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’
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.