Austin Moore…and More Austin Moores

There is much about Austin Moore that is shared online—and much of it is wrong!

It is wrong because the information combines details of the lives of two or three different men with the same name, and applies all to one man.  When working with just a few records, it is difficult to be sure your information is correct.  If someone used census records as his or her only resource, a grand mix up could occur—and has occurred—in respect to Austin Moore.

My interest in Austin Moore stems from some old pedigree charts shared online about 20 years or so ago.  At that time, most people showed my ancestor, Nancy Moore Hendrickson, was the daughter of Austin and Mary Moore.  Presently, you can find that same information, but also trees that say my ancestor was Peter Moore, or—the most diplomatic of all—Peter Austin Moore.  The recent research I have conducted shows that all are probably incorrect, and the assigning of Austin Moore as father of Nancy Hendrickson was based on a misinterpretation of one marriage record.  (See Marriage Record Deciphered.)

There are records to confirm the age, birth, and deaths for the various men named Austin.  It is not possible for me to present and correct all the erroneous trees.  It is frustrating to see so many trees repeat the same mistakes, never once attaching an actual primary source record.

In my research to prove lineage, I often have to separate men of the same name, especially if they live in the same county, state or time period.  This article will separate several men named Austin Moore.  From it, perhaps other researchers interested in the name Austin Moore will have a better chance of correct information.

Early Records for Several Austin Moores

You can find the name Austin Moore in several records in a few states before 1800.  It is good to also look up Augustine Moore, as Austin is sometimes a shortened form for that name.  A common alternate spelling is Ostin, which may be mistranscribed as Orlin or Orson.

Two men bearing the name Augustine Moore can be found in York County and Elizabeth City County, Virginia.  Both are listed in Fothergill’s “Virginia Taxpayers, 1782-1787.”[i]

At about the same time in Pennsylvania, two men with similar names were included in the 1783 tax lists of Menallen, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.  The names Michel, Augustine, Philip, Astin and George or Geo: are found on three lists for that year.[ii]

14 December, 1784, Augustine Moore applies for 350 acres on Redstone Creek in Fayette County, Pennsylvania.[iii]  In 1785, Union Township, Fayette County, the names Michael, Augustine, and Philip, along with John and Philip, Jr.[iv]  are listed.  (Fayette County was formed from Westmoreland County.)  An Augustine Moor is listed in Union Township tax lists from 1785 to 1789.  He is also in the 1790 census of Fayette County.  Another Augustine is listed in 1790 Washington County, Pennsylvania.

“Fayette County, Pennsylvania Tax Payers, 1785-1799” lists an “Orlin More” in 1785 German Township, Fayette County.[v]  Unfortunately, I cannot locate the name on the original for the 1785 record; it may be a mistake.  From the same source (under spellings Moore, Moor, and More) are listed consecutively in 1786, German Township, Thomas (single man), Austin (single man), Mary.   This record can be found in the original source; see below.

PA Tax Moores 1786

Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission; Records of the Office of the Comptroller General, RG-4; Tax & Exoneration Lists, 1762-1794; Microfilm Roll: 327.[vi]

 The names Austin, Thomas, and Mary appear in 1785 through 1788.

Then in 1788 through 1792, the names Austin, Thomas, and Mary appear in Bourbon County, Kentucky.[vii]  My assumption is that Thomas and Austin were brothers (since listed as single men earlier) and Mary was their mother.  If these are the same people—and the name Austin was not uncommon, but is a fairly specific name—then Austin and Mary moved to Mercer County by 1794.

Austin Moore of Mercer County, Kentucky

The first verifiable record for Austin Moore of Mercer County, Kentucky is the 1789 marriage consent for his sister, Jane “Jeney” Moore to Jeremiah Hayes, in Bourbon County.[viii]  A barely legible copy of the consent was provided by a Kentucky researcher.

1789 Hayes More Consent b

Bourbon County, KY, Marriage bonds, 23 November, 1789.[ix]

The marriage record says:   This is to certify that my daughter Jeney more is upwards of  2 and 20 years of age / And  I Mary more   Do give my consent to for my daughter                Jeney more to mary Jeremy Hayes.

Auften moore                   Mary More

Jeremy Hayes                    Thomas Guinn[x]

The placement of Austin’s name, and the wording of the document suggest that Austin was acting as a witness for Mary More’s signature to the record.   More about this record was discussed in an article titled “Marriage Record Deciphered.”

Previous researchers, seeing Austin’s name attached, assumed that Austin was the husband of Mary, This would not make sense with the record.  (Mary More also gives consent for Catharine Moore to William McIntosh in Mercer County, 1799.[xi]  The signatures for Mary More—only one O—match both documents and verify that the family moved from Bourbon to Mercer County.  Furthermore, if Mary was the woman listed in the 1786 Fayette County, Pennsylvania tax list, she was widowed by 1786.

A misreading of the marriage record has confused researchers and created an erroneous pedigree for most descendants.  This article will prove, unfortunately, no name for the father of Austin (1760-1840).  Until further research is conducted, his father should be listed as unknown.  The article will present notes on specific records to separate several Austins who have been conflated in various ways.


Austin Moore was born in 1760.  This is corroborated by the 1810-1830 census records, and his tombstone in the Shiloh Cemetery.  He has a memorial at Findagrave.

  1. 1810 (Mercer County, KY)[xii]—age 45+–b. bef 1765[xiii]
  2. 1820 (Mercer County, KY)[xiv]—age 45+–b. bef 1775[xv]
  3. 1830 (Decatur County, IN)[xvi]—age 60-70—b. bet. 1760-70[xvii]

He is listed on the 1788 tax list of Bourbon County, Kentucky, and he appears there until 1791.[xviii]

  1. Indenture, 16 May 1792 between John Hunt of Bourbon County (Virginia) to Austin Moore of Mercer County (Virginia). Witnesses were George Moor, John Hendrickson, and Edw. Willis.[xix] Kentucky was created as a state on 1 June, 1792. Prior to this, the land that became Kentucky was part of Virginia. This establishes Austin in Mercer County by 1792.  He owned 200a on Chapline’s Fork of Salt River, part of Fisher Rice’s 1600a patent.

He then appears on the tax list for 1794 with 150a; 1795, 1796-97 (50a); tax lists of Mercer County, Kentucky—always near a Mary/Marah Moore and a Joseph Moore.  He is not on 1799-1803.[xx]

Austin is then found in Lincoln County, Kentucky verified through tax lists.[xxi]

1800 Lincoln Co, KY—Austin Moore, (there are two George Moores, one has been there a while, one is new this year.)

  1. July 13. “Austin Moore claims 245 acres of vacant land…waters of Fishing Creek.” (Also William McIntosh claims 107 acres of vacant land on Fishing Creek.)[xxii]

1801 Lincoln Co, KY—Austin Moore (150a on Fishing Cr, originally in name of Carr), near William McIntosh.[xxiii]  (William McIntosh md. Catharine More, 24 Sept 1799, Mercer Co, KY; signed by Mary More.)

1802 Lincoln Co, KY—Austin Moore (100a and 150a) next to Jacob Moore.  (Jacob m. Rebecca Paddox, 26 Sept 1801, Mercer Co, KY; bondsman was William McIntosh.)

1803, Lincoln Co, KY—Austin Moore (150a), next to Jacob Moore.  (1804, no Austin or Jacob)

1803, July 3—Lincoln Co, KY—Austin Moore relinquishes claim to 245a of land.[xxiv]

(1803, Aug 8—Lincoln Co, KY—Jacob Moore a person of “unusual mind” exempt from levies.[xxv])

Austin returned to Mercer County, is located on tax list of 1804 as “Augustine Moore”; 1805, 1806 (95a Wilson Creek); 1807 (95a); 1808 (123a Wilson Creek); 1809-1813 (with between 130-149a).[xxvi]

5 April, 1809, James Thompson Deed to Mary Moore, 40 acres on Waters of Wilson Creek, witnessed by Austin Moore, Matthew Pruitt, Beverly Williams, and Wm Bridges.  [xxvii]  (Also, same day, James Thompson to Matthew Prewitt, “adjoining lands of Mary Moore and Paddocks.”  Austin Moore witness.”[xxviii])

1810 Mercer County Census.[xxix]  Austin is 45+, so born before 1765.  He has three males 16-26, one female 16-26, and two males 10-16.  He was apparently married and had children.  Beside Austin on the census record is a John Moore (said to be son of Austin), 16-26 with a wife 16-26.  Also, a Joseph Moore, 26-45 with a family, who is probably Joseph Moore married to Mary Shearly (1794 Clark KY) and listed as son of George and Elizabeth Moore on his 1856 Washington County death record.[xxx]


  1. Austin is listed with 133a, plus 40a originally owned by Mary Moore. She probably died, and he was the administrator of her estate.  (No administration has been located.)[xxxi]
  2. 20 July, Austin married Martha “Patsy” Goolman(Goldman). She was 35 years old by oath of Alexander Black.[xxxii]  She appears to be a widow per the 1810 census which lists her with a male  under 10.[xxxiii]
  3. 28 January, Austin Moore to Nancy Stilts—but by this time there are two Austins. Which one married Nancy? It appears it must be Austin Jr., since Austin and Martha sell land in 1823.  Elijah Moore, son of Austin Sr, is bondsman.

By 1818, Austin (with 133a) and Austin Jr (over 21—b. bef 1797) both appear on tax lists.  Both appear in 1819.  1820, Austin with 130a on Wilson Creek.  Not found in 1821-22.

14 February, 1820  Deed of Augustin Moore (no wife listed) to Patsey Saunders; 54 acres on Waters of Wilson Creek.  Witnessed by Edward Willis, Allen Dye, and Wm Bridges.  He is called Austin in the deed, but signed with mark as Augustine.[xxxiv]

1823, only Austin Jr is listed.  No Moores listed in 1824.

  1. 26 April, Austin Moore married Belinda Case. This is probably a second marriage for Austin, JR, since he is the only one listed in Mercer Co, tax lists.  She is daughter of John Case, son of Separate Case.[xxxv]
  2. 23 September, Deed from Austin Moore and Martha, his wife, to Saml. Yankey; land on Casy Creek, 140a. Signed by Austin Moore; witnesses Isham F—?, Christ Christian, and E. Willis.[xxxvi]
  3. On 1 June, 1824, a land patent issued to “Austin Moore Senr of Mercer County State of Kentucky” for 80 acres in Decatur County, Indiana.[xxxvii]
  4. On 10 March, 1825, another patent for 80 acres in Decatur County. It does not say “Senr” but this man is of “Decatur County.” [xxxviii]
  5. On 15 March, 1837, a patent for “Austin Moore of Decatur County, Indiana” for 40 acres in Shelby County, Indiana. Another patent, same day, for another 40 acres in Shelby County. [xxxix]
  6. On 15 March, 1837, a patent for Austin Moore “Senior” of Decatur County for 80 acres in Decatur County. [xl]

Although it is possible that the Shelby County records are for Austin Moore, Jr., it seems unlikely.   Austin Moore, Jr. is listed by Jordan Hendrickson as a “cousin” in 1841.  Jordan, a Latter-Day Saint, baptized by proxy, Austin More, and other deceased relatives in the Mississippi River at Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois. [xli]  Therefore, Austin Jr.,  was also deceased by 1841.

1840—Austin Moore died. His tombstone stands at  Shiloh Cemetery, Decatur Co, IN.  Austin Moore’s tombstone is pictured at Findagrave, Memorial No. 55805549.

1840 Moore Austin tombstone

Photo uploaded to Findagrave by Greg Meyer; used with permission of Philip Meyer.

Some online trees suggest that one Austin Moore was son of another Austin Moore born 1738 and died in 1794 Christian County, Kentucky.  No evidence surfaced to link Austin to this other man, or to prove this older Austin even existed.  In fact, I believe this older Austin is an amalgamation of mix-ups and guesses that created a man who never existed.  I would like to see any records for an Austin Moore prior to 1783.  As far as records show, there was no Austin in Christian County at that time, and the Austin who did live in Christian County died in 1831 in Hopkins County.  See Next.



Another Kentucky Austin Moore lived in Christian, later Hopkins Co, KY.  He arrives about 1803.

This Austin Moore is the man who appeared in 1790 and 1800 Duplin Co, NC.  (Austin Moore of Mercer  Co is often said to have been in Duplin Co, NC, but it was not he.  Austin of Mercer was in Bourbon County, Kentucky by 1788—therefore could not be the man on the 1790 census in Duplin.)  The NC Austin was son of John Moore who deceased by Jan 22, 1788.  Estates of John’s orphans are extant in Duplin court records.

Austin is listed in 1810 Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky, as Ostin Moore age 26-45.  31110—11010—2 slaves.  Next to him is a John Moore age 45+.  00101–00010

He is listed in 1820 Hopkins County, age 45+,   221101—22001—two slaves.

He received a grant of 50a on 15 Nov 1825.

In 1830, he is listed again in Hopkins Co, age 60-70.    0020200010000—10020001

His will is listed in Hopkins Co, Book 3, p 113.  Written the 23 Sept 1830, record August 28, 1831.   It names his wife, Nancy (received three slaves Charles, Cloyez and Anna),  sons Lewis W. and Morgan J. Moore (youngest sons who got land patented by John Moore), Alfred and Bryant Moore, Council Moore,  and others.  Austin expressedly stated that children not mentioned in the will had already received their portion.

Austin in Duplin is listed next to a Maurice Moore, his brother.  Maurice Moore moved to Muhlenberg County, Kentucky.



Another Austin Moore, died 1810 in Iredell Co, NC.

Will written  8 Aug 1810.  Wife Sarah.  Executors are Thomas Moore Sr and Goodrich[?] Moore.  (Thos Sr and Goodrich appear in census records.)

This is the Austin who married Sarah Eidson on 23 Jan 1799 in Campbell Co, VA.  She died in 1813 in Iredell Co, NC.  (A Joshua Moore married Mildred Eidson in 1805 Campbell Co VA, and a Joshua appears in Iredell Co census.)



According to research online by Charles Garrett ( Austin Moore b. 1776 in VA was the brother of Robertson Moore.  Austin married Mary Garrett in 1794 Laurens County, South Carolina. (Austin of Mercer is sometimes listed with spouse, Mary Garrett; it was not he!) Austin of Laurens County died in 1799, the widow being administatrix, and leaving two daughters, Cassandra and Pamela. Garrett says that Mary Garrett Moore marrid Lod Dulin and moved to Christian Co, KY.  Austin’s probate records are in Box 49, Package No. 3, Laurens County probate records.[xlii]

An Austin and Robertson receive land from William and Sarah Turner in 1796 (laurens gentrails).  A younger Austin sells land to Abner Putnam in 1839.  Christy Moore releases her dower—so that is younger Austin’s wife.

What seems quite clear is that Austin and Robertson are brothers—researchers agree on that.  Austin married Mary Garrett (1794) and Robertson married Keziah Garrett.  Garrett reseachers agree with that.

Austin died sometime in or before 1801, when his widow, Mary was administratrix for his estate which named only two daughters—Cassandra and Pamela, but  NO SONS!

The 1800 Census of Laurens County SC shows Austin age 26-45, with a female over 45 (his mother or mother-in-law no doubt), two females 16-26—his wife and possibly a sister or sister-in-law—and two girls under 10—Cassandra and Pamela.  Next door to him is Robeson Moore age 16-26, with a spouse 16-26 and one female under 10.

Austin then dies by 1801.  If he had a son born between the taking of the census and the time of his administration, the child would surely be named in the estate papers.  He had no sons!

The younger Austin, born about 1801 or 1802 is more reasonably the son of Robertson Moore, not the son of Austin and Mary Garrett Moore as some trees suggest.  Why?

1.) Robertson has no sons in 1800 census, but in 1810 Laurens County, he has a male 10-16 and 0-10.  This older male is 18-26 in the 1820 enumeration; a birth range of 1794 to 1802.  We know Robertson had no males before 1800, so this male was born 1800-1802.  IF there is a guardianship where Robertson took in the son of his brother, Austin, then maybe we could assume Austin is the son of the deceased Austin.  Otherwise, it is a safer bet that Austin b. 1802 is the son of Robertson.

2) Austin married Christianne Abercrombie about 1825 or so, and they had a daughter named Keziah—that was the name of Robertson’s wife.

3) Online trees say Robertson had a son Austin b. 1833.  If so, that son would be 17 in the 1850 census—only one son, Patillo F. age 20, is listed with Robertson and Keziah in 1850.

4) The 1864 probate papers of Robertson Moore name a son Austin, who lives out of state.[xliii]  Austin and Christian are listed in 1870 Chattooga County, Georgia.[xliv]

This is not my family, so I have not completed a thorough and exhaustive search of all records—I would expect the descendants to do this themselves—but this is a good start! These are the records interested researchers can use to keep one Austin out of another Austin’s way.

Some people believe Austin and Robertson’s father was another Austin.  I see no records to confirm that.  Others say the parents were John and Priscilla—I see nothing to confirm that either.

One more detail.  The wife and daughters of Austin Moore d. 1801 moved to Christian County, Kentucky where another Austin Moore resided.  They obviously are not the same man since one was dead by 1801 and the other lived until 1831.  There is no indication that the two men are connected in any way.  They probably are not.  The name and the location are coincidental.  No one owns a copyright on the name Austin Moore!



The 1850 census of Missouri shows that there were three Austin Moores in that state born before 1810, birthplace Kentucky.

One is Austin Moore, the son of Isidore Moore from Washington Co, KY.  They moved to Perry Co, MO with other Catholic families.  This Austin was b. 1809.  He is listed in 1840, 1850 Perry County.  He died 2 April 1858 in Perry County, Missouri.

Another was Austin Moore, age 44, with wife Catharine in Monroe Co, MO.  He is also listed in 1860 Monroe County in home of daughter Nancy married B.F. Bryan.  He may be the Austin who married Jane E. Rhodes, 23 January, 1862, in Monroe County (by Methodist preacher). Austin is listed in 1840 Monroe County (although has him indexed as Augusta Bron).  There are two Monroe County land patents listed at the Bureau of Land Management, GLOrecords site:  June 8, 1833, Augustin Moore of Callaway Co, MO, and August 1, 1838, Augustine Moore in Monroe County.   Augustus Moore married Catharine Matier on 22 September, 1831, in Callaway County.  The 1830 census shows several Moores in Callaway, the oldest being one Travis S. Moore.  An online tree at Familysearch lists Augustus, born 1806 in Green County, Kentucky, as son of Travis S. Moore and Sarah Mitchell.

The third is Austin A. Moore 44, birth place Kentucky, in Lincoln Co, MO.  Wife Zurinda, and several children:  George W. 13 MO, John H. 7, Mary E. 5, and Eliza 1.  The gap between the son George, age 13, and son John, age 7, could indicate a second marriage.  This Austin should be in 1840 Missouri census, but he is not found.  None of this family can be  located in later census record, either.  In 1848, a preemption certificate for  Austin Moore of Lincoln Co, MO, is found at the GLOrecords site.  I cannot connect this third Austin Moore of Missouri to a family.


Although I have seen people post online that an Austin Moore is the son of Robertson Moore and Lucinda Austin, I have never seen any records to prove that those two people even existed.   I would like to see some tax records or deeds with Robertson and Lucinda.  My fear is that they have been formulated in the mind of previous researchers based on confused records of multiple Austin Moores.


Another word of caution is the online information that Peter Austin Moore is either Austin of Mercer  County, Kentucky, or his father.  To date, there has been no evidence of a Peter Austin Moore.  There was a Peter Moore in Bourbon, but he married Jane Green, and second to Margaret Love.  There are great records about this man.  He was not the husband of Mary, nor the father of Austin of Mercer.  Then, there is the Peter Moore who died in 1794.  I have looked through many Bourbon County records and cannot find any record to support a Peter who died in 1794.  There is a 2007 message board post that said a Peter Moore died in 1794, Bourbon, leaving a pregnant wife, Mary, and several sons.  The problem is that, if you check the original, this was a will for William Moore, not Peter.  Is it possible that all those trees listing Peter who died in 1794 are based off the mistake in the message board post, and not upon any primary source?  If so, this Peter, d. 1794, never existed.  And remember, if the research is solid, Mary Moore the probable mother of Austin of Mercer, was widowed before 1786 when she appeared in the Fayette County tax list.


 Besides the three Augustines listed in Virginia and Pennsylvania, there are five Austin Moores with records before 1800.   These men get mixed up by researchers.  It is hoped this article will help keep them separate and whole

  1. Astin/Austin (b bef. 1762) in Westmoreland and Fayette Cos PA who is probably the same as No. 2.


  1. Austin (1760-1840) in Bourbon KY to Mercer KY to Lincoln KY back to Mercer KY then to Decatur/Shelby Co IN.


  1. Austin (b. between 1760-70, d. 1831) in Duplin NC then to Christian Co KY and finally Hopkins Co, KY.


  1. Austin (d. 1801) in Laurens SC; widow Mary to Christian County, KY. Brother Robertson Moore.


  1. Austin (b. VA d. 1810) in Iredell NC


On the 1850 Federal Census of the USA, indexes 26  men bearing the moniker Austin Moore.  Nine were born before 1810 in various states.  None are listed born before 1800.

After 1800, there are many other men named Austin, including Austin b. 1802 in Laurens County, SC; the three Austins born before 1810 in Missouri; and one Irish immigrant Austin Moore in Fleming County, Kentucky!

Be sure your Austin is the right Austin when you do your research.

If this article does help you, I would love to hear about it. If you have additional records for one of these Austin Moores, please share it in the Comments.






[i] Fothergill, August A. and John Mark Naugle.  Virginia Tax Payers, 1782-87. Baltimore: GPC, 1999.

[ii] Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission; Records of the Office of the Comptroller General, RG-4; Tax & Exoneration Lists, 1762-1794; Microfilm Roll: 341. Source Information: Pennsylvania, Tax and Exoneration, 1768-1801 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data:

Tax & Exoneration Lists, 1762–1794. Series No. 4.61; Records of the Office of the Comptroller General, RG-4. Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

[iii] Pennsylvania, Land Warrants and Applications, 1733-1952 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012. Original data: Warrant Applications, 1733-1952. Harrisburg, PA: Pennsylvania State Archives.

Land Warrants. Pennsylvania State Archives, Harrisburg, PA.

[iv] Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission; Records of the Office of the Comptroller General, RG-4; Tax & Exoneration Lists, 1762-1794; Microfilm Roll: 327. Source Information: Pennsylvania, Tax and Exoneration, 1768-1801 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.

[v] “Fayette County, Pennsylvania Tax Payers, 1785-1799. TLC Genealogy: Miami Beach, 1991.

[vi] Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission; Records of the Office of the Comptroller General, RG-4; Tax & Exoneration Lists, 1762-1794; Microfilm Roll: 327. Source Information: Pennsylvania, Tax and Exoneration, 1768-1801 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data:

Tax & Exoneration Lists, 1762–1794. Series No. 4.61; Records of the Office of the Comptroller General, RG-4. Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

[vii] “Bourbon County, Kentucky Taxpayers, 1787-1799.” Miami Beach: TLC Genealogy, 1990, 1992. Also, Bourbon County Tax Lists, Microfilm, viewed at Willard Library, Evansville, IN.

[viii] Bourbon County, KY, Microfilm 408, “Marriage Records Bonds, (and odd scraps, notes, deeds) 1780s-1790s,  Kentucky Historical Society.

[ix] “Marriage Records Bonds, (and odd scraps, notes, deeds) 1780s-1790s. Bourbon Co, KY Microfilm No. 408. Kentucky Historical Society.

[x] Transcription by Dann M. Norton, December 2017.


[xii] Year: 1810; Census Place: Mercer, Kentucky; Roll: 7; Page: 325; Image: 00332; Family History Library Film: 0181352. Source Information: 1810 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.

[xiii] “United States Census, 1810,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 12 February 2018), Austin More, Mercer, Kentucky, United States; citing p. 325, NARA microfilm publication M252 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 7; FHL microfilm 181,352.

[xiv] 1820 U S Census; Census Place: Mercer, Kentucky; Page: 101; NARA Roll: M33_26; Image: 110.

Source Information: 1820 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.

[xv] “United States Census, 1820,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 12 February 2018), Austin Moore, Mercer, Kentucky, United States; citing p. 101, NARA microfilm publication M33, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 26; FHL microfilm 186,186.

[xvi] 1830; Census Place: Decatur, Indiana; Series: M19; Roll: 26; Page: 409; Family History Library Film: 0007715.

Source Information: 1830 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.

[xvii] “United States Census, 1830,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 11 August 2017), Austen Moore, Decatur, Indiana, United States; citing 409, NARA microfilm publication M19, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 26; FHL microfilm 7,715.

[xviii] “Bourbon county, Kentucky Taxpayers, 1787-1799.”  Miami Beach: TLC Genealogy, 1990, 1992.

[xix] Mercer County, Kentucky.  Deed Book 1, p 455.

[xx] Mercer County, Kentucky. Tax Lists.  Microfilm.  Willard Library, Evansville, IN.

[xxi] Lincoln County, Kentucky. Tax Lists.  Microfilm. Willard Library, Evansville, IN.

[xxii] Cook, Bettie Cummings. Lincoln County Kentucky Records, Vol. III. Evansville: Cook Publ, 1988,  p. 241.

[xxiii] Lincoln County, Kentucky Tax Lists. Microflim. Willard Library, Evansville, IN.

[xxiv] Cook, Bettie Cummings. Lincoln County Kentucky Records, Vol. III. Evansville: Cook Publ, 1988,  p 300.

[xxv] Cook, Bettie Cummings. Lincoln County Kentucky Records, Vol. III. Evansville: Cook Publ, 1988,  p 303.

[xxvi] Mercer County, Kentucky. Tax Lists.  Microfilm.  Willard Library, Evansville, IN.

[xxvii] Mercer County, Kentucky. Deed Book 7, p. 344.

[xxviii] Mercer County, Kentucky. Deed Book 7, p. 177.

[xxix] Year: 1810; Census Place: Mercer, Kentucky; Roll: 7; Page: 325; Image: 00332; Family History Library Film: 0181352. Source Information: 1810 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.

[xxix] “United States Census, 1810,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 12 February 2018), Austin More, Mercer, Kentucky, United States; citing p. 325, NARA microfilm publication M252 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 7; FHL microfilm 181,352.

[xxx] Kentucky, Death Records, 1852-1964 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007.

[xxxi] Mercer County, Kentucky. Tax List, 1815. Microfilm. Willard Library, Evansville, IN.

[xxxii] “Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 12 February 2018), Austin Moore and Patsy Goulman, 20 Jul 1815; citing Mercer, Kentucky, United States, Madison County Courthouse, Richmond; FHL microfilm 191,846.

[xxxiii] Indexed by as Godman, Martha. Year: 1810; Census Place: Mercer, Kentucky; Roll: 7; Page: 313; Image: 00320; Family History Library Film: 0181352. Source Information: 1810 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: Third Census of the United States, 1810. (NARA microfilm publication M252, 71 rolls). Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

[xxxiv] Mercer County Kentucky.  Deed Book 11, p 388. Also available online at <;.

[xxxv] “Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 12 February 2018), Austin Moore and Belinda Case, 26 Apr 1823; citing Mercer, Kentucky, United States, Madison County Courthouse, Richmond; FHL microfilm 191,849.

[xxxvi] Mercer County, Kentucky. Deed Book 13, p. 25.

[xxxvii] Bureau of Land Management.  General Land Office Records Database. Moore, Austin, 1824, Decatur, IN.

[xxxviii]   Bureau of Land Management.  General Land Office Records Database. Moore, Austin, 1825, Decatur, IN.

[xxxix] Bureau of Land Management. General Land Office Records database. Moore, Austin, 1837, Shelby, IN.

[xl] Bureau of Land Management. General Land Office Records database. Moore, Austin, 1837, Decatur, IN.

[xli] Black, Susan Easton and Harvey B. Black.  Annotated Record of Baptisms for the Dead, 1840-1845 Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois. Vol. 3.  Provo: BYU, 2002.

[xlii] Laurens Co, SC, Probate Box 49, Package No. 3, 1801.

[xliii] Laurens Co, SC, Probate Box 147, Package no. 12, 1864.

[xliv] Year: 1870; Census Place: District 968, Chattooga, Georgia; Roll: M593_142; Page: 156B; Family History Library Film: 545641. Source Information: 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.


Marriage Record Deciphered: How to!

Last week, I posted an article “Marriage Record Deciphered: Jeremiah Hayes to Jane Moore, 1789 Bourbon, KY” that had been misunderstood and created a relationship that was false–some thought it showed a father and mother to a daughter, when it reads that it was just a mother and daughter, and the man must have been a brother (or other male relative), not the father.

1789 Hayes More Consent b

Marriage Consent. Jeremiah Hayes to Janey More, Bourbon, KY, 23 November, 1789.

I was able to determine the text based on the language used in similar records.  In the 34 years I have been researching my family tree, I have read a lot of marriage bonds, licenses, registers, and returns.  Each of these types of records provides different amounts of information.  When I can find a marriage consent–the actual scrap of paper the parents wrote on to allow their child to wed–I feel I have found the pot-of-gold at the end of a rainbow.  Consents tell you who the parents are!  And sometimes, they give you other details of relationships.

My initial stab at transcribing this was a bit off.

My first attempt

It took some imagination to get “Honorable clerk” out of the first part.  Most of these types of records have some kind of salutation to the clerk. So, that was my assumption.  “Honorable clerk ye”?  In actuality, there was no salute.  Mary More’s action here was to prove her daughter’s age.  Ah…she was certifying the age!

Take a look at this record,

Barbara Queen marr 01

Marriage consent. Robert Casey to Barbara Queen, Mercer County, KY, 14 January, 1797.

Sir–the expected salutation–“this is to certify.”  This certifies that these words were used by people of the time.  I was on the right track.

In the third line of the 1789 record, I did think there were indications of two people writing.  Did it say “I and I mary more”?  That did not make sense. But looking at the capital I before Mary, it was not the same as the possible I before the word And.  I finally settled that this was a grammatical mark made by the writer to divide the proof of age from the consent.

Another record, for another couple, shows the wording for a father and mother who are definitely both named.

schammahorn bowman marr 01

Marriage consent.  William Bowman to Elizabeth Schammahorn, Mercer Co,

I see that this record says “my daughter,” but it was given under “our hands.”  If the 1789 Hayes-Moore document were truly written by Austin and Mary Moore, I believe it would also say “our” somewhere.  Furthermore, the names of the writers are almost always on the bottom right, and the names of witnesses are almost always on the bottom left.  In the Hayes-Moore document, Austin’s name is to the left.

One more consent to consider.


Marriage consent. Thomas M. Conder to Nancy Whitinghill. Mercer County, KY, 28 October, 1823.

Transcription: “The Clerk of Mercer county is herby authorized to issue a licence for Mr. Thomas M. Conder to Marry My daughter Nancy Whitinghill.                                                    Given under my hand & Seal this 28th day of October 1823.”

Eliza Gabhart signs this consent for “my daughter.”  On the left, Henry Gabhart, her husband and Nancy’s step-father, signs as a witness.  Another Whittinghill also signs as a witness.


Since genealogy ends with -logy, it is a study, a science.  The process of the scientific method follows well in genealogical proof.  A question is asked, a hypothesis made, and then testing the hypothesis begins.

In testing of this hypothesis, several facts came up.  First, there were consistent and positively identified records to show this Austin Moore was in Bourbon, Lincoln, and Mercer Counties, Kentucky, and then Decatur County, Indiana.  All those records point to a birth in 1760.  That would make him too young to be Jane Moore Hayes’s father.

Second, a Mary Moore was listed next to or nearby Austin in tax lists of Bourbon and Mercer Counties. The earliest was a 1788 Bourbon tax list, so Mary was a widow by 1788.  (A 1786 Fayette County, Pennsylvania tax list shows an Austin and Mary listed there–so she may have been widowed even earlier.)  Mary was a widow when Jane married Jeremiah Hayes, therefore she could not be the wife of Austin Moore.

All other possible husbands of Mary were debunked, specifically a Peter Moore who died in 1794.  It appears that the name Peter Moore and date of death 1794 derive from a mistake made in an old genealogy forum post.  The man who died in 1794 Bourbon County was Thomas Moore–not Peter–and his wife, Mary, was pregnant!  Those details are in the will. (Bourbon Will Book A, p. 193.)  If Mary More, mother of Jane and Austin, had children as early as 1760, and probably one or two before that, she must have been in her 50s by 1794.  With Austin born in 1760, if he were her first child, and she was just 15, her birth would have been about 1745–I believe she was born before this–but the point is, she would be 49 or older in 1794, and past child-bearing age.

Often, one record does not answer a genealogist’s question. Several records must be consulted and analyzed to come to a conclusion.  To confirm the transcription of this 1789 marriage consent, I had to check other marriages of the time period, tax lists and even deed records that might show the deceased husband.  That, plus many years of experience reading similar records, a correct transcription was made.  At least, I hope it was.

Some helpful sites when researching Bourbon County, Kentucky, marriages are  Familysearch mostly just links to images of a previously published list of marriage records.  For actual images of some of the original records, go to . This site is coordinated by Crystal Dingler, and references the work of Janet Pease–a genealogists whose books I have used since my first day of research somewhere back in 1984 at the Schuyler Jail Museum, Rushville, Illinois.

Always try to acquire the original document.  A big thank you to Rebecca Wooten,  a new friend and researcher, who located the original of the Hayes-Moore records and sent them to me.




Marriage Record Deciphered: Jeremiah Hayes to Jane Moore, 1789, Bourbon KY

For decades now, people have been putting on their pedigree charts that certain Moores in Mercer County, Kentucky, were the children of Austin Moore and Mary.  Later, somehow, it became Peter Moore and Mary.  Then Peter Austin started popping up on family trees around the world wide web.

What was the source for this information?

There are two records that specifically speak to naming the patriarch of one Moore family in Mercer County, Kentucky.  According to references from Annotated Record of Baptisms for the Dead, 1840-1845: Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, by Susan Easton Black and others, one Simeon Hendrickson was proxy for the baptism of his ancestors—his grandfather is listed as Peter Moore.  Did he say it was Peter?  That “annotated” part of this gives pause: what if the notes are wrong?  The originals are being sought, and this will help to answer the question. TIP: Always find the original!

The other record that is used as indirect evidence that the Moore patriarch is Austin Moore, is the 1789 marriage of one Jane “Jeney” More to Jeremiah Hayes in Bourbon County, Kentucky.  It is signed by Austin and Mary Moore.  The orginial record has been located.  Researcher Rebecca Wooten found the record on Bourbon County, KY, Microfilm 408, “Marriage Records Bonds, (and odd scraps, notes, deeds) 1780s-1790s, at the Kentucky Historical Society.  I appreciate her work very much!

This is what we have to work with!

1789 Haye More consent c

“Marriage Records Bonds, (and odd scraps, notes, deeds) 1780s-1790s. Bourbon Co, KY Microfilm No. 408. Kentucky Historical Society.

Yikes!  It is difficult.  From this photo of the microfilm, by enlarging and darkening, I was able to decipher and transcribe the text. Three decades of reading old writing (and being a high school English teacher) helped too!

What does it say? Hold your horses, the transcription will be shared shortly!

Who are these Moores and their neighbors?  How do you know this Bourbon County marriage is connected to the Mercer County family?  What other clues does it offer?

There is a land record 16 May, 1792, Bourbon County, where John Hunt sells land to Austin Moore of Mercer County.  The original says Virginia, but Kentucky did not become a state until 1 June, 1792–after the date of this deed.  This proves that Austin in Bourbon is one in the same as Austin in Mercer.

Next, Mary More signed the above marriage consent in 1789.  She signed another marriage consent in 1799 in Mercer  County, for Catharine More to wed William McIntosh.  The signatures from the two documents are extremely similar.  Although blotchy, both are signed with one o in Moore—More.  The flow of Mary looks identical.


1789 More Mary

1789 signature of Mary More

1799 More Mary

1799 signature of Mary More

Second, Mary and Austin are listed as separate householders in 1788-1792 Bourbon County.  Beginning in 1794, both are listed on Mercer County tax lists.

Third, the bondsman on the 1789 record is Joseph Case.  He is also listed in Bourbon County, Kentucky.  Joseph is listed with one Seperate Case in Bourbon County.  Seperate Case was a relative or in-law to the Moore family.  (Based on this record, previous researchers assumed that Joseph Case was married to either a Moore or a Hayes.  Documents from affidavits in the Bureau of Indian Affairs confirm that Joseph’s wife’s name was Delilah Green—not Hayes, not Moore. However, he named a son Moore Case, so there may be a blood connection between the Case and Moore families.)  The bond:

1789 Hayes More B

Marriage bond, Hayes-More. Mercer County, KY. 23 November, 1789.

The bond states that Jeremiah Hayes and Joseph Case were paying the required fee for a marriage.  Jeremiah, the groom, and Joseph Case, probably some relative to the bride.  The name on the lower left is Teste: John [–?–]  He was the clerk issuing the license.

And the consent (a better copy, printed on paper from the microfilm:

1789 Hayes More Consent b

       This is to sertify that my daughter

       Jenny more is upards of 2 and 20

       Years of age  $  and I mary more

       Do give my Consent to for my daughter

       Jeney more to mary Jeremy


              Auften Moore        Mary More

       Jeremy Hayes               Thomas Guinn


There were two actions being taken with this piece of paper and the words written upon it.  First, Mary More was proving the age of her daughter—she was 22.  Then, she was giving her consent to the marriage—probably just a safety measure as Jane “Jeney” was of age.

Austin Moore has signed here, not as the father—the wording does not imply he is such.  He signed as a witness, as did Thomas Guinn and Jeremy Hayes.  If Austin and Mary were signing this together, would it not say “our” consent for “our” daughter?  Granted the conventions of spelling and grammar were different in 1789, the wording makes it clear that only Mary is giving this consent.

Records for Austin Moore—this Austin Moore—can be found in 1786 Fayette County, Pennsylvania (with Mary and a Thomas listed with him), in Bourbon, then Mercer County, Kentucky.  In 1800 he is in Lincoln County, Kentucky with William McIntosh, but shortly thereafter McIntosh is in Montgomery Co Kentucky (where the Joseph Case children lived) and Austin (sometimes listed as Augustine) is back in Mercer until his eventual removal to Decatur County, Indiana.    He died 2 August, 1840.  His tombstone at Shiloh Cemetery, Decatur County, gives his age as 80 years.  He was born in 1760—he was much too young to be the father of Jane “Jeney” who was born in 1767.  Obviously, he must be her brother.  Mary is his mother, as well as, hers.

Mary Moore, often listed as Marah Moore, appears on the Mercer  County tax lists until the year of 1813.  She owned 40 acres of land on Wilson’s Creek, purchased from James Thompson of Garrard County, in 1809.  There is no 1814 tax book, but in 1815, those 40 acres are taxable to Austin Moore.  (Mary was taxed on this land from Thompson from 1795 on, but the deed for it is dated 5 April 1809.)

The mother of Austin Moore is Mary.  That can be reasonably established.  Even though some people have names on their pedigrees–unsourced, guesses–her maiden name is a mystery.  No records are provided to confirm any maiden name. Likewise, the husband of Mary, the father of Austin and Jane, eludes me.  It will be a brick wall for another day.

Theophilus Case

I have been working with two researchers on an extraordinary genealogical mystery.  Incorrect pedigree charts have been causing many problems.  The guesses that people made in the past were wrong.  Careful analysis of records is bringing out the true fruit of this vine!

One of the confusing men is Theophilus Case–there were several in the United States.  This post will discuss one from Kentucky, how he is confused with another in Ohio and Indiana.  Maybe this information will help some other Case researchers.

In 1820, a Theophilus Case is listed in Montgomery Co, KY. 310010—22010.

He is also listed in 1830: Theophilus Case, 0202101000000—002110101

Montgomery Will book D, p 294. The estate of Samuel Case was settled in December 1832, Montgomery County.  John Case was the administrator, and notes to Theophilus and Moore Case are marked.

Moore Case is named in 1830 Bath County, Kentucky.  Moore Case 30-40 (b 1790-1800), spouse 20-30, a male and female 5-10, and a male and female 0-5.  (Moore is Theophilus’ brother.)

Jno. Case is in 1830 Boone County, Kentucky.  John Case 30-40 (b. 1790-1800), spouse 20-30, two females 10-15, two males 10-15, two males 5-10, and two females and one male 0-5.  (This may be Theophilus’ brother, as a sister Mary J. Case Hughes also lived in Boone County.)

The will of Theophilus Case is found in Montgomery Will Book E, p 53-54.

Son, Joseph, kept “my farm and all the stock on it” as well as a “negro boy Henry” until all the debts were paid, and Theophilus gave Joseph five years to conduct this business.

Son George was to get one year of schooling, and Joseph was to pay for that.

After the five years and the debts were paid, Henry was to go to the wife, Mary, for her life.  .

Two daughters, Sally and Nancy, were to stay with Joseph and their mother without paying board until the debts were paid.

At the end of five or seven years, all the children were to divided the property equally, leaving 1/3 to the widow.  The children were Joseph, James, Theophilus, George, Sally and Nancy.

Joseph was the executor.  The will was written on 17 February 1840 and signed Theo Case.  Witnesses were Turner Anderson, Edward Stringer.

The will was presented to court in April 1840.

The 1840 Census of Montgomery County lists Mary Case age 50-60, with two females 20-30, and one male 30-40.  Uriah Keath was listed three lines below. (Theophilus’ sister, Deborah, married Gabriel Keath–a relative of Uriah.)

Another “Thel Case” is listed in 1840 Bracken County, Kentucky.  age 60-70 (b 1770-80), spouse 60-70, and a female 30-40, a male and two females 20-30, a male 15-20, and a male under 5.  Other Cases in the county are Alexander (20-30),  Bassel Case (20-30), Martin Case (15-20), and John Case (30-40), and Joseph Case 50-60 (b 1780-90), David Case 20-30, Edward Case (60-70 b. 1770-80), William Case 30-40, and William Case 50-60.  There are Cases in Mason Co, KY too.

(Checking 1830 Census, this “Thel” appears to actually be Thos for Thomas.  Thomas Case is listed in 1830 Bracken Co, age 60-70 (b. 1760-70) with a  spouse 50-60, and two females and a male 20-30, a male and female 10-15, a male and female 5-10, and a male under 5.)

In 1840, a Theophilus Case , age 50-60, is listed in Saint Joseph Co, IN. (He is listed as Theoplus Carl on the index.) In 1850 Elkhart County, Indiana, a Theophilus Case, age 19 (b. 1831 IN) is listed with his mother, Sarah.  She is the widow of the Theophilus who was in St. Joseph County in 1840.  This older Theophilus is listed in 1830 Wayne Co, Indiana (indexed at as Theopholin Carr).  He is 40-50, his spouse is 30-40, and there are two females and one male 10-15, a male and female 5-10, and two females and one male under 5.

Bureau of Land Management, GLOrecords shows two or three military warrants for Theophilus Case which were in the name of his widow, Sarah.  This Theophilus was a private in Capt. Faris’s Company of Ohio Militia in the War of 1812.

Theophilus acquired land in St. Joseph Co, IN in 1837.

This link will show the hits for “Theophilus Case” at BLM GLOrecords.|st=|cty=|ln=case|fn=theophilus|sp=true|sw=true|sadv=false

So it seems more than probable that Theophilus Case who married Sarah Skidmore on 24 December, 1812 in Clermont County, Ohio is the man who lived in Indiana.  Was he related to the Cases in Bracken County, Kentucky?  It’s possible—Bracken is across the Ohio River from Clermont County.

But the Theophilus in Ohio and Indiana is not the same man as the Theophilus of Montgomery County, Kentucky.  The Kentucky man was the son of Joseph and Delilah Case of Bourbon County, Kentucky, and Bourbon records confirm such.  (More on those records in a future post.) The Kentucky man had a wife named Mary.  He had children, named above, including a son named Theophilus.

The 1850 Census of Bath County, Kentucky lists Theophilus Case, age 34 (b. 1816 KY) as WaggonMaker.

Wife Celia J. Case, 29.  Children: Louann Case 6, Arabella Case, 3, Mary J. Case 1.

Bath County borders Montgomery County. This must be the son of Theophilus of Montgomery County, Kentucky.

In 1860 Montgomery Co, KY, Sela J. Case age 38 is listed with Louann 16, Mary 12, living in the Jane Moss household.  It is not clear what happened to Theophilus, but he probably died.

I have not traced what happened to Celia/Sela, and the daughters.

Records of interest for Case researchers


Bath County Probate Index shows

Joseph Case Appraisements 1 p 10, settlement 1 p 299

James Case Appraisements 12 p 256


The Bracken County Wills & Settlements Index (1797-1866) lists the following Case records:

Shadrach Case Will B p233 278, , appraisal B 255, , Sett B 278,.

P 233

P 255

P 278


Edward Case’s heirs        Gr R  F p 384, No. 1562

(Dower Allotment in Will book E, p 415-16  The widow is Jane Case.


Jane Case Will F p 353 1563, Appraisal F 362 1564, Sale bill F 364 1565 Settlement G p 77 1566


David Case Appr F 361 1567, Sale Bill F 362 1568, Settlement G 81 1569

Davis Case           }

Mary J. Case       } guardian’s report, F 384, 387-388, G 172-174, H 182, and 196

William Case       } Guardian, Edward Case, 1851

Arthur Case        }


There are more records in the index at

Additional names are

Anna Maria Case

Sarah E Case

John H Case

Mary E Case

Zephaniah Case

Cynthia Ann Case Will H p 218

John Case Will I p 164

Melissa D. Case Will N 424

And so on…

Phillips -Montooth Reunion 2017

The descendants of Samuel Webster “Pop” and Catherine “Kate” Montooth Phillips have gathered together for as long as I have been alive–and longer!  The Phillips reunion was a continuation of the Montooth Reunions which were large family events in the early and mid-1920s.

This is a photo of the 1924 Montooth Reunion. A link to the Schuyler County Genealogy Trails website will give the names of most of the family members.  Pop is third man from the left.  I believe Grandma Kate is behind her father, George Montooth, the older man in the center.

Unfortunately, I cannot make it to the reunion this year, but I submit this report on our ancestry in spite of my absence.  I hope family near and far will find it informative, surprising, and inspiring.  Please share this with others.

Pedigree Chart for Samuel Webster “Pop” Phillips

Pedigree Chart for Samuel Webster Phillips

Our New Brick Wall

When a genealogist cannot find the name of an ancestors parents or a spouse, we call that a brick wall.  Genealogist slam their heads against that brick wall for years, decades–even centuries!–before some unknown fact or record surfaces to knock it down.

For over 50 years, genealogists and family historians were stymied by lack of information on the parents of Asahel Phillips, the first of our line to move to Schuyler County, Illinois.  Asahel was born in 1777 in Virginia.  We knew he married Hannah Nixon on 15 August, 1805 in Harrison County, Virginia (now West Virginia).  We also knew that Samuel Phillips married Anna “Amy” Martin on 22 September, 1800, in Harrison County.  Then both families migrated to Hardin County, Kentucky, finally moving to Schuyler County in the 1830s and 40s.  We assumed these men were brothers because Asahel named his sons Asahel and Samuel, and Samuel named his sons Samuel and Asahel.

Rick Phillips, son of Willard, and grandson of Pop and Kate, did a y-DNA test at FamilytreeDNA in 2007.  He had a couple of matches with Phillips families from Iowa, but they were also stuck–at a James in Virginia.  We could not find a common ancestor.  Then, seven years later, another Phillips man took the y-DNA test.  He was encouraged to do so by a group of Phillips researchers who thought the man was their long lost cousin.  Surprisingly, he was our long-lost cousin, and his pedigree chart took us to Loudoun County, Virginia–which really is not close to Harrison County, West Virginia–but there, sitting in a court house since 1781, was the will of one Benjamin Philips who named his children: Jenkin, Samuel, Asael, Sarah (m. Richard Martin), and Huma (m. John Rogers).  It was truly a grand moment when new technology (DNA) and old-fashioned research (finding courthouse records) came together to obliterate that brick wall.

Alas, this great find did give us the parents of Asahel and his paternal grandparents, Jenkin and Esther “Hester,” but it left us with no maiden names for Asahel’s mother, Rhoda, nor his grandmother, Esther.  Two new brick walls,  and a new quest commences.

The Daughters of the American Revolution website lists Jenkin Phillips as a patriot ancestor.  Follow the link on his name to the DAR site.  Jenkin was too old to fight, but provided a wagon, team, and driver for the colonial cause.  His descendants are eligible for DAR and SAR membership.

Nixon line–George Nixon, Revolutionary War.

Another Revolutionary War patriot on our family tree is George Nixon  who also provided material support to the colonial army.  A nice report on the Nixon family can be found online here written by Wilmer Kerns of Arlington, Virginia, in 2001. George Nixon was the father of Jonathan Nixon who married Nancy Sarah Pugh, daughter of Robert and Mary Edwards Pugh.

Fort Edwards and the French and Indian War

Mary Edwards Pugh was the daughter of Joseph Edwards of Hampshire County, Virginia.  Joseph was born about 1695 in Chester County, Pennsylvania.  He moved to the Capacon Valley of Virginia where he built a fort.  This fort became an important defense during the French and Indian War, and Colonel George Washington was the commander at the fort.  You can read more about Fort Edwards at the Fort Edwards Webpage.

Included at the website is a pedigree chart that shows our ancestors Robert Pugh and Mary Edwards.

Vinedressing–or taking the ax to a branch of our tree–on the Cameron line

Several years ago, after researching onsite in Hardin County, Kentucky at the local university library and at the Brown-Pusey Museum in Elizabethtown, I was pretty sure I had discovered the parents of Elizabeth Cambron, the wife of Samuel Phillips.

Elizabeth married Samuel Phillips on 19 November, 1829, in Hardin County.  Samuel’s father signed consent because Samuel was under age, only 19.  Elizabeth was about three years older, and of age.  There are two records that name Elizabeth as a child.  Both are indentures where she is assigned to work for other families because she is a poor orphan of the county.  These records are dated 1814 and 1818.  Anguish died in 1808 and his widow, Hannah, mentions two minor children, but no names.  I had always assumed the other child was Benedict Cambron who married Sarah Ashbaugh and moved to Hancock County, Illinois.  Then, land records in Grayson County, Kentucky, named different children of Anguish Cameron who were selling his land. Elizabeth and Benedict were not mentioned.

Our DNA matches show a connection to the Cambron family of Charles County, Maryland.  This was a Catholic family.  Researchers tell me that Anguish is not a Cambron name, and Anguish Cameron was not part of the Charles County family.  Anguish, or his father,  was possibly from Scotland.  He is named in his mother’s will, Jannat Cameron, 1802 in Bullitt County, Kentucky.  His widow married a Prater–and I was sure they were the same Praters who became Prathers in Schuyler County.  And it is still possible, but… going back to the tax lists, there are other names that look similar to Cambron/Cameron.  One James Camron or Carmon is listed.  More research is necessary to clear up the mystery, and DNA will surely play a role in correcting the family tree.

The Billingsley Line

Pop’s mother was Mary Ann Billingsley, the daughter of Joseph and Sarah Warfield Billingsley of Baltimore, Maryland.  Joseph and Sarah were the first Billingsleys in Schuyler County, arriving in 1851.  Besides be related to the Billingsleys of Schuyler County, we are distantly related to actress Barbara Billingsley (June Cleaver of “Leave It to Beaver”), her nephew Peter Billingsley (the boy in A Christmas Story), and her father, Sherman, owner of the famed Stork Club of New York.

Off the Warfield line we are distantly related to Wallis Simpson Warfield who was the American divorcee who married the King Edward VIII, who abdicated the throne to wed her.

Also off the Warfield line, we connect to Chaney-Cheney.  Many famous people are descended from Richard Cheney who arrived in Maryland in 1650s.  Among our cousins are President Barack Obama, Vice-President Dick Cheney (ironically, not through his father’s Cheney line–his mother has a Cheney ancestor, too.) Harry S. Truman, Rosalind Carter, and John Glenn to name a few.

Pedigree Chart for Catherine “Kate” Montooth Phillips

Pedigree Chart for Catharine Montooth

The Irish Lines

You will notice that Grandma Kate’s family tree is rather sparse compared to Pop’s. That’s because her ancestors were relatively recent immigrants to the United States, arriving in the 1830s and 40s. In contrast, almost all of Pop’s ancestors were established in the colonies before the Revolutionary War. We know that James Montooth and Jane Dean were both from County Donegal, Ireland. They married in Pittsburgh where their first child was born, about 1835. There were other Montooths in Pittsburgh, and they were probably relatives–but just how they were related is not known yet.
James Sloan arrived in the United States in 1842 in Gibson County, Indiana. There he married Elizabeth Humphreys, 21 August, 1846, moving soon after to Schuyler County, Illinois. There were Sloans living in Gibson County who were originally from North Carolina. DNA matches seem to be linking us to these North Carolina Sloans, but James could not have been closer than a third cousin to any of them. We do have some Sloan cousins who have tested their autosomal DNA, and this information will hopefully help us connect to Sloans in Ireland.
On these Irish lines we are slowed down by distance, but also the availability of records in Ireland! Currently I have access to the DNA matches for my mother (Lou-Ann), her sisters (Connie, Diann, and Gina), and Dick Heitz. Connie, Dick, and Diann all have 14 Montooth matches. Lou-Ann has 15, and Gina has 17. Most of these are duplicates because we match the same cousins.

Grandma Kate’s Colonial Line–Humphreys

Elizabeth Humphreys Sloan was Grandma Kate’s grandmother. Through Elizabeth we link to the Humphreys or Humphries families of Virginia. Our ancestor George Humphreys was another Revolutionary War patriot. He fought in the war with the 1st Continental Dragoons. George married Frances Garrard, and she is named in her mother’s will, probated Sept. 1816, and recorded in Bourbon County, Kentucky, Will Book E, p. 448.

At this point I cannot confirm Elizabeth Garrard’s maiden name, but several online trees state that she was a Washington. The Garrards were prominent in Virginia and Kentucky politics, and it would not be impossible that they were friends with the Washingtons. More research is still needed to verify this claim.

One more Patriot to add to our line is Joseph Woods who served in the army from Virginia. He died in 1835 in Gibson County, Indiana.

Finally, our last brick wall: Polly Dickson Woods

Polly Dickson and her sister, Nancy, both married sons of Joseph Woods, but we know nothing about the Dickson family. The marriage took place in Tennessee, probably Blount County.

One thing that might help with this mystery is MtDNA–mitochondrial DNA–which is passed down from the mother to her children, but only passed on through the female line. This mtDNA never changes, so it will look the same in all the carriers. Polly Dickson Woods’s mtDNA passed down to her daughter, Jane who married George Humphries Jr., and then to Jane’s daughter, Elizabeth who married James Sloan, then passed down through all the Sloan daughters, including Mary Jane, wife of George Montooth, and then passed down through the Montooth girls–Grandma Kate and her sisters.
Everyone gets the MtDNA of his or her mother, but only females can pass it on. This mtDNA from Polly Dickson was in the blood of all of Kate’s children, but only her daughters could pass it on–Agnes, Bertha, Bernice, Nina, and Catherine. This special DNA is still present in all the children of the daughters mentioned, but can only be passed on to the next generation by the daughters of the daughters.

So for Agnes, daughter Doris passed it on to her children, but only Kathy and Diana can pass it on to the next generation.

For Bernice, the MtDNA passed down through Imogene, put it stops with Imogene’s sons. It is carried on by her daughters, Connie, Lou-Ann, Diann, and Gina. So John Brierton, Dann and Jeremy Norton, and Dustin Cox have this MtDNA, but will not be able to pass it down to the next generation. Only Connie’s daughters Tammy and Mandy can pass it down. Tammy had only one son, Willie, so it stops with him Mandy has passed it down to two sons and two daughters, but only her daughters will carry that on.
For Bertha, all of her children have the MtDNA, but only Norma passed it down to her sons, Kraig and Kevin. (Kraig is a DNA match on AncestryDNA.) However, this MtDNA phases out because sons cannot pass it on.

Nina passed Polly Dickson Woods’ mtDNA on to Shirley, and Shirley passed it on to her children. Her daughters have passed it on to their children.
Catherine passed the mtDNA to her sons, Harold and Lyle, but since it cannot be passed on by males, it phases out.

So, mtDNA can be useful to break down brick walls because any two people with the same mtDNA have to have a common direct-line female ancestor somewhere up the family tree. MtDNA is only tested by FamilytreeDNA, if you are interested to finding out more about this special type of DNA.

If you have tested your DNA with AncestryDNA or FamilytreeDNA, please contact me and share your results to help improve our research in the future. If you are interested in doing a DNA test kit, but not sure which, contact me and I can guide you to the most useful for your personal purpose and our collective genealogy.

Happy Reunion 2017!

Vinedressing: Correcting the Parents of William Cornett, born 1781, of Howard County, Missouri

The Correcting the Parents of William Cornett, born 1781, of Howard County, Missouri
By Dann M. Norton © 3 September, 2017

According to a family Bible page that is shared with many online, William J. Cornett was

Cornett William 1781 Bible

born April 5, 1781. His wife, Nancy is named, born July 17, 1789. All of his children are listed, as well as, some grandchildren.
Children of William and Nancy Cornett (from the Bible record)
1. John M. Cornett b. April 26, 1812
2. Elizabeth Cornett b. Sept 13, 1813
3. Lyddall B. Cornett b. February 25, 1815
4. William J. Cornett b. October 23, 1817
5. Garret H. Cornett b. Mar 22, 1819
6. Sally B. Cornett b. Nov 8, 1820
7. Narsiss S. Cornett b. Dec 22, 1822
8. Nancy J. Cornett b. Dec 1, 1825
9. James M. Cornett b. Oct 3, 1828
10. John B. L. Cornett b. Aug 12, 1832

This William Cornett was listed in the 1830 Census of Howard County, Missouri. [1] (Two Williams were listed in the county that year–the other (William Curnutt married to Sarah Standley ended up in Pettis County.) William Cornett was listed in the 1840 Census of Locust Creek Township, Linn County, Missouri.[2] William Cornett’s will was written on 3 February, 1830, in Howard County, but recorded in January 1841 in Linn County. [3]His death probably occurred in December of 1840, and before 29 December when the clerk of Linn County commissioned the clerk of Howard County to locate the witnesses.
The widow, Nancy, can be found on the 1850 census of Linn County.[4]

Cornett Linn Co MO 1850
Year: 1850; Census Place: District 50, Linn, Missouri; Roll: M432_405; Page: 3B; Image: 10

Note her son, William (who is also listed in Eldorado County, California, as Wm. J. Cornett[5] ) age 32. His children, William (age 6), John (age 4) and Thomas B. (age 1) are also listed. Mosby Cornett is James M. from the Bible record. John B. L., age 17, is also listed.

There are not usually any conflicts over who the names of the children of William and Nancy. The controversy will be the maiden name of Nancy—often listed as Shearer, Shiffer, or Shaffer—and the parents of William.

The online version of Kentucky marriages lists Shearer as the maiden name of Nancy, wife of William Cornett.[6] Many others listed her as Shiffer or Shaffer. Four years ago, there were now deleted files to give Nancy a very long Shearer pedigree. There was also a website that gave her a long Shaffer pedigree. Both could not be correct, but the point is moot as neither is available today. Some online trees even suggest that she married a Reeves and had sons by this other husband. This is completely illogical as she is listed in Missouri as a Cornett, and there are no Reeves children in her household.
Philip Cornett, a descendant of William’s son, William J. Cornett, researched the Cornett records at the University of Missouri. There is a lengthy history on the connection of the Cornetts with the university. Mr. Cornett also ordered copies of the marriage records from Lincoln County. Within the records was the marriage bond for Nancy SHAVER to William Cornett, Lincoln County, Kentucky, Marriages, Box 1811. (Copies in possession of Philip Cornett, Texas.)
Cornett Shaver marriage 3
It is clearly Shaver, written on the bond and two consents—one from another Nancy Shaver and one from Peter DePauw.

Cornett Shaver marriage 1

Cornett Shaver marriage 2

(Peter DePauw is listed as a neighbor of Parks and William Cornett on the 1820 Lincoln County, Kentucky, census.)[7]

Let it be known that the sources that give her name as Shearer are in conflict with the original record, found in the bonds of Lincoln County, Kentucky, 29 June 1811. The maiden name of Nancy Cornett is Shaver.

Many online trees—with no support or evidence—will list William Cornett as the son of Nathaniel Cornett and Mildred Hensley of Clay County, Kentucky, or as a son of Nathaniel and a supposed wife, Elizabeth Boggs. (There is no evidence of a wife named Elizabeth Boggs. Records only record a wife Milly or Mildred.) Likewise, Nathaniel Cornett is often listed as the son of John and Elizabeth Bacon Mosby Cornett. This is not true. A series of records from Virginia and Kentucky will clear up both of these erroneous connections, and provide the correct connection based on verified court records.

William Cornett married in Lincoln County, Kentucky in 1811. A Parke Cornett is listed in the1810 census for Lincoln County. This Parke is the right age to be a brother. William named his son Lyddall, also spelled Literal B. A Lideral Cornett is listed in 1830 Lincoln County, and his age makes him likely to be another brother of William.

The 1816 Chancery court suit between the widow of John Cornett et al and Thomas and Susan Smith[8], names the seven children of John Cornett (who died between 1793 and 1795 [9]) and his wife, Elizabeth Bacon Mosby Cornett. Those seven children were William Cornett, Patrick Cornett, Lyddall Cornett, Elizabeth Cornett, Sarah Cornett, Rebecca Brittain (deceased), and Susan Smith.
Here we have the three brothers named—Patrick should be Parke; Lyddall is variously spelled Lydwell and Literal, and William. To confirm that, even with the name variations, these are the same men who appear in Kentucky, an 1806 Power of Attorney from William Cornett of Lincoln County, Kentucky, to Parke Cornett of Louisa County, Virginia, to sell his portion of his father’s estate in Henrico County, Virginia, provides evidence of a close relationship. The land was sold to John Mosby —their half-brother, son of Benjamin Mosby and Elizabeth Bacon[10]—and the survey of the land in the 1816 chancery case shows John Mosby with two tracts.

Based on the 1816 Chancery case, we know that John and Elizabeth Bacon Mosby Cornett have a son William. This William has brothers Parke and Lyddall. William and Parke sell land to John Mosby in Henrico, and eventually end up in Lincoln County, Kentucky. (Lyddall will migrate to Hardin County, Kentucky.) William moved to Missouri. This makes the naming of William’s sons—Lyddall B(acon) and James Mosby—more compatible with this family.  It is also evident that William was born in 1781 in Virginia, and obviously Henrico County.  His father John is listed in Processioners’ Lists and Tax Lists as early as 1782.

Ah…but what of Nathaniel Cornett, the wrong father of William? Nathaniel Cornett is named in census records in Clay County, Kentucky, along with his brothers, William, Samuel, and Roger. All four brothers, and their four sisters, are named in the 1822 chancery court case in Scott County, Virginia, Cornett v. Hensley.[11] The four brothers of Clay County, Kentucky, are correctly the sons of an older William Cornett (died 1815, Scott County, Virginia) and his wife, Lucy. This older William Cornett was from Henrico County, contemporary to John Cornett, the husband of Elizabeth Bacon Mosby. They were undoubtedly brothers. Their father being the John Cornett who patented land in 1733 in Henrico County[12], and died after 1774 when he sold land to Hobson Owen, and signed the deed as John Cornet Senr.[13]

These records correct the assumptions which have become accepted over the decades. It is hoped that current and future researchers will make these corrections to their pedigrees.


1. 1830; Census Place: Howard, Missouri; Series: M19; Roll: 73; Page: 173; Family History Library Film: 0014854. Viewed at
2. Year: 1840; Census Place: Locust Creek, Linn, Missouri; Roll: 225; Page: 241; Family History Library Film: 0014856. Viewed at
4. Linn County MO Will Book 1, p. 1-2.
5. Year: 1850; Census Place: Pilot Hill and Vicinity, El Dorado, California; Roll: M432_34; Page: 470B; Image: 446.
6. That source seems to be Kentucky, Compiled Marriages, 1802-1850 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 1997. Original data: Dodd, Jordan, Comp.. Kentucky Marriages to 1850. Electronic transcription of marriage records held by the individual counties in Kentucky.
7. 1820, Lincoln County, Kentucky, Census, p. 57-58.                                                                                                                                              8. Henrico Chancery 1816-009, Library of Virginia.
9. John Cornet signed for the marriage of daughter, Rebecca, to William Brittain in 1793; His “estate” is listed in the 1796 Processioners’ lists, Henrico County.
10. A newspaper advertisement confirms that John Mosby was the son of Elizabeth Cornett. Richmond Whig (Virginia), September 8, 1843, Vol 20, Number 73, page 3. “Sale of Valuable Real Estate”…”By virtue of the last will and testament of John Mosby, dec’d, I shall…proceed to sell…on Friday, the 13th Day of October next…the following Real and Personal Estate—viz: 1st the Manison House Tract”…”2nd. Another Tract adjoingin the above”…”3rd. Two other small tracts on the old Mountain Road…Lots No. 4 and 7, the former containing 12 acres, and the latter containing 9 ½ acres. Also all the right, title,m and interest of the said John Mosby, dec’d. (being one-third) in and to 36 acres of land, being a part of theland of which John Cornett died seized and which was allotted o his widow as her dower… W. Goddin, administrator with the will annexed of John Mosby, deceased.”
11. Scott Chancery 1822-010, Library of Virginia.
12. Mayes, Bert and Selena Mayes DuLac. Henrico County Virginia Land Patent Abstracts With Some Plat Maps, Vol II, 2007, page 156.
13. Deed from John Cornett Sen. To Hobson Owen, October, 1774 (3 October, 1774), Henrico County, Virginia, Library of Virginia Microfilm Reel 3, p 2227-28.





Dann M. Norton–Genealogy Axman/Family Tree Vinedresser?

Genealogy is a hobby for most.  Some people think genealogy is getting online and copying and pasting records and pedigrees from websites.  Genealogy is more of a science to me.  As a professional, I take into my research the geography, the politics, the laws, and the customs of the time period to make sound and reliable conclusions.  The internet has made it easier, and the internet has made it harder, to do good genealogy.  It is great that so many records are made available online.  One line of my family had been on the back burner because I could not get to Maryland to study the 18th-century wills and probate records.  Those records are available at my fingertips through  That’s great!  Twenty years ago, I made regular trips to Ft. Wayne, IN, to spend the weekend at the Allen County Public Library, the second largest genealogical library in the country, to look at census records–because they had all the US census records.  Now, census records for the US and for some other countries are available online and can be searched from the convenience of my own home.  That’s wonderful!

But the internet has created a negative to genealogical research.  Many online services will use algorithms to search and connect records for ancestors, and sometimes they are right, but sometimes they are wrong. Hobbyists are not careful to check these records.  I refrain from using these hints from sites like because I do not know if the algorithm can be trusted, and I’ve come across many that are wrong.  I would rather be sure by doing the research myself.

Even before the internet there were incorrect genealogies that were published. In the days of letter-writing, researchers would write and discuss, and argue, and come to conclusions.  In those days, you knew who created one theory, and who created the other, and you had their explanations.  There is so much in online family trees that is unsourced and unproven–and wrong!–that has been copied and pasted multiple times from one user to the next.  It is impossible to know the origin of the information, if there were any records to back it up, or if it was a complete guess that needed verified or debunked.

With DNA genealogy, it is becoming ever more imperative that we weed out the chaff of guesses from the good wheat of research.  I have not found a family yet that did not have some sort of mix up that could be fixed with available records.  DNA has linked some families in ways that we did not see in the past. A careful re-check of records shows that previous researchers had made assumptions, that later became accepted, and today are thought to be gospel truth, but are wrong. Corrections are necessary.

Genealogy does not happen in a couple hours on a laptop.  I have worked on my own family lines for over 30 years, and some questions have never been answered.  Some parents are still unknown–and we call these mysteries, brick walls.  In my 34 years of research, I have busted down brick walls, corrected mistakes in published genealogies, and confirmed or debunked family traditions.

In this blog, I am going to correct long-held assumptions that have become accepted. Novice genealogists are not aware that much of what has been passed down to them is purely one person’s best guess passed down, around, copied and repeated for years, even decades, until it seems it must be true.  I caution that if there are no records to lend any evidence to the claim, it is likely wrong.

I sometimes refer to myself as a genealogy axman–I’m going to cut off a branch of your family tree with my information!  Really, though, I am a vinedresser, carefully pruning the branches, so that your family tree will be reliable and complete.  As people correct their pedigrees with verified information, better matching will occur on our DNA studies, and brick walls will be knocked down.

Dann Norton, September 4, 2017