Mrs Fannie Moore was born in 1849 in Spartanburg County, South Carolina. She was the daughter of Steven and Rachel Moore. Her paternal grandmother was born in Africa. Steven was a blacksmith and Rachel worked in the fields during the day and pieced quilts at night. Steven taught himself to read by stealing a book and taking it out to the fields to learn in secret. Rachel gave birth to twelve children in spite of working in the fields so she must have been a very strong woman.
Mrs Moore's recollection of her life was recorded in 1937 in Asheville, North Carolina by Marjorie Jones. Her memory was clear as she recalled many names and events in her life as an enslaved person. Her account is significant also because it shows how deeply entwined the lives of enslavers and enslaved people were. For example when Hill, the overseer, was displeased with Cheney's behaviour he told 'old granny Moore' and she whipped Cheney. Cheney had two children by Hill, the overseer. Fannie's mother Rachel was also whipped by 'granny Moore'. Fannie described 'old granny Moore' as a 'rip jack'.
In 1880, Fannie is recorded as living with her father and mother in Reidsville, Spartanburg. Her age is recorded as 18 which gives her a birth year of 1862. She and her sister Joanna are recorded as farm labourers. Also living in the household are Steven's granddaughters, Josephine, Carrie and Tosie and grandson Centennial. Two men are also in the household, Berry Miller and Laurence Barry. In 1870, there was ten children and young people recorded in Steven's household. By 1900, Steven and Rachel are getting on in years and living in Fair Forest Township, Spartanburg with their grandchildren Johnson and Ella Alexander aged 17 and 16. It is possible that these Alexander young people are the children of Mrs Fannie Moore. A 1967 Death Certificate for Josie Alexander (born in Spartanburg County, SC 1886) identifies her mother as Fannie Moore.
Sadly, six of Steven and Rachel's twelve children have died by this time. Steven died some time between 1900-1910, Rachel is recorded as a widow living next door to her son Benjamin in Walnut Grove, Spartanburg County in 1910.
By 1937, both Steven and Rachel have died and Fannie no-longer knew where her siblings were living. But researching death records we were able to find two of them, Benjamin and Jonas. Steven and Rachel's son Benjamin died in 1945, in Walnut Grove Township, Spartanburg County. Another son Jonas (dec. wife Luann) died in 1937 in Gastonia, Gaston, North Carolina.
Mrs Fannie Moore left us so much information that we will continue in another blog later.
Sources: (accessed 12 July 2021)
Fannie Moore 1937 northcarolinaslavenarratives.wordpress.com/north-carolina-slave-narratives-2/moore-fannie/
Fannie Moore & her family 1880 www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M6SB-W8D
Steven Moore & family 1870 www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M8RY-C4T
Steven Moore 1900 www.familysearch.org/search/ark:/61903/1:1:M3TL-8XM
Benjamin Moore, Death Certificate 1945 (wife's name Sally) www.familysearch.org/search/ark:/61903/1:1:FPM2-SVK
Jonas Moor, Death Cert. 1937 www.familysearch.org/search/ark:/61903/1:1:H4KL-DVN2
Josie Alexander Death Certificate 1967 www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9P2-1W17-2
Rachel Moore 1910 www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M5DV-QS9