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Julia Rebecca Moore

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At a Glance

Julia Rebecca Moore of Chapel Hill, NC had a distinguished lineage. Her ancestors included Governor James Moore of South Carolina and Governor Sir John Yeamans of South Carolina.


Julia Rebecca Moore of Chapel Hill, NC, always called Rebecca, was the daughter of  "old"  Dr. George Moore, whose family home was in Pittsboro, NC and who was allied by descent and marriage with some of the oldest families of the Cape Fear. Dr. George Moore established a medical practice and second home in Chapel Hill, NC. He purchased the Maj. Pleasant Henderson Dwelling in Chapel Hill, NC with its satellite buildings at the corner of Henderson and Franklin streets, where the U.S. Post Office building stands today. Dr. George Moore lived there with his children: Duncan Moore, William Moore, Hugh Moore, and Julia Rebecca Moore.

Most local reminiscences refer to him as  "Old Dr. George Moore."  Kemp Battle's History of the University of North Carolina describes him as a quiet man of considerable distinction:

The physicians of the place[Chapel Hill] were notable men. The leaders were Johnston Blakely Jones and George Moore. Both men were of distinguished lineage...[Dr. Moore was] of the blood of Governor James Moore of South Carolina, and of Governor Sir John Yeamans...Doctor Moore was a silent, reserved man, the soul of truthfulness and honor; a good physician, but without the genius of his partner [Dr. Jones]. He gave the impression that he did not know what fear was. He had great respect for religion, often attended church, but did not become a member.

Rebecca was apparently the Moore's youngest child and was enrolled in the Burwell School for the spring term of 1846. Annabella Giles Norwood  of Hillsborough, NC, wrote to her cousin, William N. Tillinghast in Fayetteville, NC, about Burwell School news on January 26, 1846:

Mrs. Burwell has only fourteen scholars and only two of them that do not reside in this place; they are Professor Mitchell and Dr. George Moore's daughters.

The Burwell School Catalogue of 1848-51 [1] lists Rebecca Moore's name. Rebecca apparently met a medical student, Thomas R. Emery of New Bern, NC in 1855, and her marriage to him on June 10, 1856, in Chapel Hill, NC was announced in The Raleigh Register [2] of June 25, 1856.

At least three major events occurred in Rebecca Moore's life the following year, 1857. Her father died; her first child was born; and her father's old home in Chapel Hill, NC burned to the ground.

Another Burwell student, Robina Norwood , visiting her daughter Mrs. Andrew Mickle in Chapel Hill, NC, wrote to her daughter Jane Tillinghast in Fayetteville, NC on April 2, 1857:

Old Dr. George Moore...died on Monday last after a short illness. His funeral had it been here would probably have exhibited a very effecting scene...but he was carried to Pittsboro' where most of [his] Relations had been interred. Mr. Mickle, Dr. Wheat & several Students attended the Body Yesterday morning to Pittsboro'. I believe two of his sons, Drs. Wm. & Duncan, were all of his own family that were at home. Poor Mrs. Moore had been sometime at Newberne with her daughter Rebecca who was expecting to be confined & the intelligence of his danger could not & did not reach her in time...

Several months later, on November 2, Mrs. Norwood, still in Chapel Hill, NC, wrote to Jane:

Old Dr. Moore's house was burnt down & so completely on fire before people were alarmed (being accustomed to Bell-ringing & all sorts of noises in the night) that it was impossible to save it...Dr. Duncan & his wife boarded with Miss Nancy H[illiard]...& the rooms in the old house were rented to students...the wind which was very strong providentially blew hard in the opposite direction to the buildings otherwise great part of the village must have been burnt...

According to preserved deeds, Rebecca Moore retained possession of her father's home lot in Chapel Hill, NC for many years [3] [2] [4].

Biographical Data

Julia was called Rebecca.

Places of Residence

Schools Attended



  1. Burwell School Catalogue of 1848-51.
  2. The Raleigh Register.
  3. Kemp Battle's History of the University of North Carolina.
  4. Mary Claire Engstrom. The Book of Burwell Students: Lives of Educated Women in the Antebellum South. (Hillsborough: Hillsborough Historic Commission, 2007).