Friday, July 31, 2009

Family Newsletter Friday: 31 July 2009 (Mostly Moores)

Since I was gone for a couple of days this week on a business trip, not much research was done this week, but there was a little and most of it was on the Moores.


I’m still working on obituaries from The Greenville News, but this week the Moore families covered by these obituaries were those of three of William Spencer Moore’s children (the older William Spencer Moore, that is): Commodore Worth Moore, William Brewster Moore, and Anna Jerusha Moore.

There were two interesting research questions that popped up in the course of working on these obituaries:

1. A question which actually arose for the second time: Was Bessie Lois Moore, oldest daughter of William Brewster Moore, really the daughter of Mary Elizora Shirley? A lot of evidence indicates that she was, but there are a few items that raise questions in my mind, particularly the 1880 and 1900 censuses.

1880 US Federal Census, Pendleton Twp., Anderson Co., SC, ED 26, 3&4 Jun 1880

46 47 Moore, William B. W M 29 Farmer SC SC SC
Mary E. W F 30 Wife Keeping house SC SC SC
Lena T. W F 10/12 July Dau SC SC SC

Obituary of Bessie Lois Moore (Mrs. Crayton C.) Shirley,
The Greenville News, 30 Sep 1938, p. 10

“Mrs. Crayton Shirley

ANDERSON, Sept. 29-Mrs. Crayton C. Shirley, 66, died this afternoon at the Anderson County hospital following an illness of the last three weeks.

Mrs. Shirley, a daughter of Bruce Moore and Mrs. Mary Shirley Moore, was a native and life-long resident of Anderson county and was a member of the Oakwood Baptist church. She was a resident of the Midway community east of Anderson.

Besides her husband, Mrs. Shirley is survived by five daughters and six sons, Mrs. O. D. Drake, Mrs. Luther Freeman, Mrs. Dewey Poore, Mrs. Fred Fowler and Mrs. Frank Stone; Waymon, Robert, Ansel, J. B., Grady and Leroy Shirley all of Anderson county. She also leaves two brothers and one sister, A. P. and W. D. Moore of Anderson, and Mrs. J. K. Miller of Laurens county.

The funeral services will be held at 5 o’clock Friday afternoon at Oakwood Baptist church with the Rev. E. C. White officiating. Interment will follow in Silver Brook cemetery.”

The censuses in which I have been able to find Bessie consistently indicate that her year of birth was in the early 1870s (according to the 1900 census, it was April 1874). The Shirley Association webpage (the same page has information for Mary Elizora Shirley and Bessie Lois Moore, because Bessie married Charles Crayton Shirley, apparently her first cousin once removed – Mary’s father James and Charles’ father Aaron were sons of John Shirley and Elizabeth Barmore) indicates that Bessie was born 23 March 1873 (this date appears to have been taken from her tombstone in Silverbrook Cemetery, Anderson County, SC). Bessie Moore Shirley died on 29 September 1938 (according to her obituary, and this date may also be on her tombstone). Her daughter Ruth Mae Shirley’s delayed birth certificate indicates that Bessie was 65 years old when she died, and this would also point to 1873 as her year of birth; the age of 66 given in the obituary would indicate 1872.

So what is the relevance of her actual date of birth to the above question? For one thing, the Lena T. Moore shown above doesn’t sound at all like Bessie Lois Moore – wrong age, wrong month of birth, and wrong name. I know enough to expect mistakes in the census, but months of birth were listed on the 1880 census only for infants born in the past year. Lena does not show up in subsequent censuses or later records, and the 1900 census indicates that Mary Shirley Moore had had 5 children, of whom four were still living (that would be Bessie, sister Lula Elizabeth, and brothers William Dexter and Aaron Priestly, with Lena being the child who died). So the 1900 census would seem to indicate that Bessie was, indeed, Mary Shirley Moore’s child.

But there is more. The 1900 and 1910 censuses indicate that Bruce and Mary Moore had been married 20 and then 30 years – both point to around 1880 as the year they married. Perhaps it was a bit earlier, as Lena was apparently born in July 1879. But 1872 or 1873? Furthermore, according to the 1910 census, this was Bruce Moore’s second marriage. And, on the 1880 census, where was Bessie? I have not been able to find her elsewhere on that census, so perhaps this is just another census-taker’s mistake. But there is just enough to make me wonder and not be entirely sure that she was Mary Shirley Moore’s daughter.

2. One of Bessie Moore Shirley’s children, Ellis Waymon, married someone named Roy Williams. Here is Ellis Waymon Shirley’s obituary:

Obituary of Waymon Shirley
The Greenville News, 4 June 1977, p. 6B

“Waymon Shirley

Anderson – Waymon Shirley, 82, Rt. 7, Dixon Rd., widow of Roy William Shirley, died Friday.

A native of Anderson County, she was a member of New Prospect Baptist Church and a retired farmer.

Surviving are daughters, Mrs. Hulbert Burton of Hartwell, Ga., Ruby Shirley of Anderson; brothers, Robert L. Ansel and J. B. Shirley of Anderson; sisters, Mrs. O. D. Drake, D. L. Poore of Anderson, Mrs. Frank Stone of Williamston; two grandchildren; four great-grandchildren.

Services will be 11 a.m. Saturday at McDougalds North Chapel, with burial in Forestlawn Memorial Park.

The family requests that flowers be omitted. Memorials may be made to the New Prospect Baptist Church Radio Ministry.”

Wait a minute, who is the husband and who is the wife? Notice that after the words “widow” and “she” appear at the beginning of the obituary, no further indications of gender appear (no “her” before the surviving relatives). And the deceased person was a farmer with a surviving spouse (women were sometimes listed as farmers, but this was more common when they were widows).

Was the obituary writer confused? Yes, he was.

Ellis Waymon is listed as the son of Charles and Bessie Shirley on the censuses (though once he is referred to as Raymond and once his brother Grady is listed as Gertrude) and he appears on the 1930 census with his wife Ophelia; on the 1920 census he is listed with his wife “Ray.” The explanation appears in the obituary of their son Norman L. Shirley (The Greenville News, 16 June 1972, p. 14): “son of Waymon and Roy Williams Shirley of Anderson.” So Roy Williams (Ophelia may have been a first or middle name) was Norman’s mother.

Other lines – Highsmith, Norman, Brinlee

Not much done on other lines, though I did contact a Highsmith researcher on GenealogyWise; her Highsmiths also came from Kentucky to Texas. I suspect we are related, and it may be that all the Highsmiths are related.

The “obituary mining” has been very productive, and I have turned up enough information so far to send for 15 more obituaries, but I am hoping to reach the end soon. I love the Moores and I really want to fill out as much on this line as I can, but I need a little variety. My research on my paternal grandmother’s family, the Normans (in this case the family of my great-great grandfather Joseph Madison Carroll Norman, his three wives, and 26 or 27 children) was interrupted when I jumped at the chance to have a Greenville researcher look up all these Moore (and some Lewis) obituaries, and I need to get back to the Normans. Then it will be on to the Hiram Brinlee Sr.-Betsy McKinney family, which will complete the great-great grandparent level (not really complete, but enough to put the outlines into my genealogy program), with the exception of the Smiths (of course), whom I have not yet been able to identify.

Friday’s Featured Family will be Samuel Alexander Moore (oldest son of Bud Mathis Moore and Martha Brown Coulter) and Mary Ann Elizabeth Baldwin.

Featured Family Friday: Samuel Alexander Moore and Mary Ann Elizabeth Baldwin

Samuel “Sammie” Alexander Moore
b. 21 Sep 1828
d. 18 May 1861
& Mary Ann Elizabeth “Betsy Ann” Baldwin
b. 7 Mar 1830
d. 9 Feb 1922
|--Samuel Toliver Moore
|----b. 28 Jul 1852, Greenville, South Carolina
|----d. 10 Feb 1920, Simpsonville, Austin Twp., Greenville, SC
|---& Margaret Ida White
|----b. 16 May 1859, Simpsonville, Austin Township, Greenville Co., South Carolina
|----d. 3 Dec 1945, Simpsonville, Austin Township, Greenville Co., South Carolina
|--Sarah Amanda E. “Sallie” Moore
|----b. 1 Dec 1854, South Carolina
|----d. 26 Jun 1892
|---& Leland Newport Thackston
|----b. 26 Aug 1851
|----d. 6 Dec 1899
|----m. 23 Nov 1871
|--Bud M. Moore
|----b. 20 Aug 1858, Simpsonville, Greenville Co., South Carolina
|----d. 2 Jul 1941, Austin, Simpsonville, Greenville Co., South Carolina
|--& Susannah “Minnie” Roe
|----b. 7 Jun 1860, Near Travelers Rest, Greenville, SC
|----d. 13 Feb 1931, Greenville Co., South Carolina
|--m. 25 Feb 1886

Samuel Alexander Moore was the oldest son of Bud Mathis Moore and Martha Brown Coulter. He died at the tragically young age of 32 but did leave three children. According to the Furman Moore history of the Bud Mathis Moore family: “Born Sept. 21, 1828. Di8ed May 18, 1861 (nine days after being kicked by his horse). Rests at Standing Spring Church yard. He had organized a company of cavalry for the Southern Army and was soon to lead it to the front.”

I have “met” several descendants of Bud Mathis Moore’s younger son, William Spencer Moore, online, but have not yet gotten in touch with any descendants of Samuel Alexander Moore. Bits and pieces of both lines appear in several online genealogies, and I have also been in contact with a researcher who has some extensive information on some of the children of these two sons of Bud Mathis Moore. The family names Bud Mathis (or at least “B.M.”) and Samuel appear to be passed mainly through the Samuel Alexander line.

I would like to know who Mary Ann Elizabeth Baldwin Moore’s parents were; Samuel Alexander’s youngest sister, Jeanetta M. T. “Nettie” Moore married a William Warren Baldwin, who may be related.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Memory Monday: My Brother the Babysitter

My big brother, Don Roberts

My older brother, Donald Howard Roberts, was eight years older than I. (He was actually my half-brother – his father was my mother’s first husband, Howard “Dock” Roberts – but he always seemed to be a regular old brother to me.) He was considered old enough to babysit for me on those rare occasions when my parents could afford to go out for an evening or afternoon.

House rules changed when my brother Don was in charge. Ordinarily he took that imperious older brother attitude with me – often riling me up to the boiling point where I was ready to let my fists start flying, and then he would do that most aggravating thing – stick his palm against my forehead and keep me at arm’s length, a swinging and futilely flailing 5-year-old windmill of anger and frustration.

Babysitting nights were different. Even though he was “in charge,” Don must have taken the responsibility of having to entertain a five-year-old pretty seriously. On the menu were special games and entertainments that we didn’t indulge in when our parents were around (mostly for good reason) and all the foods we liked to eat that we could find in the house. Don would make “tunnel houses” for me using sheets and sofa and patio furniture cushions. I thought they were the coolest things ever. One of our favorite games was to put talcum powder in our socks, put them on, and then get off to a running start and “skate” down the polished wooden floor of the hallway. Hey, we cleaned the floor and made it smell good, too!

Feeding me earlier in the day was no problem and required no creativity: Cheerios for breakfast and tomato soup or beef vegetable soup for lunch. Dinner was another matter. Mom might have left a prepared meal, but Don and I regarded this as a special, not-to-be-lost opportunity, not to mention a sacred duty. We were not going to eat a regular dinner. Ice cream and cookies were a favorite. If my mother had planned ahead of time and left no dessert foods in the kitchen, we would just find something else that could never be mistaken for regular dinner food: crackers, peanut butter, popcorn, bananas with chocolate syrup, or cinnamon toast would do.

Don would even let me watch “my” shows on TV, though I think this was just a ploy to keep me entertained so that he could talk to one of his many girlfriends on the phone. We would also let our German Shepherd Trina in to the house to stay with us, something she was ordinarily not allowed to do.

These good times made up a little bit for all the otherwise obnoxious big-brother things Don did. That and the fact that he once pummeled Louie Marquioli, a much bigger neighbor kid, for calling me a name.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Featured Family Friday: Isaac Cox and Mary E. T. Moore

Mary E. T. Moore was the third child of Bud Mathis Moore and Martha Brown Coulter. Isaac Cox was the son of Thomas B. Cox and Mary Olive Henderson (both the Cox and Henderson families have other members who married Moore family members).

Isaac Cox
b. 12 Oct 1828, South Carolina
d. 26 Aug 1906, Greenville County, South Carolina
& Mary E. T. Moore
b. 19 Oct 1829, South Carolina
d. 3 Feb 1877
|--Susan Ellen Cox
|----b. ca 1855, South Carolina
|--Thomas Bud M. Cox
|----b. 12 Sep 1857
|----d. 19 Mar 1874, Greenville County, South Carolina
|--Walter William Cox
|----b. ca 1859, South Carolina
|--Lethia Elizabeth Cox
|----b. 28 Jan 1862, Fairview Township, Greenville, South Carolina
|----d. 19 May 1897, Greenville County, South Carolina
|---& William J. Ellis
|----b. 19 Dec 1852, Greenwood Co., South Carolina
|----d. bef 1910
|--Lafayette Cox
|----b. Jan 1863, South Carolina
|--Samuel Cox
|----b. 1864, South Carolina
|--Robert Thurston Cox
|----b. 22 Feb 1870, South Carolina
|----d. 21 May 1947, Greenville, Greenville Co., South Carolina
|---& Leila Cox
|----b. 4 May 1874
|----d. 13 Aug 1948, Simpsonville, Austin Twp., Greenville, SC
|--Lillie Cox
|----b. 12 Apr 1874, Fairview Township, Greenville, South Carolina
|----d. 28 Jun 1929, Austin Township, Greenville Co., South Carolina
|---& Dock M. Garrett
|----b. 15 Jun 1875
|----d. 19 Sep 1929, Austin Township, Greenville Co., South Carolina
|----m. 1894

I have only been able to find Susan Moore in the 1860 and 1870 censuses and do not know what happened to her after that. As far as I know she is not buried in any of the cemeteries where other Moores are (Standing Springs, Simpsonville, Reedy Fork, Cedar Shoals, and a few others). I also need more information on Walter William Cox (not sure if that is his name – he is listed as Walter H. on the 1860 census and William on the 1870 census; there are a couple of candidates who fit the general timeframe), Lafayette Cox (last seen in the 1900 census as a boarder living with the family of John H. Austin in Greenville City), and Samuel Cox (last seen on the 1880 census).

Robert Thurston Cox’ wife Leila’s maiden name was Cox. She was the daughter of Lewis Cox and Susan Hyde. I am sure they are related to the other Coxes somehow.

After Mary’s early death, Isaac Cox married a second time:

Isaac Cox
b. 12 Oct 1828, South Carolina
d. 26 Aug 1906, Greenville County, South Carolina
& Margaret Bryson
b. 6 Jan 1844, South Carolina
d. 5 Jan 1923, Simpsonville, Greenville County, South Carolina
|--Nancy Mamie Cox
|----b. 3 Nov 1879, Greenville County, South Carolina
|----d. 10 Jul 1902, Greenville County, South Carolina

After Isaac Cox died, Margaret Bryson Cox married Lewis Brashier (another family with many ties to the Moores, as well as the Hendersons and Coxes).

I am very interested in exchanging information with others who are researching these families.

Family Newsletter Friday: 24 July 2009

This is a new feature that I hope to post regularly. It may not always be up by Friday, but I am hoping that I can get a report in sometime every weekend. I know at least a couple of cousins follow this blog from time to time, so this feature will be in the form of a Family Newsletter containing a summary of whatever family research I have done over the past week (pretty scant production in recent weeks, but still…). So that relatives who follow this blog can tell whether or not it concerns their family lines, I will post headings to indicate which general family line the research pertains to, citing first of all the last name of the grandparent to which a specific family is related: Brinlee, Moore, Norman, and Floyd (for my family), and Koehl, Greenberg, Terrana, and D’Arco (for my husband’s family). This will be followed by the specific family name where pertinent (Lewis would come under Moore, Davi would come under Terrana, and so forth).

If any of my relatives who read this are ever interested in more specific information, just let me know and I will be glad to share.


During the last week I continued to transcribe and extract information from obituaries on members of our Moore family that appeared in The Greenville News. These are mostly members of the Bud Mathis Moore line, since his side of the family stayed in Greenville. There have occasionally been obituaries for descendants of his brother and my great-great grandfather William Spencer Moore from over in Anderson County as well. This week the obituaries covered some descendants of two of Bud Mathis Moore’s daughters: Mary E. T. Moore (married Isaac Cox) and Susan Amanda Moore (married Franklin Blakely). So far I have ordered somewhere around 180 obituaries; I think (and hope) I am near the end of them, but I think I have found a few more I need to order. As I have mentioned in other articles, I find the information I need to order the obituaries at the website for the Greenville County Library System Obituary Index and send it to a wonderful local researcher who copies them and mails them to me.

Speaking of Mary Moore and Isaac Cox, that family is the subject of tonight’s Featured Family Friday (at least I hope I get it posted tonight).


I have received some e-mails from my cousin Raymond who has filled in some details on the Louis Boone Brinlee family.

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.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Researching, Blogging, Social Networking, and Finding Time

Many people with a strong interest in genealogy – professionals, semi-pros, and keen amateurs alike – have taken up blogging and social networking to further their genealogy research. I think most of us discovered early on what an effective strategy contacting other researchers can be, whether they are researching the same lines and we want to pool information, or they have expertise in particular areas and we would like to learn from them. Many of our genealogy happy dances are occasioned not only by finding information, but also by making contact with distant cousins. So, in an effort to “put our research out there” and make more useful (and enjoyable) genealogy contacts, we have used blogging and social networking platforms to pursue our research goals.

I cannot speak for anyone else, but I have bumped up against one of those hard facts of life: there are only 24 hours in a day, and I need to spend at least a few of those sleeping, not to mention interacting with my family and meeting my other non-genealogy-related obligations in life. This issue has been brought into even sharper focus recently by the addition of an alluring new social networking site created expressly for genealogists: GenealogyWise. Barely a week old, it has exploded in popularity, which has been reflected in the addition of hundreds of new members each day as well as quite a few blog articles on the subject. Most of these articles were positive and cited some new possibilities offered by “the new kid on the block,” although a considerable number of reviews also included some reservations about possible drawbacks. A few blog posts even set forth the authors’ reasons for not joining this new wave of social networking.

I held out for an entire day before I joined GenealogyWise. I though it wouldn’t hurt to sign up just to see what was there, and then if it didn’t seem to provide anything I couldn’t already do, I’d just let my participation languish.

It offered a lot. Many of the features I do have access to elsewhere – in a lot of different places. On GenealogyWise, they’re all packaged together: a place for blog posts as well as links to our “outside” blogs, pictures, notes, networking with others in various ways – through interest groups, posting on one another’s pages, an internal e-mail system, chat, and on and on. I was weak. I caved. I participated and had fun, especially when I found a number of friends from the genea-blogging community. I was even able to pass on a tip on a helpful researcher to another GenealogyWise user.

And yet… that “only so many hours in a day” problem will not go away. Last week I spent about the same amount of time I usually do reading and writing (e-mail, Facebook, blog posts), so which usual activity had to sacrifice the minutes and hours I spent on GenealogyWise?

It was my research. Actually, ever since I started blogging and Facebooking, my research time has been dwindling. At the very beginning, there may not have been a significant reduction, because I actually saved some time by posting pictures, notes, and research results on my Facebook page instead of writing individually to the relatives with whom I share research. But as my blog progressed and additional networking opportunities appeared on Facebook, that early momentum went into reverse. I still post some items to share on Facebook, but even that has suffered lately. And I miss the constant e-mailing back and forth I used to do with my cousins when I first started genealogy.

Different genealogy researchers have different amounts of time to devote to this passion, but I’m betting that I’m not alone in finding it extremely difficult to prioritize my genealogy-related activities so that I can pursue my research while enjoying the social aspect (which has always been high on my list of reasons for enjoying genealogy so much in the first place).

I have a full-time job (which I love and do not plan to retire from until I absolutely have to), a husband, a daughter in college, a daughter in high school, three cats, and some volunteer commitments. Yet I know I probably do not have the worst time crunch problems in the genealogy community; my daughters are still young enough that I can remember the time demands made by young children, and many retirees still have significant family and volunteer obligations. Moreover, professional genealogists and the passionate semi-pros and amateurs with a substantial web presence may love what they do, but they also have to meet their professional commitments to customers and the expectations of their Internet audiences in addition to pursuing their own research.

Until recently, part of my usual evening routine after getting home from work, in addition to chores and family time, looked like this:

1. Check and reply to e-mail.
2. Check Facebook and write replies, comments, and posts.
3. Read and comment on blogs.
4. Do research.

And now GenealogyWise has taken over spot #4, pushing research to the pathetic (and often omitted, at least during weekdays) #5 spot.

So what can I do to put my research back on track? I think it needs to be put back to a higher place on my list. After all, what will I have to share on my blog and on social networking sites if I don’t keep adding to my previous research? During weeks with heavier scheduling demands, blog reading and Facebook could be done on alternate nights.

And GenealogyWise? It’s still there, but I have to learn to use it efficiently. As long as it doesn’t get gunked up by Facebook-type applications and distractions, it should be a useful tool. Interest groups are numerous (and ever-increasing) but still small in terms of membership; participation should be selective, but it can definitely pay off down the line, just as posting on message boards does.

I may use GenealogyWise for a little bit of “mini-blogging” as well as posting links to my regular blog. By “mini-blogging” I mean short posts on current topics of interest to genealogy researchers as well as an occasional “names, place, and most wanted faces” posts to keep my brick walls and high-interest research questions out there; more in-depth posts will still be reserved for the regular blog. The other extreme is “micro-blogging” (aka Twitter), which I have so far avoided because I’m not any good at it.

I do not think I will ever be able to return to the good old days when I could average a good 10 hours or more of research a week, but I am learning to cut some of the clutter elsewhere.

But there are still times when I wish I could clone myself.

Memory Monday: Construction

You know what they say about plumbers’ and electricians’ homes, don’t you? It’s something along the lines of never being up to code, with numerous jury-rigged and even dangerous “temporary” fixes that the plumber or electrician would never try to foist off on his customers.

In a similar manner, one of my childhood homes ended up with all the marks of being a “carpenter’s home.” We first lived in the house in Highland, California when I was quite young. It was very small – two small bedrooms, one bath, a small living room, a kitchen-dining room combination, and a miniscule front porch. Its destiny as a carpenter’s house was still in the future. Temporary prosperity enabled my family to move to a larger house in San Bernardino while renting this house out for a few years. However, a back injury suffered by my father on the job dealt a blow to that prosperity and we had to move back. It seemed smaller and more crowded than ever.

A disability check opened up the opportunity to expand the house. Among my father’s many friends in the construction business he was able to find a few to do the jobs that he could not: plumbing, electricity, and masonry. The result was the addition of a large living room (with a beautiful raised fireplace that I still remember) and enlargement and renovation of the kitchen/dining room and my formerly tiny bedroom.

But this also spelled the end of the house’s days as a “finished,” albeit small house, at least for as long as we lived in it.

Thanks to the friends, all the major systems were complete and functional, and I have to admit that my father saw to it that all the main structural work and walls were completed.

It was just in the details that things seemed to be … unfinished.

Take the basement. Our new living room covered up access to the basement, so my father eventually dug a hole on the side of the house and knocked out some of the concrete blocks on that side (not too many, so as not to run the risk of water damage). So we could jump down into the hole and crawl up over the blocks to get in. I tried it once. It was kind of creepy. The inaccessibility of the basement meant that we had to find somewhere else to put a lot of our junk – the garage, the shed, the yard (see Junk in Our Yard).

The “hole” was a particularly sore spot with my mother because it was located right next to what basically served as our new “front” door, aka our kitchen door. I know, a kitchen door is not the best choice for a front door. But the old front door was gone, removed when the old living room (at the front of the house) was converted into a third bedroom. The “real” new front door, i.e., the door to the new living room, was farther back away from the street than the kitchen door was and could not be seen from the street (see illustration below), so most people just used the kitchen door.

As much as my mother hated that hole, our German Shepherd Trina loved it. This was not a good thing for the various salesmen, repairmen, and meter readers who came to the house, because Trina was determined to be a guard dog, and she had the bark to back it up. But not quite the requisite amount of bravery. So she did her barking and guarding from the safety of the hole. She was very intimidating looking in that hole. Our mailbox had been moved to the back (aka “front”) door, so the mailman learned something that none of these other guys seemed to pick up on: Trina was too afraid to get up out of her hole to pursue any invaders who came to the house.

So perhaps that’s why my Dad never did get around to building stairs and a regular entry way into the basement; he must have wanted to make it possible for Trina to keep up the fa├žade of a brave guard dog. I don’t know what his excuse was for never finishing my bedroom floor – the older section was wood (and a real termite lure), while the newer section was bare concrete, with the two sections divided by a metal strip that jutted up a bit, enough to threaten any bare foot that might carelessly step on it.

My resolution never to live in a house “under construction” was never carried out. My husband and I had an addition put on our house when our oldest daughter was a baby (she’s in college now), and while those new rooms are complete, we are still in the process of eliminating all the remnants of previous remuddlings, and the exposed underlayer marking the “dividing line” between the newer and older parts of the house is still … unfinished.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Time Travel

This week’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun as proposed by Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings has a fantasy theme:

1) Let's go time traveling: Decide what year and what place you would love to visit as a time traveler. Who would you like to see in their environment? If you could ask them one question, what would it be?

2) Tell us about it. Write a blog post, or make a comment to this post, or on Facebook, or in Genealogy Wise.

But, Randy – I’ll be talking to a brick wall. No, really. I would go back in time to talk to my brick wall, Susan Elizabeth Smith Bonner Brinlee. I originally thought of going back to 1870s Tennessee to find her there as a child, but I realize that I do not know what part of Tennessee to go to and that to find out more about her past I need to find her as an adult. So I will look for her when and where I know I can find her – in 1910 in Hunt County Texas – when she can answer questions about some of the major events in her life. (Although she lived until 1958, I will not visit her later in life; by that time her memory may not have been as strong.)

Now Randy has specified one question only, so this would be the question:

Who were your parents?

If given the latitude to ask more questions, they would be:

When did your parents die, i.e., were you orphaned when you were a young child? If not, why did you have to work for another family when you were young – was your family that poor?

Who was your first husband, where did you get married, and when and where did he die?

What were the names and dates of birth and death of your three children who did not survive childhood? Were they children of your first husband or of your second husband, Hiram Carroll Brinlee, Jr.?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

More on the Bud Mathis Moore Family

I mentioned in my previous post that I have been in touch with several descendants of Bud Mathis Moore. They have provided a great deal of valuable information which has helped in compiling a list of the descendants of Samuel Moore. They are descendants of Bud Mathis Moore’s son William Spencer Moore, so that is the branch on which we have the most information. The state of what we know on the other branches varies from “very sketchy” to “a little bit sketchy.”

Probably the area where we have the least information is on Bud Mathis Moore’s first wife, Elizabeth Brashier (or Brasher). The Furman Moore history gives her date of death but we do not know her date of birth or who her parents were. The Moore family may have another Brashier family tie-in through Frances Emmaline Henderson, the wife of William Spencer Moore and granddaughter of Brashier Henderson (who was also a witness on Samuel Moore’s will). The Furman Moore history indicated that Bud Mathis Moore’s oldest daughter, Elizabeth, had married a James Bayne, but we could not find any record of them. However, when George Moore, my third cousin once removed, sent me a copy of a transcript of Bud Mathis Moore’s will, which mentioned a George Bain, this spelling of the name enabled me to find the family in three censuses: 1850 (Greenville, SC), 1860 (Blount County, Alabama), and 1870 (Etowah County, Alabama). That is all of the information that I have on this family.

James Bain
-b. ca 1818, South Carolina
& Elizabeth W. Moore
-b. 12 Dec 1824
|--Mary Emma Bain
|----b. 1845, South Carolina
|--Martha A. “Mattie” Bain
|----b. 1846, South Carolina
|--William Manning Bain
|----b. 1848, South Carolina
|--Richard H. Bain
|----b. 1851, South Carolina
|--George B. Bain
|----b. 1854, South Carolina

I am very interested in exchanging information with other people researching these families.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Featured Family Friday: Family of Bud Mathis Moore

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
|--Elizabeth W. Moore
|----b. 12 Dec 1824
|--& James Bain

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
|--Sarah Ann Moore
|----b. 27 Aug 1827
|----d. 11 Apr 1914
|--& James Moon
|--Samuel “Sammie” Alexander Moore
|----b. 21 Sep 1828
|----d. 18 May 1861
|--& Mary Ann Elizabeth “Betsy Ann” Baldwin
|----b. 7 Mar 1830
|----d. 9 Feb 1922
|--Mary E. T. Moore
|----b. 19 Oct 1829, South Carolina
|----d. 3 Feb 1877
|--& Isaac Cox
|----b. 12 Oct 1828, South Carolina
|----d. 26 Aug 1906, Greenville County, South Carolina
|--Susan Amanda Moore
|----b. 14 Feb 1832, Georgia
|----d. 9 Apr 1923
|--& Franklin Blakely
|----d. bef 1870
|----m. 2 Oct 1851
|--William Spencer Moore
|----b. 5 Jun 1834
|----d. 16 Mar 1919
|--& Frances Emmaline “Emma” Henderson
|----b. 1 Dec 1841, Simpsonville, Greenville Co., South Carolina
|----d. 15 Feb 1925
|----m. 1 Dec 1865
|--Jeanetta M. T. “Nettie” Moore
|----b. 14 Aug 1836
|----d. 20 Aug 1876
|--& William Warren Baldwin
|----b. ca 1835, South Carolina
|----d. bef 1870

It’s late on Friday night, so I am not going to write in great detail about this family tonight; I’ll have more to add tomorrow.

Bud Mathis Moore was the brother of my great-great-grandfather, William Spencer Moore (for whom Bud Mathis Moore’s son William Spencer was apparently named), so his descendants form the other main family line in my Descendants of Samuel Moore (d. 1828) of Greenville County, South Carolina project. That I know about this family and have been able to make the connection to my branch of the Moores is all thanks to Mary Newton, my fourth cousin. Through her I have also been in contact with other members of this branch of the family. She provided me with a copy of the family history written on this branch by Furman Moore, son of William Spencer Moore (the one who was B. M. Moore’s son) which is the source of much information and the starting point of my research on this 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, July 8, 2009

Calling All Photo Experts

… and non-experts who are interested in old photographs. I have a bit of a mystery with regard to two of the old photographs in my collection; specifically, these photographs belong to the collection of photographs that belonged to William Henry Lewis and his wife Julia Mister Lewis that John Hornady so kindly passed on to me (see Uncle, Uncle – William Henry Lewis: A Little Man Who Stood Tall for the story).

The photograph above and at the top right of my blog’s banner is of William Henry Lewis, my great-great uncle. Two of the photographs given to me by Mr. Hornady are shown below, and neither Mr. Hornady nor I can be certain who the subject of these photographs is. We both believe they may be pictures of Henry Lewis when he was younger, but we cannot tell for sure. I am hoping those among you who have some expertise in dating photographs can help in dating these photographs and that perhaps readers with a keen eye can weigh in on the question: Is the same man the subject of all of these photographs?

I do believe that there is at least a family resemblance, and Henry had two surviving brothers who also came to Texas and might be the subject of the photographs in question: James West Lewis, born November 1835 in South Carolina, died 20 March 1904, and John Sloan Lewis, born 12 May 1856 in Anderson, South Carolina and died 7 July 1940 in Dallas County, Texas. (Two other brothers, Manning and Samuel Lewis, died in the Civil War.) Henry Lewis was born on 11 March 1851 in Franklin County, Georgia and died on 21 February 1946 in Dallas, Dallas County, Texas.

I believe James West is the less likely candidate, because he lived in Wilbarger County, and the two photographs were taken in Dallas County. I actually have a photograph of James, but it is extremely tiny and he is wearing a long beard in it; it is part of a poster made of his (and brother Samuel’s) Civil War unit, the 4th Regiment South Carolina Infantry, Company B.

John Sloan is a more likely candidate, but I do not have any pictures of him. Both Henry and John Sloan were involved in Dallas County law enforcement; Henry was sheriff from 1886 to 1892, and John Sloan was a deputy sheriff at some point. I am not sure which years John Sloan served, but I do know that he was deputy in the years immediately after Henry’s three terms as sheriff. The two must have been a real Mutt and Jeff pair. Henry was described in an appreciation written by family friend John Hornady II as a “slender little man” (and you can get a sense of Henry’s diminutive size from the picture shown below, probably taken when he was already at least 90 years old). John Sloan, on the other hand, is described in his obituary as having been 6 feet 2 inches tall and 235 pounds. That does not really seem to described the man shown in the two pictures in question.

Here is the information on the photographers’ studios taken from the photographs:

The photograph of Henry Lewis which appears in the blog banner – Voorhee’s, Dallas

Mystery photograph with striped necktie – J. H. Webster, “High Priced Photographer, Dallas, Texas”

(Jim Wheat’s Dallas County Texas Archives lists a couple of men who worked as photographic printers for this J. H. Webster in the Morrison & Fourney’s Directory of the City of Dallas, 1886-1887.)

Mystery photograph with white tie – Deane, 300 Elm St., Dallas

Assistance and opinions welcome.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Please Keep These Things, Part 3

This is my Grandfather Kirby Moore’s change purse. He was my mother’s father, and he died before I was born. It is the only thing I have that belonged to Grandpa Kirby. I only have three pictures of him. One is the middle picture in the banner at the top of this blog (he is shown with my Grandmother Eula Floyd Moore); a larger version is shown below, and the picture below that shows him with my cousins Ronnie and Jeannie Moore. This change purse was very precious to my mother, who loved her father very much. I do not know a great deal about Grandpa Kirby. I do know that he was quite a fiddle player, liked to make his own home brew, and was proud of his South Carolina family.

At the suggestion of my husband and daughter, the picture includes a ruler for scale.

Monday, July 6, 2009

How I (Mis)Spent My Summer Vacation

The theme of the 76th Carnival of Genealogy is our favorite summer vacation memory from our youth. I’m sure I had one. I have several enjoyable summer vacation memories from recent years. And there are some vacations from my childhood that were memorable … sort of. We went to Disneyland, we went to Knotts’ Berry Farm, we went to Calico Ghost Town. But wait … did these outings actually take place during the summer? There is nothing in my memory to make that specific connection.

As I tried to recall specific vacations, I had an “Aha!” moment as I remembered one trip that I thought would be an ideal subject: Our trip to Death Valley. You see, my father loved to visit desolate places, deserts in particular. And while I could entertain myself in these locales by hunting for rocks and interesting wildlife, I hated the emptiness of the vast open spaces, the heat, and the lack of vegetation and shade. I will always associate those trips with endless rides down dusty roads in under-ventilated cars, lukewarm water to drink, and boredom without end. So the trip to Death Valley seemed like the perfect subject to capture this grueling and unpleasant ritual of my childhood. There was only one problem: I realized that only insane people would visit Death Valley in the summer. I was not certain onto which side of the sanity/insanity division my father fell in this matter, however, so I devised a way to check; I would look at our Death Valley vacation photos. And sure enough, we were wearing long pants and jackets in those photos. Scrap that idea.

Note: This picture is NOT from a summer vacation.

Again I went over all my favorite trips and vacations from childhood. That memorable trip to visit Grandma Brinlee in Texas? Christmas vacation. Hiking up around Big Bear Lake? Thanksgiving vacation. Trip to Tijuana? Spring vacation.

I was striking out on summer vacation. All I could remember was a series of minor beach and fishing outings that all merged together into a single confusing stew of impressions. At the beach: hot sand, sunburns, freezing cold water, slimy things under foot, sand in my bathing suit. If it was a good beach, there would be interesting shells, and maybe sand castles would be good for an hour or two of entertainment. Fishing: more heat, freezing water, smelly fish, and cramped quarters on someone’s boat. Fishing from the shore was better: there might be interesting rocks or animals there.

Not seeing much promise in this material, I moved forward in time, bringing me to middle school, when times were really difficult for my family, and then to high school, when my mother and I lived in public housing in Seymour, Texas and could not afford vacations. And it was remembering those high school years that brought me back to one of the most enjoyable summers I have ever spent. My mother and I did not go anywhere. I did not have a summer job or pursue any useful “enrichment activities.” I stayed at home, slept in, and decided each morning what I would do to entertain myself that day.

My friends Debbie and Donna would come to town and we would hang out. We would cruise around town, sometimes stopping at the Dairy Queen (or was it the Dairy Mart?) for cherry Cokes, tater tots, frito pies, and other delicious treats, or we might instead go to the Rock Inn, where we could chow down on taco salad (on a large bed of shredded lettuce to absorb the grease – no, really, it was delicious) or chicken-fried steak. We might go to Debbie’s house on the farm and make our own feast: pizza from a box mix (there were no pizza parlors in Seymour then) with the topping of choice being olives, plus potato chips and Dr. Pepper, drink of the gods. The ice that went into the Dr. Pepper was brownish and cloudy, as the water was drawn from a well. Debbie and Donna tried to teach me how to drive, but it didn’t take. I think I really scared them with that fast turn into Debbie’s driveway. (Oh, you mean I need to brake when I turn?)

We would hit the Seymour Library once or twice a week, doing our best to exhaust its possibilities. I read War and Peace (saw the Sergey Bondarchuk movie version when I was in ninth grade and lived with Uncle Howard and Aunt Joy, and I simply had to read the book), The Forsyte Saga (had caught it on TV while at Hardin-Simmons the previous summer; our part of Texas did not have PBS), and together Debbie and I went through as many detective books as we could find. We daydreamed a lot and planned out “Life After Seymour.”

It was the last summer I ever spent during which I was not either studying or working. And it was wonderful.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Items Missing from the National Archives

As a resident of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, I do not blink an eye at the security measures at various institutions and transportation hubs; it’s just a fact of life for our country in general these days and for the capital city in particular. The security at certain Washington institutions still has more to do with preventing theft than with preventing acts of terrorism.

Recent field trips I have taken with the Fairfax Genealogical Society have been to the Library of Congress and the National Archives. At the Library of Congress the size of the bags we were allowed to bring in was limited and at the National Archives what we brought in had to be scanned at the security checkpoint.

I understand that both of these institutions contain some very valuable items and need to be very careful to prevent damage, theft, or careless loss, but I hadn’t quite realized the magnitude of the problem. An article by Larry Margasak of the Associated Press entitled “Historical items missing at the Archives” that appeared in my local paper today outlined some pretty serious losses, including the following:

“- Civil War telegrams from Abraham Lincoln,
- Original signatures of Andrew Jackson,
- Presidential portraits of Franklin D. Roosevelt,
- NASA photographs from space and on the moon, and
- Presidential pardons.”

While I know that many records in which genealogy researchers are interested – Civil War service records, land records, and so forth – are not considered “valuable,” what I know of thefts that have taken place at smaller institutions, such as microfilm of old issues of local newspapers from the offices of those newspapers, microfilm of various records from local libraries, and original records from courthouses, just to name a few – makes me appreciate the strict security measure in place at the National Archives. Margasak writes that some of the above-listed items “were stolen by researchers or Archives employees.” Whether the motives were mercenary or were simply due to that sense of entitlement that seems to be so common these days, there is no excuse for stealing something that is part of our common heritage, no matter how insignificant the document may seem.