Friday, January 8, 2010

Lemuel Taylor, Pioneeer to Oakland Co. MI

A grouping of 60 Taylor family members, plus some other people settled Ston(e)y Creek Village in Oakland Co., Michigan. The leader was Lemuel Taylor II, who had sent his son Elisha Taylor IV to Michigan from upstate New York in 1822 on a scouting expedition to look for land. The Taylors had decided to move in 1821 and had sold their land near Auburn NY in 1821 and 1822. The family found the land they wanted in what is now Avon Township of Oakland Co., purchased 160 acres of land for $1.25 per acre, then moved.

This Taylor family was a branch of the Taylors descended from Richard "Rock" Taylor, who arrived on Cape Cod MA in 1639, first settling near a rock on the Taylor-Bray Farm ( The particular branch of the Taylors that later migrated to Michigan first moved to Lebanon CT in 1735, then to Stillwater NY and nearby villages by 1791, and finally to Aurelius NY (near Auburn NY) by 1803.

Many of the historic buildings at Stoney Creek Village have been preserved as part of the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm.

The Westward Migration

The Taylor's trip west in the Spring of 1823 was difficult. The group included Lemuel II's five sons and three daughters, their spouses and families, plus Lemuel's widowed sister Anna T. Millerd and a few of her children; probably totaling almost 60 people. Their travel on the Erie Canal was relatively easy. Navigation on Lake Erie was difficult and dangerous; it was commonly thought at this time to be more dangerous than navigation on the Atlantic. Once they reached the west end of Lake Erie, they had to transit the Black Swamp using oxcarts to finally reach Rochester MI. The Black Swamp was then roadless because a military road of 1815 had been reclaimed by the swamp, and the preferred routes through the Black Swamp were littered with the remains of carriages and the goods of those who failed to complete the crossing. With more accessible land available in Ohio and Indiana, the Black Swamp served as a barrier to the settlement of southeastern Michigan. So Lemuel Taylor II and Sarah Boardman Taylor bought 160 acres of land in Avon Township from the Federal Government for $1.25 per acre, later giving their four sons 40 acres each.

Upon arriving at Rochester MI, the Taylors cut a road for 1.5 miles northeasterly through a thick forest to their land in a pleasant valley with a brook flowing through it; a creek with a stony bed. They built log cabins around a one quarter mile square, then a schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop, and some mills. All of the Taylors were farmers, but many of them had other occupations, offices, or avocations.

Settling into Occupations

Joshua B. Taylor was a Commissioner of Common Schools in 1835, and Eleazar Millerd was Overseer of Highways for District 3. Nathaniel Millerd was Postmaster in 1824-25, briefly had a general store, and became Judge of Probate in 1825-26, then Assessor in 1835. Joshua Van Hoosen was Justice of the Peace in 1860, and Jedediah Millerd in 1865.

Stoney Creek Village was laid out by Nathaniel Millerd, Elisha Taylor IV, and Joshua B. Taylor in 1830.

The Taylors and Nathaniel Millerd built a saw-mill and a grist-mill in 1824. The grist-mill first unsuccessfully-used a tub-wheel, but later it was replaced by a run of burr-stones; this, plus an increasing local population, enabled the business to be successful.

Lemuel Taylor II was a chair-maker and wheelwright by trade, and soon opened a shop to provide them. Daniel Taylor operated the tavern on the stagecoach road to Romeo MI.

Elisha Taylor IV and Peter Groosbeck opened a blacksmithing establishment in 1824; Elisha provided the financing and Peter was the blacksmith.

The Stoney Creek Baptist Church was organized around Deacon Lemuel Taylor II and Deacon Nathaniel J. Millerd; Rev. Orestes Taylor was the first resident Baptist minister (but not the pastor of this church).

The Taylor Family and Descendants

The children of Lemuel Taylor II (b. V-26-1762 CN, d. XI-7-1829 OM) and Sarah Boardman (b. XI-16-1763 MA, d. XI-25-1834 OM):

Sally B. Taylor (b. II-24-1785 MA, d. X-1-1863 OM)m. Nathaniel Millerd
Nathaniel Millerd (b. II-11-1780 ?, d. X-6-1865 OM ), see Appendix
**Jedediah Millard (b. II-12-1804 NY, d. IV-26-1864 OM)
**Nathaniel J. Millerd (b. II-12-1820 Au, d. XI-28-1893)
Lemuel Taylor III (b. VI-24-1786 MA, d. IX-1-1856 OM) m. Jud Mosure
**Elijah L. Taylor (b. VI-19-1807 Au, d. I-14-1844 OM)
**Lemuel W. M. Taylor (b. VII-4-1823 OM, d. VII-7-1857 OM)
Orestes Taylor (b. IV-11-1788 MA, d. V-27-1858 MI) m. Maria Swain
**Isaac Taylor (b. II-16-1816 ??, d. V-19-1857 ??) son
Elisha Taylor IV See below
Joshua B. Taylor (b. XII-3-1794 CN, d. VIII-18-1863 OM)
**Jay Taylor (b. IV-16-1834 OM, d. II-7-1911 MI) son
Harry Taylor (b. IV-2-1802 NY, d. XII-18-1876 MC) m. Nancy Walling
**Harry Taylor, Jr. (b. II-14-1832 MC, d. III-9-1889 MC)m. Mar Ferris
Daniel Taylor (b. VII-19-1806 Au, d. VIII-13-1874 OM)

Children of Elisha Taylor IV (b. VIII-19-1791 CN, d. IX-29-1834 OM) and Mary Miner (2nd wife) (b. XI-12-1796 CT, d. V-20-1864 OM), m. abt 1818:

Lemuel Taylor IV (b. III-26-1823 Au, d. II-1-1899 WI) m. Mary Ellen Stevens
Peres Miner Taylor (b. II-26-1825 OM, d. V-4-1906 BB) two wives
**Elisha Taylor 5 (b. XII-20-1851 WI, d. II-6-1944 BB)
**Jerome Taylor (b. II-5-1857 WI, d. XII-31-1932 BB)
**Allen Taylor (b. IV-25-1866 WI, d. V-30-1940 NB)
Sarah Ann Taylor (b. X-30-1830 OM, d. VI-27-1921 IL)
Joshua Van Hoosen (b. I-18-1830, d. VII-4-1894 MI) SAT's husband
**Sarah Van Hoosen Jones, their daughter, genealogist


Children of Lemuel Taylor I (b. I-25-1725 F, d. I-15-1791 CN) and Bathsheba Dean (b. VIII-9-1722 ?, d. VIII-25-1775 CN), m. XII-1-1746 L:

Israel Taylor (b. VI-29-1748 CT, d. VI-3-1801 CN) m. Phoebe Millerd
Anna Taylor (b. VI-14-1752 CT, d. I-13-1830 OM) m. Jedediah Millerd
Jedediah Millerd (b. XII-25-1752 NY, d. V-16-1813 CN)
**Nathaniel Millerd their son (see above)
Lemuel Taylor II (see above)

Key: CN=Corinth-Stillwater NY; Au=Auburn NY; OM=Oakland Co. MI; MC=Mt. Clemens MI; BB=Broken Bow, NB; F= Falmouth MA; L=Lebanon CT
next generation is signified by **; m= married.

Note: This listing is mostly meant to identify the principals discussed above; there are many more Taylor family members not mentioned. For them, see "Ancestry and Descendants of Lemuel Taylor Pioneer to Oakland Co. Michigan in 1823", The Detroit Society for Genealogical Research Magazine, December 1954.

See the Richard Taylor Central blog for links to other Taylor family-related blogs

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