Friday, October 8, 2010


In regards to the will of William Taylor, the father of Prudence Taylor Elmore Myers; I have received a copy of the original will of William Taylor along with his estate file from the Probate Court of Newberry County, South Carolina. The signature and seal above are from the original will and dates in the file papers indicate that a pre inventory was taken on March 21, 1789 and that the will was recorded on July 28, 1789. This means that William Taylor died prior to March 21, 1789. Another inventory was filed with the court on March 2, 1793. If you read the terms of the will posted on this blogsite on July 24, 2010, it states in part:

“………….The Residue & Remainder of All my Personal Estate I bequeath to my Wife Mary Taylor for & during her Widowhood to be by her possessed for her Use & the Maintenance and Education of my Said Children, but if she Should Marry before my Said Children Should Arrive at their Several Ages in Law that then in such Case my Execrs do take into their hands my Said Personal Estate for the Use above mentioned………….“

A sale of the items on the inventory was held March 15, 1793 and Mary (Taylor) Mills purchased a large number of the items.

Mary Pearson Taylor married John Mills on February 28, 1793 at Bush River in Newberry County.

Transcription of the will of Jonathan Taylor, Newberry County, South Carolina Will book A, p. 274. Proved May 18, 1795 Jonathan Taylor was William’s father and Prudence’s grandfather.
In the name of God, I Jonathan Taylor of Newberry County in the State of South Carolina, farmer being weak in body but sound in senses and Memory and being Dissatisfied about my Worldly affairs calling to Mind the Mortality of my Body Knowing that it is Appointed for all Men to die do make and Ordain this my last Will and Testament that is to say Principally and first of all I give and Recommend my Soul t Almighty God who gave it me and my Body I Recommend to the Earth to be Buried in a Decent Christian Manner amongst friends at the Discretion of my Executors as Touching such Worldly Estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me with in this life, My Will and Desire is that all the Expenses of my funeral and all my just debts are pain, I give and Devise & Dispose of the Remainder of my Estate in the following Manner and form first of all I give and bequeath to Mary my well beloved Wife the third part of all my Moveable Estate with the third part of all my Lands during her Widowhood Also I give and bequeath to the heirs of my son William Taylor decd the whole Tract of Land whereon his Widow now Lives and Also five Shillings Sterling to be paid to Mary Taylor the Widow of the said William Taylor decd out of my Estate After my Decease Also I give and bequeath unto Mary Taylor Widow of Richard Taylor decd five Shillings Sterling to be paid to her out of my Estate after my Decease, Also I give and bequeath unto my son Jonathan the tract of Land whereon I now live I also Give and bequeath unto Isaac my Son a Tract of Land Situate on the waters of Indian Creek Reserving fifty Acres of the said Tract for John Thomas my son in law & his son William which said land his son William and his heirs is wholly to Enjoy for ever and the Said Land is to be Run Square across the End of the said land belonging to my son Isaac next to Indian Creek, mare & colt which he calls his and one book called Bartleys Apology I also give & bequeath unto my son Jonathan the remainder of my moveable estate and he is to pay each of my daughters five pounds sterling out decease Also my will and Desire is that the Part which falls to Ann Chandler be for the use of Jonathan and Israel her sons – I also constitute Ordain and appoint Richard Leavell and Joshua Reeder my sons in law and Jonathan my son to be the executors of this my last Will and Testament I do Also appoint William Niles Junr as a Trustee to see this my Last Will and Testament fulfilled I do hereby Ratify and Confirm this & no other to be my Last Will and Testament, In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this ninth day of October one thousand seven hundred and ninety three, and further Also I will and Desire that after my decease that all my moveable estate be appraised by men chosen and qualified before a Magistrate for that purpose and I do hereby confirm this to be my Last Will and Testament In witness I have set my hand & seal the day and year above written. Signed Sealed Published, Pronounced, and Delivered by the said Jonathan to be his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who in his presence each other have hereunto subscribed our names.

Jonathan (X) Taylor (seal)
Abraham A. Large
Rhoda Taylor

I have underlined the interesting bit about William Taylor’s widow and children. Jonathan Taylor’s will was written several months after her marriage to John Mills but he still refers to her as Mary Taylor and gives her “….five Shillings Sterling to be paid to Mary Taylor the Widow of the said William Taylor decd….” It also gives to:, “….the heirs of my son William Taylor decd the whole Tract of Land whereon his Widow now Lives ….” which means that Prudence owned one fourth of the tract of land and, I assume, one fourth of the house in which she lived. Prudence would have been fourteen years old at the time her grandfather’s will was recorded.

Prudence’s first husband was Ridgeway Elmore. I did not find an exact date of the marriage however, in the estate papers of William there are three receipts signed by Ridgeway Elmore, dated June 29, 1797 (pictured above), August 2, 1797 and August 7, 1797 in which he acknowledges the receipt of funds which are part of his wife‘s “laguace” from the estate of William Taylor. Prudence would have been seventeen years old at the time (well sixteen an a half).

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