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Nancy Bellzona's Picture Book
The Flood's - Maria L. (Yelton) Griffing

Maria L. (Yelton) GriffingBorn January 12, 1823

At the time of this document Mrs. Griffing was still living in Johnston County, Texas after the death of her husband, December 1885.

Mariah L. Yelton, Griffing, Mrs. Aaron Ross Griffing is listed as being from one of the prominent families in Kentucky. The families that carried on agriculture extensively, and had great influence in the Blue Grass State.

Rod's great, great, great grandparent's family bible online



Dr. Robert Taylor Rod's 7th Great Grandfather.  Our line then goes through John, the second son who was lame and taught school.  The rest of the story is interesting if you have time to read it .



Generously transcribed and submitted by Suzanne Yelton Shephard
Thanks Suzanne!  


Pg. 1


The following was written by Mrs. Mattie Yelton Taylor and published in the Pendleton Reformer of Butler, KY, sometime in the late 1880s.


There is not, perhaps, in the entire vocabulary of English names, one more common than Taylor. I have been told, however, that the majority of the Taylors must run back through England to Scotland to find the root of their family tree. While our family thus finds its origin, I have met persons of our name who did not trace their ancestry many generations back and not related to us, yet they resemble members of our family. The portrait of General Zachariah Taylor strikingly resembles some members of our family. The prominent nose and large mouth are characteristics of the Taylor portraits in our family.

According to tradition and manuscripts, our Anglo-American ancestry begins with Dr. Robert Taylor who was born in London, England sometime at or near the beginning of the eighteenth century. His parents were born in Scotland and came to London to avoid religious persecution. Their son, Robert, was a graduate of Oxford college, Oxfordshire, England. This we get from manuscript found among father Taylor's old papers, and now tradition weaves a wonderful web of romance in Dr. Taylor's eventful life. Having thoroughly equipped himself in the repeutics, he gallantly launches the life boat of adventure. Tradition says he took a ship for the Indian Isles, but the vessel was captured by pirates, and all were put to death except the good Doctor, who was spared that he might give his captors the benefit of his craft.

Eventually, he landed in Philadelphia and established himself as a physician. It was not long till he was favored with a call. A man had been thrown from a horse and seriously hurt. When he (Dr. Taylor) arrived at the scene of the disaster, he was surprised to see a handsome young woman playing the part of a surgeon. She had witnessed the fall from her window, hastened to the rescue and substituting her stocking for a bandage and her pocket knife for a lancet, had punctured the right vein and the breath of life again came to the unfortunate horseman.  It was there that the doctor met his fate, fell in love and found a wife. The fair surgeon's name was Philadelphia Adkins but was soon changed to Mrs. S. Robert Taylor. The Adkins part of the name was appreciated so highly that it is still in the Taylor family. Philadelphia was dropped after several generations, as those who bore it always died in childhood and superstition cast it away.

Robert Taylor's first daughter was named Philadelphia; she is buried in Mason?? County. My grandfather's Philadelphia sleeps in the old home graveyard. Two other Philadelphias rest with the silent members of the old Kentucky home near by.

By the above named romantic union, we learn from the manuscript there were four children born: William and John, Judith and Nancy. Judith bloomed in the garden of time four summers and was transplanted to the fair fields of immortality.

Some of our family say that Dr. Taylor went to the West Indies to recuperate his health and died there. His great grandson, Robert Adkins Taylor, gave his version that he sailed for England to look after an inheritance; the ship, Taylor, credentials and all were lost at sea.

The next account we have of the Taylor family is in Prince William County, VA. Dr. Taylor's widow married a man named Parker. The oldest son, William, inherited his father's estate, consisting of much land and Negroes. The second son, John, grandfather of the Kentucky branch of Taylors, was a lame man who taught school for his living.

William the head of the F.F.V. branch of the Taylor family married a Miss Hannah Brown, by whom he had eleven children. He remained in his father's old estate, I have been told that there are many descendants in Virginia, some in Stafford County. John, head of the Kentucky branch, married a Miss Elizabeth Summers, whose mother's maiden name was Edwards, thereby connecting us with the New York Edwards estate.

Nancy Taylor, sister to William and John, married a man named Hull and lived on the banks of the James River, near its mouth. She had only one child, a daughter who married a man named Jackson. This part of the history comes from one of my aunts, who wishes to claim kin with Stonewall Jackson, of Confederate fame.

We must now begin to copy from father Taylor's record and other old papers.  

Pg. 2

Robert Taylor, the main subject of this sketch, was the oldest son of Dr. Robert Taylors' son John and was born in Prince William County, VA, July 28, 1758. Two years later his brother John was born and afterwards a sister, Philadelphia, who died in childhood.

When Robert Taylor was twelve years of age, his father moved to Frederick County, VA where he remained until after the close of the Revolution. In October, 1779, father Taylor arrived at manhood's estate, came with Col. Calloway and others to Kentucky(?) to establish a frontier outpost, making Stroude's Station their headquarters. From this point young Robert roamed at will with his gun for companion. This was the happy hunting ground of the Redmen; by his rights of preemption and guaranteed by the Great Spirit. He was not disposed to yield to the paleface cause quietly. In March of 1780 the Indians began depredations by killing Col. Calloway and _____ Rollins at Fort Boonesborough. This of course roused the ire of the white man.

This attack of the savages made it necessary for the white man to keep his powder dry and to hold himself in readiness for self defense at a minutes warning. Father Taylor, havinf roamed alone twenty to thirty miles from the station, became a willing and active participant in the scouting parties necessary for border life protection.

During the summer of that year, the British and Indians captured Martin's and Ruddle's Stations. Grandfather Taylor with a party of volunteers under Capt. John Holden and led by Col. Benj. Moran, joined Gen. Clark at the confluence of the Licking River and marching to the Indian towns on the Miami and Mad Rivers, burning them, with their cornfields. After this adventure in Indian warfare, he returned to Kentucky. In November of that year, while Daniel Boone and his brother were hunting, Indians fired on them, killing the brother and pursuing Daniel, who narrowly escaped to tell the tale.

A company was organized the next day under Capt. Gatliff. Father Taylor remembered the place described by Boone, having seen it on a hunting excursion, and went with the party as guide to the place. The dead body was found, scalped and partly eaten by the wildcats. The sad burial completed, they started in pursuit of the murders who, with characteristic cunning made their escape.

In January, 1781, having lived a frontier life for fifteen months, he returned to his father's in Frederick County, VA. In July 1781, he volunteered under Capt. Thomas Perry to assist in dispersing a band of Tories along the south bank of the Potomac. They were led by Gen. Daniel Morgan and consummated the undertaking with a sprinkling of blood-letting on the part of the Tories. The following August, he volunteered under capt. George Bell and Lieut. Henry Catlett, acting as orderly, went to Yorktown where he remained until the surrender of Cornwallis. He assisted in guarding prisoners to Winchester VA and was discharged by proclamation but afterwards assisted in again gusrding prisoners from Winchester to Lancaster Barracks, in Pennsylvania with Capt. Haskill, Lieut. Jenkins and Ensign McGuire. This ends his history as a soldier of the Revolution.

In January, 1782 he married Miss Mary Summers of Kraderic County, VA., and in November 1783, his father John Taylor, came with his two sons, Robert and John, to make their future home in the wilds of Kentucky. Father Taylor had tasted the wild border life with its exciting scenes, yet, like a certain editor, he thought Kentucky good enough for any living man and even some dead ones had _______ place.

From their home in Virginia, they came to Stroude's Station where they remained until the fall of 1784 when they removed to Tate's Creek in Madison County. During the summer of 1785, an encampment of Indians was discovered above the three forks of the Kentucky River. He joined a company of horsemen led by Capt. Christopher Ervine and Lieut. Estell but when they reached the camp, no Indians were seen, and the party returned.

In the fall of 1785, Father Taylor moved to Washington, near Limestone in Mason County. His old manuscript says during the following summer, Indians were very troublesome, capturing boats on the Ohio, stealing horses and whatever suited their fancy. Again it became necessary for the settlers to take up arms in self-defense and many skirmishes in which Father Taylor engaged with Capt. Baker, Kenton, Helm and others.

In September of that year, it became necessary to organize against marauding bands of Indians once more. Led by Col. Logan, he volunteered under Capt. Simon Kenton. They marched to the Indian towns on the Mad River, fought a battle in which both whites and Redmen fell, captured about thirty Indians and reduced their towns to ashes. This closes his Indian warfare, so far as old and stained papers give us light. These papers are copies of his application for a pension as a soldier of the Revolutionary War. One more item from tradition, I have been told that, when his second child was but two days old, the mother sat up half the night moulding bullets from pewter plates to help defend Fort Boonesborough against an attack of Indians.

Pg. 3

Now we come to things that happened only a hundred years ago. In December 1797, having purchased several thousand acres of government land, then an unbroken wilderness, he moved from Mason County to a cabin he had built on the west bank of Flour Creek, nearly opposite the beautiful residence of Col. Jackson Drucker. Soon after, he built a two-story sawed log house, near where now stands the old brick house which was completed, according to the story of one of my aunts, in the Autumn of 1819, the year his youngest son was born. In his new home state, he was destined to pass through waters of sorrow both deep and wide. In November 1807, a daughter of seventeen years, died; two days later, a second daughter nineteen years old, passed to the unseen world. Death not yet satisfied, a few days later, bore away a little six year old boy, the yawning grave closing over his remains beside his sisters. These were indeed days of sore trials, but more appalling sorrows awaited him.

In the following spring, on the 19th of May, the day closed sultry. In the western horizon, clouds were sending up frequent flashes of lightening. On they rolled in terrific grandeur. Deep rumbling thunder heralded the coming storm. Quickly the family had gathered beneath the sheltering roof, louder and more terrifying came the startling peels of thunder. The mother holding within her sheltering arms little three year old Sophia. Calmly sat the brave father and husband near her side, and then a blinding flash and startling crash and the stillness of death reigned. Recovering Consciousness, father Taylor found himself on the floor. His first words were "Is there anyone alive in the house?" "I am father," plaintively came from his son Robert, The electric flashes partly revealed the heartrending scene. A candle was lighted and quickly revealed the true terrors of death. Prone at his feet was his beloved wife, Mary, the love of his youth; and their jewel, the amethyst little Sophia, calmly sleeping the sleep of death. A few feet away lay Elijah, his fifteen year old boy, who a few hours before had cheerily followed the plow. He too, was cold in death.

The scene beggars description, we turn away to weep. Few mortals have been subjected to a greater trial. But a brave heart beat within his breast and nerves of steel held away to bear him over the stormful wave of sorrow, while an abiding faith in Him who reigns on high, gave him a "present help in this time of trouble". My aunt Nancy Griffing, God Bless her memory, related this startling event to me when she was near four score years of age. She was about twenty years old when she witnessed the sad scene. Said she; "I never in my life remember such a night of storm". Storm after storm followed in rapid succession all through the night. All night long the angry heavens bombarded the trembling earth with glittering flashes and roaring crash. During servere thunder storms at night, the weird scene often passes in my imagination before me; the upturned faces of the dead in the lurid lightening's glimmer; the awe-stricken friends standing around in tearful silence; only the sobs of the bereft husband and father are heard above the raging storm. This trying ordeal was, perhaps, the saddest episode of his eventful life, but with Christian philosophy and fortitude, he lived for the living and waited God's time to call him to join the loved ones on the other shore.

Of his family by his first wife, Mary, twelve in number, nine are buried in the old graveyard here, one in Mason County, one in Kenton County and one in Indianapolis. He afterwards married Miss Fannie Yelton, by whom he had five children. His youngest daughter Mrs. Amelia Morris, now nearly eighty-one years old, lives near Vernon in Marion County, IL. His youngest son, Anthony W. Taylor, named for one of his father's comrades in Indian warfare, lives at his father's home and was seventy-eight years old, December 18, 1897, just one hundred years from the date his father made the place his home. Note from Anthony Wayne Taylor: Father Taylor married Mrs. Alice Vader Thomasson for his third wife. She died six years before his death.

After all the ups and downs in life, the wings of time gently wafted him down to the grand old age of ninety-three years, four months and fourteen days. Late on the evening of December 11, 1851, he quietly passed over the border land stream to join the many loved ones gone before. "Three worn and weary wheels of life stood still, the long jouney ended and the fatigued and dust covered pilgrim was at last home."

The veteran of the cross and of his country's wars had filled his mission and retired. Almost a century of sunshine and shadows mingled with storms had passed over his devoted head. I have been there by my aunts and they are high authority with me that grandfather Taylor's wedding was the second performed in Kentucky with one of Col. Calloway's family leading. Grandfather Taylor sleeps in the old family burial place among many kindred sleepers. There rest the remains of his mother (his father John was buried in Mason County) there rests his three wives and twelve of his seventeen children. His brother John and wife, with many of their descendants sleep here as well. His cousin George Taylor and his wife, with a host of their descendants sleep in the same place. It is, as it were, a grand family reunion.  

Pg. 4

George Taylor came from Stafford County, VA after the beginning of this century and brought the first school to this settlement. He was the son of William Taylor, who inherited Dr. Robert Taylor's estate. At his father's death, uncle George went to Virginia and brought the negroes to Kentucky, leaving quite a sum from which he received an annuity during his life and at his death, this sum was divided among his children. Two of his sons, Robert and John, their respective ages being seventy-eight and seventy-six. One son, A.D. Taylor lives in Missouri and is eighty years old. The youngest daughter, Mrs. Lucinda Montgomery, lives with her son Alexander, on Willow Pike near the Campbell County line. She is seventy-two and was a playmate of mine during childhood. The descendants of Dr. Robert Taylor are scattered all over the United States and if the Virginia branch with grandfather's start of eleven, was as prolific as was his brother John's start of two, there must be Taylors and kindred enough to deliver Cuba from her present troubles.

Father Taylor was reared in the Baptist faith, but in 1826 he joined the Christian Church. In this year the first congregation of Disciples in this county was organized in the west room of his house and he became its first Elder As long as his strength permitted he took an active part in advancing the cause of his Master. He lived to see all of his children and many of his neighbors embrace the same faith and many of his grandchildren are members of the same church today. The lot on which the present church stands was a gift from this venerable man.

Mrs. L. Harnady, granddaughter of father Taylor, who is now sojourning with Miss Fannie Taylor, another granddaughter living at Flour Creek, is the leading lady of this sketch of grandchildren and the one who requested me to write this history. She hails from Indiana, where some of the great-grandsons of father Taylor are leading men in their great state. Among his many grandsons here are Jesse S. Taylor, Jasper H. Taylor of Covington, Ferdinand Taylor and last but not lease, his great grandson, Joel Taylor of Butler, Kentucky. There is one more grandson whom I nearly forgot, Robert Adkin Taylor of Fort Wayne, IN. In Illinois are three grandsons, James Taylor Norris, Alonzo Norris and Robert Norris. Ferdinand Taylor Sr. was a son of father Taylor and father to Miss Fannie named above.

End of this history…

Taylor Family Cemetary

Located on Rock Quarry Property near Butler, Kentucky.
Close to the confluence of Flour Creek and the Licking River
This information gathered by Gaylon Lovelace on May 7, 1992.

Name         Birth Date      Death Date     Comments

Piercy, William N.             1851                1907   
Piercy, Margery    1843    1925
Taylor, Fannie                   1838 Dec 05   1919  Nov 11
Taylor, Alice                      1822    1846 Feb 23    Wife of Robert Sen Taylor in her 24th yr.

Taylor, Robert Sen                       ------     1851 Dec 11   Age 93 yrs. 4 months, 14 days (The top of this stone was broken off so no name was on standing stone but was found nearby and matched bottom exactly)

Barton, Mary T.                ------     1875 Feb 22    Age 71 years 6 months
Barton, William L. Sen     ------     1865 Apr 12
Barton, Julius V.               ------     1864 Jul 21     Age 14 years
Yelton, Samuel      ------     1828 Aug 15   Age 41 years 9 months
Yelton, John H.                 1809 Apr 29    1870 May 19  A small stone nearby reads Holmes 1882.
Little________ (this may have been a Yelton child)


There are several stones standing that the inscriptions are well past reading. I counted 14 but am sure there are many others as it is badly overgrown. This is the Taylor family cemetery mentioned in the Barton Papers and was located near the original Robert Taylor log cabin into which he moved in 1797 from Mason County. Some of the several thousand acres that Robert Taylor purchased is still owned by his descendants.

Thanks to Gaylon Lovelace, researcher



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