James Taylor, the elder
|Nicknames:||"Colonel James Taylor of "Hare Forest""|
|Birthplace:||near , Carlisle, Cumberland , England|
|Death:||Died in Bowling Green, King & Queen, Virginia|
|Place of Burial:||Hare Forest Cemetery, Bowling Green, Caroline, VA|
Son of John Taylor, Sr.; Elizabeth Taylor and Elizabeth Taylor
|Managed by:||Private User|
About James Taylor, the elder
James Taylor (son of John Taylor and Elizabeth Horton) was born 12 February 1633/34 in England, and died 30 April 1698 in Bowling Green, King & Queen County, VA. (1)
He emigrated from Carlisle, England to Virginia between 1660-1667. About 1688 he entered a tract of land as a homestead, consisting of nearly 1000 acres situated on the Mattaponi river in that part of Drysdale Parrish, New Kent County, later know as the Southerly part of Caroline County, Virginia. He lived there until he died and was buried on his farm in Caroline County, Virginia, (2) eight miles south of the present town of Bowling Green.
He married twice and according to tradition, the first marriage was in England to Frances Walker, with an issue of four children. The second marriage was to Mary Gregory in Virginia with an issue of seven children.
"He was a large landowner and he was a prominent citizen in the colony. He was a lawyer and a public official and served as a member of the House of Burgesses. He was Sheriff of New Kent County in 1690 and vestryman of Saint George's Parish. He moved to Orange County, Virginia, and belonged to Saint Stephen's Parish in New Kent County and also in King and Queen County. He owned 13,925 acres along the Mattaponi River where he built his home and named it " Hare Forest ", named for the Earls of Pennington Castle in England where Taylor ancestors are buried. By division of county lines his home was in Orange County, Virginia where his children was born. This home is now located in Caroline County, Virginia."
From The Taylor Association: Descendants of James Taylor I (d. 1698)
- James Taylor is usually called the first ( I ) or the elder to differentiate him from his direct descendants who were also named James. He appeared in Virginia around the latter mid 1600's. There is mention of a James Taylor as a headwright of Leonard Chamberlain in his land patent in New Kent County, VA, in 1671. This may have been James Taylor I. It fits the time period for James I, but there is no way to be certain. He is first on record in New Kent County, VA, in December 1675. This date appears in a land patent granted to James Taylor dated Oct 30, 1686, for 950 acres which describes the land he lives on as being of several parcels, one of which was 200 acres purchased of Thomas Reinold, Dec 3, 1675. (Two Land Patents of James Taylor I)
- There are very few records of James Taylor I, but some of his land patents have survived and are accessible at the Library of Virginia and are online at their website. Some of his life may be traced through these records, though there were many more that were destroyed by fire and war. These missing records would have told of the disposal of the patents owned by James I, and if they had survived would have given us more of his story. James I had a son from his first wife--James II. He was of age by 1695, so the land patents granted after this date may have been to either James until 1698 when James I died.
- James I was married twice. We know this from bible records also online at the Library of VA website. His first wife was the mother of James Taylor II. Her name is not given in these records or any other records (but is often listed with no sources as Frances? Walker?). The second wife of James I was Mary Gregory. The descendants of James Taylor I are from James Taylor II, his sister Sarah and from the surviving children he had with Mary Gregory--Anne, Mary, Edmund and John. James Taylor II married Martha Thompson. Sarah Taylor married Robert Powell. Ann Taylor married Edward Eastham, Jr. Mary Taylor married Henry Pendleton and Edward Watkins. Edmund Taylor married Sara. And John Taylor married Catherine Pendleton (the sister of Henry).
Notes - by Ann K. Bloomquist, 2004
- The Taylor Family Bible was published in the VA Magazine of History and Biography in 1926. This is the only known source for family birth, marriage, and death dates which seem to be generally accepted as correct.
- James Taylor was probably a native of England, but once he arrived in Virginia, he moved very little. He spent about 24 years as a resident of New Kent County and the last 7 years in King & Queen County only because it was formed from New Kent. He never lived in Caroline County as it was not yet formed. Even the part of King & Queen where he lived probably did not fall in Caroline when it was formed in 1728. So, researchers and descendants should call this man "James Taylor of King & Queen Co VA."
"Virginia Heraldica", 1978 Page 108 Crest: A naked arm couped at the shoulder embowed, holding an arrow ppr. Motto: Consecquitur quodcunque petit.
"James Taylor, ancestor of the Caroline county family of that name, is said to have come from the vicinity of Carlisle, England. He was in Virginia before 1650 and took out patents of land on the Mattaponi River. By his first wife, Frances, he had Jane, born 27 Dec., 1668; James, born 1674; Sarah, born 1676. His first wife died in 1680, and in 1682 he married Mary, sister of John Gregory, by whom he had the following children: John and Anne, twins, born 1685, John died young; Mary, born 1688; Edmund, born 1690; John, born 1693, died young; Elizabeth, born 1694, died young; John, born 1696. James Taylor died about 1698 at an advanced age. An old ring handed down in the family is said to have once been his property, and it bears engraved upon it the above crest which is that of the Taylors of Pennington Castle. The descendants of James Taylor have been exceedingly prominent in the history of the State, one of them - Zachary, becoming President."
http://www.rumseyfamily.com/getperson.php?personID=I3680&tree=rums01 -------------------- The James Taylor known in history as James Taylor 1st was son of immigrant John Taylor and nephew of Dr. James Taylor. He was born in England 1635 and was transported to America under the Headright System by John Rosier of Northumberland Co., Va., 7 February 1650. He was well educated, an able lawyer, surveyor, vestryman of the church, and a member of the ‘40's,' a group of trustworthy men chosen to defend the Colony against Indians. Each man was levied a tax in arms and provisions. The record of this assignment is in the Parish Register of Northumberland Co., Virginia, 1676, listed by Melnor Ljungstead in early court records and notes.
"James Taylor I was a large landowner and he was a prominent citizen in the colony. He was a lawyer and public official and served as a member of the House of Burgesses. He was sheriff of New Kent County in 1690 and vestryman of Saint George's Parish. He was married, first, about 1666 in Virginia to Frances Walker who died September 23, 1680. He moved to Orange Co., Virginia, and belonged to Saint Stephen's Parish in New Kent County and also in King and Queen County.
James Taylor I was married, second, to Mary Gregory August 12, 1682. She was born about 1665 and died about 1747. She was a sister of John Gregory, Jr., and they were from Essex Co., Virginia. Her father was John Gregory and her mother was Elizabeth Bishop of Sittenbourne Parish, Rappahannock Co., Virginia.
10/21/1687 - 744 acres Rappahanock County Virginia Land Patents Book 7 page 625: South side of the Rappahanock River, 480 acres granted to Mr. Henry Abery, who sold to Mr. Robert Bishopp, who bequeathed to John Gregory, who gave to his sister Mary, now wife of said James Taylor; said land in danger of being lost was petitioned for by said Taylor the 1st day of the last Genrll. Court -04/15/1687 & granted by the Gov'r; beg. by the Indian Path alias Mr. Abrey's path, to fork of Gregory's Creek, on Richard Gregory's lyne, in sight of John Gatewood's plantation, to the Rowleing Roade. 246 acres for the transport of 5 persons: James Taylor, Hanna Martin, Robert Jones, Ursula Collis, Hanna Collier.
More about the Headright System:
A headright is a legal grant of land to settlers. Headrights are most notable for their role in the expansion of the thirteen British colonies in North America; the Virginia Company of London gave headrights to settlers, and the Plymouth Company followed suit. The headright system was used in several colonies, including Maryland, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Most headrights were for 1 to 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) of land, and were given to anyone willing to cross the Atlantic Ocean and help populate the colonies. Headrights were granted to anyone who would pay for the transportation costs of a laborer or indentured servant. These land grants consisted of 50 acres (200,000 m2) for someone newly moving to the area and 100 acres (0.40 km2) for people previously living in the area. By giving the land to the landowning masters the indentured servants had little or no chance to procure their own land. This kept many colonials poor and led to strife between the poor servants and wealthy landowners.
The headright system began in Jamestown, Virginia in 1618 as an attempt to solve labor shortages due to the advent of the tobacco economy, which required large plots of land with many workers. The disproportion that existed between the amount of land available and the population created a situation with a low supply of labor, resulting in the growth of indentured servitude and slavery. The headright system was also a way to attract new colonists. Colonists who had already been living in Virginia were each given two headrights of 50 acres (200,000 m²); immigrant colonists who paid for their passage were given one headright, and individuals would subsequently receive one headright each time they paid for the passage of another individual. This last mechanism increased the division between the wealthy land-owners and the working poor. Headrights were given to heads-of-households and because 50 acres were accumulated for each member of the household, families had an incentive to make the passage to the colonies together.
Process of obtaining headrights
After paying for the passage of an individual to make it to the colonies, one had to obtain a patent for the land. First, the governor or local county court had to provide a certificate that certified the validity of the importation of a person. The man seeking land would then select the land he desired and have an official survey made. The two basic surveying instruments used to mark plots of land were a chain known as Gunter's chain and a compass. The patent’s claimant would then take the description of this land to the colony’s secretary who created the patent that would then be approved by the governor. Once a headright was obtained it was treated like a commodity and could be bought, sold, or traded. It also could be saved indefinitely and used at a later date.
Individuals who could afford to do so would accumulate headrights by providing funds for poor individuals to travel to Virginia. (During the 17th century, the cost of transport from England to the colonies was about six pounds per person.) This system led to the development of indentured servitude where poor individuals would become workers for a specified number of years and provide labor in order to repay the landowners who had sponsored their transportation to the colonies. The claimaints to headrights could receive grants for men, women and children since anyone could become an indentured servant. Early documentation from the Virginia Company seems to suggest that a landowner could receive a headright even if the indentured servant whose trip they sponsored did not make it to Virginia alive. While the majority of headrights distributed were issued under the names of British immigrants, as time went on, indentured servants who provided the heads-of-households with land came from throughout Europe and could be used as headrights, as could slaves from Africa.
Slavery and the headright system
Plantation owners benefited from the headright system when they paid for the transportation of imported slaves. This, along with the increase in the amount of money required to bring indentured servants to the colonies, contributed to the shift towards slavery in the colonies. Until 1699, a slave was worth a headright of fifty acres. According to records, in the 1670s over 400 slaves were used as headrights in Virginia. This number increased in the 1680s and 1690s. Many families grew in power in colonies by receiving large tracts of land when they imported slaves. For example, George Menefie purchased sixty slaves, and thus received 3,000 acres of land in 1638. In 1699, it was decided that headrights would only be distributed for English citizens and that paying for the transportation of a slave could no longer guarantee land.
Issues with land patent records
According to records, there was a large discrepancy between the number of headrights issued and the number of new residents in the colonies. This gap may be explained by high mortality rates of people during their journey to the colonies. Landowners would receive headrights for the dead and thus, the gap would widen between population growth and amount of headrights issued. Another explanation suggests that the secretary's office that issued the headrights grew more lax. There were few regulations in place to keep the headright system in check. Because of this, several headrights were claimed multiple times and people took advantage of the lack of governance. For instance, when a person was brought to the colonies, both the ship captain and the individual paying the transportation costs may have attempted to receive land patents or headrights for the same person. Another problem was that secretaries sometimes issued headrights for fictitious people. During the 1660s and 1670s, the number of headrights was about four times more than the increase in population. If this large discrepancy must be attributed to more than fictitious issuing, a final explanation suggests that people had accumulated and saved headrights. Headrights could be bought for about 50 pounds of tobacco each. The owners of the grants then claimed the land years later once the land had risen in value. Although keeping a count of the number of headrights issued may not lead to accurate estimations of population growth in the colonies, the number of patents issued acts as an indicator of the demand for land.
Consequences of the headright system
In addition to leading to the distribution of too much land at the lax secretary's discretion, the headright system increased tensions between Native Americans and colonists. Indentured servants were granted land inland, which was near the natives. This migration produced conflict between the natives and the indentured servants. Later, Bacon's Rebellion was sparked by tensions between the natives, settlers, and indentured servants.
^ a b c Baird, Robert (2001). "Understanding Headrights". Bob's Genealogy Filing Cabinet II. Retrieved February 12, 2012. ^ Eichholz, Alice (2004). Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources. Provo, UT: Ancestry. ISBN 978-1-59331-166-7. ^ Hilliard, Sam B. (October 1992). "Headright Grants and Surveying in Northeastern Georgia". American Geographical Society 72 (4): 416–429. JSTOR 214594. ^ a b Grymes, Charles A.. "Acquiring Virginia Land By Headright'". virginiaplaces.org. Retrieved February 12, 2012. ^ a b c Morgan, Edmund S. (July 1972). "Headrights and Head Counts: A Review Article". The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 80 (3): 361–371. JSTOR 4247736. ^ Bruce, Philip Alexander . Economic History of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century: an Inquiry into the Material Condition of the People, Based upon Original and Contemporaneous Records, Volume 2 (Google EBook). New York: Macmillan and Co. ^ Morgan, Edmund S. (1995). American Slavery, American Freedom: the Ordeal of Colonial Virginia. New York: W W Norton & Co.. p. 306. ISBN 978-0-393-31288-1.
Col. James Taylor, of King & Queen, VA's Timeline
February 12, 1610
Ontario, La Grange, Indiana, United States
February 12, 1633
Carlisle, Cumberland , England
February 7, 1635
Dent, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
Hare Forest, Orange County, Virginia Colony
England or Virginia
February 27, 1668
March 14, 1669
Bowling Green, King Queen, Virginia, USA
March 14, 1675
King and Queen County, Virginia