front page logo

front page logo
John Hilyard Family ca. 1909

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

My Family in the Civil War, Part Nine: "He died very suddenly."

This is the ninth in a series on my Civil War ancestors

By 1838, the Moore family had 40 acres of land and six children ages 14 to one. A year after purchasing their land, Edward and Susannah had another son, Christopher Columbus. This family is found in the 1840 census, with both parents and all seven children.

1840 Federal Census Orange County, Indiana
Each person is represented by a tick mark in a column showing their age and sex. There are three small boys, Edward, four girls, and Susannah.

The 1840s were eventful for the family. I only have record of births, deaths, and marriages from this decade. Their son David Bryant Moore was born in 1841. Just two years later, their oldest daughter Sarah got married. Son Joseph Danner Moore was born in 1844. 

Edward's mother Pheriba (wouldn't I like to know her maiden name!) passed away in 1845, aged 76. His father followed her in 1848; he was 78. They both died in Parke County, Indiana, and are presumed to be buried in the old section of the Mt. Moriah Cemetery there. I visited this cemetery many years ago and there were stones stacked against trees and lying on the ground, many of them broken.

In the years between losing his parents, Edward and Susannah had twin girls in 1846 named Mary Catherine and Elizabeth Jane. The girls were apparently healthy as they both lived to adulthood. I'd like to point out that Susannah was just short of her 42nd birthday when she delivered twins!  Later that year daughter Barbara married.  The decade was rounded out by the birth of their final son, Bartlett Coffin Moore in 1848. He was named after a local man, possibly a teacher at the time, who went on to become a respected minister.  Shortly after Bartlett's birth, oldest son William Bryant Moore married Mary Ellen Carroll.

So by the 1850 census, here's how the family looked:
1850 Federal Census Orange County, Indiana

Both parents were approaching 50, basically subsistence farming. They had buried one son and married off their three oldest children, but still had plenty of help to make the farm work. The tick marks on the right indicate that four of their children attended school within the last year.  Later documents indicate Edward was educated, but that Susannah could not read or write. 

Though it has little to do with the Civil War, I'd like to share what I know about my ancestor William Bryant Moore. He was the oldest surviving son of Edward and Susannah.  He was born on July 5th, 1830, in Orange County, Indiana. At age 18, he married Mary Ellen Carroll, a girl of 15. By 1850, they were living in the town of Paoli with my great-great grandfather, William Braddock Moore:
1850 Federal Census Orange County, Indiana
William's occupation is given as "house joiner." From Wikipedia, "A joiner usually produces items such as interior and exterior doors, windows, stairs, tables, bookshelves, cabinets, furniture, etc."  

This census was written October 24th, 1850. In less than three months, William Bryant Moore was dead at the age of 20.  For several years I wondered what had happened to him.  I visited my great-uncle Ed Moore in 1993, a fellow family historian entering the early stages of Alzheimers.  I asked him if he knew what had happened. He told me that his mother had related to him that William was painting in the upper floor of the newly constructed Orange County courthouse, and was found dead. Later, I was told of a clipping from the newspaper at that time, and recently was able to make of copy of that:

American Eagle of Paoli newspaper, January 1851
To finish out this chapter of the story, William's wife Mary Ellen, a widow at 17, went on to remarry Henry Pierce Breeden. They had five children together, and Mary died in 1862 at 29. Henry, who had enlisted in the Civil War, died less than two months later of pneumonia in an Indianapolis hospital. This tragic family left six small orphans behind. 

If you find a cause of death for an ancestor and aren't sure what it means, I highly recommend a visit to Rudy's List of Archaic Medical Terms

As far as I know, William Bryant Moore was my shortest-lived ancestor. I think about how, if this one small link had broken, I wouldn't be here. 
Photo taken by Vonda Heverly in 1992 at Moore's Ridge Cemetery

No comments:

Post a Comment