Sunday, September 2, 2012

Actor Keanu Reeves has a British Taylor Mother

An interesting offshoot of the Taylor lines is Canadian-American actor Keanu Reeves, born in Beruit, Lebanon to a British mother, a Taylor, and an American father.   Reeves was born on 02 September 1964 in Beruit, Lebanon.


Wikipedia says, “Reeves is known for his roles in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure as well as Speed, Point Break and the science fiction-action trilogy The Matrix... A repeated theme in roles he has portrayed is that of saving the world.”


Reeves was born in Beirut, Lebanon, the son of Patricia Bond (née Taylor), a costume designer/performer, and Samuel Nowlin Reeves, Jr., a geologist. His mother was English and his father was a Hawaiian-born American of English, Irish, Portuguese, Native Hawaiian, and Chinese descent.

Through his mother, Reeves is one of our cousins from a Taylor line that stayed in Britain. Depending upon when related lines moved to North America, certainly offshoots within about 200 years, we could have Family Finder matches, should Reeves participate in FTDNA.

Should he do so, and have a documented pedigree from his mother’s line, we may be able to resolve some of the questions linking North American Taylors back to the British Isles. May it be so!

Lalia Wilson for the Taylor Surname Project



Lalia is keenly interested in genetic genealogy for many reasons, among them the many common surnames in her personal genealogy. In addition to Taylor, these include: Jackson, Johnson, Madden, Moore, Robinson, Stone and Wilson. These families were in North America prior to 1700 and followed migration paths from Virginia or Pennsylvania or New York to Ohio then Missouri or to Kentucky then Missouri. Please contact Lalia with questions about the blog, or story ideas, or if you think you’re a relative: Lalia W /at/ aol dot com.

Leonard, Born, Barteaux, Whitman, Starratt, LeCain, Ritchie, Ryerson, Gaston, Perry, Lockwood, Beall/Bell/Beale, Beatty, Wheat, Muliken, Foster, Vail, Salmon, Goodwin, Kinnan, Mead/Meade, Augustus, Bright, Pope, Dickerson, Pulliam, Glover, Scott, Sutton, Rice, Hutt, Spence, Crockwell, Cassell, Lingenfelter, Harbaugh, Springer, Hockersmith

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Phineas Taylor Barnum

Born July 5th 1810 in Bethel, Connecticut, P. T. Barnum is descended from a Taylor family. Let’s start with his full name, Phineas Taylor Barnum. P. T.’s mother was Irene Taylor, daughter of Phineas Taylor (1760-1837). Phineas Taylor’s father was Nathan Taylor (1717-1798), and his father was also called Nathan Taylor (1682-1782). Nathan Taylor the elder’s father was Thomas Taylor, born in Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut in 1643 (died in 1735). All these Taylors were born and died in Connecticut and I do not have record of their immigrant ancestor.




Wikipedia describes Barnum as “an American showman, businessman, scam artist and entertainer, remembered for promoting celebrated hoaxes and for founding the circus that became the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.” Barnum brought memorable people and performances to the American audience. These included celebrity midget Tom Thumb and Swedish singer Jenny Lind. Barnum served a couple of terms in the Connecticut State Legislature and as Mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut. But his greatest fame comes from his work as a circus entrepreneur. He started the Barnum and Bailey Circus, which lives on in at least one form today.


In addition Barnum is well known for a remark that may be true to his spirit, but cannot be documented to have been uttered by him: “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

Barnum lived a long and full life, cramming more experience into his 80 years than most people could do in three times that long. He died in 1891 in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Does your Taylor family intersect with the line of Phineas Taylor Barnum?

Here is a link to P. T. Barnum’s genealogy: http://www.barnum.org/fam00170.htm.


Lalia Wilson for the Taylor Surname Project

Lalia is keenly interested in genetic genealogy for many reasons, among them the many common surnames in her personal genealogy. In addition to Taylor, these include: Jackson, Johnson, Madden, Moore, Robinson, Stone and Wilson. These families were in North America prior to 1700 and followed migration paths from Virginia or Pennsylvania or New York to Ohio then Missouri or to Kentucky then Missouri. Please contact Lalia with questions about the blog, or story ideas, or if you think you’re a relative: Lalia W /at/ aol dot com.




Leonard, Born, Barteaux, Whitman, Starratt, LeCain, Ritchie, Ryerson, Gaston, Perry, Lockwood, Beall/Bell/Beale, Beatty, Wheat, Muliken, Foster, Vail, Salmon, Goodwin, Kinnan, Mead/Meade, Augustus, Bright, Pope, Dickerson, Pulliam, Glover, Scott, Sutton, Rice, Hutt, Spence, Crockwell, Cassell, Lingenfelter, Harbaugh, Springer, Hockersmith

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Theory of Autosomal DNA Matching

You have seen the basic theory behind y-DNA matches and mt-DNA matches. Briefly the Y chromosome changes minutely about every fourth generation, as you can see by comparing 67 marker results from the same male lineage. In actuality it is a matter of statistical probability and the minor change may have occurred just between the last two generations, or it may have been six generations ago. The usefulness of using the Y chromosome for matches is to learn more about a male line of descent. The mitochondrial DNA changes much less frequently. It changes at about 1/10th the rate of changes in y-DNA. Thus it is of less genealogical help when fine-tuning recent generations of a family line, but can definitely establish a connection to an historical maternal line. (For more on y-DNA or mt-DNA see previous Taylor blogs.)


Autosomal DNA which is tested through as “Family Finder” at www.ftdna.com, is entirely different. This test looks at segments of the non-sex determinate chromosomes and compares matching segments throughout the Family Tree DNA database.

Here is the theory behind this test. Each of us has received our genes from our biological forebears. Each time a new human is created, some genes from each parent are combined and some are not included. Approximately ½ of our autosomal genes come from each of our parents. Each of them received half of their genes from each of their biological parents.

To simplify our understanding we are going to consider these blocks of genetic material as playing cards. Imagine you are holding a hand of cards—8 cards—and each card represents a unique inheritance from one of your great-grandparents. From Great Grandmother Susie you got the Ace of Spades, for example. But you have 8 cards and one is from each of your great-grandparents.

Let’s follow that Ace of Spades backwards in time. Great-grandmother Susie received it from one of her great-grandparents. And that great-grandparent received it from one of his or hers…

Now back to Great-Grandmother Susie. She was part of a large family. Let’s say there were ten children. Maybe half of those children, Susie’s siblings, got that Ace of Spades in their genetic package. Those of Susie’s siblings who reproduced gave their children part of their genetic heritage. For many it may have included the Ace of Spades, but probably not for all.

Now consider again the hand of cards you received as your birth package of DNA. You got the Ace of Spades (which is a simplified way of saying you got a unique segment of DNA). Anyone else in the Family Tree database who also has the Ace of Spades is a cousin to you. Their relationship may be as far back as seven generations, or more! However we know that you are biologically/genetically related individuals. Now the practical aspects of using this autosomal testing method, Family Finder, become of interest. We will take up that topic in a future blog.

Lalia Wilson for the Taylor Surname Project

Lalia is keenly interested in genetic genealogy for many reasons, among them the many common surnames in her personal genealogy. In addition to Taylor, these include: Jackson, Johnson, Madden, Moore, Robinson, Stone and Wilson. These families were in North America prior to 1700 and followed migration paths from Virginia or Pennsylvania or New York to Ohio then Missouri or to Kentucky then Missouri. Please contact Lalia with questions about the blog, or story ideas, or if you think you’re a relative: Lalia W /at/ aol dot com.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sale on genetic tests!

Greetings fellow Taylor fans!  If you have been putting off genetic testing because it's too expensive, order your tests today.  If you've ever wanted to do genetic genealogy there has been no better time than today.



We at the Taylor project can also probably be of some help with Family Finder, y-DNA or mt-DNA results and matches, if you want our help. We are your first choice for the Y-DNA, of course, but some of us have done a bunch of work on the other tests, too.


The site www.ftdna.com is the place to go. They have by far the biggest database--about 10 times what's available elsewhere--and the focus is on genealogy, which is not necessarily the case at other sites.

For Y-DNA, do 67 markers or more. A 67/67 match means that the men are related (50% probability) no further apart than second cousins. You are wasting time and money to test fewer than 67 markers. (A 12/12 match means you are related in the last 2,000 years! Not much genealogical help.)

I recommend you also do a Family Finder test that tests all family lines on autosomal DNA. This will even be of help assuming you are a male Taylor wanting information only about the Taylor line.  Why?  Because one of your cousins, not a Taylor direct descendant, may have that critical missing piece of information about your Taylor line.

If you want to do mt-DNA, go ahead. So far my brother and I have no matches there, but we do know we are haplogroup T2, the same as many of the deceased in 79 AD in the Vesuvius eruption, and the same as Czar Nicholas II.

Lalia Wilson for the Taylor Surname Project


Lalia is keenly interested in genetic genealogy for many reasons, among them the many common surnames in her personal genealogy. In addition to Taylor, these include: Jackson, Johnson, Madden, Moore, Robinson, Stone and Wilson. These families were in North America prior to 1700 and followed migration paths from Virginia or Pennsylvania or New York to Ohio then Missouri or to Kentucky then Missouri. Please contact Lalia with questions about the blog, or story ideas, or if you think you’re a relative: Lalia W /at/ aol dot com.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Prominent American Taylors

We have the Taylor name in the news again today with James Vernon Taylor’s 64th birthday. James Taylor was born in Boston on 12 March 2012. He is famous as a singer and songwriter in the folk music and folk to pop music category.




Another famous Taylor was born on February 27th 1932: Elizabeth Taylor born in London. I did not know until this year that she is part of an American Taylor family.



If your Taylor line connects to either of these well-know Taylor lines, please let me know!

Lalia Wilson for the Taylor Surname Project


Lalia is keenly interested in genetic genealogy for many reasons, among them the many common surnames in her personal genealogy. In addition to Taylor, these include: Jackson, Johnson, Madden, Moore, Robinson, Stone and Wilson. These families were in North America prior to 1700 and followed migration paths from Virginia or Pennsylvania or New York to Ohio then Missouri or to Kentucky then Missouri. Please contact Lalia with questions about the blog, or story ideas, or if you think you’re a relative: Lalia W /at/ aol dot com.


Friday, January 20, 2012

2012 is the Hundredth Anniversary of the Titanic Disaster

On Friday the 13th of January the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia struck a reef on the Isola del Giglio. Of the 4,229 people on board, few were likely to be Taylors. The ship carried 126-129 US citizens, 25 British, 21 Australia, 12 Canadian and 1 New Zealander. Only two of these people from English speaking countries are dead or missing—Jerry and Barbara Heil from Minnesota.




Though the expected loss of the ship, at a cost of $500,000,000, is great, the loss of life is small compared to the Titanic and other notable maritime disasters.

On the Titanic, 2224 people were on board; only 710 survived (32%). There were 10 Taylors on board the Titanic, 5 survived.



While the loss of life was much greater in number and by proportion for the Titanic, the Costa Concordia has been compared to the more famous shipwreck for several reasons. There were ill omens at the christening of the Costa Concordia—the champagne bottle did not break. One of the surviving passengers of the Concordia was the granddaughter of a Titanic survivor. Apparently the Titanic movie theme song was playing in the Concordia lounge when the ship struck the reef.

But perhaps the biggest surprise was the sense among we privileged people of the 21st century that shipwrecks and loss of life at sea is something that happened in previous times and not a current day matter. Clearly we are not immune to the misfortunes of people of all the ages.

More on the Titanic Taylors in a future post.

Lalia Wilson for the Taylor Surname Project
Find us at www.ftdna.com.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pearl Harbor and the Taylors


Tomorrow, December 7th, is the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Among the 2,402 Americans killed there were six Taylors.  I am not sure which of our Taylor project families they represent, but please let me know if one of these is from your family:

Casualties

Taylor, Aaron Gust, Rank of  M.A.T.T.1c, United States Navy, on (or attached to) the USS Arizona

Taylor, Charles Benton, Rank of  E.M.3c, United States Navy, on (or attached to) the USS Arizona

Taylor, Charles Robert, Rank of PFC, United States Marine Corps, on (or attached to) the USS Oklahoma

Taylor, Harry Theodore, Rank of G.M.2c, United States Navy, on (or attached to) the USS Arizona

Taylor, Palmer Lee, Rank of M.A.T.T.1c, United States Navy, on (or attached to) the USS Shaw

Taylor, Robert Denzil, Rank of Cox, United States Navy, on (or attached to) the USS Arizona



Today Pearl Harbor is a place of beauty, much like it was before the attack.  Here is a photo of today's view.  But on the morning of 07 Dec 1941, things were quite different.  Here is a map of the large natural harbor and the battleships arrayed around it.

Wikipedia summarizes this event:

The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941. The attack was intended as a preventive action in order to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with military actions the Empire of Japan was planning in Southeast Asia.

The base was attacked by 353 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four being sunk. All but two of the eight were raised, repaired and returned to service later in the war. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. One hundred eighty-eight U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,402 Americans were killed and 1,282 wounded. The power station, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section) were not attacked.



The attack came as a profound shock to the American people and led directly to the American entry into World War II in both the Pacific and European theaters.  The lack of any formal warning, particularly while negotiations were still apparently ongoing, led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to proclaim December 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy."



This resulted in the enlistment of my great uncle, Olin Taylor, who served in the Pacific.  Olin joined the Navy in the spring of 1942 and saw action in the Pacific from July 1942 on until the end of the war.  Olin is still alive and of sound mind; he is also a member of the Taylor surname project.  My grandfather, James Bentley Taylor, was already an Army officer.  He was part of Patton's efforts in North Africa and then went to Europe.  Unfortunately James Bentley Taylor was killed in action in August 1944 and lies buried in Brittany, France.
Many Taylors served in the Second World War, including members of our Taylor project and their direct relatives.  May we remember their heroism and sacrifices on this anniversary. 
Lalia Wilson for the Taylor Surname Project

P. S.  In the interest of providing you with more human connection to Pearl Harbor see this item from the Sacramento Bee.  One of the Pearl Harbor survivors lives in the metro Sacramento California area and this is her story:


According to the Sacramento Bee, Beverly Moglich has a unique perspective.

Moglich, an 82-year-old El Dorado County resident, is a Pearl Harbor survivor. As a 12-year-old, she stood on her porch and watched a Japanese pilot strafe the house from so close that she saw his eyes and can still remember his smirk. "His facial expression indicated he was enjoying every moment of his mission, which was to kill," Moglich wrote in her self-published "Memoirs of a Navy Brat," which came out in 2010.

"For 40 years, I didn't even want to talk about it," she said.

For more information see: http://www.pearlharborevents.com/

For more on Beverly Moglich see: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/12/06/4102273/a-childs-perspective-on-living.html#ixzz1fnhQdEBA