I finally coughed up the cash for a membership to Ancestry.com, hoping to find out a little more about recent generations of my family. As near as three generations ago, as best I knew, my people were kind of dirt farmers. I expected to find nothing about my mom’s side, and little about the maternal line on my father’s side–Dad, if you’re reading this, you’ll be happy to know that on Granny’s side, through the Taylors, we’re “related” to some pretty major figures in history.
Starting with this guy: Theodosius I Magnus
Actually, I’m not sure we’re related to that guy a) because I can’t imagine us having any recognized Saints in the family, b) because I find it really hard to believe anyone can trace a direct line back to the 4th Century, and c) because next in line on the geneology chart is Long Haired Clodius, who, according to Wikipedia, does not appear to be related to Theodosius at all.
Clodius’ disputed offspring, Merovech, is even more unlikely our predecessor. Wikipedia states:
There is little information about him in the later histories of the Franks. Gregory of Tours only names him once as the father of Childeric I while putting doubt on his descent from Chlodio. Many admit today that this formulation finds its explanation in a legend reported by Fredegar.
Which puts Childeric I into line, and his son Clovis I, and his son Cloataire I. Cloataire begat Charibert, and Charibert begat Boggis/Bertrand by a concubine, which is kind of awesome.) Boggis/Bertrand might have begotten Odo, who did begat Hunald, who begat Waifer, who lost his title and lands. I’m not sure where the link comes in because sources are conflicting, but Goslin Du Maine pops up under Waifer, and he begat Roricon I, who (possibly?) begat Wolgrin of Agen, who begat Alduin Angouleme, who begat William Taillifer (we’re getting closer to Taylor here.)
William begat William, and then a long line of people named variations of William or John, as the last name evolved from Taillifer to Taylifer, to Taylor, until we get to Rowland Taylor, through whom I appear to be related to William Tyndale by marriage.
Rowland, a reverend, was a particular thorn of protestantism in the side of Mary Tudor, Queen Mary I, eschewing celibacy of the Catholic priesthood (go, Rowland!) and marrying to begat Thomas Taylor and on down. Mary, being particularly humorless as far as Jeezits and the Trasubstantiation that Rowland also decried went, had him burned at the stake as heretic.
Wikipedia reports these as his last words:
“I say to my wife, and to my children, The Lord gave you unto me, and the Lord hath taken me from you, and you from me: blessed be the name of the Lord! I believe that they are blessed which die in the Lord. God careth for sparrows, and for the hairs of our heads. I have ever found Him more faithful and favorable, than is any father or husband. Trust ye therefore in Him by the means of our dear Savior Christ’s merits: believe, love, fear, and obey Him: pray to Him, for He hath promised to help. Count me not dead, for I shall certainly live, and never die. I go before, and you shall follow after, to our long home.”
Foxe reports these as his last words to his son, Thomas:
“Almighty God bless thee, and give you his Holy Spirit, to be a true servant of Christ, to learn his word, and constantly to stand by his truth all the life long. And my son, see that thou fear God always. Fly from all sin and wicked living. Be virtuous, serve God daily with prayer, and apply thy boke. In anywise see thou be obedient to thy mother, love her, and serve her. Be ruled by her now in thy youth, and follow her good counsel in all things. Beware of lewd company of young men, that fear not God, but followeth their lewd lusts and vain appetites. Flee from whoredom, and hate all filthy lying, remembering that I they father do die in the defense of holy marriage. And another day when God shall bless thee, love and cherish the poor people, and count that thy chief riches to be rich in alms. And when thy mother is waxed old, forsake her not, but provide for her to thy power, and see that she lacks nothing. For so will God bless thee, give thee long life upon earth, and prosperity, which I pray God to grant thee.”
From there until 1774, every one of the male Taylors in my line is named Thomas, John, or William, then we jump to Dempsey, who moved his family to Georgia from North Carolina, being the First Gen son of a William, who moved from Ireland. Dempsey is listed on the roster of Revolutionary War soldiers from Georgia, which means I could possibly accomplish my lifelong ambition to membership with the DAR. On my mother’s side, it appears that I could also find no small status with the DAC, but I think that’s considered tacky these days, and one thing a true DAC is not, is tacky. (This is how you know I could never truly achieve membership. Like Jessica Simpson, I have too much gas and guffaw much too loudly about it to ever be admitted.) Dempsey also had some issues with getting land grants (he lost a lottery he entered), and may have died without having had any. Dennis does not seem to have rectified that situation.
Dempsey begat Dennis, who begat Seaborn (awesome!), who begat Elias, who begat John, who married Velma, who begat Allen, who married Joan, who begat moi.
Honestly, I’m not sure how much of this is accurate. The world is filthy with Taylors, and with all the Johns, Thomases, and Williams in the tree, I could be swinging on someone else’s vine entirely. Still, it’s pretty nifty to be able to see back the four or five generations I feel are likely. Even more interesting to find information regarding my mother’s super-secretive family history.
I think what excited her the most was finding out my grandparents’ wedding date. August 8, 1942.
All the best things happen in August.