Sunday, May 18, 2008

Elizabeth Moore

William Jesse Wright is my great grandfather. He was the son of Joel Ellis & Elizabeth Agnes "Eliza" Bates Wright. Jesse was married four times. Elizabeth Moore was Jesse Wright's first wife.

Elizabeth Moore was born on the 15th of July in 1852 in Letcher county, Kentucky. She was the ninth of fourteen children. Her father was Isaac "Little Ike" Moore. Her mother was Mary "Polly" Clevinger.

Jesse, as he was called, and Elizabeth married on the 11th day of April in 1875 when Jesse was 21 and Elizabeth 22. I continually find that they had a daughter, Florence Belle Wright who was born about 1878. However, I cannot find Florence in the 1880 census. I do find her in 1900. She is a newlywed living with her husband at her in-laws. The husband is George W. Hall the son of Enoch Mahlon & Nancy Hampton Hall. Mahlon and Nancy are the parents of Joe Hall who married Lettie Craft. On Florence's death certificate her date of birth is blank, but her parents are listed as William Wright and Elizabeth Wright. I thought perhaps she was living with a relative since she is not with Jesse or Elizabeth. I just wish I could find her.

What I do find in 1880 is Jesse is listed with his second wife, Mary Brummett, and their new child, Susan Wright, age 8 months. Over in Isaac and Mary Clevenger Moore's household is listed their daughter, Elizabeth Wright, age 23, divorced with her six month old son, William J. Wright.

My grandmother is the daughter of William Jesse and his third wife, Maggie Perdue. Maggie literally walked away from the family and was never seen again by them. Jesse kept my grandmother, Cora, and her sister Eliza, also Maggie's daughter.

My first thought when I saw 6 month old William J. Wright with Elizabeth and Jesse with 8 month old Susan was I had found another family secret. But knowing the above about Jesse keeping his children, I thought maybe this was a case where Elizabeth had had a child with someone else. That's how I started searching for what happened to Florence and to Elizabeth. I have to wait 20 years to find out because the 1890 census was destroyed. How states didn't keep copies of reports they sent to Washington I will never understand.

Elizabeth married William Kelly about 1896. She was 39 and he was 23.

In the 1900 census William and Elizabeth are listed as having been married for four years. Elizabeth says she has had five children and 3 are alive. Listed with them are Willie Kelly, age 20 born in November of 1879, Virgie Kelly age 4 born in 1896, Charley Kelly born in December 1889 and Dicey Kelly age 45, mother of William Kelly. By this Willie (William J.), Virgie and Charley would be the three living children. I don't know who the other two were. I don't know if she might really have been the mother of Florence and counted her as dead since she might not have raised her or if she had two other children after she and Jesse divorced. William and Elizabeth Kelly were living in Pike County, Kentucky.

In 1910 I found the Kellys listed as William Kelly, head, married 12 years in his first marriage . Elizabeth is shown as being in her 2nd marriage and again, having had 5 children, 3 alive. Virgie is now 14 and Charley is 10. Willie is now listed as Willie Absure, age 27, and is shown as a step-son.

In the 1920 Census there is William Kelly age 48, Elizabeth 62, Willie 38 and Charley 20. So Willie is again listed with the Kelly name. Virgie is probably married and in her own household. I haven't traced her down yet.

In 1926 Charley Kelly married Jane Bryant.

On May 18, 1928 Elizabeth Moore Wright Kelly died of tuberculosis.

In 1930 Charley Kelly is listed as the head of household, a coal miner, who is 30. He married at age 26. His wife, Jane is 22. She was 18 when they married. Living with them is their son, Freeman age 4. Also in the household is William Kelly, Charley's father, age 44, a widower with no occupation and Willie Kelly, age 50, his brother. Alec Bryant, Jane's father, age 58, is retired and living with them, too.

I haven't found a death certificate for William as Absure, Wright or Kelly. I do not believe that he was Jesse Wright's son.

That is what I found about Elizabeth Moore.

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