Surname Saturday: Moore

My big spring/summer/winter cleaning of my family file and my website database is going very well. Once I made my last decision, it’s been smooth, tedious sailing. I love it. I ended up starting with my father’s side since I pretty much have it sourced correctly. It’s just making everything uniform in my file that is the tedious part. I’ve always changed my mind about how I wanted things on the website site too, but I think my problems came from importing the file over and over again. So now that I’m hand entering things, it’s looking very good!

I’ve now finished cleaning up my Moore sources, so I figured it was a good time to do a Surname Saturday post.

MOORE

The first known Moore in my family tree is William H Moore. I have his birthdate as Jul 1836. In all the censuses from 1870 through 1920, he lists his birthplace as Ireland. Based on census information , he immigrated to America sometime between 1858 and 1859. I’m unsure of where exactly in Ireland he came from or where he went to when he got here.

The first census appearance William makes is in 1870. He is living in Chicago, Illinois with his wife (Mary ?) and three children (Mary J, William H, John R). All three children are listed as being born in Illinois, but in all other census years Mary J lists her birthplace as New York. It could be either one as far as I know, but I’m leaning towards New York for her birth. Sometime after their fourth child (my 2nd great grandfather, Robert James Moore) was born in 1871, they packed up and moved to Brooklyn, New York.

The family would stay there for the next 30 years. William’s wife died in 1896 from a lingering illness. Unfortunately, whoever filled out her death certificate didn’t know anything about her parents. This means until I find a marriage record for William and Mary, I won’t know anything about Mary before she married. Their eldest child and only daughter, Mary J, would live and care for her father until his death in 1928. By 1920, William and Mary moved to Caldwell, New Jersey. It was in 1926 when William H’s grandson, William Lawrence Moore, would marry Llewellyn Thorward. Llewellyn’s family has a long, many generations history in Caldwell.

William H’s children all seemed to pick up career skills related to their father’s carpenter skills. In the 1892 New York State Census, all the boys have carpenter like jobs. Except for William Jr, who is listed as a Printer. After that, it looks like John picked up William Jr’s work and he also got into the printing business. The only difference being that William moved around a bit, while John stayed in Brooklyn. The next generation of Moores seems to have tried to improve their skills in a completely different direction. Almost all of the William H’s grandkids list their occupations as Clerks of every sort in the 1920′s and 1930′s. We have Office Clerk, Bank Clerk, Insurance Company Clerk. Most of the family also moved out of the city to Essex County, New Jersey.

Robert Moore Sr with his children and niece. 1910-ish.

Things I Wonder About The Moores:

  • Where exactly in Ireland did William H Moore originate from? In 1930, Mary J listed her parents birthplaces as Northern Ireland. That makes sense as it wasn’t until 1921 that Northern Ireland was created as a distinct country/state of it’s own. Forgive my lack of the correct terminology. I’m going to delve more into Ireland’s history the next time I’m at the library!
  • William immigrated in 1858 or 1859, many years after the Great Famine. Did a younger or older sibling come over first? Where is the rest of his family. There are too many Irish Moores in Brooklyn to ever be certain without other tangible proof.
  • Why did the family move from New York to Illinois, only to move back to New York again? Were they trying to escape from Irish prejudice in New York City in the 1860′s?
  • Which of the Moores is the one rumored to have become a potato farmer? My Aunt Lori is very emphatic about this one. Someone told her this, and given her relative collecting personality, I don’t doubt there may be some truth to it. Even if maybe it was because of the Potato Famine they immigrated to America, and that over the years it translated to one of the Moores being a potato farmer?

What are my next steps?

  • I want to try and collect all the birth, marriage and death records for the children of William H Moore Sr and Mary ?. I’m hoping to find out Mary’s maiden name and hopefully both parents birthplaces in Ireland. I’ve already tried for Robert James Moore Sr‘s birth certificate once, but Chicago records weren’t mandated at the time. So it’ll have to be parish records if there are any at all!
  • To get the marriage record from 1896 for Robert Sr and Mary E Johnson. I don’t know anything more about Mary other than her full name and that she died between 1910 and 1920. Her name is a bit generic for basic searches so I need to try and find a marriage or death record that will hopefully have her parents information on it.

This post was quite fun to write up, so I’ll definitely be doing more in the future! They’ll get better and more coherent with practice I’m sure! ;)

Surname Saturday is a daily blogging theme from GeneaBloggers.
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