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John Taliaferro Sr (abt. 1656 - 1720)

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Colonel John "The Ranger" Taliaferro Sr
Born about in Essex, Virginia, British Colonial Americamap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married about (to about ) in Essex, Virginia, British Colonial Americamap
Descendants descendants
Died in Gloucester, Virginia, British Colonial Americamap
Taliaferro-19 created 13 Mar 2011 | Last modified | Last edit: 7 May 2017
18:13: Misty (Rish) Musco added Augustine Taliaferro as child for John Taliaferro Sr. [Thank Misty for this | 1 thank-you received]
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Husband of Sarah Smith — married 1682 in St Marys Parish, Essex, Virginia, United States

John Taliaferro and his children played an important part in the social, state and church life of the Colony, but owing to the destruction of the records in Caroline County, where most of the family resided, it has been impossible to obtain a complete record of the lives of his children. Because of this fact there has existed for some time a false idea as to the parents of Capt. Richard Taliaferro, who married Rose Berryman. Some historians have claimed that he was a son of Zachariah Taliaferro (b. 1683; d. 1745) ; but the Will of the first John Taliaferro, dated 1715, proved 1720 in Essex County, discloses the fact that Captain Richard Taliaferro was a son of the first John Taliaferro and his wife, Sarah (Smith) Taliaferro. The records contained in this chapter are proved by the original court records of Essex, Spotsylvania and Orange counties; the parentage of Captain Richard Taliaferro has the personal endorsement of Dr. Lyon G. Tyler, the former President of William and Mary College and Editor of the College Quarterly, and who is the present [as of the early 1920s] Editor of Tyler’s Historical and Genealogical Magazine.

The first John Taliaferro was a lieutenant commanding a company of rangers [and thus his usual reference: “John The Ranger Taliaferro”] against the Indians in 1692; Justice of Essex, 1695; Sheriff; member of House of Burgesses, 1699. "He married Sarah, daughter of Major Lawrence Smith of Gloucester county (see deed of Francis Taliaferro to brother, John, who is about to marry Sarah Smith, 1682)".[1] He was a large land holder in Essex County and the bricks for building his beautiful home, “Powhattan,” were brought over from England.

John Taliaferro wrote his will 01 Jun 1715 and is assumed to have died in 1720 based on his will being proved in Essex County 21 Jun 1720. In the will, John names his wife, Sarah, and his twelve children (in the order appearing in the will): [2]

  1. Lawrence
  2. John
  3. Mary
  4. Elizabeth
  5. Charles
  6. Robert
  7. Zachariah
  8. Catherine
  9. Richard
  10. William
  11. Sarah
  12. Catherine

Imported data from

Birth date: 1656
Birth place: Essex, VA
Marriage date: 1678
Marriage place: VA
Marriage date: 1682
Marriage place: VA
Wife: Sarah Smith
Child: Jane Taliaferro
Death date: 21 June 1720
Death place: Gloucester, VA

John Taliaferro was a lieutenant commanding a company of rangers against the Indians in 1692; Justice of Essex in 1695; Sheriff and member of the House of Burgesses in 1699.

They were large land holders in Essex County and the bricks for their home, "Powhattan" were brought over from England.

May 6, 1746. William Woodford of Caroline Co., Gent., and Anne, his wife, to John Champe of King George Co., Gent. s640 curr. (mortgage).

1600 a. in Spots. Co., purchased by sd. Woodford of Richard Taliaferro and Charles Taliaferro, to whom it was conveyed by the brother, Francis Taliaferro, by deed Dated Sept. 28, 1682, and part of a pat. granted their father, Robert Taliaferro, and one Lawrence Smith, March 26, 1666; also slaves. Witnesses, T. Turner, Peter Daniel. May 6, 1746.


  1. "Taliaferro Family," The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 20, No. 4 (Apr., 1912), pp. 266-271 (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture; DOI: 10.2307/1919335). Stable URL: (see pp 269-270)
  2. Rootsweb: Hardin Clay Roots #1: John "The Ranger" Tailiaferro, by Norvan L. Johnson, 22 Oct 2015

See also:

  • "Historic Georgia Families," by Judge Lewis W. Rigsby, published in 1928/29.
  • U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900, Yates Publishing
  • Chalkley, Lyman. Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, 1745-1800. Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1965. Originally published in 1912.
  • Crozier, William Armstrong, ed. Virginia County Records - Spotsylvania County Records, 1721-1800. Being transcriptions from the original files at the County Court House of wills, deeds, administrators' and guardians' bonds, marriage licenses, and lists of revolutionary pensioners. New York, NY: Fox, Duffield & Co., 1905.
  • William Hopkins. William Hopkins papers.
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 12888885, Created by: Kaaren Crail Vining, Record added: Jan 04, 2006

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with John by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with John:

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On 5 Feb 2016 at 08:00 GMT Valerie Willis wrote:

Taliaferro-328 and Taliaferro-19 appear to represent the same person because: same individual in all respects - note : same mother who does have a variety of names

On 22 Mar 2014 at 14:40 GMT Cheryl (Stone) Caudill wrote:

Taliaferro-176 and Taliaferro-19 appear to represent the same person because: these profiles seem to be of the same person

On 30 Jan 2014 at 07:24 GMT J Pictet wrote:

Husband of Sarah Smith — married 1682 in St Marys Parish, Essex, Virginia, United States

John is 18 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 11 degrees from Cindy Lesure, 13 degrees from Bonnie Thornton and 13 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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