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Zachary Taylor


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President Zachary Taylor

Zachary Taylor, an American statesman, 12th President of the United States; born in Orange County, Va., 24 September 1785. He was the son of a Virginia colonel, who served in the Revolutionary War. The family removed to Kentucky in 1785. In 1808 he was appointed a lieutenant of infantry, and in 1810 promoted to captain. In 1812 he was appointed to the command of Fort Harrison, near the present city of Terra Haute, Ind., which he defended with his troops from the attack of a large force of Indians, for which he was brevetted major. He served in the Black Hawk War of 1832, and in 1837 was given full command in Florida, where he defeated the Indians in the battle of Okechobee, thereby putting an end to the Indian War. In 1840 he was given command in the Southwest. When Texas was annexed, he marched to Corpus Christi. In 1846 he was ordered to the Rio Grande, the Mexican invasion having been already planned. He established a camp opposite Matamoras. The Mexicans claimed that the Nueces was the actual Texas boundary, and the Mexican commander ordered Taylor to withdraw. Acting under orders from his government, he refused. Fearing his base of supplies at Point Isabel would be cut off, Taylor marched for that place. On the way he was attacked, an won the two victories of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, on two successive days. Having been ordered to send his best troops to reinforce General Scott, he won the victory of Beuna Vista, nevertheless, in 1847, with a force much superior to the enemy's. In 1848 he was nominated by the Whig Convention for the presidency, and was elected. Inaugurated on 4 March 1849, he died in Washington, D. C., 9 July, 1850. On account of his promptness and abrupt manner he was called "Old Rough and Ready."

  1. ZACHARY TAYLOR, b. 24 Nov. 1784, Montebello, Orange Co. Va.ód. 9 Jul. 1850, The White House, Washington, DC; m. 21 Jun. 1810, Jefferson Co., Ky., to Margaret Mackall Smith (b. 21 Sep. 1788, Calvert Co., Md.ód. 14 Aug. 1852, East Pascagoula, Mississippi.
  2. Richard Taylor, b. 3 Mar. 1744, Orange Co., Va.ód. 19 Jan. 1829, near Lexington, Ky; m. 20 Aug. 1779, Orange Co.
  3. Sarah Dabney Strother, b. 14 Dec. 1760, probably Orange Co. Va.ód. 13 Dec. 1822, Woodford Co. Ky.
  4. Zachary Taylor, b. 17 Apr. 1707, Orange Co. Va.ód. after 29 Mar. 1768, Orange Co.,VA; m. ca. 1734, probably Northumberland Co., Va.
  5. Elizabeth Lee, b. ca. 1707, Northumberland Co. ,Va.ód. ca. 1750, Orange Co., Va; widow of Swan Jones.
  6. William Strother, b. ca. 1725, probably Hanover Co., Va.ód. ca. 1808, Woodford Co., Ky; m. ca. 1752.
  7. Sarah Bayly, b. ca. 1720, probably Middlesex Co., Va.ód. between 23 Aug.ó22 Dec. 1774, Orange Co., Va; widow of William Pannill of Culpeper Co., Va.
  8. James Taylor Jr., b. 14 Mar. 1674/5, King and Queen Co., Va.ód. 23 Jun. 1729, probably Orange Co. Va.; m. 23 Feb. 1699, probably New Kent or King and Queen Co., Va.
  9. Martha Thompson, b. ca. 1679ód. 19 Nov. 1762, probably Orange Co., Va.
  10. Hancock Lee, b. ca. 1653, Northumberland Co. Va.ód. 25 May 1729, Wicomico, Northumberland Co., Va; m. ca. 1700.
  11. Sarah Allerton, b. ca. 1670, Westmoreland Co., Va.ód. 17 May 1731; probably widow of [ó?ó] Newton.
  12. Francis Strother, b. probably Richmond Co., Va.ód. ca. 1752, probably St. Mark's Parish, Culpeper Co., Va.
  13. Susannah Dabney, d. after 1752.
  14. [unknown]
  15. [unknown]
  16. James Taylor, b. (allegedly) Carlisle, Englandód. 30 Apr. 1698, King and Queen Co., Va.; m. 30 Apr. 1698.
  17. Frances [ó?ó], d. 23 Sep. 1680, probably New Kent Co., Va.
  18. [probably] Roger Thompson, a resident of New Kent Co., Va.
  19. [unknown]
  20. Richard Lee, bapt. 22 Mar. 1617/8, Worcester Saint Martin, Worcestershire, Englandód. between 6 Feb. 1663/4ó20 Apr. 1664, Cobbs Hall, Northumberland Co., Va; m. ca. 1641, prob. Jamestown, Va.
  21. Anne Constable, bapt. 21 Feb. 1621, London, Englandód. ca. 1706.
  22. Isaac Allerton, Jr., b. ca. May 1627ó1630, Plymouth, Mass.ó d. 1702, Westmoreland Co., Va; m. between 8 Sept. 1662ó20 Feb. 1663/4, Va.
  23. Elizabeth Willoughby, b. ca. 1635, prob. Lower Norfolk Co., Va.; widow of Simon Overzee and George Colclough.
  24. William Strother, Jr., b. ca. 1665, prob. Rappahannock Co., Va.ód. after 26 Jul. 1726, King George Co., Va.
  25. Margaret Thornton, b. 2 Apr. 1768, prob. Richmond Co., Va.
  26. [Bayly]
  27. [Taylor]
  28. [Thompson]
  29. John Lee, bur. 23 Feb. 1629/30, Worcester Saint Martin, Worcestershire, England; m. aft. 1616.
  30. Jane Hancock, bur. 24 Feb. 1638/9, Worcester Saint Martin, England.
  31. Francis Constable, b. Datchet, Buckingham, Englandód. 1 Aug. 1647, London, England.
  32. Alice [ó?ó]
  33. Isaac Allerton (Mayflower), b. ca. 1585, Suffolk, Englandód. between 1ó12 Feb. 1658/9, New Haven, Conn.; m. ca. 1626, Plymouth, Mass.
  34. Fear Brewster, b. ca. 1606ód. aft. 12 Dec. 1634, Plymouth, Mass.
  35. Thomas Willoughby, b. ca. 1598-1601/2, All Hallows, Barking, London, Englandód. aft. 15 April 1657, Va.
  36. Alice [ó?ó]
  37. William Strother, d. bet. 1700ó1702, Richmond Co., Va.
  38. Dorothy [ó?ó]
  39. Francis Thornton, b. 5 Nov. 1651, prob. Gloucester Co., Va.ód. ca. 1726, prob. King George Co., Va.; 13 Apr. 1674, Richmond Co., Va.
  40. Alice Savage
  41. [Thompson]
  42. John Lyes, b. ca. 1563; d. 1597.
  43. Alice Harte, b. 1563; d. 1640.
  44. Edward Hancock
  45. Alice Jeffreys
  46. Robert Constable, bapt. 9 Sep. 1590.
  47. Margery Barker
  48. [Allerton]
  49. William Brewster (Mayflower), b. ca. 1566/7, prob. Doncaster, Yorkshire, Englandód. 10 Apr. 1644, Plymouth, Mass.
  50. Mary [ó?ó], b. ca. 1568óód. 17 Apr. 1627, Plymouth, Mass.
  51. [possibly] William Strother
  52. [possibly]Elizabeth [ó?ó]
  53. William Thornton, d. aft. 1708, Va.
  54. Anthony Savage, d. ca. 1695, Richmond Co., Va.
  55. Sarah Constable, bapt. 16 Mar. 1616/7, London, England.


  • Gary Boyd Roberts, Ancestors of American Presidents (Santa Clarita, California: Carl Boyer, 3rd, 1989), pp. 18-20.
  • William D. Ligon, The Ligon Family and Connections (Hartford: Bond Press, 1947), pp. 40-41.
  • Thomas McAdory Owen, William Strother, of Virginia, and His Descendants (Harrisburg, Penn.: Harrisburg Publishing Co., 1898), pp. 28-31, 37-38, 43, 45.
  • William Thorndale, AG, CG, "The Parents of Colonel Richard Lee of Virginia," National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 76 (December, 1988), No. 4, pp. 253-267.
  • Richard Lee, the Immigrant, Lee Family Digital Archive, online, downloaded 8 January 2007.
  • The Ancestry of Anna Constable, online, downloaded 8 January 2007.
  • George Ernest Bowman, "A Genuine Mayflower Relic," The Mayflower Descendant, Vol. 34 (January, 1937), No. 1, p. 3.

Ronald Vern Jackson's Zachary Taylor and Margaret Mackall Smith Ancestry (Salt Lake City: Accelerated Indexing Systems, Inc., 1980), Chart 1, claims that the immigrant James Taylor was the son of Thomas Taylor and Margaret Swinderby.

Chart 2 of Jackson's Zachary Taylor and Margaret Mackall Smith Ancestry identifies Susannah Dabney as a daughter of Cornelius Dabney and Sarah Jennings. However, Thomas McAdory Owen's William Strother, of Virginia, and His Descendants states (pp. 37-48):

The names of her parents, and to what branch of the family Susannah (Dabney) Strother belongs, has not been ascertained. It has been popularly erroneously supposed that she was the daut. of Cornelius Dabney and his wife, Sarah Jennings, and much has been written and said as to the claim of her descendants to a share in a great "Jennings estate." The absurdity of the claim will be apparent when it is understood that her son, John Dabney Strother, was b. in 1721, the same year Sarah Jennings was married. The latter fact is proven by the following entry in the first minute book of Hanover Co. (formed from New Kent in 1720): "Ordered that it be recorded that on ó day of April, 1721, Cornelius Dabney, late of England, intermarried with Sarah Jennings." There are various other Dabney traditions not necessary to recount . . . But these early generations have never been cleared up, and it were mere speculation in the absence of records to attempt to say who were the parents of Susannah.

Zachary Taylor's cousins include President James Madison (through James Taylor) and Gen. Robert E. Lee (through Col. Richard Lee). As a descendant of William Brewster, Sydney Biddle Barrows (the scandalous "Mayflower Madam") shares a kinship to President Taylor.