Tuesday, August 4, 2009


By David Jeffreys, photographs by David Jeffreys - ©August, 2009

Honorable John Moore landed in Charles Town in the Province of Carolina from England and was Secretary of the Province. Soon he became disillusioned with the Lord’s Proprietor and decided to move on. Penn’s colony Pennsylvania meaning “Penn’s Woods” was John Moore’s next stop. But unlike William Penn who was a Quaker, Moore was an Anglican from the Church of England. As a result, he was a founding member of Christ Church, Philadelphia

along with Robert Quary who had also relocated along with him from Charles Town. John Moore died in 1732 just as the main part (Phase I) of the present edifice was being completed. Family lore says that John Moore was buried in the center aisle of the church. In a search to confirm this, an answer to my query to Christ Church follows:

I am in charge of the grave yard and much research here at Christ Church.
I found a listing for the burial of John Moor Esq. on Dec 7th, 1732. The only listing I found for Rebecca was in April of 1765, probably not the same person you were looking for.
As far as we know John Moor is not buried in the aisle of the church but there is no way of knowing for sure.
In 1864 the warden of the church wrote down all inscriptions at the church and 5th st. graveyard. Moore’s name is not found in that book. His gravestone like thousands of others faded away. But we do know he is buried here since his name appears in our burial book, the book doesn’t indicate the location of his burial. He could be buried at the church or at 5th st where Ben Franklin is buried.
John Hopkins, Burial Ground Coordinator

Construction would continue on the church as it was later enlarged and the steeple tower was built.

The following excerpts are taken from the book THE COLONIAL HOUSES OF WORKSHIP IN AMERICA Built in the English Colonies before the Republic, 1607-1789, and still standing by Harold Wickliffe Rose published by Hastings House, Publishers, New York:

Christ Church, the first Anglican church in the province, was gathered by laymen and organized in 1695, under a provision of the original charter of Charles II to William Penn. For the next sixty-six years it was the only Episcopal church in Philadelphia. No church is more intimately connected with the founding of both the United States of America and the Protestant Episcopal Church of America. Governors and officials of the State of Pennsylvania and the United States, worshipped here.

List of vestrymen - "John Moore" at the bottom of second column.

A deed of 1695 covered most of the present site, and the first church was built of logs within a year. In 1711 the building was enlarged and rebuilt, to the extent that it is referred to as “the second church.” An adjoining lot was purchased in 1725, and in 1727 work was begun on the present beautiful building.

The design was drawn by a vestryman, Dr. John Kearsley, a physician and amateur architect, who served also on the committee for building the State House (Independence Hall). On the same committee was the architect of that building, Andrew Hamilton, who also was a vestryman of Christ Church, and the able lawyer who defended Peter Zenger to establish the principle of freedom of the press. In 1737 the building was completed, except the tower, which was added in 1754.

The organ dates from 1765 and the pulpit from 1769. During the 1800’s several alterations were made; it was lengthened two or three times, but the building is essentially the original structure.

Among the many treasures of the church are the communion silver, which was given by Queen Anne about 1708, and the bells. The first bell dates from 1702; the peal of eight bells was brought from London, in 1754, and placed in the tower, which had been finished the year before. They were bought with funds raised by the “Philadelphia Steeple Lottery,” which was run by Benjamin Franklin. These bells and the Liberty Bell were cast in England by Lester and Pack, and they pealed with the Liberty Bell to proclaim the Declaration of Independence.

Among the scores of distinguished people who were baptized at the historic baptismal font, which dates from 1695

and has served for most of the life of Christ Church, was William White, who was to become a rector of the parish. He served as chaplain to the Continental congress, as the first Bishop of Pennsylvania, and as the Presiding Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church of America, from 1795 until his death in 1836, when he was buried before the chancel rail. He was the prime mover in organizing the Episcopal Church, after the Revolution had put an end of the jurisdiction of the Church of England and the Bishop of London over the American churches.

Among the many prominent people who attended services here were General Lafayette, as a guest of the Washingtons, and President John Adams, who used the same pew during his administration. Other pew holders included Robert Morris, treasurer of the Revolution; Francis Hopkinson, signer of the Declaration of Independence and designer of the national flag; his son, Judge Joseph Hopkinson, author of the hymn “Hail Columbia;” and Betsy Ross, who made the first flag. On July 20, 1775, the Continental Congress attended services in a body.

In the two cemeteries of Christ Church many prominent people were buried. Seven of them were signers of the Declaration – Benjamin Franklin, Joseph Hewes, Stephen Hopkins, Robert Morris, George Ross, Benjamin Rush,

and James Wilson. The funeral of Benjamin Franklin was attended by 20,000 people, and he was buried in the corner of Christ Church Burial Ground at Fifth and Arch Streets.

John Penn, a grandson of William Penn and a governor of Pennsylvania, who had signed the church charter in 1765, was buried near the pulpit.

Because of its intimate association with the founders of the nation, Christ Church was designated a national shrine, in 1952, by an Act of Congress.


Visit http://www.christchurchphila.org/Historic_Christ_Church/Collections_Genealogy/Genealogy/Genealogy_Search/Search_Results/55/lastName__Moore/
To research the Baptismal Records and the Marriage Records of Moore family members. Unfortunately the Burial Records are not available in the online search.

Go to

http://www.christchurchphila.org/Historic_Christ_Church/Collections_Genealogy/61/ and see Christ Church’s webpage referring to the Archives of Collections and Genealogy.

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