Zachary  Taylor

Zachary Taylor (1784 - 1850)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
President Zachary Taylor
Born in Barboursville, Montebello, Orange County, Virginiamap
Husband of — married in Louisville, Jefferson Co., Kentucky, USAmap
Died in White House, Washington D.C., USAmap
Taylor-223 created 8 Mar 2010 | Last modified
This page has been accessed 8,388 times.

Categories: Notables | US Presidents | Jefferson County, Kentucky | Whig Political Party | Namesakes US Counties | Mexican-American War.

Zachary Taylor is notable.
Join: Notables Project
Discuss: notables
The Presidential Seal.
Zachary Taylor was the President of the United States.
Join: US Presidents Project
Discuss: presidents
Preceded by
11th President
James K. Polk

Zachary Taylor
12th President
of the United States
Presidential Seal
1849 –1850
Succeeded by
13th President
Millard Fillmore

Mexican seal.
Zachary Taylor fought in the Mexican-American War.
Join: Mexican American War Project
Discuss: mexican_american_war


⚠ Work in Progress

This profile is being included as part of the WikiTree Presidential Project. Since historical information is readily available documenting the lives of the U.S. Presidents this profile will mainly document genealogically important events in the form of a timeline. Every effort is being made to avoid plagiarism. The US Presidents Users Group is committed to proper documentation of all sources and references. If you would like to learn more about this WikiTree project please visit the US Presidents User Group page.

1758 Birth 1810 Marriage 1811 1st Child War of 1812 1849 Elected President 1850 Death

Zachary Taylor and President James Madison are related as second cousins

Descendant of Pilgrims Isaac Allerton and William Brewster.


Zachary Taylor (November 24, 1784 – July 9, 1850) was the 12th President of the United States (1849–1850) and an American military leader. Initially uninterested in politics, Taylor ran as a Whig in the 1848 presidential election, defeating Lewis Cass. He was a planter and slaveholder based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Taylor was born on a plantation in Orange County, Virginia, to a prominent family of planters of English ancestry. He was the third of five surviving sons in his family (a sixth died in infancy), and had three younger sisters. His mother was Sarah Dabney (Strother) Taylor. His father, Richard Taylor, had served as a lieutenant colonel in the American Revolution. Taylor was a descendant of Elder William Brewster, the Pilgrim colonist leader of the Plymouth Colony, a Mayflower immigrant, and one of the signers of the Mayflower Compact[1]; and Isaac Allerton Jr., a colonial merchant and colonel who was the son of Mayflower Pilgrim Isaac Allerton and Fear Brewster. Taylor's second cousin through that line was James Madison [2], the fourth president.

Leaving exhausted lands, his family joined the westward migration out of Virginia and settled near what developed as Louisville, Kentucky on the Ohio River. Taylor grew up in a small woodland cabin before his family moved to a brick house with increased prosperity. The rapid growth of Louisville was a boon for Taylor's father, who would come to own 10,000 acres (40 km2) throughout Kentucky by the turn of the century; he held 26 slaves to cultivate the most developed portion of his holdings. There were no formal schools on the Kentucky frontier, and Taylor had a sporadic formal education. A schoolmaster recalled Taylor as a quick learner. His early letters show a weak grasp of spelling and grammar, and his handwriting would later be described as "that of a near illiterate".

Family Life

Two years after being commissioned as a lieutenant in the United States Army, in May 1810 Taylor married Margaret Mackall Smith in Louisville. He purchased his first land that year in Jefferson County, Kentucky. He and Margaret had a total of six children (see below).

Margaret and their children sometimes accompanied Taylor to assignments at forts under his command. At other times, they lived on the plantation in Louisville. In the 1820s, following his purchases of land in Louisiana, the family moved to establish a new home in Baton Rouge. Through the years, Taylor speculated in land and bought many slaves to develop his properties; the Deep South was becoming the cotton kingdom.

Return to Top

Personal Details

  • Born: November 24, 1784, Barboursville, Virginia, USA.
  • Spouse: Margaret Mackall Smith (September 21, 1788 – August 14, 1852)
  • Name: Zachary Taylor
  • Marriage Date: 1810
  • Marriage Place: Jefferson, Kentucky[4]
  • Children:
    • Ann Margaret Mackall Taylor (1811-1875)
    • Sarah Knox Taylor (1814–1835)
    • Octavia Pannell Taylor (1816-1820)
    • Margaret Smith Taylor (1819-1820)
    • Mary Elizabeth Taylor (1824–1909)
    • Richard Taylor (1826–1879)
  • Later descendants: Richard Taylor's granddaughter, Anita Vincent Stauffer, married into the McIlhenny family of Avery Island, Louisiana, makers of Tabasco hot pepper sauce. John Taylor Wood's great-grandsons and other descendants have had active military and police roles in Canada.
  • Religion: Episcopal

Political Career

  • 12th President of the United States (March 4, 1849 – July 9, 1850)
⇐ Preceded by 11th President James Polk
⇒Succeeded by 13th President Millard Fillmore
  • Political party: Whig
  • Profession: Major general

Military Service

Known as "Old Rough and Ready," Taylor had a 40-year military career in the United States Army, serving in the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War, and the Second Seminole War. He achieved fame leading American troops to victory in the Battle of Palo Alto and the Battle of Monterrey during the Mexican–American War.

  • Military service Allegiance United States
  • Service/branch: United States Army (1808–1849)
  • Highest Rank Achieved: Major general
  • Commands Army of Occupation
  • Battles/wars
  • War of 1812
  • Siege of Fort Harrison
  • Black Hawk War
  • Second Seminole War
  • Battle of Lake Okeechobee
  • Mexican–American War
  • Battle of Palo Alto
  • Battle of Resaca de la Palma
  • Battle of Monterrey
  • Battle of Buena Vista

Most Distant Known Ancestors

Paternal James Taylor Link to 10 Generation Paternal Chart

Maternal Sarah Dabney Strother Link to 10 Generation Maternal Chart

Mayflower Connection

(4th Great grandfather of Zachary)
Elder William Brewster a passenger on the Mayflower

(3rd Great grandparents of Zachary)
Isaac Allerton (1585-1658) and
Fear Brewster (1606-)
(2nd Great grandparents)
Isaac Allerton, Jr. (-1702) and
Elizabeth Willoughby (1635-)
(Great grandparents)
Hancock Lee (1653-1729) and
Sarah Allerton (1670-1731)
Zachary Taylor (1707-bef.1768) and
Elizabeth Lee (1707-c1750)
(Parents of Zachary)
Richard Lee Taylor (1744-1829) and
Sarah Dabney Strother (1760-1822)
Zachary Taylor (1784-1850)


  • Taylor County in four US states - Florida, Georgia, Iowa and Kentucky - are named in President Taylor's honor.

External Links


  1. we should work to show that relationship in WikiTree
  2. show relationship in WikiTree
  3. FindAGrave: Memorial ID: 1023: Zachary Taylor Gravestone
  4. "Kentucky Marriages, 1785-1979," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 10 Apr 2014), Zachary Taylor and Margaret Smith, 1810; citing Jefferson, Kentucky, reference bk 1 p 67; FHL microfilm 482706. Indexing Project (Batch) Number: M00574-7 System Origin: Kentucky-EASy GS Film number: 482706 Reference ID: bk 1 p 67
Return to Top

More: Family Tree & Genealogy Tools

Sponsored by MyHeritage

Memories: 1

On 26 Nov 2011 Robert Evans wrote:

WAS LISTED AS THE ONLY SUCCESSFUL SLAVE OWNER OF ALL THE PRESDIENTS. HE NEVER HAD A RUN AWAY, NOR SOLD SLAVES. HE EDUCATED AND CARED FOR THEM ALL. AT THE END OF EACH SEASON HE PAID THEM A BONUS. NEVER HELD OFFICE PRIOR TO BEING ELECTED TO COMMANDER AND CHIEF, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. "Old Rough and Ready," Taylor had a forty-year military career in the United States Army, serving in the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War, and the Second Seminole War. He achieved fame leading American troops to victory in the Battle of Palo Alto and the Battle of Monterrey during the Mexican–American War. As president, Taylor angered many Southerners by taking a moderate stance on the issue of slavery. He urged settlers in New Mexico and California to bypass the territorial stage and draft constitutions for statehood, setting the stage for the Compromise of 1850. DURING HIS LIFETIME THERE WERE RUMORS OF A CIVIL WAR APPROACHING. Persons "taken in rebellion against the Union, he would hang ... with less reluctance than he had hanged deserters and spies in Mexico." He never wavered. Henry Clay then proposed a complex Compromise of 1850. Taylor died as it was being debated. (The Clay version failed but another version did pass under the new president, Millard Fillmore.) HE AND FILLMORE WERE AT ODDS DURING THE DEBATES. HE WAS AGAINST ANY COMPROMISES AND FILLMORE WAS FOR ONE. AS HISTORY HAS PROVEN THE COMPROMISE NEVER WORKED OUT AND WE WENT TO WAR. JEFFERSON DAVIS WHO HAD MARRIED TAYLOR'S DAUGHTER AND SERVED UNDER HIM WHILE HE WAS A GENERAL ASSUMED THE TASKS OF THE FIRST AND ONLY PRESIDENT OF THE SOUTHERN STATES. AS A FAVORABLE LEADER TO THE NAVAJO AND OTHER TRIBES AS BEING FAIR, HONEST, AND JUST. THE NAVAJO NAMED ONE OF THEIR MOUNTIANS AFTER HIM. ZACHARY TAYLOR WAS THE FIRST TO COIN THE TERM 'FIRST LADY' AT THE FUNERAL OF HIS COUSIN JAMES MADISON'S WIFE, DOLLEY PAYNE TODD MADISON.

Login to add your own memory.

Searching for someone else?
First: Last:

Do you have a GEDCOM? Login to have every name in your tree searched. It's free (like everything on WikiTree).

Sponsored by MyHeritage

DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Zachary by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree: It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Zachary:

Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Family Tree DNA.

Images: 3
Zachary Taylor 12th President
Zachary Taylor 12th President

Zachary Taylor
Zachary Taylor

Zachary Taylor Defender of Ft. Harrison
Zachary Taylor Defender of Ft. Harrison


On 17 Jun 2015 at 15:05 GMT Vicki Norman wrote:

Please add to trusted list:

Zachary is 17 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 17 degrees from Lucrezia Borgia, 17 degrees from Emma MacBeath, 19 degrees from Charles Schulz and 15 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

T  >  Taylor  >  Zachary Taylor