Here’s Your Sign #11 ~ Moore’s Fort ~ The Road To Kentucky

For many years I have been collecting photos of and information about the various signs that have been placed in honor of some of my ancestors. These signs are a glimpse into some event and/or place where they lived. Some of the signs are small like a placard with a few poignant words, some are large, and they go into great detail, and then there are those that are somewhere in between. Each one gives added life to those ancestors.

William Moore


Moore’s Fort was located in “lower Castle’s Woods” between the Clinch River and the Hunter’s Trace (later the Road to Kentucky), and was described in one pension application as being one mile from the Clinch River. Moore’s fort was probably the largest of the frontier forts in southwestern Virginia. Its central location on the Clinch River meant that the militia could be stationed here and sent either north or south to repel Indian Raids, whether they came through the Sandy War Passes, or through Cumberland Gap. Moore’s Fort came under siege a number of times, and it figures in the personal history of many of the pioneer families. Initially constructed during the opening of Dunmore’s War, its importance in frontier defense continued throughout the period of Indian Hostilities.

This was the fort that sheltered Daniel Boone and his family after their return to the Clinch in 1773. By petition of the people of Blackmore’s Fort, Daniel Boone was placed in command of Moore’s and Blackmore’s Forts in 1774 as a Captain of militia and continued in command of them until he went to Kentucky in the spring of 1775 to found Boonesboro.

This Fort was built on the land that my 5th great-grandfather, William Moore  (1726-1799) owned and he eventually sold the land to John Snoddy in 1775 when he and his family accompanied Daniel Boone and others to settle in Kentucky.


I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Solo ~ William Thornton Sr. ~ 52 Ancestors 52 Weeks #27

solo-logoThis week’s prompt is “Solo” so I thought I would write about one of my many ancestors who made the voyage to America by themselves. Since there are so many I had a hard time choosing just one. However, I have never written about this particular ancestor before and I have enjoyed researching him.

William Thornton, my 10x Great Grandfather, was born in 1620 in The Hills, Yorkshire, England. He immigrated to Jamestown Virginia in 1641 being transported powatan warby William Prior and by 1643 he moved to York County, Virginia. There he purchased 164 acres of land and began to build his home. On April 18, 1644, the Powhatan Confederacy launched a coordinated attack on the settlements in Virginia killing around 400 colonists. All of the settlers who survived the attack were ordered to return to Jamestown for their safety and this included William. Here he married Elizabeth Rowland (1627-1671) in May 1644.

By 1647, the Indian War was over and William and his wife returned to his property and completed the house. They had 3 sons, William Jr. (1649-1727), Francis (1652-1726), and Rowland (1653-1722). In October 1648 the House of Burgess passed an William Thornton mapact allowing settlement north of the York River with an effective date of 1 September 1649. Colonists were allowed to apply for land grants immediately. It was two months later on December 21, 1648, that Richard Lee was granted 1250 acres on the north side of York River. Sometime before February 16, 1653, Lee assigned the northern portion of his grant to William Thornton thus it appears William Thornton moved north of the York River between September 1,1649 and February 16, 1653. This land is in present-day  Gloucester County, Virginia, on the south side of Bland Creek. Gloucester County was created in 1651 from York County.

It was on this parcel in Gloucester County that William would live until he moved to Stafford County, Virginia, around 1708. On February 16, 1665, William Thornton of Petsoe Parish, Gloucester County, increased the size of his holdings when he received a grant of land for another 164 acres on land joining the land where he lived.

Even though he continued to live in Gloucester County, on September 27,1673 William purchased land further to the west up the Rappahannock River apparently to provide for his sons. William purchased 2000 acres on the north side of the river from John and George Mott. That same day William, of Gloucester County, Virginia, gave James Kay a power of attorney to accept possession of the 2000 acres he had purchased from the Motts. William gave this land on July 16, 1675, to his 210px-William-thortonsons Francis and Rowland, if they had no heirs then it would go to his son William Jr. William was a vestryman in Petsoe Parish from 1677-1706. He was listed as William Thornton, Senior, in the Petsoe Parish, Gloucester County, quit rent roll for 1704 as having 525 acres. On April 23,1706 William asked for a “quietus” from serving as a vestryman. The vestry granted his request and appointed a new vestryman in his stead. Sometime before December 22, 1708, William moved to Stafford County, Virginia. On that date William, “Late of the County of Gloucester and now of Stafford County,” gave a power of attorney to Jonathan Gibson to acknowledge a deed of gift for 2000 acres of land he had given to his sons in 1675. He had acknowledged the deed in Gloucester County Court but wanted to record it in Richmond County where the land was then located. William died in 1709. Although he came to the colonies solo, he left an abundance of descendants.

Researching this ancestor has led me to the discovery of a new line that I am anxious to dive into. If what I uncovered is true and I can prove it, I may be related to one of my favorite historical figures. If it proves correct, I will be writing a follow-up blog.


I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.


Sunday Salute ~ Memorial Day ~ Honoring Those Who Gave All


In honor of Memorial Day tomorrow I thought I would mention my ancestors who gave their all for our country. I have at least one ancestor who has fought in every war since colonial times. Although many fought in these wars, only a few have been killed. So I remember those brave men who gave us the freedoms we have today!

Hugh Alley Sr (1608-1673) ~ He immigrated from England to Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts in 1637. In the fall of 1672, the Native Indians conducted raids of several growing towns. Many settlers were killed as a result. Believing that the Indians had declared war on them several men from the nearby towns banded together to fight those who had attacked. During one skirmish on January 25. 1673 Hugh was killed. He is my 9x Great Grandfather.

George Parrott (1746-1777) ~ He enlisted at the start of the War in 1775 serving under Captain John Tipton. He participated in many battles including the Battle of Brandywine and the Battle of Paoli. On October 4, 1777, he fought in The Battle of Germantown. The Continentals lost 152 men that morning including George. Many soldiers were buried in mass graves, some were buried in local cemeteries. There is no known record of the disposition of George’s body. George was 31 years old and had never been married nor had any children. He is my 3x Great Uncle.

Charles “Boy” Combs (1843-1869) ~ On March 12, 1862, 19-year-old “Boy” enlisted in Company B, Indiana 27th Infantry Regiment. He then proudly marched off to War wearing the blue uniform of the Union Army. At the Battle of Antietam which was the single bloodiest day in American military history, “Boy” was injured along with 9539 other soldiers. Over 2000 Union soldiers were killed. Although he survived the War he never completely recovered from the wounds that he received in the Battle of Antietam. He spent the next 4 years fighting a reoccurring infection. On January 2, 1869 “Boy” died from the infection. He is my 3rd cousin.

William J, Register (1915-1944) ~ He joined the army in 1939 at the age of 24 at the start of WWII. He went through basic training and was stationed at Fort Hood Army base in Killeen, TX. He was trained to drive and maneuver the tanks and to fire them with accuracy. In 1942 he was shipped to England. On June 6, 1944, William along with countless others landed on the beaches of Normandy and there his life ended. His body was never found. He is my 2nd cousin.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.