P.S. On The Taylor Trail Again

This is actually a postscript to my posting on May 22, 2017 entitled, On The Taylor Trail Again.

When I took my first yDNA test (the Y-37) with FamilyTreeDNA.com, I never dreamed of what the results would reveal. I am in Haplogroup G which is pretty rare since only 3% of Taylors are Hp G. I have since upgraded to the Y-67 test, the G-pack SNP test, and I am currently waiting for the results of my Y-111 upgrade. FamilyTreeDNA has identified 5 individuals whose yDNA results are identical or almost identical to mine. At least 3 of the individuals have conducted advanced genealogy research on their family history and all three trace their (proven) lines to Edward Taylor who traveled from England and settled in Monmouth New Jersey in 1680, he died there in 1710 and the Monmouth County New Jersey Taylor’s remained in that area for several generations. The fourth yDNA match has chosen not to communicate with the group and the fifth individual has done little genealogy research but it appears that he will be a proven descendant of Henry H. Taylor (1780-1835) of DeKalb Co. TN. The bottom line to this brief discussion of the yDNA test results is this … THE Y-DNA TEST RESULTS INDICATE THAT I AM A DESCENDANT OF THE MONMOUTH NJ TAYLOR’s.

One of my new cousins has helped me formulate the WILLIAM TAYLOR OF MONMOUTH THEORY which I will expound on in a soon-to-be-published blog post …. In the meantime, let me give you the very condensed version ….

In the mid-1700’s it is documented that one William Taylor of Monmouth Co. New Jersey departed NJ for North Carolina and was never heard from again by his NJ family. I theorize that this William Taylor traveled from NJ to NC to GA and ended up in Smith (later DeKalb) Co. TN where he became one of several William Taylor’s in the county with a family. I further submit that he had several (if not all) of the sons we attribute to William Taylor Sr. of the Ardis Taylor books. Already, three test results support this theory: (1) mine, with my ancestor being Drury Taylor (son of William), (2) match #5 mentioned above whose ancestor is Henry H. Taylor (son of William) and, (3) Subject Two named in my previous post whose ancestor is Barzilla Taylor (son of William). At least four descendants of William Taylor’s sons will receive their yDNA test results in the next 2 to 4 weeks and those results will either “make or break” this theory.

Stand by for the rest of the story………

On The Taylor Trail AGAIN

Sometimes you follow a road a long way until you think you’ve finally reached your destination. Then, years later, you realize that you are at the wrong destination so you find yourself on the road again. I suspect this situation happens a lot more in genealogy than most people want to admit. And, I suspect it will begin to happen with greater frequency as we combine DNA research with genealogy research.

My family group of Taylors have, since 2003, been of the belief that our Immigrant Ancestor was George Taylor of Carlisle who was born in England in 1615 and sailed to Virginia in 1635. Long before George of Carlisle was written into our family history books we had arrived at the fact that William Taylor (c.1729-1820) of DeKalb County Tennessee was our oldest known ancestor. We had carefully studied his descendants and their genealogy facts, stories and legends were recorded in a series of books authored by Ardis Taylor of Lisbon, North Dakota, from 1980 to 2012.

Since the first three generations of the descendants of George of Carlisle are well documented from George to Francis Sr to Francis Jr to Francis III then we were assuming that if George was our Immigrant Ancestor, then his g-grandson, Francis III was the father of our William Taylor Sr. Unfortunately, this now does not appear to be the case!

In 2012 I became a participant in the AncestryDNA program managed online by Ancestry.com. As the years went by, I received dozens of DNA match notifications with other program participants. Since these were matches based on Autosomal DNA (atDNA) they really amounted to just strong hints that I was likely related to a particular fellow member of the program. Ironically, when I would examine the fellow member’s pedigree tree, I would find that his/her “sourced” research always stopped with one of the sons of William Taylor Sr., or occasionally William Taylor Sr. himself. Not even one of the matches/hints indicated a “sourced” connection to Francis Taylor III or any of his ancestors including George of Carlisle …. this should have been a “stop sign” for me, or at least a “caution sign” but I blindly drove right past the signs continuing to believe the incorrect information about The Immigrant.

In early 2017 I became frustrated with all the matches/hints from AncestryDNA that kept ending after six generations; I decided it was time to graduate from atDNA up to y-DNA. y-DNA, is passed down from father to son, so if you are a male, you will have received your y-DNA father’s father’s father etc. It can be used to connect with distant cousins on the direct male line. Shared markers can indicate relatedness between two men, though not the exact degree of the relationship. Y chromosome testing is most often used by individuals with the same last name to learn if they share a common ancestor. I researched the various commercial providers and decided to use FamilyTreeDNA.com (FTDNA). I firmly believe it was the right choice and a wise move but I had no idea what it would mean to my Taylor pedigree tree. I won’t try to explain the logistics or how FTDNA works other than to say that they appear to operate like a finely tuned machine with exceptional efficiency. FTDNA offers users the opportunity to participate in projects and I joined the Taylor Family Project … almost immediately the results indicated to me that it was time to go On The Taylor Trail Again!

In early May of 2017 I was able to obtain a professional analysis comparing my y-DNA results to two individuals whose 2006 y-DNA test results were provided to me. The first, “Subject One” who claims to be a direct paternal descendant of George Taylor of Carlisle; I’ve not seen his documented proof but I have no reason to doubt his word. Then, “Subject Two” (now deceased) who has a proven connection to his ggg-grandfather, Barzilla Taylor, the son of William Taylor. Without trying to explain the scientific methodology involved, I will fast-forward to the end and print this excerpt from the comparison report about mine and “Subject One’s” DNA, “The short version is that this is NOT a match; you and [name replaced with “Subject One”] cannot share a common direct paternal ancestor for many thousands of years. You are both of different Taylor lineages.”

Consider this … We were presented with the idea that “our” William Taylor was the son of Francis Taylor III and this was based solely on the fact that Francis T III listed one of his sons as being named “William” in his will. Undoubtedly, there were hundreds of William Taylors in the colonies at this time and there appears to be no proof whatsoever that the son of Francis Taylor III was “our” William Taylor other than the fact that they shared the same (very common) name! Another conundrum that comes into play here is the fact that none of “our” William Taylor’s children were named after Francis T III, his wife or his children. Naming patterns were an important part of family life in 1700-1800 colonial America and were very obviously present in many generations of our Taylor line (during this time period), but none are present in the alleged father-son connection of Francis T III to William Taylor. These circumstances along with the scientific DNA evidence indicates at least to me that GEORGE TAYLOR OF CARLISLE IS NOT MY IMMIGRANT ANCESTOR AND FRANCIS TAYLOR III IS NOT IN MY TAYLOR LINEAGE.

(There is one caveat here that I must list…. IF “Subject One” was wrong about proving his lineage from George Taylor of Carlisle then there is a miniscule chance that “my” line, although not the same as that of “Subject One,” is connected to George T, however the circumstantial evidence and the lack of acceptable documentation just doesn’t support this possibility and therefore I choose to ignore it until I am proven wrong!)

A week after receiving the first comparison report, I received the comparison report on mine and the DNA of “Subject Two” …. Without going into too much scientific detail it basically said that “Subject Two” and I were related sharing 30 identical values in 32 markers tested in common; more importantly it placed both of us in the almost rare “G” haplogroup. This meant that the likelihood of my descending from William Taylor through his son, Barzilla, was very strong.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending how you look at it), those y-DNA comparison results and the circumstantial evidence meant it was time to make some substantial corrections to our recorded family history and to go back On The Taylor Trail Again to find the Immigrant Ancestor! The lesson to be learned here was both profound and simple … DNA testing can prove a perceived family relationship, BUT it can also disprove that same perceived family relationship and you need to be able to accept the test results. If it is exact enough to be accepted as evidence in a court of law then you should be able to modify your pedigree tree based on the results of DNA testing.

Remember, y-DNA can tell us if two individuals (who’ve been tested) match or not. If they match, they share a common paternal ancestor but the y-DNA test results cannot identify that specific paternal ancestor; only when supported by acceptable, sourced documentation can such identification be accomplished. If they don’t match, they have different (biological) paternal ancestors.

© 2017, Johnny B. Taylor, Marshall, TX

Photos: Walker and related families

These photos are primarily WALKER, Smithen & related families. Most were taken in and around Navarro Co. & Ellis Co. Texas … Blooming Grove, Ensign, Lone Cedar, Corsicana, Cryer Creek, Dresden. Many of these have been previously published on my Ancestry.com family tree but I felt they would be more accessible to others via this website.

If I have misidentified anyone or if any caption requires modification, please email me at the address listed on my “Contact” page of this website. If you have any photos you feel are related to these families that you would like posted on this website, please email me.

Before using any photograph from this website, please read the letter posted on May 1, 2016, entitled RELEASE OF PHOTOGRAPHS.

James Berry Walker (seated) with his youngest son, L.D., and his wife, Sarah Ann Parker Stills Walker, circa 1890. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

James Berry Walker (seated) with his youngest son, L.D., and his wife, Sarah Ann Parker Stills Walker, circa 1890. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Sarah Parker Stills Walker  (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Sarah Parker Stills Walker (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Nannie Hiler.   (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Nannie Hiler. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Mattie & Charlie Curl, and Sarah Parker Stills Walker. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Mattie & Charlie Curl, and Sarah Parker Stills Walker. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Melissa Thomason Hiler & Bessie Hiler, c. 1915 (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Melissa Thomason Hiler & Bessie Hiler, c. 1915 (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Clarence Hiler family.   (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Clarence Hiler family. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

James Dewey Walker with father, John Alexander Walker.  (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

James Dewey Walker with father, John Alexander Walker. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

John A. Walker, James D. Walker, Clarence Hiler.  (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

John A. Walker, James D. Walker, Clarence Hiler. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

(Standing L.) Myrtle, James Dewey, Evie. (Seated L.) John Alexander Walker, Mattie, Laura J. Hiler Walker, Clarence. c. 1915-15

(Standing L.) Myrtle, James Dewey, Evie. (Seated L.) John Alexander Walker, Mattie, Laura J. Hiler Walker, Clarence. c. 1915-15 (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Evie Walker Loosier, Dorothy Loosier, Myrtle Walker Smithen. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Evie Walker Loosier, Dorothy Loosier, Myrtle Walker Smithen. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Clarence Walker, Laura J. Hiler Walker, Myrtle Walker Smithen. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Clarence Walker, Laura J. Hiler Walker, Myrtle Walker Smithen. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

 An old photo marked " Lone Cedar School" and a year date that appears to read, 1912. There are four children that have "X" marks on or over them. On the back of the photo is written, "Unknown, Evie, J.D., Myrtle". These would be Evie Walker (Loosier) my grand-aunt ... J.D. Walker, my grand-uncle, and, Myrtle Walker (Smithen) my grandmother.   (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

An old photo marked ” Lone Cedar School” and a year date that appears to read, 1912. There are four children that have “X” marks on or over them. On the back of the photo is written, “Unknown, Evie, J.D., Myrtle”. These would be Evie Walker (Loosier) my grand-aunt … J.D. Walker, my grand-uncle, and, Myrtle Walker (Smithen) my grandmother. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Photos: Smithen and related families

These photos are primarily SMITHEN, Walker & related families. Most were taken in and around Navarro Co. & Ellis Co. Texas … Blooming Grove, Ensign, Lone Cedar, Corsicana, Cryer Creek, Dresden. Many of these have been previously published on my Ancestry.com family tree but I felt they would be more accessible to others via this website.

If I have misidentified anyone or if any caption requires modification, please email me at the address listed on my “Contact” page of this website. If you have any photos you feel are related to these families that you would like posted on this website, please email me.

Before using any photograph from this website, please read the letter posted on May 1, 2016, entitled RELEASE OF PHOTOGRAPHS.

Ed Smithen & Family, c. 1901.  (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Ed Smithen & Family, c. 1901. Top L to R … Harvey Smithen, Kate Pritchett, Carl Smithen … Middle … Ed Smithen, Althea Pritchett Smithen … Bottom … Birdie Smithen, Bessie Smithen, Willie Pete Smithen, Pearl Smithen (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Ed Smithen & second wife.   (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Ed Smithen & second wife. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Ed Smithen   (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Ed Smithen (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Ed Smithen  (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Ed Smithen (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Wedding photo of Harvey Smithen & Myrtle Walker, 1920.   (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Wedding photo of Harvey Smithen & Myrtle Walker, 1920. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Three Smithen brothers.   (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Three Smithen brothers, Carl, Robert & Walter with Unk Lady. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Smithen brothers & sisters.   (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Unk man, Robert Smithen, Mary & Fannie Smithen, Walter Smithen, Birdie Smithen. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

A young Harvey Smithen.   (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

A young Harvey Smithen. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Walter Smithen, abt. 1984

Walter Smithen, abt. 1984

A young Walter Smithen.   (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

A young Walter Smithen. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Harvey Smithen & Myrtle Walker Smithen.   (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Harvey Smithen & Myrtle Walker Smithen. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Robert Smithen.   (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Robert Smithen. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Robert Smithen & wife, Ardis.   (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Robert Smithen & wife, Ardis. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Newton Rowell & Mary Smithen Rowell.   (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Newton Rowell & Mary Smithen Rowell. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Althea Caroline Pritchett Smithen, 1901.   (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Althea Caroline Pritchett Smithen, 1901. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Fannie Smithen.   (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Fannie Smithen. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Edna Collier Smithen & Willie Edward (Pete) Smithen.   (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Edna Collier Smithen & Willie Edward (Pete) Smithen. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

H.C. Smithen, Jr. & Margie Stringer Smithen. c. 1950.   (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

H.C. Smithen, Jr. & Margie Stringer Smithen. c. 1950. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Walter Smithen.   (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Walter Smithen. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

H. C. (Smitty) Smithen, Jr., c. 1945.   (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

H. C. (Smitty) Smithen, Jr., c. 1945. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Oscar Loosier, Laura Janette Hiler Walker, Harvey Smithen.   (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Oscar Loosier, Laura Janette Hiler Walker, Harvey Smithen. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Carl Smithen, Doroty Petty, Walter Smithen, Robert Smithen.   (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Carl Smithen, Dorothy Petty, Walter Smithen, Robert Smithen. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2017)

Photos Lot #3 – Unknowns

The individuals in the photos posted below are unknown/unidentified. Considering how (and from whom) I came into possession of these photos, I suspect they are related to the following families and geographical locations: Families – Walker, Hiler, Smithen, Loosier, Sabo, Lassiter, Curl, Hightower …. Locations: Texas, Navarro County, Ellis County, Ennis, Blooming Grove, Corsicana. If you can help me identify any of these individuals, please email me at the address listed on my “Contact” page of this website. If you have any photos you feel are related to these families that you would like posted on this website, please email me.

Unknown06 (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Unknown06 (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Unknown07 (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Unknown07 (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Unknown08 (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Unknown08 (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Unknown09 (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Unknown09 (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Unknown010 (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Unknown010 (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Photos Lot #2 – Unknowns

The individuals in the photos posted below are unknown/unidentified. Considering how (and from whom) I came into possession of these photos, I suspect they are related to the following families and geographical locations: Families – Walker, Hiler, Smithen, Loosier, Sabo, Lassiter, Curl, Hightower …. Locations: Texas, Navarro County, Ellis County, Ennis, Blooming Grove, Corsicana. If you can help me identify any of these individuals, please email me at the address listed on my “Contact” page of this website. If you have any photos you feel are related to these families that you would like posted on this website, please email me.

(Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Unknown01 (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Unknown02 (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Unknown02 (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Unknown03 (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Unknown03 (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Unknown04 (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Unknown04 (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Unknown05 (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Unknown05 (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

James Berry Walker Photograph

In my years of WALKER family research, this is, undoubtedly, the most significant photographic find I have made. The photo was in a cache of paper ephemera I discovered in the residence of my late cousin, Dorothy Loosier Sabo. The photos were originally in the possession of Dorothy’s mother, my grand aunt Evie Walker Loosier. This photo was worn and had numerous scratches mostly over J.B. and for this reason I sent it off for a professional restoration. To enable other researchers to use J.B.’s face for possible comparison to other photos, I have cropped and made a second photo from the first.

James Berry Walker (seated) with his youngest son, L.D., and his wife, Sarah Ann Parker Stills Walker, circa 1890. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

James Berry Walker (seated) with his youngest son, L.D., and his wife, Sarah Ann Parker Stills Walker, circa 1890. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Just James Berry Walker's face cropped from the larger family photo. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Just James Berry Walker’s face cropped from the larger family photo. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Photos Lot #1

Before using any photograph from this website, please read the letter posted on May 1, 2016, entitled RELEASE OF PHOTOGRAPHS.

Isom Stockard and Nancy Hiler.   (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Isom Stockard and Nancy Hiler. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Fate and Mattie Seals.  (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Fate and Mattie Seals. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Christopher C Walker Jr.  (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Christopher C Walker Jr. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Claire P. Walker.   (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Claire P. Walker. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

C.C. (Lum) Walker and son, Nathan.   (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

C.C. (Lum) Walker and son, Nathan. (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Release Of Photographs

Dear Cousins,

As some of you may be aware, I have taken a break from genealogy research for most of the past two years due a number of deaths within my immediate family and also demands of my business. Several weeks ago something happened to end my genealogy break …. I unexpectedly came into possession of a cache of family photos which appear to have been originally in the safekeeping of my grand aunt Evie Walker (Loosier) who was the daughter of John Alexander Walker and the grand-daughter of James Berry Walker and his second wife, Sarah Parker (Stills) (Walker). In addition to photos of James Berry and Sarah, the collection includes photos of individuals from these families: Walker, Loosier, Curl, Lassiter, Hightower, Hiler, Smithen, Stockard, Sabo, Seals, and others. Also, there are many photos of unidentified persons.

I plan to share ALL of the photos online … they will be posted on my Ancestry.com tree (where I am username 1jtay) and also my personal genealogy website located at www.genwebsite.com which is a free access site. For way too long many old photos have been withheld from other family members and fellow researchers for various reasons that may have begun with good intentions but still resulted in the photos being kept “hidden”. I hope my gesture of total release of these photos will encourage others to share theirs. Only two stipulations will apply to these photographs …. (#1) You may not rename or relabel any photo … in other words, in your mind & heart you may not believe that that’s a photo of L.D. Walker but you may not change, rename, relabel or otherwise alter that photo in any way … my grand aunt Evie knew her family members names and she wrote them on the photos during her lifetime, 1904-1975. (#2) You should properly cite the source of the photo when and if you reprint it elsewhere. The citation should read, “Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016”.

With all my best wishes,

Johnny Taylor

(Standing L.) Myrtle, James Dewey, Evie. (Seated L.) John Alexander Walker, Mattie, Laura J. Hiler Walker, Clarence. c. 1915-15 (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

(Standing L.) Myrtle, James Dewey, Evie. (Seated L.) John Alexander Walker, Mattie, Laura J. Hiler Walker, Clarence. c. 1915-15 (Photograph provided by and in the collection of Johnny Taylor, Marshall, TX, 2016)

Perpetuating Misinformation

At least when it applies to information, especially genealogy information, undoubtedly the Internet is the easiest and most convenient resource to perpetuate misinformation.

Last week I came across the FindAGrave.com memorial page for one of my Taylor cousins buried in Arkansas. I had been wanting to verify this cousin’s middle name and I was elated to find his full name listed on the memorial page as well as information about his parentage and his Civil War service. Then, I realized that he was listed as having served in a Confederate regiment from Georgia … this struck me as odd since this man was born and died in Arkansas and likely never left the state. Well, I threw down the gauntlet and began an investigation.

First, I contacted the FindAGrave.com contributor who had created the memorial page and verified that he had indeed eyeballed the headstone and personally took the photograph. He informed me that the stone was very difficult to read but he could make out the inscription … then he added that, “Some of the other information was found using Ancestry.com.”

I went online and beginning with Rootsweb (i.e. Ancestry.com) I followed link after link finally finding a 2007 survey of the cemetery on a page of USGenWeb archives. I contacted the county coordinator only to discover that the contributor of the 2007 survey was deceased. I explained my suspicions about the information to the county coordinator and she immediately joined the investigation to find the truth … (editor’s note – this is a phenomenon that you rarely find anymore … someone with integrity willing to cooperate in finding the truth and correcting an error !). While she was researching elsewhere, I went to Fold3.com and checked Arkansas Taylor’s who fought for the Confederacy and found that there were two in that Arkansas county with the same initials … one from GA who fought with a GA regt, and, one from AR who fought with an AR regt.

To try and shorten the story of the investigation … here are the results: (1) in the 1970’s a volunteer made a survey of the cemetery in question .. instead of simply recording the known facts (although she did include the vital fact that only the initials for the deceased’s first & middle names were engraved on the headstone), she added a comment that the person buried in that grave was listed as dwelling #000 in the county’s 1850 Federal Census…THIS WAS TOTALLY INCORRECT INFORMATION since that dwelling was occupied by the other Taylor! (2) many years later in 2007 another volunteer compiles an updated survey of the cemetery. She (no doubt with all good intentions) sees the earlier comment and expounds in it with additional information and this time part of the information belongs to one of the Taylor’s and part of it belongs to the other. (3) in late 2009 a FindAGrave.com contributor walks the cemetery in question, takes photos and enters his findings on FindAGrave.com. Unfortunately, he decides to include additional information available on the Internet and includes the misinformation found in items (1) and/or (2) described above.

Conclusion… As a result of items (1), (2), and (3) described above, we have a grave in an Arkansas cemetery clearly identified at least in three different locations on the Internet (which probably equates to dozens if not hundreds of locations) and the information is (partially) incorrect on all three and in two of the listings even the name of the deceased is wrong because it belongs to another individual! Item (3) was easy to correct … the FindAGrave.com contributor cooperated fully and changed all the misinformation on the memorial page he had created. Item (1) cannot be corrected or changed because it was done in printed form back in the 1970’s and no one knows what libraries it was sent to, and worst, what genealogical publications might have reprinted it. Item (2) has so far not been corrected and may not be. Although the county coordinator is very willing to correct the document, she is unable to locate the Internet repository where the document/folder is located in order to make the changes. At least her efforts are continuing.

The LESSON TO BE LEARNED … Anytime you compile, compose, write, or otherwise generate a document or something that others might view as a secondary or (God forbid) a primary genealogy source, ALWAYS stick to the known facts ONLY. If you can’t help yourself and you just must add additional information then label it as such … for example, write, “Editor’s note .. or, Compiler’s note .. or, Contributor’s comment .. or, Personal observation” .. or, whatever it takes to differentiate the facts from the non-facts!!!!