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About this Website

This page is for those who wonder why & how this site came to be.

The Motive

The purpose of this site is to share information which the author has come across in hopes it will be helpful to others pursuing their family history. Cognizant of the difficulties experienced in back-tracking his own ancestors, he wants to ease the way for future genealogists.

One of the chief genealogical difficulties lies in making connections: A piece of data from one source isn't obviously connected to another piece in another. Very often, the whole means more than the sum of its parts. On this site, we try to make as many of those connections as we are able.

In the meantime, if you should happen to possess some tidbit of information to cast light on the mystery of Michael Taylor's parents, please don't be shy about sharing it. You can read more about Michael here.

The Material

All of the material presented or referenced here has been "vetted" reviewed by the author and thought to have genealogical value. Where there are questions or issues (accuracy, etc.) comments try to point these out. More comments on reproduced data help relate presented information to other, not so obvious, information. What value the information here has for you, the viewer, is for you to decide.

We include information from several counties in the east-central portion of North Carolina and we include many varieties of information from many sources. We do not include births or deaths, because civil registration of these is a 20th century practice; such records are hard to come by for the 18th & 19th centuries.

Most of the material is focused on Taylor-surnamed individuals in Craven and neighboring counties in the 18th and early 19th centuries. However, it isn't strictly limited to those ranges. Families inter-associate and intermarry. They move from place to place and, even if they don't move, political boundaries change.. Persons births & deaths overlap eras. Where there's a question, we tend toward more inclusivity.

However, all research must have limits as to scope. We don't focus much on the period before 1725 (still very early for this area). Our ancestors left the area (for Tennessee) in the early 19th century. Most of our searches cut off about 1825. We concentrate more on the northern part of Craven County (along with present Lenoir) than we do on the southern part.

The Approach & Philosophy

You've seen plenty of sites that give narrowly-focused information, in bits & pieces. You've seen sites that consist of other peoples' family trees and sites that are only about marriages or deeds. These are often valuable resources, but there are many of them, unrelated to each other. There are some sites that provide historical or social & economic context, but these aren't related to the individual data.

We elected to do something different: to provide contexts and overviews, in addition to the individual records. Certainly, there's a wealth of "look-up records" here. We ask & try to answer the journalist's questions: Who, what, when, where, how and why.

The all-too-missing ingredient in most sites is understanding. Genealogy is, in some respects, time travel. We must put ourselves into a time when culture, economics and many other things are not what we take for granted today.

We believe that understanding comes only by considering what records say happened with our ancestors in the context of what was happening generally at that time and place.

The Techniques

We have used many methods to gather the information here:

As we've learned about proper genealogical techniques, we've implemented them. {Fortunately, most of the Craven information was acquired after a grounding in genealogical methods had been gained.}  We're indebted to Elizabeth Shawn Mills and others who've promulgated guidelines for evaluating evidence.

We've used multiple techniques to analyze what we've found. Much of the data has been analyzed by means of spreadsheets and relational databases, as well as applying logic and good old-fashioned common sense.

The Timing

Site development began in the Spring of 2008 and the first pages were posted in the Summer. Several months later, it is still being developed and fleshed out. The information to present has not been exhausted; it's still being converted to a Web-amenable form.

The Author

The author, Ralph Taylor, has been practicing genealogy  and pursuing his ancestors since 1995. He is a frequent contributor to several genealogy-related electronic mailing lists and a moderator or one. He is a volunteer member of a Taylor surname Y-DNA project administration team.

Prior to beginning genealogy, he was a manager and corporate analyst for a large health-care organization; this experience gave him skills in gathering and analyzing large amounts of complex data and synthesizing it into digestible information. Since 1995, he has been the CEO of a consulting firm called "Information Tools", which relies on those skills to help small businesses.

He was born in California and now lives in Colorado. He's an avid and expert skier and sailor.

He is a veteran creator of many Websites, having designed several of various subject matter, types & purposes. To contact him, e-mail

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