John Gideon Taylor Family Papers

1782-1936, undated
Manuscript Collection #441
John Gideon Taylor family; Taylor family
Physical description
1.33 Cubic Feet, consisting of correspondence, legal papers, estate papers, financial papers, photographs, post cards, newspapers, advertising ephemera, ration books, genealogy information, Bible records, and miscellany.
Preferred Citation
John Gideon Taylor Family Papers (#441), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
Access to audiovisual and digital media is restricted. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

Papers (1782-1956, undated) related to the John Gideon Taylor family of Pitt County, North Carolina, including correspondence, legal papers, estate papers, financial papers, post cards, photographs, newspapers, advertising ephemera, World War II ration books, genealogy information, Bible records, and miscellany.

Biographical/historical information

John Gideon Taylor (1850-1938) was a native of the Bethel area of Pitt County and spent his entire life in Pitt County. His family moved to Greenville in 1918. He engaged in farming and worked as a builder and sawmill worker. Taylor served as a member of the Pitt County Board of Commissioners and as a member of the Board of Drainage Commissioners of Pitt County Drainage District No. 2. He contributed money to the construction of Highway 11 from Stokes to within six miles of Bethel and to the drainage of Grindle Creek. John Gideon Taylor was buried in the family cemetery in Pitt County. In 1993 his grave site was moved from the family cemetery to Cherry Hill cemetery in Greenville by his grandson William C. Taylor, Jr.

Scope and arrangement

The John Gideon Taylor Family Papers reflect scattered activities of John Gideon Taylor, his ancestors, and his children. Correspondence (1827-1930, undated) comprises approximately half of the collection. Letters of particular interest pertain to the attractiveness of farming in the vicinity of Somerville, Tennessee (1827); the routine interests and activities of William H. Taylor, a soldier in Company E of the 3rd Regiment of N.C. State Troops in Virginia (1862-1863); and the routine interests and activities of the sons of John Gideon Taylor as they served in the American Expeditionary Force in Europe during World War I (1918-1919). Post cards depicting Greenville (1907, 1910, 1912, undated), Washington (1910), Rocky Mount (1911-1913), Farmville (1913), Wilson (1910, 1911), Buies Creek (1908), Raleigh (1908), Asheville (1913), Benson (1913), Salisbury (1912), Elm City (1908), North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee (1911-1912); Conway (1911), St. Matthews (1908), Charleston (1913), and Florence (1910), South Carolina; Birmingham, Alabama (1911); Norfolk (1912-1913), Virginia; Tampa, Florida(1911); Chicago (1908); Washington, D.C. (1917); and the USS UTAH (1917) are contained in the collection.

The collection also contains land grants, land grant abstracts, deeds, court orders, and other legal documents pertaining to land and personal property in Pitt County owned by the Whitley, Whitehurst, Barnhill, Clark, and Taylor families (1782-1936). Included is a contract between the Taylor family and the Greenville firm of Ballard & Ballard for renovations to the Taylor home in Greenville (1925).

Estate papers pertain to the sale of property of John Taylor (1825) and Nehemiah Taylor (1859-1860) and to the estates of other members of the family. Also among these papers is the undated will of Arrity (?) Moore of Pitt County.

The John Gideon Taylor Family Papers also contain financial papers (1831-1925) and a file of miscellaneous material. Included in the latter file are a list of Taylor family births (1740-1791), a typescript obituary of John Gideon Taylor (1935), and unused post cards depicting scenes in North Carolina.

A folder of oversize material contains copies of The Wild Cat (1919), published by the U.S. Army's Eighty-First Division, and copies of the Greenville Daily Reflector (Aug. 19, Nov. 6, 8, 1912).

Administrative information
Custodial History

March 22, 1982, 175 items; Pitt County, N.C., family papers (1820-1936), including correspondence, land records, financial records, estate papers, and miscellaneous. Gift of Miss Alya Ray Taylor, Greenville, N.C.

July 23, 2018, (unprocessed addition 1), 0.9 cubic feet; This addition contains papers (1810-1956) and cased photographs concerning the Taylor and Whichard families of Pitt County, North Carolina. Papers include deeds, estate records, receipts, promissory notes, advertising ephemera, World War II ration books, genealogy information, Bible records (John Gideon Taylor family Bible), greeting cards, and the August 10, 1900, issue of King's Weekly newspaper. Photographs include unidentified daguerreotypes, and ambrotypes. Also included is a 1906 edition of The Primitive Hymns, Spiritual Songs and Sacred Poems by Benjamin Lloyd. Gift of Stanley L. Little.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Miss Alya Ray Taylor

Gift of Stanley L. Little

Processing information

Processed by K. Elmore, July 1982

Edited by Jennifer Overstreet, February 2020

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Related material

John Clayton Taylor Papers

Key terms
Personal Names
Taylor, John Gideon
Family Names
Taylor family
Corporate Names
United States. Army. American Expeditionary Forces
Deeds--North Carolina--Pitt County
Soldiers--United States--Correspondence
World War, 1914-1918--Europe
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives
Virginia--History--Civil War, 1861-1865

Container list
Box 1 Folder a Correspondence, 1827-1910
Box 1 Folder b Correspondence, 1911-1913
Box 1 Folder c Correspondence, 1914-1917
Box 1 Folder d Correspondence, 1918-1930
Box 1 Folder e Legal Papers, 1782-1936
Box 1 Folder f Estate Papers, 1825-1860
Box 1 Folder g Financial Papers, 1831-1925
Box 1 Folder h Taylor birth records (1740-1815), portions of land records, a cure, article (1935) about John Gideon Taylor by F. M. Wooten, and information on John Gideon Taylor's gravesite
Box 3 Item a Ambrotype of unknown woman, partially cased
Box 3 Item b Ambrotype of unknown man, uncased
Box 3 Item c Ambrotype of unknown child, severely deteriorated and broken case
Box 3 Item d Ambrotype of two unknown children, hand-colored and deteriorating
Box 3 Item e Daguerreotype of unknown woman, silvering deterioration
Box 3 Item f Daguerreotype of unknown man, silvering and heavy abrasions
Box 3 Item g Daguerreotype of unknown man, severely tarnished
Box 3 Item h Daguerreotype of two people, severely tarnished
Box 3 Item i Daguerreotype of unknown woman, severely tarnished and heavy abrasions
Box 3 Item j Daguerreotype of unknown man, silvering deterioration
Box 3 Item k "The Primitive Hymns, Spiritual Songs, and Sacred Poems, regularly selected, classified and set in order, and adapted to social singing and all occasions of divine worship" by Benjamin Lloyd, 1906
0441-fos1 Three Greenville, N.C., Daily Reflector issues from 1912; two issues of The Wild Cat published in France (May 10, 1919, undated)