Who were William Taylor's parents?

William Taylor was born between 1798 – 1805 in Virginia (or possibly North Carolina) and died between 1880 – 1886 in Rockcastle County, Kentucky. He was married 3 times.

He first married Martha “Patsy” Ramsey, daughter of Thomas and Martha Ramsey, in 1825, in Garrard County, Kentucky. They had at least 3 children, and Patsy died in 1852. William’s second wife was Mary G. Ramsey, daughter of Daniel Ramsey and Mary Donaho. They were married on 27 August 1854 in Rockcastle County, had one child, and Mary probably died before 1860. His third and final wife was Delilah Cox, daughter of Ambrose Cox. He married Delilah on 23 April 1862 in Rockcastle County, and they had 10 children.

Many Taylor family researchers list William’s parents as William Taylor and Jean Guffey, but no one seems to have any proof of that relationship. The elder William Taylor was born about 1758 in Rockbridge County. Virginia and moved to Rockcastle County in the early 1800s. He was a Revolutionary War Soldier and was living in Rockcastle County when he applied for his pension in 1832. A search of the DAR Patriot Index does not find a DAR record for this William Taylor which makes me wonder if that’s because no one can actually prove who his children were or even if he had children.

The elder William Taylor’s location in Rockcastle County makes it reasonable that he could have been our William’s father. However, William’s 1st marriage was in Garrard County in 1825 which opens speculation about where he lived at that time. Patsy Ramsey definitely lived in Garrard County, but she had an uncle living in Rockcastle. It’s possible that William lived in Rockcastle, and they met through Patsy’s family. It’s also possible that he lived in Garrard County.

James Taylor and Sarah Hix lived in Garrard County and were the right age to have been William’s parents, however, most researchers list their children as Elizabeth, Garrett, Leroy, Henry, Winston, and Jesse. Census records for 1870 show a William Hix (age 5) living in Rockcastle County with our William’s daughter, Elizabeth (and her husband, Madison Ramsey). It’s unclear how or if the Hix child was related but it raises speculation that there could be a connection to James and Sarah Hix Taylor.

Two male-line descendants of William’s have taken a Y-DNA test in hopes of shedding some light on his ancestry. Their most interesting match is a descendant of a Revolutionary War soldier named James Taylor who died in Franklin County, Tennessee in 1839. In addition to the 37 marker exact Y-DNA match, we also an autosomal match between a female descendant of William’s and first and second cousins of that Y match. More research and possibly more testing is needed to reach a solid conclusion, but we have a direction to explore.

If you know anything about William or this James Taylor who left Virginia and settled in Franklin County, Tennessee after the war, please email me.

Last Update: 13 May 2020