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What's the next step?

What's the next step?

Posted: 1362375020000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Moore
I ran into a the end of the line with one person in my tree, but I think there's a way to get past it, but I need suggestions about how to proceed.

I found a "Find-a-grave" tombstone with the name and dates of one of my 3rd great grandfathers in a church cemetery. The cemetery has a lot of other headstones with the same surname (Moore), but no obvious connection to any of them. I am trying to figure out who his parents are. I would assume a good place to start is with the records of the church - look for a baptism or something. So, what now...

(...if this helps - Garret Moore b:5 Dec 1818 d:26 Feb 1898 - Interred at St. Paul's Lutheran Cemetery in Red Hook, NY)

Do I contact the church? Does the state have these records? (New York state does not appear to have done statewide collections until the late 1800s). I think I found a guy who collected these records and is selling them as books...

Dunno - thoughts? Obviously, I'm kinda of a rookie :)

Re: What's the next step?

Posted: 1362416815000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1362417249000
Here are a few suggestions (none guaranteed, but it's a direction to go).

The first thing I would do is see whether there is a local (perhaps county-level) historical or genealogical society, and call them. I got a great deal of information on two of my family lines that way, as they had lots of little news clippings, etc., on events (births, marriages, deaths) that I did not find anywhere else. For instance, maybe you can find an obituary, which might mention his parents names, or his siblings, etc.

Second, I agree that contacting the church is good idea, because you just never know what records they might have. Again, they may have something mentioning his parents' names, even if in connection with his death (and if you're lucky, the whole family was in the area and all were members of this church).

With a date of death that late in the 1800s, you might also find records at a county level (but I personally would not buy books that people have compiled, as there is no form of quality control and also you have no way of knowing in advance whether what you need is in the book).

You can also post on the location and surname message boards, and see if you get a hit from someone else researching the same family.

Do you know the name of your ancestor's spouse? You might be able to track down a marriage record, which sometimes lists parents' names (and other interesting information, such as occupation, etc. - don't know about NY but that is true in some locations and for some time periods).

Do you know your ancestor's occupation? Is there any chance that he might have belonged to some professional group that has records about its members?

Now, just one little note of caution - how sure are you that the gravestone you found is your ancestor, and not someone with the same name? Do you need to check further on that point? I ask, only because a lot of names that seem unique really aren't unique at all...

Good luck with your further search - it's a puzzle, and very rewarding when you do finally find what you need.

Re: What's the next step?

Posted: 1362552379000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Moore
I am +90% positive that it is my relative. My grandmother is on the very same headstone (it is a large memorial), and my mother confirmed the location... so it is about as sure as it gets, I think.

I am actually not as positive of his spouse's maiden name. She is listed on the headstone with the same surname, so that complicates things a bit.

I did find purchase records of the plot online. Again, same surname, but the man does not appear in my tree anywhere. So, a relation (perhaps), but I don't know what.

I don't think there was a trade organization. Census records list him as a "farmer" from the 1850's to the 1880's.

...but I know there is a county historical society, and I found the church on the internet. Time to fire off a couple of emails.

Thanks for the advice.

Re: What's the next step?

Posted: 1362554809000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1362555755000
One or two other possibilities - you might want to see whether a local (city or county-level) library has old obits, and/or marriage notices, which often is the case. Also, if you can find the name(s) of local newspapers in the time period you are searching, you may be able to find digital copies on line (although in my experience, it takes some patience to look things up, since the technology is OCR and it often garbles words that are easy enough to read when you find the actual new article).

Also, try NYGenWeb for any counties you think are likely. The quality of information can vary widely (these are done by volunteers), but sometimes you will find things that don't show up anywhere else. I have had very good luck with some, such as locally transcribed marriage lists etc. (although not so much with other locations).

Have you also tried to find tax and probate records? Maybe he inherited his farm/property on the death of a parent or grandparent, which would give you some additional names and a direction to go? That is, if the transfer to him was from another person named Moore (or "estate of Moore"), you could possibly find the probate records for that person and a copy of a will, which could have lots of names and relationships. For that, however, you likely would need to go to the courthouse and look things up yourself, as it's not too likely that would be available by a phone call or on line.

Good luck with it - you are a lot farther ahead than many people!

Re: What's the next step?

Posted: 1362617888000
Classification: Query
I'd only add that I'd be sure to get copies of any and all "official" records of birth, marriage, and death as possible back to generation you're now researching. You've probably done so but I'm only adding that to the discussion because I relied on information provided by family bibles, and family members, when I first began my research which turned out to be somewhat wrong.

Re: What's the next step?

Posted: 1362770058000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1362770181000
You might also want to try FamilySearch which has a number of free databases. It was just announced that they've recently added over 8 million images of NY Probate Records covering 1629-1971.

For a listing of all of their NY Records:


Re: What's the next step?

Posted: 1363569344000
Classification: Query
You might try This site has links to resources in every state and county.

Also, this is a New York newspaper site that is free

I searched on "Robert G. Moore" and "red hook" and also "Dorothy M. Clow" and "red hook" (it is important to put it in quotations marks, or you will get way too many hits). I was hoping to find a notice of marriage for Robert and Dorothy, with their parents, but no luck. I found several mentions of people attending Robert's funeral, but no actual obit. I did find Dorothy's obit, searching for Dorothy M. Moore. Also when I searched for Dorothy Clow, I found an interesting article from 1876. It seems that Robert was sued by another woman for breech of promise. He was courting this other woman, Martha, then left and married a woman named Fanny. When Fanny died, he went back to courting Martha. He then left Martha again and married Dorothy. He claimed he never proposed to Martha, but she won $400!
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