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John Hilyard Family ca. 1909

Monday, April 9, 2018

Longstanding Errors: The parents of Edward and William Moore of Orange County, Indiana

It can be a hard blow to find out years of research were wasted on the wrong family. But the feeling that you finally have it right makes it all better again.

For me, it started with a typewritten manuscript about the Moore family that I found at the Orange County [Indiana] Genealogical Society in the 1990s. If it had a cover page, I failed to copy it. I believe it was written in the mid-20th century, and I am sorry to say I do not know who authored it. I am indebted to her for collecting so much information, including many personal stories that would be lost now, and committing them to paper.

However, I believe her link between the first and second generation to be wrong. These are the pages that led me astray:
Initial pages of Moore manuscript
My ancestor was Edward Moore, born 17 Dec 1769 in North Carolina and died 19 Jul 1848 in Parke County, Indiana. He married Pharaba Pearce (26 Jun 1769-18 Aug 1845). Pharaba is the subject of a blog post here, in which I busted the brick wall of her maiden name.

This Edward Moore moved to Indiana along with one of his brothers, William Moore (1754-1832). The above two pages claim that the father of Edward and William was William Moore Sr., who died in Wake County, North Carolina in 1780. I don't know how the author made this connection, whether from the work of others or by William's will, but I took it and ran with it. Researched it for decades, tracing the descendants of William Moore Sr. to Tennessee and North Carolina. It was a wild goose chase. 

When I discovered the maiden name and parents of Pharaba Pearce, I started uncovering information about her husband Edward Moore and who his true parents might be. The first thing that made me question it was this:
Ancestry post by user nikame1
Somehow (thank you Google, I'm sure) this led me to an incredible website called The Wallace Family of Moore County, NC. Don't be deceived, it is not strictly on the Wallace family. It documents many families from the area, including the Moores and Pearces. 

On the Wallace Family website is a family group sheet for the presumed parents of Edward Moore. You can see it here, the family group sheet of Edward Moore and Martha Thompson. What I love about this website is that it has links to actual documents. If you scroll down the page in this link you will find all their documents available right there.

The two pieces of information that convince me these are the right parents for Edward and William Moore of Orange County, Indiana are these:

1. Edward Moore (let's call him Sr.) owned land on Deep River in Moore County, NC. Windsor Pearce, father of Pharaba, also owned land on Deep River, in Randolph County, NC. Deep River spans the two counties, so they were actually fairly close to each other.  Edward Moore Jr. and Pharaba Pearce were likely "neighbors", making a match possible.

2. Edward Moore Sr.'s will lists sons William and Edward, among other children. 

This post is just breaking the surface. I look forward to further research and posts to clarify my findings.

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