Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Moore Family - All Other Free Persons


From: http://www.other-free.com/blogspot/?page_id=31
with permission from Jim Hall

The Moore Family

Where did the fpc/mulatto Moores live before moving to Rockingham County, North Carolina, about 1778?  That question has plagued me for decades and caused years of research.  Unfortunately, I have not found a definitive answer because there is no reliable trail of deeds, wills, tax lists or other documents to point us in the right direction.  I will attempt to answer that question by giving you my best guess based on the information I have collected to date.  I freely admit that I cannot prove my theory with documents but it is my hope that the theory is someday proven or disproven, through research, newly found documents and DNA.  In analyzing my “best guess” we will look at some of the available information and the surrounding circumstances and see if we can draw some reasonable inferences from that information.
The most well-known location where the people who came to be known as “Melungeons” lived is Hawkins and Hancock Counties in Tennessee.  These two counties had a large population of mulatto/fpc people and many descendants of the original settlers still live in the area.
It is important at the outset to consider a couple of questions.  Was it an historical and geographical accident that these people migrated to and lived in the same area of Tennessee?  Was it just a coincidence?  I think not.  Several of the families moved into the area together, as a group.  Some of the families or the ancestors of those families had been acquainted at some time and location prior to moving to Tennessee.  Sometimes the group would split and go in different directions only to meet again at a new location.  Sometimes, a family would drift off from the group and in a short time become “white” on documents and lose their connection to the group.  Members of the group, and their ancestors, tended to intermarry within the group as the group slowly migrated westward.  Continuous intermarriage within the group was the primary force that retained and preserved those characteristics in the individual which led to them being called “Melungeon” or listed as mulatto or fpc on documents.
Let’s begin our discussion of the Moore family in Rockingham County, North Carolina, with John Moore and try and establish some relationships.  We know for a fact that John had five sons and I will suggest that he had a father, Charles, and probably three brothers, James, Andrew and Ephraim.
The most valuable document in researching these Moores, and the most well-known, is John Moore’s Revolutionary War pension application.  The pension application was made by John in 1834 in Floyd County, Kentucky, and, after his death, by his wife, Sally.  From that application we learn that John was born in May of 1758 in Orange County, North Carolina, that he married Sally Goodman in March of 1784, in Rockingham County, and, they had five sons, Joel, Andrew, Obadiah, Edmund and John Jr.
John would have been about 26 years of age at the time of his marriage and Sally, who was born about 1765, was about 19 years of age.  We know John lived for most of his adult life in, first, Surry County, and then across the county line in the north-west corner of Rockingham County in an area which came to be known as Goinstown.  The Moores lived along Hickory and Buffalo Creeks of the Mayo River just south of the Virginia line.

Buffalo and Hickory Creeks in the Goinstown area of Stokes & Rockingham Counties
Unfortunately, the 1790 Federal Census for most of the Goinstown area of Rockingham County is missing but, listed on the 1800 Rockingham County census is Charles Moor with a total of two, “All other Free Persons”, in his household.  These two people are Charles and probably his wife.  Charles may have had two wives because a Charles Moore married Elizabeth Going on August 28, 1795, in Henry County and our Charles is the only Charles Moore in the area at the time.  Charles is listed on the 1830 Rockingham census as a “Free Colored Person” aged 55-100 years, living alone and he then disappears from the record.  Since Charles was listed as a free colored person then he would have inherited those characteristics from his parents, he did not get them through his marriage.  He probably died sometime between 1830-1833 and John and Sally then moved to Floyd County, Kentucky.  If Charles was John’s father, and I think he was, then Charles was probably born about 1735-1740 and he would have been well into his 90’s at the time of his death.
It appears from available records that Charles Moore was the first of these Moores to be a land owner in the Goinstown area.  On 30 November 1778, Charles received a land grant from the State of North Carolina for 100 acres on Fish Pot Branch in Surry County (later Stokes) bordering the Guilford County line (later Rockingham County).  Fish Pot Branch was described in another land grant as, “Water of Mayo River”.  Charles Moore’s chain carriers were George Gibson and James Jackson.  In 1781 John Moore and James Moore entered military service from their home in Surry County and returned to their home in Surry after their service.  John did not marry until 1784 and there is no document showing that John, James or Andrew Moore owned land until after 1784.  John and James, unmarried, were probably living with their father, Charles Moore, when they entered and returned from the Revolutionary War.
John and Sally’s oldest son, Joel Moore, moved to Russell County, Virginia, in the early 1800’s with James Moore (probably his uncle).  Joel and James Moore, and Charles, Thomas, James, David, John, and Reuben Gibson are all living in Russell County, Virginia, by 1802, and included on the Lower District tax list.  Joel Moore was about 16 or 17 years old at that time.  In 1803 members of the Moore and Gibson families began attending the Stony Creek Baptist Church which was located in Russell county at the time.  Joel Moore and John Gibson remained in what would become Scott County, Virginia, while James Moore, Charles Gibson and others moved over to Hawkins County, Tennessee. Joel Moore married Juda Gibson about 1807, probably the daughter of John Gibson and John’s wife, Juda Hogg.  The Hogg family were neighbors of the Gibsons back in Caswell County.
John Moore’s other three sons, Andrew, Obadiah and Edmund, moved to Floyd County, Kentucky about 1816-1818.  John, Sally and son, John Moore, Jr. and his family, moved to Floyd County, Kentucky, in the fall of 1833.
Andrew and Obadiah both received land grants on Bull Run in Floyd County and were listed as fpc on the 1820 census.  Listed between Andrew and Obadiah as fpc, on the 1820 census, was James Steel.  His surname was probably Casteel because Obadiah married Mary Polly Casteel in 1818 in Floyd County.  Also in Floyd County in 1820 was Valentine Collins, Zachariah Gibson and Martin Gibson.  It appears these Moore, Gibson and Collins families moved into Floyd County at about the same time.  Soon afterwards members of the Bunch, Branham, Goodman and Mosley families moved into Floyd County and eastern Kentucky.

Obadiah Moore’s grave marker in this abandoned Moore Cemetery west of Prestonsburg,
 Floyd County, Kentucky.  It is believed that his parents, John & Sally Moore, are also buried here.
James Moore, probably the brother of John and son of Charles, lived in the north-east corner of Surry County (now Stokes) prior to moving to Virginia and Tennessee.  James Moore may have married a daughter of Charles Gibson.  James and Charles Gibson lived next to each other on Newman’s Ridge in Hawkins County.  In 1833 James Moore applied for a Revolutionary War pension while living in Hawkins County and Vardy Collins was a witness to the application.  Like John Moore, James entered the military in 1781 from Surry County, North Carolina, served under Captain Humphries, was discharged several months later and returned to his home in Surry County.  James stated in his 1833 application that he was 70 years old so he was born about 1763.  James was probably John’s younger brother.
Andrew Moore may have been, like James, a son of Charles and brother of John.  But, it is possible that here were two Andrew Moores related to Charles. In 1778 several of our related families traveled to Wilkes County, North Carolina, to survey land for land grants.  Joel Gibson, from Orange and Rockingham Counties, surveyed land on Cranberry Creek of the New River and his chain bearers were John Hall and Joel Moor (I have no other information about this Joel Moor and this survey occurred about eight years prior to the birth of John and Sally’s son, Joel).  Joel Gibson’s land was adjacent to William Nall’s land.  Abraham Rowland received a land grant and the prior occupants of the land were William Nall and Micajah Bunch.  Benjamin Cleveland received a land grant and the prior occupant was also Micajah Bunch.  Owen Sizemore received a land grant during this time period.  Ambrose, Charles, David and George Collins, David and Mary Gibson, and Micajah and Julius Bunch all owned land in Wilkes County in 1778.  Micajah Bunch was living along Cranberry Creek in 1780.  Micajah Pennington received a land grant on Elk Creek of the New River and Andrew Moore was a chain carrier. Andrew Moore and Joel Gibson then returned to Goinstown but they and Micajah Pennington and the Collins families are all living in the 10th District of Wilkes County by the time of the 1790 census.
An Andrew Moore was living in Montgomery County, Virginia, in 1782, along with Ambrose, Lewis, John, George and David Collins.  The Moore and Collins families were old friends from back on the Flatt River.  Andrew Moore is then listed on the 1782, 1784, 1785 and 1786 Surry County, North Carolina, Tax Lists.  In 1786 he is listed in Captain Hickman’s District as is Joel Goodman, John Gibson and several Riddle families.  Andrew bought land in Surry County in 1785 and sold it in 1787.  The land would have been close to the land received by Charles Moore in 1778 by a land grant.  Andrew Moore is then in the 10th Company of Wilkes County, North Carolina, in 1790, living next door to Dorothy Gipson and David and Martin Collins.  Andrew had one male and three females in his household.   Several other Gibson and Collins families are in Wilkes County at that time as the group was migrating west.  An Andrew Moore and George Gibson are living in Lee County, Virginia, in 1803.
Andrew Moore is listed on both the 1782 Montgomery County, Virginia, tax list and the 1782 Surry County, North Carolina, tax list. These two counties were not that far apart so it is possible that the two tax lists are referring to the same Andrew, if the lists were recorded at different times of the years, or, there were two Andrew Moores.
There is another group of Moores in the Goinstown area that are part of the Moore family.  Ephraim Moore and his two sons, Jeremiah and Shadrach, are listed on the 1813 and 1814 Henry County Tax Lists for “Free Negroes and Mulattos”.  A Christopher Moore and Hosa Moore are on the 1814 list but I do not know who they are and they disappear from the record.  About 1815 Ephraim and his family moved to Cumberland County, Kentucky.  On July 18, 1816, Shadrach Moore married Priscilla Bunch in Cumberland County.  The Bunch families had been living in Cumberland County for several years prior to the Moores moving there.  Priscilla was the daughter of either Julius or Israel Bunch and a granddaughter of Micajah Bunch.
We must stop here and ask a couple of questions.  Was it just an historical accident that Shadrach Moore met and married Priscilla Bunch in Cumberland County?  Was it just a coincidence?  Why did Ephraim and his family move to Cumberland County?  None of the other mulatto families moved with him.  Did Ephraim move to Cumberland County because the Bunch family had settled there?  Was Ephraim’s wife a Bunch who wanted to see her family?  We don’t know the answers to those questions but it is reasonable to assume that the Moores knew the Bunch family from Goinstown and the Flatt River.  If the two families knew each other then a marriage between a descendant of Micajah Bunch and a descendant of Ephraim Moore makes perfect sense.
Ephraim died between 1820 and 1830 and during that time Shadrach Moore, Julius Bunch, Israel Bunch, Clayborn Bunch and James Bunch moved to Greene County, Indiana.  They were all listed as ”Free Colored Persons” on the 1830 Federal Census.
Some of Ephraim Moore’s descendants moved south to Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.  Two of those descendants have completed DNA testing which shows a close match to the descendants of John Moore, Sr.  I am a descendant of both John Moore, Jr., and his brother Andrew Moore, due to close family member intermarriage.  The DNA test results show that my line and Ephraim Moore’s line are closely related.
About the same time that Charles Moore and Thomas Gibson moved to the Goinstown area other mulatto families began arriving: Jesse Goins (probably the first Goins to settle in what would become known as Goinstown, moved from the St. James District of Orange County), Randolph Riddle, Micajah Bunch, Joel Gibson, Hezekiah Minor, Benjamin and Malachi Branham and others.  Some families stayed and others stayed briefly then moved on.
At the time of John Moore’s marriage to Sally Goodman there were three Goodman families in the Goinstown area.  Charles Goodman is listed on the 1787 Henry County Personal Property Tax, List B.  Charles Goodman and his wife Jane Goodman are listed on the 1762 Granville County tax list in Smith’s Creek District and described as mulatto.  Charles and Jane were probably living in the same area in 1771 because they are listed on the Franklin-Warren county tax list.  They then disappear from that area.
Joseph Goodman is listed on the 1782 Henry Co., Virginia, Personal Property Tax List.  He then disappears from the Goinstown area.  In 1790, Joseph Goodman received a land grant in Washington Co., North Carolina, now Tennessee.  In 1791, in Washington Co., Joseph Goodman deeded land to David Denham.  David Denham was born in 1754 in Louisa Co., Virginia, and David entered the Rev. War from Guilford Co., North Carolina.  Since David Denham was from Louisa County, the deed suggests a connection between Joseph Goodman and Louisa County.  A John Goodman was a neighbor to the families in Louisa.  In 1813, in Hawkins County, Tennessee, David Denham filed a court action against Obadiah Goodman which, again, suggests some sort of a relationship between David Denham and the Goodman families.
Joel Goodman is listed on the 1786 Surry Co., census in Capt. Hickman’s District.  The census for that District was taken by John Childress, the Magistrate who performed John Moore and Sally Goodman’s marriage.  John and Sally named their first born Joel so Joel Goodman may have been Sally’s father, brother or other relative.  Joel Goodman then disappears.
In 1839, Elizabeth Goodman, sister of Sally Goodman, and William Moseley were living in Floyd County, Kentucky, and they both gave testimony in support of Sally’s claim for Rev. War Pension benefits due to the death of Sally’s husband, John.  In 1839, in Hawkins County, the following deed was executed:  Priscilla, Polly and Elizabeth Goodman, all of Floyd County, Kentucky, on one part, and Joseph Goodman or Joseph Jones of Hawkins Co., land on north Side of Clinch Mountain that formerly belonged to Obadiah Goodman, deceased.  The deed was signed by Priscilla, Polly and Elizabeth Goodman with Oaths from Pleasant Goodman and Edward Goodman.
William Moseley gave testimony in support of Sally’s application that he lived in the same neighborhood as the Moores in Rockingham County, North Carolina, and knew the Moores well and knew of the marriage.  There is also a Goodman deed in Hawkins County witnessed by William Moseley.
The above suggests a link between John Moore and Sally, his wife, and Elizabeth Goodman, Obadiah Goodman, Joseph Goodman and David Denham, and the locations of Floyd County, Kentucky, Hawkins County, Tennessee, Rockingham County, North Carolina, and Louisa County, Virginia.
So, let’s again consider a few questions:  Was it an historical and geographical accident that the mulatto Moore, Goodman, Gibson, Going, Bunch, Branham, Minor and Riddle families migrated to and lived in the Goinstown area?  Was it just a coincidence?  Was it just a coincidence that John Moore met Sally Goodman in, then, Surry County?  I think not.  The Goinstown area is not on a main road to anywhere, even today it is a relatively remote area.  People had a reason for going there.  I think all of these families had some sort of a relationship that was formed prior to Goinstown and they came to or through the area because of the other families living in the area.
Charles Moore and his sons, John, James and Andrew, lived in the Goinstown area of Rockingham and Surry Counties, North Carolina.  Ephraim Moore, who may be a brother or son of Charles, lived just across the state line in the Goinstown area of Henry County, Virginia.  Charles moved to that area about 1777 and he died there between 1830 and 1833.  All of Charles’ descendants moved west by 1833 except for William and William’s son, Isaac, and some Moore women who married Gibson and Going men.  William Moore married Margaret Peggy Gibson and Stephen Gibson, son of Champ Gibson, married Elizabeth Moore.  All were listed as mulatto on the 1850 census.  Also in Goinstown, Sally Moor married William Goin in 1851, Adeline Moor married a William Goin in 1852 and Julian Moor married John Going in 1858.
Let’s now take a look at where Charles lived prior to his move to Surry County.
Flatt River in Orange County, North Carolina
About 1749 Thomas Gibson, George Gibson, Charles Gibson, Micager Gibson and several members of the Collins family moved from Louisa County, Virginia, to North Carolina.  They, and Micajah Bunch, are all listed as mulattoes on the 1755 Orange County Tax List.  Fortunately, many of the early land records for Orange County still exist.  George and Thomas Gibson received land grants along the Flatt River and the Collins families lived just downstream on Dials Creek of the Flatt River.
In 1774, Orange County was divided into 16 districts.  The 14th District, St. James, included Thomas Gibson’s land just above but not including George Gibson’s land.  The 15th District, St. Mary, was adjacent to and south of the 14th District.  The dividing line between the 14th and 15th District crossed the Flatt River and ran across the dividing line between George and Thomas Gibson’s land.  The 15th District was defined, in part, as follows:
Begins at the Granville line where it crosses the Nap of Reed running West including Arthur Magnum, George Gibson, Charles Moore …

Flatt River area of, then, Orange County, where the Moore, Gibson and Collins families lived.
So, in 1774, Charles Moore was living next door to George Gibson and George is living  just across the Flatt River from Thomas Gibson (present day Durham County).
In 1776 Orange County prepared a list of Freeholders (landowners) who were entitled to vote to elect county delegates to represent Orange County at the Fourth Provisional Congress.  Listed on Petition Number 4 are the following names: George Gipson, Charles Moor, John Moor, Thomas Gibson and James More.
George Gibson died later in 1776 and Charles Moore and Thomas Gibson disappear from the Orange and Caswell County records.  They are not listed on the 1777 Caswell County tax list or on the 1779 Orange County tax list so they had moved by then.  Charles Moore, as stated above, received a land grand for 100 acres in the north-east corner of Surry County close to the Virginia line. Thomas Gibson moved to Henry County, Virginia, right at the North Carolina line, and began making improvements to the land.  Thus, Charles Moore and Thomas Gibson were still neighbors.  Thomas Gibson died in 1780 in Henry County and Charles More was a witness to his will.  A William More was also a witness to the will and after years of research it is apparent that William was not related to Charles.  William was the son of Rodeham Moore of Henry and Patrick Counties, Virginia.  William received a land grant on Buffalo Creek in Surry County at about the same time Charles Moore received a land grant and the timing and proximity to Charles has led to much confusion.  However, research and DNA has proven that there is no relationship between these two Moore families.
Even though Orange County land records are fairly complete, there is no record of Charles Moore buying, selling or transferring land nor is there any other evidence that Charles Moore was a land owner there.  We have Orange County land records for George Gibson and Thomas Gibson and will records for George Gibson but, except for being listed as living next to George Gibson in the 15th District, there are no land records for Charles Moore.  Why?  Why are there land records for George and Thomas Gibson but nothing for Charles Moore?
In 1755 there was only one Moore family on the Orange County tax list, a William Moore.  My research has failed to establish any link between this Moore and Charles Moore or the Gibsons.  Remember, John Moore was born in Orange County in May of 1758, so John’s parents, Charles and wife, had to have been in Orange County by that date and probably much earlier.  Charles Moore is listed as a chain carrier twice in 1756 in the Flatt River area.  But, I have been unable to find any other Moores in Orange County from its formation up to 1758.  I spent about 25 years researching every Moore family from Bertie County to Orange County but was unable to find any link or document establishing a relationship to Charles Moore.  So, where did Charles Moore come from and why was he living next door to George and Thomas Gibson?
Perhaps Charles moved to the Flatt River from somewhere else and living next to George and Thomas Gibson was just a coincidence.  Maybe, but I don’t think so.  When and how did Charles get land next to George and Thomas Gibson without there being a county or state record?  Why did Charles and Thomas Gibson move to the Goinstown area together after George Gibson’s death?  Why was Charles a witness to Thomas Gibson’s will?  On the 1755 Orange County Tax List, Thomas Gibson, a mulatto, had three “Black Polls” in his household.  Perhaps Charles Moore was one of them.  I have been unable to find sons of Thomas Gibson who would have been 16 years of age in 1755.  I am not saying there were none, I’m just saying I can’t identify them.  There seems to be some relationship between the Moore and Gibson families other than just being neighbors,.
A common practice for a young married couple was to live close to, if not next to, the husband or wife’s parents.  A father or father in law would often give a parcel of land, or the use of a parcel of land, to the newlyweds and no deed would be recorded because it was a family matter.  The parents were helping provide a “starter home” for the couple.  Perhaps that is what happened here.
We know the Gibson and Collins families moved to North Carolina from Louisa County, Virginia, so let’s take a look and see if there is anything to suggest that Charles came from Louisa.
Louisa County, Virginia
From 1742, when Louisa was formed from Hanover, until well into the 1800’s, there is not one record in the County containing the name Charles Moore, but, two Moore families were living there, both neighbors to the Gibson, Bunch, Collins, Branham and Goin families.
The good news is there were only two Moore families living in Louisa County at the time in question.  The bad news is the head of both families was named John, the two John’s were about the same age, the two families lived in the same area near the South Anna River, in the Hudson and Camp Creek area, one John had a wife named Anne and the other John had a daughter named Anne.  Also, one of the John Moores had a son named John Jr.  We must first try to separate the two families.
The first John, John W. Moore, Sr., was born about 1710 in Ireland.  His first wife was Mary Jouett (per US and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900), and his second wife was Martha.  He was a County Constable, an Elder in the Anglican Church (the Official Church of England), the Fredericksville Parish Clerk of the Vestry and he was a large land owner.  John Moore, Sr., left a will dated 1777 naming his children:  Matthew (the eldest, married Letitia Dalton in Albermale Co., and moved to Stokes Co., NC) Susannah, Martha, Ann Hammer, Edward, James, and John Jr. (Louisa Co., Will Book 2, page 244).  This John did not have a son named Charles and none of his children moved to Orange County, North Carolina, by 1758.  As early as 1722 John was a Reader in the Vestry of St. Paul’s Parish and Clerk of the Chapel at Allen’s Creek in Hanover County.  We will refer to this John Moore as John the Anglican.
The other John Moore, the one who may be the father of Charles, left fewer records.  I have been unable to find a will.  He had a wife named Anne and he was an off and on Quaker.  We will refer to him simply as John or John the Quaker.
The Moore, Gibson, Bunch, Branham, Goodman, Collins, Goin and Donathan families were all neighbors in the south west area of Louisa County along the South Anna River and its creeks, including Camp, Bunch and Hudson’s Creek.

Camp, Bunch & Hudson Creeks of the South Anna River
By 1719, and probably much earlier, the Quakers had established a place of public worship at Cedar Creek in, later, Hanover County.  As families continued moving north west following the James, Pamunkey and other rivers it became difficult to attend the Monthly Meeting (MM) on Cedar Creek.  Several local families, the Moormans, Clarks and Johnsons were Quakers and, about 1744, established a Camp Creek Monthly Meeting (MM) on Camp Creek in Louisa County.
Camp Creek is first mentioned in the Cedar Creek Monthly Meeting books in September, 1744, and Charles Moorman and his son, Thomas, were named overseers.  The Moormans lived on or near Camp Creek in Louisa.  Camp Creek MM was under the care of Cedar Creek and the monthly meetings would rotate between the two locations.  Early Camp Creek had no meeting house so the meetings were held at member’s houses or on member’s land.  Very often the same event was entered into both the Cedar Creek and Camp Creek records since the church membership for the two locations was the same.
Often, for convenience, people would attend or join the Quaker Church when a monthly meeting was established in their neighborhood.  They had the choice of worshipping close to home at the Quaker MM or traveling many miles round trip to the next closest church.  We do not know if John Moore’s parents were Quakers but we do know that John was a Quaker prior to 12 November 1744, because John was disowned at the first Camp Creek Monthly Meeting.  The record does not say why John was disowned and there is no mention of a Moore family in the earlier surviving Cedar Creek records.
On May 16, 1748, John Moore re-joined the Quakers and he and his family were received into membership at the Camp Creek MM.  On that same day, at the same meeting, Samuel Bunch and his family were also received into membership.  Anne Moore, John’s wife and Mary Bunch, Samuels wife, served on various church committees together.  This is the same Samuel Bunch as in the famous Louisa County Concealing Tithables court case.
In 1753 John was disowned again by the Quakers for getting drunk.  A link has not been established but charges were brought in the Louisa County Court against John’s neighbors, George Gibson in 1747 and Gilbert Gibson in 1748, for retailing liquor.  In 1769, John Moore, Sr., requested to be taken under the care of Friends, as the Quakers were known.  John Davis, Charles Moorman and Richard Blocksom were appointed to make necessary inquiries into John’s life and conversation.  John Moore was required to send a letter condemning his former practice for which he was disowned and he was then received as a member (again).
After this brief examination of the two John Moores it seems reasonable to exclude John the Anglican as an ancestor of Charles Moore.  Also, DNA testing has shown no link between this Moore family and the Goinstown Moores (* see below).
Let’s take a closer look at the few remaining records pertaining to John Moore the Quaker and his family.  We will begin with an examination of a Moore-Bunch relationship in Louisa.
As stated above, on May 16, 1748, John Moore, his wife Anne and his family, and Samuel Bunch, his wife Mary and family were all received into membership at the Camp Creek MM.  Anne and Mary joined the Women’s MM at the same time.  In 1769 John Moore requested to be taken under the care of the Quakers and Samuel Bunch agreed to provide help.  By 1783 John and family are living on the land of, and being cared for by, Samuel Bunch and family.  John died sometime between 1783 and 1787 but did not leave a will.  Samuel died in 1783 and left a will naming his wife, Mary, and children.  One of his daughters, Ann Bunch, apparently, per Samuel’s will and Quaker records, never married because she is always referred to as Anne Bunch and there is no mention of a marriage or husband.
Anne Moore, wife of John, died in 1792 and by will gave her property to her great granddaughter, Theodosia, daughter of Ann Bunch.  She did not name any of her other children or grandchildren.
(Theodosia is a very uncommon name. On July 11, 1801, John Johnson married Theodosia Gibson in Louisa County.  Sarah Gibson gave consent for Theodosia to marry so she was not of age to marry without parent consent.  There were two women named Theodosia in the Moore, Gibson, Bunch circle in Louisa County during the time in question.)
It appears Samuel Bunch married Mary Moore, daughter of John and Anne, that Samuel and Mary had a daughter named Ann, probably named for her grandmother, and Ann had a daughter, Theodosia, who inherited Ann Moore’s meager estate.  This relationship helps explain why John Moore and family and Samuel Bunch and family joined the Quakers at the same time.  It may also explain why John was disowned by the Quakers in November of 1744.  A Quaker who agreed to or helped in any way with the marriage of a child to a non-Quaker was disowned. Samuel Bunch was not a Quaker until May of 1748 when he and his family became members.  Samuel may have married Mary Moore sometime prior to November of 1744, started a family, then joined the Quakers with John and his family in May 1748.
(Note: Several Bunch researchers state that Samuel Bunch married Mary Hudson.  I have been unable to find a cite or reason for this claim because the researchers cite each other as the source.  U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900, on Ancestry.com, lists Samuel’s wife as, Mary ???.  Samuel’s marriage probably occurred in Hanover County and those records were destroyed.  I do not have a cite either, but, I attempt to give reasons for my suggestion that Samuel married Mary Moore.)
It also explains why Ann Moore and her daughter, Mary Bunch, joined the Women’s MM at the same time.  It explains why John and Ann Moore were living on the land of Samuel Bunch in their old age.  It explains why Samuel was caring for John and Ann in their old age.  It explains why Theodosia, daughter of Ann Bunch, was caring for Ann Moore in her old age after John and Samuel died.
It also means that Samuel Bunch, in the 1745 Louisa County concealed tithables case, had concealed and refused to pay tax on his wife, Mary Moore Bunch, if the concealed tithable was a wife.
Did John Moore the Quaker and his family have connections to other mulatto families in Louisa?  Let’s first turn our attention to the 1763 Louisa County Court case of Francis Branham vs. Sarah Gibson (there are inconsistent dates in the county record).  The Plaintiff in this case, Francis Branham, is the daughter of Gilbert and Sarah Gibson and the wife of Benjamin Branham (also of the 1745 Louisa County concealed tithables case).  The Defendant, Sarah Gibson, is the Plaintiff’s mother and wife of Gilbert Gibson. This is a court action between mother, Sarah Gibson, and daughter, Frances Gilbert Branham, and the main witness was Ann Moore.
Francis Branham sued her mother, Sarah Gibson, for personal property the mother would not give her.  Gilbert Gibson’s mother had been living with Gilbert and Sarah and, apparently, prior to their deaths, Gilbert Gibson and his mother gave Francis certain property but after their deaths, Gilbert’s wife, Sarah, would not release the property to her daughter, Francis.
Ann Moore gave a sworn statement that Francis Branham’s grandmother, Gilbert Gibson’s mother, lived with Francis in Gilbert’s house and the grandmother had come to Ann and told Ann that Gilbert had turned her (his mother) out of the house because she (his mother) would not give Gilbert a Negro wench that she had for her maintenance.  The grandmother also told Ann that she had given Francis her bed.  Ann made the following statement about the bed:
“that it was a very good bed with good covering and that she was well acquainted with the family and that the plaintiffs further could if ? his for several years.” (could have been used for several years?)
Again, we must stop and ask, “what is happening here”?  Why was Ann Moore used as a witness in this case?  Why did Gilbert Gibson’s mother go to Ann Moore and confide personal family information, especially information about her son throwing her out of his house?  It seems apparent that the Branham vs. Gibson case is just a family fight and Ann Moore is more than just an acquaintance or neighbor.  Gilbert Gibson died sometime before July 1763, and his mother had probably died before this court action or she could have been a witness.  From her testimony we can infer that Ann Moore was very well acquainted with Gilbert Gibson and his wife Sarah Branham, she knew Gilbert’s mother and she knew Gilbert’s children.  We can also infer that Ann had visited the Gilbert Gibson home on several occasions and had been in the home enough to became familiar with their bedding,
“the said Moore swears that it was a very good bed with good covering and that she was well acquainted with the family and that the plaintiffs further could if  ? his for several years”.
Ann Moore knows quite a bit about the Gibson family and may be related, in some way, to the family.  Ann may be a Gibson or a Branham or one or more of her children may have married a Gibson or, her husband, John Moore, may be related.
Let’s now look at other relationships between the Moore, Gibson and Branham families.
Mary Moor and her children William and Nancy MoorBenjamin Branham (of the 1745 concealed tithables case) and his wife Francis Gibson Branham, had a son, Benjamin Branham, Jr.  Benjamin Jr., died in Louisa County in 1819 and left a will giving all of his property to his two children, William Moor and Nancy Moor.  He fathered the two children with Mary Moor and, apparently, they never married and she retained the Moor name as did the children.  I have no other information about this Mary Moor but we do know, according to a 1829 Louisa County Deed, issued by Nancy and William Moore, that William moved to Todd County, Kentucky, prior to 1829, and he is listed on various records including the census in Todd County.
Todd County had a large community of former Louisa County residents. Several Moore, Gibson, Bunch, Goins and Goodman families lived there (but no Branhams).  Henry and George Gibson were brothers who were born in Louisa County, moved to South Carolina, then to Todd County where they died.  David Moore and Garland Moore were witnesses to George Gibson’s Revolutionary War Pension Application.  George fought in the war from Louisa County.  In his will, Henry Gibson gave one cow and a calf to his granddaughter, Mary Gowin.  David Moore and W.R. Moore were witnesses to his will.  J.T. Moore is named an executor to George Gibson’s will.
Todd County was created in 1819 from Christian and Logan Counties.  Our old friend Joel Gibson, from the Flatt River, Goinstown and the New River, lived for several years in Christian County before moving to Henderson County, Kentucky, where he died while living with his son, Bailey Gibson.
David Moore
On 24 September 1800, in Louisa County, Catherine Gibson married John Lowry.  The Bondsman was David Moore.  This is the only record I have found for a David Moore in Louisa.  There is no David Moore on the 1820 Louisa Co., census but there is a David Moore listed on the 1810 Christian Co., KY, census living close to Susannah Gipson and John Gipson.  There is also a 2nd John Gipson living next to Jacob Collins and Sarah Collins.  Hugh Gipson lives close to William Moore, son of Benjamin Branham, Jr.  David Moore is also listed on the 1830, 1840 and 1850 Todd County federal census.  The 1850 census states that David was born in Virginia about 1775.  David may have been Catherine Gibson’s bondsman in Louisa County in 1800.
Benjamin MooreIn 1836 in Louisa County, Jane Gibson married Nelson Dudley.  Benjamin Moore was the bondsman and Susan Gibson gave her consent.  I have found no other information to identify this Benjamin Moore.
Ann Moore #2Listed on the 1820 Louisa census is an Ann Moore with 3 in her household, all labeled as fpc: one male age 27-45, one female age 27 to 45 and one female age over 45.  Nathaniel, son of Benjamin Branham, and Malk. Branum are neighbors also listed as fpc.
Hezekiah MooreHezekiah Moore is listed on the 1830 Louisa Co., census with one male and one female age 36-55 and 2 males age 10-24, all listed as fpc.  Hezekiah Moore is living next door to Nat. Bramham, Sally Gibson and Wm Sprouse.  Nathaniel is probably the son of Benjamin Branham, Sr., and the brother of Benjamin Branham, Jr., as stated in the above Branham wills.
Hezekiah Moore is also listed on the 1850 Louisa Co., census, age 70 Male Mulatto, with Lurenda age 45 FM, Lucy age 40 FM, Jim age 12 MM, Vestey Liggins age 25 M, Amanda age 22 F.  All the Moores are listed as Mulatto.  Hezekiah is living next door to Wm Bramham, age 37, and Mildread Grinstead, all Mulattos.
Hezekiah is not on the 1820, 1840 or 1860 Louisa County censuses.  Given his age in 1850 he may have died by 1860.  In 1840 there is a Hezekiah Moore listed on the Augusta County, Virginia, census with one white male, 5-10 years, one white male, 50-60 years and one white female, under 5.  It appears that the 1840 Augusta Hezekiah, like the 1850 Louisa Hezekiah, does not have a living wife.  The 1840 Augusta County, Hezekiah is 50-60 years of age and the 1850 Louisa Hezekiah is 70 years old. He is not on the 1830 or 1850 Augusta census.  It appears this is the same Hezekiah Moore.

We have been considering Louisa County as the place where the Moore family lived prior to moving to Orange County. North Carolina.  There are four significant factors to consider which existed in Louisa County during the 1700s and early 1800s that are not found together in any other area during that time:
1) Moores with a close relationship to the Gibson, Branham and Bunch families;
2) Moores listed as fpc/mulatto: Ann Moore and family and Hezekiah Moore and family;
3) Moores living close to other mulatto families: Gibson, Bunch, Branham, Collins, Goin, Donathan, Goodman;
4) Moores who migrated out of Louisa County with other mulatto families.
As previously stated I have found no records for Charles Moore in Louisa County.  We know Thomas, George, Charles and Mager (Micajah) Gibson and families moved from Louisa County to North Carolina and are listed on the 1755 Orange County Tax List.  Of those four, I have found no records in Louisa for Charles or Mager Gibson.
ConclusionNow we come back to our original question: Where did the fpc/mulatto Moores live before moving to Rockingham County, North Carolina, about 1778?
It appears, based on the information available to us at this time, that they came from Louisa and Hanover Counties in Virginia, to Orange County, North Carolina, then to Rockingham County.  We don’t know where they lived prior to 1720 because there are few surviving records for eastern Virginia and it is difficult to make a connection.
Many of the Flatt River, Goinstown, New River, Scott County, Hawkins County, Floyd County, Cumberland County and Todd County mulatto families migrated together, intermarried and maintained relationships over the years.  That pattern was present in Louisa County in the 1700’s.  Almost two centuries later a descendant of the Louisa County Gibsons, John D. Gibson, was buried in the Moore family cemetery in Knott County, Kentucky.
I urge anyone who has information to help prove or disprove anything I have written to contact me.  Thanks in advance.
Jim Hall
Columbus, Ohio
jimhallxx@yahoo.com

George Moore, son of John Moore, Jr., his son Jefferson Coon Moore and John “Dee” Gipson are buried in the Triplett Cemetery, Jones’ Fork, Knott County, near Mousie, Kentucky.  This older cemetery is about one mile up the hill from the Moore family cemetery pictured above.  George Moore’s wife was Susannah Triplett.  Dee Gipson was Vinie Gibson’s husband and his family moved to Kentucky from Tennessee.  His marker reads:
“Dee Gipson – D – At About 60 Years Old – Gone Not Forgot”
Notes
* John Moore, Jr., of Louisa County and Rowan County, North Carolina, has caused a lot of confusion.  For many years I thought he was a son of John and Anne Moore and, perhaps, a brother of my Charles Moore.
About a year ago I had the good fortune to meet Myron Moore online.  Myron and other descendants of John Moore, Jr., and Camm Moore have and continue to do great research on the Moore family.  Myron and I both concluded that we were descendants of John and Anne the Quakers and we anxiously waited for his DNA results to come back so it could be confirmed.  The results were a shock because it proved that our families were not even remotely related.
I have spent the past several months reviewing and analyzing all my John and Camm Moore research and I still think, based on the above factors, that my Moore line is connected to John and Anne the Quakers and that Myron’s Moore line is connected to John Moore the Anglican.  My friend Myron and I have a gentleman’s disagreement over this issue.
Below are some additional reasons as to why I think John Jr., is a descendant of John Moore the Anglican:
1) There was only one John Moore, Jr., in the Quaker, Parish and Louisa County records during the time in question.
2) In June 1749, John Moore, Jr., requested membership in the Quakers.  John Jr., converted because he wanted to marry Elizabeth Sanders, a birthright Quaker, daughter of John Sanders.  If John Jr., was the son of John the Quaker then he would have been a Quaker and no conversion would have been needed.  John the Quaker was a Quaker prior to being dismissed in 1744 so John Jr., would have been a birthright Quaker or a Quaker by May 1748 when John Moore and family were received in membership.
3) John Moore, Sr., the Anglican, had a son named John who he mentioned in his will.  John Sr., did not bequeath land to John Jr.  In his 1777 Louisa County will John Sr., states:
“John Moore, Jr., shall occupy my lands with his people for seven or eight years, if he chooses.”
John Jr., and his people were given the use of land for seven or eight years and it is possible that “occupy my lands with his people” was referring to John Jr.’s family and the Quakers.  Also, John Jr. did not get land because he had moved to Rowan County.
4) John Jr., moved to Rowan County, North Carolina, about 1769.  In 1778, Camm Moore, the son of John Moore, Jr., received permission from the Quakers to transfer from Louisa County to New Garden MM, in Guilford, North Carolina, because he was a birthright Quaker.  It appears that Camm remained in Louisa County with one of his his grandfathers, John Moore, Sr., or John Sanders, and then moved to North Carolina shortly after John Sr.’s death with members of the Sanders family.
5) There is nothing in the Quaker records to suggest that John Moore, Jr., was the son of John Moore the Quaker.  There is a will that suggests John Jr., was the son of John the Anglican.

The Moore and Related Families, part 2___________

Who were the “Melungeons”?

More precisely, why was this group of people called “melungeons”?  What was it that put the “melungeon” in the melungeons?  Why did the federal census taker list Charles Moore and his wife, Elizabeth Goins Moore, as, “Other Free Persons”, on the 1800 Rockingham County, North Carolina, census?  What did that census taker see that made him list the Moores as, “Other Free Persons”?  Why was Charles Moore’s grandson, John Moore, Jr., listed as “mulatto” on the 1870 Floyd County, Kentucky, federal census?  What did that census taker see that made him list John Moore and his entire family as, “mulatto”?  Why are there so many references to this group of people as being non-white?  (I will often refer to all of our people as just the “group”.)
Many people have offered opinions to the above questions and, like the first part of my Moore Family story, I will offer my best “guess” based on information available to me at this time.
I suggested in the first part of the Moore Family article that several ancestors of the group that came to be known as “melungeons” can be traced back to about 1720 in Louisa and Hanover counties in Virginia. The group apparently had recognizable characteristics and those markers were passed down through the generations by intermarriage within the group.  A few of the most commonly reported characteristics of the group are, very dark skin, strait black hair and, in some people, blue eyes.  But, where did those markers originate and how did the group first acquire those characteristics?
Since the Moore family was part of the larger group from an early date, and since there has been intermarriage within the group starting in the mid to late 1600s, I will use them in an attempt to answer the questions.  Let me begin with some Moore family oral history which may relate to the questions.
Even as a young boy in eastern Kentucky I was interested in my family history and I always wanted to know where we came from.  My grandfather, Alexander Moore, who I lived with while attending 1st grade, could tell me just two things about the Moore family: 1) we came from North Carolina, and; 2) we married Indians.  But, he did not know when or where the marriages took place or who did the marrying.  He had no idea where the Moore family lived prior to coming to the Americas.  It appears that my Moore family arrived in North America in the 1600s and they probably landed in Virginia.  Other than that I know very little.
Y-DNA shows the Moores are haplogroup R1b (R-312).  Haplogroup R1b is the most common haplogroup group in Western Europe but it appears in various amounts in other areas.  The Family Tree DNA report for the Moores does little to pin point the area of origination.  I have just two Y-DNA matches, both of them are Moore, and both probably descended from Ephraim Moore who moved from Goinstown to Cumberland County, Kentucky, about 1815.  Other than that I have no Y-DNA matches.  In the Recent Ancestral Origins section I have a few -1 step mutation matches at 12 markers, but no matches at 25, 37 or 67 markers.  The most interesting of the few 12 marker matches is three from Spain, with two of those from the Canary Islands.  I also have two exact haplogroup matches but of unknown origin.  Overall, none of the matches are significant enough to say the Moores came to America from any specific country.  There appears to be something odd about the Moore DNA because of the almost complete lack of matches.
My grandfather was correct about North Carolina, the Moores moved to Floyd County, Kentucky, from the Goinstown area of North Carolina.  But, did the Moores marry Indians?  If they did, it could be one factor in the “melungeon” designation.
Records become scarce as we go back in time and I have not found a single marriage record for the Moore family prior to their move to Kentucky.  There are no North Carolina or Virginia marriage records that I have been able to associate with my Moore family.  If the Moores did marry Indians then it probably occurred in Virginia prior to their move to Louisa County.  It appears that much of the group, which will later be call “melungeons”, had already been established by the time they moved to Louisa County.  They lived in the same area of Louisa, just south of the South Anna River, and they migrated south and west together.  But, where were those relationships formed?  Where did they live prior to Louisa County?
The general rule for migration, in the absence of an established road to the destination, was to “follow the river”.  All of the related families in Louisa lived close to the South Anna River.  The North and South Anna Rivers merge to form the Pamunkey River in Hanover County and, farther downstream, the Pamunkey and Mattaponi Rivers merge to form the York River.  The area between the Pamunkey and Mattaponi Rivers is known as Pamunkey Neck and was part of the homeland of the Pamunkey Indians.  The York River flows into Chesapeake Bay just north of the James River.  Chesapeake Bay opens into the Atlantic Ocean.
Modified Wikipedia Figure 1 -"Follow the River" from Chesapeake Bay to Louisa County
Modified Wikipedia Figure 1 -"Follow the River" from Chesapeake Bay to Louisa County
Many of the families probably arrived on the coast of Virginia in the mid to late 1600s and followed the York or James River northwest to, what would become, Louisa County.  Many of the families are hard to track but we are able to follow the Gibson and Bunch families on part of that journey.
Between 1660 and 1740 the Gibsons are mentioned in York County, Surry County, James City County, Charles City County, Prince George County, Henrico County, New Kent County, Hanover County and Louisa County.  The Bunch family can be found in James City County, New Kent County, Hanover County and Louisa County.  Louisa was carved out of Hanover and Hanover out of New Kent so some land records for the three counties may refer to the same parcel of land.  See the red Xs on the map below as it demonstrates the movement up the rivers to Louisa County.
Modified Wikipedia Figure 2 - Documented contacts with the Gibson and Bunch families
Modified Wikipedia Figure 2 - Documented contacts with the Gibson and Bunch families
Some of the families may have travelled south from Maryland or north from the Carolinas but I suspect a majority came up the York or James to Louisa from the Virginia coast.
Why is this important?  If the Moore family married Indians and if the marriage occurred prior to moving to Louisa County, then we have a better idea of who my Moore ancestor married.  The area between Chesapeake Bay and Louisa County was historically controlled by various tribes of the Powhatan Confederacy and the Powhatan Confederacy was part of the Algonquin linguistic group of Amerindians.
If there was a marriage between my Moore ancestor(s) and an Indian (or a marriage between another member of our group and an Indian) then the person our ancestor married was probably a member of the Accomac, Chiskiack, Powhatan, Pamunkey, Rappahannock, Youngtanud, Mattaponi or other tribe of the Powhatan Confederacy.  If more than one member of our group married an Indian during this time then the Indian spouses would share language, customs and culture with each other.
Modified Wikipedia Figure 3 - Tribes of the Powhatan Confederacy
Modified Wikipedia Figure 3 - Tribes of the Powhatan Confederacy
But, did my Moore ancestor marry one of the Powhatan Indians?  I have been unable to find any document of any kind which answers that question.  At this point we have no paper trail to help us with the Indian marriage question; all we have is oral history.  But, can Moore DNA help answer the question?
I am a Moore through my Mother and I submitted her DNA and my DNA for testing with Family Tree DNA, including Family Finder analysis.  Our Population Finder results of the Family Finder analysis showed no matches with peoples of the American continents or with any Amerindian group.  So, it appeared that my family oral history was wrong and that those characteristics that made the Moore family, “mulatto”, “Other Free Persons”, and “melungeon” did not come from being part Indian.
However, after re-reading information provided by FTDNA, I found that Population Finder can only detect genetic ancestry if the amount is 3% or more, or 5 to 6 generations, if there has been little or no admixture with other continental groups.  For the Moore and other “melungeon” families there was a lot of admixture so Family Finder may only be able to detect Indian ancestry within the last 3-4 generations.  FTDNA states the following:
The Population Finder tool can detect small traces of genetic ancestry as low as 3% (about 5 to 6 generations) from a distinct Continental group. This is most true where there has been little admixture.
For example, someone might have one 2nd grandmother from Africa. Their other fifteen 2nd great grandparents may be from European countries. The Population Finder program is likely to detect the African 2nd great grandmother’s ancestry.
Where the populations are from the same Sub-continental group or there has been admixture, it is less sure that the program will detect any one ancestor in the 5th or 6thgeneration.
GenerationRelationshipPercentage
1Self100.00%
2Parent50.00%
3Grandparent25.00%
41st Great Grandparent12.50%
52nd Great Grandparent6.25%
63rd Great Grandparent3.13%
74th Great Grandparent1.56%
Using FTDNA’s example let’s examine the amount of Indian DNA that that may have passed to my Mother.  Assume that a Moore ancestor had a child with an Indian, “A”, in 1700 (to make the math easy).  The child, “B”, would be 50% Indian.
If “B” had child, “C”, with a non-Indian in 1725, then “C” would be 25% Indian.
If “C” had child, “D”, with a non-Indian in 1750, then “D” would be 12.5% Indian.
If “D” had child, “E”, with a non-Indian in 1775, then “E” would be 6.25% Indian.
If “E” had child, “F”, with a non-Indian in 1800, then “F” would be 3% Indian.  (We have now reached the limit of the amount of Indian DNA that Population Finder can detect.)
If “F” had child, “G”, with a non-Indian in 1825, then “G” would be 1.5% Indian.
If “G” had child, “H”, with a non-Indian in 1850, then “H” would be 0.75% Indian.
If “H” had child, “I”, with a non-Indian in 1875, then “I” would be 0.37% Indian.
If “I” had child, “J”, with a non-Indian in 1900, then “J” would be 0.19% Indian.
If “J” had child, Ellen Moore (my Mother), with a non-Indian in 1922, then Ellen would be approximately one-tenth of one percent Indian.  The amount would be even less if the initial marriage occurred prior to 1700 and if five generations per century was used instead of four.
If my Mom had any Indian DNA then it is less that 3% and the Indian ancestor is more than 5-6 generations removed because it was not detected by FTDNA Population Finder analysis.  But, that still does not answer our question because there may have been a marriage between a Moore ancestor and an Indian, 10-12 generations back, and the amount of DNA passed to my Mom was so small it is not detectable by FTDNA.
To help verify FTDNA’s results I submitted our raw data from FTDNA to DNA Tribes for additional STR testing.  Since I already had the raw data it took just one day to get the results and the results were surprising.
The first Tribes report is similar to FTDNA’s  Family Finder Affymetrix and Illumina reports.  The Tribes report identifies significant ancestral contributions to the genome from seven continental zones and the report showed my Mom has genetic contributions from three of the seven zones and one of them was, “Native American”, at 1%.  Even though 1% is a small amount, it was significant enough for Tribes to list it as one of the three contributors to her DNA.  The 1% is substantially higher than the one-tenth of one percent as projected above.  The higher percentage may be explained by the continuous intermarriage within the group and as such, the percentage seems to be about right.
Figure 4 - Continental Zones used in DNA analysis
Figure 4 - Continental Zones used in DNA analysis
My Native American contribution must be .5% or less because “Native American” is not listed as one of my ancestral contributors.  However, in the DNA Tribes Total Similarity report, on my Native American Populations, I have a high genetic similarity to the same Native American populations as my Mom.  So, the Indian contribution is there, passed from my Mother, just in a smaller amount, as it should be.
It is appropriate at this point to question whether the Native American DNA was passed down through the Moore line or another ancestral line.  By comparing my results with my Mom’s and with the results from other testers, I am relatively certain that I received my Indian DNA from my Mother.  But, how do we know that my Mom got her Indian DNA from her father, Alexander Moore?  My Mom received 50% of her DNA from her father (Moore) and 50% from her mother.  My grandfather Moore received 50% of his DNA from his father (Moore) and 50% from his mother and she was 50% Moore (intermarriage within the family) and 50% Mosley.  The Mosley family was also mulatto and they were neighbors of the Moores in Goinstown before moving to Tennessee.  They then moved to Floyd County with members of the Goodman family.
We will probably never know for sure but I have researched all lines back several generations and the Moore line is the only line with an oral history of Indian ancestry and there are numerous records which indicate Indian and/or other non-European ancestry.
Other that Native American, are there any other populations, other that European, who have contributed significant amounts of DNA to the Moore family and possibly to the “melungeon” group?  On this issue both Family Tree DNA and DNA Tribes agree.  Below is FTDNA’s pictorial representation of my Mom’s biogeographical ancestry.
Figure 5 - Significant Ancestral Contributions to Ellen Moore's Genome as reported by FTDNA
Figure 5 - Significant Ancestral Contributions to Ellen Moore's Genome as reported by FTDNA
Yes, my Mom has approximately 6% Sub-Saharan African DNA, six times more African DNA than Native American.  (The largest Y-DNA haplogroup in Sub-Saharan Africa is E, and the largest mtDNA haplogroup is L).

If FTDNA is correct in their suggested distribution then I should have approximately 3% African ancestry, half the amount of my Mother.  My pictorial representation looks like this:
Figure 6 – Significant Ancestral Contributions to Jim Hall's Genome as reported by FTDNA
Figure 6 – Significant Ancestral Contributions to Jim Hall's Genome as reported by FTDNA
As predicted, my African component is approximately 3%, half that of my Mother, Ellen Moore. (Note: FTDNA and DNA Tribe disagree on the amount of Ellen Moore’s Middle Eastern component).
(Note: It’s a little unnerving publishing my DNA like I did here.  It’s kind of like walking around with your pants down.)
I am not surprised that the Moore family has African DNA, but I am surprised by the amount.  I thought the amounts of Indian/African DNA would be reversed.
Let’s apply FTDNA’s calculations to the African component of my DNA in the Moore line.  I have 3%; my Mother has 6%; my grandfather, Alex Moore, should have approximately 12%; my 2nd grandfather, Jefferson Moore, should have approximately 24%; my 3rdgrandfather, George Moore, should have approximately 48%; my 4th grandfather, John Moore, Jr., should have approximately 96%; and, John Moore, husband of Sally Goodman, born 1758 in Orange County, North Carolina, would be 100% African.  But, I don’t think those figures are accurate.  The amount of African DNA probably remained high in the Moore family because of marriages to others in the “melungeon” group who also had large amounts of African DNA.
Thus, there is a reasonable explanation as to why the Moore and, possibly, other families in the group were listed as, “Mulatto”, “Other Free Persons” and “FPC”, on various records and documents: they had very dark skin and probably some degree of an Asian appearance.
Let’s go back to our original questions: Who were the “melungeons” and what put the “melungeon” in those people?
The Moore family, and probably many members of the group, to some degree, were an admixture of European, Sub-Saharan African and Powhatan Native American peoples.  Marriages, or bearing children out of wedlock between the three groups, probably began between 1630 and 1700 along the eastern coastal area of Virginia.  This group quickly developed recognizable features, characteristics and customs as their children married each other.
The Africans and Europeans would have been recent arrivals to North America in the 1600s.  They would have to learn new skills and adapt to a new environment if they were to prosper and survive in this new country, especially since the group tended to live in remote areas, on the frontier, and away from towns.  They may have learned those new skills and new ways from the Indian women.
If the Africans and Europeans married Indians, and I think they did, and if the marriages (or civil unions) occurred in eastern Virginia, and I think they did, then the Indian spouses (usually wives) would share at least a common language and, possibly, be members of the same tribe and family.  The Indian wives shared a common culture and the group may have adopted parts of that culture.  The group probably learned and adopted many “Indian ways”.  The Indian wives, the women, may have been one of the major reasons for the development of the group and group identity.  The families may have lived close to each other in Virginia because of the close relationship between the Indian wives.
The Indian language and culture was probably passed down for several generations as the group began migrating west.  On the way west some group members split off while other families joined the group.  One of the earliest groups to split off was Gideon, John and Hubbard Gibson, and the Paul Bunch family.  About 1717-1720 they moved from, probably James City County, Virginia, to Chowan, later Bertie County, North Carolina, then on to South Carolina.  I say “probably James City County” because Gideon and John were summoned to appear in court in Edenton, James City County, in 1730 and 1731 regarding money owed to the estate of Francis Lightfoot.
The larger group migrated west and a couple of centuries later the “melungeons” of Hancock County were discovered.
Jim Hall
Columbus, Ohio
(DNA Tribes reports that my Mom has approximately 2% Oceanic DNA and I have approximately 1% Oceanic DNA.  The people of the Oceanic area are listed as one of the major contributor to our DNA.  Oceanic is described as Samoa, Tonga, Melanesian and Papuan New Guinea.  I have no idea how this fits in, or where it comes from, and, I can’t even offer an educated guess at this time.  An uneducated comment would be that the Oceanic people are haplogroup C, and haplogroup C is one of the three Amerindian haplogroups.  But, this is an uneducated comment.)

9 comments:

  1. Your research was great, but what I can't understand is why is it so unnerving to discover that you have African blood running through your veins? you are who you are, we all have discovered mixed blood thanks to DNA. You must know how this must sound to those researching.

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  2. I have read with great interest your above article. I, too, have always been interested in my grandmothers native american heritage, as I could never find any trace of any marriage between them. She was born in Saline County, IL in 1877, but I understand that her people came up from Ky or Tenn. She never knew where her Indian heritage came from, but her father and mother both had distinct physical traits. Thank you for posting your article. It has not answered my question personally, but it certainly has opened my eyes regarding melungeons and the pilgrimage of the Moore family toward the inland. nlramsay@yahoo.com

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  3. Thank you for putting your DNA out there!! John Moore and Sally Goodman are also my direct ancestors, I was looking for Indian and I would never guess they were African. I come from their son Joel Moore and his daughter Elizabeth who married James Powers. Thank again.

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    1. This was a wonderful article with so much research and detail included.....I know you spent an enormous amount of time trying to piece these many pieces together and to try to make some sence out of the material.....A wonderful job....This only tells the average American that many of us (those whose ancestors arrived on the east coast and especially Virginia) are descendants of a mixture of peoples who were mixed more than three centuries ago and we are "truly an Americans."

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  4. Excellent! Thank you for sharing your research. Your ability to break down DNA analysis is wonderful. I am sure many Moore family researchers thank you.

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  5. To this day the Moore and Gibson families are connected. My mother married a Moore and Claude the oldest son married a Harris who was a descendant of Elivira Gibson d/o Burdine Gibson.

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  6. I'm a Moore and my family's from Floyd county. This article was very interesting. I'm 28 and am dark skinned and black hair with blue eyes, just like your description from all years ago. I'd love to submit my DNA and find out more information!!!

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  7. Hi, I researching the Moores. One of my great grandmothers on my mother's side was a Moore. I am surprised too, though, that it would be unnerving to discover your African ancestry. Do you have any information on an Evelyn Moore from Rockingham/Stokes County, NC? I also believe that there were Africans who came to this land before the Europeans and intermarried with the people who were here so that would also be something to look into. Thank you for sharing..

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  8. My 3rd great-grandmother was Dorcas Moore..daughter of Ephraim Moore and Jenny Mcgee..son of Joel Moore and Juda Gibson..son of John Moore and Sally Goodman..wonderful article and great research..

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