one line of descendants index home

There is no credible evidence to say when and where James was born and who his parents were. The earliest record of him is the birth of his daughter Emma in January 1682/83, followed by a land record in the following February. He had land in Beverly, but there are no recorded deeds giving it to him. He asked the Town for land to buy - a quarter acre of Town land in 1683, a piece of swampland in the Town common in 1690 and "a small piece of common land" in 1692.1 Forty years later he appears to have sold his homestead not long before he died, with second wife Sarah's permisson.2 Several years earlier they sold to his widowed daughter Hannah a half right to land in the Beverly commons.3 Where any of this land was isn't obvious, but the homestead abutted owners Samuel Stone, Benjamin Smith, and a another parcel nearby by Benjamin Cleaves and James Taylor, Jr. He signed these deeds with a mark, but if the transcriptions are right (Essex County deeds include fascsimiles of the marks), it wasn't consistent.

It's likely that Emma is the Mrs. Taylor in the Beverly First Church records, noted simply as having died in May 1718. The only other Mrs. Taylor in Beverly at the time was the wife of James, Jr. If anyone in the family joined that church, I've found no record of it.

children of James Taylor and Emma:

i. Emma b. 16 January 1682/83
ii. James b. 17 May 1686
iii. Mary b. 26 April 1688
iv. John b. 2 June 1691
v. Rebecca b. 2 June 1691
vi. Mercy b. 3 March 1692/23
vii. (Jo)hannah b. 26 May 1694
viii. Elizabeth b. 26 August 1695

James' death is in Col. Robert Hale's record of deaths, Essex Institute Historical Collections vol. 5 (Salem:1863), 17, and transcribed for the published vital records of the town. Hale has a list of names and occasional dates inbetween which James' name appears (September 1732-July 1734). Based on where his is on the list and some death dates that can be found elsewhere among others on the list, he probably died in Fall 1733. His second marriage is in Vital Records of Beverly, Massachusetts: to the end of the year 1849, vol. 2 (Topsfield, MA:1907), 298.

1. Beverly Town Records, 5 Feb 1682/83, 25 Dec 1690, 29 Nov 1692.
2. Essex Co., MA, deed 59:178, 25 Apr 1732.
3. Ibid, 52:116, 5 Feb 1728/89.

all text and photographs © 1998-2023 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted