Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Taylor Connections

The first question is obvious: Who Was Barbara Taylor?

In answer to this question, we know very little. We don't have a birth record nor even any census record that would help us estimate her birth year, although most genealogies estimate her birth year was around 1771. We do have a marriage record between Mr. Jacob Struble and Miss Barbary Taylor in Sussex, New Jersey on 28 Mar 1802. According to the estate division of Jacob's property in Newton, NJ after his death in Nov. 1835, his children were Abraham, Mary (Smith), Margaret (Dodder), Peter, Elizabeth, and William. It should also be noted that Jacob's estate included the dower for the widow, Barbara Struble. To my mind, this evidence indicates that Barbara was still alive in 1835, and thus did not die nor could she have been buried in Brookfield, Trumbull, Ohio in 1818 as so many internet family trees indicate.  There is furthermore a deed in Sussex county in 1853 which involves the sheriff and a long list of Struble names, including that of Barbara Ann Struble. So theoretically, our Barbara was still alive as late as 1853!

So where to go when there's nowhere to go? As we already know from previous research, the census records from 1800-1820 in New Jersey were somehow destroyed and it's crazy how difficult that makes our research. That leaves marriage records, probate records, and deeds, all of which do indeed hold some excellent clues, which I will get to later. But the bigger clue, for me, came in understanding the big picture of the whole family. At least two of Barbara's sons and their families moved to Brookfield, Trumbull, Ohio in the 1830s and several other Struble relations also ended up there, namely families of her husband's siblings (George Struble and Mary Struble Waldorf and possibly others).

When I had been considering that Barbara died in Brookfield, Ohio in 1818, and I realized that her children did not move there until the 1830s, I couldn't help but wonder WHY would she have been in Brookfield, Ohio, and the only answer I could come up with was that she went to visit one of her own Taylor relations. Now remember that I have since determined (at least in my mind) that Barbara did NOT die in Brookfield, Ohio in 1818, but the exercise of wondering why she might have gone to Ohio in 1818 lead to my best clue. It caused me to search for TAYLOR in Brookfield, Trumbull, Ohio prior to 1830. And whose name appears prominently in the census' of Brookfield from 1820-1850? Somebody named Henry Taylor.

The next question is equally obvious: Who was Henry Taylor?

Well, according to his own Revolutionary pension affidavit recorded in Trumbull county, Ohio in 1832, Henry was born in Bucks county, PA, moved to Newton, Sussex, New Jersey when he was a boy with his father where he served during the Revolution. According to his affidavit, he later moved to Brookfield, Ohio around 1817 where he had lived since. It's hard not to notice the names of Struble and Waldorf (Waldruff) near that of Henry Taylor on the same census sheets of Brookfield. It is subsequently not hard to start wondering if Henry Taylor might not have some connection to my Barbara Taylor.

Note: It's worth noting there was another, younger, Henry Taylor in Trumbull County. He did not live in Brookfield, but in Warren twp. and later Bazetta twp. His father was Samuel and he came from Maryland - a blacksmith - who ended up living in Newton Falls. See Trumbull County History.

Getting back to our Taylor connections, it gets better still. It turns out that Henry's sister, Rebecca Drake of Washington county, PA, went to court in 1832 and recorded a deposition regarding her memories of living in Newton, Sussex, NJ, and her brother Henry Taylor serving with the NJ militia. So now we have to ask Who was Rebecca Drake?

I could not find Rebecca Drake in Washington county, PA, but in the 1830 census of Mt. Pleasant, Washington, PA, there was a Henry Drake with a 60-70-year-old female in his household, which could be about the right age for a sister of Henry? Unfortunately, I don't find Henry Drake in Washington county, Ohio in 1840, but curiously in West Bethlehem, Washington, PA, there was a Mary Drake (40-50) with 7 very little kids, and living next door to her is Margaret Taylor (30-40), who has three others in their 20s in her household. A connection? We'll have to hold that thought for now. Meanwhile, still looking for Henry Drake, who shows up in Brookfield, Trumbull, Ohio in 1840? Henry Drake, age 43, born in New York (or New Jersey?), married with children, but also with an older female in his household. In the 1850 census, that older female, if she is the same person seen in 1840, is identified as Rebecca Fry! aka Rebecca Drake? aka Rebecca Taylor?

It's much too soon to reach for any definitive conclusions here. But these are all potentially viable clues in my opinion. Henry Taylor was born in Bucks county, PA and moved to Newton, Sussex, NJ which is exactly the place where Jacob Peter Struble lived with his wife, Barbara Taylor. We know that Henry had a sister named Rebecca, and that Henry ended up in Brookfield, Trumbull, Ohio, where several others in the immediate Struble family, including two of Barbara Taylor Struble's children, also moved. It seems at least possible there are some family connections going on here.

But who was Henry Taylor to our Barbara Taylor Struble? If Henry was born in 1758 and Barbara was born around 1770, then Henry was probably not Barbara's father, but perhaps he could have been her uncle. Stay tuned.

Comments are always welcome.

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