Friday, December 20, 2013

James Hunter Horner Family Bible Records

DEATHS. James [name illegible] Horner died on Monday evening, the 3rd of March, 1856, aged 4 years 7 months & 28 days. Bettie Gertrude Horner died the nineteenth of November 1881, aged 18 years & 27 days. James Hunter Horner died the thirteenth of June 1892 aged 70 years 3 months & 10 days. Sophronia Moore Horner died on Monday morning the eighth of February 1909, aged 79 years 2 months & 10 days. Sophronia Moore Horner Winston, Died leaving 4 children. Mary Ellen Horner died April 3, 1922 at Valle Cruce Watauga Co N.C. Buried in Oxford N.C. Rt. Rev. Junius Moore Horner died Wed. Aprpil 5th 1933 in Asheville, N.C. Buried April 7th in Asheville N.C. 

[column 2] DEATHS. Lucy Anna Horner Graham died Sat. Dec. 28th 1935 aged 80 yrs 5 mo. 13 days


Digital Collection

Thanks to Steve Moore finding this Bible record!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Stephen Moore Mini-Reunion - July 8-9, 2013

Terri O'Neill said that she had family reasons to be in Durham, and suggested that it might be a good time for our Moore Research Committee to get together.  The committee consists of Terri O'Neill from Colleyville, Texas; Steve Moore from Murfreesboro, Tennessee; Sandra Moore Shoffner (with lot of help from her husband, Harry) from Mebane, North Carolina; and myself, David Jeffreys from Wilmington, North Carolina.  We all had the dates of July 8-12 available and decided to get together. At the reunion, we wanted to compare notes and notebooks, and visit Mt. Tirzah United Methodist Church and graveyard, and the Mt. Tirzah home, built by Stephen Moore, and its graveyard.  We decided to invite other members of the Moore family in the Durham and Person County area, who have been especially helpful with our research during the past few months.

Terri arranged to have the Duke Room at the Courtyard by Marriott in Durham on Monday afternoon for our "show and tell" and called Mt. Tirzah UMC for it to be open on Tuesday morning.  I arranged a tour of the Mt. Tirzah house, gardens, and graveyard with its present owner, Steve Cox, who is a good friend, for Tuesday afternoon.

Duke Room on Monday from 1:00 to 4:00pm:
We spread our books, notebooks, and albums across the tables in the front and back of the room.  Those present during the afternoon included Terri and Ken O'Neill, Steve Moore, Sandra and Harry Shoffner, myself, Harry T. Watkins, and Victor Bailey Moore, Jr.  Harry Watkins furnished me with these two pictures:
Steve Moore, Terri & Ken O'Neill, Victor Moore
Sandra (Moore) & Harry Shoffner, David Jeffreys
Here are a couple of pictures that I took:
Harry Watkins, Terri and Ken, Harry Shoffner seated at computer
Very large "blueprint" family tree

Mt. Tirzah United Methodist Church on Tuesday morning:
Pastor Jarrod Davis welcomed us and provided us with a history of the church.  Mt Tirzah United Methodist Church was originally built on land acquired from Sydney Moore for $1.00 in May, 1819. This original structure burned down sometime prior to 1888, and a new structure was built on a hill about a mile away from the original. This is the present Mt. Tirzah UMC building. The first worship service held in Mt. Tirzah UMC was on Christmas Day, 1888.  The location of the first church and its spring have been located to the south of the present church along Moore's Mill Road.

Terri's oral history says that her great-grandfather, John Luther Bradshaw was on location in 1888 to build the present church, so she was looking for more information about that.

Many local Stephen Moore descendants came to the church to meet with us. Among those who signed in were Anne M. Wolfe, Sandra M. Buchanan, Margaret (Noell) Puett, Pat Reade, Angela Wyche-Reade Jones, Wendy Reade Thompson, Robert Winston Carr, Clinton W. Toms III and Julia Carr Day.  Others also attended who did not sign in.

In an email after the reunion, Terri said, "Though you knew about it long ago, David, you couldn't recall the source of the Burgess Ticket, so it was great to see it and put a date on it, and learn where it resides with Margaret Noell Puett. She also solved the mystery of what happened to the original miniature portrait in black and white of Stephen Moore. It was in her Noell family and was lost in a fire years ago, along with two small paintings of the graves of Stephen and Grizey."   Terri stood in the vestibule of the church and carefully transcribed the Burgess Ticket. (More on the Burgess Ticket in another post.)

Stephen Moore House, Gardens, and Graveyard Tour on Tuesday afternoon:
Mt. Tirzah Home Front Elevation from SE view
Approximately 15 Stephen Moore descendants arrived just after 1:00pm for a tour of the gardens, house, and family cemetery.  Stephen Cox bought Mt. Tirzah from the Reade family in 1985 and has done a magnificent restoration of the house and gardens.
Steve Cox and Julia Carr Day

First Steve Cox led us on a tour of the gardens.  Note that Mt. Tirzah is the hilltop of a mountain from which you can see in the north, east, and south directions.

Harry Shoffner, photographer

Front Entrance

View to the Southeast

1880s Addition - formerly Dining Room & Kitchen

New 1980s Addition on the East Side
Well House

~~A few of the above pictures were taken in May, 2012~~

Following the tour of the gardens, Steve Cox led us into the front entrance through the enclosed porch and into the parlor.  He started the tour by explaining the repair that had to be done to the building and remarking about the fireplaces and original stairs that were moved during Stephen Moore's first addition.  Above the fireplace is a beautiful painting, which Cox described as to its relevance to the house.  The Shoffners had presented him a large copy of the Stephen Moore Portrait Painting, which had been recently discovered.  When Cox entered the room, he placed the portrait in a chair beside the fireplace.  Someone asked him where he thought he might hang the portrait in the house.  Cox responded: "I think he looks pretty comfortable sitting in that chair."
"Looks pretty comfortable in that chair!"
For privacy reasons, Steve Cox, does not permit  photographs inside the house because he doesn't want them to appear on the internet, but he did give me permission for the above picture.  Therefore, you will see no more interior pictures.

From the parlor, Cox led the group up the stairs on the west end of the parlor to the area above which would have been the nursery and the Moore's bedroom.  Further upstairs are another bedroom on the east side of the chimney.  There are fireplaces in both bedrooms upstairs, as well as in the parlor and dining room downstairs.  Back downstairs, the group went into the north 1880s addition, which today is a library and master bedroom.  Finally, he took them down into the basement, so they could see the infamous stone with the date "1778" carved in it.

Grizey Moore grave marker

Stormy weather began to move in, so the group was led by Cox down to the family cemetery, where Stephen Moore is buried.  Just as they returned to the house, there were two large claps of thunder, followed by a rain shower.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Burgess Ticket Stephen Moore Esq Of Glasgow 1764

Courtesy of Margaret Noell Puett

At Glasgow the ninth day of January one thousand seven hundred and sixty four years the which day presence of the right honorable Archibald Ingram Esq. Lord Provoost of the said city Walter Brock, Alexander Mackie and Duncan Vivien Baillies thereof George Brown Dean of Guild and Sundry of the Guild Council of said city Stephen Moore Esq. Merchant in Quebec is admitted and received Burgess and Guild Brother of the said city and the whole liberties, privileges immunities  belonging to a Burgess and guild brother in most ample form who gives his oath of Fidelity as use is extracted forth of the Guild Books of the said city by Archibald M Gilchrist

~~Transcribed by Terri Bradshaw O'Neill on July 9, 2013

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Correction to the Lineage of Hon. John Moore (1658-1732) of Philadelphia: A Recap

In the summer of 1991, descendants of Stephen Moore (1734-1799) of Mount Tirzah, North Carolina, assembled at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point for a family reunion. The location was appropriate because Stephen Moore had inherited the West Point property upon the death of his father, Col. John Moore (1686-1749) of New York City, then subsequently sold it to the U.S. government in 1790, upon which the USMA was established in 1802. Of the approximately 200 attendees, from all parts of the country, many were meeting for the first time. Some were acquainted through genealogical research. In my case, I had been studying the Moore family for about eight years, and I was just learning of some discrepancies in the lineage in 1991, but was too inexperienced to know how to resolve them.
Soon after the reunion, however, I was put into contact with the family of Richard Channing Moore, who was a descendant of Stephen Moore’s elder brother, Thomas (1721-1794). Richard C. Moore had left a family chart at the West Point Library, and when I wrote to him, I learned that
 he had died a short time before. His wife Marjorie was very gracious in sharing the information that Richard had compiled in his study of the Moore lineage. Richard had encountered the same discrepancies that I had, but instead of wondering about them, he hired a genealogist in Philadelphia, and another in London to resolve them with limited success. Additionally, right before the West Point reunion, Dr. Victor Moore of Evans, Georgia, put me in contact with Mrs. Marguerite Roll. Marguerite was not a Moore descendant, but she wanted to obtain the Moore coat of arms as a gift to friends who were. (I never learned their names.) She was working with
 the Lancaster Herald at the College of Arms in London in order to accomplish this goal, and she had supplied him with the information she had: David Moore Hall’s Six Centuries of Moores of Fawley, published in 1904. Early in my studies of the Moore clan, I obtained a copy of Six Centuries which I used as a guide for my continuing research. The Lancaster Herald could not reconcile the lineage as written in Six Centuries with what was on record at the College of Arms. There was a major error in the lineage detailed in Six Centuries, namely that Francis Moore of Fawley was said to have married in 1655 Mary Cary, daughter of Edward Cary. Francis Moore and Mary Cary were the supposed parents of John Moore, born in 1658. However, the Cary lineage shows that Mary, daughter of Edward Cary was born 50 years after the alleged marriage. Further, the arms granted to the Moores of Fawley are described as “Argent, a Moorcock, Sable” [a black Moorcock on a silver or white shield] and were granted in 1569 to Nicholas Moore, Esq. The arms used by the American branch of Moores of this study is described as “Argent, Ten Crosses Crosslet, Sable” [10 black crosses crosslet on a silver or white shield]. I would point out here that this coat of arms was used by four men: Thomas Moore, the Librarian at Westminster Abbey and Hon. John Moore’s brother; William Moore (1699-1783) of Chester County, Pennsylvania, son of Hon. John Moore, brother of Col. John Moore and father of Thomas
 William Moore (1735-1799), who played a large roll in the misidentification of the correct lineage; John Moore, Esq. (1745-1828), son of Thomas Moore of New York City, grandson of Col. John Moore, nephew of Stephen Moore, family historian and author of at least four known memoirs and countless family letters; and Stephen Moore himself, on the bookplate of the family bible that belonged to his daughter, Mary (Moore) Stanford. Notably, neither Hon. John Moore of Philadelphia nor Col. John Moore of NYC used the ten crosses, crosslet arms on any seal or bookplate that is extant. The Lancaster Herald stated that it was his belief that Thomas Moore, Librarian of Westminster, assumed the use of ten crosses, crosslet without authority, and
 indicated that no Moores had ever been granted arms ten crosses, crosslet.
As the exchange of information continued, we asked the Lancaster Herald to verify the story reported by John Moore, Esq. in one version of his memoirs, that his cousin, Thomas William Moore (1735-1799), traveled to London in 1770 and received the Moores of Fawley genealogy from the “Herald’s Office.” The Herald’s report was as follows: “...I can confirm that such visits were (and still are) recorded and the records preserved. I have examined those for 1770, but I find that only two enquiries were received that year relating to persons or families of the name of Moore: the first, in July related to one Giles Moore of Middleton, co. Westmorland, no record of whom could be found, and the second, in August, to the family of Moore of Appleby, co. Leicester, whose pedigree had already been registered.”, and “...I have examined the Waiting Books for the period from July 1767 to December 1776 without however finding any record of an enquiry relating to the Moores of Fawley.” Thus, it seems that the myth of our Moores of Fawley lineage originated with Thomas William Moore in 1770, which was then accepted without question for the next 225 years. None of the American descendants had any reason to question or doubt it. Whether Thomas William Moore was duped by an unscrupulous genealogist, or was led astray by his relations still residing in England, we may never know, but in one way, it made my research easier. Since all the generations after Thomas William Moore adhered to the Moores of Fawley lineage, I could be certain I was on the right track if there was ever any mention of Fawley, as in the case of John Moore (1820-1903) of Quincy, Adams County, Illinois, who named his home Fawley.
Now, 21 years after the West Point reunion, a great deal of research has resulted in many new discoveries of which the majority of the attendees are unaware. A recent research and pleasure trip to North Carolina gave me the opportunity to renew some acquaintances with cousins and meet others for the first time. Many Moore descendants still live in North Carolina, in Person County where Mount Tirzah, Stephen Moore’s home is situated, in Orange, Alamance, Durham, Granville, Wake, even New Hanover and many more. In addition to learning “new” things about under-explored branches of the family, my purpose was to share the results of the intervening 20+ years of research with those who were unaware of it. Descendants of Stephen Moore’s son, Portius (1784-1847), the Horner/Graham/Hall/Cooper families lived in Oxford, Granville County. At the home of Lea Lea Ivey, I presented these findings to a small group of cousins who were learning of the different lineage for the first time. Needless to say, the news was met with some polite skepticism. One of the long-held stories in that branch of the family was of the trip to England and Fawley Manor made in 1888 by their ancestress, Sophronia (Moore) Horner (1829-1909). In their understanding, Sophronia had seen etched in a pane of glass at Fawley Manor, the names of three girls, one of them being “Sophronia.” Though I remembered seeing that story long ago, I could not recall its source, so could not counter the argument at the time. When I returned home, I quickly found the source of the story: in the pages of Six Centuries of Moores of Fawley. In a perfect example of how family stories sometimes get distorted over time (but must never be discounted!), the account of the trip to Fawley was :
“Our kinswoman, Mrs. Lilie Moore Craven, thus writes of her visit to Fawley in 1888: ‘Doctor Gardiner went with us to the old manor house at Little Fawley, about a mile from the Vicarage, which was unoccupied, save that some of the numerous rooms were used for farm purposes. We walked through the ancient rooms, gazed upon the landscape from the upper windows, went upon the roof, read the names cut with a diamond upon the window panes, namely Mollie Moore, Nellie Moore, Anastasia Moore, Sir R Moore, and I thought of those who formerly occupied the mansion and wondered how they looked.’ ”
With the enormous databases containing original records now available on websites such as FamilySearch and Ancestry, research is greatly facilitated. I tracked Rev. Elijah R. Craven (1824- 1908) and his wife, Elizabeth Gertrude Moore (1832- ), daughter of Stephen van Rensselaer Moore (1799-1883), and granddaughter of Bishop Richard Channing Moore (1762-1841), in census records of 1870, 1880 and 1900. One of the features of Ancestry searches is “hints” pointing the researcher to other records that may pertain to the individual you are researching. In this case, the hint pointed toward passport applications. On 22 May 1888, Elijah R. Craven was issued a passport to travel abroad “accompanied by my wife Elizabeth G. Craven.”
I cannot emphasize enough, the value of incorporating all family histories, genealogies, oral traditions, letters and manuscripts, memoirs and the research of others into this ongoing, and constantly expanding study of the vast Moore clan, but I offer this caveat: anything written before 1995 is subject to the “Fawley myth” and should be considered a guide useful for clues. Likewise, the many genealogies posted on current websites such as Ancestry and FamilySearch must be used in the same way, as most are derivative of the “Fawley myth.” Fellow researchers and cousins, Steve Moore, David Jeffreys and Sandra (Moore) Shoffner have worked tirelessly to distribute accurate information and I urge anyone interested to visit David’s excellent blog: Stephen Moore of Mt. Tirzah Family.
One visit won’t be enough! Or to obtain the CD compiled by Steve Moore containing much of the research since 1995 and photos of Mt. Tirzah, the family cemetery, Mt. Tirzah Church burial ground, and much more, contact Steve at: information in your possession that may be of interest to all, such as family portraits, documents, family bible pages, letters, diaries or journals, please consider copying or photographing and sharing with all or any of us: Terri O’Neill, Sandra Shoffner, Steve Moore and David Jeffreys
~~Terri Bradshaw O'Neill, July 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

Stephen Moore Portrait - newly discovered!

Lt Col Stephen Moore 
Photograph provided by Harry and Sandra (Moore) Shoffner, 
courtesy of Clinton W Toms, III, and his wife, Helen.

Sophronia Moore Horner

Here is article from the Oxford Public Ledger dated 5/24/2010 about Sophronia Moore Horner, her husband, and The Horner Military School.  Thanks to Sandra Moore Shoffner for her research and finding this article.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


May 19, 1781

Yesterday we transmitted to you a letter, enclosing a copy of yours, with a list of one hundred and twenty-nine prisoners of war, confined on board this ship, which we hope is forwarded to Major Gen Greene, agreeably to your promise, and make no doubt but that your feelings as a gentleman will, upon this occasion, induce you to do everything in your power to liberate, from a most injurious and disagreeable confinement, those against whom there can exist no charge of dishonor, and whose only crime, if such it can possibly be termed by men of liberal ideas,  is an inflexible attachment to what they conceive to be the rights of their country, and who have scorned to deceive you by unmeaning professions. In justice to ourselves we must say, that if the Americas have at any time so far as to divested themselves of that character of humanity and generosity, which ever distinguish them, we feel ourselves most sensibly mortified, but are induced, from the generous treatment of Cols. Lechmere, Rugely, Fenwicke and Kelsell, and their parties, and from a number of other instances which might be easily adduced, to believe, that the outrages which you complain of, must be the effect of private resentment (subsisting between British subjects and those who, after having availed themselves of the royal proclamation, have resumed their arms, in opposition to that government) and totally unsanctioned by any American officer, and which we are well convinced they would rather reprobate and would present punish in the most exemplary manner, could the perpetrators of such horrid attacks be detected.

In a war, circumstanced as the present, there will be some instances of enormities on both sides. We would not wish to particularize, but doubt not there are acts of cruelty frequently committed by the irregulars of your army, and are convinced, that on your part, as well as our own, they are generally to be attributed to an ignorance of the rules of warfare, and a want of discipline; but the idea of detaining in close custody as hostages a number of men fairly taken in arms, and entitled to the benefits of a solemn capitulation, is so repugnant to the laws of war, and the usage of civilized nations, that we apprehend it will rather be the means of increasing its horrors, than answering those purposes of humanity you expect.

As a most strict adherence to the terms of our paroles, and a firm reliance on your honor, have been the only reasons of our being in your power at present, we trust, that upon equitable proposals being made for our exchange by Gen. Greene, no objections will be raised, but every thing done to bring the matter to the most speedy issue.
As you have thought proper to publish your reasons for seizing upon our persons, we request our answer may also be inserted in the next Gazette. We are, sir,
Your most obedient servants,
Stephen Moore, and others.

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, 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

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Trip to West Point in Search of Lt Col Stephen Moore’s Homesite

Since I am relatively new to David’s blogspot, Stephen Moore of Mt Tirzah Family, I will introduce myself. My name is Sandra Moore Shoffner and I am a 4th great-granddaughter of Stephen Moore. I am a recently retired medical/pharmaceutical editor. I grew up in Burlington and currently live in Mebane, both towns being in Alamance County, NC. Mt Tirzah in Person County is about a 45-minute drive from my home in Mebane. My 2nd great-grandmother, Sarah Harriet Moore (widow of Richard Henry Moore [son of Portius]) remarried and left Person County for Alamance County sometime after 1850 with her son, my great-grandfather, Henry Fletcher Moore. I am including the following three family photos for your information, top to bottom: Dr Henry Fletcher Moore (great-grandfather), Richard Alexander Moore (grandfather), and Richard Fletcher Moore (father):
My husband, Harry Shoffner, and I took a trip to the Hudson Highlands in New York State and to the United States Military Academy at West Point (October 2012) to see for ourselves the location of the original site of Stephen Moore’s Red House. In preparation for our trip, I researched everything I could find online concerning the Moore family at West Point and the history of West Point, plus all the family history researched and recorded by cousins Terri O’Neill, Steve Moore, and David Jeffreys. I also discovered several websites with additional information that proved invaluable, including TheMoores of West Point  and  Historic Structure’s Report, Fortress West Point 1777-1783 

I had corresponded with a retired Lt Col at West Point who agreed to meet us there, escort us onto the grounds, and help us find the homesite. But, as a backup, we signed up for an afternoon West Point tour through the West Point Visitors Center before we left North Carolina, just in case. We knew beforehand that the tour would not make a stop at the Target Hill Athletic Fields, the place our research had directed us to go to start our search. The tour did include a stop at the West Point Cemetery, which was on the hill directly above the athletic fields so we thought we could perhaps get a glimpse of the general area where the Red House had stood. We never caught up with the retired Lt Col I had corresponded with, despite several attempts, so we were basically on our own.

Since we had time to kill our first morning there, before our 2:00 scheduled tour, we decided to take a chance and drive to the guard station at the entrance to the West Point grounds. We had been told by the staff at The Thayer Hotel (where we were staying), at the Visitors Center, and on the West Point website that we would not be allowed to go onto the grounds unescorted. We decided it could not hurt to plead our case to the security guard on duty. We explained that we had driven all the way to New York from North Carolina to try and locate the original site of my 4th great-grandfather, Col Stephen Moore’s, Red House somewhere on the Target Hill Athletic Fields (pictured below).

We showed the guard a photo of the bronze plaque honoring Lt Col Stephen Moore that I had found on a website. I explained that we wanted very badly to locate the plaque for ourselves and photograph it, and also to walk around and try to locate a stream that was on the property. So, after a thorough search of our vehicle and on approval of our identification, we were told that we could go ahead and drive onto the property to conduct our search. We could not believe our good fortune!

We drove around and explored the academy grounds using a map I had downloaded from the USMA website. We had to drive carefully to avoid hitting any of the hundreds of cadets running, walking, and marching everywhere. The first thing we did after locating the athletic fields down by the Hudson River on River Road, was to roam the fields, searching for the stream that was documented to have flowed beside the Red House and emptied into the Hudson. We found the stream flowing out of the mountainside, just to the left of the field house, and running underneath the rugby field (see photo below).

We also took a photo from behind the stream looking out across the field and over to the fence where we eventually found the plaque. We are assuming (according to all the information I had gathered from my research and my correspondence with Terri)  that the house was located somewhere between the stream and the plaque location, which we later discovered was near our truck parked out on River Road (see black circle on photo below.)

After looking for the plaque and coming up empty-handed, we enlisted the help of two guys who were jogging past. We showed them the photo we had of the plaque and asked if they had ever seen it as they were jogging past the field. They volunteered to help us search and yelled that they had found it, buried under a bed of twigs. The twigs were arranged as if someone were planning to light a fire there (maybe a “hint” left by our elusive Lt Col). We found that strange, but brushed the twigs off and took a photograph of the plaque.

Harry took a photo of me standing with the plaque to show the relative position of the plaque to the fence, road, railroad track, and the river. The Hudson is just beyond the railroad track behind me, but is hidden in this view.

I was informed that members of the Moore family were there for a Moore family reunion in 1991, at which time they dedicated the site, planted a tree, and ordered the plaque. It seems that the original homesite is now the location of the new Anderson Rugby Complex and Field House that opened in 2007.

Our next stop was a drive back up River Road to an area overlooking the docks on the river to try for another view of the original site of the Red House in relation to the Hudson River. The view from there was absolutely breathtaking! I have placed a white circle on the photo below to show the approximate location of the homesite on the rugby field, just left of the field house.

Lastly, I took the photo below from Trophy Point to show the relative distance from the homesite on the left bank of the Hudson River directly across to Constitution Island on the right bank, an island which is part of the grounds of the United States Army Garrison, West Point. It was known as Martler’s Rock in colonial times and renamed Constitution Island in 1775.

The Hudson Highlands are gorgeous in October and I encourage other Stephen Moore descendants to make the trip--you won’t be disappointed!