Thomas Moore1

M, #65, b. 3 February 1781, d. 11 February 1849
Last Edited: 18 Jan 2021


Father: William Moore of Reading1 b. 16 Sep 1747, d. 1 Apr 1823
Mother: Mary (?)1 b. 5 Jun 1757, d. b Nov 1791


Esther Heckman b. 27 Oct 1790, d. 21 Jul 1856


Mary Moore1 b. 15 Mar 1809, d. 17 Sep 1890
Dr. William Moore+ 1 b. 28 Jul 1810, d. 23 May 1872
George Washington Moore+1 b. 30 Mar 1812, d. 21 Jan 1887
Frances Moore1 b. Jul 1814
Lydia Moore+1 b. 21 Feb 1817, d. 10 Jun 1884
Catharine Moore+1 b. 6 Apr 1819, d. 17 Jun 1894
John Moore1 b. 4 Nov 1821, d. 20 Aug 1849
James Moore+1 b. 13 Jan 1825, d. 22 Oct 1899
Elizabeth Ann Moore+1 b. 12 Nov 1829, d. 25 Feb 1886


  • Note*: List of notes:
    1 - Life
    2 - Family record of Thomas Moore
    3 - Census
    4 - Uncle's will
    5 - 1806 Reading City Directory
    6 - Church records
    7 - Mortgage holder
    8 - War of 1812
    9 - Witness
    10 - Fire
    11 - Father's debts
    12 - Cousin Reynolds debt
    13 - Newspaper death notice, translated from German
    14 - Veteran Burial Card
  • Note: 1 - Life:
    Thomas Moore spent his life in Reading, Pennsylvania. He was associated with his father as a merchant - "William Moore and Son". For three months in 1814 he commanded a militia company, and was called "Captain" in his death notice.

    A remarkable old hand-written document names his parents and children and their birth dates.

    Little more is known of his life: He did not own property - he appears in deeds once holding a mortgage and twice tied up in his father's affairs. No church records are found after his marriage and the baptisms of the first three children. Tax records for his era were not preserved. No probate records for him can be found.

    In his daughter Lydia Wells' obituary he is described as "a leading citizen of Reading in the early days of the ancient borough".

    According to family lore he attended Princeton. No confirming evidence has been found by this compiler.
  • Note: 2 - Family record of Thomas Moore:

    William Moore           Born 16th September 1747
    Mary his wife           Do 5 June..1757 [3 overwritten with 5, February crossed out]
    Thomas Son of Wm & Mary     3 February ..1781
    Hetty his wife       Do 27 October . . 1790
    Mary Daughter to Tho. & Hetty 15th March..1809
    William Son to Do 28 ..July ..1810
    G-----------to- Moore Son to Do 30 March 1812
    ------------------ ...Da---hter Do -- Jul------1814
    Lydia Moore ....Do ......21 February...1818 [l81?]
    Cathrine Moore ....Do ......6 April 1819
    John Moore ... Do . .. 4 November 1821
    James . . Moore . . . Do . . . 13 January ... 1825
    Elizabeth Ann Moore Do 12 November 1829

    Notes about the Family Record document:
    Portions of the original paper document are cracked off and missing, obscuring the names of the children born in 1812 and 1814. By other evidence it is well documented that the son born in 1812 was George Washington Moore. The name of the daughter born in July 1814 is completely missing from this document; according to family lore she had eloped, and her mother had erased her name from the family bible; by other research she is possibly Frances.

    Notes about the Wells family Bible:
    A very similar list of names and birth dates was copied into a Wells family bible. (Thomas Moore's daughter Lydia married William Arthur Wells.)
    There are a few differences:
    In the Wells record George is born 12 March 1814 instead of 30 March 1812.
    The Wells record does not list the daughter born July 1814.
    In the Wells record Lydia is born 21 February 1817 instead of 21 February 1818.1,9
  • Note: US Census, Reading, Pennsylvania:
    1810 7 household members. Indexed on Ancestry as 'Thos Moore'. Wm Moore is in separate household.

    US Census, Reading South Ward:
    1820 10 household members. William Moore & son. Indexed on Ancestry as 'William Moon Junior'.
    1830 10 household members. Indexed on Ancestry as 'Thomas Moore'.
    1840 4 household members. Indexed on Ancestry as 'Thomas Moor'.
    1850 household of Hester Moore.10
  • Note: 4 - Uncle's will:

    In his 1795 will Samuel Moore names "my nephew Thomas Moore son of my brother William Moore", and makes a conditional bequest of £800, in the event that his son Samuel does not survive.11
  • Note: 5 - 1806 Reading City Directory:

    "Penn Street, Between Callowhill and Prince (Fifth and Sixth) Streets
    S. E. from Court House
    Wm. Moore & Son"

    No other Moore households appear.12
  • Note: 6 - Church records:

    Thomas and Esther's 1808 marriage is recorded in the book of Rev. William Boas, then pastor of Schwarzwald Reformed Church, Exeter Township, five or ten miles east of Reading.
    The baptisms of their first three children in 1810 and 1812 were recorded at the Reading First Reformed church.
    A church burial record for Thomas has not been found by this compiler.
  • Note: 7 - Mortgage holder:

    On 14 April 1810 Jacob Sheffer, a weaver of Alsace Township, Berks county, mortgaged a three acre parcel to Thomas Moore to secure a debt of sixty pounds he owed to Moore.13
  • Note: 8 - War of 1812:

    Capt. Thomas Moore commanded a company, of the Second Regiment, Second Brigade, Pennsylvania militia, under command of Lieut. Col. John Lotz [Lutz] in the last days of the War of 1812. Most of the men were from Berks county, and volunteered 1 Sept 1814 and were discharged 4 Dec 1814. They formed at York, Pennsylvania in preparation for the defense of the Susquehanna River, but the British withdrew from the area after the Battle of Baltimore 12 Sept 1814.

    Thomas Moore did not file for a pension nor land grant, nor did his widow.

    In his Reading newspaper death notice he is called "Capt. Thomas Moore".14,15
  • Note: 9 - Witness:

    On 18 Mar 1819 Thomas Moore witnessed the will of Dr. James Diemer of Reading. Thomas's father was co-executor.
  • Note: 10 - Fire:

    On 13 May 1820 the Reading newspaper carried this notice:

    "The subscribers return their sincere thanks to the inhabitants of the borough of Reading, for their exertions in saving so much of their
    property at the late Fire, and in particular to Jacob Cough, for assisting William Moore out of the second story window, where he nearly suffocated with smoke.
    They also beg the ladies to accept their greatest acknowledgements, for their prompt assistance, in furnishing, and making clothes for Mr. Moore and the children, who made their escape almost naked.

    In the middle of the night on 6 May 1820 a fire started at a neighboring merchants' liquor storage building, and strong winds carried the fire to seven houses and their out buildings. William Moore's two story brick house was destroyed by fire. The building also served as his store front, and storage for his stock of goods. The financial impact was devastating.16
  • Note: 11 - Father's debts:

    In January 1822 Thomas' father William Moore declared that he was an insolvent debtor, and then died in April 1823. This was following a major economic depression and the losses from the fire. William had invested heavily in Reading real estate, and his financial affairs were complicated by inter-family liabilities stemming from executing several family estates.
  • Note: 12 - Cousin Reynolds debt:

    On 27 October 1823 Henry Betz High Sheriff of Berks County, in consideration of $2000, granted to John Reynolds of Lancaster, highest bidder at public sale, a tract of land situated partly in the township of Cumru and partly in the township of Robeson containing 468 acres.
    On August 11 the Court of Common Pleas had found Thomas Moore heir at law of William Moore deceased late of Berks County in default for not paying a debt of $6,535.91 plus interests and costs to John Reynolds.
    On August 16th the court ordered the sheriff (by a writ of Levari facias) to sell the land for recovery of the debt.
    Recorded 20 Nov 1823 Berks Co. Deeds Vol. 34, p. 96. Viewed on FHL 20778.17
  • Note: 13 - Newspaper death notice, translated from German:

    "Died -- here, last Sunday, Capt. Thomas Moore, aged 68 years and 8 days. Friends of the family are respectfully invited to attend the funeral, this afternoon at 1 pm, from his residence on 3rd, near Chestnut Street to the Carl Grans [maybe Carl Graus] Burial Ground."18
  • Note: 14 - Veteran Burial Card:

    Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Military Affairs
    Record of Burial Place of Veteran
    County: Berks
    Name: Moore, Thomas 68
    Date of Birth: 1781
    Date of Death: 1849
    Veteran of: 1812
    Served in: Army
    Dates of service: 9-4-1814 to 12-4-1814
    Organization: 2nd Regt. 2nd Brig.
    Rank: Captain
    Cemetery: Charles Evans Cemetery, Reading, Pa.
    Location of grave in cemetery, Section: M, Lot No.: 13
    Headstone: Marble
    Information given by: R. S. Dotterer (Grave Registrar) 11-15-193519


  1. [S53] Family record of Thomas Moore, born 1781, naming his parents, wife and children and all their birth dates. Handwritten, in one hand, in old style writing and pen, on one tattered page. In family possession.
  2. [S25] Boas, John William, Pastoral record. FHL title: Schwarzwald Reformed Church, Exeter Township, Berks Co., Pa. (contains other locations); FHL Microfilm 1673149, item 1. Original records, in German.
  3. [S77] Irish, Donna R., compiler. Pennsylvania German Marriages: Marriages and Marriage Evidence in Pennsylvania German Churches. Genealogical Publ. Co., 1982., p. 92, m. Thomas Moore & Esther Heckman.
  4. [S156] Seyler, S.. Transcription made by family member of family record portion of a bible in family possession. "The Holy Bible, publ. Phila., printed for John Thompson & Abraham Small M.DCC.XCVIII". Contains birth and death dates of Thomas Moore & Esther Heckman, and death of son John, and 1882 confirmation certificate of grandson Wm. M. S. Moore.
  5. [S62] GenealogyBank. URL:, Reading Adler, Tuesday, February 13, 1849, page 2, "Capt. Thomas Moore".
  6. [S121] URL, Der Liberale Beobachter und Berks, Montgomery und Schuylkill Caunties Allgemeine Anzeiger, Reading, Pennsylvania, Tuesday, February 20, 1849 - Page 3, "Capt. Thomas Moore".
  7. [S141] Reading, Pa., Charles Evans Cemetery and Crematory. FHL microfilm collection 'Cemetery records, 1848-1979'.
  8. [S143] Reading, Pa., Charles Evans Cemetery. Plot map and two burial cards for Moore / Wells plot, Lot No. 13, Section M. Copies obtained from cemetery office 22 May 2011.
  9. [S5] 'Another Wells Bible', Delaware Genealogical Society Journal, Vol. 10 (April 1999), No. 1, p. 1-4, and Vol. 10, (Oct 1999), No. 2, p. 28-30. (Contains transcription of Family Record pages, from a bible owned by William H. Wells of Portland, Oregon, printed in Oxford, England in 1739 by John Baskett. Contains one page entitled 'Moore Family Record'. Also contains transcriptions of newspaper death notices and obituaries.), p. 4. "(10) Moore Family Record."
  10. [S165] US Census, accessed on
  11. [S129] Pennsylvania Probate Records, 1683-1994. Images. FamilySearch. : 14 June 2016. County courthouses, Pennsylvania. URL:, Will of Samuel Moore. Dauphin Co., "Wills 1785-1814 vol 1A-1C", Vol. 1A, p. 317, image 173.
  12. [S144] Reading, Pa., City directories: 1) 'Directory of 1806. By M(atthias) S. Richards' (Microfiche C5 1270) & 2) 1856 by J. Knabb (Microfiche C5 1271) [Sutro].
  13. [S14] Berks County, Pa., Open Records, Recorder of Deeds Online Services. URL:, Mortgages, Book I, p. 57.
  14. [S126] Pennsylvania Archives, Sixth Series, Volume VIII, p. 1306 - 1308. Muster roll 2 Sept 1814 of company under command of Captain Thos. Moore.
  15. [S112] Montgomery, Morton L., History of Berks County In Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, Everts, Peck & Richards, 1886. [Sutro Lib.], p. 171-178.
  16. [S62] GenealogyBank. URL:, Berks and Schuylkill Journal. 13 May 1820 p. 3. And 6 May 1820 p. 3 & clipping photo.
  17. [S10] Berks Co., Pennsylvania, Recorder of Deeds; Deeds, 1734-1866; Index, 1752-1926. FHL microfilm series. Images on
  18. [S62] GenealogyBank. URL:, Reading Adler, Tuesday, Feb 13, 1849, Reading, PA, Issue: 2720, Page: 2. Thomas Moore. Translated by Brigitte Keen.
  19. [S131] Pennsylvania Veterans Burial Cards for William Moore (d. 1747) and Thomas Moore (d. 1849). Appear to have been created in 1936 & 1935. Viewed on, which cites Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission; Harrisburg Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania Burial Cards, 1929-1990; Archive Collection Number: Series 1-8, Folder Number 341.