I have been skirting around writing about Benjamin A Moore in hopes of finding more information about him, but unfortunately I haven’t been able to…yet. All of the records about him leave more questions and hopefully I will find out more soon!
Benjamin A Moore was born in Kentucky, most likely McLean County, in December 1863 according to the 1900 census. There is a question as to who his parents are, but pretty much all census records, and his death certificate, list Margaret Stringer as his mother.
The 1870 census is the first time Benjamin appears. He is found living in Sacramento, McLean County, Kentucky. He is listed as Benjamin Stringer, age 6 years. The adults living in the household are Joseph C Moore (farmer, age 54 years) and Elizabeth Moore (age 53 years). Elizabeth Moore is Elizabeth Pitt (maiden name) who was married first to Gray Stringer, second to Joseph C Moore. The other children living in the household are Elizabeth’s children from her marriage to Gray: Virginia Stringer (age 18 years), Sallie Stringer (age 16 years) and John Stringer (age 13 years). Based on this census it would appear that Benjamin is also one of Elizabeth’s children with Gray. But we can’t stop here! It’s about to get interesting!
I have searched and searched, but I have been unable to find Benjamin on the 1880 census. I don’t know which name he went by (you’ll understand shortly) or if he was even in Kentucky at the time. Looking up “Benjamin Moore” born around the same time in Kentucky gave me a lot of records, but none appear to be him right off.
(note: Elizabeth is listed on the 1880 census as widowed and she is living alone. Elizabeth’s daughter Margaret Stringer is on the 1880 census with her husband John J Breedlove and their children, though I question whether Erma/Emma is actually a Breedlove based on her age. Benjamin is about 16 years of age at the time, not living with either of them.)
There is, of course, no census for 1890.
In 1900 Benjamin is found on the census living in Sacramento, McLean County, Kentucky. He is now listed as Ben A Moore, a farmer, age 36 years. This is the census that tells us he was born in December of 1863. This census also lists him as single. He is living with Elizabeth Moore, age 82 years (birth recorded as December of 1817) and widowed. I’m not sure what last name had been recorded for Elizabeth first, but “Moore” is written over whatever it was very boldly. Benjamin is listed as Elizabeth’s grandson on this census. So this is the first time we see him recorded as Moore rather than Stringer.
I am supposing that Elizabeth had passed away prior to the 1910 census enumeration, since I cannot find her anywhere. Benjamin is found in 1910 living in…you guessed it…Sacramento, McLean County, Kentucky. He was originally listed as Benjamin A Moore, but Moore was scratched out and his name was recorded as Benjamin A Breedlove. He is 47 years of age and listed as single. He is listed as the step-son of John J Breedlove (head of household, age 62 years) which would make him the son of John’s wife Margaret Breedlove (née Stringer, age 67 years). So though the 1900 census showed us that Elizabeth is not his mother, this census shows us that her daughter Margaret is his mother. Also living in the household are George W Lee (age 63 years) and Sarah Lee (age 64 years). (note: George and Sarah were living with their family next door to Elizabeth and Benjamin in 1900)
On the 1920 census Benjamin is living in Sacramento, McLean County, Kentucky. He is listed once again as Ben A Moore, age 56 years, single, a farmer and head of household. Listed directly beneath his name is Margaret Breedlove. She is shown as 76 years of age, widowed and mother of head of household, Benjamin. Also listed in the household is Virginia Gross, age 67 years, single and the sister of the mother of head of household. I believe this is Virginia Stringer that was listed on the 1870 census, too.
In 1930 Benjamin is found on the census living by himself in Sacramento, McLean County, Kentucky. Margaret had passed away in 1924. Benjamin is listed as Ben Moore, age 66 years, single and head of household. Interestingly enough the Oscar Gross family is living next door to him. I’m not sure if they are related to his Aunt Virginia or not, though.
I am awaiting the release of the 1940 census in April 2012.
Benjamin a Moore died on May 18, 1944 in Island, McLean County, Kentucky. His cause of death was congestive heart failure due to hypertrophy and myocarditis. He also suffered from aortic stenosis and hypertension. I cannot make out the name of the informant, but they did not know his date of birth and his age is listed as “about 80”. To me the last name of the informant looks like “Plain”. In 1910, 1920 and 1930 there were several Plain families that were his neighbors. He was still single at the time of his death. His mother is listed as Margaret Breedlove, which leads me to believe that the informant was not a family member since death records ask for the mother’s maiden name. His father is listed as Joseph Moore. Yes, you read that right. His father is listed as the man his grandmother was married to on the 1870 census. I’m not sure if this is correct, however. I can’t imagine why it would be wrong. He obviously took JCM’s last name. But then again, perhaps he saw JCM as a father figure? Unless someone knows more about him we may never know.
An interesting sidenote about his death certificate is that the funeral home, Tucker Funeral Home, is listed in Central City, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. However, when I called them they explained that they actually had several funeral homes, one in Sacramento, McLean County, Kentucky and Central City was only put on the death certificate because that is the main office. I also asked of Tucker Funeral Home about the place of burial only listed as Station. I was given the phone number for the undertaker of Station Baptist Church Cemetery in McLean County, Kentucky. When I called he told me that off the top of his head he couldn’t remember that name on a headstone. He said that he would walk out there any other day to check for me, but the wind is blowing hard and it’s snowing there right now. I told him not to worry about it, that in Spring I would try to get up there and look for myself. He then told me that Island, McLean County, Kentucky used to be called Station way back in the way back and that there were several cemeteries there. I looked on Find A Grave, but couldn’t find Benjamin anywhere.
I find it awfully sad that no one had bothered to put all of his records together before. My mom pointed out that he appears to have been single with no children his whole life, so no one would have been searching for him anyway. That thought is terribly depressing. Hopefully someone out is actually looking for him and just wasn’t able to find him before.
(another note concerning the 1880 census: though Elizabeth was living alone, her daughter Sallie had apparently married a man by the name Bowman and their family lived next door to Elizabeth. Benjamin is not living with them. John Stringer is living with his family on the other side of the Bowman's and Benjamin is not living with them, either. I’m going to continue searching for him, however.)