Photos and transcription of stones
Jean Ann Orser Lupinetti, Westchester Co., New York


Polycarpus Wm Taylor story by Barbara Lewellen
The Orser Family by Jean Ann Orser Lupinetti
Photos by Jean Ann Orser Lupinetti

Sparta Cemetery, established in 1764, is the oldest cemetery in Westchester County, New York.  The cemetery is owned and maintained by the Ossining Historical Society, which assumed the responsibilities of restoration and care of the cemetery in 1984. The cemetery is located between Route 9 and Revolutionary Road, just south of Ossining.

Frederick Philipse, lord of Philipse Manor originally allotted the land to the Presbyterian Church. The first church building was built in 1768 and damaged during the Revolutionary War.  Sparta Cemetery in the 1790s was surrounded by the Hunt farm. The Presbyterian Church was removed from the cemetery location in about 1800.

 The Ossining Historical Society of Westchester County, New York published a history of Sparta Cemetery, with biographical sketches of nineteen of the older headstones, and a map of the cemetery in the centerfold. Ossining Historical Society has tabulated records of the tombstones in Sparta Cemetery.

In Memory of Policarpus Wm Taylor who departed this life April 14, 1791 Aged 35 Years

Policarpus William Taylor's  headstone is made of "Redstone" the earliest type of material used in cemetery headstones in the Sparta Cemetery.



Policarpus William Taylor, born ca. 1756, Westchester County, New York, was an English officer in the Revolutionary War, in the 57th Regiment of Foot, stationed in New York City. "At the close of the Revolutionary War, Polycarpus, also referred to as Paul, went to England and brought his wife Alice to this country and settled at Jamaica, Long Island." Polycarpus' service papers indicate that he retired from military duty on June 20, 1783. Sir Guy Carleton,of the British forces, completed the evacuation of New York City, November 25, 1783.

Policarpus and wife Alice had three children: Thomas W. Taylor, born April 12, 1784, in Jamaica, Long Island, New York; Polycarpus William Taylor, b. ca 1786, and Nancy Taylor, b. ca 1788.

Sometime before the 1790 census, Polycarpus William Taylor moved to Mount Pleasant, Westchester County, New York. The census includes a second adult male, aged greater than 16, born before 1774, whose identity has not been solved. Polycarpus died April 14, 1791 in Mount Pleasant, and was buried in the Sparta Cemetery. His death notice was published in he Gentleman's Magazine, in June 1791: "At New York, Polycarpus Wm. Taylor, Esq., formerly an officer in the 57th Regiment."

Polycarpus William Taylor, died intestate, and Letters of administration were issued May 26, 1791, in Westchester County to wife, Hannah Taylor, with securities Daniel Thorn and  James Dickinson.  Per burial data, Hannah, was born May 25, 1767, and died November 6, 1840 in Somers, Westchester County, New York.  It is not known if "Hannah" and "Alice" are the same person.

 Widow Hannah Taylor secondly married Daniel Thorn in Yorktown on the 10th of July 1791. Daniel and Hannah had eight children:  Gilbert Thorn, Daniel Thorn, Green Thorn, Margaret Ann Thorn, John Thorn, Graham Thorn, Phebe Thorn, and Robert Thorn.

Thomas W. Taylor married Nancy E. Ganong, daughter of John Ganong and Anna Weeks.  They had seven children: Hannah A., Emalinda, John C., Thomas W. Jr., Alonzo Havington, Francis S, and William Watts Taylor, and resided in Carmel, Putnam County, New York;  Polycarpus William Taylor Jr., wife Fanny, and four children Alonzo, Nancy, Jacob, and William first lived in New York City, then moved to Putnam County sometime between 1850 and 1860; while sister Nancy Taylor, who never married, is last found living in the household of nephew James Anderson Thorn and wife Matilda Strang  in Somers, Westchester County in 1880 at the age of 92.


In the above photo, the Redstone marker of Policarpus William Taylor is in the
right-hand foreground.  His gravesite is located near the Ladew family plot,
which  is the brick stone wall in the background.

Oldest legible tombstone in the Sparta Cemetery, Ladew family plot - Section 7

Sarah Ladew, the daughter of Abraham and Anna  who was born Apr 26, 1759
and  died Oct. 21, 1764, aged 5 years, 7 mos. and 11 days

During the Revolutionary War in the month of September, 1780, the British sloop-of-war Vulture shot cannon  that destroyed the headstone of Abraham Ladue (Ladew), son of Abraham and Anna, who was born Sept 28, 1769 and died Oct 21, 1774.

The tall slender gray  headstone to the right of Policarpus and behind the dark gray stone is a headstone of John Orser ancestor of  Jean Ann Orser Lupinetti. John Orser and his brothers fought on both sides during the Revolutionary War. John Orser, b. ca. 1749, d. 17 January 1837. m. Phebe who d. 13 Dec 1838, age 83. Both are buried in Sparta Cemetery. (Source: Westchester Patriarchs).




The Orser brothers, except John, all went to Canada in 1783 claiming United Empire Loyalists and received free land.   John was the only one who stayed behind and bought back his fathers (Joseph) land from the Commissioners of Forfeitures.


Stephen Orser Home, Ossining, Westchester County, New York.

Stevens (Stephen) was a Captain of the Sloop Boxer, which left the Sparta Landing and went to New York City every Thursday. Stevens Orser's father was Capt. Jonas Orser, Captain of Orser's Regiment during the Revolutionary War. The book "New York in the Revolution  as Colony and State Supplement, compiled by Erastus C. Knight,  Comptroller, published 1901, lists Captain Jonas Orser as an American Prisoner of War. The estates of Evert and Isaac Orser were confiscated and sold during the Revolutionary War.

The son of Policarpus William Taylor, named William Policarpus (W. P. Taylor), born ca. 1786, was involved in a fight with Stevans Orser  (Stephen Orser) in January of 1836 for reasons unknown. Stephen Orser continued to live in Ossining, where he died in 1861.  

Doggett's New York City Directory for 1849-1850 includes a P.W. Taylor. The 1850 census for the 1-District, 9th Ward, enumerated P. W. Taylor, 64, wife Fanny,62, Alonzo (or Hanza), 38, Nancy, 35, Jacob, 32, and William 30. In 1860 P. W. Taylor, 74, is living with his son William, 41, his wife, Caroline, 38, and grandchildren, George, 15, James, 13, and Fanny, 11, in Patterson, Putnam County. Polycarpus William Taylor, Jr, age 84, is last found living in Patterson,(Mahopac Falls P. O.) Putnam County, with his son William J Taylor.

Sing Sing - Mount Pleasant View. Drawing by Jacques Gerard Milbert (1766-1840)
The New York Public Library Digital Collection. "A Hudson River Portfolio."


Obituary of grandson Alonzo H. Taylor

Putnam County Republican, November 2, 1889

On Monday a telegram was received in Carmel announcing the death of our old and esteemed friend, Alonzo H. Taylor, which occurred at his home in Corinth, Mississippi, on Sunday. His death was caused by pneumonia with which he had been ill about a week

On the 18th of last August, Col. Taylor arrived in Carmel and made us a three weeks’ visit, and returned South on the 3rd of September. When he left Carmel to return home he was enjoying better health than he had in years and to all appearance likely to live many years.

He was the sixth child of Thomas W. and Nancy Ganong Taylor whose family consisted of two daughters and four sons, Hannah A., who died December 12, 1883, at the advanced age of 78 years; Emelinda, who married Noel E. Waring and died February 12, 1877; William Watts Taylor, who was Sheriff of this County from 1840 to 1843 and was re-elected again in 1846, and was killed by the cars (wars?), March 30, 1849; Paul Carpus John Taylor, who was accidentally drowned while crossing the river from Brooklyn to New York on a ferryboat on October 26, 1851; Thomas W. Taylor, Jr., who died in early manhood of small pox; Alonzo Havington Taylor, the subject of this sketch, and Francis S. Taylor, who died in childhood, aged 12 years. Alonzo H., was the last surviving member of the family.

The family was of English descent, Col. Taylor’s paternal grandfather, Paul Taylor being an officer in the English army during the Revolutionary War, and at its close he went to England and brought his wife Alice to this country and settled at Jamaica, Long Island.

The eldest daughter of Thomas W. Taylor and wife Nancy, was named Hannah A., and it is probable that she was named after her grandmother, and the middle initial "A" stands for Alice.

Mr. Taylor’s remains have been temporarily interred at Corinth, but will be brought to Carmel later and laid beside his kindred in the family plot in Kelley Cemetery