The Moore Family Line Down Through Thomas Smith Moore

September 26, 2015  3:05PM

     The Moore's were quite prolific, bearing several children in each generation.  Those listed in this document are the children that are in the direct blood line of Thomas Smith Moore.   Of course there were many brothers and sisters of these direct ancestors.  They were scattered out over much of  the county.  Many can be traced to adjoining states; but some moved west and settled the country like so many other Americans did in the early years.  Their descendants can be found in virtually any state in the union.

     There remains a lot of doubt as to exactly where the John Moore to whom we can trace our heritage was born.  There are old family rumors handed down through generations that he came from Ireland.  No direct proof of this origin has been found.  The area in America where he settled was inhabited mainly by English and Scottish immigrants.  John and his sons and daughters seemed to marry only those of Scottish or English descent.  So the following two paragraphs follow a possible lead that he was born in England.   However; it is hard to discount those old rumors of Irish descent. 

    John Moore was born in Devon County, England in 1630.  He married Jo Ann Crouch, born in 1633 also in Devon County England.  Their son, Henry Moore, was born in 1661 in Whitwick, Leicestershire, England.  There are no records available as to when John or Jo Ann died or where they are buried.

     Henry Moore married Frances (last name unknown), born in 1663 in England.   Their son, John Moore, was born 29 March 1694 in Whitwick, Leicestershire, England.  Henry died in 1711 In Whitwick, Leicestershire, England.   Frances died in 1713 also in Whitwick.

     The rest of the story can be documented.  John Moore migrated to the United States around 1715.  He settled in Dorchester County, Maryland.  John Married Mary Melville in Dorchester County, Maryland.  Mary was born 30 Jul 1699 in Rockingham County, North Carolina.  Their son, Thomas Moore Sr., was born in 1720 in Dorchester County, Maryland,  John died in November 1753 in Dorchester County, Maryland.  Mary died in 1771 also in Dorchester County.

     Thomas Moore Sr. married Rachel Pearson, born 1724 in Middleton, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  Their marriage took place around 1750 in Dorchester County, Maryland.  The Pearson family had a long history reaching back to late 1500s England where the name was originally Peersonne.  Their son, Thomas Moore Jr., was born in 1750 in Dorchester County, Maryland.  Thomas Sr. died in Apr 1774 in Dorchester County.  Rachel died in 1785 also in Dorchester County.  Although it is thought that the Smith name that has been used for many Moore son's names through the years came from Thomas Moore Jr.'s wife, Sarah Smith, we should note that Rachel's mother was Margaret Smith.  Margaret's father was William Smith born in England in the late 1600s.  This might also be a source for the use of the name.

     Thomas Moore Jr. Married Sarah Smith. There is very little information about Sarah.  She may have been born in North Carolina or Thomas Jr. may have married her in Maryland, and then moved to North Carolina.  At any rate all of their children were born in Rockingham County, North Carolina.  Note that Thomas Jr.'s grandmother, Mary Melville, was born in Rockingham County, North Carolina.  Other members of the Thomas Moore Sr. family along with many kinfolks of the Moore family migrated from Maryland to North Carolina during this same period.  Many Pearsons, Henrys and other kinfolk were neighbors of the Moores.  Thomas Moore Sr.'s son, William Smith Moore Sr., was born in 1790 in Rockingham County, North Carolina.  Thomas Moore Jr. died in Rockingham County in 1804.  Sarah died in 1810 also in Rockingham County.

     William Smith Moore Sr. married Margaret Rebecca (Peggy) Henry on 15 December 1810 in Rockingham County, North Carolina.  The Henry family had a long history which went back to Scotland in the late 1500s where the name was Hendry.  Their son, Stephen Lawrence Moore, was born about 1813 in Rockingham County.  William Sr. died in 1867 in Rockingham County.  Rebecca moved to Selmer, McNairy County, Tennessee and lived with her son William Smith Moore Jr. until her death on 26 September 1873.  It is of interest to note that McNairy County is adjacent to Hardin County, Tennessee.  Will and Tressie Moore, along with other Thomas Smith Moore descendants, moved to Hardin County in the 1920s.  It is a good bet that kinfolk already being in the area influenced their move there.

     Stephen Lawrence Moore married Elizabeth "Eliza" Collins on 9 Jan 1840 in Rockingham County, North Carolina.  The Collins family had a long history which can be traced to around 1700 in England.  Eliza's father, William Anthony Collins born in 1790, likely in South Carolina, played a significant role in the lives of his grandsons.  William Collins died in Rhea County. Tennessee sometime between 1860 and 1870.  Steven and Eliza had three sons. William Henry, Thomas Smith, and Albert Dotson.  Stephen died sometime between 1846, when Dotson was born, and 1849.  Some reports indicate that he died in 1847; but this has not been confirmed.

     Before 1850 William Collins and his family moved to Rhea County, Tennessee.  At least two of his grown sons moved with him.  They were Alfred, who later moved to Arkansas, and Pinkney who lived out his life in Rhea County, Tennessee.  Eliza, William, Thomas Smith, and Albert Dotson either accompanied him or joined him after Stephen's death.  The censuses taken during this period show many Moores in Rhea county.  Some of the given names of these folks were the same names used in the Moore family through the years.  And many listed their birthplace as North Carolina. It is almost certain that these Moores were kinfolk.

   All three of the Moore boys were living with William Collins on the 1850 census.  Thomas Smith and Albert Dotson were still in his household on the 1860 census; so it is quite evident that they were raised by their grandfather.  William Moore was nine years old when the 1850 Census as taken.  He would have been 19 or so in 1860, and did not appear on that census with the Collins and the other Moores.

     Eliza Collins Moore must not have remarried.  She was living with her father and still had the Moore surname in the 1850 and 1860 censuses.  She was living with her son, Albert Dotson Moore on the 1870 census.  She was no longer with any of the family on the 1880 census; so it is likely that she had died before that time.

     Albert Dotson Moore and his family moved to the Scottsboro, Alabama area around 1908.  He died in 1917 and is buried near there.  Many of his descendants still live in Jackson and Marshall Counties, Alabama  

     William joined the Confederate Army on 5 August 1861 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  His unit later became known as Company D, 1st Tennessee Calvary Regiment.  He was captured 7 Dec 1863 at Ennis Bridge, near Bristol, Tennessee.    He was sent to Rock Island Prison, Illinois in Jan 1864.  William joined the U.S. Calvary on 13 Oct 1864 for frontier service.  There is no further information that leads to what may have happened to him on the frontier.  It should be noted that conditions at Civil War prisons were horrible, especially late in the war.  Many prisoners died or were plagued with serious illnesses.  For many the only escape was to join the Union Army; but be sent to areas where they would not be fighting against their fellow Southerners.  It should also be noted that Tressie Sullivan Moore's grandfather, Andrew Jackson Passons, was also incarcerated in the Rock Island prison about the same time as William.  Andrew elected to join the Union Navy to get away from the terrible condition of the prison.  Andrew never fully recovered from the illnesses that he contracted in Rock Island.  He died at the early age of 42 years.  Records list William as having a light complexion, light hair, black eyes, and being 5 feet, 4 inches tall.

Thomas Smith Moore was born 20 August 1843 in Rockingham County, North Carolina.  He appears in the 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 United States Federal Census in various precincts in Rhea County.  The 1890 Census records were lost. 

     Civil War records show that Thomas Smith Moore joined the Confederate Army, Company B, 3rd Battalion, Tennessee Calvary Volunteers on 15 Apr 1862.  His unit was renamed Company A, 1st Tennessee Calvary Regiment in the fall of 1862.    His place of enlistment was shown as Sulphur Springs (now Rhea Springs), Tennessee.  Rhea Springs is just east of Spring City, Rhea County, Tennessee.  He was captured 11 May 1864 at Blain's Crossroads (now Blaine), in Grainger County, Tennessee just northeast of Knoxville.  He was first sent to Nashville, Tennessee, then to Louisville, Kentucky, and finally to Camp Morton Prison, Indiana.  He remained in prison until released on 22 May 1865.  His place of residence was listed as Sweetwater, Tennessee.  This is likely how he met his wife to be.  Records show that her family lived in Monroe County, Tennessee, probably in Sweetwater.  Records listed him as having a dark complexion, black hair, black eyes, and being 5 feet, 7 inches tall.

     Thomas Smith, or "Smitty" as he was called, married Nancy Catherine "Cassie" Dryman who was born in 1847.  They were married in 1866 in Rhea County, Tennessee.  The Dryman family had a long history that can be followed back to Germany in the middle 1700s.  Catherine's father Zachariah Dryman was born in the Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina area.  Catherine was also born there.  Zachariah's family migrated to Monroe County, Tennessee before 1860.  

     Thomas Smith and Cassie had eight children all likely born in Rhea County, Tennessee.  William Henry “Bill” born in 1866.  Thomas Voluntine “Vol” born in 1872.  John Benjamin born in 1874.  Sarah "Sallie" born in 1875.  David Clarence “Dave” born in 1877.  Stevenson Henry “Steve” Born in 1880.  Thomas, born in 1882.  James was born in 1891. Cassie either died in childbirth with James or shortly thereafter.  She was around 45 years old at his birth.

      After Cassie's death Thomas Smith and his two youngest sons moved to Jackson County, Alabama.  This likely occurred around 1892.  His daughter Sarah "Sallie" probably accompanied them.  She would have been around 16 years old.   Later census records indicate her first daughter was born in Alabama in 1893.

       An entry in the Jackson County, Alabama marriages records show that Thomas Smith was married on 30 July 1896 to Eliza Shelton.  Eliza would have been around 42 years old, and Thomas Smith would have been 53.  Other records show that Eliza had a daughter named Maggie Shelton born out of wedlock in 1871 when Eliza would have been around 15 or 16 years old.

     The 1900 census shows Thomas Smith, Eliza, Thomas, and James living together in Hollywood, Jackson County, Alabama. The census indicates that Eliza had been born in Alabama, and that 19 year old Thomas and 9 year old James were both born in Tennessee. 

     Alabama archive records show that Thomas Smith filed for a war pension on 25 May 1901 and was awarded one 20 Aug 1901 from Jackson County, Alabama.  Other information from Alabama archives show that he received a pension payment as late as 24 Oct 1902.  He probably had later payments.  Lists published in 1903 and 1904 show him as removed from the pension rolls because he was deceased. 

     His 2nd wife, Eliza E. Shelton Moore, filed for a widow's pension which was approved 16 July 1903.  Later applications filed by Eliza indicated that he died in 1903 while on a visit to "Dayton, Tennessee".  He likely was visiting his sons or brother, Albert Dotson Moore, who were all in Meigs County, Tennessee at that time.  His body was shipped back to Jackson County, Alabama, and he was buried at Bellefonte Cemetery near Hollywood, Alabama.  In the late 1950s Will Moore pointed out the grave site to his daughter-in-law Addie Lea Moore.  She was able to describe its location fully.

     Other Alabama records show that his second wife, Eliza Shelton Moore, filed for a reclassification to her widow's pension because of her advancing age on 25 Feb 1930 from Scottsboro, Jackson County, Alabama.  She was receiving the increased amount at least by 1932.  After Thomas Smith died, research shows that she lived with her-son-in law and daughter, Fate and Maggie Shelton Berry, in various locations of Jackson and Madison Counties, Alabama until her death in Flat Rock, Jackson County, Alabama in 1937. She was buried near Scottsboro, Alabama.  There is no headstone to mark her grave.

     In the 1910 census Steven, Thomas, David, and Sallie, who was then married to Ike Haskins, were all living in Morgan County, Alabama.  John Benjamin and his family were living in Hamilton County, Tennessee.  Thomas Voluntine and his family were living in the Langston area of Jackson County, Alabama.  No trace of James can be found after the 1900 census.  Other researchers think he may have died around the same time his father died.  A couple of references just state that he "died young".

      All of Thomas Smith Moore's children eventually migrated to Alabama.  Census records indicate that the oldest son, William H. "Bill" was still in Rhea County, Tennessee in 1910; but was in Limestone County, Alabama by 1920.  He likely came to Alabama around 1912.