By Fletcher Freeman
Our William Taylor, father of Elizabeth Taylor McCulloh may be the William Taylor who signed several deeds as a member and chief of the Tuscarora Tribe.
In 1717, the NC Council created the Indian Woods Reservation for the Tuscarora in a Treaty with Chief Tom Blount. It consisted of “all the land lying between Mr. Jones’ lower land on the North side of the Moratoc River (Roanoke) to Quitsana Swamp” Two towns were created, one of which was “Resootska” or King Blounts’s Town. This reservation was approximately 60,000 acres. It was not specifically defined until 1748 at which time it was delineated from Quitsana Swamp north to Rocquist Swamp, west to Falling Run Creek/Deep Creek and south to the Roanoke River and back to Quitsana.
William Taylor was the son of Jonathan Taylor and wife Catherine. He is thought to have been born around 1722/25 in Bertie County, NC. Jonathan Taylor was listed on the 1718 & 1719 Perquimans Tithables with only 1 tax. This means he was at least 16 at that time but had no other 16 year old males in his household. Jonathan purchased 300 acres on the East side of Quitzna Swamp and north of the Roanoke River in 1721 from James Williamson who was listed 2 persons below Jonathan on the 1718 Tithables list so they must have been neighbors in Perquimans. If you look at the Mosely Map of 1733, this land would have been adjacent to the Tuscarora Indian Town named “Resootikeh.” This was also close to the home of James Castellaw. In fact James Castellaw witnessed a Power of Attorney for Jonathan Taylor in 1728. One of James’ children, John Castellaw, married a Tuscarora Woman named Martha Butler. Another child, Sara Castellaw, married Jesse Barfield and was the mother of Lewis Barfield who married William Taylor’s granddaughter, Katherine McCulloh.
Before moving to Bertie County, Jonathan and Catherine lived on Indian Creek, a tributary of the Yeopim River in Perquimans County, just east of the Chowan River. According to maps showing the earliest Indian Towns dating to the 1500’s and early 1600’s, this was the location of an Indian Town called “Mascoming.” Hence it would appear that Jonathan Taylor moved from the site of one ancient Indian Town to an Indian Reservation.
James Castellaw purchased land on the south side of Cashy River in 1721 from William & Mary Jones and land on the north side of Roquist swamp from John Williams. James Castellaw was married to a Sara Williams. Sarah Williams Castellaw had an Uncle named William Williams and a cousin, born in 1704, named William Williams.
On Feb 1, 1737 Jonathan Taylor sold land on the north side of Morratuck River, adjacent to Edward Mosely. This deed was witnessed by Thomas Whitmell.
In 1739 Chief Tom Blount, Head Chief of the Tuscarora died and was replaced by a James Blount. In 1769 a James Blount acquired 150 acres in the Mt. Olive quadrant of Duplin County, according to the Byrd map of Duplin land holdings. In fact, a James Blount witnessed a Duplin County deed from William Taylor to John Rogers in 1752. All 3 of these names appear on the 1765 lease by the Tuscarora mentioned below.
In 1742 Jonathan Taylor, legatee of George Clark Glover, sold land on the south side of Rocquis Creek to Thomas Blount and Thomas Whitmell.
In 1745, Jonathan Taylor moved to New Hanover County, NC in a part that later became Duplin County. William Taylor apparently moved with him and there is a deed in the Duplin records from Jonathan Taylor to William Taylor.
Also in 1745 a William Williams purchased 640 aces in New Hanover County. This land was near William Taylor, according to the Byrd map of Duplin land holdings.
In 1748, a Thomas Castellaw purchased 200 acres in New Hanover County, (currently the Mt Olive quadrant of Duplin) and then in 1764 he purchased another 70 acres and another 188 acres. Sarah Castellaw Barfield had a brother Thomas Castellaw. Their sister in law was Martha Butler, a known Tuscarora woman.
The Mosely Map of 1733 shows Quitzna, Roquist Swamp and Roanoke River and their relation to the Tuscarora Indian Town. Another Map shows the Indian Town and the location of the Taylor Family.
Algonkian Villages in 1733
1. Poteskeet – Currituck County; 2. Yeopim (Weapemeaoc) – Pasquotank (now Camden) County; 3. Chowan – Chowan (now Gates) County; 4. Mattamuskeet – Hyde County; 5. Hatteras (Croatan) – Currituck (now Dare) County.
(Note, the above map and legends are courtesy http://www.ncgenweb.us/hyde/ethnic/algonqin/moseley.htm)
In 1748 a William Williams, Thomas Pugh, Willie Jones, Simon Turner and Zedekiah Stone were appointed “commissioners” for the Tuscarora. (Could Williams be related to Sarah Williams Castellaw, wife of James Castellaw?)
September 20, 1750 a Thomas Pugh sold 150 acres in Duplin County to a William Taylor. The Byrd maps of Duplin County land transactions show a 150 acre tract acquired by our William Taylor in 1754. It is surrounded by lands later acquired by Lewis Barfield, his grandson in law.
March 29, 1753 at a Council Meeting held at New Bern, Thomas Whitmell, John Hill, and William Taylor were appointed by the NC Government to investigate a Tuscarora complaint about a questionable land deal involving Humphrey Bates. (New Bern is located at the confluence of the Neuse River and the Trent River just northeast of New Hanover County and far south from Bertie County.) The land deal involved 300 acres on the Indian Woods Reservation supposedly given to William Charlton by Chief Tom Blount and then sold by Charlton to Bates. As you will see below, Jonathan Taylor, father of William Taylor, knew and had business dealings with William Charlton and Henry Bate as well as Whitmell and Pugh.
November 23, 1763, Sarah Hunter, John Hill and Wm. Williams, executors of the Estate of Henry Hunter in Bertie County pay money to William Taylor and collect money from a Mr. Whitmell. (Henry Hunter was married to Sarah Whitmell, daughter of Thomas Whitmell II. Sarah Whitmell Hunter was sister to Thomas Whitmell III, born 1713, died 1779. Another Whitmell sister married Col George Pollock, another married Henry Bate, and another married Francis Pugh. Henry Hunter and Jonathan Taylor were involved together in the division of the Estate of John Coward in 1737. Jonathan Taylor also witnessed a deed for John Coward in 1737 involving land adjacent to William Charlton, interpreter for Chief Tom Blount)
1766, a William Taylor was named as a Tuscarora Indian in a lease of 8,000 acres to a William Williams and Thomas Pugh and Willie Jones. This leased land was part of the Indian Woods Reservation. Also named as a tribal member was a John Rogers. Our William Taylor lived next door to a man named John Rogers in Duplin County. In fact, our William Taylor sold land to John Rogers in 1752 in a deed witnessed by a James Blount.
On January 11, 1769 the English Government approved the lease signed by William Taylor, Thomas Blount, John Rogers and other chiefs of the Tuscarora Tribe to William Williams, Thomas Pugh, and Robert Jones.
Thomas Whitmell was an Indian trader who also acquired Tuscarora Indian lands in a later deed. According to his will, he lived on the “Kesia” river. This is probably the same as the “Cashy” near where James Castellaw lived and where Jonathan and William Taylor lived. According to the Livingston book on the Tuscarora (1752 date), Thomas Whitmell was one of the richest Tuscarora Indians. In 1733, a Thomas Whitmell witnessed a deed from Jonathan Taylor selling land on the north side of the Roanoke River, probably on or near the Tuscarora reservation.
The Barfields were related to the Taylors. William Taylor married the daughter of Richard Barfield. Richard’s grandson Frederick (son of Jesse Barfield and Sara Castellow) married a Susannah Williams in 1779. Susannah was the daughter of a William Williams. Furthermore, their daughter, Susan Barfield, married a Needham Bryan around 1800. The 1761 Bertie county Deed records reference land next to a Capt. Needham Bryan, the Tuscarora Indian, Roquist Pocoson. It appears that the Bryan Family had Tuscarora blood and that the Barfields married into it. They may have had other Tuscarora blood – Williams, Taylor, etc. In addition, Sara Castellaw was related to the Williams and one of her brothers married a Tuscarora woman, Martha Butler.
There is a 1724 reference to Barfields Landing along the Meherrin River leading into the Chowan River. This was originally Cotton’s Landing and is now known as Tuscarora Beach. Another coincidence???? It is also close to the original site of the Chief Village of the Chowan Indian Tribe, Chowanoke. The Chowan Tribe was later merged into the Tuscarora.
Another coincidence is the fact that our William Taylor had an uncle named Thomas Taylor, brother to Jonathan Taylor, who was named in a Bertie County Will dated 1724. He also had a brother named Thomas who was later shown as living next to William in Duplin on Goshen Swamp in the 1750’s. This is important because there was a Chief Tom Taylor who lived in New Bern when Baron Von Graffenreid established his settlement there. Chief Taylor was run off by Von Graffenreid in 1717 prior to the beginning of the Tuscarora War and disappeared from history. Could William’s Uncle Tom have been Chief Tom Taylor of New Bern? When run off from New Bern, did he return to Bertie County and the Indian woods Reservation near his brother Jonathan and nephew William?
A final coincidence is the fact that William Taylor was appointed Commissioner to the Tuscarora in 1753 by a man named James Murray, who was a member of the North Carolina Commission. James Murray received his appointment to the Commission due to the influence of Henry McCulloh. This is important because the Grandson of Henry McCulloh, a James McCulloh, married the daughter of our William Taylor.
1703 Richard Barfield acquires land in Chowan/Bertie/Hertford probably at present day Winton where Barfields, Barfield Landing and Tuscarora Beach are located.
This is also near the site of an original Chowan Indian town—Chowanoke or Ohanoke.
1711-1713 Tuscarora War principally along Neuse and Trent Rivers near New Bern, 60 miles S of Bertie County and 60 miles north of Duplin where William Taylor later settles.
1720 Jonathan Taylor buys 300 acres on E side of Quittsnie Swamp on the Roanoke River. Prior to this time he was living on Indian Creek in Perquimans County. This was on or near the site of an ancient Indian Town—Mascoming.
1722/1725 William Taylor born
1723 53,000 acre reservation created for Chowan and Tuscarora tribes along Roanoke River near Quitsnie
1723 Richard Barfield I buys land on Ahotskey Marsh from Henry Baker
1728 Richard Barfield I dies and names daughter Catherine Taylor and granddaughter Elizabeth Taylor in his will
1733 Jonathan Taylor sells 640 acres to George Pollock (son in law of Thomas Whitmell,II)
1737 Thomas Whitmell witnessed deed for Johnathan Taylor at Quitzna swamp & Roanoke River
1741 Jonathan Taylor conveys land to Thomas Blount and Thomas Whitmell located on Rocquis Creek (they were brother’s in law or father/son in law)
1744 Richard Barfield II moves to Duplin County
1745 William Taylor moves to Duplin County with his father Jonathan Taylor
1753 William Taylor, John Hill and Thomas Whitmell appointed Commissioners to Tuscarora Indians. Hill & Whitmell were brothers in law and grandsons of Henry Hunter.
1753 James Murray was a member of the Council at New Bern which appointed William Taylor a commissioner to the Tuscaroras. Murray was an associate of Henry McCulloh whose grandson James married our William Taylor’s daughter.
1766 Sale of 8000 acres at Indian Woods to Jones, Pugh & Williams
1787 William Taylor murdered in Duplin County
Thomas Whitmell, II of Bertie County, NC and his wife ? Hunter had a son Thomas Whitmell III. They also had a daughter Elizabeth who married first George Pollock, possible son of former Gov. Thomas Pollock who was Governor of NC at time of Tuscarora War. Second she married Thomas Blount, possibly related to Chief Tom Blount of the Tuscaroras. Third she married William Williams who may have been the man who acquired the 8000 acres from the Tuscaroras.
Another daughter married John Hill and still another daughter married Francis Pugh.