Mystery Monday: Taylor Brick Wall

I interrupt Military Monday: It Was the Worst of Times, to introduce you to my third great-grandparents.  I think.

As I have mentioned previously, one use for this blog is an organizing tool for my research.  You may not have noticed, but I go back one generation at a time on each line and share the most interesting information I have found so far on each person or couple, then sprinkle in other interesting (I hope) things in between.  Right now, I am on my great-great-great-grandparents, specifically my maternal grandmother’s maternal grandparents, more specifically, her father’s parents.  That’s a mouthful.  It looks like this:


My Mother

Her mother, Wilma Watkins

Her mother, Juda Eva-An Taylor

Her father, David Mooney Taylor

His parents, Joseph (James?) & Barbary Taylor

Joseph & Barbary a very elusive couple.  It took me years to find them to begin with and then only through census records naming David as their son.  They are not listed on David’s death certificate.  I have had quite a bit of difficulty tracing David’s siblings because the family names seem to be repeated over and over again so numerous cousins around the same age have the same name and it is difficult to ascertain if I am looking at David’s siblings or not.  Regardless, I have not viewed any documents other than the census that link any of the children to Joseph and Barbary.  Their births were too early for records.  The marriage records I have found and determined were theirs did not list the parents.  And I have either not found death records or the parents are not listed.  I have searched wills, probate, and estate records on FamilySearch.  No luck.

Here’s what little I do know:

I found an 1850 census in Chimney Rock, Rutherford County, North Carolina listing,

  • Joseph Taylor, 60, a farmer
  • Barbary, 55
  • James, 18
  • Jane, 18
  • Hayden, 15
  • Hulda, 13
  • David, 10
  • Robert Sercy, 64, farmer, real estate valued at $600

All family members are listed as born in North Carolina.  This makes Joseph Taylor born about 1790 and Barbary 1795.  I feel confident this is David Mooney Taylor’s family of origin because his children are named after his parents and siblings.  At first I thought Robert was a clue to Barbary’s maiden name.  Perhaps he was her brother living with them.  However, he is the last person on this census page and I believe the enumerator made an error, not writing in the new household and family number because the next page begins a new family with a woman and children by the last name Sercy.

In the 1860 census, the family is enumerated in the Buffalo district of Rutherford County, NC.  Joseph is listed as James but I feel confident this is the family:

  • James, 70
  • Barbery, 55
  • David, 21, laborer

The rest of the children have married and most are living nearby.  David will soon go off to the Civil War and marry afterward as well.  When my Mamaw gave him a Bible in 1914 to record his family record, I really wish he would have started with his parents.  That would have been so helpful.

Recently, I began looking at the cemetery where David was buried, Bill’s Creek Baptist Church in Rutherford County, NC on Find-A-Grave.  I pulled up all the Taylors and noticed Private Jonathan C Taylor who died during the Civil War.  I had seen records on Fold3 indicating David and Jonathan had fought in the same company during the War and wondered at the time if this was an older brother who was already out of the household by the 1850 census.  Looking at Jonathan’s Find-A-Grave memorial, I saw his father was also a Joseph Taylor born 1814.  This got me to thinking had I somehow skipped a generation?  Was it possible that this Jonathan was David’s brother?  That his father Joseph was David’s father and that the Joseph David was living with was his grandfather?  The Joseph I had was born in 1790.  This Joseph was born 1814.  Twenty-four years, enough to be a generational difference.  It could very well be.  I had often thought they were older parents or I was missing older siblings.

This search took me down a wildgoose chase because the new, younger Joseph and his wife were still alive and well in subsequent censuses.  I now have two theories on this Joseph.  He is my Joseph James’ brother, which seems highly unlikely since they share the same name.  He is my Joseph’s son.  This would make him David’s brother, making the Jonathan who fought and died alongside him during the War his first cousin. I did find a Joseph Taylor in Rutherford County going back to 1810 and there does appear to be more children who would have been older in the household so I think this theory is workable for now.

Interestingly, in the 1860 census (Joseph) James Taylor is enumerated as having been born in Georgia.  Having so many deadend leads I cannot even begin researching this.  However, when I began searching for those older censuses, more and more Taylors with similar names started popping up in Georgia.  This would be the earliest family on any of my North Carolina lines to start somewhere other than North Carolina.

This is the type of research I feel I cannot really delve into online and have to work on the old-fashioned way on location.  I am hoping to make a longer trip than usual to North Carolina this summer to accomplish some of these research goals and others.


2 thoughts on “Mystery Monday: Taylor Brick Wall

  1. Scott Rich says:

    I know exactly how you feel. I too have hit a brick wall. I am relatively confident that Barbery Taylor was Barbery Paschall as shown in my tree. I do not know if you have looked at Barbery and have proven this line incorrect. If so, please let me know. Granddaddy (Melvin (Melger) Doston Taylor) always told my mother that the Taylor’s came to GA and were settled by George Oglethorpe. The Taylor’s were apparently brought to America from the debtor’s prisons in England. I do not know this to be fact but rather from family. Good luck in finding the Joseph Taylor connection. I don’t find any records indicating his exact lineage. Scott

    • Scott, it is interesting you mention the debtor’s prisons because ever since watching an episode of Who Do You Think You Are (can’t remember which one) and hearing about someone’s ancestor who was sent to GA as an indentured servant for punishment and GA’s history is so intertwined with this, I haven’t been able to get it out of my head that that may have been the case. In that person’s case, they came here and weren’t “claimed” by the person they were indentured to or something and were then given land in a land lottery and so on. I have had a sneaking suspicion about this because there seems to be a natural progression to migration in our country, East to West, North to South. Going from GA to NC is not a common migration pattern so I kept wondering about this and it’s very interesting to hear your Mom say her Dad talked about it. I have not confirmed or unconfirmed Barbary’s maiden name. I just haven’t found a record to indicate her name yet so haven’t recorded it. Do you have anything? I so wish David Mooney Taylor would have listed them in that Bible in some way. I also hope to figure out the Mooney connection someday. There were Mooneys living all around them. You would think that was her maiden name…but I just don’t know…

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