Wives of Thomas Taylor son of Marian martyr Rowland Taylor

+4 votes

Thomas Taylor, son of the Marian Martyr Rowland Taylor, is currently shown as having had two wives, Ann Cotton and Elizabeth Burwell. Both marriage relationships are found in unsourced trees on the web. One 1975 privately produced family history on the web - which has easily demonstrable inaccuracies for other members of Rowland Taylor's family (it shows children who died in childhood in their father's lifetime marrying after his death) - gives Elizabeth Burwell as his wife, with no source: E Stuart Gregg Jr, ''A Crane's Foot (or Pedigree) of Branches of the Gregg, Stuart, Robertson, Dobbs and Allied Families'', privately printed by the R L Bryan Company, Columbia, South Carolina, 1975, p. 219, Google Books.

At a minimum I am minded to add research notes saying no good source has been found for the marriage relationships and until/unless one is found, they must be regarded as uncertain.

Or, if there is no supporting evidence for the relationships, should I just sever them and add research notes explaining why? That would be my inclination. As with some other Marian martyrs, there are quite a lot of fictitious descents from Rowland Taylor. There appears to be no good source for Thomas being father of any of the children currently shown, so I would sever them too.

WikiTree profile: Thomas Taylor
in The Tree House by Michael Cayley G2G6 Pilot (200k points)
retagged by Michael Cayley
I will help as much as I can do for you in your search to help find your roots and assist with building your family through search of family history.
Thank you, everyone, for the answers and comments on this. I have now detached one wife and three children (with research notes), added research notes on the profiles of the remaining wife and child, and added the Uncertain Family template to Thomas Taylor the martyr's son.
Rowland Taylor was my 13th great grandfather. My line is Jackson but Taylor is one of lines also that connects to Rowland.

3 Answers

+8 votes
My feeling would be to sever them and if a reliable source eventuates he could be reconnected. The trouble with leaving uncertain connections is that if people just look quickly it still appears that the relationship is good. As you say, research notes will document all your steps.,
by Elizabeth Viney G2G6 Mach 5 (56.5k points)
I agree. I think it's better to detach them and include research notes referring to the unverified sources. If we leave them connected, even if they are marked as uncertain, we are in effect endorsing the unsourced research that no-one has been able to verify. Personally, I would be uncomfortable about relying on an unsourced 1975 tree that has other glaring errors, such as people marrying after their death.
+7 votes
There are four sons attached to Thomas Taylor-1059

Thomas born 1572 in Shropshire, son of Elizabeth

James born 1577, place unknown, son of Elizabeth

Nathaniel born 1578 in Cambridge, son of Ann

Edmund born 1580 in Cambridge, son of Elizabeth

Unless Nathaniel was an acknowledged illegitimate son, this succession cannot be correct. Do we know anything more about Nathaniel and his mother Ann?
by Jo Fitz-Henry G2G6 Pilot (158k points)

Nathaniel and Ann are effectively unsourced. I have found nothing to back up their currently-shown relationship to Taylor-1059, though it can be found in unsourced trees on the web. Nathaniel’s currently shown birthplace - Cambridge, Suffolk County, England - is obviously in need of correction if he existed. He is shown as a son of Elizabeth Burwell in a privately produced family history viewable on Familysearch, which is poorly sourced with clear errors for this family in this period: 500 Years of Wittel and Related Families, by William Taylor Wittel, 2000, pp360-1, Book on Familysearch (search for Hadley to get to the pages).

+5 votes

I have spent some time attempting to find contemporary sources for Thomas, his wives and children, to no avail.

I think detachment of the wives and children with full research notes would be the most appropriate option, unless someone is planning to actively work on this family over the next few months. In this case, it would be easier to leave them attached with the relationship statuses set as "uncertain".

If you do leave them attached, and no-one is actively planning to do further research, I would suggest using the Uncertain Family template to make it clearer to casual readers that there are serious problems with the sourcing of these profiles. Another advantage of this template is that it assigns the profile to the Uncertain Family category, so it is flagged to members who might particularly enjoy working on these knotty problems.

by Nic Donnelly G2G6 Mach 7 (77.4k points)

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