front page logo

front page logo
John Hilyard Family ca. 1909

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Extinction of the Moores

It hit me on my afternoon commute. My Moore line is nearly extinct. I could think of only one living male Moore, and couldn't wait to get home to make sure I was right.

Grave of Edward Windsor Moore in Orleans, Indiana

I blogged earlier about my 4th great-grandparents, Edward Windsor and Susannah Bryant Moore, and their struggle to get a Civil War pension. You can start reading about that here if you like.

The Facts

Edward Windsor Moore was born 17 October 1802 in North Carolina. He married Susannah Bryant (born 25 July 1804 in Lincoln County, Kentucky) on 24 September 1823, in Orange County, Indiana. They lived nearly all their lives in rural Orange County except for a short stint in Kansas which did not agree with them. This couple had thirteen children. You would expect a large number of Moores to come down from them, right?

Well, you would be wrong.

Their children

Edward and Susannah Moore had seven sons. John and Joseph died in early childhood. Bartlett Coffin, their youngest, died tragically at the age of 16 serving as a bugler in the Civil War.

Sons Columbus and David only produced daughters that survived to adulthood.

This leaves only William Bryant Moore (my ancestor), and Edward Windsor Moore II. Both of these men had sons that survived adulthood.

Their grandchildren

Let me address Edward Windsor Moore II first. He died in battle during the Civil War. He has my only "loose end." He had two sons, Nelson and Edward Windsor III. Edward Windsor III is the only one listed as an heir to his grandfather's estate in 1890, meaning Nelson Moore died before this time leaving no heirs. I can find no other records for him beyond this date. If he produced any heirs I haven't yet located them.

Now on to my ancestor, William Bryant Moore. He died at the age of 20, on 10 January 1851. Fortunately he left behind one tiny baby, William Braddock Moore, my great-great grandfather.

Their great-grandchildren

William Braddock Moore was orphaned at the age of 12 when both his mother and stepfather passed away that year.  He married Martha Ann Tillery in 1870, and they reared a large family that included four boys.  Two of them, William and Charley, died in childhood.
Moore Family Portrait about 1900
Back row: Minnie, Nannie, Fred, and Ella
Front row: Ed, William Braddock, Nellie, Martha, and Opal

This left Edward Bryant Moore, who only had daughters, and my great-grandfather Frederick Thomas Moore.

Their great-great grandchildren

Fred Moore married Della Mariah Moore (a great confusion but completely separate line of Moores) in 1899. They had three sons: Lee, Ed, and Robert. Robert died just after his first birthday.

My great-uncle Ed married and helped raise his stepchildren, but never had children of his own. That just leaves my grandfather Lee, who passed away several decades ago.

Their great-great-great grandchild

Lee Moore married Lillian Wilson in in 1936, and had one son, my uncle Bill. In the 215 years since the birth of Edward Windsor Moore, it has come down to this. One man that still carries the Moore yDNA.
My uncle Bill, the last of the Moores

That's what hit me in traffic the other day. Bill is 80 now and has no children.  I immediately asked my mom to talk to him about taking a yDNA test for me, and he graciously agreed. I'm ordering the kit today, and hope that this will help solve some mysteries for me. Moore is a fairly common surname and I'm stuck at Edward Windsor Moore's grandfather William, who died in North Carolina in 1781. I can't figure out where he came from. Perhaps in a few months I'll get some more clues.


  1. Terribly sad that this Moore line is ending.

  2. I know the feeling. My husband's great grandfather had nine sons. Half of them only had daughters and by the time those kids had children, most of the rest only had girls. My son is the only one left to carry on the name.

  3. From our Prather Moore line, there is only one adult male Moore left, but he has two elementary aged sons, so we are hoping.

  4. Excellent post Vonda! I really understand your plight. My father had 7 daughters and 1 son. His mother was the Moore, but I think my father inherited the Moore gene. Very interesting.