DNA May Solve Family History Blocks

Hello everyone!

It has been almost 3 years since my last confession! Seriously, it just tells you how time flies when doing family history research. I hit a roadblock in my search for the Moore Family, and kind of put it aside.

Just this spring, I decided to have my DNA test done with ancestry.com and am now awaiting the results.

In the meantime, it is important to follow the trail. I have reached out to 3 possible cousins so far that found me via ancestry, one in Ireland, one in Australia and another here at home, only a stones throw away.

Next is a family reunion. Perhaps that will pull us all together, and reveal some threads that have long been awaiting completion.

I will let you know as soon as the results are in!

Krista

Advertisements

Building a Case: In Search of the Moores of Maberly, Lanark County & Ireland

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!”

PURPOSE

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!).

QUESTIONS

  1. 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)?
  2. 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).
  3. How did they live in Southern Ontario, who were their neighbours and friends, and what were their contributions to society and Canadian history?
  4. 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?
  5. 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.

 PROBLEM/OPPORTUNITY

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.

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

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…

FURTHER QUESTIONS

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?

DEDUCTIONS/CONCLUSIONS

Moore to come….

If you have any information concerning this family, please contact me.

Thank you!

Krista M. Moore

September, 2011

Keeper of the Flame

I am cross-pollinating today… this is my blog re-posted from “Little Book of Miracles” which continues the story…

I am back from Kingston, home of my birth, and feeling quite reflective on what I found there…  Not only did I find my grandmother in a new hospital by the lake, doing relatively well (see Let Sleeping Lions Lie);  I found myself with my mother, and countless photos and letters dug up among boxes and boxes of stuff in my grandmother’s sun-porch…

In these boxes, we found my great-great grandparents Lawrence E. Moore and Emma Belle Deacon staring out from their front porch rockers in Haileybury…

…and their seven daughters (my great aunts), girls and women in tranquil Georgian-style dresses lounging on the front swing with flowers in their hair, or leaning with snowshoes and warm-mittened hands against the family’s seemingly chicken-wired fence;  my gr-great grandmother Emma standing solidly with her youngest one wrapped around her skirt, she looking quite tired but still strong in the heat of days… and another where she smiles brightly to camera, which delighted me beyond measure.

Moore women in Cobalt

These are The Moores I had always wanted to know: to play cards with at the dining room table (which is now in my mother’s dining room); to tell stories with, to laugh with…  I see Emma playing the  mouth organ (which is now in my grandmother’s hall closet); I hear their old Irish twang and crazy war-time songs (I shall never repeat them here – we were Protestant Northern Irish, if that says enough).

I feel I know them. I am bonded to them. I am proud to be one of them. I see myself in their tall languid frames, the way they hold their hands, tilt their heads, play to camera. The Moore Women.

I am a part of a long, and timeless heritage of self-assured women. Of strength. Of beauty. And of rebuilding. Death after death has taken them. But their faces tell me another story; they are still here, in my blood and in those whom I love now.

My grandmother had protected and shielded these treasures for years and years. She didn’t have the heart to go through them, or dispose of anything. I’m glad she didn’t. I’m glad I had the opportunity with my mother to get on my hands and knees and know this family I inherited.

The details won’t matter so much. The garbage bins will go out; the trinkets will disappear. But their eyes, their hands, their laughter and their tears will never go out in me.

Me in my red boots in Nanna’s backyard

 I am blessed to be here, the Keeper of the Flame.

Published in: on May 27, 2011 at 4:45 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Captive Audience

This past weekend I had the pleasure of sitting with my father in his ravine-side gazebo overlooking a canopy of trees, with tea in hand, and many folders full of material from our family history.  I had never sat with him before in this manner or read to him aloud.  It was “very Chekov”, a friend of mine pointed out.  I thought it was sublime.

On one of his birthdays past, I gave him a family history with all of the information in it, including a picture of his great grandfather. It did not seem to spark his interest.  Something was missing in my pursuit to inspire him, or hook him, into the past as I had been many years before. I lacked the confidence to convey to him the importance of it to me, or to engage him in a way that he could understand.

This time was different.  I had collected some new facts, and found a nugget that really interested him.  Our grandfather was a Reeve and owned his own land.  He had many properties.  My dad smiled at me as I read aloud, himself a business man with property.  He challenged me on a couple of things.  His questions peaked my interest and we sparred over whether or not such and such was true or not, or if we were related to so and so at all.  I believed we were, which fascinated him more. As he lay there on his lounger, head leaning back, eyes closed, I thought he fell asleep, only to arise with another question, “Do you think they were drinkers?”  I laughed out loud.

And…

“When are you going to find out more?”

I smiled. He was hooked.

Published in: on June 14, 2010 at 8:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Why Research My Family History?

Sometimes I wonder if I escape to the past to discover my ancestors when I am feeling the most lost in my own life.  Is that such a bad thing?  In the absence of elders, in the absence of a community that we once felt vital to our existence, tribal even, we create our own connections across the cosmos – sometimes virtual, sometimes spiritual, and sometimes ancestral.  These connections are vital, though the people may be dead.  It is my belief that they do live on in us, and that they fashion our existence out of their own.  Their dreams and wishes become our own, remodeled for the 21st century.  There really is no difference between us – only flesh and mortar.  The building blocks change.  The desire to change does not.

Why research my family tree right now, in the middle of everything else a  “suburban” wife, mother and creator needs to do:  Make lunches, pack bags, walk the dog, kiss the kids goodnight, connect with my spouse…  Not to mention the other things:  goals and passions, work-related material, new business ventures, mistakes, travels, wonder, newness.  Why invite the old into something so vitally new and different and now?  Why invite question into what is already so questionable?

Perhaps we invite our families in, past and present, because those questions invite real answers.  Though everything else, the present and the future, remain quite uncertain, the past invites reflection, comfort and meaning, and gives us a sense that we are not alone – that we are well connected to our roots, and that we can yet blossom to fully aware and alive human beings.  This tree is good.  This tree is where we are standing, and everything that came before us stems out beyond us in every direction.  No wonder we feel overwhelmed!  But, what a blessing.

I have been tracing my family tree with my grandmother for about 20 years now.  It has been a great blessing to connect with her and see her as a little girl, a mother, a wife and even a confused human being, just like me.  With all her aches and pains she doesn’t complain much. She is just happy to share her story, and share in the adventure of learning where we come from and who our ancestors were.  She is one of mine, though we may not think of it that way, because I know she will not be here forever.  She is 92. I may be able to call her next week, now, but it will not always be the case.

I have spent most of my time with my grandmother recording her, transcribing, writing furiously, shuffling through photos, videotaping and asking questions.  Just in case.  That may seem morbid, but this is the way stories are passed down – oral histories are rare, and so it is my job to capture them in any way possible.  Modern technology is a genius.  Once the role only of  mothers and grandmothers, now we are all collective storytellers, creators and communicators – “Skyping” and “tweeting” across the globe our own life history. Why not include those who traveled before us and make it a family history?

Even in the movie Avatar, the ancestral tree was the most sacred.  Though the villagers were seen by modern audiences as more advanced in some ways – in their understanding of their interconnectedness to all things – they would still visit the dangling limbs of the ancestral tree, lit with the intelligence and whisperings of their ancestors.  This was their home. Their adventure. Their playing ground.  They were not going “back”, they were going forward.   Perhaps that is what I am doing too.

Ancestors, whisper to me, and take me home.

Published in: on May 21, 2010 at 2:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,