The Original Taylor Tree

The Original Taylor Tree
The Original Taylor Tree

I’ve come to the point in my Family File Cleanup where I have to make a decision. Whether or not to enter the descendant report for John Taylor into my family file. I have two Taylor descendant reports, the other being the one for Bartholomew Taylor (pictured above). It was easy to use the Bartholomew report because it was easily backed up with record proof. Not entirely but for the most part. Now that I’ve come to adding John and the earlier Taylors in, it gets more difficult.

The reason there is a decision at all is it gets harder to verify the families are correct because I’m venturing past the 1850 census now and into the 1700’s. So I’ll only have a number count for the children in the census and birth records are less frequent and less accessible. I have to decide whether to add these next few generations in or to leave them off. The pros to leaving them off would mean a complete fresh start with the early Taylor generations. The downside is that I’ve seen enough of the parish records over in Salisbury, Maryland to know that having a guideline would be a tremendous asset. You see, there are a lot of John, William and James Taylors in those records. I’m also finding in this cleanup that my original trees were a bit more accurate then I originally thought. Which is a good thing. There are inaccuracies but they are quickly rooted out.

Jane Menzies-Love
Jane Menzies-Love

What I think I’ll end up doing is adding them into the tree but not adding them to the website until I’ve got more than just my descendant report as a source. I definitely don’t want my website information to get out of hand or inaccurate. I’ve noticed while getting my tree synced on that a lot of my pictures are being added to people’s family trees. I guess I hit the genealogy jackpot with that picture of Jane Menzies-Love because it is a popular one in member trees. The only problem is that no one is contacting me to compare information or trees. Since I know that my tree is being used as a resource, I don’t want to lead anyone in the wrong direction. There’s no reason that adding them to the website can’t wait until I’ve got more information in hand. I don’t like to take family lore completely out of the loop, but I’m definitely learning more about what can happen with internet genealogy.

So for now, I add the descendant reports as unsourced family records and then try and find the proof in the actual records next time I’m over on the Eastern Shore. I know I say I’m going to these places a lot and then never go, but it’s just the way it goes. I’ll get there someday and I just want to be ready for it when I do. My biggest flaw is getting flustered and overwhelmed when I walk into the libraries. Not anymore, I’ll have a clear, concise list and plan in hand the next time!

Kentucky Worked Super Fast!

On Monday morning April 16th, I walked two envelopes out to my mailbox. One was addressed to Kentucky, the other to New Jersey. My mail delivery doesn’t come until close to 4pm, so the envelopes sat in the mailbox for hours before they even left my street.

My Records Ordered List in My Genealogy Binder

Much to my surprise, when the mail ran on Saturday afternoon, my Grandmother’s birth certificate was in amongst the sales papers!

My Grandmother's Birth Certificate

I wasn’t sent a photocopy of the original, but I don’t think I was expecting that anyway. I’ve ordered death certificates from Kentucky before but not birth certificates. I don’t know if it’s a privacy concern, or just a computerized system that is super efficient. Either way, I received the certificate before the check even shows as being cashed in my bank account! That’s right, the check isn’t even shown in my bank account yet! I have to say a six day turn around isn’t something I ever expected!

Back to getting those crazy Taylors sorted out in my clean family file! I can see a finish line!

SNGF on Sunday: My Matrilineal Line

This week’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun assignment is to list my matrilineal line.

  1. List your matrilineal line – your mother, her mother, etc. back to the first identifiable mother. Note: this line is how your mitochondrial DNA was passed to you!
  2. Tell us if you have had your mitochondrial DNA tested, and if so, which Haplogroup you are in.
  3. Post your responses on your own blog post, in Comments to this blog post, or in a Status line on Facebook or in your Stream at Google Plus.
  4. If you have done this before, please do your father’s matrilineal line, or your grandfather’s matrilineal line, or your spouse’s matriliuneal line.
  5. Does this list spur you to find distant cousins that might share one of your matrilineal lines?
  • Me
  • Mom
  • Emogene Taylor (1929-2005) married to (1) Stanley Lee Mays (2) Harley Wayne Utter
  • Lula Applegate (1901-1978) married to Marshall Howard Taylor
  • Elizabeth West (1868-1938) married to (1) Unknown (2) James William Applegate
  • Zeroah Black (1837-?) married to Isaiah West

There is actually a bit of a controversy for Elizabeth West’s mother. There are a lot of online trees that show Isaiah West marrying Zerelda Jane McClanahan. There is even a Kentucky marriage record for this fact. However, all of Isaiah’s children list Zeroah Black as their mother on the death certificates. Also, the marriage record shows the marriage as happening 10 years before I estimated it from different sources. So for now I’m on hold with the West family until I can sit down and timeline the family so I can find out where I can attack it from next.

I haven’t had my DNA tested but I plan to once I finish the family file cleanup. I’m fascinated by the process and would love to see what kind of results I would get.

I’m always on the lookout for distant cousins! No extra spurring needed!

Preparation is Key

It’s been a rough few days here in Maryland. Well, it’s been a rough few days for me in Maryland would be the more accurate statement. Sunday wasn’t good for me at all. It probably had something to do with the time change. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. To start off my no good day, I broke my Kindle. Insert gasps here. I love my Kindle. It’s what I use at night to fall asleep. I’m able to turn the computers and TV off and just kind of get my mind to slow down. My mind is never idle, but the Kindle helps me to slow it down enough to sleep. Well, the problem is it was under my covers somewhere when I woke up Sunday morning and I heard a definitive crack. On the outside it looks fine, well if this is what you call fine.

Yeah, that’s not going to work. So I’m going to have to call Amazon and see if they can fix it for me. Hopefully they can! It does have a limited one year warranty so we’ll see. Then as if I wasn’t genius enough, I tripped going up some stairs. I tell ya, when it rains it pours. So yesterday I took a mental health day away from the computer. It was wonderful, but now I feel like I don’t have enough time in the world to catch up.

I did want to talk today about my first trip to a repository though! It was many years ago now though, but I want to add to the consensus that you need to make an effort to get out to your local resources for some of your research. Mine is a little tough (As I’m sure many can relate to), almost all my research has to be done in other states. States that are at least 8 hours away by my count. The only smidge of my family that I can do some local research on is the Taylor family. I was gobsmacked when I was looking through the Taylor tree my grandma gave me, and I saw that the first Taylors we knew of were from Somerset County, Maryland!

There is still a tiny little problem though. It’s called the Chesapeake Bay. In order to go to the area the Taylors were from, I have to go all the way up to Annapolis, cross the Bay Bridge (EEK! I hate that bridge), and then go back down the other side of Maryland. Not impossible, but still quite a trip to make in one day.

My first visit to the Edward H Nabb Research Center was awesome! The only problem was I wasn’t quite prepared for what I was getting. I don’t even think I had a copy of my tree with me. In fact, this was before I even had a laptop I think. That’s quite a time, so between 2001 and 2005? I can’t be sure. The staff was very helpful anyway. The only problem they said was, “Searching for Taylors in this area is like searching for John Smith in Virginia.” Oh dear. Boy were they right. The first trip was an eye opener for me.

There are even student research papers on the Taylor family! I should mention that the Nabb Research Center is located on the campus of Salisbury University. So much of the staff are students/employees from the college.

This is the microfilm that I think I looked at on my first visit. It was literally littered with Taylors. I want to go back again and really go through. I did go back once with laptop in hand but I ended up getting ill all of a sudden and had to trek the 3-4 hours home. Luckily my Mom and sister were with me! Though my sister says she’s never driving me or my Mom over any of those big bridges again. To say we had anxiety attacks would be an understatement.

My point is, this local resource has entire sections of their library dedicated to the early settlers of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It just so happens, my family is one of these early settlers. In addition to the records though, they have people that are familiar with these families. Even though they aren’t related to these families, they’ve got the experience of being there for a lot of the research that goes on in the center. For example, the man who helped me didn’t research Taylors himself, but in doing his own research he knew to tell me where my Taylors were and how prominent they were. He was able to guide me very well for a girl who showed up without any idea of what she was doing. The second trip would have been much better if I hadn’t gotten sick and had to leave almost as soon as we got there. I’m pretty sure I had a laptop with me that time and a game plan.

So there’s my two cents on local repositories. Also, is there anyone who’d like to volunteer to drive a 27 year old and her mother across a bridge when they’re shrieking in the backseat? No takers? Wait, I see a Library of Congress number. There are no bridges to get to the Library of Congress! The student research paper doesn’t have one though, so I guess it’s the bridge for us!

Fearless Females: Heirlooms

March 6 — Describe an heirloom you may have inherited from a female ancestor (wedding ring or other jewelry, china, clothing, etc.) If you don’t have any, then write about a specific object you remember from your mother or grandmother, or aunt (a scarf, a hat, cooking utensil, furniture, etc.)

I took a few days off, and since I don’t have a recipe to share for March 7th, I decided to use the March 6th prompt. The heirloom that comes to my mind is one I’ve talked about before.

“The tree”. The one that started it all. This is what my Grandma brought with her on that fateful visit when I was in the eighth grade. The blue is the family tree and the other binder is the picture companion to the family tree.

The first page in the binder shows the numbers 3-2 written above the couple.

Then you line that up with the 3-2 in the family tree. Now there is a bit of confusion because the Webb and Taylor sections both have 3-2s. I don’t know how that happened but the Webb line fizzles out very quickly in the tree. It’s very obvious this tree was done from the Taylor perspective. I don’t know if it’s legible from the picture but Mollie Jane Webb married George Thomas Taylor. So that’s where the lines connect. Not much is known beyond Mollie’s generation on the Webb side. After consulting the tree, the couple in the first picture is Marshall Howard Taylor and his wife Lula Applegate. I faintly remember Grandma telling me that this picture might have been from their wedding day.

The picture book goes all the way through the descendants. My grandmother gathered pictures of as many Taylors as possible. Here’s the page dedicated to my Mom and her kids. That’s me in the red shirt there at the bottom. My family is used to me posting their pictures all over creation. For the sake of my other family members privacy, I won’t show you the others.

What’s also great is there are little mementos among the pages. There are articles of newspapers, obituaries, birth announcements.

I love both books. I’m so happy that they eventually found their way to me. I like to take them out and look through the pictures every once and awhile. It’s fun to match the names and faces.


I realized again today, that I’ve been horrible about giving equal blog time to both sides of my family tree. It seems I am writing more about my father’s New Jersey roots and am completely ignoring my Mom’s side! I’m rectifying that right now though!

Today I posted some old pictures of my Mom’s family on my Facebook. That side of my family is just getting into the computer world, so that was the easiest way to share the photos. It was fun to discuss with my Mom and Aunt who the babies in the photos were. In fact, they’re all still posting about the pictures and their memories of them. It’s definitely a great way to share between family members that you usually don’t get to see.

While I was going through the original Taylor-Webb tree, I got a little nostalgic about my Grandma. I started to go through the book of photographs she put together and the tree, matching photos with names in the book. She actually went through and labeled people with their number from the tree, so it was as simple as having the tree and the photos side by side.

Front page from Taylor-Webb Family Tree

When I was closing the tree, I took another look at the front page of the tree. I remember when my grandma was telling me about the tree. She showed me where she was, she explained to me the whole thing and then she told me about how the Taylors came from England in 1680. Just like the page says. Of course, I was only in the eighth grade at the time, and to me, this tree was all the proof I needed! Now I know different, but it still gives me warm, fuzzy feelings of Grandma to look at this tree.

For the first time though, I noticed something. In my young mind, I always assumed this tree was the complete work of my grandmother. Of course, a longer look and it was obvious that someone else made the tree because their name was all over it. Still, I don’t know who I thought might have done the pedigree you see above. I guess I always assumed it was the same person who did the rest of the tree.

Today a light bulb went off. I noticed that right next to Ol’ Kirby Taylor is ‘Me’. I never noticed that ‘Me’ before! Then I quickly scanned through the book to remember who came after Kirby. I thought at first it was Irene Taylor, because I thought that was her generation. Then I noticed Irene on the generation below. Unfortunately the Taylor-Webb tree only starts the Taylor line with George Thomas Taylor and Mollie Jane Webb’s children. So I didn’t have an instant answer. I had to wait until I could get to my computer.

Turns out ‘Me’ is Maude Taylor-Mefford. I’m unsure of when Maude died, so I don’t know if she wrote this out for someone, whether it be my Grandma or the person who did the tree originally. I do know her husband died in 1948 and Maude was still living when he died[1. Kentucky Death Record, Bracken County KY, Certificate: 9206]. When I get to Maude in my family tree rehab, I’ll pay extra attention to her now, knowing that she might have been the knowledgeable one in the family on this stuff.

I’ll probably never know the sequence of events that led to the family tree that I was given. It’s kind of cool to think of Maude sitting down and sketching out that tree for her family though! I’ve personally found records to at least Bartholomew. He’s the Revolutionary War veteran. Kentucky records are very difficult to find for that far back. Whether it be courthouse disasters or just plain rural conditions that didn’t promote official records. There are parish records in Somerset County, Maryland though, I’ve seen them! I just have to go back and record the source information and get a second go through. I’m pretty positive there is more there than I first thought.

So you see, it’s always a great idea to constantly revisit your sources! Just a second look could bring new information!

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Birth Order

Randy Seaver puts up a fun genealogy mission every Saturday night at his blog, Genea-Musings. Here is this week’s challenge!

1)  Pick one of your ancestral lines – any one – patrilineal, matrilineal, zigzag, from a famous ancestor, etc.  Pick a long one if you can.

2)  Tell us which position in the birth order that your ancestor was in each generation.  For example “third child, first son.”  Also list how many children were born to these parents.

3)  Share your Birth Order work with us on your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, in a comment on Facebook, etc.

I chose my Taylor line because it’s the one that goes back the farthest. These are coming straight from the tree my Grandma gave me in eighth grade so I haven’t gotten solid proof on the farther back generations yet.

1. Kathleen Moore (1983- ) third child, second daughter of William and Georgia (Mays) Moore (1 son, 2 daughters)
2. Georgia Mays (1959- ) sixth child, fourth daughter of Stanley and Emogene (Taylor) Mays (5 daughters, 2 sons)
3. Emogene Taylor (1929-2005) sixth child, second daughter of Marshall and Lula (Applegate) Taylor (5 sons, 3 daughters)
4. Marshall Taylor (1892-1958) second child, first son of George and Mollie (Webb) Taylor (4 daughters, 7 sons)
5. George Taylor (1862-1913) fourth child, second son of Marshall and Cecilia (Heaverin) Taylor (6 sons, 5 daughters)
6. Marshall Taylor (1823-1899) first child, first son of William and Nancy (Matthews) Taylor (3 sons, 2 daughters)
7. William Taylor (1797-1849) fourth child, fourth son of Bartholomew and Leah (Staton) Taylor (5 sons)
8. Bartholomew Taylor (1756-1847) first child, first son of Abraham and Mary (Walker) Taylor (4 sons, 5 daughters)
9. Abraham Taylor (1726-1792) second child, second son of William and Sarah (Cooper) Taylor (3 sons, 3 daughters)
10. William Taylor (?-1773?) (4 sons, 2 daughters)
11. John Taylor (?-1748?)

Bartholomew is really the farthest I’ve researched back. He’s the Revolutionary War veteran. What I’ve been trying to do is get the birth, marriage, and death records for these main ancestors before I move on. That hasn’t exactly happened the way I wanted. I had the best of intentions, really I did! William and John, numbers 10 and 11 respectively, didn’t get birth order numbers so I guess they don’t count. I found their siblings names in wills of the parents so I don’t have birthdates for the siblings, therefore I can’t determine where everyone is in the birth order yet.

Thanks Randy for yet another fun little challenge!