Peter Taylor of Madison Co

Peter Taylor of Madison Co., Ky. 1746-1812

The following is garnered from the 1926 manuscript of Katherine Cobb Phelps Caperton. Peter Taylor married Nancy Crossthwaite. Nancy was said to have been a “very beautiful woman” of “much personal dignity and very devout” with brown eyes and fair skin. In old age her hair was snow white. Peter allegedly was 6’2″, very blonde and had “China blue eyes.” It is thought that Peter Taylor was a close relative of President Zachary Taylor. On July 24, 1787 Peter and Nancy bought 114 acres in what is now Madison Co., Kentucky (then VA) by right of treasury warrant on Otter Creek, which pours into the Ky river near Boonesborough. Peter and Nancy later moved to a farm they owned about 4 miles out of Richmond, the county seat of Madison Co., on the Tates Creek Pike. The farm was between Tate’s Creek and Taylor’s Fork, a tributary of Tate’s Creek which was named for Hancock Taylor. Peter died in 1812 at home of a stroke “or apoplexy.” At death he had been seated in his vegetable garden watching slaves work. At the time of his death Peter had contracted for but not yet built a handsome brick residence which either was the first, or close to the first, brick residence in Madison County. After his death his widow, Nancy, had the house built. It was on a high hill and, counting the protruding basement with windows, was 3 stories high. Alternating bricks had a blue glaze in the manner of Norfolk, Va. houses. A large hall ran through the center with “great rooms on either side and an ell ran back.” Nancy Crossthwaite Taylor had extensive gardens on the southern end of the house. At the end of the garden the family graveyard was on the brow of the hill. When Nancy died her daughter, Tabitha Ann Taylor (Mrs. Samuel) Phelps transplanted her mother’s garden, including the roses, lilacs, mock orange and herbs, to Tabitha’s home “Rocky Hill”. The family graveyard had sarcophaguse or table-type monuments on stone foundations about two feet high. The graves were in two rows, east to west with a walk in between. The son, Brockman, who died in 1794 at the age of 6 was the first buried there. His father, Peter, was buried in 1812 next to him. Nancy was later buried next to Peter. There are ten graves total. Others buried there are Barnett Turner and his wife (Peter and Nancy’s daughter), Nancy Taylor and the Turner’s sons Talton Taylor and John Turner Taylor. Also buried there are Nancy and Peter’s sons Dr. Wm. C. Taylor and Judge Peter Woodson Taylor and Creed H. Taylor. , The house built by Nancy Taylor after her husband’s death was torn down when, after Nancy Taylor’s death, the house passed out of the family’s ownership. The materials were used to build a house closer to Tates Creek Pike for the new owner. Peter’s will is dated 10 June 1807. His will witnesses were Mathew Markland, William Williams, and Daniel Holman. Executors were William Irvineand Hale Talbott. The will was probated in court on Tuesday, 4 Aug. 1812. Creed Taylor, Peter’s son, was born after Peter’s death. 26 slaves were named in the will.

In 1926 Katherine Cobb Phelps Caperton researched the ancestry of Peter Taylor but her results were inconclusive. Her research involved Creed Taylor, Samuel Taylor and Richard Taylor.

Creed Taylor. There was speculation that Peter Taylor was related to Creed Taylor (d. 1823) who had been Chancellor of Virginia, had begun a Virginia law school and had served as a Judge.

Samuel Taylor (wife Sophia Woodson). Samuel was the father of Creed. Samuel’s other children were Samuel Jr., Joseph (moved to Madison Co.,Ky. and then to Alabama) Thomas and Richard.

Richard Taylor. Richard was the father of Samuel. He lived first in Albemarle and then in Buckingham.

It was speculated that because Peter and Nancy Crossthwaite Taylor used the names Woodson and Creed in their childrens’ names and because Woodson allegedly was the middle name of Peter then there must have been a connection between Peter and the Creed/Samuel/Richard Taylor line. However, no definitive connection was made during the 1923 investigation.

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