Our Bennett/Simpson Roots

A Distinguished Heritage



Our Taylor ancestors were very outstanding, hard working, religious people. They sacrificed much for our family to be where we are today.  In order to follow and understand how we are related to them, the following Taylor ancestors, listed chronologically, should be helpful to you:

Joseph Taylor Sr. and Nancy Walker

Joseph Taylor Jr. and Sarah Best

William Taylor and Elizabeth Patrick

*Allen Taylor and Sara Louisa Allred

Nancy Melvina Taylor and George Bennett

George Riley Bennett and Mary Ann King

Marvin *Allen Bennett and Julia Elizabeth Davis

Jesse *Allen Bennett and Elda Simpson

*Allen James Bennett and Denise Pollard

Janice Bennett and Gary Parker

Colleen Bennett and Paul Reid

It is interesting to note that Marvin *Allen Bennett, his son Jesse *Allen Bennett, and his grand son *Allen James Bennett,  all carry the same name as their grandfather, Allen Taylor.  As will be brought out later in the Taylor history, Allen Taylor successfully led a very large company of saints from Nauvoo, Illinios to Salt Lake, Utah.  He and was one our first Taylor ancestor to bring the Taylor family to Utah, and served as one of the first Bishops in Kaysville, Utah.

Our Taylor ancestors were planters and plantation owners.  They possessed a great love for the land and were blessed with great ability, and the drive, to be successful in taming the land and making it yield productively.

As one follows the heart rendering and faith promoting history of our Taylor ancestors from the year 1756 in Tyrrell County, North Carolina, to the year 2008 in West Point, Utah, one can clearly see the hand of God as He has watched over, guided and directed this family for 250 years.

From the year 1760, until the present year 2008, each one of the men in the Taylor/Bennett  family have been and still are land owners and farmers.  Allen James Bennett, the 6th great grandson of our first Joseph Taylor Sr., is still carrying on this tradition in  West Point, Utah.  He is at the present time farming the land once owned by his great grandfather, George Riley Bennett, his grandfather, Marvin Allen Bennett and his father, Jesse Allen Bennett.

The land called “The Bennett Farm” first belonged to a man named William Butler.  He received a grant from the United States of America dated June 19, 1896.  The grant was signed by Grover Cleveland, the President of the United States.  On February 8, 1899, George Riley Bennett began buying the land from Mr. Butler a little at a time.  If one were to drive by “The Bennett Farm” today in West Point, Utah, one would see a beautiful sign stating it is one of the “Century Farms” in the state of Utah.

After this brief introduction to the Taylor family, we will now turn to the inspiring history that will hopefully inspire us with a greater desire to remember who we are, and realize the great heritage we have been given as descendants of these hard working, devoted ancestors.



Joseph Taylor Sr. was born about 1720 in Edgecombe County, Virginia.  His wife Nancy Walker (Cherry or Warren ),  was born about 1729 in Orange County, Virginia. We are not sure of Nancy’s last name, but most of the Taylor family feel it is Walker.

It is thought that our Taylor ancestors came to America from England as early as 1635. Research done by members of the Taylor family show that a James Taylor was born 12 February 1610 in Carlisle, C, England.  He was married in 1698 to Frances Walker in Virginia and died 30 April 1698 in Carolyn County, Virginia. He would have been the first Taylor to come to America.  James had a son named James and a grandson named Zachary.  They were both born in the Carolyn/Orange County Virginia.  Zachary was the father of Joseph Taylor Sr.  We know nothing about these people.

In the year 1756, Joseph Taylor Sr. and his wife Nancy Walker applied for a land grant in Terryll County, North Carolina.  Where they lived before they came to North Carolina is unknown. One would guess they would be living in Virginia by their family members.

Most of the earliest settlers had very few possessions besides their horses and their guns. In order to acquire land, they had to make a claim, build a shelter and start a crop.  These folks looked for land containing a good spring of water or a river.  There first homes were usually one room log cabins.


The year 1760 was an eventful year for Joseph and Nancy.  A son was born 4 March, 1760.  They named him Joseph Taylor Jr.  They also received the land grant on 24 November, 1760 they had applied for.  The grant consisted of 652 acres of rich land and was called “Ye North Side of Coneto Creek.”  Joseph Taylor  Sr. sold two pieces of his grant June 17, 1761.  One piece of 150 acres went to Thomas Taylor, a shipwright, of Norfolk County Virginia, the other to Richard Taylor, of Tyrrell County, North Carolina in the amount of 251 acres. These two men are believed to be brothers of Joseph Taylor Sr.  For some reason Thomas did not live on his portion of the land.  We know nothing about Joseph’s two brothers, other than he divided his land with them.

The land was very important to the people and was carefully retained the family.  The amount of land and the number of slaves owned showed the wealth of the person, which placed him in a particular social standing. The position of a planter in early North Carolina was a very prestigeous title.  The social standing  at that time consisted of three elements:

1.  Gentry or Plantation Aristocracy (Planter)

2.  Farmers

3.  Indentured Christian Servants

The Gentry or planters were the most wealthy , best educated, and most influential of the group.  They were composed of large land holders, but it also included public officials, wealthy merchants, angelican  ministers, lawyers, doctors, and other professional men.  Less than 5 % of the North Carolina families belonged to the Gentry.  Some of the planters owned as many as 50 slaves each.  The majority of the planters owned at least 500 acres and about 20 slaves.  Planters occupied the best sites along the rivers.

Joseph Taylor Sr. was a planter and a plantation owner.  We know the Taylor family had slaves, but we do not know how many.  The years were busy and they worked very hard to survive and make their land productive.

Joseph Taylor Sr. and his wife Nancy Walker had five known children:

  • Joseph Taylor Jr, born 4 March 1760 (Our grandfather) who married Sarah Best
  • David Taylor
  • John Taylor who married Ellen Drake
  • Amy Taylor who married Ethelred Wallace
  • Miss Taylor who married William Best

Nothing more is known of the life of Joseph Taylor Sr. and his wife Nancy Walker.  According to Taylor family members, Joseph Taylor Sr. died in 1808 on his plantation in North Carolina.



Joseph Taylor Jr. was born 4 March 1760 in Tyrrell County, North Carolina to Joseph Taylor Sr. and Nancy.  He obviously spent the early years of his life working on the family plantation and teasing his brothers and sisters.


Because of the  re-alinement of county boundaries, the Taylor properties, which were in Tyrrell County until 1774, were now in Martin County, North Carolina.  In 1793 the property was in Edgecombe County, North Carolina.


Joseph Taylor Jr. is now about sixteen years old. In 1776 he enlisted in the Army and for  2 ½ years served in the Revolutionary War as a private in Blount’s Company, 5th North Carolina Regiment. He was discharged January 30, 1779.


Joseph Taylor Jr. then enlisted in the Martin County Militia in October 1779, and served there until June 16, 1783 as a private in the capacity of gunsmith.  It was said that he was wounded in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, where the first line of the American Army consisted of the North Carolina Militia.



The great Revolutionary War had just ended in September 1783.  After the war, American’s began to piece their lives together again. Joseph must have recovered from the wounds he received in the war and courted his future wife Sarah Best.  She had grown up next to him on an adjoining plantation.  In late 1782 or early 1783, Joseph Taylor married Sarah Best.  The exact date is unknown.

Sarah was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Best and as was stated earlier owned a plantation next to Joseph Taylor Sr. After their marriage, Joseph and Sarah built a home on the plantation of his father Joseph Taylor Sr. on Coneto Creek, which is now located in Martin County, North Carolina because of the county re-alinement.

Several children were born to Joseph Jr. and Sarah Taylor while they lived on Coneto Creek. Their children are:

  • Frances
  • Amy
  • William, born 21 March 1787   (Our grandfather)
  • Allen
  • Mary Ann
  • Seraphy Temperance
  • Nancy (named after her grandmother)
  • Sarah Best (named after her mother)
  • Joseph Best (names after his father, Joseph and his grandfather Best)
  • Elizabeth Ann
  • Delilah (born in Tennessee)
  • Charlotte



In 1808, Joseph Taylor’s father Joseph Taylor Sr. passed away on the family plantation in North Carolina.  Joseph Taylor Jr. is now about 48 years old.  For some reason he and his family decided to leave the beautiful state of North Carolina where they had shared the plantation with his father.  They sold their share of the property and some slaves to Joseph Taylor Jr.’s brother, John Taylor and to William Best, Sarah’s brother.

By this time, Joseph and Sarah’s two daughters, Frances and Amy, had married, and with their husbands, William B. Cherry and John Wallace, the entire family moved to Kentucky. Joseph Taylor Jr. obviously did not realize the hand of God was directing him to make a move that would eventually put his family in the path to meet the Prophet Joseph Smith and be taught the gospel.  It would take a few years, but if they had stayed in North Carolina, the family may never have joined the church.  Joseph himself never heard the gospel, but his son William (our grandfather) did.  William was the first Taylor to join the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints.  We should ever be grateful to Joseph Taylor Jr and his wife Sarah Best for the important decision they made in the year 1808.

Joseph and Sarah’s son, William (our grandfather), was then 21 years of age.  The family probably left in the early summer of 1808.  To begin a new life in Kentucky required them to take along needed seeds, implements, tools and furniture, along with their livestock.

The family probably rode horseback.  The women rode sidesaddle, and later related that as they rode through the wilderness, their long skirts were stained red to the knees by the berries of the sumac bushes along the trail.  The Taylor family probably crossed the state of North Carolina on the shortest and best route available to them at the time through the Appalachian Mountains and then through the Cumberland Gap, following the Wilderness Trail, then taking the Cumberland Trace into south-central Kentucky.



In the fall of 1808, the Joseph Taylor Jr. family arrived at Warren County, Kentucky, where they chose to live in a beautiful area between the Barren and Green Rivers and near Swan Creek.  They settled about 10 miles north of Bowling Green, where Joseph Jr. bought 284 acres.  (The area was named Richardsville years later.)



William Taylor was born 21 March 1787 on his father’s plantation in North Carolina.  He is now about 21 years old and was a great help to his father Joseph Taylor Jr. and mother Sarah Best on the long trip from North Carolina to Kentucky.

About the same time our Taylors settled in Kentucky, the family of John and Sarah Kendrick Patrick also settled in Kentucky.  They, too, had settled in North Carolina (In Halifax County) and prior to that, had lived in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. Bringing a large family of 11 children, the Patricks settled about eight miles northwest of Bowling Green, near Ray’s Branch.

Elizabeth Patrick, of Scottish background, was born in Mecklenburg County, Virginia 9 December 1793.  When grown, she was five feet eight inches tall, with sandy hair and blue eyes.  Born and living in Virginia much of her younger life, she and her family moved to Halifax County, North Carolina, then back to Virginia, then finally to Warren County, Kentucky by 1802.

Elizabeth was raised in a life of leisure as a “plantation belle” in Virginia and North Carolina.  However, that would soon change.


1811 William Taylor couldn’t help but notice the lovely woman named Elizabeth Patrick, who lived over yonder on Ray’s Branch.  He decided to court her and make her his wife. They were married 22 March 1811 in Warren County, Kentucky.  Their good friend, Robert Daugherty, crossed the river to marry them. Robert was a Baptist Preacher.

William and Elizabeth build a little cabin on some of his father’s (Joseph Taylor Jr.) land and began their married life together.  Joseph Taylor Jr. gave 92 acres of land to William and Elizabeth in his will.

William was a very important man in Warren County because he was the one responsible for the county roads.  He was a very good husband and an excellent farmer and planter. They had a pleasant life living by William’s father in the beautiful land of Kentucky.  As time went on they started their family.  There children born in Kentucky were:

  • John   Born 7 Dec 1812   Named after Elizabeth’s father John Patrick
  • Allen   Born 17 Jan 1815    (Our grandfather) Named after William’s brother Allen
  • Julia Ann   Born 9 Feb. 1816
  • Louisa (Elizabeth)  Born 22 March 1818
  • Elizabeth Ann Born 29 November 1821 (named after Elizabeth’s sister)
  • Sara Kendrick Best Born 24 August 1823 (named after both of her grandmothers)
  • Joseph   Born 4 June 1825 (named after his grandfather)
  • Pleasant Green   Born 8 February 1827
  • William Warren   Born 13 December 1828
  • Levi   Born 3 September 1830


John Patrick, father of Elizabeth Patrick Taylor dies the same year Elizabeth gave birth to their daughter, Julia Ann.


Joseph Taylor Jr., father of William Taylor, died 22 March 1818, the very same day that Elizabeth gave birth to their daughter Louisa.  He was buried on his property in Warren County, Kentucky.  After his death, his wife Sarah Best Taylor, went to live near her son, Allen Taylor.  This Allen Taylor is the brother of our William.  William also had a son (our grandfather) named Allen Taylor.  It is easy to get the two confused with each other.  Joseph Taylor Jr. and Sarah Best had a slave named Jake.  After the death of Joseph Taylor Jr., the slave, Jake, moved close to Sarah so he could help watch over her.

After the death of Sarah Best Taylor in 1834, Jake continued to live close to the spring that was near the home of Allen Taylor, where Sarah had lived the last years of her life. The spring later came to be known as “Jake’s Spring”.



In about 1830-1831, William and Elizabeth Patrick Taylor started thinking very seriously about leaving Warren County, Kentucky, for a new home in Missouri.  It was a very hard decision for them to make, but their inborn desire for pioneering adventure and a broader experience led them in making this important decision .  They knew that if they left, they would never see their mothers again, but the hand of the Lord must have directed them.

The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was organized on April 6, 1830.  The move to Missouri would put the Taylor family in the path of the Mormon missionaries and open the door for them to join the church.  It would also open the door for them to undergo many trials and persecutions for many years to come.


The Taylor family said good-bye to all their loved ones, packed the things they would need, and headed for Missouri in the spring of 1831.  One would wonder how they made such a long trip with such a large family.  Levi, their youngest child at that time was 7 months old.  In fact, five of their youngest children were under the age of 8.  Their son Allen, (our grandfather) would have been 16 years old and must have been a great help to his mother and father as they made the trip.

They finally arrived in eastern Missouri after a long journey.  They settled in a new county called Monroe County, near the Salt River.  This part of Missouri at that time was a wilderness, inhabited by the “Red man” and numerous wild animals.  It was a beautiful country, consisting of prairie and timber land.  William Taylor thought Missouri was the most beautiful country he had ever seen.

William and Elizabeth purchased 80 acres from the U.S. Government in April 1831.  It was in Jefferson township, along the Ivy branch of the south fork of the Salt River.  The land was granted to them in November 1831.


In April 1832, the Taylor’s sold that property and moved to South Fork township, also on the south fork of the Salt River.  They purchased 80 acres.  Later in December of 1832 and April  of 1834, they purchased more property in the same location.  William and Elizabeth now owned 160 acres of land.  Part of the property was valuable timber land, and part of it was rolling prairie land, rich in promise of great wealth that later would be wrested from it through the thrift, diligence and ambition of William and his family.  The life of Elizabeth Patrick Taylor had certainly changed from being raised in a life of leisure as a “plantation belle” in Virginia, to the challenge of raising a large family in the wilderness of Missouri.


Another daughter joined the William and Elizabeth Taylor family: Nancy Jane was born 19 May 1833.  That same year, their son Allen, (our grandfather) had met his future wife Sarah Louisa Allred.  Four months after the birth of Nancy Jane, Allen Taylor and Sarah Louisa Allred decided to get married.



Allen Taylor, (our grandfather), was  born 17 January 1815 while the family lived in Warren County, Kentucky.  On 5 September 1833, he married Sarah Louisa Allred.  She was the daughter of Issac Allred and Mary Calvert.  (This Issac was a brother of James Allred).  The Taylor’s met James Allred and his family when they first moved to Missouri and were neighbors.

After their marriage, Allen and Sarah Louisa lived on the Taylor property and helped with the struggle to survive in the wilderness of Missouri.



The Latter-Day-Saints had become an organized church in the spring of 1830.  From that time forward they had been continually persecuted because of their religious belief, and were being driven from their homes in Missouri.  They were also being denied their common rights as U.S. citizens.  In the spring of 1834 President Joseph Smith formed a military company of one-hundred men, known as Zion’s Camp, and started west to demand that his people in Missouri be given their rights.  About two hundred recruits joined the camp en route.

At this time William Taylor and his family were located on a slight elevation of land between two forks of the Fishing River.  This is the 160 acres described above as South Fork of the Salt River.  When Zion’s Camp reached this place, they were forced to stop to mend some of their wagons, and to go in search of some of their horses that had wandered away.  Enemies of the church had made threats against the Camp, but before they could carry out their plans a furious storm arose.  So much rain fell that the Fishing River became an impassable torrent.  The members of Zion’s Camp were forced to take refuge in an old church and in the homes of the residents thereabout.  The terrific storm routed the mischief makers, who fled in panic.  Joseph Smith and his followers remained in the vicinity from Friday night, June 19, until Monday morning, June 22.  On the Sabbath Day services were held and the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints were explained.  William Taylor and his family (including his son Allen) were there that day and heard the gospel being taught.

Having heard one sermon, William Taylor was converted.  Before the camp moved on all the members of his family, and friends who were old enough, were baptized in the Fishing River.  There were twenty-eight persons baptized at this time.

William Taylor was the first person to accept the gospel, and the first man in the State of Missouri to be baptized into the church.  Shortly after this, he was ordained an Elder in the church and became an earnest preacher of the gospel.  Their little branch of the church was known as the “Allred Branch” or the “Bowling Green Branch”–even the “Salt River Branch.”

Two days after meeting Joseph Smith, William manifested his confidence in the Prophet by fitting up his oldest son, John and his son-in law Robert McCord, with provisions, munitions and equipment to become members of Zion’s Camp.

Robert McCord and William’s daughter, Mary Ann, had only been married for one month when he left.  (They were Married 20 May 1834.)  Mary Ann’s heart nearly broke when she later learned that her husband, Robert, died on 24 June 1834, at Clay County.  The disease, cholera, killed him and several other of the brethren.

During this same time William and Elizabeth’s son Allen Taylor’s wife Sarah Louisa Allred, (our grandparents) gave birth to their first son on 29 June 1834.  They named him Isaac Moroni Taylor.  This is possibly the reason William did not send his son Allen with Joseph Smith and the other brethren on Zion’s Camp.

From the time he joined the church, William Taylor threw himself into the work whole-heartedly, and followed the saints through all their persecutions.  He was forced to give up home after home, his property was stolen and destroyed. Insults and injury were heaped upon him and his family, but they never doubted the wisdom of their loyalty to the faith they had excepted.  Trials only held them close to the Latter-Day-Saints with whom they cast their lot.  They owned homes consecutively in Monroe County, Jackson County, and Caldwell County; all together more than a thousand acres of choice land, but it was all lost to them.

William was a very generous man and did all he could to help others in need.  At one time  he loaned $500.00 dollars in cash to a man who needed help.  When he the time came for the man to repay the money back to William, the man threatened his life.  He never received one penny of it back. Another man stole a herd of finely-bred pigs from him, which he did not ever recover.


William and Elizabeth Taylor’s little grandson, Isaac Moroni Taylor, son of Allen Taylor and Sarah Louisa Allred, died 3 June 1836.  He was only 2 years old.  Imagine the sorrow the family felt as they buried this little child.  But at least they now had a knowledge of the gospel which would have been a comfort to them.


In August of 1837, William and Elizabeth and their family (including our grandfather Allen Taylor) relocated again on 80 acres of land on Long Creek, which was eight miles south of the town of Farr West, Caldwell County, Missouri.  Things went pretty well for a time.  The saints were quite happy there.  Just before the Taylor family moved to Long Creek, the 14th and last child was born to William and Elizabeth. James Caldwell, born 27 February 1837 at Ray County.  (His middle name might have been in honor of the new county of Caldwell, created just before his birth.  Seven sons and seven daughters now graced the William Taylor family.

A little over one week later, William and Elizabeth’s son Allen (our grandfather) and his wife Sarah Louisa Allred gave birth to a daughter.  Mary Elizabeth Taylor was born 8 March 1837 in Farr West County, Missouri.  Imagine the joy Elizabeth and her daughter-in-law Sarah had raising these two children.



The Taylor family members were all present at the laying of the cornerstone of the Temple at Farr West Missouri on 4 July 1838.  A great celebration was held and Sidney Rigdon gave a speech that day which really angered the old-time settlers of Missouri.  Thus, the stage was set for the frightful conflict and terrible loss of life and property that followed.

The mobs and Missouri militia grew more bitter and intolerant.  They wanted the Mormons out of the state of Missouri.  Finally, Governor Lillian Boggs was persuaded to issue an Extermination Order to carry this out.  The Prophet Joseph Smith warned the outlying settlements to move into Farr West.  William and Elizabeth were obedient to his request.  They left their farm on Long Creek and moved into the city in the late fall of 1838 with all of their family.  Overcrowding, lack of accommodations, shortage of food and the approach of winter all contributed to terrible living conditions.

When William and his family moved into Farr West, they had to camp in the streets. So many families had gathered there to escape mob violence that shelter could not be obtained.  Since William and his family arrived at night, they had to make their beds upon the ground.  The snow fell during the night to the depth of ten inches, covering their beds, their clothing, shoes and stockings as they lay spread upon the ground.

On 2 November 1838, they were devastated as they  witnessed the Prophet Joseph Smith surrender himself to the mob, tricked by that traitor, Col. George M. Hinckle.  The whole town of Farr West was under siege by the Missouri militia from 30 October until 6 November 1838.  The Taylor family, along with all the other saints, grew increasingly alarmed as the tension mounted.  The Battle of Crooked River, where one of the Apostles David Patton was killed, and the Haun’s Mill Massacre where many of the saints were killed, made it the most difficult time the Taylor family had ever experienced.

The lines are now drawn.  In one camp were Satan and his servants, while in the other camp were the servants of the Lord.  The forces of evil had just scored a coup by capturing several of the leaders of the church through a ruse.  It would remain now to see how the battle would shape up.  Our Taylor ancestors are now in the middle of one of the most tragic events that would ever happen in the history of the Church.

While they were in this condition, some of the mob tried to take some of William’s daughters.  The mob vowed that unless the women went with them, the entire family would share the fate of many of the other saints and be destroyed.  Five of the girls were chased by the mob, and had to run for their lives in very deep snow.  By the time the girls returned, their clothes were frozen to them and they almost died of frostbite!

Elizabeth Patrick Taylor, the girls mother, was so upset with the mob that she finally drove them from their camp fire with a poking stick.  And they never returned!!!  What a woman!!  Obviously, a higher power was in command that day and the evil plans of the mob were thwarted.

On 13 November 1838, Joseph F. Smith, the son of Hyrum and Mary Fielding Smith was born while Hyrum was in Liberty Jail.  Mary layed near death’s door for months. The weather was bitter cold as well as the houses which were impossible to heat.  The lack of food made it impossible for her to regain her health.  The terrible happenings in Farr West nearly cost Mary her life.

The Taylor family experienced the same trials and hardships.  Both our grandfathers William and Allen and their wives had small babies at this time.  Finding food and shelter were next to impossible for their large families.  The constant fear of the mob made life almost unbearable.

After the surrender of the city of Farr West, William and Elizabeth and their family returned to their farm on Long Creek.  When they arrived, they found that about 7,000 of the mob had camped for two nights at or near their place, turning their horses into the corn field.  The mob ate about 300 bushels of the Taylor’s potatoes, 75 geese, 200 chickens, several head of cattle, 40 head of hogs, and destroyed 20 stands of bees.  They also burned about one mile of rail fence to make their camp fires.



On 8 February 1839, William and Elizabeth and their family once again left their home at Long Creek in Caldwell County, Missouri.  Leaving 1000 bushels of corn in a crib, they received only an old neck yoke valued at $2.50.  They received nothing for their farm and improvements.  Expelled from their home and the State of Missouri by order of Gov. Boggs, they journeyed about 200 miles until they reached the Mississippi River.

We have wondered whether they stayed for awhile in Monroe County with their Patrick relatives, or if they crossed the river to Quincy, Illinois with the other saints.  William Taylor, who had become a wealthy land owner was now destitute and pennyless.

During this time Allen Taylor’s wife  Sarah Louisa Allred (William and Elizabeth’s son and our grandfather) gave birth to a son.  They named him William Riley Taylor.  He was born on 12 February 1839.  They have listed the place of his birth as Farr West, Caldwell County, Missouri.  It is possible that the child was born soon after they left Farr West and the Taylor’s didn’t know where they were at the time of the birth.  It is impossible for us to even imagine the hardships they were going through.

The weather was terrible.  They had rain, snow, mud and cold weather to contend with. The people they met along the way were very unkind to them, often turning them away hungry from their doors.  Once on that journey they saw a poor woman carrying a child who applied at the door of a house by the roadside for a morsel of bread for her and her child.  The man called her a “damned Mormon” and told her to leave, giving her nothing to eat.  They also met an aged couple by the name of Singleton who met with misfortune by losing their only horse on which they depended to move themselves and their few earthly possessions beyond the reach of the mob.  William Taylor unhitched one of his best horses and hitched it to the old gentleman’s wagon, telling him to take the horse and go in peace.  This aged couple were deeply grateful for his kindness.



In September of 1839, the Taylor’s were traveling toward Commerce, Illinois.  Having gone through Lima in Adams County, they were approaching Warsaw in Hancock County, Illinois.  William had been very ill for several days.  On 9 September 1839, he called all the family about him.  His last words to them were that they should all rally around the Priesthood and the main body of the church; also he secured a promise from each of his children that they would not marry outside of the church.

For quite some time William had been very exhausted from all the persecutions and hardships they had been through.  He died of exposure and typhoid on 9 September, 1839,  at age 52. He passed away, a martyr to the great cause for which he had so heroically sacrificed.  So ended the life of a great and good man.  Through all the years he was resourceful, industrious and progressive, though he had a strong will he was a humble and God-fearing man.  He had great faith and a keen intellect and was absolutely fearless in living according to his convictions. Without hesitation he placed the accumulated wealth of a lifetime on the altar.  When he decided to leave everything in order to follow the church his relatives clung to him and begged him to remain with them, but there was no turning back for him.  From the day that he answered that first challenge of truth his life was a devotion to the cause that to him was dearer than life itself.

Pleasant Green Taylor, son of William and Elizabeth Patrick Taylor recorded in his autobiography that the family dug a grave for their father by the main road about five miles from Lima and eight miles from Warsaw on Col. Levi Williams’ land. Elizabeth and her family had no idea who Levi Willliams was at the time they buried their husband and father.

Col. Williams was an avid Mormon hater.  He had led a mob of 300 men and burned out many of the Mormons homes and farms.  He was also one of the nine men who were finally brought to trial in Carthage for the murder of Joseph Smith.

Col. Williams threatened to dig up the body of William Taylor and give it to the hogs. “Elizabeth asked her sons to gather poles or logs and make a fence around the grave and keep a watch to see that the body was not disturbed.”  How long they stayed there we do not know.

The above was based on information from Noel Taylor and Shari Franke.  The William Taylor organization is launching a project to find the grave site of William Taylor and erect a monument for him.  Ken Crossley and Blaine Taylor have been named Co-chairmen of this effort.  Ken Crossley is at 155 W. 200 N., Spanish Fork Utah 84660.

Blaine Taylor is at 4221 Pecan Bend Dr., Richmond Texas 77469


Perhaps Elizabeth Taylor’s finest hour was when she buried her beloved husband. Somehow she reached deep into the well of her courage and found the strength to move on with her large family, some of which were still very young.  Our grandfather Allen (her son) and other older members of her family must have been a great strength to her.

Crisis upon crisis, sorrow upon sorrow was the pattern of her life.  But it seem each trial she endured made her stronger and able to face each day with courage, and establish herself as a truly choice person, worthy of the highest commendation and a sure place in the ranks of superior women.

After the death of her husband, Elizabeth and her children (including her son Allen our grandfather) moved on with the other saints.  In Hancock County near Warsaw, a man by the name of Gilum offered Elizabeth 40 acres of good land if she would leave the Mormons and stay there with him.  This was no temptation to her, for she preferred to have a home among the saints.

The trip was extremely difficult.  They lacked personal items for their individual comfort such as warm mittens, stockings, underwear, and coats.  One would wonder what they did for such things as diapers for the babies. Food to feed so many people was a constant challenge.

By the time they reached Nauvoo, they had been robbed repeatedly of their possessions until they were very destitute.  Not having the means to purchase a farm, they rented a farm from Winslow Farr and had a share of the crop.  They continued to work on this place for three years. Life started to improve for them after all the trials they had been through for so long.

The Taylor’s were present at the laying of the cornerstone of the Nauvoo Temple and Elizabeth’s sons labored every tenth day on the temple and continued to do so until it was completed.  Some of her sons were members of the Nauvoo Legion and the police force of the city.  They often stood guard around the house of the Prophet Joseph Smith.


7 February 1842 was a happy day for Elizabeth.  Her son Allen and his wife Sarah Louisa Allred Taylor (our grandparents). were blessed with a beautiful baby girl. They named her Sarah Jane Taylor.  However, 7 months later another tragedy came to Elizabeth.  On 5 September 1842, Elizabeth’s daughter Mary Ann died leaving behind her husband and a one year old son.  What a sad day that was for a family that had already suffered so much grief.

Two months later on 13 November 1842, Elizabeth lost another grandchild.  She was the little 11 month old daughter of Louisa Ann Stout.  Somehow the Taylor family continued to carry on through all the heartache that seemed to come their way.


In 1843, Elizabeth and her family purchased 1 ½ acres of property in Nauvoo.  (Lots 46, 47 and 49) which lay 3/4 mile southeast of the Nauvoo Temple.  On this they built a log house, 1 ½ stories high.  All of her children worked unitedly together for the support of the family.  By the force of her strong character she held the family together notwithstanding the great hardships through which they passed.


On 25 March 1844, Elizabeth’s son Allen Taylor and his wife Sarah Louisa Allred (our grandparents) were blessed with another child. A son they named Joseph Allen Taylor.  During this time things in Nauvoo were not going well for the saints.  The mounting politico-religious storm that engulfed the Mormon community of Nauvoo was prelude to a tragic and historic event.  Forces of satanic magnitude stood fully arrayed against a modern-day prophet and his brother.  Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were taken to Carthage Jail and shot down by a cold-blooded and cowardly mob with blackened faces.  They were denied life and liberty without due process of law.

Elizabeth Taylor and her family remembered well the feelings of the saints on the day Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum left to go to Carthage.  The next morning they saw the first messenger bearing the news of the tragedy that had happened to their beloved Prophet and his brother.  They also witnessed the bodies as they were brought back to Nauvoo.  The following day, Elizabeth’s son Pleasant Green Taylor took her to Carthage where they saw for themselves the jail in which their leaders were confined. They also saw the blood on the floor of the jail.  The impact of the terrible news on the Taylor family and the entire Mormon community was overpowering.

Elizabeth’s son, Pleasant Green Taylor, was one of the 500 men called out by Sheriff Jacob Backenstos, the sheriff of Hancock County and friend of the saints to go to Warsaw and arrest the men who had killed the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum.  Pleasant Green said that he rode on one of the Cannons.

After the death of Joseph Smith, the question arose as to who should lead the church. While the 12 Apostles were away from Nauvoo on their missions, Sidney Rigdon claimed the right to lead the church.  His claim was not accepted by the majority of the saints.

The Taylor’s were present and saw Brigham Young come into the bowery where the saints had assembled.  After he started to speak an amazing thing happened.  Brigham Young looked and sounded just like Joseph Smith.  It was a very sacred and faith building day for all the members of the church that day.


On 11 May, 1845, another tragedy came into the life of Elizabeth Patrick Taylor. Her son Allen Taylor’s (our grandfather) little 1 year old son died.  His name was Joseph Allen Taylor.

In October of 1845, Elizabeth’s 10 year old daughter, Amanda Melvina, became very ill. She died a few days later and again Elizabeth was heartbroken.  One would wonder how much one woman could endure, but again Elizabeth mustered up her faith and carried on.

Throughout this period of time, work on the Nauvoo Temple kept progressing.  Elizabeth Patrick Taylor, our stalwart grandmother was allowed the privilege of receiving her endowments in that temple on 20 December 1845.  What a wonderful day that must have been for her.  She was so deserving of those blessings.  It is reported by some members of her family that on that day, 20 December 1845, not only did she receive her own endowment, but she was sealed for time and all eternity to her beloved deceased husband William Taylor.  He died 9 September 1839, from exposure and typhoid while the family were trying to make their way from Farr West, Missouri to Nauvoo, Ilinois.

Some members of the family believe that on that day, 29 December 1845, Elizabeth Patrick Taylor was married for time to James Allred.  It is reported that he stood as proxy while Elizabeth was sealed to William.  Whether this actually happened or not is purely anyone’s guess.  We never hear his name anytime after this event, so one would wonder if that really happened.  Maybe sometime in the hereafter we will know for sure.  The exciting thing we do know is that she is now sealed to her beloved husband William.


Things got so bad in Nauvoo that the saints were ordered by the Governor to leave. It was a great trial for them to give up their sacred Temple, their homes that were so dear to them, and their beautiful city of Nauvoo.

On 8 February 1846, the Taylor family once again left everything they had.  Elizabeth was one of the first to began the long trek across the Western Plains.  It is difficult to full appreciate the magnitude of the burden that rested upon her shoulders in undertaking to leave. It was a stupendous undertaking–a momentous thing in her life.  Imagine how she felt the last night she lived in her home in Nauvoo.

Finally, after much preparation she crossed the Mississippi River on the ice and camped on Sugar Creek in the state of Iowa, nine miles to the west.  She remained there about two weeks and suffered much because of the cold stormy weather.  It seems as though the Taylor family were not traveling together.  Accounts of when each of her children finally arrived in Utah would lead one to believe they were in different companies.

We do know that traveling with Elizabeth were her three younger sons William Warren, Levi, and James Caldwell.  It is reported by her grand daughter Lella Marler Hogan, that Elizabeth drove her own ox-team, going as far as Council Bluffs in 1846.  Their are conflicting reports as to when she actually arrived in Utah.  Some members of the family have recorded that she finally arrived in May of 1849.  Other members have recorded that on 16 October 1849 she arrived in the Salt Lake Valley with an unidentified company of saints accompanied by her three sons William Warren Taylor, James Caldwell Taylor, and Levi Taylor.


After arriving in the Salt Lake Valley, 16 October 1849, Elizabeth Patrick Taylor apparently lived for a short time in Salt Lake City.  She then moved to Farmington, Davis County, Utah for a little while.


At the time of the U.S. Census dated April 1851, Elizabeth Patrick Taylor was living in her own cabin at Kaysville, Davis County, Utah.  Her younger sons were living with her, and her married daughter Nancy Jane Taylor Smith was next door.  Older sons Allen Taylor (our grandfather), Joseph Taylor, Pleasant Green Taylor, and daughter Elizabeth Ann Taylor Driggs were also living in Kaysville.


On 11 January 1853, Elizabeth’s daughter Louisa Taylor Stout died from complications of childbirth.  She was 33 years old.  Her infant son Joseph Allen was born 30 December 1852.  He died 9 January 1853.  Louisa died 2 days later.  Louisa’s husband, Hosea Stout was serving a mission for the church and knew nothing of the death of his wife and son.  Again, our grandmother Elizabeth Patrick Taylor stepped up to the plate to care for the children of her daughter Louisa until Hosea returned.  However, when he returned and learned of the tragedy it was more than he could bear.  He left his three other children with Elizabeth and left.  When he came back is unknown.

Hosea Stout and  Louisa Taylor had been the parents of 8 children and only three of them lived to be married.  In a little over a 4 year period of time they lost 4 children, all in their infancy. Obviously, to loose one more child, plus his wife was more than Hosea could bear.  11 month old daughter died 13 November 1842 in Nauvoo, Ill.. 2 year old son died 9 May 1846 of Whopping Couch in Garden Grove, Iowa. 3 year old son died 28 June 1846, cause unknown on the prairie. 16 month old daughter died January 1847, cause unknown in Iowa. 10 day old son died 9 January 1853, complications of childbirth in Salt Lake, Utah.


By the time of the 1870 census, Elizabeth Patrick Taylor was living with her son Levi Taylor and family, still at Kaysville, Davis County, Utah.


On 15 November, 1871, Elizabeth Patrick Taylor’s son Pleasant Green (brother of our grandfather Allen Taylor) was called on a mission to Kentucky.  What a thrill that must have been for Elizabeth.  It was in Warren County, Kentucky that she met and married her beloved William Taylor.  The date of their marriage was 22 March 1811, sixty long years ago.  So many things had transpired in her life since that day so long ago.

When Pleasant Green returned home, Elizabeth was thrilled to learn that he had met his uncle Allen Taylor, (the brother of Pleasant Green and our grandfather Allen Taylor’s father William)   He also met many of the other Taylor relatives.  Whether any of the Kentucky Taylor’s ever joined the church is unknown.


On 11 March 1879, Sarah Louisa Allred Taylor wife of Allen Taylor (our grandmother and daughter-in-law of Elizabeth) died in Washington County, Utah.  She was 66 years old.  Elizabeth had outlived her by ten years.


In 1880, Elizabeth was found living at the home of her son Joseph Taylor in Farr West, Weber County, Utah.  It appears likely that in her later years, she moved from home to home living with different family members.  Her obituary stated that she moved to Harrisville, Weber County, Utah, about eight years before she died.

Elizabeth’s grandchildren all loved their grandmother Taylor, and they took turns seeing that she had fire wood, water and all she needed.  The loved to visit her and to hear her tell the stories of her life and of her people far away in Virginia and Kentucky.


On 25 October 1889 just before her 87th birthday, our mother, grandmother and great grandmother passed away at the home of her son Pleasant Green Taylor in Harrisville, Weber County, Utah.  She was buried in the Ogden City Cemetery.

What a grand lady she was.  To the end of her life she was true to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and to her beloved husband William Taylor.  What a reunion that must have been as she entered into the Spirit World and was reunited with so many of her loved ones.  What a reward she will have on the day of judgement.  She gave everything she had to bring about the growth of the church and to help establish Zion. Isn’t that what each of us have been asked to do?  Are we doing that with the courage and faith that seemed to be ingrained in her very soul?

When the roll of the greatest women of modern times is called, we make no doubt that the name of Lucy Mack Smith the mother of Joseph Smith will head that roll.  The second name on that list will be that of Mary Fielding Smith, the wife of Hyrum Smith and the mother or Joseph F. Smith.

Our grandmother Elizabeth Patrick Taylor is a woman of equal valor.  Her light has shined forth through the years to each of us as her posterity, to guide our way when we are oppressed with heavy burdens, for the struggling widow with a family, for the poverty laden, for the sorrowing heart, to encourage us to hold fast and not be defeated.

When life becomes hard and our trials become heavy to bear, we can remember her life and the many, many trials she endured so well.  How can we ever thank her for what she did, to make it possible for us to be members of the only “true and living church” upon the face of this earth.

The material in this history of the Taylor Family was compiled and written by many members of the Taylor Family over the years.  In February of 2008, Colleen Bennett Reid, a fourth great grand daughter of William and Elizabeth Patrick, gathered the material and put it together in the above history.  It is only as accurate as the material that has been given to me by members of the Taylor Family.  Some of the names of the Taylor Family that have done the research are: Blain Taylor, Richmond Texas, Don Frank, Ogden Utah, Shari Humpherys Frank, and Lella Marler Hogan.

Edited by Robyn Reid Dickson, a fifth great gand daughter of William and Elizabeth Patrick Taylor.  March 2008


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