Sunday, March 11, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 10 Strong Woman

This week’s theme is Strong Woman.  I am sure there are many strong women in my family, those leaving their countries to immigrate to America and those crossing the country before trains and airplanes.

I want to acknowledge my Aunt Kay, Catherine Mathews Hurley.  She was my godmother and my father’s only sister.  In fact Sister was her nickname.

She was the only girl with 3 brothers in a small apartment in the New York City.  She did have many women cousins living nearby who were very close in age and she stayed close to them all her life.

Aunt Kay was a very shy person, very nice, very sweet and a happy person.  She married Bartholomew Hurley when she was 29 years old.  She had her first child in 1941 just as America became involved with World War Two.  She had to learn to live without many things because they were rationed.  I am sure she had trouble getting milk for her son. She did have two more sons during the war which was both a  blessing and a hardship.
By the time her husband died in 1957, she had had 2 more children a boy and girl.  During this time she also had her mother and brother living with her.  Aunt Kay worked a full time job and took care of the house.  The oldest son had mental problems since he was born and it was a worry to Aunt Kay.  She always worried who would take care of him when she died.

Aunt Kay had a great support system of cousins and brothers.  She also loved to play cards and had her friends over all the time to play. She had a nice social life.  Aunt Kay’s happiest times were when she was home with family and friends.  Her daughter lived all over the world and asked her to travel to her but Aunt Kay never left her neighborhood.

She raised wonderful children.  Two of her sons took over the care of their brother and his problems after Aunt Kay died and did so until he died at the age of 66.  I am sure she would be so proud of them.

I think Aunt Kay was a very strong person but I am sure she didn’t think so, she just thought this is her life and she would do her best.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 9 Where There’s a Will

I have not found many Wills among our ancestors.  The one that is most loved is the one from William Moor.  He was the first of the Moor/Moore family to arrive from Ireland in 1718.

William Moor was my 5th Great Grandfather.   I have not been able to find any church records confirming his birth or marriage to his wife Martha.  I have surmised from his will that Martha’s maiden name was Anderson but have no proof.  He died January 15, 1740 in Derry, New Hampshire.

This Will is the only Will I have found of all my Moor ancestors.  The Will was in the Records of Rockingham County, New Hampshire and I am taking it from the book “A Memorial of Loyalist Families of William Moore, Josiah Hitchings and Robert Livingstone” by John Elliott Moore, published in 1898.  William Moore was born in Ireland in the valley of the river Bann, the dividing line between the counties of Derry and Antrim about 1680.

This Will indicates his place of residence, putting him in a particular place and time, where I can further research for records.  He names his wife, Martha.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t give her maiden name, but his executors are Allen and Samuel Anderson, which gives me the idea her maiden might be Anderson.  You would usually have people very close to you or relatives be your executors.

The will also names all his children, George, Thomas, Allen, William, Jane, Betty and Mary.  As you can see one son is Allen, that would also indicate that Allen Anderson might be a relative.

I was just amazed that a copy of this document from 1740 was important enough to be printed in a book about the family back in 1898.  One other thing that is wonderful about this Will is his actual signature.  Most people during that era couldn’t read or write.

The Will of William Moor 1739

In the name of God Amen the sixth day of November in the year of our Lord God 1739, I William Moor of Londonderry in the Province of New Hampshire, being very sick and weak in body, but in perfect mind and memory, thanks be given unto God therefore, calling unto mind the mortality of my body and Knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament, That is to say principally and first of all.  I give and recommend my Soul unto the hands of God that gave it, and for my body I recommend it to the Earth to be burried in a Christian Like and decent Manner, at the discrition of My Executors Nothing Doubting but at the General Reserection I shall Recive the same again by the mighty Power of God and as touching Such Worldly Estate wherewith it hath Pleased God to bless me in the life I Give Bequath and dispose of the same in the following Manner and form Imprimis I Give and Bequath to Martha my dear Beloved wife my Lands Goods and Chattles by her to be Possessed and Kept Together for the use Benefit and Maintainance of her and my Beloved Children, which Lands they are to Labor and be obedient to her and She as in Duty bound to Learn and Instruct them as God Shall Enable her Enduring her life but and if it Should please God to Call her hence then the boys that are under age to be bound out to Trade.   Item the Lands goods and Chattles which shall or may be at her Decease to be sold and made into money I do Leave and Bequeath unto by beloved Sons George Moor, Thomas Moor, Allen Moor and William Moor, in Equal parts and Portions one hundred and Twenty Pound being Exampted and Given to my well Beloved Daughters.  Item to my Beloved Daughter Jane Christy, I Leave and Bequeath Twenty Pounds and to my Beloved Daughter Betty Moor I Leave and Bequeath fifty Pounds and to  my Beloved Daughter Mary Moor I Leave and Bequeath Fifty Pounds and if Either Betty or Mary Should die Without Issue her part to be Given to the other and Likewise my Beloved sons if any of them Should die without Issue their part to come to their Brethren, I likewise Constitute make and ordain Allen Anderson and Samuel Anderson my only and sole Executors of this my Last will and Testament, and do Ratify and Confirm this and no other to be my Last Will and Testament In Witness whereof I have hereunto Set my hand Seal the Day and year above Written

Signed Sealed Published                                              Signed William Moor



Pronounced & Declared by

the said William Moor

as his Last Will & Testament

               In Presence of us the Subscribers Viz

               Archibald Miller, Thomas

               Dunshe, Thomas Bacon,

               Proved Augst 26, 1741

Blogger Amy Johnson Crowe started this 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks because family history is better when it’s shared.  This is a series of prompts to help share discoveries I’ve made in my genealogy. The prompt this week is “Where There’s a Will”


Thursday, February 22, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 8 - Heirloom


noun heir·loom \ ˈer-ˌlüm \

something of special value handed down from one generation to another

We do not have many heirlooms in our family.  Mostly we have photographs.  One of our heirlooms is a desk that was originally my husband’s oldest cousin, Florence aka Honey.  She used it when she was about 3 years old until 5 when she became too tall to use it. The desk stayed in her house until about 1946 when it was passed onto my husband. After we married and had children it was used by all three children, it resides at the top of our stairs to this day.  It is still in very good condition.  It is made of wood, it has two drawers and cubby holes and a roll top.  It also has the accompanying chair.

Roll Top Childs Desk

Honey using desk about 1938

Blogger Amy Johnson Crowe started this 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks because family history is better when it’s shared.  This is a series of prompts to help share discoveries I’ve made in my genealogy.

Monday, February 12, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 7 – Valentine

This week the theme is Valentine, most likely Valentines Day, or a Valentine Card.  I will tell you about my husband’s aunt, Valentine Glessoff.

When I first met my husband’s aunt, she was introduced as Aunt Dee Dee or Aunt Val.  It was several years later that I found out that her real name was Valentine.  I always wondered maybe she was born on Valentines day and that was why she was named Valentine, but no she was born in June of 1907. She was born to Ivan Glessoff/Glassoff and Alexandria Konacova/Conacova both born in Russia and came to the United States in 1897.  The first daughter was given a Russian name at birth, Glafira (changed to Florence) and Valentine was the second daughter and Valentine in Russian is Валентина. This name was popular in Russia and was used by both men and women.  The first Russian women astronaut was named Valentine.

Aunt Val (Valentine) was a wonderful woman.  She loved fashion, music and dancing.  She used to go to the Roseland Ballroom in New York City before and after she married, dancing all the 1920’s and 1930’s dances.  One dance I always loved watching her dance was the Peabody. Valentine married Alfred (Freddy) Zito in December of 1929.  

Freddy Zito and Valentine Glessoff
Wedding Day December 29, 1929

They were great together, when I met them they had a 14-year-old daughter and loved to have family over all the time.  It was the noisiest house with a lot of laughter and good Italian cooking. 
Valentine worked in the Oyster Bay, New York town office for many years and was very involved with the Republican party.  Her husband died while dancing at a wedding in September of 1969.  Everyone said that was the way he would have wanted it, they just loved to dance together.  She continued to work until her late 60’s.  Her daughter married and had 2 sons and Valentine was the best grandmother ever to those boys.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 6 Favorite Name

Blogger Amy Johnson Crowe started this 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks because family history is better when it’s shared.  This is a series of prompts to help share discoveries I’ve made in my genealogy.

This week’s prompt is Favorite Name!

We are a family of plain names like Mary, Elizabeth and Catherine.  So, coming up with a favorite name that was special and unusual I had to look back into the 1700’s.

My favorite name is of my 3rd Great Grandmother, Thankful Foster Moore.  She was born in Machias, Maine in 1783 to Benjamin and Ruth Foster.  She married Tristram Moore in 1802 in Moore’s Mill, Canada and died there in 1868.

The name Thankful was a very popular Puritan name but I don’t believe the family were Puritans.   I don’t know why she was given this name, her sisters were Susan, Sally and Lettie.  I guess that her parents were just very thankful when she was born.


Thursday, February 1, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 5 Census.

The theme for this 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is the Census.

There is more to genealogy than hatchem, matchem, and dispatchem[1].  The dates are important but that doesn’t tell you about the person, what they did for a living, how they lived their lives, their spouses and children and when they might have come to the USA.

The tool to use for that information is the federal census records.  The census were taken in the United States every ten years starting in 1790.  The only census that is missing is the 1890, it burned in a fire.  Some states also did a census every ten years starting 1855.

One of my ancestors, Horatio Nelson Moore, born in 1825 in Moore’s Mills, New Brunswick, Canada, came to this country sometime between 1857 and 1860.  When I trace him, I find that he married in 1850 to Mary Rose in St. Stephen, NB, Canada.  Their first child, Tristram, was baptized in 1851 in Canada.  The last child was born in Canada in 1857. Then I find the family in Mobile, Alabama in the 1860 census. This census made me look for further documents to find out why they came to Mobile, Alabama.

I checked back in the 1851 census in Canada for any of Horatio’s sisters and brothers and noted that one of his sisters was missing.  I then searched for her in the census. I found her, Emily Moore Williams with her husband and family living in Mississippi.  I did eventually received copies of letters Emily had written back to her parents confirming that Horatio had followed her family down south for work.

Through the years, in the census, Horatio was a music teacher, piano repairman, and a piano tuner.  In one of Emily’s letters she mentions that Horatio was giving voice lessons to her daughter.  Horatio also worked for the Chickering Piano Company as a piano tuner.  I researched patents and found he had a few concerning the workings of the piano for the Chickering Piano Company.  Horatio had his beginnings working with his brother John Warren Moore building furniture and pianos in St. Stephen, NB, Canada.

Also, Horatio was in Mobile during the Civil War, so I researched and found that he belonged to the British Guard.  It was a company with foreign born men who protected the docks in Mobile, Alabama during the war.

The census records gave me a more complete picture of my Great-Great Grandfather, Horatio Nelson Moore.


[1] Births, Marriages, and Deaths used by my genealogy mentor, James P. Reilly

Saturday, January 27, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 4 Who would you invite for dinner?

There were several of my ancestors who I would love to sit down and talk about their lives.  Today I am going to invite Elizabeth McCrudden to the table.  She is the sister of my Great Grandmother Mary McCrudden Mathers.

Elizabeth McCrudden was born in Ireland somewhere after her sister Mary was born in 1844 and before her youngest sister, Ann in 1852.  I have not gotten the birth records yet!   Elizabeth’s sister Mary came to New York in 1868 (her second child was born in New York in July of 1868) and Elizabeth followed her along with 2 other sisters.

In 1876 Elizabeth McCrudden married George Mulraney in New York City.  I then find them in San Francisco, California where their first child, Catherine Mulraney, is born in February 1879.  George was a shoemaker so probably that was an occupation he could do anywhere.  Why all the way to California is the question I would love to ask of them. It must have been a wonderful and scary trip. I was picturing a horse and wagon kind of trip, but I found an article about the Transcontinental Express train. Apparently, in 1876 it took “a mere” 83 hours from New York City to San Francisco on the train. First-class passengers traveled the railroad line for business or pleasure, but the third-class occupants were often emigrants hoping to make a new start in the West. The third-class (I am pretty sure the Mulraney’s were in this class) cars were fitted with rows of narrow wooden benches, they were congested, noisy and uncomfortable.  The railroad often attached the coach cars to freight cars that were constantly shunted aside to make way for the express lines. Consequently, the third-class traveler’s journey west might take 10 or more days. Even under these trying conditions, few travelers complained. Even 10 days spent sitting on a hard bench seat was preferable to six months walking alongside a Conestoga wagon on the Oregon Trail.

This family was also in San Francisco during the famous 1906 earthquake.  What a harrowing experience that must have been.  The family’s home must have stayed in pretty good condition because they were there in the 1900 census and then still there in the 1910 census.

The other question I would ask Elizabeth and George Mulraney, how did they convince the other two sisters to join them.  Catherine McCrudden married James Callen and Theresa McCrudden married Daniel Boyle.  Both couples were married in New York City and made the long trip to California too.

There is an eyewitness account by Robert Louis Stevenson titled “Traveling on an Emigrant Train, 1879” on the web site that I found really an eye opener for the way they had to travel in 1879.  I probably would have stayed in New York City.  On second thought I most likely would have stayed in Ireland!