Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wandering Down an Unknown Path--The Orr Family

     Sunday I had another full day off work and found myself....again....working with my Family Tree Maker--updating and looking for holes in my research.  Since I seem to have been focusing on my Frederick family, it was only a push of a key to wander over to the Orr Family of Columbiana County, Ohio. 

     My maternal great grandmother, Lucinda Frederick was an Orr.  Her brother, Matthew Thomas Orr, lived in Lisbon, Columbiana County, Ohio during the late 1800's and early 1900's until his death in 1909.  Matthew had two wives and children with both.  He had four daughters with his first wife, Mary Ellen Smith.  I have made next to no progress tracing those young gals.  Following Mary Ellen's death in 1879, Matthew married Elizabeth Keck and had three children.  Daughter Della M. Orr is currently a dead end.  Son, William Monigan Orr, has a short history having lived only thirty four years.  Feeling pretty frustrated, I plugged the final Orr into the FamilySearch search engine and up popped a marriage record....Hallelujah!!!!

     Julia B. Orr born in Lisbon, Columbiana County, Ohio in July, 1883, daughter of Matthew Thomas Orr and Elizabeth Keck married John L. Moore on October 4, 1916.  John L. Moore was from the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area.  I wonder if she met her future husband while visiting her Aunt Lucinda Orr Frederick, who was a Pittsburgh resident?

     Julia and John have not been too easy to follow, even with John's birthplace listed as Austria.  I was only able to find one census report, that being the 1920 Pennsylvania Census.  The Moore's lived at 4303 Andover Terrace in Pittsburgh and John was employed by the railroad as a secretary.  There is a listing on Find-A-Grave for a Julia Orr Moore buried in Lisbon Cemetery along with her parents and brother.  Her husband is not buried there.

     End of story......nope!

     I just had to do a search on John's family.  His father's name was Dunlop Moore.  Interesting and should be an easy one to research.  And it was!  Rev Dunlop Moore was a very prestigious Presbyterian minister in Pittsburgh.  A prolific writer and staunch support of drinking (!) much to the surprise of the fellow members of the Presbytery.  Rev Dunlop and his wife, Rosetta Lewis, had six children.  I spent the afternoon successfully searching for information about the males and then decided to take a chance on John's sister, Rosetta A. Moore.

Captured from a Houston Genealogical Website

     With Rosetta I hit the mother load of interesting people.  Rosetta married John Duff Houston in Pittsburgh in 1909.  John's father, James W. Houston, was involved in a large grocery interest, the James W. Houston & Co. Wholesale Grocers, 21 Seventh Ave., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  By the 1930's, John was the president and manager of his father's company. 

     So, I spent an entire afternoon wandering down this genealogical path, researching folks that aren't actually related to me.  I learned a little and was able to add several of them to Find-A-Grave.  And it all began with my first cousin twice removed, Julia B. Orr.

I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. All comments are welcome; however, if they are inappropriate, they will not be published. 

PLEASE post your e-mail in the comment section if you would like to network about a particular surname or topic. I will capture it for my use only and not include it when I publish your comment.
© 2012, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser


  1. Fun research, learning something along the way, interesting people. Not bad for a Sunday's pleasures!

    I like your icon for the families you are using. Classy!

  2. Have you found any connections with Estonia? My last name is Orr and it would be fun to find out.
    Thank you!

  3. This maybe off the way but I recently bought a home in Lisbon ohio. While moving in I came across a memorial card with Julia Orr Moores name. She was born in July 1883 and dies in 1982. I would love to send it to you. After reading this I'm sure it's the same Julia