This is James Taylor II, Junior or the Younger. His father James Taylor I or James Taylor the Elder was the first of the Taylor line to come to the colonies. Researcher Steve Taylor points out that the parentage of James Taylor Sr is uncertain. Traveling to the colony, James I arrived in Virginia "in an unknown year on an unknown ship." This James Taylor is sometimes referred to, even in formal sources, as a Colonel, but Steve points out that James was not styled a Colonel. "The first record of him is in Dec 1675 when he purchased 200 acres from Thomas Reynolds."
-- Steve Taylor, email to Orville Boyd Jenkins, 22 November 2010
Some genealogy sources have reported that James Taylor Jr was born in Orange County. This was a later name for the area were the family lived at the time of James' birth.
Contributor Steve Taylor comments:
Orange County was created in 1734. This should more likely be New Kent County although there is no proof of where James Taylor I was living in 1674 when James II was born. The first record of James I in VA is in 1675 when he purchased 200 acres from Thomas Reinolds.
-- Source: Library of VA--land patents, Book 7 page 520, patent date Oct 30, 1686 (virginia.gov
James Taylor purchased 200 acres in 1675.
The first time James II was most likely in what would become Orange Co. was in 1716 when he was a surveyor in the Spotswood expedition (Knights of the Golden Horseshoe) exploring the Piedmont area.
-- Steve Taylor, Note on Our Family, 30 October 2010
There is a record in the International Marriages Register for James Taylor and Martha Thompson, but amazingly, it does not give the marriage date and information! We do get the names and birth years. The birth years are apparently approximate based presumably on the ages, which are likewise not reported here. Another similar record reports the birth year of Taylor as 1670.
U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900
James Taylor, Gender: male, Birth 1675 VA
Spouse Name: Martha Thompson, Spouse Birth 1679 VA
A very detailed genealogy reports credible-sounding details about James, though it does not report the sources for this information. Because of the information there about the burial, it appears the compiler found this information on the grave, but the genealogy does not give details or a photo of the stone. This source indicates that James died in a portion of old King and Queen County, Virginia, that became part of the later Orange County, established in 1734.
Birth 14 MAR 1675 in New Kent County, Virginia
Death 23 JUN 1729 in Orange County (King & Queen co), Virginia
Parents James Taylor 1635-1698
Francis Walker 1640-1682
Marriage 23 Feb 1699 Caroline, Virginia to Martha Thompson
Burial Taylor Graveyard, Old Dick Burton Place, One mile East of Court House
-- Colburn Family of Dedham, ancestry.com
D Altenberger provided a photo of a historical inscription about Bloomsbury, the estate of James Taylor:
"A mile north is Bloomsbury, estate of the pioneer, James Taylor, ancestor of Presidents James Madison and Zachary Taylor. He was a member of Spotswood's expedition over the mountains in 1716. Erected 1937 by Conservation & Development Commission. (Marker Number JJ 4.) Location. 38° 14.66' N, 78° 3.007' W. Marker is in Orange, Virginia, in Orange County."
Marker is at the intersection of Constitution Highway (State Highway 20) and Bloomsbury Road, on the right when traveling west on Constitution Highway
-- D Altenberger, 3 Oct 2010, ancestry.com
Laurie Kruczek discusses James' participation on the Spottswood (Spottiswood) Project to survey the area to the Shenandoah Valley.
James Taylor, Virginia Landowner
James Taylor had been a companion of Governor Spotswood and had been one of the members of the Knights of the Golden Horseshoe in 1716. This land surveying expedition, which had crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains into the Shenandoah Valley, took possession of the land between the Blue Ridge and the ocean in the West in the name of King George I of England. Those who had been part of the expedition then began to stake out claims to the land that had been surveyed, James Taylor being among them.
In 1721, Ambrose Madison (President James Madison's grandfather) married Frances Taylor. Frances was the daughter of James Taylor. The Taylors were ancestors of future President Zachary Taylor.
James Taylor worked on building a 13,500-acre estate. In 1723, Taylor probably pointed out some of the best 4,675 acres of land for his two sons-in-law, Thomas Chew and Ambrose Madison, to patent jointly. This land would be part of the Madison estate originally called Mount Pleasant. When James Taylor's son, James Taylor, moved onto another portion of his father's estate, the Taylor, Chew, and Madison families became a small community in themselves, all living within a few short miles of each other.
-- Laurie Kruczek, 6 Mar 2008, ancestry.com
See also Ann Blomquist, Tate, Taylor, and Southern Families, WorldConnect