Happy Birthday Taylor Webster



, , , , ,

Taylor Webster (1748/49-1802)

Taylor Webster was born on 18 Jan 1748/49 in Essex, New Jersey. This area is now in Union County, New Jersey. He was the third child of John Webster and Anna Taylor. His parents were Quakers and attended the Plainfield Monthly Meeting.

Taylor Webster, birth recorded in transcribed Quaker Meeting records.

Taylor had seven siblings, namely: William, Sarah, John, Susannah, Catharine, Hugh, and Anna Webster.

When he was 20, Taylor Webster married Hannah Jackson, daughter of John Jackson and Sarah Doty, on 22 Feb 1769 in Essex, New Jersey. The marriage was performed in the Plainfield Monthly Meeting.

Taylor Webster – Hannah Jackson, marriage recorded in transcribed Quaker Meeting records.

Taylor Webster and Hannah Jackson had the following children:

  1. Sarah Webster. She married Joseph Nicholson. She died before 1804.
  2. Anna Webster was born on 06 Feb 1771 in Plainfield, Union, New Jersey. She married Joseph Moore, possibly in Pennsylvania. She died on 06 Aug 1848 in Ross, Ohio.
  3. William Webster was born on 31 Jan 1773 in Plainfield, Union, New Jersey. He married Mary Marsh on 30 Aug 1795 in Fayette, Pennsylvania. He died on 29 Dec 1846 in Butler, Ohio.
  4. Phebe Webster was born on 22 Mar 1775 in Plainfield, Union, New Jersey. She married William Sturgeon in 1792 in Pennsylvania. She died on 19 Jun 1830 in Ross, Ohio.
  5. Rebecca Webster was born about 1777 in Plainfield, Union, New Jersey. She married Benjamin Vail on 27 Nov 1794 in Fayette, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Margaret Fitz Randolph and Abraham Vail. Rebecca Webster Vail died before 1813 in Plainfield, Belmont, Ohio.
  6. Susannah Webster was born between 1777–1785 in Plainfield, Union, New Jersey. She married George Ramsey about 1803 in Ohio.
  7. John Webster was born on 07 Jun 1782 in Plainfield, Union, New Jersey (Essex County). He married Elizabeth Winder on 07 May 1805 in Ross, Ohio. He died in 1823 in Miami, Ohio.

The Webster family lived in Essex County, New Jersey at the time of the American Revolution. Since then, the part of the county in which they lived was remapped into Union County, but it was Essex County when they lived there.

Taylor Webster was 26-years old when war broke out. As a Quaker, he was a pacifist and opposed to war. That didn’t prevent him from being a patriot. His descendants can gain membership to the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) or Sons of the American Revolution because Taylor was forced to pay taxes to support the war.

In October 1776, the captain of the county military company ordered that three pounds of good and chattels be taken from each man listed as a Private. Taylor was one of the men listed. He was recorded as having paid the supply tax in February 1780. Because he paid his tax, even if it was against his will, he is considered a patriot.

US Revolutionary War Rolls, Taylor Webster.

Even though the Webster family was Quaker, they could not escape the impacts of the Revolutionary War. New Jersey became the crossroads of the American Revolution because it was in the center of the new nation. Armies crossed through the area throughout the war. Their Quaker meeting house was occupied by soldiers, though, the army didn’t, “much interrupt Friends in time of Meeting.” Travel was limited, and of course, Taylor and others felt a financial impact.

Taylor Webster was still living in present-day Plainfield, Union, New Jersey at the close of the war. But, he started migrating westward. He lived in Pennsylvania for a while and then moved into Ohio.

The Quakers documented locations in terms of the names of their Monthly Meeting places. So, for example, Taylor Webster and family moved from Rahway to Westland. They had to get permission to make this move. On 18 Jan 1790, Taylor’s 41st birthday, the family got a certificate of removal from the Rahway Monthly Meeting. On 26 Apr 1791, they produced that certificate in order to be accepted into the Westfield Monthly Meeting. You won’t find Rahway or Westfield on a map. After some research, we know that the Rahway Monthly Meeting was held near Plainfield, New Jersey and the Westland Monthly Meeting (MM) was held near Brownsville, Fayette County, Pennsylvania.

Taylor Webster and family were accepted into the Westland Monthly Meeting on 26 Apr 1791.

This was a major move for the Webster family. They had to cross mountains on this 300+ miles trip from New Jersey to far southwestern Pennsylvania. What might be a five and a half -half hour drive today, would take over a hundred hours to walk. Loaded with household belongings and children, it likely took at least a couple weeks to make the voyage.

The Westland MM was the first Quaker MM to be organized west of the Appalachian Mountains. It was part of the Redstone Quarterly Meeting. The Quakers had a lot of meetings and there was a hierarchy of things. Local areas had Monthly Meetings, both men’s MMs and women’s MMs. Groups of MMs then met for “superior” Quarterly Meetings (QM). And, their were Preparative Meetings (PM) held, presumably to get ready for the QMs. Of course, they also met for worship. Lucky for us in the future, they took a lot of minutes at all these meetings, so those of us with Quaker ancestors often have records to use to trace our ancestors.

The Westland Monthly Meeting that the Webster family joined was formed in 1781, ten years before they arrived, by Friends who were members of Hopewell MM in Virginia, and for its first two years it was called “the meeting in the Redstone Settlement.” The name “Westland” was chosen in 1782. A meeting house was built in around 1782, but it burned down in 1785. A one-story stone meeting house, with corner chimneys, was built in 1785. That is the building in which Taylor Webster and his family would have attended meetings and worshiped.

In Nov 1791, soon after arriving in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Taylor Webster bought a 183-acres property named, “Scotland.” The purchase price was “one hundred and fifty five pounds Lawful money of Pennsylvania.” On 2 Apr 1792, a few months after this transaction, the United States created the United States dollar as the country’s standard unit of money.

1791 land purchase in Fayette County, Pennsylvania.

Adoption of the US standard currency must have taken a while because, when Taylor and Hannah Webster sold their Pennsylvania property in early 1801, they were still using “Lawful money of Pennsylvania.” They sold the land for four hundred and four pounds, considerably more than what they paid for it ten years earlier.

1801 land sale in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, part 1.
1801 land sale in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, part 2.

By the time Taylor sold the property called Scotland, he had already moved to Ohio.

Sometime during the year, 1799, Taylor Webster and family, from Redstone, Pennsylvania, settled at Grassy Prairies, five miles northeast of Chillicothe.

— Ohio Genealogical Quarterly

Ross County was formed in Ohio in 1798. A year later, Taylor Webster and his family moved to the area. The first Quakers had moved into Ohio a couple years earlier. They arrived in large numbers after the Websters arrived.

Taylor began the process to purchase government land. Specifically, he was buying Section number 30, of Township number nine, in Range number twenty-one in Ross County, Ohio. The sale wasn’t officially registered until years after his death.

Map: Taylor Webster migrated from New Jersey, to Pennsylvania, and finally to Ohio.

Taylor Webster died before 12 Sep 1802 in Ross, Ohio. Transcribed Quaker records say that he died early in 1800, but it may have been a couple years later. He was around 53-years old at the time of his death.

His estate was probated on 12 Sep 1802 in Ross, Ohio. Letters of administration were given to his widow, Hannah, and his youngest son, John. It took years to settle his estate. As was normal practice, his widow got 1/3 of the estate to use during her lifetime. The remainder was divided among his children.

An inventory that was taken shortly after his death gives us a glimpse into Taylor Webster’s life and livelihood. He had a lot of livestock and working animals, including steers, bulls, heifers, cows, calves, mares, colts, horses, pigs, and hogs. He grew wheat. There were inventory entries for both “the old crop of wheat” and “the new crop of wheat.” There wasn’t much household property included in the list, just a table and a couple bed steads. But, he did have a highly valued book collection. The inventory indicates that Taylor Webster had been a successful farmer. He had even been doing well enough to loan money to others, including his oldest son, William, and Elias Jeffers, the guy who had purchased his Pennsylvania property.

Taylor Webster, estate inventory.
Taylor Webster, estate inventory, concluded.

Even though he has been gone from this earth for over two centuries, evidence of Taylor Webster still exists. Through the records, we can imagine that he was a man dedicated to his Quaker roots who took care of his family and had an adventurous or industrious spirit leading him to immigrate to the western frontiers.

Where is he in the tree?

Relationship chart, Lona Iona Fawcett to Taylor Webster.
Pedigree chart, Taylor Webster.

Selected Sources:

Ancestry.com, U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014), Ancestry.com, Record for Tayler Webster.

Ancestry.com, U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014), Ancestry.com, Record for Taylor Webster Name: Taylor Webster Marriage Date: 22 Feb 1769 Marriage Date on Image: 22 Second 1769 Marriage Place: Plainfield Spouse: Hannah Jackson Event Type: Marriage Monthly Meeting: Rahway and Plainfield Monthly Meeting.

Ohio Genealogical Quarterly, Ohio Source Records from the Ohio Genealogical Quarterly (1986), p. 7.; Google Books, Google Books (http://books.google.com/books?id=NWrinpUPQ5AC&dq).

Ancestry.com, U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014), ancestry.com, Record for Taylor Webster.

“Westland Monthly Meeting,” ( http://www.quaker-chronicle.info/meetings.php?meetingID=23 : 16 Jan 2019), Quaker Chronicle, discussion list (www.quaker-chronicle.info).

Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy Volume V: (Ohio Monthly Meetings) [database online], ancestry.com, p. 288. WEBSTER. Taylor d early in 1800 bu at Dry Run or Salt Creek [Fairfield Monthly Meeting].

Daily, Joseph, “Woodbridge and Vicinity: Chapters VI & XIX, A history of New Jersey Quakers from 1686-1788,” ( http://plainfieldfriends.tripod.com/woodbrig.htm : accessed 16 Jan 2019).

error: Content is protected !! Please contact us to discuss getting copies of the material.