Iredell County, North Carolina
Author: Will F. Lowrance
P.O. Box 563
Hillsboro, TX 76645
After years of research intended to document and confirm oral tradition in our family, I present the following as a summary of the family roots and connections of John Franklin Moore’s family in Iredell County, North Carolina. We are hopeful that this information will be useful to students of local history and genealogy.
James and Esther Moore lived in Iredell County by 1800. James Moore appears on the Iredell Tax List in 1800 and in the 1820 Census. From Jane Moore’s will we know that James Moore was deceased by 1836. We have no record to document the marriage of James and Esther Moore, and we do not know Esther’s maiden name.
John Franklin Moore was a visionary, and lived his life looking forward. John F. Moore was 14 when his father died and he did not marry (1846) until after his mother’s death. By all accounts, John F. Moore had a healthy relationship with his brother James H. Moore and his two sisters, Esther Moore Templeton and Mary C. (Polly) Moore Lowrance McNeely who lived near him in Iredell County. After John F. Moore’s death in 1877 much of his family history and connections were lost, and in recent years it has been unfortunate that so little was known about his extended family.
James and Esther Moore were parents of 8 children, of whom John Franklin Moore was 7th in birth order: Jane Moore (c1805-1836), Matilda Moore Boyd (c1806-?), Ephriam Moore (c1808-?), Esther Melissa Moore Templeton (1810-1881), James H. Moore (1815-1861), Mary C. (Polly) Moore Lowrance McNeely (1818-1883), John Franklin Moore (1822-1877), Robert Moore (c1826-?).
Iredell County Tax List of 1800 lists James Moore, 157 acres of land, barn, stable, and 2 dwellings.
The Iredell census of 1820 shows the following information for James Moore and the 1830 Iredell census confirms the same age distribution:
1 male over 45 (1775)……James Moore
1 female 26-44 (1776-1794)…..Esther Moore
1 female 16-25 (1795-1804)…..Jane Moore
2 females 10-15 (1805-1810)…..Matilda Moore and Esther Moore (Esther born 22 Nov. 1810)
1 male 10-15 (1805-1810)…..Ephraim Moore
1 male under 10 (1810-1820)…..James H. Moore (born 31 Dec 1815)
1 female under 10 (1810-1820)…..Mary C. Moore (born 8 Jul 1818)
The Iredell census of 1840 shows Hester Moore age 69 (1771-1780) with two sons, one born 1826-1830 (Robert) and one born 1821-1825 (John Franklin). Census showed 4 slaves.
Will of Jane Moore
Iredell County Book 2, page 168, 13 Jan 1836. Will proved 13 Jan 1837
Will lists Jane’s father as James Moore, deceased, and mother, Esther Moore as living
Will lists Jane’s brothers: Ephraim, James, John, Robert
Will lists Jane’s sisters: Matilda Boyd, Esther Templeton, Mary C. Lowrance
Will provides for financial support for Jane’s two younger brothers, John and Robert, for their schooling. John F. Moore was born 13 Aug 1822 and Robert was born c. 1826
Jane’s brother James Moore named as executor of will
Witnesses to will: Richard Hudson and Neil T. Brawley
John F. Moore and Robert Moore, Orphans of James Moore
August 1839 Iredell County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions
Esther Moore came into court and renewed her bond as guardian of John F. Moore and Robert Moore, orphans of James Moore deceased, with Milas Lowrance surety in the sum of two hundred dollars.
Note: Milas Lowrance married Mary C. Moore 13 Jan 1835 in Iredell County.
Esther Moore Will
Will of Esther Moore
Iredell County Will Book 3, pages 3-4 [Cause# 645]
Will was written 12 Sep 1845 and proved Feb 1846
List of children of Esther Moore:
Esther Melissa Templeton
Carmilla, wife of deceased son Ephraim Moore
Esther names son John Moore as executor of her will
Will provided that Esther’s bay horse would go to Melissa Templeton
Will provided that James Moore was to get the wagon he was using and was in his possession
Will provided that Esther’s negro girl Catherine be sold by her son John Moore and proceeds of her price be equally divided between all of her children, to wit: James Moore, Matilda Boyd, Melissa Templeton, Mary Lowrance, Camilla Moore, widow of Ephriam Moore. Said negro girl to be sold at public sale within three months after Esther’s will was proven in court.
Witnesses: Rufus Reid, J. G. Deaton, Esther A. Brawley
Note: In some published abstracts of this will Mary Lowrance’s name is shown as Torrence. The original document clearly shows Lowrance.
1850 Census of Charlotte, Mecklenburg, North Carolina
Robert Moore, age 26, lived in hotel in Charlotte and occupation was tinner.
This age would show Robert born c. 1826.
If this is the Robert who was son of James and Esther Moore, his mother did not include him in her will in 1845.
Note: Robert Moore (1814-1884) buried at Prospect Presbyterian Cemetery is not the son of Esther and James Moore, but likely a cousin. Also Cicero Moore (1808-1879) and family buried at Prospect. Robert Moore could not have been the younger brother Robert mentioned in Jane Moore’s will if born in 1814.
Esther Moore Deed Transaction to James H. Moore
Iredell Deed Book X, pages 83-84
Esther Moore deeded to James H. Moore land in Iredell County on headwaters of Davidson Creek joining lands of John McNeely and James Templeton, Brawley’s line.
James H. Moore paid $828 for 138 ¾ acres.
Witnesses; R. R. Templeton and John F. Moore
Note: Davidson’s Creek is fork of Catawba between Beatty’s Ford and Sherrill’s Ford. J. Templeton’s house on north side of Davidson’s Creek near Centre Church. [Albions’ Seed by David H. Fischer.
James H. Moore Deed Transaction to John F. Moore
Iredell Deed Book X, pages 89-90
18 Aug 1845
James H. Moore deeded to John F. Moore 5 ½ acres of land and premises on headwaters of Rocky River (west of Mooresville). Same tract earlier conveyed by H. W. Boyd to James H. Moore. Tract connected with old field and old line.
John F. Moore paid $38.50
Witnesses: R. R. Templeton and Esther Moore
Note: H. W. Boyd could be husband of Matilda Moore Boyd who is mentioned in Jane Moore’s will and in Esther Moore’s will. Research has not located Matilda Boyd, but we believe she relocated from Iredell at an early date.
James H. Moore Deed Transaction to John F. Moore
Iredell Deed Book 2, pages 137-138
27 Sep 1855
James H. Moore to John F. MooreJohn F. Moore paid $2,000 for 258 ¼ acres. Property touches land of E. Templeton, Schoolhouse lot (North Bend?), John G. Templeton, and Samuel S. Deaton.Witnesses: Neil M. Brawley and Fielding (Finley Singleton) Brawley
Note: Neil McKissick Brawley and Finley Singleton Brawley are both sons of John Brawley (1780-1852) whose will written in 1851 provided that his son Daniel J. Brawley was to receive the land surveyed and known as the Moore Plantation containing 148 acres. Brawley land holdings were north of Mooresville and extended from Shepherds Community east to near Wiggins Road area. Iredell 1850 census shows Daniel Brawley (Moore Plantation) living near the farm of Esther Melissa Moore Templeton and her sons.
Esther Melissa Moore Templeton
Esther Melissa Moore was born 22 Nov 1810 in Iredell County, daughter of Esther and James Moore. Died 31 Jan 1881 in Iredell and buried in Centre Presbyterian Church Cemetery. Married Ephraim Templeton who was born 1807 and died 1844 in Iredell. Esther and Ephraim Templeton were parents of James E. D. Templeton (1833-1892), Joseph A. Templeton (1837-1897), and Julius Rufus Templeton (1839-1917). James E. D. Templeton and Joseph A. Templeton are buried with their families in Willow Valley Cemetery in the Templeton plot near John F. Moore’s family plot. Esther Melissa Moore Templeton is mentioned in her sister Jane Moore’s will and her mother, Esther Moore’s will. Ephraim Templeton died in 1844 and is buried at Centre Presbyterian Church.
James H. Moore
James H. Moore was born 31 Dec 1815 in Iredell County and died 14 Nov 1861 in Iredell. He is buried at Prospect Presbyterian Church Cemetery. Married Catherine Theresa McNeely (1810-1893) in 1837. Parents of Mary Jane Moore (1837-1894), Julia Anne Moore (1839-1918), Margaret Amanda Moore (1841-1918), James Churchill Moore (1843-1888), Nancy Isabella Moore (1845-1910), John Franklin Moore (1848-1934), Robert Dwight Moore (1851-1911). James is mentioned in Jane Moore’s will and Esther Moore’s will. Deed transactions recorded in Iredell with Esther Moore and John Franklin Moore. At this point we have not been able to determine Teresa McNeely’s family connection to other McNeely’s in Iredell or Rowan.
Mary C. (Polly) Moore Lowrance McNeely
Mary C. (Polly) Moore was born 8 Jul 1818 in Iredell County, daughter of James and Esther Moore. She married Milas Lowrance 13 Jan 1835 and they were parents of James Moore Lowrance (1836-1840), John Alexander (Jack) Lowrance (1838-1879), Sarah J. (Sallie) Lowrance (1841-1874), Mary Bernice (Neicy) Lowrance (1844-1871), and Milas Lowrance, Jr. (1846-1864).
Milas Lowrance died 7 Dec 1845 and is buried at Prospect Presbyterian Cemetery with son James Moore Lowrance and daughter Sarah J. Lowrance Hethcox.
Mary C. Moore Lowrance married a widower neighbor, Silas McNeely, in Feb 1850. They were parents of Agnes Euphemia McNeely (1854-1871) and Victoria Narcissa McNeely (1864-1891). Mary C. (Polly) Moore and Silas McNeely are buried together in Prospect Presbyterian Cemetery, and her son Milas Lowrance Jr. is buried by her side. Mary C. Moore’s husband Milas Lowrance was surety for Esther Moore as guardian of minor age sons Robert and John F. Moore (See Exhibit D).
Milas Lowrance, Jr.
Milas Lowrance, Jr. was born 13 Mar 1846 in Iredell County, son of Milas and Mary C. (Polly) Moore Lowrance. On 17 Mar 1864 he enlisted in Co B, 2nd NC Cavalry at Milford Station, Virginia. Milas Lowrance, Jr. died 1 Aug 1864 in General Hospital # 8 in Raleigh, NC (today Main Building of Peace University in Raleigh). Muster roll papers signed by Lt. Turner show that John Moore was entitled to bounty. Since Milas’ father was deceased, and his brother J. A. (Jack) Lowrance was on active duty with Co K, 56th NC Infantry, he listed his uncle, John F. Moore, as his beneficiary. Milas Jr. is buried at Prospect Presbyterian Church Cemetery and we assume that John F. Moore made arrangements to have his remains brought to Mooresville for burial.
John Franklin Moore
John Franklin Moore was born 13 Aug 1822 in Iredell County, son of James and Esther Moore. He married Elizabeth (Eliza) Rachel Summerow/Sumrow in Mar 1846 in Iredell.
He is mentioned in his sister Jane Moore’s will in 1836 and his mother Esther Moore’s will written in 1845. (See Exhibits C. D, E). John Franklin and Eliza Summerow Moore were the parents of Catherine Isabella Moore (1846-1890), Esther Jane Moore (1848-1881), Nancy Victoria Moore (1851-1917), and Mary Josephine Moore (1854-1890). John Franklin Moore had land transactions with his mother Esther and brother James (Exhibits G,H,I). The John F. Moore home was located at 416 North Main Street in Mooresville, NC. The house was razed and became site of the S. A. Hart Cotton Company). John Franklin Moore died 26 Jul 1877 and Eliza Summerow Moore died 9 Feb 1900. Both are buried in Willow Valley Cemetery in Mooresville.
NOTE: Will F. Lowrance is a great-great grandson of Mary C. (Polly) Moore Lowrance McNeely. Lowrance and wife Betty live in Hillsboro, Texas where Will serves as Chair of the Hillsboro Historic Preservation Commission and is former Mayor of the City of Hillsboro. Lowrance is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and Southern Methodist University. He served as editor of an Arcadia publication, Images of Hillsboro, and writes a “Glimpse of the Past” column for the Hillsboro Reporter.