For some time now I have been investigating the Moores of Lanark County in Ontario. It is time to start putting the puzzle pieces together: naming my assumptions, making an hypothesis and synthesizing information I have received over time to begin to solve this mystery of their origin. I will not be doing this alone. There are many contributors who have joined me for this ride. And this can not be done only by sitting by a computer. In other words…
“It’s time to get my hands dirty!”
The deeper purpose of my research is to get to know my ancestors on a more intimate level, as if they were alive to me. To know how they lived, who they loved and lost, what they did, and why they came here. Ultimately I would like to discover and visit the land of my origin in Ireland. Understanding the very roots of my past, and what led my ancestors to become the progressive pioneers, farmers and politicians who left their mark in me and in Canada.
Also, I would love to share my discoveries with my grandmother, Helen Moore, who is the one who “gave me the bug” and set me off on this quest over 17 years ago. Now, at the age of 93, she is still waiting for an answer! “So, what can you find out about the Moores and where they came from?…” Don’t get me wrong: She is “tickled pink” at my progress. But only I know how far I still have to go (and how deep!).
- Where and when were my Gr-Gr-Grandfather Thomas Moore, Esq. of Lanark County Ont. (Reeve of S. Sherbrooke and Oso/Frontenac), born in Ireland (abt. 1829), along with his father William Moore (abt. 1800) and mother Winnifred Stephens, later Garrett (b. Mar 1803)?
- Are Thomas Moore, Esq. of S. Sherbrooke (Lanark County) and Dr. Thomas Moore of Picton, Ontario (who punched Sir John A MacDonald in the nose) related and how? (Dr. Thomas Moore’s daughter, Catherine Anne Moore held the mortgage for some of Thomas Moore’s land in 1877).
- How did they live in Southern Ontario, who were their neighbours and friends, and what were their contributions to society and Canadian history?
- How are they related to other members of the community and did they travel together from Ireland, and when? What boat did they come over on?
- When can I book my tickets to Ireland?
WHAT I KNOW SO FAR
I know quite a lot about Thomas Moore, Esq. of S. Sherbrooke, given his public career as a magistrate and Reeve. Both he and Dr. Thomas Moore’s lives were well documented, and the link between them in land records.
I am currently working with several people compiling the information we all share. There is an abundance of census records, land records, township papers and council meeting minutes that tell us a fortune of information about our collective ancestors. To distill it here will be very difficult. And so I will have to synthesize quite a bit to make this profitable.
My farthest known ancestor from the Moore side is Willliam MOORE of Sherbrook South, Lanark County, Ontario, who died sometime before the 1851 census in Lanark County, Ontario. The only known record of him is from the 1842 census, where he was Head of Household and a “yeoman” (farmer) in S. Sherbrooke, Concession 10 Lot 14E, along with his wife and children.
In terms of origin, the 1841 census only asks how many were born “Here” or “There”. His reads “There”. meaning Ireland (based on later records of his wife and his son Thomas MOORE – Reeve of South Sherbrooke/Oso-Frontenac). No age is given for him either and so we do not have a birth time frame. However, his wife Winnifred STEPHENS (later Moore then Garrett), based on later census data, was born “Mar 1803” in Ireland. Their son Thomas MOORE was also born in Ireland, based on census data, sometime around 1828-9. The rest of their children were born in Ontario starting in 1834, based on Wesleyan Methodist baptism records.
Because William died so young (likely in his 40s), we do not gain more information about him later when the records were more thorough. We have to use his wife, children, neighbours and other associates to gain insight into his life and origin.
Hughes & Moores share Land in Maberly, Ont 1830-1861
After visiting Maberly (next posts) and doing further research with my fellow historians, we have discovered more about the land where the Moores and Hughes lived adjacent to each other in 1842 and 1851; and that in 1842 Joseph Hughes was a proprietor of land, whereas William Moore was not, and not even the eldest Thomas HUGHES who applied for Crown land on Conc. 10 Lot 14E in 1830.
HUGHES/MOORE/CHAMBERS related in marriage – HUGHES/CHAMBERS from Tullyish, Down
It appears these families were congenial as Thomas MOORE & Robert HUGHES both married CHAMBERS sisters Margaret and Letitia respectively; and that Willliam MOORE and Thomas HUGHES may even have travelled together from Ireland around 1828 after the birth of William’s first son Thomas. Thomas HUGHES is from Tullyish, Down, Ireland, according to my sources, much like the CHAMBERS family who are from Warringstown, Ballydugan, within the same Tullyish parish, Down, Ireland. This is a large clue as to the whereabouts of the Moore family in Ireland, as they very likely travelled either concurrently, or consecutively to Canada.
The first Wesleyan Methodist “Cedar Chapel” of Maberly
Thomas MOORE, son of William MOORE, and other prominent trustees of the Wesleyan Methodist church in Maberly, petitioned to save an original chapel on Robert/Pierce HUGHES land, the original land Willliam MOORE farmed in 1842. The chapel is now gone, and apparently there is still an old burying ground, containing neighbouring worshippers (not just family) of the time. We walked this land and saw several openings, and plenty of rocks which could have been a previous chapel/burying ground, including an old gated laneway that is now overgrown with baby pines. More to come on the “Cedar Chapel” of Maberly…
Widower Thomas GARRETT re-marries Widow Winnifred Moore” & relocates to Lampton, Ont 1861
The latest finding proves that the widow Winnifred MOORE, after the early death of her husband William MOORE (around 1846), still farmed on Conc. 11 Lots 12/13 in 1851 (adjacent again to the HUGHES family), but disappears in 1861. The reason is she remarried Thomas GARRETT (date TBA) and relocated to LAMPTON, Ontario where they lived with his sons and daughter on a farm. I am not sure why Thomas GARRETT relocated to Lampton, but it appears his wife died sometime after 1851, and Thomas & “Winnifred Garrett” show up married on the 1861 census for Lampton, Ont. He is 71 and she is 57. They are Wesleyan Methodist, living with his sons and one daughter, Caroline.
Winnifred GARRETT later returns to Maberly (likely widowed again), where she dies at the home of her son, John MOORE in 1874. Both John MOORE and Reeve Thomas MOORE, Esq. her eldest sons, die within 4 days of each other in Dec 1886/Jan 1887, respectively. More on this story later…
Did Thomas HUGHES travel with William MOORE from Down, Ireland, on the same boat to Canada/South Sherbrooke around 1828? Which boat was it?
Why did the widow Winnifred MOORE remarry the widower Thomas GARRETT, when she had plenty of sons to look after her in Maberly? Was he wealthier? Was he a close family friend of her husband?
Moore to come….
If you have any information concerning this family, please contact me.
Krista M. Moore