is indeed needful among members of Congress.

Then, take, for example, the Virginia Attorney, General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II who brought a charge that portions of the federal health care law are unconstitutional, that the federal government cannot require persons to purchase health care insurance under pain of financial penalty. The federal district judge who heard the case indeed ruled that the general welfare and commerce clauses cannot require such purchase on the part of citizens. From that hearing came the determination of another Virginian, Representative Robert W. Goodlatte. He proposed the reading of the U. S. Constitution be held as the 112th Congress convenes.

Behind this move to be more cognizant of the Constitution, its meaning and interpretation is a strong effort to operate Congress with greater responsibility and accountability. “We the people…” Representatives and Senators are in Washington to stand in for the people. For too long, lobbyists, special interests and those dickering for entitlements have clouded the underlying meaning of our nation’s document that has well withstood the test of time. It is high time for a return to basics, to solid guidelines.

It was said of the inimitable Benjamin Franklin as he watched the members of the Constitutional Convention sign their names to the much-debated and revised document which was finally signed on September 17, 1787, that he looked at a painting behind the president’s desk, a painting of a sunrise (or sunset? It was hard to tell which the artist intended). He said, “I have often and often in the course of the session, and the vicissitudes of my hopes and fears as to its issue, looked at that behind the president, without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting; but now, at length, I have the happiness to know that it is a rising, and not a setting sun.” {James Madison, quoting Franklin in “Last-Minute Dissenters at the Constitutional Convention,” David Colbert, Editor. Eyewitness to America. New York: Pantheon Books. 1977. p. 103.)

Let us hope that this move to have the Constitution read in the hearing of the 112th Congress will both inspire and inform and at the same time remind our legislators why they are in Washington. “We the people…” are still generally strong, united and hopeful to see a new sunrise of fairness and responsibility in government.

c 2011 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Jan. 6, 2011 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.