Saturday, April 23, 2011

Spoiler alert: Who is Isaac Moore?

I have come to believe that every other male born in the 1700's was named Isaac Moore. I know my 4th great-grandfather was. I think I know from census records and local county histories of the late 1800's that he was born in Pennsylvania, birthed my 3d great-grandfather Thomas in Virginia, and died in Indiana in 1853. And he was married to Sarah UNK, of the dreaded UNK family.

I know that if I go online, at Ancestry or Rootsweb and elsewhere, there are people who will tell me who Sarah is, and, sometimes, who Isaac's parents were. I just wish they could tell me why, or at least enter into a discussion. Doesn't it just bug you when there are "facts" out there that you know might be wrong, and yet people are going to attach them to their tree and spread the virus of mis-information? Here is my take on couple that I have run across recently:

Spoiler #1: Isaac born in May of 1764 is the son of Andrew and Sarah Starr Moore of Sadsbury Twp., Lancaster County, PA. I think I know where this started. It is almost verbatim from what appears to be a Moore family newsletter that can be found online. It isn't sourced and there is no mention of where the information originated. As Randy Seaver is reminding us this week at Genea-Musings, sources can be wrong. Especially something like this which has no source. I can come up with a conflicting source, one of those lovely genealogies from the late 1800's that tried to name every descendant of a particular ancestor. The book is Ancestors and Descendants of Andrew Moore, 1612-1897, by John Andrew Moore Passemore, published 1897. Mr. Passemore says that Isaac, son of Andrew Moore and Sarah Starr of Sadsbury Twp., Lancaster County, PA married Lydia Wilson and is buried in Half Moon, PA. My grandfather is buried in Indiana. Perhaps one of these sources is right, but maybe not. And yet a number of folks on Ancestry and Rootsweb assert this connection. Wish I could find a source with a little "Moore" credibility.

Spoiler #2: Isaac is married to Sarah Starr Carrico. Apparently Sarah Starr is not only Isaac's mother, she is now his wife. I'm not sure where this comes from, except there is one researcher on Rootsweb who asked the question, "Is it Sarah Starr or Sarah Carrico?" Maybe someone thought "When in doubt, use them both!" So far, I can't find a record that supports either one. Census records do show a Carrico family living near the Moores, but there isn't a way of telling if this is the right Isaac Moore. Poking around the Virginia State Library site tells me there were at least 2 and maybe 3 Isaac Moores coming out of the Shenandoah Valley at this time. But I can't find a way to sort them out from here.

So I guess the search for Isaac will require a couple of road trips. Fortunately, I don't live very far from the state archives in Richmond, VA, or from the Shenandoah counties. Guess how I will spend my summer vacation!


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