From Log Cabins to the White House: A History of the Taylor Family

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M.T. Brewer, 1985 - Virginia - 522 pages
Ancestors and descendants of immigrant John Taylor (1607-1652) who settled in Northumberland County, Va. about 1648. Zachary Taylor (1784-1850), the 12th President of the United States is one of the descendants.

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Many Knox/Bell County KY Taylor family researchers have sought in vain to identify the parents of Martha “Patsy” Taylor, wife of Robert DePriest. Brewer claims to have succeeded.
In her book (p
. 215), Mrs. Brewer claims that “Mrs. Charles Paschall MaHall of Harlan Co KY mentioned finding in 1983 in National Archives, Washington, DC a statement that David TAYLOR’s dau Martha Patsy TAYLOR was b 1768 ‘at her grandfather’s estate, ‘Hare Forest’.” Many Taylor historians have accepted this statement as fact, along with the pedigree that Brewer constructs, linking Martha “Patsy” Taylor to the illustrious James Taylor family of colonial Virginia and to the U.S. presidents that have descended from this James Taylor. Brewer's identification of David Taylor as Martha's father is based on the statement that she attributes to a Mrs. Mahall of Harlan County.
Brewer offers no documentation to support the claim she attributes to Mrs. Mahall. (What follows is illustrative of the problems serious Taylor family historians encounter when examining Brewer’s version of Martha “Patsy” Taylors’ family pedigree.)
A search of online public records and genealogical sources fails uncover any reference to either a Mrs. or a Mr. “Charles Paschall Mahall” in Harlan County, KY, at any time prior to the publication of Mrs. Brewer’s book in 1985—with one exception.
A Google search for “Mahall + Harlan County, KY” returns a reference in a book describing an up and coming neighborhood in the city of Harlan, in Harlan County, KY, during the 1920-1930 time-frame. Concerning people living on her street, one lady is reported to have said, “Then on up [the street] was Dr. Mahall, a dentist.” [Portelli, Allesandro. They Say in Harlan County: An Oral History. Oxford University Press. 2011. p. 109]
Further google searches for the Harlan Count dentist, Dr. Charles Paschall Mahall, were fruitless. However the continued search did turn up an alternative spelling: a Dr. Charles Paschall Mayhall. He was graduated from the Louisville School of Dentistry in 1917. Charles P. Mayhall and his wife, Ethel, are listed in the 1930 ( and 1940 ( U.S. Census reports for Harlan County, KY.
Mrs. Brewer may have spelled the last name incorrectly, as did the author of the above cited book.
However, a search of the Social Security Death Index for Ethel Mayhall of Harlan County reveals that Ethel Mayhall passed away in Harlan in the month of May, 1980. (
Mrs. Mahall/Mayhall could not have been in the National Archives in Washington D.C. in 1983, discovering an unreferenced document identifying Martha “Patsy” Taylor’s father as David Taylor. In 1983, Charles P. Mayhall and his wife, Ethel, were resting side-by-side in the Lexington Cemetery, in Lexington, KY. (
How credible is Brewer's claim that she spoke with Mrs. Mahall/Mayhall of Harlan County in 1983? The facts speak for themselves.
Much of the content of Brewer’s book is well documented. Sadly, the pedigree she constructs for Martha “Patsy” Taylor, linking her to the illustrious James Taylor family of colonial Virginia, does not stand up to examination with respect to the identity of Martha's father, to mention but one point.

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This book has more errors than facts, very little documentation, I actually threw mine in the garbage


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