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!