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!
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.
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:
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:
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.