William Taylor’s Ancestors

An Examination Of Why I Believe William Taylor Sr. (c.1740-c.1820) Is A Descendant Of The Monmouth New Jersey Taylors

The topic of who was the father of William Taylor Sr. has long been tossed around and argued among his descendants. Even renowned author, Ardis Taylor, who wrote six books about William and his descendants was never comfortable in accepting and naming Francis Taylor III as William’s father and George of Carlisle as the family’s immigrant ancestor. Now, in 2018, thanks to the advances of genetic genealogy and to a lesser degree, a preponderance of circumstantial evidence, we can safely name the father of William Taylor Sr. as being Joseph Taylor (b. 169? d. 1748) of Monmouth County New Jersey.


As a means to keep them separate, let’s designate a NJ William Taylor and a NC-GA-TN William Taylor.

Geography …. Historians wrote that NJ William Taylor, son of Joseph Taylor of Monmouth County New Jersey moved to North Carolina and was never heard from afterwards. The earliest record we have of NC-GA-TN William Taylor is when his first six (of nine) sons were each born in North Carolina over the years of 1763 to ca. 1780. To further support the argument of a NJ to NC migration, we know that NJ William’s sister, Eleanor, also moved to NC and married Edward Walker and we are able to locate a Tyrell Co. NC marriage certificate dated 1763 proving the marriage. This not only supports the geography aspect but also the timeframe since the marriage was in 1763 and NC-GA-TN William Taylor’s first son was born in NC in 1763.

Timeframe …. The NJ William Taylor and the NC-GA-TN William Taylor are of the approximate same age and both are in North Carolina at the same time.

Genealogical Information …. Descendants from both the NJ families and the TN families have extensive documentation and research to support their pedigree claims. The NJ clan has several published histories with one in the works. The TN clan has a series of books authored by Ardis Taylor which contain some inaccuracies (now identified by DNA testing) but still provides a very workable foundation.

yDNA …. Descendants from both the NJ families and the TN families have submitted to yDNA testing and the results indicate that they all are predicted to be in the G Haplogroup (HpG) also designated as G-M201. HpG only makes up about 1.5% of the Taylor population of the British Isles and is only slightly higher, at 2.5% of the entire world. Advanced yDNA testing can further narrow the sub-group within the haplogroup. Descendants of different branches of the family of Edward (the immigrant) Taylor d. 1710, of Middletown, Monmouth, NJ, have participated in Y-DNA testing. The results indicate that HpG-M3302 is currently the unique identifier common to the Monmouth NJ family of Taylors. Currently HpG M3302 is the unique identifier which separates the Monmouth Taylors from other Taylor families in America. As of April 2018 only one descendant from the TN clan has submitted to the advanced testing and my results indicate that I am HpG-M3302. Measures are now being taken to encourage other descendants from the TN clan to take the advanced test(s). Genetic Distance (GD) also plays an important role in identifying relationships. A GD of 0 means a 37/37 match in markers (i.e. a Y-37 test from FTDNA.com) between two men who share a common surname means they share a common male ancestor. A GD of 1 or 2 (i.e. <3) also means a shared common ancestor on a generation or two farther out. ALL of the male descendants who have tested with FTDNA.com have GDs of 0 to 2 with each other indicating that all share a common male ancestor.

Overall, our genetic markers are so similar that yDNA test results suggest a recent (within the last 5 to 7 generations) connection to a common ancestor linking the Monmouth NJ Taylors and certain Taylors from NC, GA, and TN. More importantly, it supports the evidence that William Taylor Sr. who died in DeKalb Co. TN is the same William who left his home in NJ and was “never heard from again” by his NJ family. And finally, this establishes William Taylor Sr. as being the “missing haplogroup G link” between the NJ and TN families as well as provides us with the name of William’s father, Joseph Taylor of Monmouth NJ b. 169? D. 1748! In addition, we can now identify our Immigrant Ancestor as Edward Taylor (b. unk, England – d. 1710, Middleton, Monmouth, New Jersey).

The history of the Monmouth NJ Taylor family, most likely due to their prominence in NJ and NY, was well documented and published by at least six genealogists and a new publication is scheduled to be released soon.

To familiarize yourself with the Monmouth line, I suggest you read online and/or download these two genealogies. They are in PDF form and the downloads are free. A word of caution … it is suggested that you not record [onto your tree] any of the family data earlier than our Immigrant Ancestor, Edward Taylor, who died in Monmouth Co. NJ in 1710. Almost all of these early publications had errors in Edward’s ancestory and this should be corrected when the new publication becomes available.

Historical and Genealogical Miscellany Vol 5 p47; John E Stillwell pub 1932 -https://archive.org/details/historicalgeneal05instil
CLICK HERE to view and/or download.

The Jerseyman Vol 8, 1902, Issue 1 and succeeding volumes, A Genealogy of the Taylor Family, Asher Taylor, author, Hiram E. Deats publisher – https://archive.org/details/jerseyman08deat
CLICK HERE to view and/or download.

Here’s an excerpt from Asher Taylor’s book. Note halfway down the page where it reads,
“William, went to North Carolina and not heard from.”

Family chart of the children of Edward Taylor the Immigrant. CLICK ON THE CHART TO ENLARGE IT.

To help you get started with the Monmouth line, I have posted above a family chart of the children of Edward Taylor the Immigrant. It can be downloaded HERE as a Word docx file and/or HERE as a pdf file.

(This article was written by Johnny B. Taylor thanks to much assistance and input from Timothy Franklin Taylor.)


BARZILLA: What’s In A Name?

The name BARZILLA is apparently a misspelling from a mispronunciation of an Old Testament biblical name, “BARZILLAI”.

The name appears a number of times in the Old Testament as:
1. A Gileadite leader who helped David defeat Absalom’s rebellion.
2. A priest, son-in-law to Barzillai the Gileadite.
3. An Israelite from Mahalath whose son Adriel married Michal, Saul’s daughter.

Derivatives of the name include: Barzella, Bars, Baz, Bazella, Brazele, Brarillee, Barzillis, Barzillia, Burziler and probably many others.

Family naming patterns or conventions in colonial America were a common practice but since different families in different geographical areas used different patterns, the practice is often not an accurate research tool but remains a fair guide. On the other hand, it is true that colonial America was deeply religious and the use of biblical names when naming a child was commonplace. In addition, it was customary that families honored loved ones by bestowing their names on children. I can only speculate that one or both of these traditions was the reason we find members of our TAYLOR family being named BARZILLA from the 1700’s to modern times. With only a few possible exceptions, I have rarely found a male TAYLOR with the first or middle name of BARZILLA who was not, in some way, connected to my TAYLOR family! For this reason, I now use, what I call “the Barzilla Oddity” as a genealogy research aid or tool. In other words, anytime I run across a reference to a male TAYLOR named BARZILLA I try to research his pedigree.

Below is a list of male TAYLORs who bear the name BARZILLA (or a derivative thereof) as either a first or middle name.

1. Barzilla Taylor (c.1768 NC – 1828 IN) Son of William Taylor Sr (1729-1820) & Martha Patty Hunt (1728-1805) [resided in Smith/DeKalb Co. TN]

2. William Barzilla Taylor (c.1776 – ?) Spouse, Elizabeth Ward. Son of Samuel Taylor (1740-1802) & Patience Joyner (1754- ?)

3. Barzilla Taylor (1796 GA – 1839 TN) Son of John Taylor Sr. (1763-1815) & Elizabeth Unk (1772-1800) [resided in Smith/DeKalb Co. TN]

4. Teezley Barzilla Taylor (1820 IN – 1851 IN) Son of Barzilla Taylor (c.1768-1828) & Frances Johnson (1773-1860)

5. Barzilla Taylor (1825 TN – 1905 TN) Son of Henry Taylor (1801-1832) & Sarah Taylor (1799-1860) [resided in Smith/DeKalb Co. TN]

6. Barzilla Branin Taylor (c.1821/26 NJ – 1887) In the 1880 US census, Barzilla Taylor age 54 and his wife, Caroline age 42, were living in Upper Freehold, Monmouth, NJ. Probate in Burlington Co. NJ in 1888. Parents may have been John T. Taylor and Mary Branin. still being researched

7. William Barzilla Taylor (1831 TN – 1870 MO) Son of John T. Taylor (1808-1873) & Mary Unk (1812-1862) [resided in Smith/DeKalb Co. TN]

8. Brazilla Taylor (c.1834 – ?) Listed on the 1850 US census living with the White family as a laborer in Ocean Twp, Monmouth, NJ. Another Taylor in the same household was 18 yr old female Libbe Taylor. still being researched

9. Barzilla J. (Zeal) Taylor (1838 TN – 1908 TN) Son of David Jacob (Bluetooth) Taylor Sr (1809-1899) & Lucretia Turner (1811-1839) [resided in Smith/DeKalb Co. TN]

10. Barzilai/Barzill/Barzillis Taylor (1845 OH – 1926 OH) Son of Pierce Taylor (1813-1902) & Rebecca Warne (1814-1888) His grandfather (John Taylor 1782-1863) and ggrandfather (William Taylor 1744-1830) and gggrandfather (Joseph Taylor 1720-1766) were born in NJ … William & Joseph in UpperFreehold, Monmouth, NJ.

11. Barzilla/Brazilla/Brasillee/Brarillee Taylor (1854 NJ – 1934) & wife Melissa Fields were parents of a male child born 29 June 1879 in Wall, Monmouth, NJ. They later resided on Parker Avenue in Manasquan, Monmouth, NJ. Residence in 1910 was Monmouth, NJ. Son of Nelson Taylor. still being researched

12. Bazela (Baz) Taylor (1860 TN – 1890 TN) Son of Henry R. Taylor (1833-1911) & Lucretia Rhinehart (1844-1935) [resided in Smith/DeKalb Co. TN]

13. Barzilla (Baz) Taylor (1862 TN – ?) Son of Barzilla Taylor (1825-1905) & Annis M. Tramel (1842-1900) [resided in Smith/DeKalb Co. TN]

14. Barzela (Baz) Taylor (1862 TN – 1938) Son of Barzilla J. (Zeal) Taylor (1838-1908) & Elizabeth Hayes (1843-1873) [resided in Smith/DeKalb Co. TN]

15. Silas Barzilla Taylor Sr. (1880 MO – 1907 MO) (Son of John Kent Taylor (1846-1928) & Rachel Ann Whitworth (1848-1913)

16. Silas Barzilla (Barney) Taylor Jr. (1905 MO – 1986 CA) Son of Silas Barzilla Taylor Sr (1880-1907) & Lizzie Williams (1882-?)

17. Barzilla Taylor, Private, New Jersey Volunteers, Co. A, 14th Regiment. Enrolled 28 July 1862, Mustered In 26 August 1862, Period 3 Yrs., Killed in action at Mine Run, VA, 27 November 1863. NJ death records list a Barzillai Taylor of Trenton, Mercer, NJ as dying on same date. Also, NJ marriage records list Barzillai Taylor marrying Abigail Ann Applegate, 22 Feb 1855, in Trenton NJ. Abigail Ann Taylor, wife of Barzilla B. Taylor, died 14 Jul 1856 and is buried in Allentown, Monmouth, NJ, FindAGrave.com #34664292. still being researched

18. Barzilla/Barzillia/Barzilliar Taylor, b. 10 Apr 1831 in TN, d. 17 Jan 1899 in Rough and Ready, Nevada Co., CA. FindAGrave.com #99610263. He was a miner and then a farmer. Census and voter records indicate he was living in Nevada, CA from 1860 until his death there in 1899. Some trees show him to be William Barzilla Taylor son of John T. Taylor but this is incorrect. still being researched

NOTE – This post will be updated/modified when applicable and, considering the new BARZILLAs that keep turning up, that may be quite often!

DNA Research Update

Here’s an update (as of 04/30/2018) on genetic genealogy research of the “Sons of William Taylor Sr” as listed in my earlier posting. Names/identities of living individuals have been altered/masked for obvious privacy reasons. If you have a connection with any of these families I would encourage you to contact me to exchange information.

SONS OF WILLIAM TAYLOR SR. (c.1740 – c.1820)

John Taylor Sr. 1763-1815
Haplogroup G (HpG) established by yDNA testing (using FTDNA.com) of living descendant whose tree is published on Ancestry.com

Barzilla Taylor 1768-1828
Haplogroup G (HpG) established by yDNA testing of two living descendants (using FTDNA.com) (and one deceased). Two trees are published on Ancestry.com

Joseph Taylor 1772-1838
Haplogroup G (HpG) established by yDNA testing (using FTDNA.com) of living descendant whose tree is published on Ancestry.com. Also, two auDNA matches on Ancestry.com with trees. This line is of special interest to me because some of the descendants migrated to Navarro County Texas where my Taylor family also ended up … so far I can’t connect the two lines as having ever known each other.

Samuel Taylor Sr. 1776-1820
One auDNA match on Ancestry.com …. However, there are some questions about the tree. A yDNA match is much-needed here.

William Taylor Jr. 1778-1845
One auDNA match on Ancestry.com …. However, there are some questions about the tree. A yDNA match is much-needed here.

George Taylor 1780 – no information available

Henry H. Taylor 1780-1835
Haplogroup G (HpG) established by yDNA testing of living descendant (using FTDNA.com); unfortunately no tree (or further information) is available yet.
Also an auDNA match on Ancestry.com with a published tree.

Drury Taylor 1788-1845
This is my patriline. Haplogroup G (HpG) established by yDNA testing (using FTDNA.com) of living descendant whose tree is published on Ancestry.com
Also two promising auDNA matches on Ancestry.com whose trees are published.

James Taylor 1790-1871
This one may remain genetically unproved since his only two sons who lived to adulthood
only had daughters! There is still a very remote chance that an auDNA match could
occur from James Taylor’s female descendants.

Seeking yDNA Matches

The Ardis Taylor books list the following sons for William Taylor Sr (c. 1729-1820 TN) & Martha Patty Hunt (1728-1805 GA):

John Taylor Sr. 1763–1815 b. NC – d. MS
Barzilla Taylor 1768–1828 b. NC – d. Montgomery Co., IN
Joseph Taylor 1772–1838 b. NC – d. Smith/DeKalb Co., TN
Samuel Taylor Sr. 1776–1820 b. NC – d. IN
William Taylor Jr 1778–1845 b. NC – d. Elbert Co., GA
George Taylor 1780– b. NC
Henry H Taylor 1780–1835 b. GA – d. Smith/DeKalb Co., TN
Drury Taylor 1788–1845 (my ancestor) b. Elbert Co., GA – d. Jefferson Co., IL
James Taylor 1790–1871 b. GA – d. White Co., IL

I am desperately trying to locate living male descendants of these brothers who have had their yDNA tested or might be willing to take the Y-37 test with FamilyTreeDNA.com and participate in the Taylor DNA Project.

Please use the Contact Page to send me an email message if you can help with this project.

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

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!!!!

My Missing Taylors

After many hundreds of hours of research and with the help of many fellow researchers, I’ve documented my TAYLOR line back to the Immigrant Ancestor and also documented genealogical data on thousands of people from associated lines.  However, it has always been a great source of frustration for me that I’ve never been able to properly document my great-greatgrandmother Taylor and five of her six children.

In the hopes that someone will read this and help provide me with some of the missing information, I am listing the basic information that I do know about my missing TAYLORs.

Mary E. (THROGMORTON) TAYLOR  [my great-greatgrandmother]

b. abt. 1842 IL  and  d. aft. 1880

Mary and her children appear twice in the 1880 census of Lawrence Co., AR.  Due to     the census taker’s error, she and half the family appear on one page and then she and     the other half of her family appear several pages over.  After this there is no known information about Mary.

When and where did Mary die and where is she buried?

1st spouse:  Drury Matthew TAYLOR 1838-1870  [he is well documented]

Son:  Leander J. TAYLOR  b. 1860 MO  [he is basically documented until his death     which must have occurred prior to June 1887 because his spouse, Patsy Bunch,     remarried then in Lawrence Co., AR.  She and Leander had married 1884 in Lawrence     Co., AR and they had one child, Bettie, b. 1885 (no info known about Bettie)]

When and where did Leander die and where is he buried?

Son:  Jefferson Davis TAYLOR  b. 1863 IL  d. 1899 MO  [he is basically documented except not much is know about his first wife,  Sarah Sallie Bunch, whom he married in Jefferson Co., AR in Jul 1884.  She must have died prior to Dec 1889 because he remarried and had a family with his second wife.]

When and where did his first wife die and where is he buried? Did they have any children?

Dau:  Elizabeth A. TAYLOR  b. 1865 IL  [absolutely no documentation found on this     child other than the 1870 Jefferson Co., IL census and the  flawed 1880 Lawrence Co.,   AR census.]

What happened to Elizabeth after 1880? Spouse, children? When and where did she die and where is she buried?

Son:  John Riley TAYLOR  b. 1869 IL  [he and his family are the big mystery and I     find this especially frustrating because he is the twin brother of my great-greatgrandfather, William Wiley TAYLOR!]

John Riley married Francis Freer Jul 1893 in Lawrence Co., AR … after that, there is     no documentation on either John Riley or Francis.

I have been informed by Lawrence Co., AR sources that Willie Lee (Pete) TAYLOR  is the son of John Riley TAYLOR.  Willie Lee was born 11 Jan 1893 in Lawrence     Co., AR.  Since this birth was seven months prior to John Riley’s marriage to Francis,  it brings into question as to whether Francis was Willie Lee’s mother or perhaps John Riley had had a previous spouse?  I do know a little about Willie Lee and his family;  he had  two sisters, Frances (b. 1894) and Clara F. (b. 1898).  Thanks to a very detailed account in a recent history book about Lawrence Co., AR, I have a great deal of information about Willie Lee TAYLOR’s spouse and children BUT NOTHING  ABOUT HIS PARENTS!

What happened to John Riley TAYLOR and Francis Freer Taylor after their 1893 marriage?  When and where did they die and where are they buried?  Who were their children?  Did John Riley have any other spouses?

Son:  William Wiley TAYLOR  b. 1869 IL  d. 1939 TX  [this is my greatgrandfather and he is very well documented other than the fact that I can’t find him in the 1920 census even though he never left Red River Co., TX from 1910 till his death in 1939.]

2nd  spouse (of Mary E. (THROGMORTON) TAYLOR  [my great-greatgrandmother]  Greenberry TAYLOR (Drury’s nephew)  b. 1847 MO  d. bet 1872-80 Lawrence Co., AR?  A handwritten marriage document indicates that Mary married Greenberry in Lawrence Co., AR 17 Jul 1872.  Since Robert L. Taylor b. 1873 shows up on the 1880 census then I am assuming this is Mary’s son with Greenberry.  However, Greenberry completely disappears after the marriage document and I have no other documentation about him.

What happened to Greenberry TAYLOR after his 1872 marriage?  When and where did he die and where is he buried? 

Son:  Robert L. (Littleman?) TAYLOR  b. 1873 AR  [absolutely no documentation has been found about him other than the flawed 1880 Lawrence Co., AR census and a brief mention in some family correspondence of a half-brother of William Wiley named LIT  (maybe short for Littleman)

What happened to Robert L. TAYLOR after his appearance in the 1880 census? Spouse, children? When and where did he die and where is he buried? 

My grandfather had already died when I started my genealogical research and my great-grandfather was long dead.  According to my grandmother and at least one grandaunt here is the family legend ….

Mary Throgmorton TAYLOR, her mother and her children all moved to Lawrence Co., AR after the Civil War.  There, she married her late husband’s nephew and had a son by him.  Then, the entire family, except my great-grandfather William Wiley Taylor, died of an epidemic.  William Wiley lived with and worked for a Dr. Richardson in a place called Oil Trough which was either in AR or MO.

Well, the problem with this legend is that ALL of William Wiley’s brothers obviously lived to adulthood because we find documents proving marriages and children for them.

Actually (research-wise) it would have been easier to explain all the missing answers IF the family had all (but one) died off from a horrible epidemic.  Unfortunately (or fortunately) that wasn’t the case so I need a lot of help and I hope someone reading this will throw me a few bits of useful information ………….

I first published this article online on numerous message boards many years ago.  The few responses provided almost nothing of any significance.  I’ve decided now in early 2015 to take “a shot in the dark” and place the article online again……   jt


Throgmortons and Taylors

The THROGMORTONs & TAYLORs of Jefferson County IL & Lawrence County AR

The name THROGMORTON is an obvious derivative of the name THROCKMORTON; the spelling variations are far too numerous to list. The most common include: THROGMORTEN, THROGMORTIN, THROGMARTIN, THOGMORTON, THOGMORTEN, THOGMARTIN, THRAGMARTEN, FROGMARTIN, TROGMORTEN, etc.

The association or connection of the THROGMORTONs and the TAYLORs is first documented in the 1850 census of Jefferson County, Illinois, which shows the families of William Trogmorten and Elizabeth (widow of Drury, Sr.) Taylor to be neighbors.

On October 22, 1853, William C. Taylor (son of Drury Sr.) purchased 40 acres of land near Elk Prairie in Jefferson County, IL. On April 5, 1855, William Thogmorten purchased the adjoining 50 acres of land.

Two of William Throgmorton’s daughters married two sons of Drury Taylor, Sr. Jefferson County, Illinois records indicate that Mathew William Taylor married Eliza J. Throgmorton on February 7, 1855, and, Drury M. Taylor married Mary E. Throgmorton on November 5, 1859.

In the late 1850’s (probably 1859) the family of Drury Taylor, Sr. moved to St. Genvieve County, Missouri, and the William Throgmorton family accompanied them as the 1860 census for that county shows dwelling numbers 889, 890, and 891 to be Taylors, and then number 892 is listed as the family of William Throgmorton.

Sometime after the beginning of the Civil War (probably 1862) the Taylors and the Throgmortons left Missouri and returned to Jefferson County, Illinois. Drury M. Taylor had died in early 1870 and his widow, Mary Throgmorton (along with Drury’s five children) is shown on the 1870 census living in Dodds Township with her parents, William and Lucy Throgmorton. Elizabeth, widow of Drury Sr., and most of her children and their families are shown living nearby in Blissville Township.

The 1870 census also finds a Taylor – Throgmorton connection in Missouri. The Washington Co. MO census shows William Taylor (Mathew William Taylor son of Drury Sr.), his wife, Eliza J. Throgmorton, and their family living next door to Eliza’s brother, Edward (actually Edmond G. Throgmorton) and his family.

The Taylors and the Throgmortons left Illinois and migrated to Lawrence County, Arkansas sometime between late 1870 and mid 1872. The 1872 membership list of the New Hope Baptist Church in Lawrence Co., AR includes William Throgmorton, his wife and two sons (and several other Throgmortons) and, Matthew M. (could be “W”) Taylor, Duain M. Taylor and Mary E. Taylor (perhaps Drury M.’s widow, Mary E. Throgmorton). On July 17, 1872, the widow of Drury M., Mary E. Throgmorton, married Greenberry Taylor in Lawrence Co., AR. Greenberry was a son of Godfrey Taylor, Drury M.’s older brother. The Throgmorton family was already represented in Lawrence County, Arkansas as one of Mary’s cousins, Robert Pinkney Throgmorton had married Elizabeth Foreman there on April 1, 1869. As early as the 1850’s and 60’s, several related Throgmorton lines had moved into Arkansas counties adjoining Lawrence.

Lawrence County Arkansas courthouse records indicate a great deal of official activity during the 1880’s and 90’s in which a Taylor or a Throgmorton was listed (oftentimes jointly).

The 1880 census for Lawrence Co., AR lists the following:
John L. D. Taylor, son of Drury Sr.
Sarah Jane Taylor (Wells), dau of William C. Taylor
Mary Throgmorton (Taylor), widow of Drury M. & Greenberry, along with her sons & dau
L.F. (Lucy) Throgmorton, widow of William Throgmorton & Mary’s mother
Duane Marion Taylor, son of Drury Sr.
Eliza Jane Taylor, widow of William C. Taylor
Martin William Wyatt, widower of Elizabeth A. Taylor (Drury Sr’s dau), along with two sons
Littleman L. Throgmortin, Mary Throgmorton Taylor’s bro & son of William
Isiah Minson, son of Sarah Jane Taylor (dau of Drury Sr.)
E. G. Throgmorton, Mary Throgmorton Taylor’s bro & son of William

The county marriage records include too many entries to list here, but five significant ‘joint’
listings are:
L.L. Throgmorton to Rosanna Taylor 11-20-1881 with J.M Wells as security
Isaiah Minson to Margaret Ward 4-2-1884 with L.L. Throgmorton as security
Jefferson D. Taylor to Sallie Bunch 7-11-1884 with E.G. Thogmartin as security
Leander Taylor to Patsy J. Bunch 8-1-1884 with E.G. Throgmartin as security
John Riley Taylor to Francis Freer 7-8-1893 with E.G. Throgmartin as security

After a mere half century the two families appear to have separated themselves from each other. Just before and during the turn of the century the Lawrence County AR Taylors and Throgmortons migrated again …. only this time they scattered throughout the region as individuals and small family units making them extremely difficult to track. Many of the Throgmortons moved into Craighead County AR where they live today (spelling their name Throgmartin); others may have moved back to Missouri. Many of the Taylors are believed to have died in Lawrence County. Some moved into Oregon County MO, some to Craighead County AR and further into southern Arkasas. By the 1910 and 1920 censuses, several of the original Lawrence County Taylors were in Oklahoma and Red River County, Texas.

Why did the two families leave Illinois … Why did they settle in Lawrence County Arkansas … What happened to separate and scatter them???? After more than a hundred years time which has eliminated any evidence that might have existed, here’s some speculative answers ….. The Civil War decimated many families and our Taylors and Throgmortons were no exception. The move from Illinois to Missouri and then back to Illinois was probably precipitated by the war and must have been extremely expensive for the families who’s meager funds were already stretched by the existing conditions. When the war ended, the families probably followed thousands of others searching for either free or inexpensive land and new opportunities in the southwestern United States. One of the primary migration routes from the northeast to the southwest was the Old Military Road that crossed right through Lawrence County Arkansas making it a typical ‘way station’ for weary travelers. Unfortunately, the Ozark foothills did not provide a very hospitable environment. A yellow fever epidemic killed hundreds during the period of 1897 though 1899 (followed by a meningitis epidemic in 1899). The harsh post-war reconstruction imposed on the southern states caused poverty to be even more epidemic; not one of our Taylors’ names is listed on the 1890 tax rolls of Lawrence County (although two Throgmortons do appear!). With this in mind, and having personally heard the sad stories of misfortune from my grandparents, I believe that disease and poverty finally caused the large family groups to break up (many must have died) and scatter as individuals.