Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I am a big fan of technology and genealogy is certainly easier now than it was 25 years ago.  Today we can search on Google, access databases such as Ancestry.com, and read blogs.

We used to be limited to writing letters instead of emails (which was much slower), visiting libraries instead of Google Search, and reading books instead of blogs.  Not that some of those methods are still helpful, such as reading earlier investigations in books, and searching microfilm and boxes of documents in libraries and archives.

Terri O'Neill is forever commenting on what a beautiful handwriting that Stephen Moore had, even transcribing documents for others.  But I want to tell you that Terri and I started all this before we had such technology.  We wrote letters.  Terri published her findings in her excellent  Moore, Stanford, Webb Chronicles before we had a blog.  I had always wanted to write a book on the Stephen Moore family, but with constant new information developing, a book quickly becomes dated and blogs can remain current.

Not only did Stephen Moore have a beautiful handwriting, but so does Terri and most of you have never seen it, because her work appears in printed form.  Here is a letter that Terri wrote me some 25 years ago about West Point.  Note her handwriting and her love for genealogy, when she said: "I wish I could devote more time to this stuff instead of mundane details like fixing meals & doing laundry!"

To see images above larger and more clearly, click on them and then choose "open image in a new tab."

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Moore Family Bible Found and Robert’s Birth Date Confirmed

By Sandra Moore Shoffner, 2nd great-granddaughter of Richard Henry and Sarah Harriet Moore. Photographs by Harry L Shoffner with the permission of Willard G Moore.

The elusive Moore family Bible belonging to the family of Richard Henry Moore (son of Portius) and his wife, Sarah Harriet Moore (daughter of Robert), has recently reappeared after being hidden way for 45+ years. We believe this version of the Bible, with a copyright date of 1891, contains the marriage, birth, and death dates transcribed from the “original” Bible by their only surviving daughter, Sarah Jane Moore (1840-1917), and later passed on to her brother, Dr Henry Fletcher Moore (1849-1934). The consensus is that since the first entry on the Marriages page below (above the names of Robert and Sarah Moore) reads: “our grand parents on mamas side,” the names could only have been transcribed by Sarah Jane (granddaughter of Robert and Sarah/Sallie [Bailey] Moore). See the following photographs showing the Marriages page:
Top of Marriages Page

Detail of Marriages Page
(Note Robert's birth date)
Several Moore kin were very interested in seeing this version of the Bible to verify the birth date of Robert, eldest son of Lt Col Stephen Moore, a date that has been disputed and debated by numerous Stephen Moore family historians and genealogists for decades. Robert’s birth year has been recorded as 1762 and 1769 in various Moore family Bibles and histories. You can read all the details concerning this ongoing debate here on David’s blog, just click to read all posts labeled Robert 1762 birth date. His birth date of Nov 5, 1762 is clearly written on the Marriages page above, but not on the Births page.

Before this Bible was recently discovered, it was last seen at the home of Mattie Thompson Moore, who took possession of it in 1957, after the death of her husband, Charles Fletcher Moore, Sr, eldest son of Dr Henry Fletcher Moore by his second wife, Maggie Davis. Mattie T Moore lived on Anthony Street in Burlington, and the Bible was seen there by several people (including me) in the late 1960s.I had the Bible for a few weeks until my father, Richard Fletcher Moore, insisted I return it, much to my chagrin. I had gotten quite attached to that Bible, not knowing the importance it would play in my life further down the road.

The Bible eventually ended up in the possession of Wayne T Moore after the death of his mother, Mattie T Moore, in 1992. We discovered this fact after corresponding with Wayne’s brother, Willard G Moore, over a period of years. It seemed that it had been in Wayne’s attic for quite some time. When asked about the information that was contained in the Bible, Willard provided us with a handwritten and a typed transcription done by Wayne and Willard’s older brother, Dr Charles Fletcher Moore, Jr, sometime before his death in 1994.

My husband, Harry, and I recently decided to give Willard a call (March 14, 2013) to see if we could visit and present him with a complete copy of his Moore pedigree along with a copy of the article about our West Point trip to find the Red House. We also asked if he had had any luck locating the family Bible and he answered that he had it right there on his coffee table! Therefore, Harry and I grabbed our cameras and rushed over to Willard’s house in Gibsonville, NC, and photographed the Bible pages while asking Willard about his side of the Moore family. Willard has lived in the same house in Gibsonville since the 1960s, and Wayne recently moved into The Village at Brookwood, a retirement community in Burlington. Both brothers are doing well and we want to thank them for sharing the family Bible with us.

Photographs below: Cover, Title page, Copyright (1891) page, Births page, Deaths page

Title Page
Births Page
Deaths Page