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