Taylor & Ashdown Family Genealogy

Taylor & Ashdown Family Genealogy

includes related lines of Asher, Beard, Botten, Bowden, Chambers, Chown, Clewett, Clewitt, Cluett, Collie, Ezzey, Ezzy, Gilbert, Hissey, Holmes, Keen, Kewn, Lamb, Lindsay, MacIntosh, McIntosh, McCrea, Murray, Ratley, Sadler, Scholes, Vials, Watson, Webster, White, Williamson, Willey, Witney, & many others

This painting is of the 'H.M.S Sirius' on which my ancestor Robert WATSON was Quartermaster arriving in Australia with the First Fleet in 1788

This site is my attempt to preserve as much detail as possible regarding the lives of my ancestors who came from various places in Great Britain, Ireland, Scotland and Wales and many of whom settled in Australia. The information is being gathered for the benefit of their descendants, those presently living and those yet to come.

I would love to hear from anyone who shares common ancestry Send an e-mail to: Amanda Taylor


Taylor Family History & Genealogy Research

Meaning of the name Taylor

Taylor - English and Scottish: occupational name for a tailor, from Old French tailleur (Late Latin taliator, from taliare 'to cut'). The surname is extremely common in Britain and Ireland, and its numbers have been swelled by its adoption as an Americanized form of the numerous equivalent European names, most of which are also very common among Ashkenazic Jews, for example Schneider, Szabo, and Portnov.
Source : Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4.

Our paternal Taylor Ancestry in England

Our TAYLOR ancestry can be found both on my father and mother's lines. My father's (and my own) paternal ancestry has been traced back to William TAYLOR, a Musician of Bristol, Gloucestershire, England who was born in about 1750. He is the first known of four generations of Musicians, as his son, also named William was a Pianoforte and Organ Builder. William's grandson was also a Bristol Musician & Composer, like his father, and his own son, once again named William Frederick (Fred) was a Professor of Music, Steward and Entertainer who was employed as a musician for the cruise shipping company 'P & O Liners'. He had settled permanently in Australia by 1899 and also played in Theatre Orchestras in both Sydney and Melbourne and taught music.

Our maternal Taylor Ancestry in Scotland

I have traced my mother's TAYLOR ancestry back to Alexander TAYLOR, a Master Hairdresser of Abbey (Paisley), Renfrew in Scotland who was born about 1800. His son and grandson, both named Robert, were also both Master Hairdressers. His grandson Robert Taylor immigrated from Scotland before April 1898 and set up a store at a place called Pitfall (?) Plains in Victoria (thought to be 'Ballarat Pitfield Plains') which was in the gold mining fields (Pitfield Plains was in the Parish of Commeralghip, in the Municipality of Grenville, and is in the current Municipality of Golden Plains, Land District of Ballarat, in the county of Grenville).

Robert's wife Mary and their children followed months later and according to his grandaughter came out on the first steam ship. However, present research indicates that the first steam-ship to sail between Britain and Australia left from Whitstable in 1837, the William IV, was registered No 3 in the Shipping Register of Australia in Sydney in 1839.

His wife, Mary and their children arrived in Victoria in October 1896 as 'Unassisted Immigrants' on the ship "Ormuz". Robert is believed to have arrived in Victoria about fifteen months earlier, possibly aboard the ship "Gulf of Lions" in July 1895. After spending a matter of months in Victoria they came to Sydney by Cobb & Co stagecoach, a journey which took many days.

According to their daughter Mary, before coming to Australia they had seven shops in Scotland and they had servants to look after them, even to cleaning their shoes and Mary said that she got into big trouble one night as she went out and swapped everyone's shoes around. Their daughter Mary also always claimed that her mother could not cook when they came to Australia - not to even boil water - as their meals were always cooked for them and said it was a big upheaval for her mother especially with such a big family.

Personally, I still find this story of Mary's inability to boil water difficult to accept, considering the fact that Mary was born the third daughter of a Coal Miner!!! Perhaps though, she had become accustomed to a better life with Servants, than the life of her childhood days?.

I would love to know what happened to make them come out here. Their great-grandaughter was told by her mother that it was because her grandmother had to come to a warmer climate. However, both myself and another descendant think that perhaps Robert may have been looking to make big money from the gold strikes that were happening in Victoria at that time after most likely something went wrong with his businesses in Scotland?.

Taylor Online Resources

There are numerous individual message Boards for the TAYLOR name in various counties of the United States [Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Texas & Virginia] in addition to the
TAYLOR Rootsweb Message Board at Ancestry.Com
  • TAYLOR Mailing List at Rootsweb.Com - for the discussion and sharing of information regarding the Taylor surname and variations in any place and at any time.
    * Subscribe: TAYLOR-L-request@rootsweb.com
    * Search the TAYLOR archives.
    * Browse the TAYLOR threaded archives.
  • Taylor Family Genealogy Forum at Genealogy.Com
  • Ashdown Family History & Genealogy Research

    Meaning of the name Ashdown

    Ashdown - English: habitational name from Ashdon in Essex, Ashdown Forest in East Sussex, or Ashdown in Berkshire (now lost). The first two are named from Old English aescen 'growing with ash trees' + dun 'hill'. The last may be from an Old English personal name Esc or Old English aesc 'ash tree' + dun 'hill'.
    Source : Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4

    Surname Variants of Ashdown

    Surname variants include Ashdowne, Asshedowne & Aysschedowne

    Ashdown places of Origin

    The name ASHDOWN is widely found in areas of Kent, England and it has been said the origins are from the area of "Ashdown Forest" in East Sussex which was known as "Essendoun Forest" in Saxon and Norman times. Ashdown Forest lies 35 miles south of London, in Sussex, England. In 1372 Edward III granted 'Assedoun Forest' to his son John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster and it remained as a Royal Forest for 300 years.

    Ashdown Forest on the Sussex Weald in England, is an area close to the boundaries of Sussex, Kent and Surrey and many of the genealogies of todays Ashdown families can be traced to this small area of southern England [Source : Our Ashdown Heritage by Mary Rogers]. On the eastern perimeter are the Parishes of Withyham and Rotherfield and the 1851 census shows the location for a Thomas Ashdown's dwelling as 'edge of forest'.

    Our Ashdown Origins in Kent, England

    I have researched our ASHDOWN ancestry back to Richard ASHDOWN born about 1765 of Otford, Kent, England and his wife Frances BOTTEN born 1766 in Pembury, Kent, England who at this stage are believed to be the parents of our ancestor John Ashdown. Their son John ASHDOWN was a baker residing in Malling, Kent during the years 1822 to 1827. He was christened on 14 Mar 1790 in Otford, Kent, England. John moved to Wrotham, Kent, England in about 1829 where he was a baker employing several men, as well as some family members and he was also the Receiving House for the local Postal Service. I have researched several of his children and to this date have found that his son Henry is the only known family member to immigrate to Australia, where he was a butcher at 55 Druitt Street, Sydney.

    Ashdown Online Resources

    Famous & Infamous Ancestors

    In the course of researching our family history, I am absorbed by the stories of two particular gentlemen, firstly our direct ancestor:

    Robert WATSON Quartermaster of the First Fleet ship 'Sirius'

    and the life of

    Henry 'Harry, the Regicide' Colonel MARTEN - signatory to the Death Warrant of Charles I

    Regrettably I learnt in Jan 2006 that Henry was NOT our direct ancestor, as originally thought. However, his story still makes most interesting reading

    Our Convict Past

    Today in Family History Research circles, it seems quite fashionable to be able to Claim a Convict or two in one's ancestry. We have claim to at least six :

    Although I have found no evidence of proof at this stage, it would appear that our ancestor Thomas SADLER may be the convict who arrived on the ship 'Mellish' in 1829? It is also quite possible that his future wife Ann FINNIGAN arrived as a Convict?

    Then, there is the mystery of who was Rebecca WATSON's mother? Her mother, was almost certainly a convict, and was quite possibly Sarah DORSET who arrived as a convict on the ship 'Lady Juliana'?

    Did they Swim? -Possibly more Convicts in our Past

    In genealogy circles this section would more appropriately be titled 'My Brickwalls'. However, as is usual, with the extent of my research I have many brickwalls, and this section is devoted to those ancestors (like Thomas SADLER & Ann FINNIGAN mentioned above) whose arrival in Australia that I have not been able to ascertain. Therefore they are mentioned here, for the benefit of future researchers, in they hope they lead to 'One More Convict to Claim'. They are :

    Our Links to Royalty?

    In 2005 I was excited to learn that our ancestor William EZZY was thought to be a descendant of King Henry II of England, as this opened a whole new avenue of research. However, after extensive research, regrettably I think it important to mention that I now no longer believe William is so descended. Of course his forebearer may still prove to be Thomas HYSSYE quite possibly a descendant of Hubert (Hugh) HUSSEY who came over from Normandy with William the Conquerer and married Hellen, the illegitimate daughter of William's uncle Richard Ill, 5th Duke of Normandy. However, that's a 500 year gap to prove!!

    Ezzey and Hissey researchers, please note these pages contain errors in some places regarding the ancestral lineage of William HYSSIE christened 21 Jul 1734 in Church of England Parish Church of Hampstead-Norris. It should be noted that many researchers [and the IGI] incorrectly show him to be a descendant of John Hissey christened 1701 in Longworth, which is incorrect. The correct ancestor of William HIZZY (christened on 23 Feb 1768 in Beenham, Berkshire, England) who was transported to Australia as a convict and whom became known as William EZZY was the John Hissey who was christened on 10 Nov 1699 in Beedon, Berkshire, England. Therefore, please refer to either my Rootsweb database for Hissey ancestry prior to 1699 at this stage, or my pages at
    Ezzy & Ezzey Family History & Genealogy Research

    My complete Rootsweb database can be seen at Amanda Taylor's Genealogy

    Send e-mail to: Amanda Taylor

    These pages includes some of the Ezzy / Ezzey, Floyd, Lamb, Chambers, Witney and relates spouse families researched by Grace Douglass and Laurel Legge and published in 'Along the Windsor Richmond Road' 1985 (ISBN 0 9589831 0 0 and ISBN 0 9589831 3 5) which is subject to copyright. Written permission is held from the late author Grace Douglass for the writer to publish contents via the Internet. However, although this book is in the public domain, it still remains copyrighted material and may not be copied for any reason without permission. I do not have the right to give permission to others to reprint the book. I was only given permission to put extracts online. All copyrights stay with Grace Douglass & Laurel Legge and whoever they appointed, for control of the book. Under no circumstances may it be reprinted for profit. Extractions of parts of the information for personal use with references to the book as the source is encouraged.