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20 Sept 2012: James Moore named to Historic Murfreesboro Commission


North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue has appointed James Elliott Moore to the Historic Murfreesboro Commission. The purpose of the commission is to acquire and preserve historic properties in Murfreesboro, to conduct long-range planning for preservation and to carry out programs related to these purposes. James was born in Ahoskie in 1954 and grew up on the nearby family farm Maple Lawn. He attended Chowan University, where he received the A.A. degree in 1974. From there he went on to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was awarded the B.A. in history in 1976 and M.S.L.S. in 1977. After working in public libraries for four years, he entered the civil service as an Army librarian intern at Fort Monroe, Virginia in 1981. During a career stretching over thirty years, he has worked in libraries at Fort Monroe, Virginia; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Rucker, Alabama; Camp Darby, Italy; NATO Support Activity in Brussels, Belgium and Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Since February, 2000 he has been the director of the Robert F. Sink Memorial Library at Fort Campbell. He has a lifelong passion for local history and historic preservation. While in graduate school, he wrote thirty-five sketches for’ The Dictionary of North Carolina Biography’ edited by the historian William S. Powell. Moore is a life member of the Murfreesboro Historical Association and vice-president of the of the Montgomery County (TN) Historical Society and treasurer for the Clarksville-Montgomery County Arts and Heritage Development Council. He was appointed to the Board of Visitors for Chowan University in 2011. James lives in Clarksville, Tennessee with Sean Hogan, also a librarian, and their dogs Bosco and Bama. James and Sean are active at Trinity Episcopal Church and serve on the Advisory Council for the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville. They also participate in the Tennessee Library Association and Nashville Cares. James pursues a variety of interests including genealogy, Baroque architecture, grand opera, Anglican church history and collecting antique silver. His ultimate goal is to retire to a villa in Tuscany with an unlimited supply of books and gin.


The Family History and Genealogy Fair was a success: here are a few pictures by Cathy Spruill of the occasion. Sally and James working with some of the folks hp1 hp3 hp10_small

Cousin John & Agusta Daniel of Rocky Mount.
Buck and Becky Carter from Powellsville

Family History and Genealogy Fair, Roanoke-Chowan Heritage Center, Hope House Road, Windsor, North Carolina Friday and Saturday, July 29 and 30, 2011 Blood’s Thicker Than Water‚  I will be making presentations on both days. Hope to see you there, Sally

Campaign for Painting: Chowan University is conducting a campaign to purchase an important Moore family heirloom. The large painting  Sir Walter Raleigh Spreading His Cloak for Queen Elizabeth‚ was done by one of the early art professors at Chowan Baptist Female Institute, the precursor of Chowan University. Ann Ward Moore (1834-1901) posed for the figure of the queen. Various Murfreesboro citizens were used as models for the courtiers and the royal guard. Ann James Ward was Chowan’s first graduate in July 1853. Later that same year, she married John Wheeler Moore. This painting embodied fully the Moore family‚’s love of all things English and its devotion to the history of North Carolina. For generations, it hung in the parlor at Maple Lawn. Sold out of the family in the 1990s the painting has changed hands several times in recent years. Chowan University has an agreement with the present owner to purchase this iconic object for $15,000. If you would like to aid this cause, please make a check payable to Chowan University‚ and add Ann Ward Moore painting on the memo line. Mail to Office of Development, One University Place, Chowan University, Murfreesboro, NC 27855. For further information contact John Tayloe, vice-president for development at or by phone at 255-398-1232. note: the painting has been completely paid for..Thanks everyone! note this painting was painted in the 1850s when Ann Ward Moore and John Wheeler Moore were living in their mansion located on what is now part of the campus of CU

Ann Ward as Queen Elizabeth detail
Residents of Murfreesboro  models for all the people pictured
photo by Cathy Spruill
Painting was in special exhibit of art Nov 2000 by the students and professors of Chowan College 1848-1901 Pictured with the painting, Sally Koestler and nephew, James E. Moore photo by Cathy Spruill

Pleasant Grove Baptist Church is having a good old-fashioned homecoming on October 3, 2010. Dr. Godwin Cotten Moore who was the founder who gave the land for the church which is one mile from Mulberry Grove. the descendants of all the early members are invited  Homecoming worship will begin at 10:30 a.m. They have special seating for us so please let them know that you are a descendant of Dr. Moore. Following the worship service, lunch will be served on the grounds. RSVP
Below some of the family of Dr G C Moore who attended or participated in the program on October 3, 2010 james betty&Dory jamesHelenCathy2 farmgroup2
1. James E Moore, 2. Betty Hickey & Dory Baco, 3. Cathy Spruill, James E Moore, Helen Carson, 4. The farm group

Now  attention Rayners  on September 11, 2010, Confederate grave marker for Gaston Rayner (1839-1884) will be dedicated Saturday morning, September 11, 2010, at the Falls Ranch in far eastern Kimble County, Texas. The event will be open to the public, and a meal hosted by James and Dixie Gartrell (owners of the Falls Ranch) will follow the program.

– Oct 07 H. James Keith has compiled and published‚ 3rd Battalion North Carolina Light Artillery; Moore’s Battalion‚ C.S.A.

The Third was Major John Wheeler Moore’s Battalion.

4 Aug, 07  Julia Short Raynor, 98, died Saturday, August 4, 2007 at Highland House of Fayetteville. buried in Ahoskie Cemetery August 7.
[widow of James William Raynor II of Powellsville]

– 12 May, 07  50th Reunion of the Chowan College Class of 1957  we attended the graduation ceremonies at Chowan University and then were treated to dinner and a great get together for the old classmates of ’57.
the classmates who attended the festivities -Sept 13, ’06 chowanR1_small

The public was invited by Dr. Benjamin F. Speller, Jr., President of the Historic Hope Foundation, to join him in a conversation with Genealogist Sally Moore Koestler at the Roanoke-Chowan Heritage Center , September 13, 2006 at 5:30 p.m. 13 Sept 06

Mrs. Sally Koestler & Dr. Speller at the Roanoke-Chowan Heritage Center


-Sept 6, ’06  30 or so members of the Moore clan descended on Murfreesboro to help Chowan College morph into Chowan University. Then after the convocation, we were treated to a luncheon by the new University. The group then gathered at the old Historical Association, where James E Moore presented a seminar about the family’s history and connection to the Wheeler House. A surprise birthday celebration for Robbie Pierce was held. [son of John Wheeler Pierce] Then most of our party toured the Wheeler House. A great time for all.

some of the group on campus

Photos by Cathy McMahan at the Hertford Academy Left to Right: Front Row: Robbie Pierce, Debbie Sacra. Second Row: William King, Faye Chaney, Sally Koestler, Carol Jellie, Dory Pierce, Cathy Spruill, Cathy McMahan. Third Row: Paul Sacra, Kimberly Sacra, Jennifer Sacra, Libby McGhee, Tommy McMillan, Betty Hickey, Bobby Pierce. Fourth Row: Scott Blackwell, Wyatt McGhee, Wyatt McGhee IV, Ursula Pierce, James Moore. Doorway: Mack McMahan.


Sally Koestler, Betty Hickey, Cathy Spruill

March 31  April 1,’06 the Murfreesboro Historical Association is sponsoring a living history event A Civil War Reenactment on Broad Street  Union soldiers will portray camp life at the Hertford Academy, and Confederate soldiers will take over the grounds of the Wheeler House. also enjoy a candlelight tour showcasing the Wheeler House.

now 20 June 05 this year 7 of Raynor and Ola Moore’s great grand children graduated from high school. Raynor Moore IV, Daniel Lawrence, Madeline Pinnsoneault, Jane Yearwood, Hal Holloman, Troy Holloman, and Josh Roberts.

Recent deaths in the family:

on the 9 May 2005 at age 35, William Abner Holloman, son of Jane and Bob

on the 15 March 2005
John Milton Hickey of Virginia Beach, husband of Betty Pierce Hickey

on the 28 Feb 2005 Fred Rhea Lassiter of Gates Co NC, husband of Evelyn Rountree Lassiter

Sally’s hard disk crashed 19 Jan 05 and had to be replaced. I lost a lot of files.

Sally is now back at home recovering from a complete [right] knee replacement surgery on Nov 2, 2004. so write again if I have been slow in responding to your messages.
11/11/04  Sally went to Salt Lake City with the Texas Research Ramblers Oct 17-24, 2004.

Oct 9/11/04 Memphis TICA Show-


Sally with Ann and Ralph Parker in front of the Saroko Cage
photo Bob Koestler

– died 9 Feb 2004 ‚ Adele Evelyn Koestler Ehrlich Boskey age 90 yr 8 mo died 11 Dec 2003

– Margaret Emily Rountree Ward, at age 91 [daughter of Dorsey and Nettie Rountree]
just ten days after her son died 1 Dec 2003 ‚ John Atwood Ward

9/25/03 Cathy Spruill reports on Aftermath of Isabel at Maple Lawn: Doris had lost shingles. Glen and his wife had recently thinned the woods around your [John Moore] old homestead. It looked like every tree they left had fallen ~ One right by the steps of the trailer where Michael used to live. The old green shed had been smashed by large trees. The first old homestead on your side had a huge tree down from the right side of the yard. Elrita’s lot had some massive trees in the back down. All the trees in Lennie’s old lot were blown over. As you continue around the corner, one the right side of the road the sycamore is still standing missing a few limbs. Half the huge beech fell. The dead tree is still standing, the top of the next oak down, The next one standing but missing limbs and the last one down. On the left side one entire oak down and large limbs from all the others down, two or so on the first two barns. The newest barn closest to the house lost part of it’s overhang and lots of tin. The house faired better. Some tin blown up on the top level and a piece over the mudroom. There was lots of water in the house and leaves from the walnut tree. The wind came from the north west and anything on that side took a beating. The tin on the kitchen and office is off on that side but they are still standing. I did not venture around your barns but will do that next time we are up. . . I don’t remember seeing any new buildings down, though the several shelters over there have been blown down. We emptied the refrigerator and pulled some wet rugs out of the house. Collected wet bed linen to launder at home before it got dark. I took some pictures.

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Ernest Bradley Moore Sr. of Maple Lawn, Hertford County, died March 18, 2003, age 84

New BOOK by Mary Margaret Britton Yearwood
In Their Hearts: Inspirational Alzheimer’s Stories

Bob’s Photos of Cat Shows

More death notices received:
Pattie Cotten Sessoms Gantt 17 Nov 2002 age 69
Patricia Bazemore 12 Nov 2002 age 55
Marie-Louise Davidson Hand 29 June 1917 – 11 July 2002 TX age 85
Walter Daniel Graham 16 June 2002 Suffolk, VA age 80
Florence Shulof Mayer 29 Jan 1899 NYC – 17 April 2002 age 103



Deaths in family:

8 July 2002 Margaret Mary Stevens Colvin 19 Sept 1912 – 8 July 2002
“Cousin Margaret” co owner of Mulberry Grove for many years

16 May 2002 James Beaurie [JB] Parker 24 Jan 1926 – 16 May 2002

May 2, 2002

“The Bondwoman’s Narrative” and the Wheelers: An exhibit at R. F. Sink Library, Fort Campbell, KY. Library Director James Moore stands in front of the display on May 2, 2002.
WheelerDisplay2 WheelerDisplay1

Feb 2002 — “JeJuan Rankins, grandson of Ernest and Elretta Wynn Moore, recently signed up for a football scholarship with the Oklahoma Sooners. Watch for Jejuan in Oklahoma and also Jason Parker, grandson of Eugene and Frances Dawson Moore, in Kentucky — they have roots in our beloved home place. ” e-mail Wanda Moore, RN

11 NOV 2001 – John Hill Wheeler and his slaves are still making the headlines!! In today’s New York Times, front page, there is an article about a runaway slave who in the late1850s wrote an novel, unpublished, about slavery in the south. She had been ‘owned’ by John Hill Wheeler, who was the half – brother of Julia Monroe Wheeler, a direct ancestor. Hanna Crafts had been a house slave working for Mrs. Wheeler, who apparently wanted to marry her to a field slave, who Hanna looked down upon. The manuscript is owned by Henry Louis Gates Jr., chairman of the African-American studies department at Harvard. He plans to publish, The Bondswoman’s Narrative, next April.

11 September, 2001

MAY – JUNE 2001 – Sally and Bob drove to NC from TX.

We stayed with my sister Julia Lawrence in Falkland, NC.

Maple Lawn, Hertford County, NC – visited Cathy Spruill’s restoration of our old home place, which is coming along remarkably well. James Moore met us there.

Sally in the cemetery at Church of the Savior Jackson, NC.
The Samuel Calvert family returned for the day to dedicate a stone to his memory and to attend the 150 yr. rededication of the Church of the Savior.

SAREM, NC. Sally, Bob, and her sister Julia visited the J B Parkers.

We ran into Ron Parker while visiting the Parker family cemetery.

We returned home via ATLANTA, GA and vicinity. Visited the R A Hollomans and Helen Zappia and took photos of the family artifacts that they had in their possession.

MAR 2001 – There is a musical currently showing in Philadelphia called “STAND BY THE RIVER!”

— Check out the synopsis and cast. John Hill Wheeler has a nice duet with Judge John Kane called “America”.

JAN 2001 – The Murfreesboro Historical Association, Inc. has acquired three of the portraits that were at Mulberry Grove and Maple Lawn. These are the portraits of Esther Cotten Moore and her daughters Emeline and Sarah Matilda and are attributed to the artist, James McGibbon.
With the help of a
grant from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation they have been able to restore the portrait of Sarah Matilda and it has been placed in the Hertford Academy.
TillieWestray2 TillieWestray

Perhaps you will make a contribution to this project of restoring these historical paintings. As funds become available, Esther Cotten Moore will next be restored and then the portrait of Emeline. Please make your tax deductible check payable to the Murfreesboro Historical Assoc; PO Box 3, Murfreesboro, NC, 27855 and do designate your check for the “Historic Paintings Fund.” Tillie Westray portrait by James McGibbon after and before Conservation treatment Nov. 2000 by David Goist of Raleigh, NC now in the Murfreesboro Historical Assoc. collection

Dec. 2000 – Sally, sister Julia Lawrence, niece Cathy Spruill and nephew James Moore all went to Murfreesboro for the special exhibit and program on the early art at Chowan College and to see the restored portrait of Aunt Tillie Westray.
Check out the Parlor, Parlor Portraits, John Wheeler page, and the John and Ann Moore page for other new additions.

Below Julia and Sally at the Murfree-Smith Law Office which is the gift shop of the Murfreesboro Historical Assoc. photo by Cathy Spruill.

Sept 2000 – Sally and nephew James Moore got together and of course were discussing family history!! James shared many items with Sally – which my husband, Bob, photographed with his digital camera and I have been busily adding to these pages.

April 2000 New interesting pictures from Maple Lawn sent by Cathy Spruill and others pictures from Tennessee. see pages for Maple Lawn, Parlor, Jones Hole, Black Folks, and Walton.
A new section on Bob’s Family has been added.
I have finally finished transcribing the poem to the site–still have not worked on the missing part six.
“Folks, the Major’s handwriting is formidable!”
Many other items added. Take another tour of the place.

10 Nov. 1999 More Rasco records were located while in Salt Lake that gives a new slant on the family.
I Discovered the names of three sisters of Lydia Walkup Sanderlin.

New information on Grandmother Parker’s brother Jim Rountree’s family

Two letters from S. J & John Wheeler during the Civil War are now on the John Wheeler page.

Now have in hand all (except part VI ) of Legends of St Johns Chapel by John W Moore. Will post as time permits. Many Thanks go to Barry Munson & Tim Pyatt!

March 9, 1999, Some of my Rayner Cousins have sent me pictures of interest and additional information about the family. We now have a picture of the old Rayner home as it appeared in 1948.

Jan 23, 1999, Have redesigned several of the pages and added MIDI files to them. Be sure and check out ghosts, wedding, Maple Lawn, Mulberry Grove, Jones Hole, Parlor, and Favorite Sites. Yes, some are new. I think they are all now audible on both Explorer and Netscape — Did discover what browser a number or you are using. If you still cannot hear the music let me know. Remember to click on the pictures, some carry you into an expansion of their themes. I will be adding to these elaborations as the spirit hits me, so do check back. Sally

Dec 1, 1998 “John and Molly Rayner of Powellsville, Bertie County, NC; their family and ancestry” is now at the binders. Books are available while they last at $25 postpaid. I’m rather pleased with the book and trust you will be too, .

Check out new page – family ghost tales Oct 21, 1998

August 15, 1998 Dear Friends and Relatives: I keep adding; correcting; and otherwise ” fooling” with these pages. I like hearing from you. Please e-mail me. Sally.

Pages featuring Mulberry Grove and The Jones Hole.
Also click on pictures for larger images.
Pages for parents; grandparents Moore and Parker; and great grandparents Moore, Rayner, Parker and Rountree.

Family History Books: The first “Elizabeth Jones of Maple Lawn, Pitch Landing, Hertford County, North Carolina; her family and ancestry” was released by me to the family last fall.
Other Histories are almost ready. “John and Molly Rayner of Powellsville, Bertie County, NC; their family and ancestry”.
“Tim Parker and Hortense Rountree of Sarum, Gates County, NC their family and ancestry”.
“Dr. Godwin Cotten Moore & Julia Munro Wheeler of Mulberry Grove, Hertford County, NC, Their family and ancestry”-probably several books.


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