David Mooney Taylor was born 15 April 1837 in Rutherford County, North Carolina. The only records I have been able to find of his parents so far are the 1850 and 1860 census on which he appears with them.
On the 1850 census, David’s family is living in Chimney Rock, Rutherford County, North Carolina where his father is a farmer. His parents are listed as Joseph and Barbery Taylor. Older siblings are also in the household: James and Jane, both 18, 15-year-old Hayden, and 13-year-old Hulda. Robert Sercy, 64, is also living in the household, farming the land with his dad. Is it possible this is a brother of his mom, which would indicate her last name? Further investigation into his parents is needed. On this census, David is listed as ten years old. There is an age discrepancy here. It is possible he was born in 1839 or 1840. The 1837 date comes from his death certificate, tombstone, and family Bible.
On the 1860 census, David is listed as 21, the only child still living with his parents. He is now farming the land for his father. The family is living in Buffalo, Rutherford County. This could still be the same place as the Chimney Rock home of the 1850 census. I have not yet checked any information on the land they lived on. Place names fluctuated and changed at times. David’s older brothers, Joseph and Aiden (Hayden from the 1850 census) are living nearby farming neighbors’ land.
On July 14, 1862, David Mooney Taylor enlisted in the 62nd Regiment, Company F of the North Carolina Infantry. He was present at the July – August 1862 muster roll, but listed as “deserted” on the September/ October 1862 roll. However, he re-enlisted September 1, 1863 but was “sick in hospital in Asheville NC” for the December 1863 muster roll. This is all that is available of his service record so it is difficult to know what his wartime experience was like. His regiment did participate in the Battle of Cumberland Gap September 7-9, 1863, a Union victory in which over 2,000 of the 2,400 Confederate troops surrendered. Descriptions of the regiment state they were very poorly armed with little ammunition.
Upon returning home, David married his first wife Elmina Halford on 11 May 1865. By the 1870 census three years later, they had 4-year-old Maomah called Omy, 2-year-old Jonathan Fletcher, and 5-month-old Joseph. By 1880, they have added 7-year-old Caldonia, 6-year-old Larkin Randolph, 2-year-old Barbra called Barbrey, and 3-month-old Amanda. In 1884, they have James and on 18 July 1886, they have Millie. Elmina passed away 18 January 1888 and daughter Millie, 29 May 1888.
On 18 April 1889, 52-year-old David married 22-year-old Sarah E Grant, my great-great-grandmother. At the 1900 census, 16-year-old James from David’s previous marriage was living with them. They had added to the family 10-year-old Melger Doston who later went by Melvin, 7-year-old Thomas Harril, 5-year-old Judie E (my great-grandmother), 2-year-old Mary Sue, and 3-month-old Mittie Seabright. On 20 February 1904, Sarah passed away.
On 24 September 1905, David married his third wife Celia Gibbs Mills. They had no children.
On 10 August 1910, David’s then 15-year-old daughter Eva presented him with the gift of a Bible in which are listed family births, marriages, and deaths:
On 20 June 1917, David wrote Eva the letter below, mentioning her brother Doston and his wife visiting. Based on the similarity in handwriting it appears he is the one who made the entries in the family Bible.
On 8 September 1923, at the age of 83, David Mooney Taylor passed away in Henrietta, North Carolina. He was buried at Bill’s Creek Baptist Church Cemetery. I do not remember ever visiting there myself and would like to place flowers on his grave someday.
In June 1929, when his father’s grave was still without a marker, son Doston applied for a headstone for a veteran.