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Building a Case for his Origins, Life, and Progeny


David A. Moore



Moses Moore was the first county judge for Clark County, Arkansas, serving in that position from 1830 to 1833, and again from January to September of 1836. Born about 1770, he is known to have lived in Georgia, Kentucky, Illinois Territory, and Missouri Territory prior to his coming to what was then Arkansas Territory around 1820. Where and when was Moses born? Who were his parents? Where were his places of residence before finally moving to Arkansas? What about his wife (or wives) and children? Some of these questions remain unanswered after many years of research. On the other hand, many pieces of this puzzle have begun to fall into place. What follows is an attempt to organize the various findings relevant to his origins, life, and descendants.


Both the 1830 and the 1840 census for Clark County indicate that Moses Moore was born between 1770 and 1780. His wife is shown in the 1830 census to have also been born between 1770 and 1780, but the 1840 census places her birth between 1760 and 1770. Records from Mount Bethel Baptist Church from 1836 to 1844 indicate that Moses's wife was named Jane. It is assumed that Jane was the wife shown in the 1830 census as well as the 1840 census. Thus, Jane was probably born around 1770. This being considered, as well as the birth years of Moses's children, it is reasonable to assume that Moses Moore was born around 1770 as well. But where was he born?

Nathaniel Moore and Matthew Moore also arrived in Clark County, Arkansas, around 1820 and are believed to have been related to Moses. Their exact relationship is, as yet, undetermined. Nathaniel may have been a brother of Moses. Nathaniel's family and descendants are well documented, though his parents are unknown. Nathaniel Moore was born 10 Mar 1780 in North Carolina, married Rebecca Adams on 2 July 1801 (place unknown), and died after 1850--probably in Travis County, Texas. He and his family had moved to Texas in 1830. If Nathaniel were indeed a brother of Moses, then it is possible that Moses was also born in North Carolina. In an 1880 census, one of Moses Moore's grandsons (a son of Moses Walker Moore) gave the birthplace of Moses Walker Moore as Virginia. While this was clearly in error, since M. W. was born in Kentucky, it could suggest that our Moores may have migrated southward from Virginia into North and South Carolina before moving on, as will presently be shown, to Georgia. Another near relative, perhaps a brother, may have been Morris Moore, who died in 1823 in Lawrence County, Arkansas--formed out of the "old" Lawrence County, Missouri.

Moses Moore became a magistrate for Clark County, Arkansas, on 23 Feb 1823. Earlier, Matthew Moore was commissioned as a magistrate for Clark County in August of 1821. Little is known about Matthew except that he also went to Texas, probably at the same time as Nathaniel, where he died in 1836. Records for Bastrop County, Texas, indicate that Nathaniel Moore petitioned the court to be appointed the administrator for Matthew's estate, and this request was granted. Their relationship is not stated in the records, and no mention is found identifying any heirs of Matthew Moore.

Moses, Morris, and Nathaniel Moore each had children born in Georgia, Moses beginning around 1795, Morris by the mid-to-late-1790's, and Nathaniel in 1802. They appear to have stayed in Georgia until about 1805, probably in Franklin County. The names of Moses, Nathaniel, Morris and Matthew Moore all appear in the records of Franklin County, Georgia, around the turn of the 19th Century. The following mortgage deed, dated 15 Nov 1795 and recorded 30 Nov 1795, is found in the Franklin County, Georgia, Deed Book KKK, page 27 (Martha Walters Acker, Deeds of Franklin Co, GA, 1784-1826, p 75):

. . . From THOMAS MOORE (X) of Franklin Co. to MOSES MOORE of same. In cons. of 20 pds., "sells on the open market" one bay horse, three cows & calves, three heifers, six head of hogs, 15 bushels of corn, two feather beds and furniture, one dish and bason, ten plates, a pot and dutch oven, a "fallin" ax, one hogshead of cotton, a bridle and saddle. The condition of the obligation is such that if THOMAS MOORE before 1 Sept. ensuing, pays to said MOSES MOORE one likey young horse, valued at 20 pds., then the obligation is to be void. Wit: WILLIAM HOBGOOD, MARY MOORE, THO'S MOORE, J.C.

Thomas Moore was also shown as a J.P. in a 1794 deed in Franklin County. A William Moore, J.P., witnessed a deed dated 9 September 1793. This may have been the same William mentioned in Deed Book C, page 6 (Acker, p 1):

Deed dated Ga. 20 Jan 1787, recd 19 Feb 1787, from WILLIAM MOORE of Spartanburg Co SC to THOMAS HAYNES & THOMAS GLASCOCK of Richmond Co. GA. In cons. of 200 pds, conveys 287 1/2 ac in Franklin Co. on waters of North Fork Oconee Riv, granted to said MOORE 29 July 1785. Wit: WILL STITH . . .

Among the early tax lists for Franklin County, Georgia, we find the following Moores: Norris Moore (1800, p 4); Thomas Moore (1800, p 13); William More (1801, p 7); Thomas More (1801, p 9); Mathew More (1801, p 11); Mathew More (1802, p 19); Morris More (1802, p 19); and Thomas Moore (1803, p 9).

In order to register for Georgia's 1805 land lottery, one must have been a married man (or head of household) with a wife and/or child, one year residence in Georgia, and U.S. citizenship. In Franklin County, there were four Moores who registered for the draw. Proximity of certificate numbers could indicate that the registrants applied at the same time, suggesting that they lived near each other or were friends or relatives. Since Moses Moore appears to have had two sons with the middle name of Walker, it is possible that he was related in some way to some Walkers. The following is a list of Moores and Walkers (along with their certificate numbers) who registered to draw in Georgia's 1805 land lottery: Morris Moore (# 718), Moses Moore (#731), Nathaniel Moore (# 732), Mathew Moore (# 739), David Walkins (# 542), Jesse Walker (# 543), Jeremiah Walker (# 544), Randall Walker (#553), John Walker (# 558), Andrew Walker (# 570), William Walker (# 578), Elizabeth Walker--widow (# 579), and Joseph Walker (# 619). Of these, only Elizabeth Walker received land.

After 1805, our Moores seem to have moved north into Tennessee, perhaps into Roane County. There we find that four Moores signed a petition for a road on 18 June 1807: Thomas, Morriss, Matthew, and Nathaniel. Whether these were the same Moores as were previously in Franklin County, Georgia, is uncertain but seems likely. Some time after 1807, but before October of 1811, we find another Roane County road petition which included the following names: Thomas Moore, Morriss Moore, Nathaniel Moore, John Moore, and William Moore. This seems to be the last mention of Nathaniel, Morris, or Matthew in Roane County. We find, too, that on 6 Nov 1806 a Morris Moore married Dianah Adams in Roane County; surety was provided by Thomas Moore and James Neal (or Nail). This appears to have been the same Morris Moore who later died in Lawrence County, Arkansas, in 1823.

Meanwhile, by about 1807, Moses Moore had traveled on up to Livingston County, Kentucky. Order Book C (page 78) contains a road order apparently made between August 1807 and April 1808, though it may have been as early as April 1806:

Ordered that John Dunnah be appointed surveyor of a road from ferry where Dunnah now lives to David Caldwells with the following hands Jeremiah Walker, Moses Moore, Absalom Stokes, John Hannah, Wm Parker, Jas Axley, Jesse Parker, Thos Bennett, & Coleman Bennett.

Could the Jeremiah Walker mentioned in this order have been the same Jeremiah Walker who registered for the 1805 land lottery in Franklin County, Georgia? Also in this order, mention is made of Jesse Parker. A Jesse Parker (same one?) who was born around 1770-1775 in North Carolina is known to have had children born from about 1799 to 1809 at Nails Creek, Franklin County, Georgia. He later moved to Louisiana and on to Texas. One of his sons, Matthew Arnold Parker (born 1801 in Franklin County, Georgia) had a son born in Texas in 1827 named Morris Moore Parker. Were these Parkers related somehow to the Moores of Franklin County, Georgia?

In 1809, Caldwell County was formed out of Livingston County, Kentucky. The 1810 Census for Caldwell County (page 6) shows that Moses Moore was 26-45 years old. In his household were three other males--two born 1794-1800 (James Walker and Hiram) and one born 1800-1810 (probably Thomas W., assuming that William was not born until after this census). There were six females--two born 1794-1800 (Mary and ? ) and four born 1800-1810 (Rebecca, Nancy, and two unknown). However, if the entry was recorded accurately, Moses does not appear to have a wife. Had she died? If so, and if Jane were his second wife, when and where did Moses remarry? Moses's son William was likely born no later than 1811 in Kentucky. In this 1810 census, Jeremiah Walker was living six households away from Moses Moore, with Jerimiah Latham another two households away. This Jeremiah Latham would later be a neighbor in Clark County, Arkansas. Other Moores listed in the 1810 Census for Caldwell County were Thomas (p 10; age 26-45, probably about 30), Jeremiah (p 17; age 26-45, probably nearer 26), and Joseph (p 17; age 16-26).

Moses was still in Caldwell County, Kentucky, on 18 April 1812 when his ear mark was entered in Court Order Book B1, page 206: "a crop and slit in the right ear and under bit out of the left ear". He was probably still living there when his son Moses Walker Moore was born around 1813.

Some time after this, Moses and his family crossed the Ohio River into Illinois Territory where his last known child John was born on 23 Nov 1815. However, Illinois was not to become a lasting home. Soon they would travel on to Missouri Territory. The "old" Lawrence County, Missouri--not to be confused with the present Lawrence County formed in 1845--was formed in 1815 out of New Madrid County but was abolished in 1818. The 1815 tax lists for Lawrence County, Missouri, included the names Nathaniel Moore, Morris Moore, and Moses Moore, as well as a William Moore(believed to have been related) and a James Moore (thought to have been unrelated). The March 31, 1819, issue of the St. Louis Enquirer contained a delinquent tax list for 1818 Lawrence County. Among the names included on the list were those of Moses Moore and Benjamin Crow. Benjamin Crow was a Revolutionary War veteran who would also become a neighbor of Moses Moore in Clark County, Arkansas. Moses Moore is shown in the 1820 Census Index for Wayne County, Missouri. Also listed in this index were Benjamin Crow, Jester Cox, Charles Galleher, and Thomas McGlocklin. Benjamin Crow and Jester Cox are shown on the 1830 Census for Clark County, Arkansas, as are Charles Gollahur and Thomas McGlaughlin. Unfortunately, the 1820 Missouri census records were all lost.

Finally, some time around 1820, Moses Moore and his family made the trek to Clark County, Territory of Arkansas.

Life in Clark County

If Rebecca Moore were indeed a daughter of Moses, then the family had arrived in Clark County, Arkansas, by 15 November 1821 when Rebecca married John Thompson Edmiston. As previously mentioned, Matthew and Moses Moore were commissioned as magistrates in Aug 1821 and 23 Feb 1823 respectively. Nathaniel Moore's daughter Nancy had married Zebulon Edmiston in Clark County on 13 Jan 1820.

The earliest record found thus far which places Moses Moore in Clark County is dated 17 June 1822 (Circuit Court, #2126) and concerns an event which took place in April of that year. Here Moses files a complaint of theft:

This day personally appeared Mosses Moore before me George butler a Justice of the Peace and made oath that John Percifull of the County of Clark and Territory of Arkansas did on the eighth day of April last past or about that time at the house of Samuel M. Rutherford in county of Clark and Territory afforesaid then and ther unlawfully and forcible did take away a certain Black hors and does still detain the said hors to the great damage of the said Moore and contrary to the form of the statute in such cases this 17 June 1822. Moses Moore . . George Butler Justice of the Peace

On 9 July 1822 Moses Moore signed the following affidavit (Probate, #2073):

The affidavit of George Butler and Moses Moore states that they are the security of Elijah H. Barton for his faithfull administration of the estate of Joseph Taylor Decd and that they verily declare that the said Elijah H. Barton is about to destroy and wast the said Estate by removing the same without the Territory. They therefore pray that the said administrator may be compelled to file this and counter Security----- and that the said Barton on failure thereof may be compelled to surrender his said letters of administration. Sworn to before me this 9th of July 1822,Quincy? S? Biscoe. George Butler , Moses Moore.

As a Justice of the Peace, Moses Moore performed marriages, held court, and witnessed various legal documents. Eventually, he was elected as the first county judge for Clark County in 1830. He served three years in this capacity. Later, he held the same office from January to September of 1836.

To call the Clark County of the 1820's and 1830's a bastion of civilization would be to stretch the truth. When the sheriff's census was conducted for Clark County in 1829, there was a total white population of 1,555 in its five townships. The number of free persons of color or free blacks was three, and there were 133 slaves. Although there were recognized civic leaders and government officials, this frontier land was not a place for the weak or faint-hearted. More often than not, disputes were settled by force rather than by turning to the legal authorities. In reading Clark County's Circuit Court Records for this time period, in light of the sparse population, one is astounded at the number of assault cases which came before the court--and these were the instances in which charges were filed. What of the other physical altercations which were never reported? Of course, when one was on the receiving end of an act of violence or lawlessness, it was certainly nice to know that one could appeal to the governing authorities for redress. One particular instance comes immediately to mind, although the names of the parties escape me. One individual filed assault charges against another man for beating him rather badly. Not content with having soundly beaten the first man, the perpetrator proceeded to bite each finger of his victim--apparently with the intent of crippling the man's hands. His goal seems to have been accomplished, for two or three years later the plaintiff testified that he was still in much pain and had limited use of his hands.

The fact that Moses Moore was a justice of the peace and a county judge did not deter some of his sons from at times acting in a manner inconsistent with the rule of law, ranging from relatively minor infractions to more serious breaches of conduct. On the almost humorous side, in October of 1846 John Moore was fined one dollar for failing to work on the road; John apparently made known his disapproval of the verdict, for it was then "ordered by the Court that John Moore be fined in the sum of two dollars for contemptuous language used to and in the presence and hearing of the court." Years earlier, in 1839, John was committed to the county jail for his part in unlawfully taking a child from its legal guardian; he had helped a neighbor, Mary Rounds, kidnap her own daughter, Ellen, who had been placed under another's guardianship. Ironically, for a time between these two offenses, John served as a constable.

On a much more serious note, William Moore was twice charged with assault. First, William was indicted on the charge of assault and battery "commited on the Body of one Elizabeth Galbreath on the tenth day of September A.D. 1834." (Circuit Court file #2449) The circumstances of the event remain a mystery, but Elizabeth was probably related to William's wife Rebecca Galbreath. Sheriff A. E. Thornton was unable to find William Moore in his bailiwick. It seems William and his family had fled the Territory, since his daughter Mary Jane was born in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, on 18 Nov 1834. Years later, in September 1844, William was charged with assault and battery on the body of Elias Hoffman, it being alleged that he "did beat bruise wound and illtreat and other wrongs to the said Elias Hoofman there and then did to the great damage of the said Elias Hoofman." William was taken into custody at the home of Nancy Bolt by the sheriff who "afterwards released him by he as principal and John Moore as his security entering into a recognisance . . . in the sum of fifty dollars." (Circuit Court file #1682) However, William apparently then left the county. From 8 Nov 1844 through 27 June 1851, ten warrants were issued for William's arrest on this single charge; each time, the sheriff reported that William Moore could not be found in his bailiwick.

To paint their actions in a less negative light, one could say that Moses Moore and his sons imbibed deeply of the frontier spirit of rugged individualism. In their emigrations from Georgia to Kentucky to Illinois Territory to Missouri Territory to Arkansas Territory--and in the case of some of Moses's sons, to the Mexican province of Texas--they faced dangers from outlaws and Indians as well as the hardships and challenges of an untamed land. When they believed they were in the right, they were not afraid to stand their ground and fight. James Walker Moore and Thomas W. Moore both migrated to Texas when it was still under Mexican jurisdiction, and they fought for the cause of independence in the Texas Revolution. Thomas, as it turns out, was not afraid to fight his fellow Texians if necessary. The following story is recounted in the 1893 History of Texas--Together with a Biographical History of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee & Burleson Counties:

After the battle of San Jacinto [Thomas Moore] received word that his first wife was dying, and he immediately went to headquarters to ask for a leave of absence, stating the reason. He was refused by Houston, who said if he attempted to he would be shot. However, Mr. Moore went to his tent and prepared to leave, but Mr. Houston ordered a detail to surround him, and to shoot if he moved. Mr. Moore pointed his gun at Houston and told him to give the word if he dared, but he would be the first to drop, and he returned home in safety.

Back in Arkansas, in August of 1836, brothers Moses Walker Moore and John Moore enlisted as privates in Company E of the First Regiment of Mounted Gunmen with the Arkansas Volunteers. With the instability of Texas to the southwest, and with the threat of outlaws and Indians on the western frontier of Arkansas, forces had been raised to provide for the security of the citizens of Arkansas. The company rendezvoused at Little Rock, Arkansas, on 13 Aug 1836, then was stationed at Fort Gibson, near present-day Muskogee, Oklahoma. From 9 September to 24 December 1836, five deaths were reported in their company. Moses Walker Moore would later apply for a pension for his service in this conflict. After John moved to Texas, he fought for Texas and the Confederacy during the Civil War. It is said that he was wounded in the war and walked with a limp thereafter. The 1880 Census lists him as "maimed, crippled, or bedridden".

William Moore moved to Texas around 1853 (never having been tried for the assault on Elias Hoffman) and lived near his brother James in the counties of Bastrop, Comal, Hays, and Blanco. Danger from Indians was a very real threat. William appears to have died between 1857 and 1860, but nothing is known of the circumstances. On 4 July 1872 in Bandera County, Texas, William's son and daughter-in-law, Joseph Walker Moore and Elizabeth Smith, were killed by Indians. The next year, William's widow Rebecca was also killed by Indians in the same area.

William and his brother James both had sons who fought for Texas in the Civil War. Robert C. Moore, a son of James, served in Wall's Legion with the Confederacy. In 1899, Robert applied for a pension for his service in the war. In Robert's pension file is found the following testimony of fellow soldier W. N. Sneed concerning his personal knowledge of Robert C. Moore:

He was a rather small man, about 5 feet 7 or 8 inches high; compactly built; very stout; complexion was dark, had dark hair, and rather a pugnacious temperament; he weighed about 140 pounds. He never deserted the Confederacy. He wasn't of that stipe. Was made of sterner stuf, and made a good soldier.

Daniel Moore, another son of James Walker Moore, was remembered as an Indian fighter and a Baptist preacher. On 22 Feb 1870 Daniel and his brother-in-law, Riley Walker, set out to transport a load of bacon from Willow Creek (in Gillespie County, Texas) to Fredericksburg, a distance of about 25 miles. About four miles into their journey they were attacked by Indians. Riley Walker was killed in the incident, and Daniel Moore barely escaped with his life, his left arm shattered and bleeding badly from a gunshot wound. Although he regained his health after a three-month illness, the use of his hand and arm was never recovered.

Daniel's youngest brother William was also a Baptist preacher who, in 1886 at about thirty-four years of age, was murdered by a neighbor with whom he was trying to make peace. It seems William's wife, Sarah Jane, had been arguing with the man about a fence dividing their properties. The man went into his house, retrieved a gun, and returned to shoot William. The bullet killed William, passed through his body, and wounded Sarah Jane. Unfortunately, time and space forbid a recounting here of all the tales concerning the descendants of Moses Moore.

Moses Moore & Mount Bethel Church

An account of Moses Moore's life in Clark County would be incomplete without mentioning his membership at Mount Bethel Baptist Church. A Dr. Smith wrote that when he first came to Clark County in 1833, there were two other Baptists in the county--Judge Moses Moore and his wife. On 27 Aug 1836 a group met in the schoolhouse in Caddo Township for the purpose of organizing a local Baptist church. Brother Elder Allen Samuel of the Saline Church preached a sermon from 1 Peter 2:4 & 5, after which the brethren and sisters "agreed to receive Brother Samuel there presbytery to Constitute them into a church." Brother Samuel was chosen as Moderator and Brother Francis I. Browning as Clerk. The initial membership was six in number: four were received by letter--Brother Francis I. Browning, Sister Sarah R. Browning, Brother Michael Bozeman, and Sister Lucy Ann Bozeman; "Brother Moses More and Sister Jane More came forward and was Received by Voucher." A copy of the Confession of Faith for the Saline Church was presented and was received as the Confession for the newly formed Mount Bethel Church. At the end of the meeting, an invitation was given for new members, at which time Mary McDaniel and Winny Ann Malone came forward and were "received by experance."

After the church's first meeting, it appears that Moses Moore did not attend services for almost a year. Among the earlier records are two instances wherein Moses Moore was "cited." On 24 June 1837 "the Church met in Conferance took up the case of Brother More for not attending Church meting since August last therefore Brother Radford McCargo and Michael Bozeman be a committy to labour with Brother More to asertain the cause why why [sic] he does not attend Church Conferances." The committee reported on 22 July 1837 that they had done as the church had instructed them, and "Brother More being preasant gave the Church Satisfaction." Then on 6 Jan 1838, on a motion and second, the church appointed "Breathren John P. Hall and F. J. Browning to wait on brother Moses More and site him to the Conferance for disorderly conduct." The nature of this disorderly conduct was not disclosed. The case appears to have been unresolved by 23 June 1838 when it was ordered by the church that "Breathren John P. Hall and Michael Bozeman be appointed to visit brother More and site him to the next Conferance." Finally on 1 Sept 1838, while the church was in conference, they "Took up the case of Brother More he being preasant gave the Church Satisfaction." Moses must have met with the church's approval, for at that same meeting the church "Appointed Brethren Moses More Radford McCargo and M Bozeman to examin the Clerks Book."

Moses and Jane Moore remained as members at Mt. Bethel until 11 Nov 1843. On that date, several new members were received by baptism: Elizabeth Stroud, Delila Stroud, Rebecca Proctor, Mary Stanley, and Mary A. Allen. Mary Stanley was the widow of Stephen Stanley who had died in 1828, and was in all probability a daughter of Moses Moore. Stephen and Mary Stanley's daughter Mary Ann was married to Elias Allen on 17 Sept 1843 by Moses Moore. Interestingly, after the worship service and reception of the new members, all of these new members, along with Moses and Jane Moore, Mary Hignight, and Joshua Graves, applied for and were granted letters of dismission. These individuals may have joined (or perhaps intended to join) another local Baptist church, perhaps Bethany Baptist or Macedonia Baptist.

About the time Moses and the others had left Mt. Bethel, there appears to have developed a controversy, instigated by Michael Bozeman, between Mt. Bethel and two other Baptist churches of the area (Bethany and Macedonia). Jacob Stroup had applied as a candidate for baptism and membership with Mt. Bethel and was denied. Shortly afterward he applied for membership at one of the other churches and was baptized and received into fellowship even though it was known that Mt. Bethel had rejected him as a member. Over a period of time, the matter festered and things got rather nasty. While in conference on 12 July 1845, the church received the report submitted by the committee assigned to look into the matter:

We the committee of Mount Bethel Church appointed to labour with Bethany Church to remove a grievance which Mount Bethel Church profers against Bethany Church on account of a hurt and dissatisfaction with brother E B Carter who is charged with violating the gospel dicipline in suplying Macedonia a sister Church when that Church received Jacob Strope Senr as a member after he had been refused admittance unto Mount Bethel Church brother Carter having baptised said Stroope and continued to supply the Church as there pastor beg leave to report that we waited on Bethany Church in conferance assembled and lay our greviances before them who refused to here us alledgeing as a reason for so ding [sic] that they considered we had not taken legal gospel steps in first requireing private dealings by the members firs [sic] agreived. June 14th 1845 F. Jordan Wm Mainard } committe

Mt. Bethel Church determined that the Bethany Church had made a valid point. A vote was taken, and it was decided that Brother Bozeman had not taken the proper steps. Meanwhile, Brother Bozeman had apparently ceased by his own will to fulfill his responsibilities as a deacon. What transpired next is questionable due to the wording of the church minutes for 21 July 1845: "On motion & secon that the report of the committee was to labour with Brother Bozeman to assertain the cause of his not acting as decon which Report was thrown out of the Church after which motion Brother Bozeman declared a non fellowship with the acts of the Church for which the Church holds herself no more responsble [sic] for his Conduct afterwards." Ten months later, on 16 May 1846, the church voted unanimously "that the Former acts of this Church in the exclusion of Bro M Bozeman . . . is hereby recinded and that Bro M Bozeman is restored to full fellowship as before as though such act of exclusion had never taken place."

By 13 June 1846 the church seemed to have forgotten that Mary Allen (likely a granddaughter of Moses Moore) was no longer a member. On that date, the conference minutes state, "Whereas sister Mary Allen a member of this church has been guilty of unchristian conduct--Resolved that Bro S. W. Marbury and Wm. F. Browning demand her [sic] Sister and cite her to the next conference." By 11 Sept 1846 they had not accomplished their task, so "Sister Cordelia E. Marbury and Sister Mary S. Browning was appointed to wait on Sister Mary Allen (when she come to church) and report to the committee." Also on that date, they determined to cite "Bro Joshua Graves for holding his letter obtained out of the church and not joining some other."

On 7 Nov 1846 the church "took up the case of sister Mary Allen and Bro Wm F Browning reported that he had discharged his duty--and could not procure any testimony to establishes [sic] the charges--also handed in her letter previously obtained from this church and she was received again unto the church."

Had Mary Allen done as Joshua Graves, holding her letter but failing to join another sister church? What of Moses and Jane Moore and Mary Stanley? Had they joined another church? Was there a degree of friction present in Mt. Bethel Church by November of 1843 sufficient to have had any part in the decision of nine members to request letters of dismission at one service?

Little is known about Moses Moore after his leaving Mt. Bethel. He continued to serve as a JP in Clark County. In April of 1844 Moses was appointed to hold an election. The last known record of Moses Moore is found in the Clark County Stray Book for 1834-1845 in an entry dated 12 Dec 1844 in Terrenoir Township, "sworn to and subscribed before me the day and date above mentioned . . . Moses Moore J.P."

The Death of Moses Moore

No probate records have been found pertaining to the death of Moses Moore, nor are there any deed records to suggest that he moved out of the county or that he transferred property to relatives. He and his wife Jane seem to have just mysteriously vanished. The earliest tax records for Clark County are for 1845. The names of Thomas Moore, John Moore, Moses W. Moore, Hiram Moore, and William Moore appear in the tax records for both 1845 and 1846, but there is no mention of their father Moses Moore. An historian by the name of Brent wrote in 1888 that "Moses Moore lived and died near Greenville on Moore's Creek, named for him. He was reputed to be a good man and useful citizen." (Clark County Historical Journal, Spring 1986) We may conclude that Moses Moore probably did die near Greenville as claimed by Brent, probably in the early part of 1845.

Moses Moore's Family

In the absence of probate records for Moses Moore or of a family Bible, and since the federal census records prior to 1850 named only the heads of households, determining the members of Moses Moore's family has not been without its difficulties. Nevertheless, through census records and various legal documents such as marriages, other probate records, and circuit court records, the conclusion is drawn that Moses probably had at least the following twelve children:

  1. James Walker Moore--(b about 1795 in Georgia; d after 1857; m Matilda Dean on 2 June 1825 in Clark County, Arkansas)

  2. Mary (a.k.a. Polly) Moore--(b 1794-1800; d after 11 Nov 1843; m Stephen Stanley)

  3. [unknown female]--(b 1794-1800; d after 1810)

  4. Hiram Moore--(b 1798 in Georgia; d 10 Dec 1858 in Clark County, Arkansas; m1 Nancy _____; m2 Catherine G. B. [Eads] on 12 Nov 1856 in Clark County, Arkansas)

  5. Rebecca Moore--(b 8 Dec 1801 in Georgia; d 9 June 1857 in Washington County, Arkansas; m John Thompson Edmiston on 15 Nov 1821 in Clark County, Arkansas)

  6. Thomas W. Moore--(b about 1803 in Georgia; d after 1874, probably in Texas; m1 Nancy _____; m2 Mathilress Yates)

  7. [unknown female]--(b 1800-1810; d after 1810)

  8. [unknown female]--(b 1800-1810; d after 1810)

  9. Nancy Moore--(b about 1808 in Kentucky; d after 1850; m Abraham Bolt)

  10. William Monroe Franklin Moore--(b about 1811 in Kentucky; d 1857-1860, probably in Blanco County, Texas; m Rebecca Galbreath on 23 Oct 1831 in Clark County, Arkansas)

  11. Moses Walker Moore--(b about 1813 in Kentucky; d after 1880; m Priscilla West on 30 Mar 1837 in Clark County, Arkansas)

  12. John Moore--(b 23 Nov 1815 in Illinois Territory; d 7 Jan 1896 in Taylor County, Texas; m1 Rebecca R. Lightfoot on 16 Nov 1837 in Clark County, Arkansas; m2 Martha Ann Kelly on 12 Feb 1863 in Red River County, Texas)

The last census in which Moses Moore has been found is that of 1840 Missouri Township, Clark County, Arkansas (the first entry on page 108). The only members of his household are he and his wife Jane, who, of course, is not named. The next six entries are as follows: John Moore, Moses W. Moore, Henry L. Lightfoot, Henry T. Lightfoot, Mary Stanley, and Mary Rounds. John Moore and Moses W. Moore were of the right ages to have been the two youngest males in Moses Moore's 1830 household. Henry Lee Lightfoot was a son of Henry Taylor Lightfoot; he married Sarah Stanley, daughter of Mary (Moore) and Stephen Stanley. Henry Taylor Lightfoot was the father-in-law of John Moore. Mary Stanley was the widow of Stephen Stanley and, in all likelihood, was a daughter of Moses Moore. It is unknown at present whether Mary Rounds were related to the Moores. It was this Mary Rounds whom John Moore assisted in the "kidnapping" of her own daughter, Ellen Rounds. From Bible records it is known that Henry Taylor Lightfoot had a daughter named Mary born 20 Nov 1808, but what became of her is unknown. Current speculation is that it was Mary Lightfoot who was married first to John Rose, then to Lyman Rounds, and later to John Swanson Yarbrough, Jr.

In nearby South Fork Township of the 1840 census, the following six families are living in this order: Abraham Bolt, John Bolt, Miles G. Bolt, William Moore, William Lightfoot, and Hiram Moore. Abraham Bolt was the husband of Nancy (Moore). Miles G. Bolt was a son of John Bolt who, in turn, was probably a brother of Abraham. William Moore was the right age to have been the oldest son living in Moses Moore's 1830 household. William Lightfoot was a son of Henry Taylor Lightfoot; William married Deidra Mary Bolt in 1839. Hiram Moore was probably a son of Moses Moore; the two were living six households away from each other in the 1829 Sheriff's Census.

One would expect the 1829 Sheriff's Census and the 1830 Federal Census for Clark County to be very similar, and they are, although there are some differences to be noted. In both of these censuses, as well as in the 1840 census, the only Moore old enough to be the father of the presumed children of Moses Moore is Moses himself. Nathaniel and Matthew Moore had left Clark County prior to this time. In 1829 Antoine Township, Hiram Moore is living six households before Moses Moore. Hiram and his wife had five males under 18 years of age. Moses and his wife had three younger males in the home--one aged 18-21 and the others under 18; these would be William, Moses Walker, and John. The very next household after Moses Moore's is that of James Moore who had a wife and one male child. Three houses after James Moore was Willis Standley who in 1830 would be living next to James Walker Moore in Stephen F. Austin's Colony in Texas. Another two households would bring us to John Rose and his wife (Mary, who would later marry Lyman F. Rounds after the death of her husband John). Also in Antoine Township were the families of Abraham Bolt (he and his wife had two sons under 18) and Mary Standley (with three sons under 18 and three daughters under 14).

In 1830 Antoine Township, Abraham and Nancy Bolt still had the two sons (both under 5) and no daughters. Three households later we find that Moses Moore and his wife still have three sons (one was 10-15 and the other two were 15-20)--John, Moses W., and William. Mary Stanley still has three sons (one was 5-10 and the others were 10-15) and three daughters (one under 5 and two 5-10). Hiram Moore was living in nearby Caddo Township and appears to have had another family living with him since there were now nine males (three under 5, one 5-10, three 10-15, one 20-25, and one 25-30) and three females (one 5-10, one 20-25, and one 25-30). Who this other family was is uncertain, though it was not likely the family of either Thomas W. Moore or James Walker Moore. James is not found in the 1830 census for Clark County since he had gone to Texas. Likewise, Thomas was in neither the 1829 nor the 1830 census; by his own testimony in his Texas Revolution pension application, he came to Texas in 1827 (though it was more likely after April 1828, at which time he appears to have been one of the witnesses to Stephen Stanley's will).

Stephen Stanley's will (Clark County Will Book A) suggests a link between his wife Mary and Moses Moore, Thomas W. Moore, and Thomas A. Moore. The will was dated 2 Apr 1828 and was probated 1 July 1828. Stephen named as his executors Polly Stanley and Moses Moore. Children named in the will were Joshua, Ephrum, Willias, Sary, Jincey, and Polly. There were two witnesses to the will--Thomas A. Moore and Thomas Moore. Thomas A. Moore was almost certainly Thomas Adams Moore, son of Nathaniel Moore and Rebecca Adams. The other Thomas Moore was probably Thomas W. Moore, presumed to have been a son of Moses.

Thomas W. Moore had gone to Texas before James Walker Moore had. Both lived on Caney Creek in Matagorda County. According to his Texas Revolution pension application, Thomas moved to Washington County, Texas, in 1835. Washington County records indicate that James also moved there by 1837. In all likelihood, they made the move together.

After the death of his first wife, Thomas W. Moore married Mathilress Yates and returned to Clark County where his daughter Marinda was born in January of 1840. However, Thomas was not shown in the 1840 census for Clark County although he did appear in the tax records for 1845 and 1846. His whereabouts in 1850 is not known, but in 1860 Thomas--whose occupation was shown as "sportsman," a professional gambler--was in the household of Robert and Epsey Brown in Leon County, Texas. Epsey, short for Eppaletta, was a daughter of James Walker Moore. Also in 1860, Thomas's daughter Marinda was living with her brother Nathaniel Moore next to Mary Moore, widow of Thomas Adams Moore, in Travis County, Texas.

The three younger males in Moses Moore's household in both the 1829 Sheriff's Census and the 1830 Federal Census must have been William, Moses Walker, and John. The fact that William was a member of Moses's household at that time is demonstrated in the Clark County Circuit Court Records (file #1112) of September 1830. Alvey R. Johnson was indebted to Moses Collins, so on 14 Sept 1830 the county coroner was directed "to attach Alvey R. Johnson by all and singulars his lands and tenements goods chattels monies credits and effects." Subsequently, Coroner Benjamin Lewis executed the attachment in the townships of Caddo and Antoine on the 18th and 20th of that month. Mr. Lewis recorded the following about one of his acts in Antoine Township:

Also on Moses Moore in the Antoine ["Caddo" is crossed out] Township by reading in the presence of Wm Moore and family of the said Moses Moores one of the within named on the 20th day of Sept 1830.

Later in the same document, Mr. Lewis wrote regarding the same visit:

. . . also by going to the place of residence of Moses Moore in the township last aforesaid, on the 20th day of September 1830, the said Moses Moore being then & there present and then & there in the presence of Wm Moore a creditable person of the neighbourhood, declaring that I attached all and singular the goods chattels rights credits monies effects, lands and tennements of the said Alvey R. Johnson, & then & there reading the said attachment to the said Moses Moore, . . .

In the years that followed, other events which occurred support the proposition that William was closely related to Nancy, Moses Walker, John, and James Walker Moore. Abraham Bolt died in Clark County on 13 Oct 1844, naming Benjamin Bolt as the executor of his will and Nancy Bolt, his widow, as the executrix. On 2 Nov 1844 the following persons were bound to make inventory of the possessions of Abraham Bolt: Nancy Bolt, Benjamin Bolt, William Moore, John Moore, Moses [W.] Moore, and John K. Allen. A few months later, on 14 Feb 1845, the sheriff took William Moore into custody (for his assault on Elias Hoffman) "at the late residence of A Bolt in South Fork Township and afterwards released him by he as principal and John Moore as his security." William bolted the county, and Sheriff Thornton was never able to apprehend him again.

The 1850 census found William Moore, John Moore, Moses W. Moore, and Nancy Bolt all living in Ouachita County, Arkansas. William and John were in Liberty Township, households 51 and 53 respectively. Moses W. Moore and Nancy Bolt lived next to each other in Marion Township, households 78 and 79. Finally, around 1853, William moved to Texas. There he lived near James Walker Moore in Bastrop, Comal, Hays, and Blanco Counties. The Comal County Deed Book E (p 471, #2866) records a deed from Bastrop County, dated 6 Nov 1855, wherein James W. Moore granted power of attorney to William Moore for the purpose of selling land on his behalf.

Rebecca Moore married John Thompson Edmiston in Clark County, Arkansas, on 15 Nov 1821. Evidence that she was a daughter of Moses Moore is less compelling than is the evidence that the others were children of Moses. John and Rebecca moved to Washington County, Arkansas, in the late 1820's. Rebecca was not a daughter of Nathaniel Moore and so, by default, was likely a daughter of Moses. Additional support, however, is found in the naming of her children. Their first child was named Moses A. Edmiston, named perhaps after his maternal grandfather,Moses Moore--or, just as easily, after his paternal grandfather, Moses Edmiston. Another child, Mary Ann, was perhaps named after Mary Moore who married Stephen Stanley. Of course, Mary is a very common name. Finally, there was a son, Hiram Neely Edmiston, who may have been named after Rebecca's presumed brother, Hiram Moore.


Moses Moore was indeed, in the words of another historian, "a good man and useful citizen," who left his mark in this world, particularly in Clark County, Arkansas. Geographically, Moore's Creek still exists,continuing its long, meandering route until it finally merges with the Terre Noir Creek. As for his religious influence, Brother Moore was a founding member in 1836 of Mount Bethel Baptist Church--a church which continues to function to this day. Concerning his civic involvement, Moses served as a justice of the peace for many years, performing marriages for couples whose descendants now live not only in Clark County, but in faraway places as well. Judge Moore sat as Clark County's first county judge when Arkansas was still a territory of the United States and also during that time in 1836 when it moved from territorial status to sovereign statehood. Moses Moore's greatest legacy, though, would be his many descendants who have themselves become "good and useful citizens." Undoubtedly, there have been a few scoundrels along the way, but there have also been men and women of noble character. Some have placed their own lives at peril while serving their fellow citizens during time of war. Others have influenced society in their capacity as educators, as ministers of the gospel, as civic leaders, as persons of integrity in their work and business practices, and as faithful husbands, wives, and parents.




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