Our People and Their History: Remembering Jeremiah Taylor …using Y DNA

Our People and Their History: The benefits of testing Y DNA
3D DNA strands on an abstract background

Jeremiah Taylor (ca. 1765 – aft. 1860) and his ancestry … using Y DNA

By Robert Moore

So, with the brief outline of the benefits of Y DNA behind us, in the last article, it’s time to give an example of one of the discoveries I’ve come across, pertaining to a Page County family.

Jeremiah Taylor (ca. 1765 – aft. 1860) has long been a topic of discussion among descendants. For many years, it was believed that Jeremiah was likely descended from the Taylor line from St. Mark’s Parish, which served Spotsylvania, Orange, and Culpeper counties. After all, Valentine Dudley Taylor (believed a son of Jeremiah) was baptized in the Parish, on September 12, 1795. While Jeremiah may well be descended from that line, as Y DNA revealed within the last year, it’s not a paternal line of descent. Jeremiah’s mother may have certainly been a Taylor, but as to who was his father… ?  

With the testing of a third great grandson of Jeremiah Taylor (a male Taylor, of course), to 111 markers, close matches were seen with two male Nicholsons (both descended from Benjamin Nicholson, ca. 1745-1825). At that point, it was considered possible that Jeremiah may have been a Y DNA Nicholson, perhaps a brother or son to Benjamin Nicholson. Yet, Y DNA of all other Nicholson descendants (descended from those other than Benjamin) were not showing the same haplogroup (they were basic haplogroup M269, while descendants of Benjamin Nicholson were basic haplogroup M253). It was therefore necessary to test the Taylor Y DNA kit for a deeper haplogroup, if not a terminal haplogroup.

Ultimately, this Taylor kit tested to haplogroup FGC10445, which matches more closely the kit of a descendant of John Price (ca. 1720-1782). Interestingly, one descendant of Benjamin Nicholson tested further as well, to haplogroup FGC41738. As it turns out, both FGC10445 and FGC41738 are rooted in haplogroup S6346. So, the question of “who was Jeremiah’s father?” falls into one of two scenarios. If Benjamin Nicholson was truly born ca. 1745, then with Jeremiah being born in 1765, it’s certainly possible that Benjamin was the father of Jeremiah. The alternative, however, is that John Price, or even his brother, Mungo Price, was the father of Jeremiah… AND Benjamin Nicholson. It’s worth noting that, in 1757, Mungo Price, brother to John, received a grant of 300 acres… property which was adjacent to John Nicholson’s 266 acres. John also had land bordering that of John Nicholson. 

Yet, what’s the story on Benjamin Nicholson? His descendants clearly don’t carry the same Y DNA as the rest of the male Nicholsons from Madison County. As I mentioned before, descendants of John Price, Benjamin Nicholson, and Jeremiah Taylor all share a common ancestor in the not too terribly distant past (ca. 1700). As all are rooted in haplogroup S6346, that’s clear enough. Further, all three have matches to a number of male Merediths… and that’s our next Y DNA clue, which leads us to a man by the name of Mereday/Meriday/Meredith Price.

It appears the Price family (those associated with John, Mungo, and possible others) was… per Y DNA… descended from someone carrying the Meredith Y DNA. In that the surname “Meredith”, or a variation thereof, may have been given to an illegitimate son of a Price woman, as indication as to who the father was. Indeed, a roster of Captain Michael Raeder’s Company of Militia from the area in and around Page County, lists a Meredith Price, and Meredith Price, Jr. This same given/surname combination is traceable further back, to a Meriday/Meredith Price, born ca. 1644 (possibly in Bristol, Gloucester, England). This particular Meredith Price settled in Westmoreland County, Virginia and had a number of children. 

So, while tracing this Y DNA “bread crumb” trail began with the search for the father of Jeremiah Taylor, it led further… to finding the origins of illegitimate Jeremiah Taylor and Benjamin Nicholson… and to the origins of their paternal Price line… which led to the Meredith line… which, while Meredith Price (born ca. 1644) was born in England, actually points to origins in Wales. The Meredith surname comes from the Welsh personal name Meredydd or Maredudd… the old Wesh being Morgetiud. 

In short, this is an example of the benefit of analyzing Y DNA. It brings out stories which paper traces would likely never reveal.  

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  1. Robert, I’m one of the male Nicholsons descended from Benjamin Nicholson. I’ve dug further into the Meredith line in Ireland, and it shows that of the four Meredith family lines there, only one is Haplogroup I, the one I’m related to. The Welsh are typically Haplogroup I, so I believe that that Meredith line is not Welsh, but English instead. I suspect from an English plantation in Ireland. Also, in 1700’s Virginia, there is another man named Samuel Davis, born 1755, who exactly matches the Nicholson/Price line. Could Jeremiah and Samuel have been orphaned brothers farmed out to local families due to some tragedy? I have not been able to find a gateway ancestor from the Meredith family coming to America. This is our brick wall.

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