Ancestor Sketch – William S. Taylor

Bradley-Hingston Project
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.William S. Taylor lived his youth in the historic place where Washington crossed the Delaware. He made a short foray out west, where he married, then returned to Philadelphia with his new bride. After his second marriage, he located to Norfolk, Virginia, where he lived until his death.

Bradley-Hingston – Ancestor #BH-10

List of Grandparents

  •  Grandmother: Magdalen Polk Taylor (1890-1970)
  • 1st Great-grandfather: William S. Taylor (1856-1928)
  • 2nd Great-grandfather: Jacob H. Taylor (1822-___)

William S. Taylor (1856-1928)

Vital Records

William S Taylor was born on 28 December 1856 in Taylorsville[i], Bucks County, Pennsylvania as the first child of Jacob H Taylor and Rebecca L Pittman. He had six siblings, namely: Lydia M, Lizzie W, Florence, Annie, Justice P, and Burnard.

When he was 30, he married Maria Louisa Polk on 17 January 1887 in Jackson, Missouri, USA (at St. Joseph Church by J. J. Kennedy).

When he was 54, he married Mary Ella Rulon, daughter of David O Rulon and Bridget McWerty [?], on 22 November 1911 in New Castle, Delaware, USA (Geo. Lewis Wolfe officiated. Kath Convey & Clifford Williams were witnesses).

He died on 25 September 1928 in Norfolk, Virginia, USA (of Cancer of the esophagus. Medical Code: 44).


When William was born, he had four older siblings

    • Lydia M. – About nine years older (born c. 1847)
    • Justice P. – About seven years older (born c. 1849)
    • Burnard – About three years older (born c. 1853)
    • Lizzie W.– About six year older (born c. 1845)

His sister Florence was born about 1859 when William was about three.


The 1860 Census found three-year-old William living with his parents and five siblings in Taylorsville, Upper Makefield Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. His father was a lumber merchant. Living with them were his grandmother[i], Matilda Pittman, and two hired servants, Mary Wellah from Ireland and Mary Fells from New Jersey.

His sister Annie was born about 1863 when William was about seven.


The 1870 Census reports 13-year-old William living with his parents and four siblings.  His two older brothers, Justice and Burnard, are not in the home. All of the children are attending school, and William’s father, Jacob, is still a lumber merchant. Living with them is Ellen Berry, a 17-year-old domestic from Ireland.


By 1880, 23-year-old William had left home.  He lived and worked with a crew for the Pennsylvania Railroad. He boarded at 34 Lancaster, Philadelphia. This address doesn’t make sense in today’s streets, but because he and 20 other boarders at the same place working for the railroad, I would expect it was close to the train station (30th Street?).

Marriage 1

William married Maria Louisa Polk on 17 January 1887 at the St. Joseph Church in Kansas City, MO. J. J. Kennedy performed the ceremony. Maria was from Arkansas.

William and Maria had three children[ii]

  • Dorothy                         Born January 1888 in Pennsylvania
  • John                                     Born July 1889 in New York
  • Magdalen Polk Taylor Born 31 December 1890

1900 Census

The William Taylor family is one of the few cases where a family was enumerated twice.

The family appears in Philadelphia, ED 159, Sheet 3A, Lines 29 through 34, living on Chestnut Street. William and Maria had been married for 13 years, and Maria had had three children, all of whom were living. William was working as a Cashier, the three children were attending school, and they had a 30-year-old servant, Margaret Raby.

The family also appears in Cape May, Middle Township, New Jersey. Again, William, Maria, Dorothy, John, and Magdalene are present. Living with them is a boarder, 80-year-old John W. Polk, and a housekeeper, Margarette Rabey. Because Maria’s maiden name was Polk, I suspect this 80-year-old is Maria’s father. Also, the servant appears to be the same person. Margaret/Margarette – Raby/Rabey.

1910 Census

I found William living at 32 South 17th Street, Philadelphia. He is a lodger and is working as an accountant at a brewing company. The household head is Mary R Tabor. Also, Mary R. Tyson is a lodger at the address. Daughter Magdalene had married by this time and was living with her new husband. I haven’t researched the other two children yet.

Marriage 2

William S. Taylor married Mary Ella Rulon on 22 November 1911 in New Castle County, Delaware. George Lewis Wolfe officiated, and Kath Convey and Clifford Williams were witnesses. Shortly after their marriage, the couple moved to Norfolk, Virginia, by 1912.

1920 Census

William (age 63) and Mary (age 56) appear in the 1920 Census living on 35th Street in Norfolk, Virginia. None of the children are living with them.


William died 25 September 1928 in Norfolk from esophageal cancer.  His death certificate indicates that the “Place of burial, cremation, or removal” was Philadelphia, PA. Additionally, Quaker meeting records indicate that William S. Taylor’s burial at Westminister, Cemetery. Finally, Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records indicate that William S. Taylor was buried 27-28 September 1928 in Westminster Cem. Southampton[iii], Bucks County, PA.

William did not have a memorial on Find-a-Grave, so I created memorial 223082720. I also requested a photo of the marker.

Events by Location

Delaware, New Castle County Marriage 2 (1911)
Missouri, Jackson County, Kansas City Marriage 1 (1887)
New Jersey, Cape May, Cape May 1900
Pennsylvania, Bucks County Lower Makefield 1870
Pennsylvania, Bucks County, Southampton Burial (1928)
Pennsylvania, Bucks County, Taylorsville Birth (1856)
Pennsylvania, Bucks County, Upper Makefield 1860
Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Philadelphia 1880, 1900, 1910
Virginia, Norfolk (Independent City) 1920, Death (1928)

Locations in the life of William S. Taylor

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • The 1870 Census reports Justice and Burnard are not in the Jacob H. Taylor household. Research to determine if they passed or were enumerated elsewhere.
  • Research exactly where 34 Lancaster, Philadelphia would have been in 1880 and what is there now.
  • Research the potential that William S. Taylor had a son, William S. Taylor, Jr.


  • 1860 Census, NARA, 1860 Census – Jacob K Taylor – Upper Makefield, Bucks, Pennsylvania (PO: Taylorsville). Year: 1860; Census Place: Upper Makefield, Bucks, Pennsylvania; Page: 737; Family History Library Film: 805083.
  • 1870 Census, NARA, 1870 – Jacob H Taylor – Lower Makefield Township, Bucks, Pennsylvania. “United States Census, 1870”, database with images, FamilySearch ( 13R: 4 January 2021), Jacob H Taylor, 1870.
  • 1880 Census, NARA, 1880 – William Taylor – Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 13 November 2020), Wm. Taylor in household of J. L. Worrell, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, British Colonial America; citing enumeration district ED 485, sheet 33B, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm 1,255,182.
  • 1900 Census, 1900 Census – William S Tayler, Jr – New Jersey, Cape May, Middletownship, Angelsea borough, Wildwood borough, Avalon Borough. “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 23 August 2018), William S Tayler Jr., Middle Township Angelsea borough, Wildwood borough, Avalon Borough, Rio Grande Village, Cape May, New Jersey, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 107, sheet 12A, family 308, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,960.
  • 1900 Census, 1900 Census – William S Taylor, et al – Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 9, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0159; FHL microfilm: 1241455.
  • 1910 Census (FS), Family Search, 1910 Census – William Taylor – Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA. “United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 17 February 2021), Wm Taylor, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 480, sheet 5A, family 87, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 1397; FHL microfilm 1,375,410.
  • 1920 Census (FS), Family Search, William S Taylor Norfolk Monroe Ward, Norfolk (Independent City), Virginia.
  • Delaware Vital Records, 1650-1974, Family Search, William S Taylor & Mary E Rulon. “Delaware Vital Records, 1650-1974,” database with images, FamilySearch ( L8PW : 8 November 2020), William S Taylor, 22 November 1911; citing Marriage, Delaware, United States, Delaware Public Archives, Dover; FHL microfilm.
  • Find a Grave Memorial, Find a Grave, Magdalen T. Bradley (1890-1970). Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 25 August 2018), memorial page for Magdalen T. Bradley (31 December 1890–24 November 1970), Find A Grave Memorial no. 182390190, citing Lawnview Cemetery, Rockledge, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by DAO (contributor 47943782).
  • Jackson County, Missouri, US Marriage Records, 1826-2014, Jackson County, MO – Official Website, William Taylor & Marie Polk – 17 January 1887.
  • Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013, Ancestry.Com, Burial – William S Taylor, Jr. 25 September 1928. Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 194.
  • S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935, Ancestry.Com, William S Taylor – Death 25 September 1928. Source Citation: Swarthmore College; Swarthmore, Pennsylvania; Quaker Meeting Records Source Information, U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014. Original data: Swarthmore, Quaker Meeting Records. Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. North Carolina Yearly Meeting Minutes. Hege Friends Historical Library, Guilford College, Greensboro, North Carolina. Indiana Yearly Meeting Minutes. Earlham College Friends Collection & College Archives, Richmond, Indiana. Haverford, Quaker Meeting Records. Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania.
  • Virginia, Death Certificates, 1912-1987, Family Search, William S Taylor, Sr. “Virginia, Death Certificates, 1912-1987,” database with images, FamilySearch ( X55W : 16 August 2019), William S Taylor Sr, 25 September 1928; from “Virginia, Marriage Records, 1700-1850,” database and images, Ancestry ( : 2012); citing Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia, United States, entry #, Virginia Department of Health, Richmond.
  • Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014 (Richmond, Virginia, Virginia Department of Health), Ancestry.Com, Magdalen T. Bradley
  • Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014 (Richmond, Virginia, Virginia Department of Health), Ancestry.Com, William S Taylor Sr – 25 September 1928. Virginia Department of Health; Richmond, Virginia; Virginia Deaths, 1912-2014.


[i] Taylorsville is now “Washington Crossing” an unincorporated village in Bucks County. It is the location where Washington Crossed the Delaware during the Revolutionary War.
[ii] The 1860 Census does not show the relationships between individuals. Jacob’s wife, Rebecca, maiden name was Pittman. The 77-year-old Matilda is presumed to be Rebecca’s mother but has not been proven.
[iii] William may have had another son. When William was buried he was identified as William S. Taylor, Sr. Being a “Senior” suggests that there was a Junior. I haven’t found evidence of a William Junior yet, but it is possible.
[iv] Southampton is an unincorporated community in southeastern Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

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