Richard TAYLOR (abt. 1625-1703)Edit

Early settler of Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony. Named for the large Rock by which he built his home. He was a husbandmand (farmer). Not to be confused with his (possibly slightly older) contemporary, also of Yarmouth: Richard Taylor (abt 1620-1673), tailor. Both were supposedly married to women by the name of Ruth. But the only one we know for sure was married to a Ruth was this one, the "Rock". She died in 1693, and her death record identifies her as "Ruth, wife of Richard Taylor."
A 1655 law suit against the estate of Gabriel Whelden lists (among others) "Richard Taylor, Tailor, and Richard Taylor, husbandman" concerning the estate of "their father". Clearly only one of them could have been married to Ruth Whelden, daughter of Gabriel Whelden. But which?

Name variationsEdit

  • Richard "Rock" Taylor
  • Richard Taylor of the Rock
  • In the volume of recopied Colonial wills in the Barnstable Probate office he is called Richard Taylor at the Neck, but there was no person in Yarmouth so generally known and the Register of Deeds at Plymouth informs us that in the original record the first letter looks more like R than N although the second letter looks more like e than o.

Vital statisticsEdit

  • Sex: Male


The origins and pedigree of Richard "Rock" Taylor are unknown. His emigration date and details are also unknown. (But see below.)


  • Ruth Unknown (abt 1625-1693) While some claim she was likely a daughter of Thomas Burgess, no documentation confirms this. We know her name was Ruth from her 1693 death record that identifies her as "Ruth, wife of Richard Taylor." She could just as likely be Ruth Whelden, daughter of Gabriel Whelden (though others-- also without documentation-- believe Ruth Whelden married the older Richard Taylor, tailor).


The children of Richard Taylor are determined by two things: a) a 1677 list of said children that includes their ages at particular dates that year (from which their birth dates have been calculated; b) Richard Taylor's will, written in 1693, codiciled in 1699 and proven in 1703.

  1. Richard Taylor (1652-1732), b. 9 June 1652; m. Hannah Unknown (1649-1733)
  2. Mehitable Taylor (1654-??), b. 23 July 1654; m. 29 Dec 1681 Jonathan Smith (??-??)
  3. Keziah Taylor (1657-1734), b. 18 Feb 1656/7; m. 6 Feb 1680/1 Samuel Eldredge (1659-1705)
  4. Jasher Taylor (1659-1752), b. 9 May 1659
  5. Hannah Taylor (1661-??), b. 17 Sep 1661; m. 26 Aug 1682 Job Jenkins (??-??)
  6. Elisha Taylor (1664-1741?), b. 10 Feb 1664; m. bef 1689 Rebecca Wheeler (??-1730)
  7. Mary Taylor (1667-??)


Is distinguished from the other Richard Taylor (abt 1620-1673) of Yarmouth because, as noted by James W. Hawes, the Richard Taylor who died in 1703 did not sign his 1693 will, but used a mark, instead, implying illiteracy. Therefore, he is not likely to have been a surveyor, a member of the grand jury, witness to a deed, or a constable. He is also in places referred to as a husbandman, whereas the other was a tailor.
A 1655 lawsuit against the estate of Gabriel Whelden includes a lists of Gabriel's "sons" -- that list includes the names "Richard Taylor tailor and Richard Taylor husbandman". (A husbandman was a farmer.) This implies the two Richard Taylors were related to each other, one of them the son-in-law of Gabriel Whelden. But which one?

Early life and educationEdit

There was a Richard Taylor, age 16, on the ship Truelove which departed Gravesend, England on 10 Jun 1635. Other Taylors on that ship were: James Taylor, 28; William Taylor, 17; Ann Taylor, 24. Source: "Emigrants Bound to St. Chrisophers &c.," NEHGS Register, volume 14.

Military serviceEdit

Might have been one of the two Yarmouth men by this name able to bear arms in 1643.


Likely a farmer (husbandman) and used a mark as his signature on his will.

Family lifeEdit

His wife was Ruth, but her last name has not been identified. (Some say "Burgess" but with no documentation.) Ruth died 9 June 1693. Richard, probably moved by her death, wrote a will 2 Sep 1693.

Will of Richard Taylor Edit

The Original Will of Richard Taylor, September 6th, 1693
"In the name of God Amen. The 2nd day of September 1693, in the fifth year of the Reign of their Majesties King William and Queen Mary, etc., I Richard Taylor of Yarmouth in the county of Barnstable in New England, being aged and weak in body but of sound and disposing memory.... do make this my last will and testament in mannor and form following...
Item. I given and bequeath unto my son Richard Taylor about twelve or fourteen acres of my land, be it more or less according to ye bounds wherein mentioned....
Item. I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Mehetabel four pounds.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Keziah Eldridge, four pounds.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my grandson, Samuel Eldridge, twenty shillings.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Hanah Jenkins, twenty shillings, if she come for it, but not else. And if she doth not come for it within two years after my decease, I do give it equally to my two other daughters, Mehetable and Keziah.
Lastly, my will is that these legacies above mentioned be paid out of my moveable estate....
And... my will is that my said son, Elisha (Tailor) Taylor, shall pay the sums in currant pay within two years after my decease.
And I do nominate and appoint and empower my well beloved sons Richard Taylor, Elisha Taylor, and Samuel Eldridge to be executors to this my will. In witness whereof I, the said Richard Taylor, have hereunto set my hand and seal, the ay and year first above written.

He wrote a codicil in 1699:

Be it known to all people by this instrument that I, Richard Taylor, above named, do by this addition declare that my above written will shall stand in all the particulars of it except that change which gives my son Elisha two years more to pay such part of the legacies or portions, above by me given to my children, as my moveable estate will not reach the payments of which said clause, I do hereby disanull and make void. And I do hereby further add that my will is that my grandchild Jehosephat Eldridge shall have my sword, and that my granddaughter Mehetable Eldridge shall have my biggest box that hath a lock and key to it, with all the things in it. And that my grand daughter Mehetable Smith shall have my other box and all the things in it. And my grand Daughter Keziah Eldridge shall have my chamber pot. And my will is that these particulars, now by me given to my grandchildren, shall not be accounted as part of my estate, which is to pay the legacies before given in my first above written will, which my son Elisha is to pay. and lastly, it is my will that my son Elisha do so cause hereafter to sell the land and meadows he hath of me that he shall give due reprising thereof to his brother Richard at the price others will give for it. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal, the twenty-eight day of October 1699.

His will was proved 3 October 1703.

October 6, 1703. Then John Thacher, Esq. and Lydia Thacher, his wife, before Banabas Lothrop Esq., Judge of probare etc for the county of Barnstable, made oath that they did see Richard Taylor, late of Yarmouth, now Deceased, sign and seal this instrument and heard him declare it to be his last will and testament and that he was of disposing mind and memory when he so did, so far as they know. And also that they saw him sign and seal the codicil thereunto annexed.
Before Barnabas Lothrop, Esqu. judge of probate etc. for this County of Barnstable at Barnstable, the will of Richard Taylor, late of Yarmouth, deceased, to whose property annexed (?) was proved, approved, and allowed, who, having while he lived and at the time of his death, goods, chattels, rights, and audits in said county. And administration of all and singular the goods, chattels rights and audits of the deceased committed to Richard Taylor, Samuel Eldred (Eldrige), and Elisha Taylor in said will named executors. As in witness thereof, I, the said Barnabas Lothrop, have set my hand and seal of office, October 6th, 1703."

The inventory of Richard Taylor of Yarmouth, who died the first day of August 1703. [Amounts are shown in English pounds, shillings and pence.]:

Item To wearing clothes, bedding, and old household stuff, 04=14=08
Item to one sword and 2 boxes, 01=02=00
Item to neate cattle, 07=00=00
Item, To housing and land (140=0=0)
Item More. One grindstone and plow (00=04=06)
This inventory taken by John Howes and Sam.l Sturges (?) Aprized this 11th day of August, 1703.
October 6, 1703. Then Elisha Taylor appeared before Barnbabs Lothrop, Esq. Judge of probates etc. for the County of Barnstable, and made oath that the above written is a true inventory of the Estate of Richard Taylor, his deceased father, o far as he knows. And that if anything that is material shall further come to his knowledge he will bring it to this inventory. Attest. Wm. Bassett, Reg.

Related entriesEdit

  • 1663-4 (March 1): He is mentioned in the records when it is stated that Thomas Starr had taken a piece of timber from "Richard Tayler, of the Rocke," and was ordered to give him another piece and pay damages, or pay him L3. (4 Plym. Col. Recs. 53.)
  • 1666 (November 20): The will of John Joyce of Yarmouth, this date, proved March 5, 1666-7, contains a provision giving to Richard Taylor at the Rock, "because a poor man, in corne or in sume beast, the sume of twenty shillings, provided that he vindicate my name and acknowledge the wronge that hee hath done the same." (2 Plym. Col. Wills, pt. 2, p. 35; 6 N. E. Reg. 188.)



  1. Richard Taylor, Tailor and Some of His Descendants, by James W. Hawes; C.W. Swift, publisher, Yarmouthport, Mass.: 1914.
  2. Barnstable Probate Records, volume 2, p. 262
  3. Plymouth Colony Records, Volume 4, p. 53
  4. Mayflower Descendant, Volume 3, p. 246
  5. "Emigrants to St. Christopher's &c.," NEHGS Register, Volume 14, p. 354



External linksEdit

  1. Mysteries of the Richard Taylors of Yarmouth