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Photographer: Kelbert McFarland Photography

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President Taylor's Family Houses

We are excited to cover the President Taylor family houses today as my grandparents great-great's were part of the same Taylor family. Our ancestor Colonel John Taylor was also the president's ancestor which made for a fun fact for show-and-tell as kids. He came to Virginia in the 1600s. The Taylors were another rare case (similar to the Tylers) in which they were not tailors like most with that surname but were lords and ladies in England. In our previous post we discussed how the Tylers acheived new status by leading the "Peasants Revolt." The Taylors were simply never tailors! The name came from de Tailefer, and ancient royal house. They were the counts and dukes of Angoulême throughout antiquity. When they became the Barons Taylor, they presided over Kent. Below is the castle of the counts and dukes in present day France where it serves as Town Hall.


Around 1500 the Taylor men became reverends and one, Dr. Rowland Taylor, was a famed martyr. At this point, they moved to Suffolk. Their immediate sons and grandsons were captains and colonels, including the aforementioned Colonel John Taylor. The family remained politically active in Virginia and were part of the House of Burgesses. The president's father served in the Revolutionary War alongside his cousin (our X great-grandfather Parmenas Taylor- who was portrayed in "The Patriot!"). It is believed that Zachary Taylor was born at Hare Forest Plantation in Orange County...Virginia! It is pictured below. According to Wikipedia: "The main house was built in three sections starting about 1815. It consists of a two-story, four-bay, brick center block in the Federal style, a two-story brick dining room wing which dates from the early 20th century, and a mid-20th-century brick kitchen wing. Also on the property are the contributing stone garage, a 19th-century frame smokehouse with attached barn, an early-20th-century frame barn, a vacant early-20th-century tenant house, a stone tower, an early-20th-century frame tenant house, an abandoned storage house, as well as the stone foundations of three dwellings of undetermined date." I cannot find a current photo so this house may just be a private residence now.


Though Zachary was born in Virginia, he grew up in Louisville as well and his house "Springfield" is there. I wish I would have had time to visit it while we were there earlier this month for the Kentucky Derby! The oldest part of this Georgian house was built in 1795. There are fireplaces in each room. Victorian porches were added as is common with 1700s houses. This happened to my husband's childhood house and his parents removed the porches to help accurately restore the house.


I love colonial houses but may love Georgian and Federal styles even more so I am happy to keep going in this series. I wish we had some interior shots on these Taylor family houses! If we find any or visit, we will update!