My grandmother, Elsie, knew all but what turned out to be two of the names of my grandfather’s aunts and uncles and who all of the girls married. What she didn’t know was the name of my grandfather’s grandfather, nor did she know who his grandmother might be- but thought that her name might have been Ruth. When I began the search for my elusive Moore family, I spent hours at the library searching for Moore families in Ohio who had children with the names that my grandmother had written on the back of an envelope for me. So started the search for finding two of my maternal 2nd great-grandparents, Charles Moore and Jane Johnson.
Eventually, I did find my maternal 2nd great-grandparents on the different censuses, but that is a long and frustrating story. Once I had collected the information from the censuses from 1860 through 1910, and then tracked down each of the siblings and their families on the subsequent censuses, I felt that I had a fairly good picture of who this family was. The next task that I had set for myself was to track down when Charles and his wife, Jane, had died and where they might be buried which involved pouring through cemetery books for four counties. Why four? Because the family moved many times over the years back and forth between those counties – Jefferson, Carroll, Columbiana, and Coshocton – all in Ohio. This was no easy task when you’re dealing with Moore names like Charles, William, Thomas, and James. My initial efforts were not very successful. I then started looking for marriages and found the one for Charles and Jane in Jefferson County, Ohio dated 01 January 1852.
But probably the single best thing that I did when researching my Moores, was to send away for Charles’ Civil War pension file from The National Archives. I got the form from the library, filled out the information for his regiment, Co. G. 122nd OVI, mailed it in and waited.
And waited. And waited some more. At the time, it cost me $25.00, which I thought was an enormous sum. Now, that price is $80.00 for the first 100 pages and then, $0.70 for each page over that. Approximately five months later, I received the package in the mail with the documents. Although there are many pension files online now, the information for Charles still is not. That makes me feel pretty good though because I don’t have to feel that I would have been able to obtain them easier and cheaper if I had only had the patience to wait. And besides, who knew that we’d have so much information available to us online?
I didn’t. I can’t remember if I even had a computer then, and I was an “early adopter.” Recently, while spending a few hours on a rainy Saturday afternoon in the comfort of my home, I became frustrated because I wasn’t having any luck finding any new information…until I remembered how long it used to take me to discover one little fact during a library-a-thon or a tromp through a cemetery with two kids in tow. Yes, I realized that I had become a bit spoiled with the wealth of information that we have available at our fingertips these days.
The first paper was the “Ex-Soldier’s Pension Claim” and it revealed a lot of information that I had not known before. It told me where Charles and Jane were living in 1890 – New Somerset, Ohio. That he was born in Muskingum County, Ohio on the 12th day of March in 1824. It gave a physical description, stating that he stood 6’1/2”, and with a light complexion, dark hair, and black eyes. I was so excited!
The bulk of the papers in the packet were affidavits having do with Jane attempting to collect a widow’s pension after Charles had passed away. I realized from the signatures that a lot of these were written by family members and that they had confirmed the names that my grandmother had passed to me on the back of that envelope. Another important piece of information, that I have still found no record of anywhere else, is Jane’s date of death, 05 March 1917 – as seen in the above document. Among the affidavits was one signed off by the attending physician, B.F. Collins, M.D. and the undertaker, J.H. Paisley stating the Charles had died “from injuries received in a runaway” and the date of 8 August 1893.
Charles is buried in the cemetery of the New Somerset United Methodist Church in Jefferson County, Ohio. As a veteran, his headstone was provided by the government.
The most unexpected thing that I discovered from these papers was that Charles had been captured on 15 June 1863 at the 2nd Battle of Winchester and spent some time in Andersonville Prison. His health deteriorated rapidly there and he contracted scurvy. When he was released from Andersonville and examined by a doctor, he was given a furlough of twenty days in order to regain some health back.
And then it was back to the war. And, almost unbelievably, he was captured again in May of 1864 at the Battle of the Wilderness.
At some point in the future, I plan to write a blog post about his experiences within his time served, but am presently trying to get access to a book that was written by a man who served in the same regiment, The Civil War letters of the late 1st Lieut. James J. Hartley, 122nd Ohio Infantry Regiment. Until then, I’m (slowly) reading the official war record of the 122nd.
Charles was no spring chicken when he enlisted. He was a 38-year-old man and it is apparent that the war took a great toll on him. His health was poor after he returned home and that made it difficult for him to do manual labor.
Charles and Jane had nine children, five boys and four girls:
Wesley, born in May of 1849, married Sarah Catherine Landers, m2. Mary B. Rose.
Mary, born 25 September 1852, married 1) George W. Ossler, married 2) James C. Wallace.
Thomas, born September 1854, married Elizabeth E. Cameron.
Sarah Ann, born 14 February 1856, married John C. Duke.
Emma, born 04 July 1858, married Joseph Walker Griffith.
Charles “Tally”, born February 1859/60, married Mary Elizabeth Wilson.
James H., born 04 April 1862, married Ida L. Simpson.
Lucinda, born 04 April 1862, married Neil Liggett.
William Grant, born 01 April 1865/66, married Nancy Jane Hale. (My line.)
It should be noted that I have heard of the possibility that Wesley may have been adopted and that his original birth family may have been McClain. I have found no evidence to either support that or refute that. Wesley names his parents as Charles Moore and Jane Johnson when he marries his second wife, Rose. My grandmother had thought that, perhaps, Mary had been married to an Ott or an Orr before her marriage to James Wallace. I have not found that information either. (New information! Edited to add that the first marriage was to George W. Ossler.)
Charles’ parents (and also Jane’s) have not been proven so far. I suspect that I have found Charles’ family on the 1850 census in Jefferson County, Ohio, and there is a Charles of the correct age in that household, but I haven’t found any real proof that would link him to that head of household, Charles. Even if this family would prove, the Sarah Ann who is listed as the wife of Charles (the father) would not be the mother of my Charles because this marriage took place in June of 1846.
So, until more (pun intended) information surfaces, I am still looking into Moore and Johnson (Johnston) lineages trying to figure out who we spring from.
This is my Week #21 post for Amy Johnson Crow’s
52 Ancestors 52 Weeks Challenge.
The optional theme for week 21 was “Military”.
“If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.” ~ George Burns
There’s no doubt that I come from a family of long livers. On both my mother’s my and father’s maternal and paternal lines there are scads of people who lived well into their nineties and some just the other side of one hundred. If the average life expectancy is around 73 years, then we’ve been beating those odds for a couple hundred years.
I’ve always been curious about things that tend to run in families, like longevity, and eye and hair color, and handedness. Not just those things that are explained away in biology classes, but also things like a love a reading, or athletic ability, or artistic talent, or even the sound of one’s voice. In the nature versus nurture argument, I tend to lean more towards nature having the biggest influence on one’s life. With this in mind, a couple of years after I had my DNA tested, out of curiosity I uploaded my results to Promethease, just to see what the report might have to say. I was pretty pleased to see that I carried an SNP associated with “better odds of living to 100” and an SNP related to an exceptional long life and a 70% less chance of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s. My immediate thinking went to my ancestors and realized that this would be one possible explanation for having so many “long livers”.
Since I was a kid, I had heard stories about my great-grandfather, William Grant Moore. Apparently, he was quite the character and among the stories that I’d heard about “The Old Man”, was that he was 100 years old when he died.
If any of you have Moores in your line, you might be able to sympathize with me concerning the trials of searching for any Moores, let alone those with names like William, Charles, David, Thomas, James, Sarah, Emma, Mary. I knew that he had died in 1963, but there are more than 20 William Moores who died in Ohio in 1963 that could have fit the bill and several of them are listed as William G. I didn’t have a lot of information to go on and these were pre-internet days. After waiting 12 long weeks for the first death certificate that I had sent for, I learned that it was the wrong man. Sigh. Back to the library and the microfilm readers.
The scant information that I had from my grandmother suggested that William was born after his father, “Mr. I Don’t Know What His Name Was”, came home from the Civil War. She thought that his mother’s name might be Ruth. She also knew that at one time they lived around Salineville, that he dealt in horses and that the undertaker frequently called on him to provide horses to take the caskets to be buried, and she knew the names of some of William’s brothers and sisters and who they married. There was Thomas, Sadie (who married a Duke), Lucy (who married a Liggett), Charles (who was called “Tally”), and Mary, who was sometimes called Moll, or Polly (who married a Wallace). I spent a lot of time looking for Moore families with children’s names like these.
My breakthrough came several years later when I was digging around in 1870 Coshocton County census films trying to help a friend find something and stumbled upon a “More” family with children with these names. I looked at those names something like 10 times trying to figure out if they were, indeed, my Moores. What the heck were they doing in Coshocton County? Turns out that they were there for work. Stumbling upon this information opened up a bunch of information that I’d been unable to find before, but there was a problem. It looked as if William had been born in 1866. Uh-oh! Not 100 when he died, but a long life nonetheless.
This is the complete list of William’s siblings:
Wesley, born 1849 and married Sarah Catherine Landers, and Mary B. Rose.
Mary, born 1852 and married 1) George W. Ossler and married 2) James Wallace.
Thomas, born 1854 and married Elizabeth Cameron.
Sarah Ann, “Sadie”, born 1856 and married John Duke.
Emma, born 1858 and married Joseph Griffith.
Charles, born 1860 and married Mary Elizabeth Wilson.
James H., born 1862 and married Ida L. Simpson.
Lucinda, born 1862 and married Neal M. Liggett.
William was born on April Fool’s Day, 01 April 1866, to Charles Moore and Jane Johnson near Jacobsport, Coshocton County, Ohio. William married Nancy Jane Hale 14 April 1886 in Jefferson County, Ohio. She was the daughter of Elisha Hale and Mary Ellen Jacobs and was born on 10 May 1868 near New Somerset, Jefferson County, Ohio.
The following census snips show William’s age progression over a period of sixty years.
1870 – 4 years old.
1880 – 14 years old.
1900 – 35 years old. April 1865 stated as birth year and month.
1910 – 43 years old.
1920 – 53 years old.
1930 – 67 years old.
1940 – 75 years old.
William and Nancy were married for 65 years and had seven children, including my grandfather David, who was born 07 April 1903. Nancy Jane passed away on 01 September 1951. William died 18 February 1963. They are both buried in West Lawn Cemetery near McKinley Monument in Canton, Stark County, Ohio.
I guess that sometimes family stories aren’t exactly as they appear to be. Even when faced with evidence that seems to back up some circumstances, the end result is usually a product of pulling all of the pieces together and making some assumptions before you can get a clearer picture of what the actual story was.
This is my Week #16 post for Amy Johnson Crow’s
52 Ancestors 52 Weeks Challenge.
The optional theme for this week was “Live Long”.