Friday, May 29, 2009

Featured Family Friday: Family of William Brewster Moore and Mary Shirley

William Brewster “Bruce” Moore was the youngest son of William Spencer Moore and Emily Tarrant. Here is a transcription of his obituary:

Obituary of William Bruce Moore (The Greenville News, 29 Jul 1924, p. 6)

“ANDERSON, July 28 – (Special) – William Bruce Moore, Confederate veteran, 73 years of age, died Sunday afternoon at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Lula Miller. Mr. Moore is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters, W. D. Moore, A. P. Moore, and Mrs. Miller and Mrs. Bessie Shirley. Funeral services were held at Hopewell church Monday afternoon, with Rev. E. C. White conducting the services.”

Unless he was something like a drummer boy, it is unlikely he served in the Civil War, as he would have been only 13-14 at the end of the war.

As was the case with the Commodore Worth Moore family, there are definitely some loose ends to tie up with the William Brewster Moore family. For one thing, I need to find the name of the first wife of William Dexter Moore; she had already died by the 1910 census, on which William Dexter Moore was listed as a widower. Dates of death for Lena Moore and Mattie Rosanna Wall Moore and birth and death dates for Ida Bridges Moore are missing.

William Brewster “Bruce” Moore
b. 9 May 1851, Anderson Co., South Carolina
d. 27 Jul 1924, Anderson Co., South Carolina
& Mary Elizora Elizabeth Shirley
b. 18 Feb 1849, Anderson Co., South Carolina
d. 31 Aug 1926, Anderson Co., South Carolina
m. 1880
|--Bessie Lois Moore
|----b. Apr 1874, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|----d. 29 Sep 1938, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|---& Charles Crayton Shirley
|----b. 26 Mar 1871, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|---- d. 2 Sep 1960, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|---- m. ca 1893
|--Lena Moore
|----b. Jul 1879, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|----d. bef 1924
|--William Dexter Moore*
|----b. 27 Jan 1882, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|----d. 23 Aug 1963
|---& Ida Bridges
|--Lula Elizabeth Moore
|----b. 9 Mar 1885
|----d. 7 Oct 1968, Laurens, South Carolina
|---& John Kelsy Miller
|----b. 26 Mar 1885, Arkansas
|----d. 26 Feb 1931
|----m. ca 1903
|--Aaron Priestly Commodore Moore
|----b. 3 Oct 1888, Anderson, South Carolina
|----d. 19 Feb 1962, South Carolina
|---& Mattie Rosanna Wall
|----b. 1896, South Carolina or Georgia
|----m. ca 1910

If you are reading this and believe that you are related to this family I would really like to hear from you (you can find my e-mail if you click on View my complete profile under the section at the left entitled “About Me”).

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I Was Wrong

... I do have a picture of Uncle Howard Moore with his violins. The picture below shows him and Aunt Joy holding two of his violins. It is too bad that the photo is in black and white, because the sheen of the wood finish and the subtle interplay of colors on many of his violins was really something to behold. I think the one he is holding was one of his blond-colored violins and Aunt Joy is holding the really gorgeous red one that was my favorite. One of these was probably the national grand prize winner.

I also have a copy and transcription of Uncle Howard's obituary, which has a lot more information on his second career as a violin-maker than I remembered (and it is in my genealogy program, so I have no excuse). The article makes it sound as though he only started making violins in 1978, after he retired, but he was making and selling them out of his home long before that.

Article from The Bakersfield Californian (date unknown; some time in November 1994):

“Howard Lee Moore, Violin maker, 85.

Howard Lee Moore, who turned a boyhood hobby of woodworking into a career as a gifted violin maker, has died. He was 85.

Moore, who died Tuesday at a Bakersfield convalescent hospital, made more than 100 violins during his lifetime from wood that, in some cases, had belonged to presidents or came from majestic European cathedrals.

Moore, however, never played the string instrument, and being a violin maker was really Moore’s second career.

Moore worked for 40 years as a longshoreman while he and his wife, Joy, raised a family in Wilmington, a Los Angeles County community. A few years after retirement, Moore turned his hobby into a full-time business. In 1978, he opened a shop in the 1200 block of Colbus Street where he repaired broken string instruments and sold violins he made. His wife said Moore repaired many violins for the city school district.

Moore was part of a clan of 11 children and was born in Lancaster, Texas, on Feb. 13, 1909. By the age of 7, he did his first repair work. A peg broke on his father’s violin, and Moore made another peg from a buggy spoke, according to his wife.

“He could make a violin in a week, but he couldn’t finish it, because he had to varnish it,” his widow said. “Each coat of varnish had to have four days to dry before applying the next coat.”

A feature story on Moore once appeared on a television show hosted by Roger Mudd, according to Joy Moore, adding her husband made violins from pieces of wood that belonged to famous people.

“A maple piece came from a library table that came from the White House during President James Madison’s administration,” she recalled. “Then a spruce piece came from a cathedral built in 1459 in Munich, Germany.”

“An old violin maker who was losing his sight had it and wanted Howard to buy it,” Joy Moore said.

He made violins for his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He has three violins left that could sell for $2,500 each, according to his wife.

“He willed one to his great-grandson who will carry on the Moore name. He wanted to keep it in the family that way.”

Violin maker Bob Lupinek of Bakersfield met Moore about 15 years ago at a fiddler’s jamboree in north Bakersfield.

Through the years, the men encountered each other at conventions and contests sponsored by the Southern California Violin Makers Association.

“He was one of the top ten in the organization for both California and Arizona,” Lupinek said. Many violinists did not have the gift of ear for tune and tone quality that Moore had, according to Lupinek.

Moore developed arthritis and neuropathy two years ago which forced him to stop making violins. His health began to deteriorate after that.

Moore is survived by his wife of 66 years, Joy, of Bakersfield; a daughter, Joan Zuber of Walker Basin; four brothers; two sisters; four grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and one great-great grandchild.

Viewing is from 1 to 5 p.m. today at Lake Isabella Funeral Home, 5106 Lake Isabella Blvd.

The funeral services will be held 1 p.m. Monday from the Kern Valley Bible Church on Golden Spur.”

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day: A Call to My Uncle Bill

Pictured: Uncle Bill, my brother Don Roberts, me, and my mother Madeline Moore Brinlee

My family and I did not go to any cemeteries or parades to day, but to honor the living veteran in my family I called my Uncle Bill. My younger daughter and I have interviewed him pretty extensively on his Navy service and I will write about that in future posts. To sum it up, he served in the Navy in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Most of his service was on the USS Belle Grove, and this included stints observing atomic bomb tests in the Pacific.

Uncle Bill is doing pretty well, but suffers from emphysema and has to keep an oxygen tank close by. He and his wife Cheryl have quite a few cats on whom they dote, and a couple of the cats have had kittens recently. They found homes for all but one; they have become very fond of her and are going to keep her. They have vegetable plants started in their garden and are going to celebrate Memorial Day by grilling steaks.

One new piece of family information related to me by Uncle Bill was about how my father ended up with a larger than usual nose for the Brinlees: it was broken twice. I had never heard about this. The first time, according to Uncle Bill, my Dad wanted to ride the family horse to a party. The boys would usually get hold of the horse by grabbing its tail, which would cause it to stop. This time, however, the horse decided to kick Dad in the face.

The second break occurred when my father was driving across Texas and pulling a trailer behind his car. The last thing he remembered was stopping in Floydada to buy a candy bar and then some time after that crossing the train tracks. He apparently fell asleep shortly after that and crashed into a large truck, and the crash also caused the trailer to ram into his car. He spent the next two weeks unconscious in the hospital; his injuries included a broken nose.

Happy Memorial Day, Uncle Bill.

Memory Monday: Fiddles and My Family

There’s definitely a strong love of music on both sides of my family, but it is my mother’s side, the Moores, who go beyond appreciation to actually playing and making musical instruments. In their case, the musical instrument that seems to be “king” is the fiddle.

In an article in Volume II of Salt Port to Sirloin: The History of Baylor County from 1878 to Present, my Aunt Clarice Moore Howry wrote of her father, my Grandfather Kirby Runion Moore (pictured in the middle picture in the banner with my Grandmother Eula Floyd Moore): “One fond memory we have is when the family gathered on the front porch to rest and relax after our day’s work was done, and Father would play his fiddle. He played the good old tunes, hoe-downs, two-steps and waltzes.” When I started family research and found my great-grandparents Harlston Perrin Moore and Martha E. Lewis, I wondered which side of the family my grandfather learned to play the fiddle from, the Moores or the Lewises.

In my post on Aunt Joy, I wrote about my mother’s oldest brother, my Uncle Howard Lee Moore, a talented amateur violin maker, and how Howard and Joy would take me to old-time fiddling festivals. Uncle Howard always wished that he could play the way his father did, but his own talent was in crafting the violin itself. I remember when I lived with Uncle Howard and Aunt Joy there were always beautiful pieces of different kinds of wood in Uncle Howard’s workshop; the smell of the wood was wonderful. There would always be two or three fiddles hanging in the closet of the spare bedroom to let the varnish dry and age. In the family room there was a big trophy case with numerous trophies won at the national amateur violin-makers competition as well as a few fiddles that were still waiting to be sold. After varnishing, the colors of the violins varied from a deep rich brown to a stunning reddish-brown color to a brilliant “blond” wood color. Customers who came to buy violins included local bluegrass players as well as members of the local symphony orchestra. Howard and Joy even arranged for me to take violin lessons for a few months with one of the violinists in the symphony orchestra.

Later I learned that my mother’s youngest brother Neil Moore and his wife Ina played bluegrass, with Neil on the fiddle and Ina on the guitar; they are shown in the picture below. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures of Uncle Howard with one of his fiddles, but the fiddle Uncle Neil is holding was probably made by Uncle Howard.

When I moved out to Texas to live with my mother I was not able to continue violin lessons, but started oboe lessons there because our high school band needed an oboe. I never gained much proficiency on either instrument. However, my iPod is filled with many different types of string music: bluegrass, quintets for strings by Boccherini, Cajun, Cape Breton, and Quebecois fiddle music, various kinds of Celtic fiddle music, Norwegian, Swedish, and Finnish fiddle music (including Hardanger fiddles and nyckelharpas), and Hungarian and Gypsy fiddle music (and hurdy-gurdies as well). I do not know whether we are born or bred to respond more strongly to certain sounds than to others, but I suspect there is something in the blood that makes us Moores love music made on stringed instruments beyond any other sound.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Follow-Up on Commodore Worth Moore Family

There are still a few more sources to check, but following up some of the leads in Commodore Worth Moore’s obituaries has already yielded some additional information.

Eldest daughter Dana married Francis M. Stephens in around 1906 and they had at least three children: son Francis Martin (who died young) and daughters Virginia and Mary Janet/Janet Mary. The family lived in Georgia, Tennessee, and Charlotte, North Carolina.

I suspected son T. J.’s initials stood for Thomas Jefferson and found a Thomas J. Moore living in Longview, Gregg Co., Texas (C. W. Moore’s obituary mentioned that T. J. lived in Longview, Texas). He married Lillie/Lilly Carlisle in around 1908 and they had two children, daughter Annie Adele/Adele Annie and son Fletcher. By the 1930 census Thomas and Lilly were divorced. I may have found Thomas J. Moore in 1930 as an inmate in the National Sanitorium in Washington County, Tennessee; I am not sure why he was in Tennessee, but the state of birth, age, and marital status (divorced) fit.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

Featured Family Friday: Commodore Worth Moore and Nora Roberts

Commodore Worth “Commie” Moore was the next younger brother of my great-grandfather Harlston Perrin Moore. They were the sons of William Spencer Moore and Emily Tarrant. When I started work on this family I greatly benefited from research done by my third cousin Jo Ann and recently I have had some additional luck in getting some much needed leads from C. W. Moore’s obituary. Through a local researcher in Greenville County I have ordered about 180 obituaries (following about 40 more some months previously) dealing with descendants of Samuel Moore of Greenville and their spouses. Some of the obituaries have not added much to what I know, but a number of them have provided invaluable information leading to even more discoveries (and more obituaries to be ordered!). Plowing through them in starts and stops occasionally causes me to forget to do the follow-up research, and I just realized when I pulled this family up for this article tonight that this was exactly the case with C.W. Moore – more research is needed. Here is a transcription of the two obituaries for him:

Obituaries of Commodore Worth Moore, Sr.

The Greenville News, 24 Dec 1923, p. 3:

“C. W. Moore Dies At Vaughnville

GREENWOOD, Dec. 23 – Special – C. W. Moore, for many years a teacher in various parts of the South, died at his home at Vaughnville, Newberry county, last night following a long illness. The funeral will be conducted at Soul’s Cemetery at 2 o’clock tomorrow afternoon.

Mr. Moore was 75 years of age, having been born in Anderson county in 1848. He was a graduate of the Lutheran College before that institution was moved from Walhalla to Newberry and was at one time connected with Auburn University.

For the past 18 or 20 years he had lived at Vaughnville, where he was engaged in farming and in the mercantile business.”

The Greenville News, 27 Dec 1923, p. 5

“Former Auburn Man Goes to His Reward

GREENWOOD, Dec. 26 – (Special.) – Funeral services for C. W. Moore, formerly connected with the Alabama Polytechnic Institute at Auburn, Ala., and a teacher in a number of Southern states for many years who died at his home at Vaughnville, Newberry county, Saturday night, were conducted from the home Monday afternoon and interment was made in Souls cemetery.

Mr. Moore is survived by his second wife, two sons, by a former marriage, and one daughter as follows: T. J. Moore, Longview, Tex.; C. W. Moore, Atlanta, Ga., and Mrs. F. M. Stephens, Charlotte, N. C.

His first wife, who died many years ago, was a daughter of Col. James T. Roberts, of Anderson.”

New items of information for me:

1. The fact that C. W. Moore had had such an illustrious career as a teacher and had graduated from Lutheran College.

2. The fact that his first wife’s maiden name was Roberts (I already knew her first name was Nora) and her father was Col. James T. Roberts of Anderson. Previously I had found the maiden name of his second wife, Martha Black, and the fact that she had had two husbands prior to her marriage to C. W. Moore (Henry Luther Crout and P. H. Koon).

2. The fact that one of his daughters (he had two daughters and two sons that I know of) had probably predeceased her father, the name of the husband of the surviving daughter, and the fact that the daughter and her husband were living in Charlotte, NC, at the time of C.W. Moore’s death. This last piece of information was the clue I need to find out which of the two daughters was married to Mr. Stephens (Dana) and which had probably died (Wynona); I was able to find a North Carolina death certificate for Dana Stephens, and it listed her parents as C. W. Moore and Nora Roberts.

3. The location of son T. J. Moore at the time of C. W. Moore’s death.

So what remains to be done to follow up on this information? Well, I forgot to do the census work for F. M. and Dana Stephens in North Carolina and for T. J. Stephens in Texas, as well as search for any other information that may pop on them in Ancestry, the Family Search pilot page, and other search pages. That should be this weekend’s chore.

Here is the family of C. W. and Nora Moore:

Commodore Worth “Commie” Moore
b. 17 Feb 1848, South Carolina
d. 22 Dec 1923, Vaughanville, Newberry Co., SC
& Nora Roberts
b. 1855
d. bef 1900
|--Dana Moore
|----b. 6 Jun 1879, Seneca, Oconee Co., South Carolina
|----d. 20 Sep 1952, Charlotte, Mecklenburg, North Carolina
|---& F. M. Stephens
|--T. J. Moore
|----b. 1881, South Carolina
|--Wynona Moore
|----b. Aug 1884, South Carolina
|----d. bef 1923
|--Commodore Worth Moore Jr.
|----b. Jun 1892, South Carolina
|----d. 23 Mar 1940, Atlanta, Georgia
|---& Marjorie Appleton
|----b. 1896, New York
|----m. 1926

Obviously many gaps remain in my information on this family: dates of death for Nora and Wynona Moore and information on Dana’s husband F. M. Stephens and on T. J. Moore, to start with. I also want to find out more about Nora Roberts’ family.

If you are reading this and believe that you are related to this family I would really like to hear from you (you can find my e-mail if you click on View my complete profile under the section at the left entitled “About Me”).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Tribute to Sauerkraut

At the end of the Lenten fast and various other fasting periods observed by the Eastern churches throughout the year, people look forward to eating meat again: ham, sausage, and other rich treats, not to mention the various dairy-based deserts that can be indulged in. My guilty secret during the fast is that I very much enjoy one of the foods that I can eat to my heart’s content (if I don’t mind the risk of a stroke or heart attack from the high sodium content): sauerkraut. So I celebrate feast days by throwing a few pieces of meat into a big glob of sauerkraut. Another delicious combination, albeit also a sure invitation to high blood pressure, is pirohi with sauerkraut and sour cream. Some people prefer crunchy (undercooked) sauerkraut; I like sauerkraut cooked with onions to the point that there is a little bit of caramelization here and there. And caraway seeds make it all even better.

Here is a recipe for one of our favorite dishes for Holy Supper (eaten on Christmas Eve, the last meal of the Filipovka (St. Philip’s Fast), the pre-Nativity fast), Sauerkraut and Mushroom Soup:

1 quart sauerkraut
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds (we use more)
8 tablespoons margarine
1/2 cup barley
2 cups sliced mushrooms (can be canned or fresh)
2 quarts water
15-20 peppercorns
2 medium onions, diced
8 tablespoons flour
5 cups water

Boil together sauerkraut, 2 quarts water, onion, peppercorns, and caraway seeds. Sauté onions in margarine and add approximately 8 tablespoons flour until mixture is dark brown. Cook barley in 5 cups water until tender. Combine all mixtures together and add mushrooms.

(From Epiphany’s Seasons: Twenty-five Years of Parish Recipes, compiled by the Ladies Guild of Epiphany of Our Lord Church, 1996)

Sauerkraut in other languages:

kvashenaya kapusta (Russian)
kiszona kapusta, kvasna kapusta (Polish)
kyslá kapusta (Slovak)
kiselo zele (Bulgarian)
kisla kapusta (Ukrainian)
kyselé zelí (Czech)
savanyú kaposzta (Hungarian)

Submitted for the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy: Food.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Madness Monday: A Letter from the Insane Asylum

In my article on my great-granduncle William Henry Lewis: A Little Man Who Stood Tall, I mentioned that Mr. Hornady, the son of one of the children Henry and his wife Julia Mister Lewis helped to raise, had very generously given me many letters and pictures that had belonged to the Lewises and were inherited by Mr. Hornady’s mother. These arrived in several mailings, which were always an occasion for anticipation and excitement. One of the mailings contained a letter written on paper with the following letterhead: North Texas Hospital for the Insane. I glanced at the greeting and signature and was shocked to see that it was a letter from Julia to Henry. Did this mean that she spent some time at the asylum at some point? Did she have emotional problems or was this a temporary stay to deal with some sort of exhaustion or depression?

As I read through the letter, Julia certainly seemed cheerful and coherent, and the second paragraph revealed that she had visited the asylum, not stayed there. The inscription under the emblem in the upper right-hand corner contained a name that revealed the connection to the asylum:

“The State of Texas
Enclose Stamp – and Address Communications Regarding Patients to
Dr. C. M. Rosser

The connection was to the Rossers, the in-laws of Julia’s best friend Bettie Curtice Rosser. At this time I was also starting to piece together what I could find out about the Rosser family (Bettie, her husband Virgil O. Rosser, and their four children, the ones Henry and Julia helped to raise when Bettie died) to make sure that I could sort out and identify some of the senders and recipients of the letters in the collection, some of whom were related to Henry or Julia and some of whom were Rossers. To do this I used the information Mr. Hornady provided on his Rosser relations together with Google and some genealogy forums. These searches revealed some interesting connections: V. O. Rosser’s brother was Dr. Charles McDaniel Rosser, one of the founders of Baylor College of Medicine. Prior to his association with that institution C. M. Rosser was the superintendent of the North Texas Hospital for the Insane at Terrell, Texas (later renamed Terrell State Hospital) from February 1895 to February 1897. One of my fellow Genea-bloggers, Judith Richards Shubert at Genealogy Traces, has written about this institution in her article Terrell State Hospital – North Texas Hospital for the Insane). You can also read an article about Dr. Rosser’s retirement from that post on Jim Wheat’s Dallas County Texas Archives.

Julia must have been doing some visiting with her friend Bettie and used the stationary during the visit. A simple explanation, but of course my original instinct had been to jump to the most dramatic conclusion. Below are the letter and the transcription of it:

[From Transcription of Materials of the William Henry and Julia Mister Lewis Collection
of John R. Hornady, III, passed to and privately held by Greta Koehl.

16. Handwritten letter from Julia Mister Lewis [“Little Woman”] to William Henry Lewis, dated Aug 1896, on Stationary of North Texas Hospital for the Insane [run by Dr. C. M. Rosser, brother-in-law of Julia’s close friend Betty Curtice Rosser]. One page, double-sided.]

“The State of Texas
Enclose Stamp – and Address Communications
Regarding Patients to
Dr. C. M. Rosser

North Texas Hospital for the Insane
Erected 1894. Capacity 800. – Visiting Days, Monday, Tuesday,
Wednesday and Thursday, from 1 to 5 P.M.

Terrell, Texas, Aug 1896

My Darling Henry, -

This is Thursday morning – bright & fair. Rain blew away yesterday afternoon. I am having a pleasant time – as much as could without my hub. We go to church every night & hear the Rev. Mulkey preach. He says some rich things – will tell you when see you. Mrs. Rosser is still up & feeling well, but declaires every day that she knows she will be in bed by the night.

We went all over the asylum yesterday even into the state kitchen where it takes eight bushels of potatoes & three barrels of flour per day to satisfy the appetites of the inmates.

How is my Henry getting along? Lonesome? Miss his little Woman? I thought sure I’d have a letter this A.M. & am disappointed. Perhaps it will come later.

How is Judge & Midnight - & the chicks – and kitty? Did you break up the “pet” from [illegible – may be setting]? I went to church with Dr. in his little buggy last night & he showed me the three minute horse that he has a [illegible] to “down” with Midnight. I told him I thought M. could do it. How I love my hub – sweetest man. Do you keep well. Do write me often. I am so unhappy & uneasy if I don’t hear – Best love & kisses from your own Little Woman –“

Part of my subsequent research on Henry Lewis has included downloading newspaper articles on him from the Dallas Morning News Archives. It turns out that when Henry was sheriff he made efforts to ensure humane treatment of the mentally ill who were kept at the jail when the asylum was unable to take them in due to overcrowding. The following is an excerpt from a transcription at Jim Wheat’s Dallas County Texas Archives of an article originally published in the Dallas Daily Times Herald on 24 July 1888, p. 1, column 4:



Some Pitiful Objects For Which the
State Has Failed to Provide.

There are seven crazy persons in the county jail, and some of them have been there quite awhile. The jail is so much crowded that two of the unfortunate creatures have to occupy one small cell, and some of them are kept in with other prisoners. One young woman, who has been kept here several weeks because room could not be found for her at the asylum, was only slightly demented at first, but has grown worse and has probably lost all chance of restoration. A prominent physician says she could have been cured with proper care and treatment at the right time. These could be had only at the asylum. Certainly, a jail filled with criminals is not the place for the insane. The place is rendered much more objectionable when crowded as our jail is at present. The authorities of the asylum, and especially the commissioners who have in hand the enlargement of that institution, are censured by some of our citizens who know all the facts and conditions. Sheriff Lewis and his assistants have done all in their power to provide for these crazy prisoners and to secure a better place for them where they belong. Other citizens have been to the asylum or written the authorities in their behalf; but all to no purpose. The jails of the state have contained demented persons for twenty years past, and no adequate provision made for this unfortunate class. It is true the asylum at Terrell has been built and is to be enlarged, for which an appropriation has been made; also, that some improvement has been made on the Austin institution. But, far too little has been done. The jails of the state are still crowded with lunatics. It is a disgraceful condition of affairs, not at all creditable to the officials who have had authority to improve it.”

[This is followed by a list and description of the seven inmates.]

“Sheriff Lewis, Judge Bower and others have done everything possible for these unfortunates. The jail is full of criminals, and is certainly not a proper place for lunatics. Here is a bit of work for the humane society.”

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Festival of Postcards: Wheels

My husband and I bought this postcard in Portmeirion, Wales, during a vacation in Great Britain in 1987. The postcard does not have any writing, stamps, or postmarks on it because it ended up being an extra one that we didn't use, so we kept it as a memento. This type of bicycle was known as the penny farthing, high wheel, high wheeler, or ordinary bicycle.

Submitted for A Festival of Postcards: Wheels.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Featured Family Friday: The Family of Samuel Moore of Greenville County, South Carolina

Samuel Moore
b. Between 1756 and 1765
d. 1828
b. bet 1766 and 1774
d. bef 1828
|--Bud Mathis Moore*
|----b. 5 Aug 1800
|----d. 7 Sep 1856, Greenville, South Carolina
|---& Elizabeth Brashier
|----d. 29 Dec 1824, Greenville, South Carolina
|----m. 20 Nov 1823
|--Bud Mathis Moore*
|----b. 5 Aug 1800
|---- d. 7 Sep 1856, Greenville, South Carolina
|---& Martha Brown Coulter
|----b. 1793
|----d. 11 Dec 1887
|----m. 20 Nov 1826
|--Susannah Moore
|----b. 1810, South Carolina
|----d. bef 1870
|--Elizabeth Moore
|-----b. 1812, South Carolina
|-----d. bef 1870
|--William Spencer Moore
|----b. 1813, South Carolina
|----d. 31 Oct 1871, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|---& Emily Tarrant
|----b. 1813, South Carolina
|----d. bef 1880

This is the family of my great-great-great grandfather, Samuel Moore of Greenville County, South Carolina, or at least as much as I know about this family, which is not a great deal. This is as far as I have been able to take the Moore line at this point.

I found Samuel Moore after I found a message left by my fourth cousin Mary on a Rootsweb Message Board. She descends from Bud Mathis Moore, the brother of my great-great-grandfather William Spencer Moore. She quoted from an old family history that went back to Bud Mathis Moore, who was said to have had a brother named Spencer over in Anderson County. This was enough to make me think that this referred to my gg-grandfather, but what followed convinced me: Spencer had a son named Commie who used to come visit the Greenville Moores. My Spencer had a son named Commodore Worth Moore. In addition, the author of the history said that these Moores were most likely buried in the cemetery of Big Creek Baptist Church. That was one of the churches attended by my Moores.

With the knowledge that Spencer must have come over to Anderson County from Greenville, I once again searched the wonderful website of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, this time inputting “Moore” and “Greenville” as the search parameters. This brought up a number of items, one of which was a summary of names mentioned in a will for a Samuel Moore of Greenville. Among the other names mentioned were “Spencar” Moore (so I wouldn’t have found this by searching using “Spencer”), Elizabeth Moore, and Susannah Moore – Spencer and his two sisters who are shown living with him and Emily on the 1850 and 1860 censuses for Anderson County. I ordered a copy of the typescript of the will (this was before they had the digital images online) and later was able to download an image of the handwritten copy of the will that was on file. Bud’s name looks like Hanson or Manson (or even Marion) on these copies, but I figure this was a mistake made in transcription. “B. M. Moore” can be made out on the digital images of materials from the probate packet that can be viewed on the Greenville County SC Historical Records Search website.

Thanks to Mary and several other relatives descended from Bud Mathis Moore, we have a good amount of information on Bud Mathis’ descendants as well as on my own Spencer Moore line. Of course, there are still gaps and mysteries, but we’re working on those. For the sisters Elizabeth and Susannah there is very little:

- The 1810 through 1860 censuses on which they appear (though their ages are reversed on the 1850 and 1860 censuses, each having a different sister being two years older; I have chosen to follow the age given on the 1850 census since it is the one that seems to give the correct ages for Spencer and Emily, whereas the 1860 census does not).

- Some information provided by researcher Kim Wilson on their reception into Washington Baptist Church 14 March 1840, RBL (received by letter).

- Their mention in their father Samuel’s will.

Early Greenville censuses (1800-1820) indicate additional persons in the Samuel Moore household who may have been other children (but none are mentioned in his 1828 will) or other relatives.

Before I attempt to find out who Samuel Moore’s parents were and where he came from, the big question is: Who was his wife? I have a few leads I am following. Samuel Moore’s will has two witnesses from the Long family (Alfred and George) and Spencer Moore’s will has a witness named W. B. Long, so there may be a Long family connection (I know that Thomas Long was a neighbor in Greenville).

For now my Moore research plan consists of two main elements: (1) to identify as many descendants of Samuel Moore as possible and (2) to locate, index, and plot on a detailed map of Greenville as many Greenville Moores as I can find mentioned in wills, land records, and so forth to sort out Greenville Moores much as I will be doing for the Greenville Tarrants (Madness Monday: Emily Tarrant).

If you are reading this and believe that you are related to this family I would really like to hear from you (you can find my e-mail if you click on View my complete profile under the section at the left entitled “About Me”).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Mother, the High School Graduate

My mother, Grace Madeline Moore, was the sixth child in a family of eleven children born to Kirby Runion Moore and Eula Amanda Floyd. The family was a typical poor farming family. Kirby was the son of Martha Lewis and Harlston Perrin Moore, a tenant farmer who had left the family farm behind in South Carolina and moved to the Dallas area of Texas in 1877. Eula was the ninth of 11 children of Angeline Elizabeth Matlock and Charles Augustus Floyd, a Dallas area farmer who had seen prosperous days but ultimately suffered nearly disastrous financial setbacks and legal consequences from overly ambitious land deals and speculation. Using money inherited from Angeline Floyd following her death in 1916 (Charles Floyd had died in 1894 at the age of 54, perhaps from the strain caused by his enormous financial losses), Kirby and King David Floyd, Eula’s brother, bought inexpensive land in Baylor County, Texas, and moved there with their families in 1917, where my mother was born that same year.

Baylor County was far more sparsely populated than Dallas County, and always seemed a place of loneliness and desolation to my grandmother Eula. As described by my mother’s older sister Clarice in the article she wrote on the Moore family for Volume II of Salt Pork to Sirloin: The History of Baylor County from 1878 to Present (Wichita Falls, Texas: Nortex Press, 1877; compiled by the Baylor County Historical Survey Committee), the early years were hard ones: “Our first crop was a failure, so we made a trip to East Texas by covered wagon to pick cotton for an uncle. We got as far as the Brazos River bridge in Seymour the first day. It took seven more days to arrive at our destination. We lived in a tent while we were there.”

Even when the cotton crops did not fail, a life which was dependent on cotton for support was always filled with exhausting labor; anyone who has ever had to pick cotton will tell you what back-breaking and spirit-breaking labor it is. The Moore children started picking cotton at a young age, and every year they had to keep at it until the season was over, which was usually around the beginning of December in that part of Texas. For my mother and her siblings, that generally meant that they could not start attending school until December, so every year they had to spend time catching up. By the end of eighth grade, when my mother finished at Corn School (Corn School is described in Memory Monday: Mementos from my Mother’s School), Mom was tired of doing this, so she made the decision not to go on to high school. I know at least two of her younger siblings did graduate from high school, and perhaps all four did (the youngest of the 11 children, a brother named Ray, died of diphtheria when he was three years old).

So my mother went through most of her life without a high school diploma. Sometimes she was a homemaker, and I remember when we lived in San Bernardino she was a playground supervisor for a couple of years at my elementary school (where, by the way, she was a great favorite among the kids for her fair and impartial treatment of the kids when handling playground conflicts and for her motherly concern for their scrapes and bruises). In Texas she worked as a waitress for some years and later worked at a pajama factory.

I don’t remember what it was that inspired my mother to work to get her high school diploma, but she decided to do it and she carried through. I remember seeing her working on her workbooks when I would come home from college to visit during Christmas vacation.

The day Mom earned her G.E.D. was a very proud day both for her and for me. Now there were two high school graduates in our family. (My Dad had quit school after the tenth grade to go to work and my brother, to my mother’s sorrow, quit during his senior year in high school.) Mom had nothing to gain financially from getting her diploma since it did not really open up any more opportunities for her on the sparse job market in our small town. I can only think she did it for reasons of self-respect. And she taught her daughter an important lesson: It’s never too late, so don’t ever give up.

Submitted for the 72nd Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy: Mothers!

Mom and me - Taken at my parent's apartment in McKee's Rocks, Pennsylvania

Monday, May 11, 2009

Memory Monday: Fads and My Mom

My mother was not a person who followed every fad that came along, but neither was she a person who avoided fads. I guess you would say that she had particular types of fads to which she was susceptible. They all come under the category of home décor, moreover home décor which has come to be regarded as … how to put this … not surviving the (good) taste test after their 15 minutes of popularity passed. This is not to say that my mother had bad taste, because I don’t believe that was the case. She was a beautiful woman and I think she knew how to choose clothes to highlight that beauty; most of our home furnishings were tasteful or at least inoffensively nondescript (though I suppose there could be some debate on the “earth tones” home decoration era).

It was just that there were certain things that caught my mother’s eye and either tickled her whimsy or hit the “pretty – must have” button. I can only remember three sets of items that fall into this category. The first was our set of kitchen appliances, pots, and pans from the late 1960s: they represented the “autumn colors” fad of that time; our things were avocado (not sure why avocado was considered an “autumn color”). It wasn’t that bad, though when I recently pulled out Mom’s old hand mixer (pictured above; it only has one beater, but our Kitchen Aid is on the fritz, and I was desperate) and observed that moldy green, I had to wonder, “When was this ever considered a pretty color?” The answer is: probably never, because that which is “pretty” is not necessarily considered to be “tasteful.” Maybe that is why tastes change so rapidly; one era’s tasteful is the next era’s tacky.

Which brings us to the next item: a lava lamp. I think lava lamps should get a pass from the taste police, simply because they’re fun. And they’re so relaxing … who hasn’t felt calm and peaceful who has watched those milky globs drift slowly up and down?

The final set of fad items were three of Mom’s clocks: her cuckoo clock and her two cat clocks (one black and one white, the Felix clocks with moving tails and eyes). I do not recall the cuckoo clock, which dated to my grade school years in California, ever being in the house at the same time as the cat clocks, which dated to my high school years in Texas. The cuckoo clock must have been a casualty of one of our many moves during my junior high school years, when many of our family possessions were lost. The cat clocks made a peaceful “click-click” sound as the cats’ tails and eyes moved back and forth, but they were never synchronized with one another. One was in the kitchen and the other was in the living room, but in our little public housing apartment, that was only about 14 feet apart, and you could hear them anywhere in the apartment until you moved into the bedrooms down the hall. So between the “cl-click-cl-click” of the clocks and the soothing dance of the lava lamp globs, I guess you could say our home had a pretty peaceful atmosphere.

All in all, despite the jokes my family and I have made over the years, I do not think my mother’s clocks, lamps, pots, and pans amounted to a terribly egregious violation of the dictates of good taste. However, I’m definitely not going to buy any avocado-colored appliances for our house. Though I do love the color green. And Kitchen Aids come in a beautiful dark forest green. And I do need a new Kitchen Aid….

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Language of Cats: An Illustrated Glossary

The language of cats … and language about cats. My family has an entire glossary of cat terms. Below are some illustrations. The pictures may illustrate things cats say with their voices or things that they say through their posture, attitude, or actions.

My husband’s family has severe allergies, so he did not have any pets when he was growing up. My family did have pets, but we unfortunately took very few pictures of them. I am therefore posting pictures of the pets my husband and I have had together through the years. Since we have known one another for 34 years and have been married for 27, I guess some of these count as “old” pictures.


Longcat – Maximum extension

Exposed – Like “longcat,” only with tummy on top for maximum tummy-scratching opportunity

Don Martin feet – a phenomenon associated with “exposed.” If you spent a wasted youth reading Mad Magazine, you’ll know what this is.

Flop-n-squirm – Cat approaches person, flops down on floor, stretches and rolls around on floor in various longcat and exposed postures, inviting admiration and affection


Cat yin-yang, cat spoons, catlick, etc. – Various expressions of cat coziness and affection

Bookends – What it sounds like

Line-o-cats – What it sounds like; the more cats are involved, the rarer it is

Heap-o-cats – What it sounds like

(Below are four kittens that were abandoned at our church; we rescued them and found homes for them over the course of the next several weeks during a very fondly remembered November. For those weeks, we had eight cats in our household ... ah, the good old days.)


Cat-in-a-box (Cat-in-a-basket, Cat-in-a-bag) – Self-explanatory. Cats particularly fond of tight locations.

Catacombs – Cat buried or hidden, or in plain sight but disguised by surroundings


Outitude – Cat gives self bath. Cat forgets to reel in tongue. Used in a sentence: “Oh, look, Pipsqueak has an outitude.”

“Meep-meep!” = “I’m cute. Give me some love.” Second “meep” is more high-pitched and more emphatic. Only one of our cats, Fred, ever uttered this or The Silent Meow, and he is shown below – I can’t remember which one he is doing in this picture.

The Silent Meow – This term may have been coined by Paul Gallico. Cat opens mouth to meow, but nothing comes out except a faint exhalation of air, the equivalent of a cat whisper or sigh.


Beans – Cat’s eyes get square, cat starts to wiggle rear end, then runs around insanely with much spazzing. Unless you are a super-skilled action photographer, you can really only capture “incipient beans” (first two pictures below – notice the eyes and the ears). The third picture is "in medias beans,” a Latin expression which, as Lemony Snicket would say, in this case means “in between beans.” May lead to next item.

“I meant to do that.” – Attempt by cat to look nonchalant after doing something really stupid. Example: Cat runs around insanely (see “Beans”), crashes into wall. Cat then licks shoulder as though nothing happened. Or: Cat launches self off of back of recliner, propels self onto window screen, then hangs there with an indifferent look on its face as though all is cool.

Acting ugly – (Southernism) Cat assumes threatening posture toward another cat, hisses, swats at, chases, scratches, bites another cat. Or cat lies in wait and pounces on another cat. Cat fights in general. Used in a sentence: “R.B., stop acting ugly.” (Sometimes accompanied by “I’m gonna mess U up” = meant to be a threatening sound or utterance, but the voice is so high-pitched, the effect is ridiculous.)

Oogie – Brazenly naughty. Related: To oog = to act in a brazenly naughty manner. Ooginess = brazen naughtiness. Oh, no, I have not been able to find a picture which illustrates this. Those sneaky little stinkers.

Bonk – Head-tap of affection


Two-headed cat – Self-explanatory

Cat Lovey - Same as a baby lovey; cat's special "security friend"

Cataholics - What we are. We may have more pictures of our cats than we do of our kids. We are close to becoming crazy little old cat people. Dangerously close.

Submitted for the 13th edition of Smile for the Camera: All Creatures Great and Small.