Skip to main content

Moore Family papers

Identifier: MS0281

Scope and Contents

Papers of the Moore family concerning their religious education and missionary work in East Asia. The collection contains sermons, religious tracts, correspondence with family members overseas, and a selection of family photographs, including Mary Torrance Moore's father, Richard Allison Torrance (1833-1927). The photographs also contain images of people and landscapes in China and Japan.


  • 1877 - 1925


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

Eliza Gaston Moore, daughter of Lynford Lardner Moore and Mary Torrance Moore, (b. 1901) attended Taylorsville State High School (N.C.) for her primary education. According to the correspondence, she spent a great deal of time visiting her aunt, Delia Banks (see UNCC Mss 87) in Washington, D.C. after eighth grade. After high school she went on to Salem College, graduating in 1924.

John Watson Moore, son of John Wallace Moore and nephew of Lynford Lardner Moore, (b. 1891-1968) attended the Horner Military Academy in Charlotte, N.C. before enlisting as an officer in the United States Army prior to the end of the first World War. Promoted to sergeant, he left the army to work as a foreign missionary in Japan (1919-1924).

Lynford Lardner Moore (1869-1925) studied at Davidson College, graduating in 1889. He went on to Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, where he obtained a degree in 1893. Moore practiced medicine for two years in New York and Philadelphia before entering Princeton Theological Seminary in 1895. In 1897 he was appointed as a Presbyterian medical missionary to Asia. Later that year in Yokohama, Japan, he met and married Mary Buford Torrance (1869-1958) a missionary already in the field. For seven years he was in charge of the medical work at Hsuchoufu. However by 1905 he had become so devastated by Chinese malaria contracted during his missionary work that he was forced to return to America. Upon his return to the United States, he attended the Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia and the Princeton Theological Seminary, graduating (1906) with master degrees from both institutions. That same year he was ordained at Lexington Presbytery at Craigsville, Virginia. In 1911, he accepted calls from Taylorsville, New Salem and Shiloh Churches, in Concord Presbytery. In 1915, upon the death of his brother, Nicholas, he was designated guardian of his brother’s five children and their estate. On August 11, 1925 at the residence of his brother-in-law, Thos. J. Smith, Lynford Lardner Moore passed away due to heart failure. He was buried the following day beside his father in Hopewell Cemetery.

Nicholas G. Moore (1867-1915) was Lynford Lardner Moore’s brother. Upon his death his wife, Maggie W. Moore, appointed Lyford as the guardian of her children and her estate. Nicholas and Maggie had five children: Anne Lardner, John White, N. Gibbon, Wilson, and James Moore.

N. Gibbon Moore (1904-1941) graduated from Mooresville high school in 1920. He is one of Nicholas G. Moore’s five children. After 1915, Lynford Lardner became his guardian. He moved to Houston, TX and became connected with the Pan-American Oil Company.

Wilson Wallace Moore, son of Lynford Larnder Moore and Mary Torrance Moore (b. July 1902). Wilson Wallace Moore attended the McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he spent the majority of his time with the debate team and the yearbook publishing club (1918). After grade school, Wilson Wallace Moore attended Davidson College. While there, he was called to temporary duty in May, 1920 at Camp Jackson, S.C., through his participation in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (R.O.T.C.) program. Upon graduation from Davidson College he attended the Union Theological Seminary where he participated extensively with the Presbyterian Young People’s League, eventually becoming president (1922-1924), and presiding over the league’s conference at Davidson College in June, 1923. By 1925, Wilson was appointed minister of Cornelius Church in North Carolina. Wilson Wallace Moore was Lardner’s only son and should not be confused with his nephew, Wilson Moore, who also attended the McCallie School.

[References: C. M. Richards, Minutes of the One Hundred and Twelfth Annual Sessions of the Synod of North Carolina (Oct. 13-16, 1925), entry for Lynford Lardner Moore (pp. 472-473); Minutes of Mecklenburg Presbytery, 112th Stated Session, Thomasboro Church (Sept. 15-16, 1925), entry for Wilson Wallace Moore (p. 14); Synod of North Carolina, A Handbook For Use in Sunday School and Young Peoples Work (1923), entry for Wilson Wallace Moore, (p. 38).]


3.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The Moore family (Lynford Lardner Moore, his wife, Mary Torrance Moore, his son, Wilson Wallace Moore, and daughter, Eliza Gaston Moore, and other relatives, including Nicholas G. Moore and John Wallace Moore) were Christian missionaries in China and Japan in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Their papers document their careers in East Asia.


Series 1: Subject Files. This series contains the primary material of the collection including correspondence, maps, pamphlets, and sermons (1877-1926, n.d.).

Series 2: Photographs. This series contains the photographs of the collection including family members and friends (1891-1925, n.d.).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts of Belle Banks, 2000.

Related Materials

Banks Family Papers (UNCC Mss 164). Torrance and Banks Family Papers (UNCC Mss 87).

Processing Information

Processed by David Rhoton, James Kusik, 2002.


Inventory of the Moore Family papers
James Kusik.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte 28223 United Stated

About this Site

Finding aids are guides to archival collections, including manuscripts, university records, and oral history collections. These guides help you find physical collections which can be viewed in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of Atkins Library. A small number of finding aids link to digital content online. Please contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment:

Special Collections and University Archives
J. Murrey Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
(704) 687-1170
Schedule an Appointment