Note: This narrative was written by Ann K. Blomquist. It is MY ORIGINAL WORK, the product of many hours of research, study, thought, and revision. This is copyrighted material and NO PERSON may post or publish this narrative except the author. This information is posted to present my interpretation of the historical facts and to aid descendents and other researchers.
Chronology c1696-c1721 where? probably VA c1721-c1727 Henrico Co VA 1728-1749 Goochland Co VA 1749-1771 Cumberland Co VA
William Taylor is currently the earliest known ancestor of this Taylor line. His parents and place and date of birth are not currently known. This author assumes his birth about 1696.
Though it is not known where William was born, he married Mary Hughes about 1721 in central Virginia, perhaps in Henrico County. Though there are no primary sources which give her name, the family Bible of James Taylor gives his parents' names as William Taylor and Mary Hughes. Unfortunately, the names of William Taylor and Mary Taylor were very common, even in this early colonial era. James Taylor named a son Hughes (for his mother's maiden name), and James' descendents continued the use of the name Hughes. William and Mary had at least 4 children.
Because of the gap in the birth years of the known children, Mary probably died and William married again. William may have married a second wife whose maiden name was Blagrove. There were probably 4 younger children. Sons Robert and George each named a son Blagrove Taylor, a highly unusual name. Two of William's children from his second marriage named daughters Philadelphia (Delphia, Adelphia). Perhaps this was the first name of their mother or a close relative.
In 1727, Goochland County was formed from Henrico. William's brother John was living in Henrico County VA by 1728, so perhaps William was also there. Although William was probably residing in Henrico County, there are no records naming him. During the years 1721 through 1742, William and Mary were raising their children as the area formed the new county of Goochland.
The first definite record of William Taylor is a deed in October 1742 in Goochland Co VA. In this deed, William's brother John Taylor gave "my brother William Taylor of Goochland Co" 100 acres near Rocky Run with some very specific conditions. The land was to go to William's son John Taylor. However, if this younger John died without issue, the land was to go to William's son William. And the deed carefully included that the land was to revert to the estate of the original John Taylor if the land were ever rented or leased out. This land is located along the west side of the road running south from Provost in current Powhatan Co.
This deed is critical in establishing relationship and names in the Taylor family. It clearly shows that there were 2 William Taylors, father and son. This 100 acre tract was passed on from father William to son Robert in 1771, and at its sale, the new deed again gave family relationships.
William appeared in the tithe lists (tax rolls) for King William Parish in Goochland County in 1746 with only 1 tithe. This indicates that he was the only male older than 16 in his household. Deep Creek is named in the listings and Rocky Run is located near that. In 1748, William was again included in the tithe list with only 1 tithe, but the parish was Southam Parish.
During colonial times in Virginia, the royal government required that the property lines between neighbors be affirmed every few years, a process called "processioning." Men in the parish were assigned precincts to procession, and after they had checked the property lines, they reported back to the vestry for the results to be recorded. Beginning in 1747, William was listed in the Southam Parish vestry book. Along with his brother John Taylor and Joel Chandler, William was a processioner of his precinct in 1747, 1748, 1751, 1755, and 1756. His area began at "Deep Creek, thence up the main fork to the Chapel Road, down the road to the new road at Walton's, along the new road to Askews Path, up the path to River Road, up the road to the beginning."
William also received payment for some services to the parish. In Jan 1748, he received 266 pounds of tobacco for "keeping Alexander Blunt," an orphan boy. For 1749-1752, William received 800 pounds of tobacco annually for keeping Blunt. In 1755, William received 8 shillings "for 2 sets of horse bocks at Peterville Church."
In 1749, Cumberland County was formed from part of Goochland County and the Taylors left records in the new county. Brother John Taylor was mentioned frequently in court order books and deeds. William was a witness to a petition in 1750, gave security for an estate in 1755, and was paid for being a patroller in 1755.
In Oct 1758, William's brother John Taylor died. He wrote his will just weeks before his death and two of the witnesses were William Taylor and Mary Taylor. All of John's children were named in the will. Since John had no son named William, it is reasonable to assume that the witness to the will was his brother William, and probably the Mary Taylor was William's wife. Since neither William nor Mary received any of the estate, they could act as witnesses. In one bequest in the will, a piece of land is described with "thence along his line to my brother William's line." This indicates that William still owned land in Cumberland Co and was next to his brother John.
In Aug 1765, William gave his son Robert 50 acres in Southam Parish. The land was "part of the William Taylor tract" and the witnesses included James Taylor and Bartholomew Stovall. The Stovalls appear in many records with the Taylors, spanning Cumberland Co VA, Henry Co VA, and Tennessee.
In 1771, William Taylor Senior sold his Rocky Run tract to his son Robert. By this time, William was an aged man, probably in his seventies. And maybe this deed was written because he was ill, elderly, and near enough death for his sons to settle some of the property. The 100 acres given to William by his brother John in 1742 was passed on to William's son Robert. This important deed for the Rocky Run property states that William Taylor senior and William Taylor Junior were jointly selling the land to William senior's son Robert Taylor for �15. Son James Taylor was a witness as well as William Farguson (the husband of William Taylor's niece Mary Taylor Farguson).
But also, the deed stated that William Taylor Junior was "of the county of Pittsylvania." Sons James and William Junior both had moved to Pittsylvania Co. Robert stayed in the part of Cumberland Co that later became part of Powhatan Co. But the earliest mentioned son, John, may have died or left the area because he did not inherit the Rocky Run farm.
William Taylor left his last official record in 1773 when he appeared in court in Cumberland Co and "proved" the will of his nephew James Taylor (who had died that year). William acknowledged in court that he had been a witness to the will when it was written on Jan 3 1772. William's son Robert was also a witness to the will.
William Taylor probably died after 1773 in Cumberland Co. He may have gone with his sons to Pittsylvania Co, but it doubtful that he was active. The William Taylor in the records in Pittsylvania and Henry counties is his son William Taylor Junior.
Of William's children: Ann Taylor (born c1722) may have been a daughter of William. She married John Stamps. Their daughter Mary Stamps (born c1740) married William Hudspeth in 1759 in Goochland Co.
References Blomquist, Ann K. Southam Parish Vestry Book 1745-1791, 2002. Blomquist, Ann K. Taylors and Tates of the South, 1993. p 16-19. Cumberland Co VA records: Deed Bk 4 p 24; Will Bk 1 p 161; Will Bk 21 p 107. Order Bk 1764-1767 p178; Bk 1772-1774 p 324. Fretwell, Shela S. Abstracts of the Cumberland Co VA Court Order Books 1749-1756. p 54,177,193. Goochland Co VA Deed Bk 4 p 79. Lurvey, A. Jean. Goochland Co VA Tithe Lists 1735-1747. p 4. Lurvey, A. Jean. Goochland Co VA Tithe Lists 1748-1749. p 2. Virginia Genealogist, Vol 1 (1957), p 132-134. Weisiger, Benjamin. Goochland Co VA Wills and Deeds 1736-1742. p 3.
Researched and written by Ann Blomquist. 1992. This narrative is copyrighted material and may not be posted or published except by the author.
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