Married probably between 1772 and 1774, Lucy and William had 4 children in 1782 when the head of household “census” was taken in Virginia, and 5 by 1785. Like most couples, they farmed and had a child approximately every 18 months to 2 years for their entire marriage, or at least until Lucy no longer became pregnant.
Lucy is a fairly unusual name, so it was easy to identify Lucy Moore as the wife of William Moore. However, as it turns out, there were actually two more Lucy Moores who lived in the same time and place.
What are the chances of that?
Three Lucy Moores
In 1817, “my” Lucy Moore would have been about 63 years old. 1817 is the year that another Lucy Moore is added to the mix. Lucy Akin married James Moore, son of Lucy and William Moore. From 1817 on, we have to be careful about which Lucy we are dealing with.
For years it was presumed that the marriage on July 30, 1831 of Lucy Moore to James Ives was the widow, Lucy Akin Moore remarrying, but a subsequent chancery suit reveals that it was not.
No, and it wasn’t the widow Lucy Moore either. It was an unexpected third Lucy Moore.
The Lucy Moore that married James Ives was Lucy and William Moore’s daughter. I didn’t make that discovery until I just happened to read every chancery suit that contained the name Moore in Halifax County in anything resembling the right timeframe. Sometimes suits referenced people that had died decades before.
In the Virginia Chancery Index, I entered Moore and selected Halifax where the final chapter of a long sordid story unfolded.
Everything seemed to be fine in William and Lucy Moore’s family until about 1796 or 1797 when something happened to Reverend William Moore. Not only did he stop submitting marriage returns to the county to be recorded, he was listed as exempt from paying taxes in 1797. The only legitimate reasons for a man in his late 40s to be tax exempt was from disability or because he was an official – and William wasn’t an official. Furthermore, he was listed as exempt off and on from then until 1816 when the tax lists stop.
In 1797, Ransom Day sold William Moore 100 acres of land that was where the “meeting house” stood, although the meeting house was excluded from the sale. In 1801, William and Lucy sold that land.
We know William was still farming because later a lawsuit was filed regarding 1306 pounds of tobacco that were not credited to William Moore in 1812. Farmers took their tobacco to the warehouse to be graded and sold according to the crop quality. The warehouse that William was doing business with was subsequently purchased and neither the old nor the new owner ever credited William for the 1812 tobacco sale.
This ongoing lawsuit seemed to be part of a downward spiral that eventually culminated with William losing his land, and worse.
Financial problems don’t seem to be isolated to William Moore. In 1812, his two sons, William Moore Jr. and Azariah Moore are both found to be unable to pay their taxes. Was this perhaps reflective of them attempting to help their father, or was this a learned lifestyle behavior?
Azariah would have been near 30, if not 30, by this time so he was no young whipper-snapper. Both boys eventually moved to Pittsylvania County within a few months, the county next door, where they both continued living beyond their means to the point where Azariah’s wife’s father stipulated that her inheritance could not be touched by Azariah nor could it pay for his debts. Pretty harsh terms.
By 1817 Azariah is living in Pittsylvania according to the tax list, and in 1818, he marries there. William Jr. settles in Pittsylvania too.
However, in 1826, Aza Moore (Azariah, Lucy’s son) sells 50 acres of land on Birches Creek to Lucy Moore for $100, bounded by William Moore Sr.’s old line, the old ridge path and along the ridge path. Azariah had purchased land on Birches Creek in 1814 from William Phelps which was bounded by William Moore, Edward Henderson and William Ferrell.
My first opinion of this transaction was that Azariah took pity on his mother. However, if that’s the case, then why not just give her the land or for the token $1 typical of close family sales? Was this really a case of Lucy trying to help Azariah by purchasing his land? Were both parties benefitted by this transaction? The price does not seem to be at all under market value.
William Moore died in 1826 after having lost his land, so this may have been the only way to guarantee some income for Lucy. If Azariah had sold his land to his father, it could then have been attached for William’s debt.
William’s son, James Moore lost his land in 1827. He’s not found in the census in 1830 and it was believed that he was dead by that time based on the census combined with the fact that Lucy Moore married in 1831. As it turns out, it wasn’t that Lucy Akin Moore that married in 1831, but a different Lucy.
These events are not isolated and are connected.
The 1830 census is confusing. We know Lucy Moore was the head of household, but we don’t know who else was living with her.
It appears that perhaps two Lucy Moores, mother and daughter, were living together in 1830, when Lucy Moore is listed in the census with the following:
- Female 70-80 so born in 1750-1760 (Lucy, widow of William Moore)
- 2 females 50-60 so born 1770-1780 (Probably daughter Elizabeth Moore born 1790 and possibly daughter Mary Moore born 1775)
- Female 40-50 so born 1780-1790 (Daughter Lucy Moore, born 1792)
- 2 females under 5
- 1 male under 5
Who did those children belong to? Was one of the women a widow? It had been assumed that Lucy Akin Moore was one of the women living with Lucy Moore, head of household, based on the fact that James Moore was believed deceased and they would have probably had children.
Thank goodness for Azariah who sold his mother land. It looks like Lucy was supporting 7 people. I wonder how Lucy came up with the $100 to purchase that land. That would have been an awful lot of egg money.
Lucy’s Chancery Suit
One of the events that defined Lucy’s life is the path she took after William died in 1826. She would have been about 72 at the time.
Women simply didn’t file lawsuits. Women were supposed to be subservient, accept whatever happened to them and not make waves.
Lucy wasn’t any of those things. She stood up for herself and her rights, regardless of who had been responsible for overlooking the fact that Lucy never signed away her dower rights in William’s land.
Had William failed to inform Lucy of what he was doing. Did she object and refuse to sign? Was it an oversight?
You’d think the men who accepted William’s deed as collateral would know better. At that time in Virginia, women had to be examined separately from their husbands and confirm that they did indeed want to relinquish their dower right in the property. A woman’s dower was 30% of the value of the property.
What really happened?
In a chancery suit filed in Halifax County by Lucy Moore on November 30, 1826, we discover the following complaint:
This complaint states that William owned 200 acres of land and that he had signed the land as security for a debt owed to Isaac Medley which could be sold to discharge the debt if it wasn’t paid. It wasn’t and the land was sold, but Lucy never signed away her dower portion to either Isaac or the trustees.
Isaac had “not as yet” assigned Lucy’s portion to her, so Lucy asked the court to do such and to cause her dower portion to be surveyed.
Clearly, Isaac wasn’t going to do this without court intervention, or it would already have been done. Lucy’s “not as yet” was very tongue in cheek.
Isaac’s answer to the complaint states that he agrees that Lucy had never relinquished her dower portion. What else could he do? At that point, neighbors, Charles T. Harris, Thomas Dixon (also spelled Dickson sometimes), John Ferguson and James Wilson were appointed commissioners to decide what was fair for Lucy, taking into account both quality and quantity of land.
When settling estates, the court typically ordered as property appraisers one person with no connection to the family, one person related to the wife and the person who was owed the highest amount of debt. I wonder if one of these men was related to Lucy.
Of course, this order also meant that Lucy would receive the house. It’s not as if an elderly woman could build a new one and no group of men was going to put a widow out into a field with no shelter. Nor would the court have approved that because the widow would have wound up on the public rolls and that was to be avoided at all costs.
Furthermore, judging from the 1830 census, Lucy was likely supporting additional people.
This entry summarized the proceedings where the court ordered the land survey and requested the commissioners to report back to the court.
Ironically, Isaac Medley doesn’t even fight Lucy’s claim. Just the fact that Lucy was spunky enough to file the suit is testimony about Lucy in its own right. I’m cheering her on!
This case filing is the single most revealing document for William and Lucy Moore. In it, William’s death year is revealed as are the circumstances of how he lost his land.
Furthermore, we obtain an actual survey of William’s land, and thereby Lucy’s. William purchased his land from his father James, who bought land from James Spradling. I presumed that Spradling’s land was the same land that William Moore purchased from his father and set out to find the patent.
I found James Spradling’s original patent dated Sept 15, 1765, part of which was conveyed to William’s father, James Moore. Later, 200 acres was conveyed to William Moore in 1798.
Ironically, this same land patented by Spradling was patented in 1762 by Isham Womack. If I have identified the correct Isham Womack, his father is Thomas Womack and mother Mary Farley who lived in Prince Edward County, VA. Thomas’s mother was reported to be Sarah Worsham. These early families from Henrico County were very intermarried. The Womacks, Worshams, Rices and Moores were all interacting in Amelia and Prince Edward Counties.
DNA also tells us that the Womack’s are somehow related to the Moores, and therefore to me, but I have no idea how. At least, not yet.
It’s enough to make a genealogist pull their her out!
In December 1826, the surveyor drew the following and laid off Lucy Moore’s 50 acres, including the “mansion house,” such as it was. Mansion house meant where the landowner lived, not indicating that it was in fact a mansion. Many of these early frontier mansions were noted as being 10X12 or 12X16.
Several years ago, cousin Walter Dixon attempted to draw the metes and bounds of these plats and place them on a map of the area.
These parcels were mapped utilizing DeedMapper. I used to own this tool before my laptop was stolen and I’ve now purchased the upgraded version along with the background Halifax County maps.
Yes, for one survey. Genealogists are crazy aren’t we!
The day DeedMapper arrived, I couldn’t stop myself until I had figured out where William and Lucy’s land was located.
It wasn’t as easy as I anticipated, because I thought surely that once I figured out where James Spradling’s land was located William’s would be a shoo-in because it would be the same land, or part of the same land – fitting like a puzzle piece. I was wrong.
Someone had plotted and contributed the 2 surveys of Charles Spradlen.
I don’t have any way of knowing whether or not these surveys are accurately placed or approximated.
Spradlin owned 2 parcels, this one in purple is 304 acres.
The next one, just beneath is 162 acres and shares property lines with his 304 acre parcel.
James Moore bought 238 acres from James Spradling, but he also bought another 800+ acres from other people. He sold land to Edward Henderson (his son-in-law) and to William Moore as well as others. At one time, James probably owned most of this entire area – more than 1000 acres in total.
William Moore’s land was difficult to draw because it meandered on three branches of waterways. The only waterways on the second fork of Birches Creek that matched up with the drawing and the survey are where the purple plot is located. It doesn’t close because the open side is the 3 meanders that you can clearly see. This makes sense, because the leftmost border touches his father’s land and in 1826 is noted as Ferguson’s line.
Lucy’s survey, in purple above, doesn’t close correctly. Old surveys often don’t. In this case, William’s and Lucy’s surveys were written on the same page and I had to correct one of the lines that the surveyor had mistakenly written in one or the other.
Of course, Lucy also owned another 50 acres someplace that abutted William’s land. It may have abutted the portion of William’s land that became hers.
Fortunately, with the underlying Halifax County map, I was able to determine an approximation of where William and Lucy’s land was located today using Google maps.
Using these two ponds (red arrows at right) and the creek for guidance, I was able to determine the location of the middle red star at left in William’s survey, roughly outlined in green. Lucy’s survey is shown roughly in black. You can see that William’s land includes present-day Henderson Trail which also includes the Henderson Cemetery, long believed to have been the original Moore Cemetery.
Here’s Google Maps aerial view.
The middle red star on William’s green survey, above, is the little grey balloon at left on this aerial view. The cemetery is approximately at the red star. The right red arrow points to the upper pond with the red arrow on the map with the green outline. The green arrow points to Henderson Trail, visible on both maps.
Normally Google Maps doesn’t travel down roads without center lines, let alone dirt roads, and certainly not private 2 tracks.
All I can say is that the Google car must have been lost, because here we stand on Henderson Trail looking directly at Lucy’s land.
Standing on William’s land.
How lucky can I be? Below, looking down the trail to the west.
Below, looking south across Henderson Trail, you can see the Blue Ridge in the distance to the west.
When I visited and stood in this very location, I suspected it might have been James Moore’s land, but I never suspected it was Williams or Lucy’s, nor did I suspect that William owned the land where the original cemetery was located. I thought William’s land was further north, by Mountain Road where the Mount Vernon Baptist Church stands today.
The Good-Bad News
This land is for sale, as in right now.
That’s the good-bad news.
107 acres, outlined in red below, is available at this link where you can see additional photos.
The bad news is that the land alone is priced out of my range at $365,000, even if it is a great value. There is no existing house or mention of a well or electricity having been run back there.
So maybe it’s good news that it’s out of my price range. I’m confused.
Contrast this to the $200 that Isaac Medley paid in 1826 for William’s entire 174 acres.
This is part of William’s land and before that, James’ land.
I suspect that the current day line between the two red arrows is the southwestern line of Lucy’s survey.
This topographical map clearly shows the land features such as the ridges and valleys carved by the streams. Lucy’s upper left corner must have been near the upper red arrow. Her property was between the arrows and did not extend as far east as the little blue pond
Lucy lived here for more than half a century. She walked these lands. She is probably buried just a few feet away in the woods where I could walk and visit with her, William, her in-laws and her other children that did not marry and move away. Her parents probably lived nearby and are buried here too or within a mile or so if I just knew who they were and where to look.
OMG, do I need to go back to Halifax County and just take a look? Could I even get high speed internet here? Is there a quilt shop anyplace close?
This is killing me!
The Almost-Missed Gift
The part I almost missed was written on the yellowed back of the papers that were folded into a neat little chancery suit packet and filed away for the next 180+ years.
Lucy’s death is recorded here. Given that the dates on this suit are not on the quarter sessions boundaries meaning March, June, September and December, I suspect that the chancery court was held monthly. Therefore, Lucy probably died in either June or July of 1832 which caused the suit to abate.
Given that the survey occurred in December 1826, I’m unclear why this suit was never resolved and the land never conveyed to Lucy.
Given that the suit apparently was never entirely resolved, that left Lucy’s dower land in legal limbo which caused me a big problem trying to track it forward in time.
Lucy’s 2 Parcels of Land
Keep in mind that Lucy owned 2 pieces of property. The 50 acres conveyed to her by Azariah and the 50 acres that she was entitled to based on this survey. Both were located in close proximity, if not adjacent.
On August 26, 1831, James and Lucy Ives sell to Elizabeth Moore 25 aces adjoining Isaac Medley, James Wilson and others for $1. Both sign with marks. Lucy could have actually died by this time, or the family was preparing for her death.
Note that the furthest north point of Lucy’s survey is described as Wilson’s pine, line or maybe lane, and we know that Isaac Medley did in fact obtain the balance of William’s land.
This deed strongly suggests that one of the women living with Lucy Moore in 1830 was Elizabeth Moore. It’s unclear which 25 acres this is, or how Lucy Moore came to have an interest in this acreage. It could be half of Lucy Moore’s 50 acres from Azariah or half of her 50 acres dower right. But who owned the other 25 acres?
In 1842, Lucy Ives and Elizabeth Moore sell to William Henderson 3.25 acres for $10 adjoining the lines of Henderson and Medley. This deed was witnessed by Edward and Benjamin Ferrell, families found living adjacent in the census. This acreage, added to the 47 acres sold to William Henderson in 1863 by Lucy Ives and Rebecca Slate stated as land where Elizabeth Moore lived would equal either the 50 acres Lucy bought from Azariah or the 50 she obtained from Isaac Medley that was William’s through the chancery suit. I believe that the Henderson land was to the east and south of Lucy’s land, where Henderson Lane is located today.
This only leaves 25 acres of Lucy’s land missing.
On both the 1851 and 1852 tax lists for Halifax County, Elizabeth Moore is shown with her 25 acres on Birches Creek owned in fee, 14 miles SW of the town of Halifax. She is not shown with either 47 or 50 acres. When I was in Halifax County viewing these tax lists, I didn’t realize I should also be looking for names like Ives and Slate. If I were to go back, I would know to look for more. It’s too bad Halifax County is so far away.
The lack of correlation between the deeds and tax lists is frustrating. Perhaps someone else was paying the taxes if Elizabeth was renting it out to be farmed.
A Previously Unknown Child
When I visited Halifax County 15 or 20 years ago and sifted through the chancery suits, they were being prepared to be sent to the Virginia Archives at Richmond. The preparation procedure took months into years, and at that time, the only indexing was by plaintiff and defendant. A very nice man, Lawrence Martin, now deceased, volunteered half a day a week reading and indexing each case and slipping the loose and sometimes scattered papers into manila file folders. As the cases were prepared for scanning in Richmond, additional surnames of people mentioned in the proceedings were added.
Today, using the Virginia Chancery Index, you can enter a surname and view all of the cases that include that surname in the county for a specific date range.
I found Lucy’s suit when I visited, although I nearly ignored it because I didn’t put 2 and 2 together and realize Lucy Moore in the 1830s was William’s wife.
The basement was musty, dusty, humid and hot and I was tired. Photographs were highly discouraged, so I took notes, reams and reams of notes. Today, I would use my phone or a digital camera, but those tools didn’t exist in those days. Unfortunately, my notes didn’t include everything, just what I thought was important at the time.
Thankfully, I reviewed the digital cases at the Library of Virginia because papers had been misfiled and new cases had been unearthed. Lawrence did a huge amount of reconstructing of case files. What a wonderful legacy he left.
The Unknown Suit
One of the most useful cases didn’t include any Moore party as either a plaintiff or defendant, so I had missed it entirely.
In this suit, I discovered a previously unknown child of William and Lucy Moore who gave a deposition in the case Joseph Dunsman vs William Bailey having to do with an outstanding debt involving William Moore.
Prior to reading this suit, I thought that the Lucy Moore who had married James Ives was Lucy Akin Moore, widow of James Moore. James lost his land in 1827 and was absent in the 1830 census. Someone with children was living with Lucy Moore (William’s widow) in 1830 and in 1831 Lucy Moore married James Ives. Subsequently Lucy Ives signed documents involving Lucy Moore. All makes sense, right?
Well, it does make sense, but it just so happens that it’s wrong.
Lucy Akin Moore is not the Lucy Moore who married James Ives.
Lucy Moore gives her first deposition in 1825
Chancery suits are indexed by the date they completed, not the date they were filed.
The suit was filed on Nov. 30, 1825 and William Moore provided a deposition.
Affidavit of William Moore of lawful age to be read into evidence in support of a motion for an injunction…in which Joseph Dunman is plaintiff and William Bailey & Co., defendants.
Sometime in May 1821 the said Moore gave a delivery bond with Jos. Dunman as his surety to William Bailey and Co. conditioned as usual in such bonds for the delivery of certain property therein mentioned. That in the same month and after giving the bond aforesaid he came to William Bailey the acting partner of the firm and after conversing with the said Bailey and shewing him some papers in the said Moore’s possession the said William Bailey said that he would stop all proceedings on the delivery bond aforesaid, as there was little or nothing due to the said firm from the affiant. This affiant also states that the day on which he gave the bond as aforesaid he sent his wife and daughter to the said Bailey on the subject above mentioned and they informed him on their return that the said Bailey told them that the affiant need not trouble himself to bring the property included in the said bond to the day and place appointed for the sale.
William Moore signs and dates November 29, 1825
This deposition and one from Lucy Moore were subsequently objected to because the plaintiffs were not given notification in advance so they could attend and question the person being deposed.
In the file, we find original paperwork from 1821.
This order from the Commonwealth of Virginia dated April 27, 1821 to the Halifax County Sheriff orders him to confiscate the property of William Moore and James Moore in order to settle the debt of 38.1.0 to William Bailey plus $6.69 costs.
Interest was accrued from March 1, 1818 at the rate of 6% per year.
By the time the sheriff’s fees and bond was added, the total was 45.10.0 and was levied against the collateral William had provided.
I wonder if this means that James Moore had nothing, since all property seemed to have been Williams. Was this James’s debt, or William’s?
William and James Moore asked to retain possession of their property until the day of the sale.
How would this family survive with no horses and no furniture?
I am unclear whether or not this sale proceeded in 1821. In the case file are statements about what happened at the courthouse the day of the sale and that Bailey has said he was not prosecuting.
I suspect the sale did not occur, because Lucy states that Bailey does nothing for 3 years. Furthermore, in 1822, William Moore deeds to Isaac Medley his 200 acres on Birches Creek to secure a debt. I would have thought this was to pay the above debt, but apparently it was not, because that debt continued. In 1825, this land was auctioned, and Isaac Medley purchased it for $200 – $1 an acre. Today part of that same land is now worth $350,000. William must be rolling over in his grave.
It’s also worth noting here that William’s land only surveyed for 174 acres, not 200. What happened to that 26 acres?
In 1824, William Moore Sr. gives even more property for security, and now the debt is to Isaac Medley for $560.68. The property consists of one wagon and gear, 4 horses, 3 cattle, 12 hogs, 3 feather beds, furniture, 2 bedsteads, all household and kitchen furniture and plantation tools.
If William loses this bet, the gig is over, because that’s literally everything in the house, plus the property itself including the house. What a huge, huge risk. William must have been extremely desperate.
How does an elderly couple even have this discussion? Was William stoic, determined, angry, or a broken, despondent man? What did he say to Lucy?
Another deed follows that was exceedingly difficult to read that states that William Moore sold 50 acres on Birches Creek to William Hartis (maybe Harris?). The land adjoined his own, that of Isaac Medley and William Ferrell, Esq.
This is a vicious circle. You can’t farm without tools and you can’t keep the tools without using the land as collateral. You sell some land, which reduces your ability to earn. I think William was very disabled by this time which is probably how the debt became so overwhelming.
This also causes me to wonder about William Moore’s cause of death. He was old and this was terribly stressful, so this could have hastened a death from natural causes. It could also have prompted him to committ suicide. That’s entirely speculation, but his death did follow shortly after he lost his land. We know he was gone by the end of November in 1826.
In 1825 William Moore filed a counter-suit and the entire mess drags on until after both Lucy and William have died. The fact that these 2 suits are so closely related also explains why the suit that Lucy brought against Isaac Medley for the land that was sold to satisfy this debt was never resolved and it too abated upon Lucy’s death in 1832. By this time, I’m sure that everyone was just glad it was over.
Based on the March 1832 date on some of these documents without mention of Lucy being deceased, it’s likely that she died between March and July.
In the case file, testimony is included that states that parties considered William Moore to be in essence bankrupt, unable to pay, the debt being uncollectible years before his death. Even if true, how hurtful this must have been for the minister and his wife to endure at the end of their lives when there was absolutely nothing that could be done.
Nearly 7 years later, on March 12, 1832, Joseph Dunman notifies William Bailey that he is going to depose Edward Henderson and Lucy Ives on Friday the 16th.
This 1821 notice states that William Moore and James Moore owe William Bailey 58.12.0 which is given in English pounds, plus $6.64 bail for the debt.
This now explains the suit filed in 1825 by William Moore against Bailey that reached back to 1812 for 1306 pounds of tobacco for which Bailey had never paid William Moore his $68.
Given that William Moore did not have a will when he died, perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of this suit is the list of his property that he gave as security in order for his land not to be confiscated for this debt.
Levyed on the 15th day of May 1821 on two horses five feather beds and furniture, (bed)steads – the property of William Moore the sale appointed and advertised to be in Halifax Courthouse on the 4th Monday of June 1821. A delivery bond with Joseph Dunham security was taken for the delivery of the property on the day and at the place appointed for the sale on the 4th day of June 1821. The plaintiff by their order stayed all further proceedings. Whereupon the bond aforesaid is forthwith returned to the clerk’s office.
I can feel the level of desperation mounting for both William and Lucy. In 1821, William would have been about 71 years old.
In November 1825 in her deposition, Lucy Moore states that she is of lawful age, so I would take that to mean over age 21, although it could be younger for females. This puts her birth before 1804 which is confirmed by later census documents. Lucy clearly states that William is her father and references her mother, which would have been Lucy Moore, William’s wife. Clearly Lucy the daughter was named for Lucy the mother.
The first time I read this, I thought to myself that perhaps Lucy Akin Moore was using the terms father and mother loosely – although that bugged me. At that time, I thought Lucy Moore in the 1825 deposition would have to have been Lucy Akin Moore. Who else could she have been?
Lucy states that:
In May 1821 a sheriff came to William Moore her fathers and was about to seize property to satisfy an execution in favor of William Baily and Company but the said William Moore induced the sheriff to wait and not take his property until he could send down to Major W. Baily whereupon the said Lucy and her mother went down to said Bailey and he informed them to tell this said William Moore to give a bond for any little articles and that he need not trouble himself to deliver the property agreeable to the condition of the said bond, for that there was a hogshead of tobacco that the said Moore had not been paid for as he ought to be and further this affiant saith not.
Lucy then signed with her mark.
Bailey agreed, apparently, that he owed William Moore for the 1812 tobacco.
Lucy’s 1825 affidavit was objected to because no previous notice had been given, so eventually, she provided a second one.
Nearly 7 years later, Lucy is deposed again.
This time Lucy Moore is being deposed as Lucy Ives at John Herbert’s tavern on March 16, 1832.
This deponent objecting from religious motives to being sworn being first duly and solemnly affirmed according to law saith…
My father William Moore sent my mother down to see William Bailey the sheriff had been to William Moors to seaze property for the debt due William Bailey from my father. I went with my mother. He Bailey said that her father might not put himself to any trouble might give a delivery bond on any little thing and he would stop the suit. He told my mother that he should not loose the hogshead of tobacco.
That comment about her religion is very interesting. I am not aware of Methodists or other religions other than the Amish, Mennonite, Brethren and Quakers being unwilling to swear an oath.
As I read this, I wonder why William sent his wife to see Bailey instead of going himself. We know that William had some sort of issue that caused him to be exempt from taxes, likely a physical disability. Could he not walk or ride? Had he suffered a stroke? Is this why Lucy went instead of William going to see Bailey himself?
Question by plaintiff – Did you or did you not understand from William Bailey that the property to be put into the delivery bond was or was not to delivered by him to be sold at the day of sale or was the matter to be stopped until the credit for the tobacco could be settled?
Answer – I understood a stop was to be put to all and afterwards he waited 3 years before he pushed the matter.
Question by same – Did your father give a delivery bond agreeably to William Bailey’s desire and who as the security?
Answer – He did give the bond and Joseph Dunman was his security.
Question by same – Was William Moore able to pay the debt at that time if William Bailey had endeavored to collect it?
Answer – Yes and double that debt.
Question of the agent to the defendant – Are you not the daughter of William Moore?
Answer – yes
Lucy Ives now signs with her mark again on March 16, 1832.
There’s the answer. Lucy Moore, now Ives, is the daughter of both William and Lucy Moore. Of course, by this time William has been dead since 1826 and Lucy is either dead or dies before July of 1832. William can’t be deposed again and Lucy, his wife, was never deposed at all – although I do have to wonder why. Even if Lucy Moore-the-mother is still alive, she is likely in poor health at roughly 78 years of age.
I do wonder if the financial stress and the stress of these lawsuits contributed to their deaths.
The 1850 Census
In the 1850 census, we find:
- Elizabeth Moore, age 50, so born in 1800 (I suspect this is actually too young)
- Lucy Ives age 60, born in 1790
- Rebecca Ives age 40 born in 1810
- Ann Ives age 22 born in 1828
- William Ives age 19 born in 1831.
Elizabeth Moore would be Lucy-wife-of-William’s daughter.
Lucy Ives would be Lucy-wife-of-William’s daughter who married James Ives in 1831. James Ives has apparently died. For a long time, we thought this Lucy was Lucy Akin Moore Ives but based on the deposition, we know that’s not the case.
While Rebecca Ives and Ann Ives were born before Lucy Moore and James Ives were married, it’s not impossible that Lucy Moore Ives had two children before marriage that are in 1850 using her married name. It’s also possible that James Ives had two children from a previous marriage who are now living with Lucy. A third possibility is that these children belong to both Lucy Moore Ives and James Ives and were born before they were married.
In the 1840 census, James Ives is 50-60 living with a female of the same age, with 2 females 30-40, 1 female 20-30, 2 females and 2 males 10-15. It’s impossible to make any inferences except that the female who was age 50-60 was probably Lucy.
This also tells us that Lucy Moore Ives would have married at age 41, so her childbearing years would have been limited.
In the 1830 census, which was before Lucy Moore (the daughter) was married in 1831, in the Lucy-wife-of-William’s household, there were 3 small children, 2 females and a male under the age of 5. Ann Ives could have been that person. Rebecca Ives, whoever she is, could also be the mother of Ann and William Ives. Ives could be a married name for Rebecca.
In 1850, Elizabeth, Lucy and Rebecca lived near the Ingraham, Irby, Womack, Ferguson, Henderson and Anderson families and beside Hawkins Landrum who is noted as a pauper. He was also a preacher.
In 1851, Lucy Moore (wife of William) had been deceased for several years, but in a deed from Isaac and Martha Medley to William Irby, the land is described as “Birches Creek nearly opposite to Vernon Meeting House beginning at Lucy Moore’s corner, Wilson’s corner, Jacob Ferguson corner, same land Isaac Medley purchased of William Moore, decd.” Unfortunately, either I didn’t record the number of acres, or it wasn’t given. Somehow, Isaac had once again come into possession of that land.
Lucy Akin Moore and James Moore
Following James Moore’s loss of land in 1827 for debt, I find no trace of them in any future records. He and Lucy Akin could well have packed up and left Virginia for distant locations. At that time, both Tennessee and Kentucky were prime destinations.
In the 1860 census, we find three women living together 10 houses from Raleigh Moore who lived very near the Henderson land at Oak Level.
In the same household:
- Elizabeth Slate, 50 (born 1810)
- Lucy Ives, 60 (born 1790)
- Elizabeth Moore 58 (born 1792)
I know who Elizabeth Moore is and Lucy Ives, but who is Elizabeth Slate?
Two of Lucy’s daughters married Slate men, but the only one who was married prior to 1810 had a daughter Elizabeth in 1825, so the relationship of this Elizabeth Slate to the other two women is unknown, assuming there is a relationship at all. It could simply have been that Elizabeth Slate was a neighbor that needed a place to live, or she was willing to help care for Elizabeth Moore and Lucy Ives who were aging.
There’s one other possibility as well, and that’s that the census name is incorrect and Elizabeth Slate is actually Rebecca Slate, Lucy’s daughter. The birth year is too late in the census too, because Rebecca married in 1825. So I’m not suggesting that Elizabeth Slate is actually Rebecca Moore Slate, but simply saying that in light of Rebecca Slate’s signature 3 years later in 1863, we know she’s in the area, not accounted for in the census and I can’t find any indication of what happened to William Slate or any children.
Multiple Elizabeth Moores Too
In the Halifax County death records, an Elizabeth Moore died in 1861 and another in 1863.
Multiple Elizabeth Moores were living at this time in Halifax County, so I have to be very careful not to intermix their records.
The Elizabeth Moore who died in 1861 appears to be the daughter of Caroline Brooks who married William Moore, son of Thomas Moore, (probable son of Lucy and William Moore,) according to an 1834 deed followed by an 1861 estate inventory for Carolina Brooks. These two Elizabeth Moores lived in close proximity. This William Moore was living when the 1860 census was taken and his wife Elizabeth was born about 1819 and had a 2-year-old child in 1860, along with other children.
The Elizabeth Moore who died in 1863 appears to be our Elizabeth Moore because the estate of Elizabeth Moore was committed to the sheriff with Hawkins Landrum, appointed and confirmed as appraiser. Hawkins was Elizabeth’s neighbor in the 1860 census.
This means that Elizabeth’s land was conveyed by administrator or commissioner, not under her name which makes it almost impossible to track forward in time. Were I to return to Halifax County, I would peruse the deeds for Hawkins Landrum as conveyor, not Elizabeth Moore.
In 1863, Lucy Ives sells to William Henderson 47 acres for $1175 adjoining with Morgan (William) Irby, William Henderson, Clementine Anderson, land where Elizabeth Moore, decd owned and Lucy Morz. (sic) Lucy Ives and Rebecca Slate sign with their marks.
In 1864, Lucy Ives purchased items at the estate sale of Elizabeth Moore and in 1865, Samuel P. Watkins confirmed the account for the estate of Elizabeth Moore which was continued into 1866. I would love to have those papers! I wonder if Samuel Watkins conveyed her property.
Unfortunately, when visiting Halifax County, I failed to copy the estate inventory of Elizabeth Moore, if it exists. Much of Elizabeth’s belongings probably belonged to her mother, Lucy since it appears that Elizabeth retained the land and house for another 31 years after Lucy’s death.
Unfortunately, there are missing pieces to this puzzle that don’t make sense.
We know that three of Lucy’s children were involved with her land, all 3 being daughters, but these weren’t Lucy’s only children or her only daughters. These may have been the children that Lucy felt would never marry and needed to be provided for. But Rebecca Slate did marry several years before Lucy died.
If some children maintained an ownership interest in Lucy’s land, why didn’t others, especially since Lucy apparently died intestate?
Even using the benefit of the doubt situation, saying that Thomas wasn’t Lucy’s son, but her husband’s brother, we still know of several other children.
We first find Lucy in the records in 1786 witnessing a deed. Based on the number of and ages of the children, assuming that Lucy was William’s only wife, they had to be married by 1772/1775 to have the number of children that were born.
We know that Azariah who was born about 1783 sold land directly to Lucy, so was likely her son.
We know that Nancy, born about 1785, named a daughter Lucy, so she too was undoubtedly her daughter.
The known children of Rev. William and Lucy Moore in rough birth order are listed below, with the daughters who maintained an interest in her land bolded.
Lucy’s signature appears on some of the marriage bonds, a very unusual gift from the past. At least, we think it’s Lucy, not her daughter’s signature. Lucy the daughter signed with a mark. We’re assuming that Lucy Moore’s signature was actually her signature and not signed by someone else.
- Thomas Moore (speculative child) was born between 1771 and 1777, taken from the 1792 personal tax data. This is probably the Thomas who married Polly Baker in 1798 given that his granddaughter’s middle name is Baker. Thomas died in 1801 leaving orphans Rawley and William who were bound by the overseers of the poor to Anderson Moore who had also come from Prince Edward County and bought land from Nimrod Ferguson near James and William Moore. However, the Y DNA of one of Anderson’s Moore descendants doesn’t match the James/William Moore line DNA, but Raleigh Moore’s does. In the 1840 census, Raleigh Moore is living beside Edward Henderson. If Thomas is not Lucy’s son, he is her brother-in-law. The fact that Thomas’s children were bound to Anderson Moore raises the question of why, especially since William Moore lived across the road, and if/how Anderson was related. William Moore was apparently disabled by this time.
- Mary Moore (speculative child) born in 1775, found in 1850 census living with William B. Moore (the orphan of Thomas Moore and brother to Raleigh Moore). One Mary Moore signed Rebecca Moore’s marriage license in 1825 along with Lucy. Since there is no marriage record for Mary Moore, nor did she appear to have shared in her mother’s estate, she may have died before her mother’s land was sold. It’s also possible that the Mary living in 1850 is not the Mary who signed Rebecca’s marriage license in 1825. We do know that Mary is somehow connected due to the marriage document she witnessed.
- Azariah Moore was born in 1783 or before and served in the War of 1812, dying in 1866. Letitia described him at the time of his enlistment as 5 feet 10 inches, nearly black hair, blue eyes and a red complexion. His occupation was deputy sheriff. He married Letitia Johnson in 1818 in Pittsylvania County, having four daughters and two sons. Letitia’s father left her money but stipulated that Azariah couldn’t touch it, nor could it be used to pay his debts. Letitia’s widows pension application was rejected, saying Azariah was not on the roles of Capt. Faulkner’s regiment.
- William Moore (Jr.), born 1775-1785, moved to Pittsylvania County before 1815 and had business dealings with his brother, Azariah. William probably married Sarah (or Sally) and had at least 2 sons and 3 daughters. By 1850 William had died, but his wife Sarah was shown as age 64 (born 1786) along with Nancy Jenkins age 36 (born about 1814), Sarah Jenkins age 11 (born about 1839) and a son William Moore born about 1820, age 30.
- Nancy “Ann” Moore born about 1785 married John R. Estes on November 25, 1811 and moved to Claiborne Co., TN by 1820 where she died between 1860-1870. She had 4 sons and 5 daughters, all but one living to adulthood.
- James Moore born about 1785 married Lucy Akin in 1817, lived beside Edward Henderson in the 1820 census and was absent from the 1830 census. In 1827 James lost his land to debt to Isaac Medley, the same man who purchased William Moore’s land. There is mention of a James Moore in the 1830s pertaining to the chancery suit involving William Moore’s debt, but nothing more is known about James.
- Kitty Moore born about 1788 married Francis Slate in 1805. Her father wrote a note giving permission and her two brothers both signed as her bond, indicating they are both 21 or over. Kitty and Francis are living in Surry Co., NC in 1850. They have son Archibald who is 35 and noted as an invalid, Rabecca (sic) 33 and Elizabeth 25.
- Elizabeth Moore who depending on the census was born either in 1792 or in 1800. She apparently winds up with her mother’s land and never marries. Elizabeth died in 1863.
- Lucy Moore born about 1790, married James Ives in 1831. Given that she would have been 41 at the time, it’s unknown whether she had William Ives with James Ives or whether William was someone else’s child. Lucy apparently died between the 1860 and 1870 census.
- Jane Moore born 1800 or earlier married James Blackstock in 1823. I cannot find this couple in 1830, but in 1840 one James Blackstock was living in Halifax County, age 50-60, female age 40-50 (born 1790-1800), with 2 male children, ages 10-15 and 15-20. In 1850, James Blackstock age 68 (born 1782) lived beside William Henderson, wife Jane 53, so born in 1797, son James L. Blackstock age 21. By 1860, neither James nor Jane are shown in the census, and their son James is married with a family. However, in 1870 James Blackstock, age 88, is living alone beside John Blackstock, age 49, probably his son. It appears that Jane probably didn’t have female children.
Interestingly enough, both Rebecca Moore and Lucy Moore sign Jane’s marriage document, in addition to William Moore.
My original assumption was that the Lucy who signed was Jane’s mother, but that might not be the case. Jane’s sister Lucy was born in 1790, so would have been 33 in 1823 when Jane married – clearly old enough to sign as a witness.
Lucy, the daughter, signs with her mark in the 1825 and 1832 depositions, and this document is signed by Lucy, suggesting that this was signed by Lucy the mother.
- Rebecca Moore born 1800 or earlier married William G. Slayte (Slate) in 1825. I can’t find this couple after their marriage but in the 1850 census, there is a Rebecca Sleet, age 62 (born in 1788) living with John P. Sleet and family in Orange County, VA. In the household is a child by the name of Lucy J. Sleet and Rebecca M. Sleet. In 1863, Rebecca Slate signs a deed selling her mother’s land. One tree on Ancestry shows a William Slate born to William G. in 1833 in Pittsylvania County, died 1896 in Halifax, married a Lucy Jordan and had 4 children. This William is shown on the census to be a minister.
Lucy Moore signs this document too, as does Mary Moore. This document causes me to suspect Mary Moore is another daughter that never married.
Possible additional children of Lucy Moore are the 3 individuals below.
- Lemuel born before 1791, perhaps as early as 1770-1780, appears in 1812 on the Halifax County tax list and in an 1825 debt suit filed against him. Then we find Lemuel in 1830 in Grainger Co. TN beside Mastin Moore, known to be a grandson of William’s brother. Sometimes Lemuel is written as Samuel. Furthermore, a Lemuel Moore married Anna Stubblefield in 1804 in Grainger County and died in 1859 in Laurel County, Kentucky. In 1797, Lemuel Moore is found in Greene County, TN beside Rice Moore, William Moore’s brother. There are clearly two Lemuel Moores. I suspect one is William’s brother and one is William’s son. I have DNA matches through 3 of Lemuel’s children at what would be (1) 4C1R, (2) 5C and (4) 5C1R if the Lemuel in Laurel County, KY is indeed William’s son. If that Lemuel is more distantly related, the relationships would be more distant. The connection could also be through the Stubblefield line, which may be connected through either William’s wife, Lucy, or William Moore’s parents.
- Isaac born in 1793 or before, assigned as a road hand in 1814 with James Moore and Samuel (Lemuel?). Nothing more.
- Israel born in 1791 or earlier, appears 1 time on the tax list in 1812 the same day as William. Nothing more.
Of the above, I strongly suspect one of the two Lemuels is William’s son. The other possibly his brother. There is no record of what happened to Isaac or Israel.
I have a DNA testing scholarship for anyone descending from Lucy Moore through all females to the current generation, which can be male. Lucy’s daughters who had or might have had daughters are listed below
Nancy “Ann” Moore who married John R. Estes and moved to Claiborne County, TN.
Nancy had the following daughters who had children who could have passed Lucy’s mitochondrial DNA to the current generation.
- Lucy Estes (1812-1886) born in Claiborne County, TN and died in Waubaunsee Co., Kansas, married Coleman Rush and had 2 daughters. Only one daughter, Lucy Rush who married William Bell had any females who had females who have living descendants today that represent Lucy Moore’s mitochondrial line. Lucy Rush had daughters:
- Lucy Jane Bell (1891-1969) who married Kirk Irwin Gleason.
- Daughters Austia Bell and Hester Bell are deceased. If they had any children, those children carry Lucy’s mitochondrial DNA.
- One daughter appears to still be potentially living. https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/26845472/person/26891624310/facts?_phsrc=WpM3563&_phstart=successSource
- Temperance Estes born about 1817 or 1818 married Adam Clouse in Claiborne County. They had 9 children including 6 daughters:
- Ann J. Clouse born in 1841 but I find no record of her marrying or having children.
- Mary Mollie Clouse born 1842 married Amos Hutchens, died in Bourbon Co., KY in 1918 and had two daughters, Rosetta Hutchens and Mary Hutchens who both had daughters as well.
- Jemima Clouse who was born about 1844 and about whom nothing more is known.
- Sarah J. Clouse born about 1849 and about whom nothing more is known.
- Louisiana Clouse born about 1856 and about whom nothing more is known.
- Elizabeth Clouse born in 1858 and who may have married Robert F. Cook in 1882. If she had daughters, they would carry Lucy’s mitochondrial DNA.
- Nancy Estes (1820-1890) married Nathaniel Wilburn Hooper and had two daughters
- Mary Hooper born in 1853, nothing further known.
- Malinda Hooper born in 1855, nothing further is known.
- Mary Estes, born about 1830 and died before 1864 in Jackson, KY married William Hurst and had 3 daughters. The only daughter known to marry is:
- Rebecca Hurst (1855-1899) Madison Co., KY who married Silas Charles Harding and had daughters, Mary Harding (b 1874), Julia Harding (b 1875), Martha Margaret Harding (1883-1980), Josie Harding (1892-1981), Rebecca Harding born 1899 and Bessie Harding (1900-1989) who married Elmer Baker. It’s not known if any of these daughters had daughters.
Kitty Moore married Francis Slate and lived in Surry Co., NC. In 1860, Kitty appears to be deceased, but we find Frank Slate, age 92 in Stokes County, NC, with:
- Rebecca Slate age 46, Mary Slate age 13, Lucy Slate age 8 and Kitty Slate age 1. If these daughters are the children of Rebecca Slate, they are likely Lucy’s grandchildren, assuming Rebecca is the daughter of Kitty Moore and Francis Slate and not a daughter-in-law.
Brenda, who descends from this Slate line shows Kitty and Francis’s children to be: John (1809-1970), Azariah (1810-1850), Archibald (1812-1900), William Harrison (1815-1860), Mary Rebecca (1817-?), Peterson James (1820-1875), Isham James (1823-?), Elizabeth (1825-?), Sarah (1825-1869) along with Jeremiah, Robert and Matilda with no dates. No spouses are given for any of the females.
I look at these segments, painted to John R. Estes and Nancy Ann Moore, Lucy’s daughter, and I know some of them descend to me today from Lucy. Hopefully, one day, these segments will help me determine the identity of Lucy’s parents.
What I can say is that I’ve identified the segments on chromosome 6 as belonging to James Moore and Mary Rice, so they did not descend from Lucy. The rest all come from John Estes or Nancy Moore. If they came from Nancy, then some probably descended from Lucy.
There are secrets yet to be revealed.
Lucy’s life was a real challenge to unravel. After discovering her first name, it appeared that the only thing we would ever know about Lucy was her name from deeds. Based on what we know about her husband and children, Lucy’s life must have been exceedingly difficult.
For the beginning of her married life, Lucy raised children and farmed while William was absent circuit riding and ministering. That continued until at least 1796 or 1797 when something happened to William to disable him.
I can’t help but wonder if a horse threw him while he was riding. Of course, any number of things could have happened, none of them good. Lucy would have been about 43 when William’s disability occurred. Lucy was still having children at that time and may have had another child, or two. Regardless, Lucy was left in a situation where she had a houseful of stairstep children to raise and a disabled husband.
Beginning in 1793 and 1794, a schism embroiled the Methodist religion, and drama ensued on that front as well. William left the Methodist church and founded a new religion. I can’t help but wonder if that didn’t have something to do with why Lucy and William bought the land where the meeting house stood in 1797, and perhaps had something to do with why they sold it in 1801. For some reason, the meeting house was not included in the deed either time. Why did Ransom Day want to retain the “Moore Meeting House?” How long had William been preaching there? Perhaps as long as the family had been in Halifax County. We know he began preaching before 1775. Did he stop preaching there because of the schism?
We can rest assured that Lucy was in that Meeting House probably almost as much as she was in her own house.
In 1803, William founded what is today the Pleasant Grove United Church of Christ a few miles down the road with another minister, part of a new religion, an offshoot of Methodism called “Just Plain Christian” and then “The Christian Church.”
William’s financial difficulties began during this period of religious dissention and increased until the end of his life 30 years later. It seemed like one thing after another went wrong.
In 1798, their (probable) son Thomas married, but was dead by 1801, orphaning two young sons, Raleigh and William Moore. Those children were bound out to the neighbor, Anderson Moore.
About this same time, William and Lucy sold the 100 acres of land where the Meeting House stood that they had only owned for 4 years. I’d guess they needed money based on the fact that William was disabled for some reason, but there could also have been some religious pressure as well.
William’s tobacco in 1812 was sold to a warehouse that didn’t credit the sale, went bankrupt and was sold. The new owner didn’t credit the sale either. This dispute would never be unraveled in William’s lifetime and this seemed to snowball into further debt.
Two of Lucy and William’s sons, William and Azariah, were in financial trouble in 1812 too.
The War of 1812 descended upon the family, and son Azariah (reportedly) served as did their new son-in-law John R. Estes.
We know that William could still travel, at least somewhat, because he was just across the border marrying a couple in 1817 for which he was paid a dollar. He provided a deposition in 1819 when the couple wanted to divorce what was rather uncomplimentary in nature.
By 1820, John R. Estes with their daughter, Nancy, had departed for Claiborne County, Tennessee, next door to Grainger County where William Moore’s brothers and also possibly his son, Lemuel, lived already. Lucy would never see Nancy or her grandchildren again. That had to be one heartbreaking day, watching the wagon leave, disappearing into a dot in the distance, with Nancy, age 35 or so and between 5 and 7 grandchildren ranging in age from 7 or 8 to newborn, depending on when they left, exactly.
Were those children waving out the back of the wagon in tears, or did they not realize they would never see their grandmother again? And what about Nancy? She surely understood.
In 1821 and 1822, William’s financial pressures increased, with him signing his land over and eventually, all of his personal property as collateral for debt.
Son James was also embroiled in this transaction.
In 1825, William filed a countersuit regarding the tobacco sale and gave a deposition.
In 1826, Lucy bought land from her son, Azariah.
In 1826, William lost his land and everything else, including their beds, in a protracted series of painful lawsuits, and subsequently died.
Throughout all of this, Lucy was a silent partner. Normally, an elderly widow would fade into oblivion, especially under these circumstances, but that’s not what Lucy did.
Lucy took stock of the situation and did what my Dad referred to as, “pulling herself up by her bootstraps,” taking charge of the situation.
Lucy’s husband William had never obtained her permission by way of a signature when he pledged the land for collateral. He lost the land to Isaac Medley, but Lucy regained her full one-third share by filing a lawsuit a few days after Thanksgiving the year that William died. Clearly, Isaac wasn’t counting on that.
That lawsuit in addition to other chancery suits provide us with incredible insight into Lucy’s life, previously unknown children, and by inference, details about Lucy herself.
Lucy was a silent partner for just so long. When William died, Lucy clearly knew what needed to be done, and did it, regaining her portion of the land. It may have been a “good ole’ boys” network, with deeds being signed in candle-lit taverns, but Lucy was not going to suffer the consequences of being overlooked in subdued, complacent, subjective silence.
Lucy’s estate at her death in 1832 consisted of 100 acres of land that she left, one way or another, to her daughters, based on later sales. Not bad for a minister’s wife who had to save her egg money to purchase 50 acres from her son in her own name 6 years earlier at 72 years of age.
Lucy’s life-long can-do attitude, her perseverance in the face of unbelievable adversity and her bravery remain inspirational today, 187 years after her death.
Lucy, this t-shirt is ode to you from your 4 times great-granddaughter!
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