On this day, 21 April 1906, William Ferguson Taylor died. He was my 3rd great-grandfather.
William Ferguson Taylor was born in April 1830, in Franklin Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania. He was the eldest known son of William H. Taylor and Mary “Polly” Ferguson, who were married on 5 June 1827, in Hamiltonban Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania.
On 30 November 1833, William Ferguson Taylor became a brother for the first time, when Samuel H. Taylor was born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
Several years later, in November 1842, a second brother, James Ephraim Taylor, was born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
On 5 January 1845, a third brother, Joseph Ephraim Taylor, was born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At some point in his older childhood or early teenage years, Joseph Ephraim ran away from home, never to be seen by his family again. As an adult, Joseph Ephraim, who was now going by the surname Carry, settled in Crawford County, Missouri, raising a family there.
Then, on 1 February 1850, the youngest brother, Jeremiah Taylor, was born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
The first time William Ferguson Taylor is named in official documentation is in the 1850 U.S. Census. On 23 September 1850, William Ferguson Taylor, who was 20 years old at the time, was living with his parents and four brothers in Washington Township, Franklin County, Pennsylvania. His father William H. Taylor was a shinglemaker, and his mother was a housewife.
On 3 March 1858, near Sharpsburg, Washington County, Maryland, the couple welcomed their first child, Sarah “Sallie” Charlotte Taylor.
In July 1859, a second daughter, Eliza J. Taylor was born in Jefferson County, Virginia (now West Virginia).
On 14 June 1860, William Ferguson Taylor and his wife Charlotte, along with their two daughters, were still living in Jefferson County, Virginia. Like his father, William Ferguson Taylor was a shinglemaker. His personal property was valued at $30.
On 12 April 1861, almost 500 miles away, a shot was fired on Fort Sumter, outside of Charleston, South Carolina. The War Between the States had begun. On 23 May 1861, Virginia succeeded from the United States of America, joining the Confederate States of America. However, many of the citizens of the western-most parts of Virginia did not want to sever ties to the United States. On 26 November 1861, West Virginia began the Secessionist Convention that would result in its separating from the Commonwealth of Virginia. Succession from Virginia was ratified on 11 April 1862, and West Virginia was admitted to the Union as a separate state on 20 June 1863.
During all of this upheaval, William Ferguson Taylor and his family moved back across the Potomac River into Washington County, Maryland. However, like West Virginia, western Maryland was experiencing great upheaval. Sympathies between neighbors and within families were split between Union and Confederate.
Soon, the Civil War would come to their doorstep. The Maryland Campaign was commenced from 4-20 September 1862. General Robert E. Lee’s first invasion of the North was repulsed by the Army of the Potomac, commanded by Major General George B. McClellan, who moved to intercept Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. In the early morning hours of 17 September 1862, near Sharpsburg, Maryland, the Battle of Antietam began. It was the bloodiest single-day battle in American history. The Army of the Potomac numbered 87,164. The Army of Northern Virginia engaged 38,000. After the last shot was fired and the dust and smoke had cleared, 2,108 Union soldiers were dead, 9,549 Union soldiers were wounded, and 753 Union soldiers were captured or missing. On the Confederate side, 1,567 soldiers were dead, 7,752 were wounded, and 1,018 were captured or missing.
On 15 January 1864, in Washington County, Maryland, William Ferguson Taylor and his wife Charlotte welcomed a third daughter, Anna M. Taylor. Sadly, their little girl died on 18 January 1865, in Washington County, Maryland., aged one year and three days. Anna M. Taylor was buried in Bakersville Cemetery (now known as Salem Lutheran Church Cemetery), located in Bakersville, Washington County, Maryland.
On 15 February 1865, William Ferguson Taylor enlisted as a private in the Union Army. He joined the Potomac Home Brigade, Company A, 1st Infantry Regiment, Maryland. He served in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. A few months later, in April 1865, the company was disbanded.
On 8 April 1865, William Ferguson Taylor was transferred to Company A, 13th Infantry Regiment, Maryland. That next day, on 8 April 1865, near Appomattox Court House, Virginia, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia to Union General Ulysses S. Grant. On 29 May 1865, William Ferguson Taylor was discharged because of heart disease.
On 4 October 1865, William Ferguson Taylor was listed as a qualified voters for District #2, Washington County, Maryland.
On 10 May 1868, in Washington County, Maryland, son Allen Seymour Taylor (my 2nd great-grandfather) was born.
On 15 July 1870, William Ferguson Taylor, his wife, and three surviving children were living in Downsville, Washington County, Maryland. Also living with them is Charles Taylor, age 12 (possibly a nephew).
Circa March 1871, a second son, John Taylor, was born in Downsville, Washington County, Maryland.
On 18 January 1875, in Washington County, Maryland, daughter Sarah “Sallie” C. Taylor married John Poffenberger.
On 9 May 1876, in Washington County, Maryland, daughter Eliza married Adam E. Poffenberger.
On 21 June 1880, William Ferguson Taylor, his wife Charlotte, and sons Allen and John were residing in Downsville, Washington County, Maryland. Daughter Eliza and son-in-law Adam lived two doors down.
On 20 May 1889, in Washington County, Maryland, son Allen married Martha Ellen Trone (my 2nd great-grandmother).
On 8 March 1890, son John C. Taylor married Marie Antoinette Avis in Hagerstown, Washington County, Maryland.
Their youngest son’s first marriage did not end well. Within a few years of marriage, John and Marie were divorced. On 5 September 1895, John C. Taylor was remarried, this time to Mary Louise Hennessey near Fairplay, Washington County, Maryland.
On 6 June 1900, William Ferguson Taylor and his wife Charlotte were still residing in Downsville, Washington County, Maryland. At the time, his brother, James Ephraim Taylor, was living with them. Daughter Eliza and her family still lived nearby, as did sons Allen and John and their families.
In the later part of his life until his death, William Ferguson Taylor was a woodworker.
On 25 April 1941, at the age of 77 years, William Ferguson Taylor died around 11:00 p.m. in Downsville, Washington County, Maryland. The cause of death was paralysis, from which he initially had suffered about two weeks prior to his death. What had caused this paralysis is unknown, although it can be speculated that William Ferguson Taylor might have suffered a heart attack, based on the fact that he had been discharged from the Union Army due to heart disease.
William Ferguson Taylor was buried in Bakersville Cemetery, near his daughter Anna.