An American Family History

Jacob Taylor and Sarah Branstiter

Perry Township, Shelby County, Ohio
Salem Township, Shelby County, Ohio
McLean County, Illinois
Somerset, Warren County, Iowa
Shelby County, Ohio is in western Ohio and was formed in 1819 from Miami County.

A cooper makes wooden barrels and casks.


Logan County is in central Illinois and was established in 1839.

Illinois became a state in 1818. A large influx of American settlers came in the 1810s by the Ohio River.

Jacob Taylor married Sarah Branstiter on September 28, 1845 in Shelby County, Ohio. The marriage was performed by John Elliott, J.P. The Taylor family originally lived in Ohio and the oldest children were born there. Sarah Taylor's obituary said she had five sons and five daughters.

Daniel Taylor was born in 1847  and Louisa Taylor Long was born in 1848. In 1850, the family lived in Perry Township, Shelby County, Ohio. The household consisted of Jacob age 30, Sarah age 24, Daniel, age three, and Louisa age one. At this time, Jacob was working as a cooper and a farmer.

Leathy Ann Taylor Stringfield Gilman was born in 1851, Mary Elizabeth Taylor Campbell was born in 1853, Abram M. Taylor was born in 1856, and  Sarah Jane Taylor Burgett was born in 1859.

By 1860 the family had moved to Salem Township, Shelby County. The household consisted of  Jacob age 41, Sarah age 37, Daniel age 13, Lucy (sic) age eleven, Leethyann age ten, Mary E. age seven, Abraham age four and Sarah J. age one. They had a 21 year old "servant" named Ann Taylor who may have been Jacob's brother John's daughter. Jacob was a farmer.

Mahalia Taylor was born in 1861, Jacob C. Taylor was born in 1864, Henry Taylor was born in 1867, and Richard Taylor was born in 1869.

In 1869 Louisa married in Logan County, Illinois. At the time of the 1870 census Mary and Louisa were in Sheridan, Logan County, Illinois. Mary was a servant and Louisa and Thomas Long were farming.

Leathy and Daniel both married in 1872 in McLean County, Illinois and Mary Elizabeth married there in 1873.

The family finally settled in Warren County near Summerset, Iowa. It is in Lincoln Township. It was also called Westford in the early days and Somerset too. It was originally built as a railroad community and was quite prosperous at one time with three grocery stores, a post office, barber shop and dance hall. It also had a hotel. There are no longer any businesses open there today. The children who were already married, moved with the family to Warren County.

The History of Warren County says that on July 4, 1876

one of the most destructive storms which ever visited the State would pass over them . . . It assumed the character of a destructive hurricane.

They lost three children in 1876. They are all buried at Carlisle Cemetery in Warren County, Iowa with their father. Mahalia died on March 17, 1876. Henry died when he was nine on October 27, 1876. Richard died October 29, 1876 when he was nine.

The family appeared in the 1880 census in Warren County. They were living in Washington Township in the Village of Somerset. Jacob's occupation was farmer. Jacob was age 60 and Sarah was age 53. The only two children remaining at home were Jacob who was sixteen and Sarah J. who was 21.

In 1881, Sarah Jane married in Warren County. In 1884, Jacob Taylor died and was buried with his children in Carlisle. Jacob's grave is the northern-most of the Taylor family graves. Frank Myers wrote

His stone is a smallish square piece of gray marble, with raised inscription, set on one of its points, so that it looks like a diamond. . .The next three stones south, marking the children's graves, are small, identical, white marble markers that have not stood the test of time. Some old marble seems almost to melt, and that's what happened here.

In 1900, Sarah  was in Lincoln Township in the Village of Summerset, Warren County, Iowa with her son Jacob and daughter Sarah. She was a carpet weaver. The census records indicate that she had given birth to ten children, seven of whom were living. She lived next door to her granddaughter, Allie Schooler.

Jacob married in 1902. Sarah died in 1912 and was buried with family members at Pilot Mound cemetery.


Warren County, Iowa was formed in 1846. The county seat is Indianola.

The first U.S. railroad opened in the 1830s. In 1869 the first transcontinental railway was completed.

In the 1830s settlers began arriving in Iowa from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, Kentucky, and Virginia. Iowa became a state in 1846.



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©Roberta Tuller 2023
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