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 www.whitepages.com.
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.


  1. Another interesting feature of WhitePages.com is their names pages: This is a link to the last name Forehand in Texas with some included information about the origin of the name forehand: http://names.whitepages.com/Texas/last/Forehand

    Here is the same thing for MOORE: http://names.whitepages.com/Texas/last/Moore - you'll notice Moore is the 20th most popular last name in Texas, so there are a lot of them. You can do full name searches too like: http://names.whitepages.com/Gerh/Schoenbohm

    Hope this is useful for you.

  2. This is great, Laura. Can't wait to see what other adventures await you as you pursue your family history in the heart of Texas. :-)

  3. Oh Laura,
    I am so excited for you and this wonderful journey you are on. I don't know if my side of the Moore family is connected to yours but if you want info. let me know. My group is around the Houston area and I can only get about 4 or 5 generations back. I want to send in the DNA from my hubby and his son, not enough $$$ yet. Keep up the good work and God Bless.
    Suzy Moore - South Jordan wife of Michael Riley Moore.
    Mike's dad is Wm. Henry Moore, his dad is David Lorenzo (I think). Next is Riley Moore, and that is it. Most lived in or at least died in TX, although not all born there.
    Looking forward to more on Moore's.
    Suzy Moore