The Muse Rabbit Hole – Looking For a Fry

“Going Down The Rabbit Hole” is a slang term used by genealogy researchers when they find themselves bogged down researching something completely different from their original set goal. I recently purchased a copy of the Moore County Genealogical Society Archived Newsletters on CD and sat down to “skim” through them to find any mention of my Fry family. Somehow, I ended up reading article after article about the Muse family from Carthage, one of the distinguished families of Moore County whose name is still plentiful in our area today. There are numerous interesting articles and stories regarding this family, too many for me to cover in this one article, but if you are a MUSE, GLASCOCK family researcher, there is plenty to send you down a rabbit hole, as well. As a side note, I did find information about the Frys marrying the Muses so it wasn’t totally a wasted excursion. The information in this article is taken from the book The Methodists of Carthage 1837-1987 by Emma Phillips Paschal and Marshall R. Old, along with newspaper articles, and Ancestry details.

James B. Muse, married Elizabeth “Betsy” Glascock, daughter of Dr. George Glascock about 1806 near the Cross Hill section of Moore County where the Muses and Dr. Glascock had moved during colonial times from their homes in Virginia. Dr. George Glascock was a cousin to George Washington. In 1787, Dr. Glascock was killed at his home in the Cross Hill section of Carthage by a servant of Philip Alston – the same servant who, reportedly, killed Alston himself [a separate story worth reading]. James and Betsy Muse died two days apart in 1864 having been married about 60 years.

One of James and Betsy’s seven children was George Glascock Muse, born on the 28th of February 1816, name-sake of his grandfather, Dr. George Glascock. George Glascock Muse was always proud of his kinship to George Washington through his grandfather, and was said to have some resemblance to our first President. George first married Jane Campbell, a native of the Isle of Skye, Scotland, and there were 12 children born to this marriage. Following his first wife’s death, at the age of 78, he secondly married Miss Frances “Fannie” Fry, who was age 34 [I found a Fry].

The death of George Muse at the age of 93 on June 15, 1909, was recorded in the Carthage Blade and the following article from the book The Methodists of Carthage was printed: On the 15th day of June, 1909, there passed from this life one of the most striking characters and one of the most remarkable men of our time, Mr. George Glasscock Muse. His entire life from babyhood to hoary age was spent near Carthage among a quiet, industrious, frugal, farmer people. He inherited from his sturdy ancestors a strong and splendid physique, a sound constitution, and that rare and inestimable gift, good common sense. Outdoor exercise, manual labor, and temperate habits had developed and preserved his physical powers to a wonderful degree. They had never been impaired by an intemperate habit for in his youth he never did apply hot and rebellious liquors in his blood and no vice had ever been able to hold sway over his inflexible character. He had therefore by reason of strength passed the fourscore years and ten. He was a man of strong convictions and decided opinions. He was bold and frank. As a neighbor he was obliging, and as a friend he was loyal and true. He was from an early period in life a devout member of the Carthage Methodist Church. “Weary with the march of life” this venerable man has passed away.

Mr. Muse is buried at the Carthage Methodist Church along with his first wife, the mother of his 12 children, Jane Campbell Muse.


If you have been bitten by the genealogy bug, you likely will never recuperate. Your symptoms may come and go, but you will most likely have an addiction for life. Currently, the only known treatments involve walking through a cemetery, visiting a research facility, and endless hours hunched over your computer trying to make sense of your family connections. Genealogy has become the second most popular hobby in the United States after gardening, increasing your risk of encountering someone carrying this fever. You may not even realize it, but you may already be harboring this research gene. It may have embedded itself as far back as your childhood, or possibly in 1976 when Alex Haley published his famous book “Roots”, or even as recently as the TV program “Who Do You Think You Are?” You may already have some underlying symptoms such as reading obituaries first in your local newspaper, being excited about the 1850 census naming family members, or listening to surnames to see where they might fit into your family dynamics. Even though it sounds like the kind of habit you ought to nip in the bud before it goes rampant, identifying your ancestors from whom you are descended and making a record of information from past events in their lives through genealogy is one of the most interesting and rewarding adventures you will ever have. It is addictive, but it will not be the cause of your demise. Creating family trees, learning about your nationality, and connecting through DNA will most likely become your favorite hobby, too.

Your first exposure to family history may have come as a child listening to stories told by your parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, or while reluctantly touring through cemeteries while they pointed out all your relatives. They likely were re-telling stories passed from their relatives, which means you could have been listening to stories a hundred or more years old. For some (probably the majority), these stories are mundane and meaningless. To others, they can be the beginning of a life-long quest to discover more about who you are and where you came from. Every family has a story to tell. Perhaps it is up to you to be the teller of your family’s story.

Genealogy research includes many types of factual records such as immigration, birth, marriage, military, census, death, and burial. These records are an important paper trail to help trace your family. Today’s technology records every moment of our lives on computers and cell phones, which seems to be replacing paper trails altogether. But keep in mind, papers and computers only record the cold, hard facts. Each of your families also has a social history. Like beautiful fall leaves, the everyday lives of your family members add the color to your family tree and brings your ancestors to life. Knowing where we came from gives us roots and helps us understand why we live where we live, eat what we eat, act the way we do, and have the traditions we do. This is why it is important to include these stories, traditions, photos, news articles, and memorabilia in your family history.

I certainly am not an expert genealogist, but as someone who has been researching for several years, I would like to offer a little advice based on what I have learned. When I began researching, I was one of those in the majority who thought family stories, photos, kinfolks, and graveyards were boring and just for the “old folks”. Now that I am the oldest generation, I am saddened by the fact that I have no one to answer the questions I now have about my past. All I have are the cold, hard facts. There are so many unanswered questions and mysteries that I cannot solve through pieces of paper or computer records. Sometimes I need the story behind the paper.

Even if you are not motivated to trace your family back to the Mayflower, at least begin today by keeping and documenting current records, photos, and notes of events in the lives of your family. After all, in just a few years these records will be “your history”, and one of your children may be the next genealogist in your family and thank you for your thorough record keeping.

If you are interested in beginning your family search, before you jump head long into creating a family tree with 5,000 relatives, it would be wise to take some time to think through just a few things. What is your purpose for doing genealogy? Is it to find out if you are related to someone famous, locate a missing relative, or just learn who your relatives are? Will it just be a fun hobby, or do you want to join an association such as the Daughters or Sons of the American Revolution? This may determine how thorough your research level will need to be. What do you hope to learn about your family? Do you want to make separate family trees for your maternal and paternal family branches? Importantly, am I willing to accept the findings I uncover if they are not what I expect?

Keep in mind you are about to become your family genealogist. You will become the collector of information for your family, which can be interesting, overwhelming, and sometimes disappointing. Being the family genealogist does not make you the family judge. There is a saying, “Don’t judge people for the choices they made when you don’t know the options they had to choose from”. If you don’t want to know the good, the bad, and the ugly of your family’s history, don’t start looking backwards. Not everyone in your family will be as excited as you to put to paper the family secrets. Some will be receptive and interested in your discoveries, some may be defensive, and others won’t give a continental. Accept their position and journey on. Occasionally you will be faced with decisions regarding information you gain along the way. You will need to decide what is the best way to handle this information for you and your family in the long run. Keep in mind that one of the best parts of your genealogy journey is you will make new friends and meet new relatives during your quest.

Now it’s time to being your journey. Start by preparing a pedigree chart or family tree. This is a visual way to see your ancestors and trace your direct line. Start with what you know. List the facts you (think) you know. I know you will be anxious to see if your 8X great grandfather was King of Ireland, but before you go that far, start with YOU. After all, it is your family tree. Gather the evidence for the facts you listed for yourself – vital record documents (birth, marriage, legal, etc.), school, church, military records, and so forth, and begin your family tree with you as the first person. Gradually, you will begin to add your parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc., which will lead you to your Irish, English, German, or African roots. Be patient with your tree and your research. Dead people aren’t going anywhere.

As you progress to additional family members, for any who are available to interview, this is the perfect time to get first-hand information and preserve those stories about their/your history. Make a list of questions you think will complete their profile and begin interviewing each relative. Some of the best and oldest information will come from your elders so don’t put it off. Don’t forget to ask personal questions, too. Ask about hobbies, occupations, who they are named after or why their nickname, education, military, addresses, what they wore “back in the day” or what music they like. These will add the “color” to your stories. Don’t overlook interviewing family friends. They may have a different spin on a family story, or may have known a deceased relative you are researching.

It is important to explain to your relative that you are excited to begin researching and creating a family tree, and ask if they are willing to answer a few questions. Don’t make it a game of Twenty Questions. Make it a conversation. Again, you are not an attorney or a judge. If at any point your relative seems apprehensive or uncomfortable, move on to a different question or subject. Thank them for their help and information and ask if they would like to hear more about what you discover. Perhaps when you return, it will trigger a memory or they will open up more and be able to add to what you have learned. Always document when, where, and who you interview. Save your notes to refer to in the future. Use a voice recorder if you don’t feel comfortable taking notes. An old voice recording will be quite the memory after your relative passes.

Old photos of your relatives are the picture to your past. It’s fun to see if you inherited your great grandfather’s nose, or to see his house in the background of the photo, or to wonder how your Aunt Mary wore that long dress and bonnet in the heat. Don’t forget to label and date your discoveries, notating how you obtained the photos. Consult a specialist on how to preserve these valuable photos for the long-term. Inquire if there is a family Bible. Carefully scan the pages, making record of who made the original entries and who is currently in possession of the Bible.

There is a tremendous amount of information available in libraries. Many have designated genealogical research departments. Contact local historical or genealogical societies if you get stuck or hit a brick wall in your research. Census records are readily available online and will be one of your most valuable sources of information. Review the information available on the various census reports. Sift through old newspapers (many are on-line now), school and church records, obituaries, land deeds, wills and probates, military records, and, of course, birth, marriage, and death certificates. By all means, keep your work organized, whether it be paper files or computer files, using whatever system works best for you.

Seasoned researchers have stacks and stacks of paper records and wouldn’t trade it for the world, but today’s researchers find their computer to be their best asset. You can choose to download a program to your computer where you keep all your records or choose one of the many websites available (,,,, etc.) as the home for your family tree. Talk to others who research to get their feedback.

Once you have begun filling in the blanks of your family tree, you will become excited when you start finding pieces of your family puzzle. You will want to know everything right away. But don’t take what others have found as gospel. If they have not documented or sourced their work then you may be adding misinformation to your tree. Not all public family trees, information, or photos found on the web are accurate. It will be up to you to examine and verify others’ research, combine it with your own findings, notate the source of your information, and document as much as possible in order for your work to be respected. There is no reason to spend hours copying someone else’s incorrect information about YOUR family; and nothing is gained by having an untrue family tree, even if it does lead you back to Abraham Lincoln.

Along the way, of course you will encounter questions you are not going to be able to prove or document. But don’t “assume” anything you can possibly document. It may take a little more effort and a few dollars to obtain a written record, but it may be the proof you need to move on with your work. As fun and exciting as genealogy can be, accurate genealogy research is tedious and time consuming – but worthwhile. In my personal research, I always use sources and documents whenever possible. However, occasionally I have to resort to good old “rational common sense”. I am fully aware “legend” does not mean truth! But sometimes it is all we have to go on. Otherwise, some of our brick walls would completely stop our research. Unless you are applying for membership in an organization that requires 100% proof, or if you are so serious about your research you are not willing to “estimate” or “speculate” in order to proceed, my advice is to do the best you can with the available information you have. Add your undocumented or unsourced information, but always note that it is undocumented or that is legend or that you added it from another researcher’s information. Make notes as to why and how you came to your conclusion. For example, you may state you do not have a death certificate, but you estimated your relative’s death year based on the fact you found him on the 1850 census and found only his widow on the 1860 census, or state that you got the death date from the headstone. You may notate that you estimated a birth date based on census ages. If you mire yourself down trying to fine tune or verify every event in your family’s history you will not enjoy your genealogy journey. Deciding your best research manner will be your call.

DNA has now added a whole new twist to family research. It can prove what used to be “legend” or can disprove what used to be “assumed”. Many family trees have been abandoned or completely revamped because of DNA discoveries. Some refuse to do their DNA because they are satisfied with the family tree they have created and known for 30 years, and their world would be shattered if they found their 8X great grandfather wasn’t King of Ireland. Others feel it an opportunity to connect with family members they never knew they had. DNA testing is a separate tool in your research and a decision you will make as a genealogist and keeper of your family tree. DNA matches should be used the same way your other records are used, to infer a relationship between two individuals. Traditional paper trails will still be used to tie family members together.

Genealogy and DNA is now more than just connecting the dots to your relatives and determining your native American heritage. Have you ever stopped to consider if the things your family members died of were hereditary? Are certain conditions passed down through the generations? Every time you complete a questionnaire at a doctor’s office there is a long list of diseases which you mark if they run in your family. This medical history helps the doctors treat your current ailments and also helps you try to identify and prevent future issues. Having current medical records of your parents and grandparents, inquiring of your family the causes of family members who have died, or obtaining and reviewing death certificates of close relatives may assist your doctor in treatment. They will help you look for trends in your family lines, note if it was on your maternal or paternal line, and tell your doctor if certain diseases are prevalent in your family. DNA is already being used as a tool to find medical markers and likely will play an even bigger part in the future of medicine.

Once you have grasped the basics of researching and creating your family tree, your confidence will increase and you will begin to add more and more branches to your tree. You will find yourself wanting to dig deeper into the past – perhaps to find that famous or notorious relative of legendary status, or, perhaps, just find your great grandmother you never knew. You may even decide to wonder off into the DNA realm, discovering more cousins than you ever thought possible. As your level of expertise increases, my advice would be to occasionally go back over your past work and take a fresh, new look at it using the knowledge you have gained along the way. Most of all, enjoy your new-found hobby, enjoy your journey, and relish the new family members you are about to discover.

Written and submitted by Ann Bruce, member Moore County Genealogical Society Board of Directors and Moore County, North Carolina native. June 2019

Moore County Towns

MOORE COUNTY TOWNS (all information below was originally submitted by James Vann Comer taken from his central NC collection; reprinted from November 1988/January/November 1989 MCGS Newsletters ):

ABERDEEN: According to The Pine Knot, Southern Pines, NC, Saturday Morning, 26 November 1887 “Blue’s Crossing” – The name of this place will be changed to Aberdeen on January 1st. A very pretty name we think.”

JACKSON SPRINGS: According to the North Carolina Gazette, Fayetteville, NC, Thursday, 2 August 1877 – “For The Gazette, Jackson Springs, Moore County, NC – Messr Editor—- ‘the good old Jackson Springs’ – the richest treasure the county affords ••• They are situated on a small branch known as ‘The Mineral Branch’, in the western extremity of Moore County, and on the road leading from Carthage to Rockingham, and about half way between the two places. They present quite a romantic appearance to the traveler, who seldom passes within tasting their water, and, when he has once tasted it, ‘not a full, gushing goblet could tempt him to leave it, though niled with the nectar Jupiter sips.’

The Springs are always thronged with visitors from different parts of the State, in the summer and fall seasons. Some come for the benefit to be derived from the water, which is surpassed by none in the State, or perhaps in the U S, for the curing of certain chronic diseases; and such are always benefited, and often entirely cured thereby ••• There is a school going on here under the Supervision of Mr Clark, a graduate of Chapel Hill, a competent teacher, and, upon the whole, a very clever man. This school is intended to prepare boys and young men for college ••• ”

According to the North Carolina Gazette, Fayetteville, NC, Thursday, 6 September 1877 – “Visit to Moore -… The water of Jackson’s Springs is undoubtedly possessed of rare medicinal and health restoring properties, from the testimony given by intelligent persons who have used it, and from the cures it has accomplished. It is especially beneficial in all disorders of the liver, and it is claimed to be an almost unfailing specific for dyspepsia. The stream gushes forth from a fissure of the rock hardly large enough to admit of the entrance of a gourd, but this heathful fountain is inexhaustable and all the afflicted may drink without stint or price …..

MANLY:  According to The Chatham Record, Pittsboro, Chatham County, NC, Thursday, 29 January 1880 – “Town of Manly  is the name of a station in Moore County on the R & A A L RR and the correspondent of the Raleigh News says is the shipping point of quite a number of saw mills and turpentine distilleries. There are in the vicinity 15 of these distilleries and 11 saw mills, and the agent says that during the past year (1879) 30,000 barrels of naval stores were billed at that depot.” According to The Chatham Record, Pittsboro, NC, Thursday, 10 June 1880 – “From the Piney Woods – A correspondent for the new town of Manly, on the R & A A L RR, writes to The Record of follows: ‘This is a beautiful sand hill country located 67 miles from Raleigh, with immense pine forest to back it up. There are 16 turpentine stills located in the neighborhood of this place, together with about as many saw mills, affording employment to a large number of hands.'”

PARKWOOD: According to The Chatham Record, Pittsboro, NC, Thursday, 9 October 1879 – “Moore-County Grind-stones – J E Taylor, President of the Taylor Manufacturing Company, of Westminster, Maryland, was in this city (Charlotte) yesterday. We learn that he has bought millstone quarry in Moore County, about five miles from Carthage, which contains a stone that was discovered some 75 years ago, and has been worked by several parties in a primitive way, some ten quarries having been operated for years. The store has gained quite a local notoriety as Moore County Grit. It is a blue cement-colored rock filled with white flint, and it is claimed for it that it grinds corn in a manner superior to the French burr or esophus. The grit being so much sharper than that in the ordinary mill-stone makes a fine granulation instead of a pasty or floury meal. lilt is also claimed that it grinds with much less power than any other. Mr Taylor purchased the entire vein some five miles long, together with 350 acres of land, and has formed a company called the ‘Moore County Millstone Company’, which will put in all the improved machinery to put the stones on the market in quantities. The deposit is said by all acquainted with it to be inexhaustible. – Charlotte Observer.” According to The Chatham Record, Pittsboro, NC, Thursday, 5 August 1880 -“Telephone Line – Arrangements are now on foot by which this place (Carthage) will be connected with the railroad by a telephone. The Taylor Manufacturing Company, together with our citizens, will establish the line from the Rock Quarry via Carthage to Cameron, thus placing us in direct communication with the world. – Moore Index.” According to the Moore Gazette, Carthage, NC, Thursday, 22 September 1881 The Quarry – Last Saturday afternoon: Mr Robert McNeill took us out to Parkwood, where we found a perfect hive of industry and hard work about the quarry. New mills were being made, lumber sawed, and the hotel is rapidly approaching completion. This is a large building, finely located, and constructed with an eye to convenience and taste. The company is expending a large amount on this valuable property, which will doubtless be returned many fold. The yard is being prepared for making brick, and operations will commence in a few days. Superintendent Grimm tells us that he has an order for mills from South America, and the business is increasing beyond their sanguine expectations.”

PINEBLUFF: According to The Pine Knot, Southern Pines, NC, Saturday morning, 19 November-1887 “The Town of Pine Bluff – Six miles south of Southern Pines, on the R & AAL RR is a high bluff, a little back from the railroad. It is well wooded with oak and long-leaf pine, and the round, sloping in all directions, assures perfect natural drainage. Here Messrs R M Couch and J FAllen, both of New Hampshire, have established a new town which they have named Pine Bluff. The same plan will be adopted as has been in use here (Southern Pines), with slight modifications ••• ” According to The Pine Knot, Southern Pines, NC, Saturday morning, 3 December- l887. George Biddell is surveying this new town. The present survey covers about 75 acres but over six hundred acres will be added to this. The blocks are 500 feet square, and are like the blocks at the (Southern) Pines, except that there are 12 lots instead of 24 to the blocks. At the intersection of each street and avenue is a public park and the streets & avenues are one hundred feet wide each. Except the main avenue which is 130 feet wide with a 30 foot park running the whole length down the centre. On a beautiful eminent Seminary Hill, a graded school will be built so that Northern people settling here will have good advantages for their children who may be unable to attend school at home on account of the cold winters. The lake covers over twenty acres and will have a two story pavilion facing it. The lake is fed by a brook of pure water flowing over a pebble bed. The main road from Southern Pines to Keyser runs through Pine Bluff and will run over the dam. A beautiful bridge will span the gate.”

SOUTHERN PINES: According to the Moore Gazette, Carthage, NC, Thursday, 16 October 1884 – “The new winter resort near Manly is still being laid off and cleared up. The hotel will soon be completed and will be filled with boarders during the coming winter. Its name has been changed from ‘Vineland’ to ‘Southern Pines’. There is a winter resort in New Jersey by the name of ‘Vineland’ so they changed the name to prevent mistakes.”

WEST END: According to the Diary of the Rev William Henry Harrison Lawhon – “Friday, 7 June 1889 – Took dinner and spent two hours with Brother A B Coving at West End – a town that has grown up in a few months. Spend a short while at Jackson Springs.” According to the Diary of the Rev William Henry Harrison Lawhon – “Monday, 3 April 1893 – Last Saturday (1 April 1893) everything from Jackson Springs to D.Hannon was burned in West End – three stores and some other houses was burned. The wind was high and dry & c. A big rain at night.”

CAMERON AND CARTHAGE: According to The Carthaginian, Carthage, NC, Thursday, 31 January 1878 – “Cameron, NC, Editors Carthaginian Our little city is still progressing, our people are healthy and all seem happy. By way of diversity, we have added to our many interesting avocations, the spark of electricity (telegram) by which we are in a moments communication with the balance of civilization ••• ” According to The Chatham Record, Pittsboro, Chatham County, NC, Thursday, 10 February 1881 – “State News Moore Gazette: The N. C. Mill-Stone Company have now almost completed telephonic communication between their (Parkwood) quarry and Cameron, and an arrangement is being made by which the business men of Carthage can also have the benefit of the line.” According to The Sanford Express, Sanford, NC, Thursday, 21 June 1894 – “Town and Vicinity – The people of Raleigh and Durham are happy. The two towns are now connected by the telephone .This reminds us that Cameron and Carthage were once connected by the telephone. For several years this was the only means of quick communication between the two towns. But when Carthage Railroad was built the ‘phone went out of use, the telegraph taking its place. Cameron and Carthage were the first two towns in the State to be connected”by the long distance telephone.” According to The Chatham Record, Pittsboro, Chatham County, NC, Thursday, 26 November 1885 – “Local Records Railroad to Carthage We are pleased to learn that our neighbors over in Moore (County) are taking steps to build a railroad to their county town (Carthage). The last Legislature passed an act incorporating a company for that purpose, and on Monday of last week, the incorporators held a meeting at Carthage, and appointed persons to open books of subscription to the capital stock of the company ••• ” According to The Chatham Record, Pittsboro, Chatham County, NC, Thursday, 18 February 1886 – “Local Records On the 8th instant (Feb 1886), an election was held in the Carthage Township, Moore County, upon the question of subscribing $10,000 to aid in the construction of a railroad from some point (Cameron) on the R. & A. A. L. road. The vote stood 265 for subscription and 99 against.”

CARTHAGE: According to The Carthage Blade, Carthage, NC, Thursday, 23 August 1888 – “Localets – Our railroad is now a fixed fact. It is well equipped, and rides as smoothly as the main line of the R. & A. We took our first trip over it, since its completion, last Saturday afternoon. We were agreeably surprised to find it in such a good condition. It shows beyond doubt that Capt. Holman, who superintended tracklaying, is no novice in railroad building, and that he did his full duty by our people.”

FEAGANSVILLE: According to the North Carolina Gazette, Fayetteville, NC, Thursday, 12 April 1877 – “Moore County – The November Term, 1785, was held at the dwelling-house of Richardson Feagan the site selected for the county seat ••• The place was called ‘Feagansville’, in honor of Richardson Feagan, Esq., who furnished the site, and who was a man of means and influence in the county ••• Feagansville did not grow to be a place of much importance, and, as the county was sparsely settled, it is probable that the mercantile business was quite limited. R. Feagan, Esq., was nabob of the town, being Sheriff and ordinary (hotel-keeper) ••• Feagansville was situated about 3/4 of a mile from the present site of Carthage; a little west of south, and while there is nothing about the locality that would indicate to a stranger that it had ever been used as a seat of justice, yet the identical spot where the old court-house stood can be pointed out by some of the older citizens. The court was held here for twelve years, the last term held here being May, 1798 ••• via Rowland.” According to the North Carolina Gazette, Fayetteville, NC, Thursday, 19 April 1877 – “Moore County – The new County seat was called Carthage from 1798 to 1806, and Feagansville from 1806 to 1818. ” ••• The name Carthage was fixed by an act of the Legislature in 1818, at the instance of Benjamin Person, Esq., one of the Representatives from this (Moore) county via Rowland.” [Note: also spelled Fagansville, Faginville]

GLENDON: According to The Sanford Express, Sanford, NC, Thursday, Thursday, 19 April 1894 – “Town and Vicinity – A new post office, called Glendon has been established in this (Moore) county at the southern terminus of the Glendon and Gulf railroad.” According to The Sanford Express, Sanford, NC, Thursday, 28 June 1894 – “Town and Vicinity – Mr. J. R. Jones, of Carbonton, was here yesterday. He says a daily mail system was recently established by the government over the new line of railroad from Gulf to Glendon. The people of Glendon are now in touch with the outside world and are posted on the daily happenings.”

PINEHURST: According to The Sanford Express, Sanford, NC, Thursday, 8 August 1895 – “Local Laconics – Speaking of the new town that is building in this (Moore) county, the Aberdeen Telegram says: ‘Mr. Frederick Law Olmstead, the greatest landscape architect in America and one of the finest in the world, is laying off the grounds. Mr. H. E. Knox, of Charlotte, has the contract and is now boring an artesian well. Mr Tufts proposes to make this a model town for health and beauty. ‘ A Southern Pines gentleman tells the Express that the car line to connect the new town with Southern Pines will be commenced at once. New Florida is not the name of the place, as was reported. It is yet without a name.” According to The Sanford Express, Sanford, NC, Thursday, 5 September 1895 – Pinehurst Mr. James W. Tufts (Boston millionaire), who is building a new town in the southern part of this (Moore) county, has named it ‘Pinehurst’ ….. According to The Sanford Express, December 1895 – “Sanford Expressions” – Mr. Tufts is going to fence in his property at Pinehurst. He just bought 900 rods of wire fence for that purpose.

ROSELAND: According to The Sanford Express, Sanford, NC, Thursday, 1 November 1894 – “A New Town .!.£. ~ Established i.E.. Moore County Roselands is a new town to be established in Moore County, on the Moore County railroad, four miles from Aberdeen. A land improvement company has purchased 4,000 acres of land lying on both sides of the railroad, and intends securing a number of settlers to go into the fruit and grape business on a considerable scale. The company also owns 5,000 acres of land which will be utilized for the same purpose as fast as the timber is cut and marketed via Fayetteville Observer.” According to The Sanford Express, Sanford, NC, Thursday, 4 July 1895 – ‘Local Laconics – The prospects are that in a few years the southern part of Moore County will be a community of towns and villages. Recently an Express reporter was shown a map of Roselands by Surveryor Francis Deaton, of Carthage. Roselands is a high plateau of forest land containing about 2,000 acres owned by a northern syndicate, who propose to establish thereon a health resort and fruit growing villa on a similar plan to that adopted at Southern Pines. land.” Town lots have been laid off on this land.

VASS: According to The Carthage Blade, Carthage, Moore County, NC, Tuesday, 26 April 1892 – “Cameron News – Our neighbor town Winder has had her name changed to Vass, in honor of W. W. Vass of the R. & A. Rail Road.”

ALLISON: According to the Central Express, Sanford, NC, Saturday, 2 February 1889 –  “Local Expressions” Moore County has a new village and post-office named Allison. It is three miles from Jackson Springs at the present terminus of the Aberdeen and West End Railroad. It manufactures and sells spirits of turpentine.”

CAVINESS CROSSROADS: According to the Moore Gazette, Carthage, NC, Thursday, 31 July 1884 – “Caviness Bros., Crain’s Creek, NC, Feb. 7 – 1y – Heavy and Fancy Groceries: Coffee, Sugar, Syrup, Flour, Bacon; Dry Goods, Clothing, Boots and Shoes; Hardware, Crockery, Glassware and Willow-ware; Tobacco and Cigars.

CHALMERSVILLE: According to the Record of Appointments of Postmasters (1~451856); “Name 2..! Post Office Chalmersville, Name of Postmaster, – Uriah Schermerhorn, Date of Establishment–April 12, 1854.”

VILLANOW:  According to Miss Meade Seawell of Carthage, NC, – “Villanow was named by her grandfather, Dr Virgil Newton Seawell for his Villa (or home) now.”
According to the Record of Appointments of Postmasters (18771889): “Name of Post Office Villanow, Name of Postmaster Virgil Newton Seawell Date of establishment April  22 , 1887. (Note): Formerly – Crain’s-Creek. According to the Record of Appointments of Postmasters (1890-1929): “Name of Post Office Villanow, Date Discontinued October 19,  1906.(Note): Mail to Sanford, NC.

GREENWOOD: According to the Record of Appointments of Postmasters (1877-1889): “Name of Post Office Greenwood, Name of Postmaster James M. Cole date of establishment August 13, 1877. Discontinued August 19, 1904. Mail to Gilbert, NC.

KEYSER: According to The Chatham Record, Pittsboro, Chatham County, NC, Thursday. 20 December 1888 – “State News: News and Observer News reached here (Raleigh) yesterday of the destruction by fire on the night before of the railroad warehouse at Keyser, on the R. & A.R.R. The warehouse and freight which was stored in it were totally consumed and also a car load of lumber which was standing close by. The agent who was sleeping in the warehouse came near losing his life in the flames. Most of the property it is stated was covered by insurance.”

VICTOR: According to the Central Express, Sanford, NC, Saturday, 27 April 1889 – “Local Expressions – A post office has been established at the western terminus of the Aberdeen and West End Rail Road. The office is called Victor, for Victor Dockery. We heard that Mr. Frank Page the owner of the road says he will control the politics of the postal clerk on his road. We venture to say that when Harrison and his gang go, the post office name of Victor will go too.”

All About Moore County Folks

Reprinted from September 1985 MCGS Newsletter:
[Note: The Carthage Blade was a newspaper published in Carthage, NC, Moore County. Digital volumes available on line for the years 1887-1907.]
THE CARTHAGE BLADE, March 29, 1905
Reminiscences of “W” of going to school to Rev. Angus McNeill in Carthage:
” •• • I remember a fine looking young man, William H. Wiley, at school. I was a boy – he a grown man. I never saw or heard any more of him, but one day a short time after the bloody battle of 7 pines, our regiment, during the Seven Days fight, marched over the battle ground and I saw a piece of board at the head of a grave, inscribed “Lt. William H. Wiley, 5th Ala. Reg •• • ”


MOORE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS MEETING Thurs 4 Apr 1878 (reprinted from MCGS May 1987 newsletter):
John C Buie allowed $100 for keeping John Buie.
Malcolm Kelly released from paying .75 tax on land in Bensalem Twnsp.
Released from paying double tax for 1877: A S Kelly (under age), Aaron Cole, D Hall.
J W Morrison released from double tax on poll for 1877.
K Ray released from paying $1.53 tax for 1877.
Samuel Barrett released from paying $18.37 tax for 1874-listed twice.
William Murchison, pauper allowed $3 per month for support.
B L Johnson allowed $3 per month for J Davis, pauper.
Ads: M M Fry Exc. of Lockhart Fry against Archie Ray adm of Kenneth Black.
John Shaw and John Jackson adms of W M Parson.

Misc. Church News from MCGS Newsletters

ABSTRACTS from “The Carthaginian”, published at Carthage, NC. (reprinted from November 1986 MCGS newsletter):
In West End, NC, the CULDEE Presbyterian Church celebrated its 100th anniversary with a big Homecoming program on Sep 21. An article by Woodrow Wilhoit in the Southern Pines PILOT of Sep 25th 1985 described the historic occasion. He described a petition signed on the 7th of April 1886 at Lumber Bridge presented to the Fayetteville Presbytery asking for a church to be organized. The list given in his article shows a preponderance of Scottish names and may be of interest to our readers. Some were M D McCrummen, D P McDonald, Margaret Vuncannon, W S Bailey, M L Morris, J L McKeithen, and several Blues, Wickers, McKenzies, McNeills and Pattersons.


A SKETCH OF THE HISTORY, CHRONICLES AND RECORDS OF MINERAL SPRINGS CHURCH (originally transcribed and indexed by Marie Smith Gordon; reprinted from September 1988 MCGS Newsletter):  Mineral Springs Presbyterian Church is today known as Jackson Springs (North Carolina) Presbyterian Church. The Founding Elders and early members lived along Drowning Creek which separates Moore County from Montgomery and Richmond Counties. They were descendants of a group of Scots who chose to side with the British in the American Revolution. In about 1813 the Scots near Mineral Springs started holding church services there during the summer months. In 1819 the Rev John Paterson organized the church and ordained the following Elders: Duncan Patterson, Kenneth Clark, Malcolm McCrummen and Hugh McDonald. The minutes of the church record trials for drunkeness, slander and several other offenses that would not draw much attention today. Scots taking the most room in the index are Bailey, Black, Brown, Campbell, Clark, Curry, Dawkins, Graham, McCaskill, McDonald, McFarland, McInnis, McKay, Monroe, Patterson, Ray, Robeson and Stewart. These are descendants of people mentioned in the Rev Caruthers book – “Wade, Culp and Captain Bogan came down into this country to avenge the Piney Bottom Massacre. They tortured Piper Patterson who lived in Richmond County opposite the old Kenneth Clark’s houseplace; and forced him to give up the names of all he knew to be engaged in that crime. It is said that the Piper named Kenneth Clarks’s sons and Alexander McLeod and possibly Daniel McMillian as being implicated in Piney Bottom. Captain Bogan’s men crossed over the creek and killed Alexander McLeod, Daniel McMillian and John Clark. Kenneth Clark was at that time a very old man, but he and his women folks were ordered to bury the corpses by the next day.”  [Note: Mrs. Gordon published A SKETCH OF THE HISTORY, CHRONICLES AND RECORDS OF MINERAL SPRINGS CHURCH in 1988 in soft cover.  It was 116 pages in length and available for purchase from her. It is now available to read on-line.  Just Google the above title.]


Misc. Marriage/Death Records from MCGS Newsletters

EARLY MARRIAGE RECORDS – CUMBERLAND COUNTY – 1834-50 (Originally transcribed and submitted by Florence Hardy from Cypress Presbyterian Church located on Harnett/Moore line; reprinted from November 1986 newsletter):
John Ferguson married Catharine Priest – 23 Jan 1834.
Neill Shaw married Flora Cameron – 27 Feb 1834.
Daniel McIntosh of Buffalow Ch married Margaret Shaw – 29 Mar 1834.
Allen Cameron married Catharine McLean – 30 Sep 1834.
James Jackson married Jennet McGoigor – 15 Oct 1834.
A F (J) L Cameron married Isabella McFayden of Cumberland Co Longstreet Ch – 7 May 1835 by Rev E McNair.
William Cameron married Margaret Cameron (John’s dau) by Daniel McCormick.
– 12 Mar 1835
William Keith married Sara J (I) Matthews by Rev A McCollum.
Arch McCollum married Mary McLeo – no date.
Peter Munroe married Mary Cameron – no date.
Samuel Cameron married Catharine Blue – no date.
Daniel Johnson married Anabella Cameron – no date.
Neill Graham of Union (church) married Catharine McGrigor – no date.

Peter Munroe married Isabella Jane Cameron – no date.
A A McKeithen married Catharine McLeod 20 Dec 1950 by Rev. McAlister

Joseph Bynum married Mary Ann Stuart  22 Jan 1950 by A J Cameron, Esquire.

L E Johnson married Amanda Worthy – no date.


Marriage Record, Moore County (reprinted from March 1988 MCGS newsletter):
This is a narrow, rather small book, which contains the earliest marriages (other than those found in the back of the Will Book A) recorded in Moore County. In the back of this book is a list of marriages which are labeled, “Unofficially Recorded”. These marriages, on five pages, are as follows:
Page I-Gideon A Thompson and Nicey P Oates married 5 Sep 1843. Wm John Kelly and Lovedy McKeithan married 4 Oct 1843. Isaac H Rowan and Sarah McIver were married 16 Nov 1843. D R Shaw and Lovedy Jane Blue were married 26 Feb 1846. Dani~ McDonald and Mary J McNeill married 24 Dec 1846. A A McKeithan and Catherine McLeod married 20 Dec 1849. Joseph H M Bynum and Mary Ann Stewart married 22 Jan 1850. Daniel Turner and Lydia Blue were married 28 Oct 1847.
Page 2-Alex McNeill and Julia Rowan were married 1 Sep 1842. Daniel McKeithan and Lovedy Black married 17 Dec 1846. Daniel B Black and Ann McNeill were married 24 Mar 1842. Lemuel Slone and Catharine Campbell married 10 ___ 1842. Patrick Munroe and C Margaret McNeill married 21 Nov 1842. Patrick A McKeithan and Margaret Black married 20 Jan 1842 Neill Currie and Jennet Leach were married 3 Oct 1844. Dougald McDougald and Elizabeth Jane McNeill were married 21 Oct 1844. John A McKeithan and C C Smith were married 16 Apr 1846.
Page 3-Archibald Ray and Ann C Blue were married 4 Mar 1847. Patrick M Blue and Sarah E McNeill married 26 Dec 1844.
Page 4-Alexander Leach and Christian Blue lawfully joined 5 Mar 1812. Whose age is 27, 15 May-!812. Whose age is 19, 20 Dec 1812. Duncan Johnston records his marriage with Margaret McNeill agreeable to law being consumated 30 Aug 1792. Malcolm McNeill and Catherine McDonald were married the 31st of Aug 1792.
Page 5-Alexander J Monroe and Christian M Johnson, daughter of Alexander Johnson were married 21 Jan 1836. John M Gaster and Mary Margaret Morris married 14 Dec 1854 A A McKeithan and Catherine McLeod married 20 Dec 1849.

State Archives, Raleigh, NC
“Moore County Misc. Records, 1823-1828”, CR 068.928.4 “Marriage Licenses, 1823-1828” Needham Bryant and Margaret Black, 2 Jan 1843. Alexander Campbell and Flora McDonald, 25 Feb 1821. James ~ and Florah Black, 12 Dec 1822.
Submitted by Eloise Knight

Reprinted from March 1989 MCGS Newsletter:

Moore County Marriages, 1851-1867, continued from July 1988 ••• 15 Aug 1852 – Daniel Riddle & Catherine Kelly; John McNeill, JP 22 Aug 1852 – Daniel 0 Warner & Mary Jane Willis. John Shaw, JP 28 -Sep 1852 – Benjamin D Black & Mary Elizabeth Ann Savage. John McNeill, JP 23 Sep 1852 – Mathew H Godfrey: & Mary Cimbre?. J R Sloan, JP

20 Oct 1852 – Henry J Thomas & Sarah Ann Elizabeth Agnes Eleaner Wicker. Wm R Berryman, JP 13 Oct 1852 – William 0 Harrington & Eliza Frances Patterson. John R McIntosh, JP 17 Sep 1852 – William Wicker & Margaret Parrish. Abel Kelly, JP 9 Sep[1852]- John McIver & Nancy Blackmon. Thomas Rillins, JP 16 Dec 1852 – Pleasant P Terry(?) & Otelia A Alston. John Shaw, JP 8 May 1852 – Elisha R Harrington & Elizabeth Alston.
19 Aug 1852
19 Dec 1852
R W Goldston, JP – Alexander M!.!.1.. & (wifels name not given). In 1860 census it is “Fannie”. J Bean, JP – Noah Auman & Martha Golahorn(?).
25 Nov 1852 – Andrew K Wicker & 28 Oct 1852 – William Kennedy &
George W Cagle, Esq Sarah A McLennan. T Rollins, JP Susannah Teaque 6 Dec 1852
George Cagle, Esq – William Brown & Priscila Thomas. Absolam Kelly, JP – Pleasant Smith & Mary Fry. J Bean, JP

Andrew K. Wicker and Sarah A. McLennan 25 Nov 1852 T. Rollins, JP; Jackson Crabtree/Emily Fry 2 Jan 1853, Jesse Bean, JP; Lockhart Fry/Margaret E. Fry 15 Jan 1853 Jesse Bean, JP



The Carthaginian, published at Carthage, Submitted by Eloise Wicker Knight
Thurs, 28 Feb 1878 (reprinted from May 1987 MCGS Newsletter):
Deaths; 1) Sophia B Arnett of diptheria, 25 Sep 1877. 7 yrs, 9 days, 8 mos.
2) Mrs Elizabeth Ann McKenzie, 26 Jan 1878. 24 yrs, 10 mos, 4 days. Leaves 2 small children, Nellie 4 and Charlie 2. Buried Union Church.

Originally submitted by James Vann Comer (reprited from January 1989 MCGS Newsletter) Wed.10 August 1881 — Cherry Cox died today with dropsy. Thurs. 11 August 1881 — Cherry Cox was buried at Bethlehem. She was a member of that Church.

Tues. 29 Nov. 1881 — Mrs. Cassie McIntosh was buried at Bensalem today. She died Sunday Night [Nov 27th] with consumption.

Miscellaneous Bits and Pieces from MCGS Newsletters

GENEALOGICAL TIPS (Originally submitted by Jo White Linn of Salisbury, N. C. and printed in the Caldwell County Newsletter; reprinted from May 1985 MCGS newsletter):
1. A man who receives by a will cannot be a witness to it.
2. A nuncupative will can dispose only of personal property.
3. A married woman could not make a will without her husband’s consent and even so could dispose only of personal property unless there had been a prenuptial agreement.
4. Title to land could be conveyed either by inheritance or deed or marriage.
5. There are extant marriage bonds for only about 20% of the marriages that took place in N.C. prior to 1868; many people were married in the church by banns~ many bonds have been lost to natural disasters. The absence of a N.C. Marriage Bond does not mean that the marriage did not take place in N.C.
6. A man did not have to be 21 to buy land, but he did have to, be 21 to sell. He did not have to own property to vote, but he did have to be a free man. He had to be 21 to serve on a jury, but he did not have to own property.
7. A woman was never taxable. If her name appears on a tax list, it is because one has a male of taxable age in her household or a slave of taxable age.
8. Quakers used numerical dating and did not take oaths and were not married in a civil service. A Quaker will does not begin “In the name of God, Amen.” and there are no marriage bonds for Quakers.
9. There are excellent indexed records for Moravians and Quakers; many records of both Lutheran and Reformed Churches and Ministers are being translated and published.


MOORE COUNTY COURT HOUSE BURNED  From THE CARTHAGE BLADE, Thursday, September 12, 1889 (reprinted from January 1987 MCGS Newsletter):

The Fire Thought to be of Incendiary Origin, Estimated Loss $15,000
All the records in the Register’s and Supt. Instructions’ and about half of those in the Clerks’s office were wiped out of existence.
At 4 o’clock a.m. last Thursday the usually quiet town of Carthage was thrown into wild excitement by being awakened from its slumbers by the ringing of bells and the loud cries of FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!!
Every household was in a stir in a jiffy, and in a very few seconds men, women and children could be seen rapidly hastening toward the point from which the alarm came. The fire proved to be at the Court House. We were among the first to arrive on the scene, and found the Register’s office a solid sheet of flames from back to front. There being no fire department and the fire already having such headway, everyone seemed appalled and knew not what to do. Finally some thought of the Clerk’s office and passed the word that good work could be done there. A rush was made for that office and the crowd worked manfully and succeeded in saving many valuable records, but they had to work rapidly, as the angry flames soon reached that door. The loss from this office was about 500 judgment rolls, all probate papers, most of the old court minutes and dockets, all guardian books and bonds, all administrator’s bond books, all Supreme Court reports and Acts of the Legislature. All other books and papers are saved.
Every paper and book in the Register’s office, including tax books (which had not yet been quite finished) was lost. everything in the County Superintendent’s office also lost. was little in the Sheriff’s office, there was nothing lost.
the 1889 So was As there
After the fire had spent its fury, we found Mr Mathew Cagle, M “upperend” farmer, who was camping on the public square about 50 or 75 yards distant from the Court House and who gave the alarm, upon inquiry as to the origin of the fire, we elicited the following information from him. He said, “About 2 hours before the fire broke out I noticed a light about as large as that of a candle in the Register of Deed’s office. I thought nothing of the circumstance, and again went to sleep. The next thing I heard, my son called me and said the Court House was on fire. I hurriedly ran up there and into the building and noticed that the fire was issuing from the Register’s office door. I pushed the door, which was slightly ajar, open and saw a large pile of books burning very rapidly as if saturated with oil or spirits of turpentine. I ran to the public well to get water, and believe I could have stopped the fire with a few buckets of water, but found the ropes cut and the buckets in the well. I then gave the alarm. Before the fire broke out I heard someone walking in the Register’s office.” Two or three other men who got there just after Mr Cagle substantiate what he says. Therefore, we have no doubt that the fire was the work of an incendiary. And it was evidently someone who wanted to be rid of some paper that was on record against him. The fact that the well rope was cut in the strongest circumstance of incendiarism. The Court House was almost new, having been put in thorough repair and enlarged about t~ years ago. The building was worth about $15,000, $5,500 of which is yet to be paid. The loss is a heavy blow to the county and no end of litigation will result from it.
The above was copied at the Moore County Library on 6 November 19&6 by James Vann Comer.
On 25 November 1986 there appeared in the Southern Pines Pilot in the Carthage section edited by Woodrow Wilhoit a similar article about the same event–the fire of 1889. Mr Wilhoit had recently read an article written in 1922 by Mr Jacob Fulton Cole in which he recalled the night vividly. He too had been sleeping nearby, in the back room of the little drug store on the circle, and was one of those who helped Mr Cagle save papers out of the Clerks’s office. He too told about the cut ropes of the well that prevented any water being used to quench the fire. He also mentioned the reason Mr Cagle was there on the grounds–the farmer had brought a load of hay to town and needed to stay with it till delivered the next morning.
This news article by Mr Cole can be seen in the issue of the Moore County News of 27 July 1922. Two other men named as helpers were Ralph Tyson and W H Branson. Cole remembered A H McNeill who had been Clerk of Court for many years, saying that as a small boy he helped make brick for the old court house for thirty cents a day.


MOORE COUNTY MASONIC LODGE (originally submitted by James Vann Comer, reprinted from July 1988 MCGS Newletter – names did not fully print):

From The Carthage Blade, Carthage, NC, Thursday, 26 February 1903-7

“Where was Pansophia?, Carbonton, NC, February 23rd-Mr. Editor, About 1798 there was a Masonic Lodge in Moore County named “Pansophia”. The place of meeting was afterwards moved to Malcom McNeill’s. It was a large, influential lodge at that time, made up of Scots principally, judging from the names-McNeill McLeod, Smith, Black, Martin and Tyson. 1 would like to know where “Pansophia” Lodge was first located and where Malcom McNeill lived, where it was moved to; also, if there are any old records of said lodge anywhere in the county among Masons, or other citizens of the county? I would be very glad to find out anything about this old lodge from anyone thro(sic) The Blade and would be very glad if there be found any of the old-records of said lodge. George Wilcox.”

According to A History of Moore County, NC, 1747-1847, by Blackwell P. Robinson on pages 146-151 provide-s-material on the members of Pansophia Lodge Number 25 in 1793. He adds this lodge was chartered in 1793 and surrendered its charter in 1819. The original returns for Pansophia Lodge N~ 25 are housed in the Grand Lodge, AF&AM, of North Carolina, 2921 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh, NC. I will include each list of our newsletter- one per newsletter. Returns for 1797, 1798, 1799, 1800, 1801, 1802, 1807, 1818 and 1819 are available.
“A list of the officers and members of Pansophia Lodge–October 20, 1797
Malcom McNeill, Master; Neil Smith,Senior Warden; John Rea, Jr. Warden; Hector McNeil, Treasurer; Malcolm Black, Secretary; Duncan Paterson, Sr. Deacon; Dougald McFarlane, Jr. Deacon; John McLeod & Duncan Johnston, Stewards

Members: Neil McLeod Thomas Harden Purkins Francis Bullock Duncan Smith Archibald Rea Laughlan McNeil Daniel McIntosh Peter McEachran Alexander Nicholason Dougald McMillan Peter Blew John McCrimman Jacob Gaster Daniel Smith William Mears 16 William Martin 17 John McNeil 18 John Dabney 19 John Matthews 20 James Matthews 21 Thomas Tyson 22 Archibald McNeil 23 Neil Mc Leo d 24 William McSween 25 Normand McLeod 26 John Blew 27 Jacob Hartman 28 Allen Morison
Submitted: William McSween Secretary



Legal Abstracts from MCGS Archived Newsletters

The current Moore County Genealogical Society has been reviewing some of its archived newsletters. The following legal abstracts were originally compiled by charter member, Eloise W. Knight, Pinehurst, NC.

Moore County Court Minutes November 1823 (reprinted from June 1984 newsletter):

Committee appointed to settle with William McAulay, guardian of Elizah Carmichael. Committee appointed to take examination of Nancy Wicker wife of Anderson for deed of land to John Gunter (95 acres). John Thomas appointed guardian to Penelope, Benjamin V. and Isabella Thomas in place of John Gunter. Nancy Shephard vs. William Oliver and Benjamin Tyson, Jr.  Benjamin Person vs. Heirs of Kindred Birckhead Dr . Kinneth B. McIver appointed guardian to infant heirs of Kindred Birckhead, dec’d to defend those six suits. 1) Benj . Person vs. Heirs of Kindred Birckhead. 2) Same vs. same. 3) Fredrick Siler vs. same. 4) John Siler vs. same. 5) Joseph Johnson vs. same 6) Eleazor Birckhead vs. same.  Archibald Gillis, Jr. to Archibald Gillis, Sr. by oath of Archibald Blue. Tobias Fry to Hugh Moore by oath of Benjamin Person. William Dickerson to Duncan McIver, acknowledged. Daniel McNeill as Sheriff to William Weldon by oath of Druray Bobbitt. Samuel Barby to John Hicks by oath of William Campbell. Bill of sale from William T. England to Antony Graham, acknowledged. Daniel McNeill as Sheriff to Jacob Gaster, acknowledged. Jacob Gaster to Hector McNeill, acknowledged. Bill of sale from George and Florah Campbell to William T. England by oath of Duncan Murchison. George A. Muse to John B. Kelly, acknowledged.  Neill McLeod to John B 0 Kelly, acknowledged. Thomas P. Muse to John B. Kelly, acknowledged. Angus McAulay to John McDonald by oath of Murdoch Martin. John Thomas to PriscillaThomas by oath of John Gunter. Jesse Bean to Susanah Bean, acknowledged. Alexander C. Curry to Hugh Moore by oath of Benjamin Parson. Jesse Bean to Daniel Caddell, acknowledged. James S. Muse and Jesse F. Muse to Isaac Smith by oath of Benjamin Parson. Willam Barrett to Tobias Fry, acknowledged. Miller Sexton, Absolom Sexton, Allin Sexton, Lunsfield Sexton, Clarcey Sexton, Gilford Carpenter, Marthy Carpenter, Matthew Oliver and Elizabeth Oliver to William Weldon by oath of Moses Oliver. Clary Sexton to William Weldon by oath of William Campbell.

Moore County Court Minutes August 1823 (reprinted from November 1984 newsletter):
Ordered that an orphan child named Susan Stone now of the age of seven years be bound to John Deaton who shall give said Susan Stone one year school, and when free, a good suit of “cloath”.  Ordered that Elias Burkhead be exempted from paying a poll tax on account of his being a cripple.  Ordered that Malcolm Buie be appointed guardian to Charles Johnson and Alexander Johnson with Alexander Cameron and William Wadsworth, Securities.  Ordered that Samuel Johnson be appointed guardian to Fanny Johnson with Alexander Cameron and Angus McDonald, Securities.
State of NC, Moore Co.: This day came Archibald McBryde into open Court (it being a Court of records) and maketh that he has long been acquainted with John McLennan and with William McLennan, dec’ d late of the U. S. Army and who is said to have died at Sachetts Harbour and that he believes that said William McLennan was never married and that said John McLennan is a brother and one of the heirs at law of this said brother William McLennan, dec’ d. Sworn and Subscribed in open court this the 21st August 1823.
Ordered that James Muse (little) be exempt from paying a poll tax on account of his infirmities. Ordered that Nehemiah Burkhead be appointed guardian to Belany and John Burkhead. Ordered that Malcolm Blue, Esq. be appointed guardian to Jane., Caleb(?), Maryan, Charles, John, Isabel and Alexander Campbell. Ordered that William Campbell be appointed guardian to Mary, Daniel, John, Malcolm, (or Nancy, Alexander, Florah, Duncan, Catharine and Archibald McFarland. Ordered that Kinneth McCaskill be appointed guardian to Nancy, Roderick and Malcolm D. Mathewson.
DEEDS (reprinted from September 1984 newsletter): Thomas Thompson to Archibald Dalrymple, by oath of Duncan McIver. Malcolm Shaw to Archibald McGilvery, acknowledged. Samuel and Sarah Campbell to Charles Gilchrist, by oath of William T. England. William Crawford to David Reed, by oath of Drurary Bobbitt, Sr. Absolum Sexton to David Reed, by oath of Stephen Beryman. Archibald Campbell to William Spoon, oath of Murdoch McAulay. James Autray to Norman Mathewson, by oath of Murdoch McKenzie. Thomas Ritter to John Rouse, by oath of Miles Rouse. Bradly Garner to John Maness, by oath of Bradly Garner, Sr. Henry Craven and John B. Kelly to Alexander C. Curry, by oath of Hugh Moore.


Moore County Court Minutes dated November 1823 (reprinted from May 1986 newsletter):

Administration of estate of John Campbell. dec’d granted to Elizabeth Campbell.
Committee appointed to settle with William McAulay as administrator of Gracy l?) Carmical.
Administrators of the estate of James Hicks, dec’~ to the use of William Crump vs. Owen Dowd. Committee appointed to settle with the surviving administrator of estate of Adam Finch. dec’d last will and testament of James Ramsey. dec’d duly proved in open court.
Administrations on the estate of James Ramsey granted to Atlas Jones, Esq.
Executors of William Martin. dec’d vs. Thomas M. Reed Others.
Committee appointed to settle with Ann Graham and John McLeod. administrators of the estate of Daniel Graham. Dec’d.


Reprinted from the November 1985 newsletter:

Written in 1794 in Moore Co. N.C. with the usual first paragraph about committing his soul to the Lord from whence it came then- “Principally and first of all to my well-beloved wife Hannah Sheffield the plantation whereupon I now do live with the buildings and orchards and improvements thereon with 100 acres of land during her widowhood with all my stock and cattle. I leave and bequeath to my son Mark Sheffield one shilling sterling.
I leave and bequeath to my son John [nothing written here]
I leave and bequeath to my son Adam 100 ac land lying on Rattle Snake branch. I leave and bequeath to my son Isham the land and plantation whereon he now lives containing 100 acres.  I leave and bequeath to my son Averitt Sheffield land and the plantation whereon I do not live to enjoy after his mother’s decease containing 100 acres. I leave and bequeath to my daughter Sarah Dennis one shilling sterling [same one shilling to daughters Lucretia Dun, Rebecca Autry, Hannah Autry, Elizabeth Autry],and to my youngest daughter Lydia and Milly Sheffield I leave and bequeath one shilling sterling each.
My goods and chattels and stock etc. I leave for the support of my beloved Wife Hannah Sheffield during her life-time I then to dispose of the same as she may think proper. I renounce all wills and legacies made by me formerly and acknowledge this to be my last will and testament. In witness whereof.  Signed by John Sheffield (his mark)
E:xecutors: wife Hannah Sheffield and Averi tt  Smith
Could be Isham Sheffield, Windsor Pearce (or Pierce)

Proved by court February 1796


Moore County Court Minutes November 1823 (reprinted from May 1986 newsletter):
Administration of estate of John Campbell. dec’d granted to Elizabeth Campbell.
Committee appointed to settle with William McAulay as administrator of Gracy l?) Carmical.
Administrators of the estate of James Hicks, dec’d to the use of William Crump vs. Owen Dowd. Committee appointed to settle with the surviving administrator of estate of Adam Finch. dec’d last will and testament of James Ramsey. dec’d duly proved in open court.
Administrations on the estate of James Ramsey granted to Atlas Jones, Esq.
Executors of William Martin. dec’d vs. Thomas M. Reed Others.
Committee appointed to settle with Ann Graham and John McLeod. administrators of the estate of Daniel Graham. Dec’d.


Banjo or Mandolin?

Years after someone dies under tragic circumstances, the stories become more and more interesting, sometimes blurring the line between truth and legend. Such is the story of the death of Merrill Cox Fry. Even with newspaper articles, court testimony, and family legend, controversy remains concerning what happened one fateful, hot, July night in 1940.

Since there were numerous Merrill Fry’s in Moore County during this time frame, a little family genealogy will help place the relatives of  this Merrill Cox Fry.  Also known as Locker Fry, Merrill was born 1854, and was living near Thomas’s Crossroads at the time of his death. His father was Lockhart Fry, born 1818, also a prolific name, who spelled his surname without an “e”. His mother was Margaret Elizabeth Frye, with an ”e”. As was quite common back then, Lockhart and Margaret were second cousins.

In 1878, the Carthaginian Newspaper announced Merrill’s marriage to Lucinda Williams. Following his wife’s death in 1935 from malaria, Merrill began suffering from the effects of old age and increased senility. For the next few years he shared a two-room house with his son, Epps, his wife, and their three children.

On July 14, 1940, at 2:45 a.m. Merrill Cox Fry was pronounced dead at Pinehurst Hospital at the age of 87 from a “cerebral concussion, fracture of face, and shock due to fist fight”. Front page headline from The Pilot Newspaper July 19, 1940, declared: EPPS FRY HELD IN BRUTAL DEATH OF FATHER.

Epps Fry news

Merrill’s son, Epps, was arrested and ordered held without bond in the death of his 87-year-old father who had been brutally beaten in the face. According to trial evidence, the two men had not been on friendly terms for several years, and while Epps Fry and his family occupied one end of the building and the father the other, they had little to do with each other. Saturday night, according to the testimony, the elder Fry awakened about 8:30 and went to the door of his son’s room to inquire why so much noise was being made and the trouble started from that.

Epps Fry was charged with first-degree murder, but entered a plea of not guilty. At his trial he testified that his father slashed him first, he pushed his father, and that the aged man fell against a trunk. The sheriff said it was the bloodiest place he had ever seen. The trial attracted a lot of interest in and around Moore County in 1940, but it took barely an hour for the jury to convict Fry of second-degree murder of his father. “Thirty years in prison at hard labor, this being the maximum sentence for the offense,” Judge Felix E. Alley declared, going on to say it was “one of the most brutal I ever heard of”.

Well, there you have it – or do you? After discussing this story with a couple of Merrill’s grandchildren (my aunt and uncle), they first had to tell me how musically talented all the Frys were, how they could pick any stringed instrument they picked up, and what quality instruments they played. After laying all this groundwork, they finally got to the family legends of that night’s events. One version was that a neighbor boy calling at the home had been asked by Epps to play his harp which agitated the elder Fry. Both seemed to agree that Epps was making music late that night and his (senile) Daddy kept hollering for him to stop. When he wouldn’t stop, the two men got into it and Epps hit his Daddy in the head with a banjo. I thought I finally had the real story!  They both agreed that Epps likely did hit his daddy with a musical instrument. But when my aunt, with a down-east brogue, said it was a banjo, and my uncle snapped back in his Boston accent that it was a mandolin, I thought there was going to be another headline in The Pilot – BROTHER AND SISTER FIGHT ERUPTS OVER BANJO AND MANDOLIN.  When the accents finally stopped flying, the musical instrument mystery had still not been settled, but I did have a few more details to add to add to the legend.

The Pilot newspaper wrote of the elder Fry: “he had the reputation of being a peaceable citizen and a favorite with members of the family connection” – and that’s the legend we all need to leave.

Submitted by Ann Bruce

Fighting Fires With Horses

Submitted by Ann Bruce.

Using airplanes to fight the California fires has brought back memories of a time when my great uncle, Martin Wicker, was a “teamster” and used a horse-drawn wagon to fight fires for the town of Pinehurst. Born in Moore County on October 27, 1879 to John A. Wicker and Margaret McKenzie Wicker, he married Anna Maude Kelly in 1908.  In the 1910 census he was an engineer at the Power House in Pinehurst, which will soon become a brewery. By 1920 he was the Pinehurst fire chief.

Wicker Piinehurst Fire ChiefThis old picture of Martin was recently featured in The Pilot newspaper with the caption:



In the spring of 1899, an electric fire alarm system with 15 boxes was completed in Pinehurst.  The Power House was equipped with a pressure hydrant system, hose wagon, and huge pump.  Shown in the photo is Chief Wicker with a fire extinguisher and a hose cart, both horse-drawn.  The equipment was kept in the basement of the department store.

Martin Wicker died in 1963 and is buried at Culdee Presbyterian Church at West End.