Taylor Ancestors



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Taylor Ancestors

John R. Taylor

Littleton Albritton Hancock

Templeton M. Holloway

John Ivey

Jacob Joiner

Thomas Lindsey

Westley Washington Mathews

James M. Mathis

James A Palmer

Samuel Peacock

Edward Jelks Powers

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Taylor Genealogy

The Taylor Surname

It is believed that the history of the family name "Taylor" goes back to the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066. At that time, one Taliaferro was honored by William the Conqueror. His descendants were given lands in Kent, which is in southern England, and near Carlisle, in northern England.

Many people living in the United States with the "Taylor" surname are descended from Rowland Taylor. These descendants include Zachary Taylor, the twelfth president of the United States. Rowland Taylor was martyred; that is, he was executed for his beliefs in 1555. It is ironic that he was executed for being a Christian in "Christian" England. This was during the time of Queen Mary (Bloody Mary). A full account of the martyrdom of Rowland Taylor is available in Foxe's Book of Martyrs.

Rowland Taylor was born in 1510 in Rothbury, Northumberland, England. He married Margaret "of the house of Tyndale". Whether she was related to John Tyndale who was martyred for translating the Bible into English is unclear.

Dr. Taylor's parish was St. Mary's, in a village named Hadleigh in Suffolk. This parish was known as a "peculiar" because Dr. Taylor reported directly to the Archbishop of Canterbury. At the time, Hadleigh was a well-to-do woolmarket town. When the writer first visited England he was pleased to even find the town of Hadleigh. Being American, where anything over forty years old is bulldozed to make way for a parking lot, he was surprised to find that the church, St. Mary's, still exists. In addition, the front portion of the rectory still stands as well as the Hadleigh Guildhall adjacent to the church. The portion of the rectory remaining was the gatehouse of a much larger residence. The guildhall was built in the 1400's. Just outside of town, at Aldham Commons, is a monument marking the spot where Rowland Taylor was martyred.

Dr. Taylor was imprisoned in London for more than a year. As he was being escorted back to Hadleigh for his execution, he was held overnight in the basement of the Guildhall of Corpus Christi  in Lavenham. Lavenham is another Suffolk woolmarket town. When the English broadcloth market collapsed, prosperity left Lavenham. As a result, the village is much the same today  as it was in the 1500's.

Another Taylor lived in Lavenham and became famous for her composition of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star", the beloved childhood song. Jane Taylor lived on Shilling Street in Lavenham, and while looking out of a small window in the garret of her house composed the first verse of the famous poem. It is probable, but not confirmed, that Jane Taylor was related to Rowland Taylor. To see a painting of Jane Taylor found in the National Portrait Gallery in London, England please see.

On the way from Lavenham to Hadleigh, it is quite possible the sheriff and soldiers guarding Dr. Taylor went through Kersey. A beautiful village with thatch-roofed cottages, visiting Kersey is like stepping back in time. A small creek branch flows across the road at the bottom of the hill in Kersey, creating what the residents call a "water splash".

Inside St. Mary's church in Hadleigh is a chapel honoring the memory of Rowland Taylor. There is a stained-glass window  depicting his trial and martyrdom. In the chapel is an ancient bronze plaque commemorating the death of Dr. Taylor. Also, there is a beautiful modern stained-glass window in another part of this 13th Century church.

Some of Dr. Taylor's descendants are buried in the churchyard at St. Mary's. Some of them came to America in the early 1600's. His descendants and relations include several presidents of the United States, the Lee family of Virginia, Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America, and Dr. Guy Baker Taylor, the inventor of "Nylon" (a registered trade-mark of the DuPont company).


Parts of this web site produced 16 Nov 2005 by Personal Ancestral File, a product of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.




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updated Aug.29, 2009