Family roots in the Old (Indiana) Northwest

Andrew Moore, pioneer of Lake County
Several weeks ago I wrote about a project that took me over the state line to Beecher, Illinois.  Since the outing was largely charitable in nature, I combined it with a little genealogical research that I had wanted to do in the area so that the sting of giving away services wasn't felt too deeply.

During the 1820s through 1830s two branches of my family traveled through northwest Indiana to settlements on the border of Lake County, Indiana and Kankakee County, Illinois, probably down the Sauk Trail.  The trail was an ancient Native American game route, also confirmed as a mastodon trailway around the south edge of Lake Michigan.  The Sauk Trail was incorporated into a supply route to Fort Dearborn from Detroit by the federal government in 1825.  The road became known in Indiana as the Chicago Road.

Adam Hamilton, pioneer of Kankakee County, IL
Adam Hamilton was born in 1793 to English immigrant Thomas Hamilton.  Thomas, though born under the Union Jack, was part of the First Virginia Regiment during the American Revolution and was camped with General Washington at Valley Forge.  Adam married Margaret Howard in Ohio in 1819 and then moved to Jackson County, Indiana.  Adam purchased property in Kankakee, Illinois in 1835 and 1836.  In 1841 he bought property on the west side of the Illinois/Indiana border, east of Sherburnville.  This became his permanent home.  The farmhouse is still there on the south side of Route 2, immediately across our state line.  After his death his farm was sold to Washington Allen.  Adam's son, Jacob, continued to live in the area and became the first supervisor of the township.  While no gravemarkers remain, it is believed Adam and Margaret are buried in West Creek Cemetery, a stone's throw from their farmstead, in West Creek Township, Lake County.  Jacob and several other Hamilton's are buried here, along with Washington Allen.

Village hall and church in Sherburnville, Illinois
Jacob Hamilton's wife's grave in West Creek Cemetery
Adam and Margaret's daughter, Rebecca Hamilton, met William Moore and were married in 1858 near Momence, Illinois.  William was called away to duty for the Union army, enlisting in Company H of the Illinois 100th regiment.  William was wounded in the Battle of Stone River, TN, captured, and imprisoned during which time he carved a ring from "a generals horse's bone which had been shot out from under him".  I've never been able to confirm that story.  We do know it was carved while he was held, and I wore it in my wedding thanks to the generous folks at the Marshall County Historical Society.

William Moore, Col. Company H, 100th Illinois Infantry
William Moore was the son of Andrew and Hannah Cole Moore, and one of a long line of William and Andrew Moores that stretch back to the 1600s in Connecticut.  Andrew was born in 1806 in New York and married Aurena Hine in 1825.  They moved from New York through Adrian, Michigan, where William was born in 1836.  They purchased 160 acres in West Creek Township, Lake County, Indiana the following year.  He was the first justice of the peace in the township and helped organize the first Methodist church in the area in 1838.  They lived several years in the Sherburnville area before permanently settling in Indiana.  All seven of Andrew's sons volunteered for service during the Civil War; three died and the other four suffered from life-long disabilities.  William and a brother, Frank, began a sawmill operation in Argos, Indiana.  The work proved too much for the wounded vets and William began a drugstore in the community.  Andrew sold his land holdings in 1865 and moved to Lowell where he opened a mercantile until his retirement in 1872.  He and Aurena are also buried in West Creek Cemetery.
A sales receipt for merchandise at William Moore's Argos mercantile.  These were made out to his daughter Lucy Chapman (my great x2 grandmother) and his son, Charles.  Based on the date, it appears that the merchandise was part of their inheritance from their father who had died a few weeks prior in 1893.  Check out the prices!

An interesting story about another of William's brothers, James, relates to his occupation.  He had a contract to build railroad depots along the Union Pacific Railroad, which included depots for the new transcontinental line between Omaha and Promontory Point, Utah.  He was witness to the driving of the golden spike that joined the railroads in 1869.


Heidi Huntington said…
Thanks for the blog posts on the Moore family! My family is descended from Andrew A. and Aurena (Hine) Moore's son Ambrose Hine Moore.
hoosier reborn said…
Well-hello cousin! Our family recently returned from a trip out east and we visited Nathaniel Cole's gravesite, Andrew's grandfather. I'll be doing more posts on the Moores/Coles in the upcoming weeks.
Tricia said…
The last bit of evidence I need to join the DAR is to prove the link between Adam Hamilton and his son, David Sanford Hamilton. Do you have any documentation that shows Adam was David's father? I could also establish the relationship by proving that David was the sibling of either Jacob Burnett Hamilton, George M. Hamilton or Mary Hamilton Taylor, all of whom have death certificates listing their parents as Adam Hamilton and Margaret Howard. David Sanford Hamilton was born 17 Nov 1819 in Warren Co., OH, and died 28 Nov 1880 in Bayard, Guthrie Co., IA. I have David's Find-a-Grave citation, as well as the deeds to the contiguous property that he and George purchased from the Fosters, but unfortunately, those deeds do not list the two as brothers. Thanks for your help, Tricia
hoosier reborn said…
Hi Tricia,
Unfortunately I don't know that I can help. Adam's son Jacob seemed to be prominent in Kankakee County, IL; I wonder if you could prove connection between David and Jacob. The Adam/Jacob history is featured in the Illustrated Historical Atlas of Kankakee Co., IL-1883 on pg. 124. Maybe an obit of Jacob? The family settled in that county in 1841.
Tricia said…
Thanks so much for your reply. I'll check out those leads. Tricia

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