John and Catherine Davis Taylor

John and Catherine DavisTaylor


Research by Gloria Taylor and Martha Mewborn Marble

It has been thought that this Taylor family was seated in Duplin County and moved into Lenoir County and the same was true for the James Davis family. This was based on the records found in Duplin County which lists the heirs of Rachel Davis, daughter of James and Catherine Davis including the children of Catherine Taylor. A study of all available information proves both families never lived in Duplin County, but were seated in Lenoir County on South West Creek near Woodington. It appears that some of the families moved north on South West Creek over the years.

For years it has been written that Catherine Davis' husband was Richard but there is no evidence of a Richard in the area. Information from the Alabama cousins indicated there was an old Journal that stated the husband was William and it gave dates of birth that fit. In Edwin Taylor's Will, he mentions land adj to William Taylor's old patent and without question there was a William of the right time to have been married to Catherine; however, efforts to locate the Journal have failed. For several years I went with William as the husband but as a result of this study and the circumstantial evidence found, I now feel that John was the husband. John may have been John Taylor Jr and he possibly had a brother William and one by the name of Edward or Edwin.

Because Taylor is such a common name and the lack of records in Lenoir County would make proving anything impossible, I put off any work on this family for years. In the meantime, a young cousin of the Alabama branch, Robert Taylor, Jr., contacted me and then started an in-depth study of the Alabama branch. The information that Robert has turned up is incredible and he has left no stone unturned &endash; and he wanted it taken back further. Persistent is his middle name so this study is more for Robert. Then Gloria and I combined forces and although we could not prove a lot, some enlightening information was uncovered.

A number of years ago, Mrs. Robert Taylor of Lenoir County compiled a booklet on the Edwin Taylor family which is fairly complete. She did the legwork on the later family mostly by talking with all the branches of the family and we are indebted to her. I have a copy of this record and there is one at Heritage Place, LCC. I have backtracked a little on the family but not up to the present. One thing that is consistent in this family is the use of the name Windal in every branch &endash; it is a dead give away of a connection to this family.

It appears there were at least two families on South West Creek &endash; the Abraham Taylor family of Maryland, and the John Taylor family. Again, there are indications our John may have been a Junior. John was not a son of Abraham although it is possible he could have been a grandson but probably only the two oldest sons of Abraham, Jacob and Robert, could have been his father and there is no indication this was the case. These two families were neighbors and appear to have had numerous land dealings but we can't connect them although I think there was a connection. The names are not the same but they appeared about the same time along with the Richard Caswell Sr family and possibly other families from Baltimore County, Maryland where they were all neighbors near Joppa and attended the same church.

Abraham Taylor's father was Abraham Sr. and in Abraham Sr.'s Will, he left land to a son John. Within a year or two of Abraham Jr. moving to Craven Co, his brother John sold his inheritance in Maryland. Unfortunately, there were several John's in the church and land records and I can't sort them without a full study of the Taylors in Baltimore County. I have seen in various histories of this family, the contention that the brother John stayed in Maryland but I am not so sure he stayed given the number of John's in the area as well as other Abrahams. I am inclined to think the brother John moved to South West Creek and is our ancestor, being the John Sr. Abraham first lived maybe in New Bern and then on Core Creek and then moved to SW Creek where he died with a Will.

There is more information available on the family of Abraham but even so, there is not enough to put them together. That will be covered in another section.

There is more family tradition down the Alabama lines than the Lenoir County lines &endash; some of it can't be proven but there is some circumstantial to indicate some of it is correct. One of the traditions is that Catherine died, John remarried and the youngest daughter was reared by her siblings and then moved with them to Alabama. There is a John Taylor on the 1790 Dobbs Census that is a perfect fit with the exception of the daughter, Elizabeth, born after 1790. Neighbors were the Millers, Harpers, and Herrings. In 1800 John does not appear on the Census but his son Wendal does. In 1810 a John appears next to Wendal and James, his sons. There is a small girl in the household but it is not known if this was the daughter Elizabeth or some other child. Family tradition states that Catherine died ca 1801 but that is not proven. John does not appear after this and it is assumed he died. It is possible that Elizabeth, on the 1820 Census was his widow but there appears to be more slaves that John would have had. It is about this time that all of his children, except for Edwin moved to Alabama.

In Book 17 CA 1796 &endash; 1798 of the Cross Indices there are two conveyances &endash; one from John to Wendal and one from John to Edwin who was still a minor at the time. In
Book 23 &endash; 1805-1810 there is a conveyance from John to W and E Taylor on page 410 &endash; assumed to be Windal and Edwin. On page 414 there is a conveyance between Elizabeth Taylor to Bartholomew Cauley a known son in law of John and Catherine. It is possible that deed book dates are incorrect and these deeds were registered after John's death. In Book 24 Aug 1810 - Aug 1819 there is a conveyance between James and Edwin the two assumed brothers. This would indicate that John was dec and James had inherited something and was probably selling to Edwin at which point        he left for Alabama. In the same book is a conveyance between Isaac Taylor to Elizabeth and W. Taylor. Isaac may have been the administrator of John's estate which is another indication of the close relationship between the Abraham and John families. Every one of John and Catherine's children had a son named John &endash; not one had a son William.

The records found in Duplin County for Catherine Davis Taylor's sisters prove her children but of course, if John had another child by another wife, that child would not be listed. It has been written there was another girl in this family but if that was the case, she was not a child of Catherines. Rachel Davis' heirs were among others - Catey Taylor and her heirs were - Serena, James, Windal, Edwin, Winnie, Betsey.

Nothing is known about Serena. Betsy was Elizabeth and she married Absolem Wall in Alabama. Winifred married Bartholomew Cauley and moved to Alabama with her brothers James and Windal. Scott Smith has published a book on this family and is planning on updating the book in the future. Only Edwin remained in Lenoir County where he has many descendants. In a letter written by a son of Elizabeth Wall many years ago, he states his mother told him she was reared by her siblings &endash; probably Windal after her mother died and her father remarried.

Any additional documentation for this family would be greatly appreciated and can be sent to me.

Martha Mewborn Marble

   Descendants of John Taylor

   Descendants of William [Richard] Taylor

   Edwin Taylor

   Taylor Family in Alabama

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