The Bible of Wallace Thad Taylor lists his grandparents as William F. Taylor (19 February 1841 – 28 April 1914) and Margaret Morgan (30 November 1839 – 8 August 1908).1 The birthplace of both is written in the Bible as Walker County, Georgia. This was an important clue to identifying his parents, as he was enumerated as William F. Taylor, age 10 (sic), in the household of John and Sarah Taylor in the 1850 census of Walker County, Georgia.2
His birth and death dates, and his wife’s name, are actually preserved in three family Bibles though only one shows his birthplace.3
The same information appears in William F. Taylor’s Civil War pension file — with one exception. In both his 1864 Civil War enlistment paper and in his numerous pension application documents, he stated that he was born in Randolph County, Georgia. He also stated that he married Margaret Morgan on 10 February 1859 in Walker County Georgia. She appears to be the daughter Margaret, age 10, in the 1850 household of James J. Morgan in Walker County, Georgia.4
William F. Taylor stated in his pension application that he moved to Alabama in 1859 and the 1860 census of DeKalb County, Alabama shows William F. Taylor and Margaret as an apparently newly married couple.5 Interestingly, they are listed consecutively with the elderly James and Susannah Bynum [my ancestors], who owned land but had no young males in their household. (See Bynum pages.) William F. Taylor was listed as a “farm laborer” without land of his own, and may have been working James Bynum’s land. The area in which he was listed in 1860 was in northwestern DeKalb County, and had been part of Jackson County until the line was redrawn in 1858.6 There do not appear to any other members of either the Taylor or Morgan families in DeKalb or Jackson Counties in 1860, as his father John Taylor was just a brisk walk to the west in Marshall County.
William F. Taylor was a private in the Union Army in the Civil War, serving in the same company as his brother James F. Taylor and Walker A. Stewart, in Company B of the 1st Alabama & Tennessee Vidette Cavalry. The enlistment certificate, signed in his own hand on 1 February 1864 in Jackson County, says that he was born in Randolph County, Georgia, was 23 years old, had “dark” eyes and hair, and was 5′ 10″ tall.
He applied for an invalid pension for this service in 1890 and subsequent pension applications provide several details of genealogical significance — see the separate page describing his Pension Papers. The pension record reflects that he died on 28 April 1914 in Omaha, Texas.7 He served with Walker Stewart during the war — nearly twenty years later two of their children would marry one another. [There was a second William F. Taylor in the area who served in a CSA regiment, and who was a different person.8]
I did not find William Taylor anywhere in the 1870 census, possibly because he lived in that area of DeKalb County that was either ignored or lost from the census that year. (In his pension application he stated that when he was discharged in 1864 he was living in Marshall County. there was a small area where Marshall and DeKalb and Jackson counties meet that seems to have been problematic for census takers i 1870.) However, in 1871 he was living five miles south of Lebanon in DeKalb County when he testified in support of his father’s claim against the Union Army — see the Deposition of William F. Taylor for details. The 1880 census lists William F. Taylor living in eastern DeKalb County with all the children below except Lucy who was not yet born.9 The birthplaces of his parents were left blank, but the parents of his wife Margaret were both listed as born in Georgia. (I note, though, that in 1900, both William and Margaret Taylor list their parents as born in South Carolina.)
The Taylors, including several siblings, moved to Titus County, Texas sometime in the mid 1880s. The only surviving Titus County tax list for that decade, in 1888, includes W. F. Taylor, his brother Henry S. Taylor, and several others.
William F. Taylor and Margaret are in the 1900 census of Morris County, Texas listed next door to their son Wilson Taylor and just a few households away from sons Henry and Walter Taylor. They list themselves as married 41 years with nine children, all of whom were living. The only child left in the household was the youngest, Lucy E. Taylor, age 15. Lucy’s birthplace is given as Texas, suggesting that the family moved there between 1880 and 1885. Note that their son Wilson Taylor’s household in the same census shows a child born in Texas in early 1886, but two others born in 1894 and 1896 in Alabama. The family may have moved back to Alabama temporarily.
Much of the information below was provided in 1972 by Lillie May Taylor Russell (daughter of Wilson Taylor) and in 1978 by Passie Louisa Witt Taylor (wife of Wilson Van Taylor, a son of Wilson Taylor). The “Birth Record” pages of the family Bible contain birth and death dates. In addition, William F. Taylor listed the names and birth dates of his nine children on an 1898 application for an increased pension.
- John Jefferson Taylor (22 April 1861 – 7 May 1950) He married first to Naomi J. Browder in DeKalb County, Alabama on 4 November 1883, then on 5 December 1908 married 17-year old Pearl V. Lackey in Titus County, Texas.10 Censuses show he was in Alabama when the first four children were born, the last in December 1888, but was in Texas when the fifth child was born in May 1892. He may be the same John J. Taylor who was postmaster of Crescent from 1900-1903, about five miles from Cookville. In the 1900 census he is listed in Hickory Hill, Titus County as a farmer, with Naomi and six children: Emma L. (15), Margaret (14), Ruth (13), Willie (11, a daughter), Della (8), and Joe (2). The 1910 census of Morris County shows him living near Omaha, a farmer, with his new wife Pearl and three children: Emma L. (25), Joseph (13), and Oliver C. (6/12). In 1920, he is in the Morris County census near his brother Walter, with wife Pearl (age 27) and four children: Paul (11), Alice S. (9), Ethel (8), and Lena (5). In 1930 they are in Titus County outside Cookville with Alice (19), Ethel (17), Lena (15) and Curtis (1 7/12) in the household. The 1930 census gives Pearl V.’s age as 38 and age at marriage as 17. (John’s age is 68 and age at marriage as 22, referring to his first marriage.) He is listed as a farmer in each census but as a peace officer on the death certificate. He died in a nursing home in Hopkins County, according to his death certificate, but is buried in the Concord Cemetery in Omaha. From these censuses, his children were: Emma L. Taylor, Margaret Taylor, Ruth Taylor, Willie Taylor, Della Taylor, Joseph Taylor, Oliver C. Taylor, Paul Taylor, Alice S. Taylor, Ethel Taylor, Lena Taylor, and Curtis Taylor.
- Wilson Taylor (13 October 1863 – 28 November 1938) He married Julia Ann Ellen Stewart on 5 November 1882 in DeKalb County, Alabama. (See separate page)
- James T. Taylor (14 June 1866 – 24 November 1944) His death certificate shows his birth date as July, but the Bible records give it as June. (It also lists his father’s name as William Taylor but leaves his mother’s name blank.) He married Emmaline Brown about 1886, according to my grandmother.11 Whether they married in Alabama or Texas is unknown. He was in Texas for the births of his first four children, from August 1887 through May 1896, but had moved to Oklahoma by 1900 when the census enumerated James T. Taylor living just three households from his brother William Taylor in Arapahoe Township, Custer County, Oklahoma. His wife’s name is given as “Emma C.” and the children (all born in Texas) were Lillie (12), Ellen (9), Oscar L. (5) and William H. (4).12 In 1910 he was back in Texas, living in Cookville, Titus County, with three children born in Texas: Oscar (15), Henry (13), and Alma (5).13 In 1920 he is living in Morris County near his brother John with wife Emaline and one child, Alma (15), remaining at home. His occupation is listed as a farmer in all these censuses. In 1930 he and Emaline are living in Omaha, Morris County with no children, their ages at marriage given as 19 and 16 respectively. His occupation is listed as “Watchman for Omaha at night.” He was described by my mother as a lively, resourceful, opinionated man who was in a variety of businesses, including lay preaching. He died in Morris County, and he and his wife Emmaline (1869-1951) are both buried in the Omaha Cemetery. His children, from the censuses, were Lillie Taylor, Ellen Taylor, Oscar Leonidas Taylor (1894-1988) who is buried in Titus County’s Phillips-Taylor cemetery, near Cookville, William Henry Taylor, and Alma Taylor.
William Andrew Taylor (5 June 1868 – 12 December 1932) Lillie Taylor Russell and Passie Taylor, who knew him as “Andrew”, had only a birth year (1868) and his marriage to Angie Brown. His son’s family Bible gives the exact birth and death dates, his full name as “William Andrew”, and his marriage in Cookville, Titus County, Texas on 29 December 1888 to Susan Angie Brown. Whether the marriage place is correct or not is unknown. Angie Brown’s parents were F. P. Brown and Dolly Baxter according to the Bible, and she is in the 1880 household of Faunt P. Brown in DeKalb County, Alabama. According to his descendants, he moved to Oklahoma in 1894 and died in Drumright, Creek County, Oklahoma.
The 1900 census shows William A. Taylor and his wife Susan A. living three households away from his brother James in Custer County, Oklahoma. There are five children in the household: Wallace T., Charles S., Hattie S., James M., and Sallie V. The oldest two, born through December 1893, were born in Texas. The next three, born February 1895 and later, were born in Oklahoma. The 1910 census found him (listed now as Andrew W. Taylor) and Susan still in Custer County with children Leonard, Orval, Haskell, and Daisy added to the household after 1900. In 1920 and 1930 he is enumerated as an oil well laborer in Tiger, Creek County, Oklahoma. He and Susan (1872-1949) share a gravestone in the Fairlawn Cemetery in Cushing, Payne County, Oklahoma a few miles west of Drumright. Their sons Clifford and Vaughn are also buried there. From censuses, the children were: Wallace Thad Taylor, Charles S. Taylor, Hattie S. Taylor, James Melven Taylor, Vaughn Taylor, Leonard Taylor, William Orval Taylor, Clifford Haskell Taylor, and Daisy E. Taylor.
- Henry B. Taylor (8 July 1870 – 30 August 1925) He married Judith M. Butler according to my grandmother. The 1900 Morris County census shows Henry and Judith, married three years, with children William W. (2) and Roy M. (9 months). Judith apparently died in 1909 or 1910, for Henry Taylor appears as a widower in the 1910 Titus County census with children William (13), Roy (10), Butler (7), Henrietta (5), and George Lee (1). [Interestingly, he is enumerated next door to George W. Witt.] His death certificate lists his father’s name as W. F. Taylor and his mother’s name simply as “Morgan”. His children, from censuses, were William Washington Taylor (13 August 1897), Roy M. Taylor, Butler Taylor, Henrietta Taylor, and George Lee Taylor. In 1979, I had a telephone conversation with William Washington Taylor, eldest son of Henry B. Taylor, who was living in Commerce, Texas at that time. He knew of no family Bibles, but said his grandfather’s middle name was “Franklin”.
- Mary Frances Taylor (17 December 1872 – 14 October 1906) She is listed in the 1880 census as Frances and in the 1900 census as Mary F., but was known as “Fannie.” She married (in 1893 according to the 1900 census) David Lee Brown, son of Albert Gallatin Brown and Nancy Reynolds (her mother was also a Brown), formerly of Jackson County, Alabama. The couple are in the 1900 census of Titus County with daughter Nancy and three sons.14 The 1910 census of Morris County, shows David L. Brown living in Omaha with a new wife named Lula L. (married for two years) and his children. The son William was missing, apparently dying as an infant according to my grandmother. Lula is shown in 1910 as having borne one child. Thus it appears that Frances Taylor’s children were: Nancy Brown (Nov 1893), Andrew Augustus Brown (Mar 1895), Berry L. Brown (Nov 1897), William Brown (Apr 1899), and Charles M. Brown (c1903). The 1920 census of Bowie County, Texas shows D. L. Brown and his wife “Lulah” and two children (Clyde,11, and Dosia, 7) by that wife. Mary Frances and her husband David Lee Brown, as well as his parents, are buried in the Concord Cemetery in Morris County, Texas.
- Samuel H. Taylor (26 September 1876 – 9 January 1909) He is age 3 in the 1880 census. He married Bertha Parham in Titus County on 20 July 1898. The marriage is briefly mentioned in the History of Titus County.15 The 1900 Morris County census shows Samuel, Bertha, and a four-month old son enumerated as “Babie”, not yet named.16 Bertha was enumerated in the 1910 census as Bertha O. Parham in the household of her father Charles E. Parham. The son was Morris Hays Taylor (19 February 1900 – .13 May 1979).
- Walter Brown Taylor (19 February 1879 – 26 June 1932) He married Mary Ida Garrett in 1899 or 1900. Her name is given as “Iva” Garrett (1879-1952) in the Titus County history, which says she married Walter B. Taylor and had six children.17 The 1900 Morris County census shows Walter and Ida with no children, living next door to his brother Henry Taylor and just a few doors from his father. They are listed as married “0” years. They are enumerated in the 1910 census of Titus County as married 12 years with a son Raymond (6) and an unnamed infant son. He signed his 1917 World War I draft registration card with his full name. In the 1920 census of Morris County, he is listed with Mary and four children: Raymond F. (16), James M. (5), Charles W. (2) and Mary E. (1). In 1930 they are enumerated in Cookville, Titus County with Montague (16), Charles (12) and Mary (11). He is listed as a farmer in each census. The 1930 census indicates they married when Walter was 19, or about 1899. From these records, their children were Raymond F. Taylor, an unknown infant, James Montague Taylor, Charles W. Taylor, and Mary E. Taylor.
- Lucy E. Taylor (22 March 1885 – 30 January 1936) She was the only child still in her parents’ household in 1900. According to my grandmother, she married Wade Easley, then John Taylor (no relation). The marriage to Wade Hampton Easley took place in Titus County on 4 December 1904 but he died just three years later on 8 March 1908 in Hopkins County. Eleven years later, as Mrs. Lucy Easley she married John A. Taylor on 11 January 1919 in Titus County.
- A photocopy of the Bible was provided by Jim Taylor of Henderson, Nevada in 2001. It was purchased in 1915 and contains entries for all of Wallace Thad Taylor’s grandparents. [↩]
- Walker County, Georgia 1850, page 457 (Mack Cone Township): John Taylor 36 SC, Sarah 26 SC, James F. 11 GA, Wm. F. 9 GA, Mary I. 7 GA, Elizabeth L. 4 GA, Zachary C. 2 GA. [↩]
- Bible in the possession of Lillie May Taylor Russell (1889-1978) in 1972, provided via letter. Records of Passie Witt Taylor, apparently from a Bible record, via conversation in 1978. Bible of Wallace Thad Taylor, provided by Jim Taylor of Henderson, Nevada in 2001. [↩]
- Walker County, Georgia 1850 census, page 445 (West Chickamauga): James J. Morgan 30 GA, Mary 28 GA, Margaret 10 GA, Thomas J. 7 GA, Ann E. 6 GA, Narcissa 3 GA, Mary P. 2 GA. [↩]
- DeKalb County, Alabama 1850, page 184: William F. Taylor 19 GA “Farm Laborer”, Margarett (sic) 20 GA. [↩]
- The Jackson-DeKalb line was redrawn in 1858 to encompass James Bynum’s land, part of the line running to “Bynum’s Mill”. [↩]
- Pension certificate #749299. [↩]
- Civil War records show that this man enlisted in Wills Valley, Alabama in 1861, was captured at Missionary Ridge in December 1863 and sent via Louisville military prison to Rock Island, Illinois where he enlisted in the 3rd Regiment of the US Army for frontier service in late 1864. He served a year in Dakota Territory and was mustered out at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas in 1865. His US Army enlistment papers show that he was born in Hall County, Georgia in 1849. [↩]
- 1880 DeKalb County, ED 54, p7, HH #73 taken 7 June 1880: William Taylor 39 GA Farmer, Margarett 40 GA, John J. 19 AL, William 16 AL, James 13 AL, Andrew 11 AL, Henry 9 AL, Frances 7 AL, Samuel 3 AL, Walter 1 AL. Note that the son Wilson is listed as “William” which is probably an error introduced when the original record was copied over onto the census forms. [↩]
- The DeKalb marriage record and the Titus County record are both from marriage books or equivalent, and match the information provided by my grandmother. Note also that the 1900 census shows John and Naomi married 16 years, while the 1910 census shows John and Pearl married one year and two(?) months. [↩]
- I could not find Emmaline Brown in the 1880 census, but she was apparently not a sister of either Susan Angie Brown or of David Lee Brown who married John Taylor’s siblings. [↩]
- Emaline is listed in 1900 as having borne 6 children, four of whom were living. By 1910 she is shown as the mother of eight children, only five of whom were living. All five are accounted for above. [↩]
- The census indicates they were married 24 years earlier. Emaline’s name is given as “Camelia”, but this is clearly the family of our James T. Taylor. Her listing in 1900 as “Emma C.” suggests that Camelia may have been her middle name. In later censuses, she is “Emaline”. [↩]
- The 1900 census listed the number of children borne by each female, and the number living. In Frances Brown’s case, both numbers were four. [↩]
- History of Titus County, Texas, Traylor Russell, (W. M. Morrison, 1965),Volume 1, p130. [↩]
- This is apparently our Samuel Taylor, for his birth date is given as September 1876, and his birth place as Alabama. However, his parents’ birthplaces are given as Alabama and Georgia, respectively. There is only one other Samuel Taylor, this one in Titus County, who is twenty years older. [↩]
- History of Titus County, Texas, Traylor Russell, Volume 2, p117. [↩]