Friday, April 18, 2014


In January 2014, Amy Johnson Crow of the Ancestry blog No Story Too Small issued the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.


The premise: write once a week about a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, a research problem — any that focuses on that one ancestor. The next week, write about a different ancestor. In 52 weeks, you’ll have taken a closer look at 52 people in your family tree… and maybe learned a little bit more about them in the process.

GENEVIEVE COUNTS was my maternal great grandmother.  She was born 1 December 1864, in Savannah, Georgia.1 Genevieve was born right in the middle of the Civil War and just before General Sherman’s march to Savannah.  Her parents were JOHN COUNTS/KOUNTZ and MARTHA PARDUE.1 There is a wonderful book2 about the Civil War through the eyes of a young girl.  It depicts the hardships that Martha Counts must have gone through having a baby during this time.  Her husband was most likely in the Confederate Army and away at the time of Genevieve’s birth.


I do not have a lot of information on this woman.  I think I found her in the 1870 census in a boarding school but have not confirmed it is her.  Her mother and father seem to disappear, so maybe they died and she was put in this school as an orphan.  In 1885, Genevieve married Tristram A. Moore.3 My Grandfather said they both worked for the Ludden & Bates Southern Music Company in Savannah.


Genevieve and Tristram continued to live in Savannah and had 6 children.  Ann born in 1886, Mary born in 1888, John (my grandfather) born in 1889, Elizabeth (Bessie) born in 1890, Tristram J. born in 1892, and Francis born in 1894.  During this time Tristram continued to work for the South Music Company alongside his father Horatio N. Moore.  Apparently, this was not good enough for him so he quit and got a job on a ship sailing out of Savannah.  Sometime after 1900 Geneveive was told he died at sea.  I have no proof that this actually happened.  He did leave the family, that is true, but I have found no documents indicating his death at sea.


All this time Genevieve was taking care of her 6 children by doing sewing.  By 1905 her oldest son was 16 and he told me he was out working doing odd jobs to help the family.  In the 1910 census4 the children were older and working to support Genevieve.  Her son, John became a telegrapher operator for the Railroad and made good money but New York was paying more for telegraph operators so he brought the family up to Brooklyn, New York.  In the 1920 census5 I find Genevieve with her son Tristram and daughters Annie, and Mary Cosgrove and Mary's son John.  Genevieve’s son Francis died in 1898 when he was 4.  Genevieve’s son John is married by this time to Isabel Tierney and they have a daughter, Ruth (my mother). 


Genevieve was taken care of by her son, John, until she died.  They lived just a block away and he was there helping out all the time.  Genevieve died 11 June 1936 in Brooklyn, New York.1 This is the only picture I have of her, and it was taken about 1933 in Brooklyn.




  1. Death Certificate #13037 Brooklyn, New York. Information given by her son John N. Moore.
  2. “The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 1864-1865 by Eliza Frances Andrews
  3. Marriage certificate, State of Georgia, dated 4 October 1885
  4. 1910 Federal Census of Georgia, image from
  5. 1920 Federal Census of Georgia, image from

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