Monday, June 8, 2009

Madness Monday: Moores

I love my Moore family. But why do they have to have such a common name? And sometimes they spelled it Moor. Which, when handwritten, often looks like Moon. Oh, and did I mention that there is a big family of Moons in the same area (Greenville District/County, South Carolina)?

Right now, in addition to putting together a list of descendants of Samuel Moore (d. 1828) of Greenville County, South Carolina, I’m trying to figure out some things about Samuel Moore: Who was his wife? Which other Moore families in this area are related to him? Thanks to the wonderful resources available online for Greenville County, I have lots of scraps of information to work with. Maybe too many scraps. I’ll start with his will:

GREENVILLE DISTRICT ) In the name of God Amen

I Samuel Moor being sound in mind that it is allotted for all men to die, do make and ordain this my Last will & testament hereby revoking all others heretofore maid by me.

Item 1st My will and desire is that my son Spencer Moore should have and Enjoy all my Land Lying on the East side of Stoney Creek and one Sorrell Mare

Item 2nd, My will and desire is that my Daughters Elisabeth and Susanna Should have Each of them a bed and furniture which they now claim.

Item 3d, My will and desire is that the Balance of my Land togeather with all the rest of my property Should be sold then first, all my Just debts to be paid then second My son Hanson [or Manson] to have fifty dollars paid to him and the balance to be Eaquily Divided betwixt my lawful Heirs this is my will – Assignd and Seald

this 29th day of January 1828

in the presence of –
Brasher Henderson) Samuel x Moore (L.S.)
Alfred Long ) mark
his )
George x Long )
mark )

Probated Jan. 2nd 1828

Recorded in Will Book B-Page 104

Apt. 5 – File No. 298

This is my transcript of the digital image of his will on the Greenville County Government Historical Records website, which is not, of course, the original copy of the will, but it is still a smidge more complete than the typescript provided by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

Next, I have an indexed abstract of Samuel Moore’s land purchase taken from Dr. A. B. Pruitt’s Abstract of Deeds: Greenville County, SC Books D & E (1795-1798):

1433. Dec. 8, 1798 Elizabeth Wedop (Greenville Co.) to Samuel Moor (same); for $100 sold 100 ac on both sides of Stony Cr; border: Thomas Long on SW, SE, & NE and vacant land on NW; granted Jan. 5, 1789 by Gov. Thomas Pinckney to James Seaborn. (signed) Elizabeth Wedop’s mark “X”; witness James Ashmore, Isaac Cox, & William Ashmore; wit. Oath by I. Cox before Horatio Griffin; rec. Apr. 24, 1799; book E p. 177.

Notice that two of the witnesses on the will are Longs (George and Alfred) and Thomas Long is Samuel Moore’s neighbor. In addition, one of the witnesses on the will of Samuel Moore’s son Spencer is a Long (W. B. Long). Perhaps there was a close relationship simply because they were neighbors or there may also be some ties of kinship.

More images have been added to the Greenville website in addition to wills. has Council of Commissioners minute books, Court of Common Pleas (calendars, index to judgments (defendant), index to judgments (plaintiff)), Court of General Sessions (Contingent Dockets, Dockets), Probate Court (Account Books, Estate Records, Guardian and Trustees Account Books, Index to Estate Books, Miscellaneous Administration and Guardianship Bond Books, Returns, Will Books), Register of Deeds (Conveyance Books, Grantee Index to Conveyances, Grantor Index to Conveyances, Plat Books, Real Estate Mortgage Books, Warrant for Surveys), Sheriff’s Office (Execution Books, Jail Books, Sale Books, Writ Books). has affidavits, deeds, historical maps, indexes, land grants, plats, and a tutorial on how to search the archives.

So now, in addition to an index of the land transactions covered by the deeds, there are images of these documents. I have located and downloaded the image of Samuel Moore’s land purchase but have not yet transcribed it.

The administrator for Samuel Moore’s estate is listed as John Moore; I am guessing that he was a relative, possibly a brother. It would be nice if his first name were a little less common. One of the other tools I am using for figuring out the Moores is, of course, the census. With the Moores, this leads to other problems, namely, too many Moores. On the 1800 census, there are three Samuel Moores and two John Moores. Oh, great. Two of the Samuels and one of the Johns live in another part of Greenville; in addition, the two Samuels, apparently father and son, left the area in 1806. To identify other neighbors, I will be using Mel Odom’s very helpful annotated 1800, 1810, and 1820 censuses on the Greenville County Genweb site. Still, every single Moore whom I believe to be connected has to be “vetted”: does his name appear in these documents in association with the same families that appear on documents with “my “ Moores: Long, Ashmore, Seaborn, Cox, Henderson, Bain, Brasher, Dacus and a few others. One piece of luck is that I have found a Jordan Moore in connection with a number of these names -- finally, a slightly less common first name!

Another find in the deed abstracts has provided a possible candidate for Samuel Moore’s wife: a Polly Richardson Moore, who appears on a deed of the widow Elizabeth Richardson in Dr. A. B. Pruitt’s Abstract of Deeds: Greenville County, SC Books N, O, & P (1823-1828):

4912. Apr. 26, 1823 Elizabeth Richardson, widow (Greenville Dist.) to my sons James Richardson, Joseph Richardson, & Harmon Richardson and daughter Elizabeth Richardson & heirs of Polly Moore deceased (same); for better support & maintenance of grantees after my decease gave Negro woman Silvey & her children Jeff, Nance, Hampton, Polly, Judith, & Shadrach and their increase, all household goods, implements & furniture; provided grantees permit me to keep & enjoy Silvey & her children and household goods & chattels for my natural life and “not otherwise”; grantees to have the property after my death. (signed) Elizabeth Richardson’s mark “X”; (witness) Brasher Henderson, Aquila Long, & Amos Richardson; wit. Oath Nov. 4, 1823 by Brasher Henderson before Benjamin Pollar JQ; Nov. 5, 1823 recorded; book N. p. 148.

Not only do the names Henderson and Long appear here, but this Polly Richardson Moore was deceased by 1823. I am guessing that Samuel Moore’s wife was still alive in 1820 (a woman of the correct age group is shown on in his household on the census) but was not alive in 1828 (she is not named in his will).

So basically all I have to do is sort out about half the families in the Greenville County area in the first half of the nineteenth century.


  1. I feel your pain. Try the name Roe, as it is spelled by my family. But by others, census takers, and other records it can look like Rose, Row, Rows, Rowe, oh and then lets not forget hand written letter problems like your "r" looking like and "n" That "o" has been and "a" and no telling how many different letters that "w" appears to be. But you got to admit it makes for some fun when you finally discover another piece that belongs to your family. Good Luck.

  2. Thanks, Amy. Oh, and guess what? There is a Roe who married into a branch of these Moores. I bet their descendants have lots of fun researching!

  3. Greta, I made a thank you design for you on my blog: