Taylor’s parents were early settlers in county

Published 12:03 am Saturday, April 18, 2015

Several stories have been written about the prominent Taylor family of Covington and Crenshaw Counties. A descendant in this family, Doyle Taylor of Dozier, wrote and submitted his family story for publication in “The Heritage of Covington County, Alabama.” Today’s column will be a review of his narrative with some additional information from Ancestry.com.

Doyle wrote more about some of his family lines in a few generations. Additional information will be shared at this point about his earlier Taylor ancestors. They were also the forefathers of most of the Taylor descendants who reside or have resided in this area.

The earliest ancestor identified by this writer is James Davis Taylor who was born in 1774. The name of his wife is not known, but they had the following children: Jacob, b. 1801, d. 1870, m. Sarah Elizabeth Boyd (b. 1809); Alfred, b. 1805, m. Sarahann; Caroline, b. 1920, Martha, b. 1822; William, b. 1826, m. Mary. At least some if not all the children were born in North Carolina.

The son, Jacob Taylor, was married to Sarah Elizabeth Boyd, and they were both born in North Carolina. They reared a large family of 15 children. They were: Polly Ann; William A., b. 1828; Furney Griffin “Fern” Taylor, b. 1831, d. 1897, m. (1) Mary Louisa Brunson (1837-1875) (2) Margaret Brunson (3) Ponie Deloach; James W., b. 1831; Mahala, b. 1832; Richard, b. 1832; Dosender, b. 1834; Holland Amanda, b. 1835; Sarah J., b. 1838; Windel Boyd, b. 1840, d. 1938; Mary Ann, b. 1842; Martha R., b. 1844; John Davis, b. 1846, d. 1937, m. Mary Frances Agnes Wise (1852-1937; Rebecca E, b. 1848; and Jacob Henry, b. 1850, d. 1921.

Jacob Taylor’s son, Furney Griffin “Fern” Taylor, is the line this writing will focus on. He was born in 1831 in Covington County, Ala., at the Lower Hollands Bridge, east of Patsaliga River. That means his parents were among the very earliest settlers in the area. There were numerous Taylor families who established their residences in Covington and Crenshaw Counties. They made significant contributions to the business and social development of the area.

Fern Taylor grew up in the area with his many siblings and other relatives. He was married first in 1855 to Mary Louise Brunson, daughter of Benjamin and Martha (Franklin) Brunson. Benjamin Brunson was the son of David and Sarah (Richburg) Brunson Jr. The names of their known children are: Mary Ann Louise, b. 1856, d. 1934, m. Herschel Mars Carnes (1855-1936); Jacob Benjamin “Ben,” b. 1858; James Thomas “Tom,” b. 1860, d. 1942; W.B, 1861, d. 1865; Furney Griffin Jr., 1864, d. 1866; John Henry, b. 1866, d. 1913, m. Mary Ellen Cleghorn (d. 1947); Rabe, b. 1867; and Albert Joseph, b. 1868, d. 1946.

Following Mary Louise’s death in 1875, Fern Taylor was married that year to Margaret Brunson, daughter of Albert and Elizabeth (Jenkins) Brunson. Margaret was a first cousin to the first wife since their fathers were brothers, sons of David Brunson Jr. Shortly after this marriage, Fern moved his family to Lott, Tex., Two years later in 1877, Margaret died following the birth of a child. Then in 1878 Fern Taylor was married a third time to Ponie DeLoach, a widow with three children. One can only imagine the challenges of this large family. At some point the family returned to Covington County, but two of the sons, Benjamin and James Thomas, remained in Texas.

Furney Griffin “Fern” Taylor appears to be the F.G. Taylor who enlisted in the Confederate Army and rendered military service in Company C, 7th Alabama Cavalry. His record in the Alabama Archives lists John T. Watson and J.A. Turner as witnesses to his death in 1897.

Fern’s son, John Henry Taylor, was born in Covington County. Upon reaching adulthood, he was married to Mary Ellen Cleghorn, daughter of Samuel C.O. and Martha (Holland) Cleghorn. John Henry Taylor had been married to Martha’s sister before her death. Samuel was the son of John and Elizabeth (Cowart) Cleghorn. Elizabeth Cowart was the daughter of John W. and Betsy (Cleghorn) Cowart. John Henry died at 47 years of age leaving his wife a widow with nine children. He, as many of these Taylor relatives, were buried in the Mount Ida Cemetery in Crenshaw County.

John Henry and Mary Ellen (Cleghorn) Taylor had at least nine children, but the name of only one, Ferman Taylor, is known to this writer. Ferman was married to Clara Compton, daughter of Joe Talmadge and Nettie L. (Richburg) Compton. The couple resided in the Brantley and Dozier communities and later moved to Luverne circa 1940. They were living during the challenging years of the Great Depression and dealing with the daily challenges of meeting the needs of the family. Ferman and Clara reared five children. Clara Compton’s father, Joel Talmadge Compton, was the son of Thomas and Susan (Capps) Compton with Thomas being the son of “Friendly” Compton of the Sumpter District of S.C. Clara Compton’s parents reared four children: Joe, Clara, Nancy Lou and Annie Lee. Clara’s mother, Nettie L. (Richburg) Compton was the daughter of Joseph L. and Priscilla Ann (Buckelew) Richburg with Priscilla Ann being the daughter of George Buckelew.

A younger brother of the above Furney Griffin Taylor, John Davis Taylor (1848-1937, was married to Mary Frances Agnes Wise (1852-1937). John Davis was a farmer in this area until he moved his family to Milam, Tex., in 1880. He lived out his life there and was buried in Somerville, Tex. He and Mary Frances Agnes reared the following 11 children: Robert, b. 1873; Elizabeth, b. 1876; Mary L., b. 1877; Ella Lee, b. 1879; Carrie A., b. 1884, d. 1920, m. John C. Bettis; John R., b. 1888; George W., b. 1889; Agnes P., b. 1891; Maggie, b. 1893; Birdie, b. 1896; and Burnice, b. 1896, The first four children were born in Alabama before the move to Texas where all the other children were born.

In his family story in The Heritage History of Covington County, Alabama, Doyle Taylor, son of the above Ferman Taylor, shared much of the above plus some about his personal life. He enlisted for service in the U.S. Army in June 1948 ahead of the draft for the Korean War. His service time was extended and he later chose to remain in the army as his career. He retired P.D.R.L. and returned to his home in Brantley for a few years before moving to Covington County. Doyle was married to Sue Russell who was residing in Columbus, Ga., at the time. They had three children: Robert Willis, m. Nellie Wright; Henry Griffin, single; and John David, m. Beverly Linton. David and Beverly have three children: David, Amy and Jamie. They all reside in the general area.

Doyle had one sister, Barbara Jean Taylor, who married W.R. Williamson and had the following children: Michael, Leah, Kaye and Emily. There are many other family lines for the Taylors that could be researched. The sources for this writing were listed in the beginning paragraph.

Anyone who might find an error or have a question regarding the above is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420: 3340-804-1442; or Email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.