Thursday, December 31, 2009

Brands of Yesterday--Taylor, Texas

So yesterday upon rising with dripping and stuffed-up sinuses, achy and feeling like I had been run over by a few Mac trucks in the middle of the night, I went back to bed. Thinking sleep would help some. But getting up a second time for the day, and still feeling like most of my life had been sucked out of me, I thought maybe just getting out for a bit would lite my energy valves. I decided to make a trip to the Taylor Texas Library, and this time I took my notes and what I was looking for.

A friend in Utah had asked me to look up some stuff on her Great Grandfather who had been in Williamson County, Texas. I had seen an article the first time I was at the library, and so I was on a search for the article to see if it was the SURNAMES she was looking for. My second goal of the day was to see if I could uncover the history of the 605 Washburn House that is listed as The Moore House in Taylor, Texas.

I found a few things. For my friend in Utah, I was not so lucky with her information. The Moore House, found a few things, mainly who was residing in the house in 1910. That is a big plus at least now I have a name to go by.

I thought I would share on this blog some of the things I found, hoping that maybe they will help someone else. The first thing I found, were some cattle and horse brands of the Taylor Folks. This is not all of them, but they are a start! The Jack Moore at the top is my Great Grandfather-I think!!! They owned a Cotton Plantation and came to the area early in the beginning of Williamson County. I need to do some additional research to document it, but that will come.

The list of SURNAMES is as follow:

Moore, McClaren, Maze, Barker, Young, Dyches, Garner, Elliott, Stanley, Jones, Smith, Stiles, Fowzer, Mackin, Pinchback, Springer, Rayburn, Thompson, Ziechang, Bland, Hardeman, Hargress, Burns, Doose, Brown, Word, Litton, Brean, Saunders

Are your ancestors here?

Here is a picture of the complete file: Located in a scrapbook in the Taylor, Texas Public Library, History Research Room, Taylor, Texas. 12/30/2009. This scrapbook has various clippings from the Taylor Press. The books are not numbered; there are just three of them in Brown Covers. The top of the article reads:

A few of the many cow and horse brands J. W Hardeman remembers when he rode the range from 1880-1900/

I photographed this with my digital camera, so sorry for the semi poor quality of it. I am working on perfecting this aspect of research! I figured at least we could read it, which is better than not having it at all!!!

Stay tuned for “Moore” Goodies I found in the library!!! (ha ha couldn’t resist) Oh and now I seen a new prescription when life sucks you dry, get up and go on a ancestor hunt!

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Dueling On The Stairs

By LL Moore

In July 1977, my mom and I had one of our frequent infamous fights. Over what? Who knows, that part is long forgotten. But the words she said are not. She told me, “I will be so glad when you leave then all my problems will be solved.” That was a Friday. At work that night, my supervisor found me huddled in a corner crying. Partially through our conversation she gave me the name of her aunt and uncle and insisted I catch the first bus to Salt Lake City, UT on Monday morning. “At least then you will have a chance at life” she told me. That Monday I was boarding a Greyhound bus with $200 and two suitcases bound for Salt Lake City, UT. It was a journey that would help me begin to understand my past.

As a young girl in Texas, I had heard the countless stories of the family champions and heroes. In the short years I knew my grandmother Grace; I do not recall her ever mentioning any thing of her parents. It was a taboo subject us children were not allowed to inquire about and we didn’t. Later through my genealogical research, I learned it was a part of our family history that everyone would rather forget.

On a morning of August 1914, a mysterious man arrived in Brownsville, TX from Alice on the St. Louis, Brownsville & Mexico passenger train. According to T. J. Shanahan, the manager of what is referred to as the Valley Hotel on Levee Street, the man asked for recommendations of somewhere to eat. Mr. Shanahan directed him to a place down the street and the mysterious stranger returned later to the hotel and registered under the name of “Emmett Burgess”. In registering he smeared his place of residence as if to hide it. He asked Mr. Shanahan for some stationery and retreated to his room for the afternoon.

At approximately 4:45 that afternoon, Mr. Shanahan had been speaking with Mr. Burgess and then settled down to his desk to take on the day’s tasks. Mr. Burgess sat on the balcony at the top of the stairs. Upon hearing footsteps coming up the stairs, Emmett Burgess walked to the balcony overlooking the stairs and began to shoot at the two men. In a matter of minutes two men were dead and one wounded.

On Monday August 17, 1914 the Brownsville Herald Newspaper Extra headline read:
H. G. Dubose Assassinated
Shot down by G. J. Schoenbohm of Alice

An extra edition of the Brownsville Herald was produced on this day to cover the story that went around the nation. Stories also appeared in major newspapers across the country including Salt Lake City, UT, Oakland, CA and San Antonio, TX.

According to newspaper reports of The Brownsville Gazette, H. G Dubose, Chief of the US Immigration Office and his brother E. (Ed) M Dubose, US Customs Inspector, were responding to a note that came from a mysterious Emmett Burgess. Mr. Burgess claimed on the note that he had some information regarding a case that Ed Dubose was working on. Ed Dubose questioned folks around town, regarding “Emmett Burgess” but when no one knew or heard of him, he acquired the assistance of his brother H G Dubose, and came prepared for a possible ambush. Ed Dubose escaped with a wounded leg but was charged with killing of G. J. Schoenbohm. He was later acquitted. H. G. Dubose had four bullets in him, and was killed. G. J. Schoenbohm held 15 bullets in his bullet ridden body. Schoenbohm was also disguised with brown hair die on his hair and eyebrows, was wearing brown gloves, shaved his moustache and wore shaded glasses to complete his disguise. It was only through a letter on his personage and a casual friend he was able to be identified.

On Tuesday, August 18, 1914 the title read, Two Homes Mourn Fathers’ Loss. G. J. Schoenbohm was my great grandfather; his oldest daughter Grace, my grandmother. According to the 1910 census, Gerhard J. Schoenbohm was listed as a father and husband, living in Alice Texas, and married to Carrie. Together they had six children: Grace, Marguerite, Gerhard Jr., Lottie, Katherine and Johnny. Gerhard was born in Germany and was a rail road agent. From further research, I know he was born in Bremen, Germany, and came to the United States at 10 weeks old. He was 21 years old when he married my great grandmother, 17 year old Carrie Valls Linn. They were married for 18 years. In addition to his family duties, he served as an agent to the Texas-Mexican Railroad. Reportedly, he was well liked and well known along the rail route. His oldest daughter Grace was my grandmother.

The story and trial received much attention throughout Texas, Brownsville and the rest of the nation. It had every right so, the news was big. The speculation of the cause of the shooting was domestic troubles. Too often what we forget in a story like this is that while only three people were the main characters of the show, there were several more people affected in two families.

For the Schoenbohm family, the rumors affected them greatly. Monie (Marguerite) was the second oldest child and left in her autobiography incidents of the after math of the shooting. Prior to the killing, they lived on 25 acres of land, and their father had planned to send her and her older sister (my grandmother) to college in the fall. Instead after the shooting, Monie tells the story “My father was killed the summer after I graduated from high school. He had planned on sending my sister and I to the university that fall to further our education. His death put an end to this opportunity.”

Monie also stated in her autobiography, “The circumstances under which my father was killed left our family practically ostracized from the community. Our former friends treated us as though we had some kind of plague”. To deal with these problems, the family left Alice, and settled in Corpus Christi, Texas. Leaving Alice meant leaving their problems behind them. What should have been part of a family history is also part of the history of Brownsville as it was remembered in a chronology series of “Record of Valley History” in The Brownsville Gazette in 1942.

Monie talked lovingly of her father and grandmother, but her mother was a different story. She goes on to tell that her mother was very domineering, with a temper. “From my earliest recollections, I remembered quarrels and disagreements between my mother and grandma (Papa’s mother made her home with us.) These quarrels upset me greatly.” From the problems of the parents, it was passed along to Monie on how she saw herself and life. In later years she reported similar behavior to her parents in ways of marrying a man like her mother who was domineering, and then having an “…unfortunate love affair that practically ruined my later life.”

Monie reported in her autobiography. “Another thing that upset me was the feeling that I was not liked as much as my sisters and brother. Everything I did was criticized severely, even to my looks. My mother, in her fits of anger, would tell me I was ugly, stubborn, talked too much and went way out of my way to make trouble with my brother and sisters.”

From my father’s side of the family where this line comes, I have seen the repeated behaviors and can understand the feelings of Monie. My own father was shot in Corpus Christi, Texas and although reported in the Corpus Christi Caller Times as an “Investigator Shot On Way To Work” there was much speculation as to the story that was told to the public and the circumstances that led up to the shooting. Rumors, like his grandfather, my great-grandfather; there were domestic problems among other issues.

Like Monie, leaving home I thought would resolve the problems in my family, but they did not. The low self esteem and comparison to others were stung into me by my own mother. Her telling me to leave was dealing with her frustration and I believed forced me to take a different road than my family had. This different road has allowed me (I hope) to break the mold that surrounded our family’s past.

Through the years the genealogical research of my family has helped me to understand that our lives mimic that of our own families and ancestors. Whether it is the heroes or the characters, part of them will always be part of each of us in someway. Me leaving did not solve any of my family problems, just as my grandfather shooting down two men solved his. I believe we all have a “dueling” in our lives, just not always on the stairs.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Memories....

It is a week before Christmas, and watching all the Christmas movies, have made me think a lot about the Christmas holidays. I think back to some of the memorable ones and not so much what I got for Christmas, but the events of the night before and then how those little silly things seemed to turn into a Christmas Tradition.

One of my earliest remembrances was of Christmas Eve in 1966. My mom and I started off the day by making Christmas Cookies. I don’t remember if the dough was made from scratch. Why do I say that? Because when we moved to Iowa and needed cookies for our class, my mom would simply go and buy the roll of cookies that you sliced and baked. Only we would never slice and bake them, we would roll out the sugar cookie dough and cut out pumpkins, or stockings, Christmas trees, Easter eggs, or what ever the holiday called for. (Side Note: I was 18 years old, and moved to Utah when I first learned that you could make your own cookie dough, and they did come from the rolls of cookie dough we bought in the store). So when I say I don’t remember how we made the dough that is why.

But I do remember cutting out all the different shapes of trees, bells, Santas, stockings etc. The next step was to bake them……BORING!!! Next was the frosting and decoration and that is when the fun started! There were bowls filled with different color frostings, and we would decorate all the cookies. When you have three little kids putting their creativity to work, there were some awesome creations made. I also remember not having all the cool sprinkles and candies we have today, but there were the silver bead that were cool but so hard to eat, so most of the decorations did end up on the cookies and not in our tummies. The frosting, now that was probably a different story.

The next step was to prepare cookie plates, and then we would take them to neighbors and friends to wish them a Merry Christmas. This would take the good part of the day on Christmas Eve. Next came dinner, hotdogs. Yep, plain ole hotdogs. I remember my mom telling us to hurry and eat so we could get to bed or Santa would not come. So of course we snarfed them down. Now you are saying what is so memorable about this Laura? Did I fail to tell you that we were in bed by 6 pm on Christmas Eve? Well for me it was a tad bit later, because of all the cookies and eating the hotdogs so fast, got sick. But somehow I managed to sleep a few hours before Santa came.

Yes I did say a few hours. Christmas morning we were up at 1 a.m. peeking under the tree to see what Santa brought us. Now I now what you are all saying, “If my kids did that they wouldn’t see another Christmas”, or some threat like that. Well parents may threaten us a lot, but we lived to talk about it. And it happened for many many years. An hour after getting up and scoping out the loot, all our toys were packed and loaded in the Rambler Station Wagon and off we’d go to Granny and Poppy’s house. It was always quite funny, looking back on it now, we could only take ONE PRESENT, but of course we never did. Kids have a way of being able to condense their loot. Santa seemed a bit off that night though, because my baby buggy fell apart shortly after rolling it around at Granny’s house. I was told I made a comment on how Santa didn’t do a very good job on my baby buggy!

Besides the baby buggy and probably a doll, I don’t remember what I really got that year for Christmas……oh wait MEMORY ALERT! MEMORY ALERT! Part of my presents were socks, underwear and Santa puzzles. A fun gift from Santa huh? And how could I possibly remember something like this? My neighbor Headabell (who I so loved) brought me a toy stove that belonged to her when she was little. She was a high school student and was like a big sister to me. With this stove, you could plug it in and the oven really worked. Because of all the festivities of Christmas Eve, I had not had a chance to try out my new oven. It was Christmas night, and after returning home from Granny and Poppy’s, we were sitting in the kitchen chatting with some friends of my parents. All of a sudden SMOKE! We smelled smoke!!! Checking the burners on the stove nothing in the kitchen was cooking, so we began to follow the smell. Right to my room! Up till then I has not realized my brothers had mysteriously had disappeared and then all of a sudden reappeared snickering. Opening the door to my room, was smoke pouring from my new oven. Well the oven worked! Then my Dad did the unthinkable. He not only unplugged the stove, he cut the plug. Just snipped it off. I cried, I was a little girl and I was allowed the tears. Opening the oven we found charred remains of the Santa puzzle, underwear and socks. My dad was mad, and rightly so. I cried, some more. My brothers snickered some more. And my precious oven I never even got to use, but the memory of the oven lives on in my heart.

But through it all you know what lasted forever? Every Christmas morning we were up at 1 a.m. Christmas morning peeking under the tree. Even in high school. One year we were up and my mom yelling at us to go back to bed. Again we were in high school. Then the phone rang, it was Grandma. “Where are you guys she asked?” “Are you opening presents yet?” So that morning before any presents could be opened we had to get Grandma and give her an official escort to our house. In the early hours of Christmas morning, we got Grandma, loaded her and the presents in the car and headed back to our house to She was calling to ask where we were. She thought we would be up by now opening presents. So that morning Grandma had an official escort to our house. We laughed, because on our way out of her apartment building, someone else was coming to get their Grandma, and told us “I see you are getting an official escort too.”

It’s funny thinking back to the memories, how again it was not what was under the tree as it was the events that led up to the day. In my later years, with no family to spend Christmas with, I relied very heavily on friends. And each Christmas I hoped that somewhere I would be invited for Christmas. Many times I was. One year though, I spent Christmas with a family, where we thought it would probably be my friend’s last Christmas. I had watched the family struggle for the few years I knew them, and decided that year they were going to have a good Christmas. I had the means to do so, and it was something I wanted to do. I bought the tree, dinner and presents for all of the family including the grandkids. Yep I was invited that Christmas, and under the tree for me was an ice scraper for my car and a chocolate orange. I was a bit surprised and I admit disappointed, but gulped it down and accepted the gift. My friend told me she was sorry she could not do more, she just did not have the money that year. I accepted that. When it was all done and over, I added up the damage, and let’s just say it was not cheap. There were 13 children and 9 adults with all the trimmings. I was glad to be able to do it. Shortly afterwards, it seemed as though I was no longer part of the family. It made me sad, as I was told my friend only wanted to be around family. I was not included.

When Christmas came the next year, I looked at my budget, and decided Christmases were going to be different. I buy very few presents any more, and try to focus on making my gifts. Each Christmas there is a touch of “Laura Love” with the gifts I give.

One of the things I love to do is to tell a story as you can see. Telling a story, usually involves making a book or writing somewhere or somehow. So often times somehow my presents involves books. One Christmas I made a cookbook. I have created Family Histories for my aunts and cousins, a photo book for a teenager, and one day will have my children’s story and my own book published.

What I learned about giving at Christmas, is most of the time it is not the gift that will be remembered but the antics that have led up to it, the story behind it, that is what makes Christmas memorable. The tradition that was spoken of earlier, of getting up at 1 a.m. Christmas morning, it may be a bit strange in most eyes, but for us that was our “tradition”. It was the joke at our house. Up at 1 a.m., dinner at 10 a.m. and we were snoozing by 1 p.m. in the afternoon. A full day like everyone else, just at different times of the day.

You are probably asking what has this got to do with Texas History? It is important to remember that each name of your ancestors that is found on a census, or vital record, or where ever you find them, they were a real person. They laughed, and joked, and had special times in their lives as we do. I am hoping that 100 years from now if a descendant goes poking around for history on me or my ancestors, they will be able to get a glimpse into my life and how our family celebrated Christmas. Thee were many more memories that stand out, but definitely getting up at 1 a.m. was tops.

So now that I have let you in on one of my Christmas memories, please share one of yours. So what is your favorite memory of Christmas? Do you have a favorite tradition? A memorable Christmas? A secret project that went off without a hitch? Or one that completely flopped? Please do tell and share!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

LL Moore

Friday, December 4, 2009

Visiting Your Ancestor’s Town; What You May Discover

When the time comes and you have the chance to walk the ground where your ancestors walked, there are many emotions and thoughts that go through your mind. In coming, to Texas, I was here less than 24 hours when I traveled to Taylor, Texas to see where my grandfather was born, and where my ancestors lived their lives. Now most normal people would have gotten a map of the town and scouted out where they were going. Not me. After getting the general directions of how to get to Taylor, I was on my way. Seeing the sign of the Taylor City Limits and population my first thought was, I wonder what my grandparents would think of a town the size of 13,000 plus? I didn’t know where I was going or how to get to the old part of Taylor, but I kept driving, and as I entered the town all I could do was talk to myself, “I am really here.” The pictures I had seen of early years were nothing like it was today. It made me wondered what my ancestors thought of today’s technology advancements. Of cars being the main form of transportation rather than horse and buggies? What about the cotton industry? It seems no longer the thriving industry it once was. So much had changed since they were there over 100 years ago.

I didn’t know what to expect entering town, except this was not it. Taylor was once a thriving town and hubbub of Williamson County, but I did not get that feeling driving through town this day. It seemed in many ways it was a town forgotten. Driving into town, there were few businesses. One I chuckled at was a business that had water and jugs. There has got to be a story there! Then there is the chicken place, a couple gas stations, and a hotel until you reach the stop light at the end of the street. Not knowing which way to turn, I took the easy way out and turned right. Not knowing the town and looking somewhat deserted, I found a spot to make a U-turn and went the opposite direction. Ahhhhh, here is the town. It looked nothing like pictures I had seen from a website on the history of Taylor. I guess it could have been some of the same buildings, but no longer the same businesses, but the buildings were somewhat old.

Making my way down Main Street, the street signs on the left began to catch my attention. There was a 3rd Street, 4th Street, 5th Street, and then it dawned on me! Prior to coming to Texas, I had found a house For Sale in Taylor and had Googled it. I was curious as to where the house was compared to where my grandfather and his family had lived in the 1910 Census, which was somewhere on Howard Street. In looking at the map I Howard Street was only a couple of blocks from where the house was for sale, and I had to find 6th Street to find the other two points I knew in Taylor.

Going up 6th Street, I knew I was in the right area when I saw Murphy Park. Driving along and reading street names, I slammed on my brakes suddenly. There on the street sign it said, “DOAK” Street.

In my research, I had learned there was a Dr. A. V Doak who was a very prominent citizen in Taylor and also the first doctor of Taylor. From what I was told, Dr. Doak delivered my grandfather and so therefore, my grandfather Vernon Doak Moore was named after the doctor who delivered him, Dr. A. V. Doak. Now how many people can go through the town where their ancestors were and find a street name with their name on it? Okay, I guess a lot of us can and it is too dang cool!!!! Going a little further I found Howard Street, and that is where the eyes started to fill with tears. I did not know if I would find anything as spectacular as I had just found with DOAK Street, but I cruised down Howard Street. You could tell it was an older section of town because of the old beautiful Victorian homes. All I could think of is I wonder which one was theirs?

Since that initial trip to Taylor, I have returned several times and traveled down Howard Street. According to the census I believe their address was 494 Howard Street, that address no long exists. It will take more research of City directories, and county records, to see where they actually lived. And I still believe that in time, pictures will turn up of my Moore Family and others from Taylor, Williamson County, Texas. For now until those pictures appear and find their way to me, I will share with you some pictures I have taken in Taylor, Texas.

I might add I have the luxury of visiting Taylor whenever I feel the need to, but often times we o not have that luxury. If you are making plans on visiting the area where your ancestors once walked and lived, have a game plan. Here is what I would do, next time I go to check out my ancestor’s town.

1) Check the census of when they lived in the area, and see if you can find a street name of where they lived. Google the street name and see if it is still in the town.
2) Make a visit to the public library and see what kind of archives and history is available for your town. When I visited, there were town census, and microfilm copies of the newspaper.
3) In addition to the public library of your town, check out the libraries in other cities and town in the county. Here in Williamson County, the main Genealogical records at kept at the Round Rock library. However, visiting the Georgetown library, I found a very knowledgeable county historian.
4) Is there a History Museum for the town or county? Most have them and may have some beneficial information for you. Talk to someone there, and find out about the history, town and county advancements etc.
5) Is there a Genealogical Society for the area? One thing the genealogical society is doing for Williamson County, TX is putting all the cemetery records in FindAGrave with directions and GPS markings to help researchers in their search for ancestor’s graves. Contact the Genealogical Society and see if they can offer any hints or ideas that will help enhance your research and trip.
6) Find out in advance where to locate any county records you may be in search of. Are you looking for land records? Vital records? Court records? In Williamson County, TX they are all located in one area. This is a trip of a life time, treat it as such. Do your research and plan it out to make the most of your trip.
7) Connect with local genealogists or historians in the area that have the inside track of where to find records, and maybe take in some sight seeing on the side A good way to do this is the county boards on or again finding a local genealogical society.
8) Make a checklist. Places to go, records you are looking for and most importantly, your CAMERA! Record and document not only your trip, but also the records you are gathering. If you have never taken classes on how to use your camera for genealogy I highly recommend a class.

Okay here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure. These were taken in Granger, Texas, which is where my ancestors lived as well. Loved this town, not much there, but some of the old buildings are still standing! And do you know what a "Washateria" is?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A New Beginning.....

Greetings Fellow Moore Researchers:

It’s been along time, and first of all apologize for the delay in posting to this blog. I have put myself in "Time Out" long enough, and have recommitted myself to share and uncover my MOORE History. There has been a major change in my life since the last posting I would like to share with all of you.

In April of 2009 I got the news I was being laid off from my job. It sucks to be laid off, but to be laid off from a job I loved was really hard. Putting my heart and soul into another office job just wasn’t happening. In about July, I thought long and hard and decided I needed a change. So in October, I sold everything, packed up my Chevy Blazer and moved to Williamson County, Texas for the simple reason to find my MOORE’s. To say it has been a journey is an understatement, but oh what a journey it has been. I really thought coming back to Texas, I would have an instant “family”, something I have not had since I was a child. Even though I have seen some family members, I have not seen in over 40 years, it was not the instant family I thought it would be. I must admit at first it upset me, but then thanks to my friends (the whole blood related thing is way over rated anyway!) they reminded me I am new to them and we all need time to get used to one another and to get used to the idea, and understand our “family” has grown.

This especially was hard, because it was the beginning of the holidays, which means my birthday, and the flood of painful memories that come back from Thanksgiving of 1965. That was the last our entire family was together and when everything erupted with my parent’s marriage. As I have said before, “Life is a Journey” and it has been quite a journey for me.

So that brings me till today, Tuesday December 1, 2009. I visited the Georgetown, TX library and visited with a nice gentleman (yes they have many of them here in Texas) by the name of Ralph Dixon Love. In doing research of Williamson County I had come across the Georgetown Library and that Mr. Love was the local county historian for Williamson County. It was a privilege and honor to talk to him today.

The first question he asked is, “What surname are you researching”. That is a loaded question for me. I have more than one family from Williamson County. I replied instantly with MOORE, and Mr. Love confirmed the spelling and let me tell my story. He laughed when I told him I didn’t have “skeleton’s” in the closet, but I had “characters” instead. When I mentioned the name of FOREHAND his mouth dropped so much that I stopped in the middle of my sentence and looked at him and said, “We are related aren’t we?” He nodded his head up and down and began to pull books off the shelves. So much of our discussion was on the FOREHAND family and how Richard FOREHAND came into my line, the will, probate, etc. His response, was he had never heard of this line before. That didn’t surprise me, it seems most haven’t. He continued on to tell me how I was kin to so many different prominent families that had come into the county very early. There are still mysteries of my FOREHAND line like where is Richard Neeley FOREHAND buried, but it was a good chat and fun to hear some of the stories of days gone by.

Mr. Love was instrumental in helping me understand what records are available and people to talk to in the county. When I came to Williamson County, I just thought I would find all these undiscovered records and be happily a couple more generations back. But things don’t work that way, only in our dreams! One idea I did have was to run a search for all the FOREHANDS and MOORES in Taylor, TX and then send a letter to each one of them. In doing this, I found about 43 MOORE and FOREHAND’s in the Taylor area. When I mentioned this to Mr. Love, he told me about a paper I had not uncovered yet and suggested I write to the paper instead. That paper is The Williamson County Sun and covers all of Williamson County, Texas. So, my next step is to look at a paper called the Williamson County Sun and also write to the paper with my request of seeking MOORE and FOREHAND’s in the area. I know what you all are asking, “How can I do this for my family?” Since here this is a paper that covers the entire county, you may not be as lucky but it is still doable. It is important to check your local library, find that historian of your county and find out what is available in your area.
If you prefer the “send a letter” method the best way to start is going to
Leave the FIRST NAME field blank and enter the surname you are searching for in LAST NAME field.
Enter the city you are searching-See Below
If there ARE results for that city/town you will see a listing just for that city.
If there ARE NO results for that city, you will receive results for nearby town/city-See Below
Then just print off the list and off you go!

I would do a basic generic letter, explaining your search and do a mass mailing. Technology, I LOVE IT!

However if you are lucky enough to find a county newspaper, then simply write to the paper with the information you are requesting. Always remember to leave your email address when writing. Who knows what will show up in your snail mail or email box. There is your genealogy lesson for the day!

Now back to Mr. Love. After our discussion of Williamson County Families, records and who had the knowledge, I asked him if I could share my family history I wrote. My spiral bound history goes with me everywhere where genealogy research is involved. It is like my security blanket, a reminder of how far I have come in my search and the motivation to continue to move forward. One of the first things Mr. Love noticed was my grandfather’s name, Vernon Doak MOORE. He asked me, “Are you related to the DOAK Family too?” I explained to him, that my grandfather was delivered by Dr. Doak (the first doctor in Taylor), and he was named after Dr. Doak. He turned to me and said, I have only seen that name once and that was with my Uncle’s name. I asked if he was delivered by Dr. Doak, and Mr. Love chuckled and said yes he was! Wouldn’t it be interesting to see how many folks there are with the name of “Doak” as a middle name? This could make for an interesting research project.

One of the pages I did was a tribute to my two aunts entitled “My Sister, My Friend”. It caught his attention and commented, “That truly is a sisterly love.” I explained the story of the Chicken and Dumplings and Frisky, the last time we were all together, the “Bring Your Own Hat Reunion Photo” and it went on. Near the back is a section on my Great Great Grandmother, Carrie Schoenbohm. When he saw her picture, he said, “Wow, is she beautiful! All you women are so beautiful, you can tell where you got your looks from.” Okay, this left me a bit speechless. Beautiful? Never been told that before, I could only squeak a meager thank you. As we ended our trip through the MOORE-SCHOENBOHM History, he told me, “I want you to know I feel we have been very blessed to have you come to our county. You are very knowledgeable and have such a great passion and love for your history. But more than that, you have such a gift in being able to tell a story as you have. You have had me captivated this whole time (we talked about four hours) and I feel like I am part of your family. Plus the way you have created your history and the way you presented it to me, I have Goosebumps. This is what you are meant to do.”

Today, early I was frustrated. Tonight, I am a new me. I left with determination, hope and a “Look Out World Here I Come” feeling. I expressed to Mr. Love, one of my goals with genealogy is to bring it together as a family affair because there are many ways to involve family members I will share in a later blog. But more than that is I have discovered in my own family history, cycles that are repeated from generation to generation. I believe a lot of times, we see traits repeat because we are not familiar with our history. By learning about our history, we can break some of these bad cycles that create our characters in the closet.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

In The Beginning....The Brickwalls

For over 30 years I have searched the Moore Family History. In the beginning I had one name, Vernon Doak Moore Sr., my grandfather. As a little girl, I was told that the Moore History ran deep in the heart of Texas. There were great-cousins in the Alamo, Moore’s that helped settle Texas, and even a county named after an ancestor. As I began my journey I came to my first road block, the 1880 census did not have my grandfather’s information (I would later learn he was born in 1884) and without that information I could not search further until the 1900 census was released. When that census was released I did find him, with his brothers and sister living with their Grandparents. Next came finding a probate and the real dead end hit. No Minverva Forehand that would link them with the Moore’s. What should have been a matter of following a path became a sequence of frustrations. I would dig out the history and then put it away when I couldn’t get past that hurdle of finding My Great-Grandparents.

In 2008 I began to think outside the box and started to search for my Grandfather’s siblings, it was there the roads were open and I began to find the Moore History. I found the path by searching for my Grandfather’s Sister, Ellen Moore Erving and found her living with a brother in South Dakota. I realized this was not going to be an easy task, but as I have journeyed along I have had many smiles creep across my face. Thanks to my cousin Verne and his Father Ed, who supplied many pictures and documents that were crucial to my research.

This history is the documentation and information I have gathered along the way. It is meant to continuously be added to. To the generations to come, it is my hope they add their family branch. To generations that are past and found, it is my hope they may be added to this history. To the stories that are told here, it is my hope that all may descend from this line may grow a greater knowledge of where they came from and a great love for those who came before us.

One of my greatest finds (for me) was seeing the picture of my Great Grandmother Carrie Valls Schoenbohm – she no longer was just a name on a piece of paper but a “real person”.

I know there is much to be added to in this incredible story of our ancestors. It is my hope that others will gain an interest in our heritage, dig out the old photos, stories and documents, and add to this! In time a hard bound book will be produced for many generations to come.