On this day, 20 January 1893, William H. Taylor, my 4th great-grandfather, passed away.
Born circa 1810/1811, in Washington County, Maryland, William H. Taylor’s parents and siblings are unknown. (If anyone knows of a Taylor family in that area at that time who had a son named William, please drop me a line.)
Other than his birth, nothing is known of William H. Taylor’s childhood. The next time he appears in records is when he married. On 5 June 1827, William H. Taylor married Mary “Polly” Ferguson in Hamiltonban Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania. Rev. McConaughy officiated. I believe that Mary/Polly’s father might have been a man by the name of William Ferguson; however, that connection has not been documented yet. (Again, if anyone knows of a Ferguson family in that area at that time who had a daughter named Mary or Polly, please let me know.)
Nearly three years after their marriage, son William Ferguson Taylor (my 3rd great-grandfather) was born in April 1830, in Franklin Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania.
In 1830, the Taylor Family was residing in Franklin Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania. In the household were two males under the age of five (one of whom was William Ferguson; the other is an unknown son), one male age 20-30 (William H.), and one female age 20-30 (Mary “Polly”).
On 30 November 1833, son Samuel Henry Taylor was born in Franklin Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania.
At some point between 1830 and 1840, the Taylor Family moved slightly southwest to Washington Township, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, as the 1840 Census shows them there: one male under the age of five (name unknown), two males ages 5-10 (Samuel Henry and unknown), two males ages 10-15 (William Ferguson and unknown), one male age 30-40 (William H.), one female age 5-10 (unknown), one female age 10-15 (unknown), one female age 15-20 (unknown), and one female age 40-50 (Mary/Polly was actually 32 years old at the time; the enumerator checked the wrong box.) Two of the unknown sons were named John and Zachariah; unfortunately, their ages are not known.
In November 1842, son James Ephraim Taylor was born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
On 5 January 1848, son Joseph Ephraim Taylor was welcomed in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
Another son, Jeremiah Taylor, joined the family on 2 January 1850, in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
On 23 September 1850, the Taylor Family was still living in Washington Township, Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Residing in the household were William H. Taylor (age 40), Polly (age 42), William F. (age 20), Samuel (age 16), James (age 7) Ephraim (age 5), and Jeremiah (age 6 months.) William H. Taylor was working as a shingle maker.
Between 1850 and 1860, the family moved to Berkeley County, Virginia (now part of West Virginia). On 11 July 1860, the family was enumerated in Berkeley County. Living in the household were William H. Taylor (age 50) Mary (age 53), James (age 17), Ephraim (age 15), and Jeremiah (age 12). Both William and James were working as laborers. It was a poor household, as their personal property was only valued at $20. Residing next door was son Samuel (age 25 and also a laborer), his wife Martha (age 26), and their son Charles (age 3).
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.
Sadly, a few months later, tragedy struck the Taylor Family when the youngest son Jeremiah Taylor died on 13 October 1863, in Berkeley County, West Virginia. He was only 13 years old. He was buried in Scrabble Cemetery,
On 24 January 1864, three of William H. Taylor’s sons—Ephraim, James, and Samuel H.—enlisted in the Union Army, Company C, Third Regiment, Volunteer Calvary.
On 15 February 1865, son William Ferguson Taylor, who was now living in Washington County, Maryland with his wife and family, 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. On 29 May 1865, William Ferguson Taylor was discharged.
On 30 June 1865, Ephraim, James, and Samuel were all discharged. After the war, son Joseph Ephraim Taylor severed all ties with his family, moving to Crawford County, Missouri, where he lived under the name Joseph Ephraim Carry. The cause of the rift is unknown.
On 31 August 1870, William H. Taylor and his wife Mary were residing in Opequon, Berkeley County, West Virginia. Living in the household with them were son James and son Samuel (now a widower), along with his children Charles, Martha, John, Ann, and James. William was working as a shingle maker, while James and Samuel were laborers.
On 12 June 1880, William H. Taylor, his wife Mary, and their son James were still living in Opequon, Berkeley County, West Virginia. William stilled worked as a shingle maker, while James was a farm laborer.
Again, grief came to William H. Taylor, when on 8 October 1886, his wife Mary “Polly” (Ferguson) Taylor died at the age of 78 Berkeley County, West Virginia. She was buried in Scrabble Cemetery.
After his wife died, William H. Taylor moved about two miles south of Shepherdstown, Jefferson County, West Virginia.
On 20 January 1893, William H. Taylor went about five miles away to Sharpsburg, Washington County, Maryland on business. At about 3:00 p.m. that afternoon, William H. Taylor began to walk home along the Shepherdstown Pike (modern-day Rt. 34). He was found about a half-mile from his home, unconscious. He had suffered a heart attack. A young man by the name of Hendricks took William by wagon to a doctor in Sharpsburg; however, William was dead on arrival. He was 82 years old.
William H. Taylor was buried on 23 January 1893 in Scrabble Cemetery, Berkeley County, West Virginia, near his wife Mary and son Jeremiah.