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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Virginia: James City County

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Re: Taylor of James City County, Va
Posted by: Ria Hendrix Date: March 12, 2000 at 14:25:01
In Reply to: Re: Taylor of James City County, Va by C.T. Smith of 288

I have no Mary Elizabeth Taylor in my books but here is some info on Taylors

Near the crossroads known as Burnt Ordinary, formed by the intersection of Richmond and Chickahominy Roads (Rt 60 and 631) was the plantation of James Norvell Walker. During the early nineteenth century Walker sold most of his land to his neighbor, HENLEY TAYLOR, who left it to his widow MARY TAYLOR. TAYLOR bequeathed the rest of his land to his son, Richard E. Taylor.

Drinking Spring: By the mid-eighteenth century plantaitons of middling size were scattered throughout James City County's interior. On the north side of Richmond Road, at the head of Yarmouth Creek and just west of Norge was the Drinking Spring Plantation, which was owned by the Burwells during the early 18th century. In 1768 Drinking Spring owner Julius Allen offered to rent his 250 acres and five slaves. The plantation's complex lay within a triangular land mass delimited by Rts 60, 658, and 602. It was identified by Alexander Berthier, whose map indicates that Rochambeau's Army encamped there from July 1-4, 1781. In 1799 the plantation came into the hands of Henley Taylor, whose decendants retained the property until 1987.

By 1796 Henley Taylor owned the approx 300 acre Drinking Spring farm, just west of Norge. In 1828, his son Richard E. Taylor, who was in possession of slightly more than half of Drinking Spring, built a home there. To the east of the Taylor farm was that of Major W. Mahone.

The Six Mile Ordinary Farm:

Mrs. Elizabeth D. Taylor, a York Co widow, inherited life-rights to the 150 acre Six Mile Ordinary farm that her late husband, William B. Taylor bought in 1827, a year before his death. Mrs. Taylor's popular tavern, which was on a well traveled stage road six miles west of Williamsburg, would have provided her with a steady income. In 1842 she purchased a neighboring farm from John C. Davis and built a home there. It was on Mrs. Taylor's land that the James City (or Smyrna) Baptist Church was built. At the close of the Civil War, Elizabeth D. Taylor was severely encumbered by debt. She owed large sums to two merchantile firms and 3 local people. Many of her problems were because of her inability to collect from her debtors. Ultimately she deeded her real estate to her son Henley L. Taylor.

Moss Side: Alexander H. Hankins, like many other farmer, was overwhelmed by debt during the mid to late 1860's. He had inherited a farm known as Moss Side or Aspen Grove. He borrowed money from his neighbor, Henley Taylor.

During the 1820's and 30's and 40's a growing number of poor children were educated at public expense. Henley Taylor and Michael S. Warren, James City Co school commissioners during the 1820's compiled a report for the county. In 1823 Henley Taylor (upon whose farm the Toano Middle School was built in 1991) was an early school commissioner.

Richard E. Taylor, who owned the Drinking Spring farm near Olive Branch Christian Church went bankrupt right after the Civil War. Fortunately, his son was able to purchase the family farm when it was placed upon the auction block. James S. Slater owned Slater's Store nearby.

Henley was a last name in this area. That may give you a clue as to the chance of Elizabeth D's last name being Henley??

Norge, Lightfoot and Toano are all near each other on the road NW of Williamsburg to Richmond.

Ria :)


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