Saturday, June 26, 2010

Everything I Know about Phebe Taylor

I should list everything I know about Phebe right now. She died in 1791. She was reportedly 83 years old (although I also saw somewhere 81 years old - needs more research). So if we go with 83 years old, then she would have been born in 1708.

She married Squire John Taylor, Royal Sheriff of Monmouth County for the British and they had seven children, four of whom survived childhood. Three children are buried next to her in the Throckmorton-Lippit-Taylor burial ground. Her husband is not buried in this graveyard. I'm kind of sensing that it's because it was a Patriot graveyard, but that's just a feeling. That's another thing that interests me - their relationship. Maybe she was buried in Middletown even though she may not have died here so that she could be buried next to her children. I totally would do that. But then why not him? It's his family, after all - the Taylors. Needs more research, of course.

I need to list the birth years and names for all these children. Next post, I swear. She was 8 years older than John, which seems unusual to me. She also had her first child with John at the age of 34 (a daughter, Phebe, who passed away at age 4 was born in 1742).

Alright, must run. More on her and her famous brother, General Nathaniel Heard and on the names and birthdates of her children, those that I know, anyway in the next post. Then you all are dying to know more about me, I'm sure! Ha!

Most of what I know about her are from these two links, obtained from my very first Google search of Phebe Taylor:

Besides providing you with clear details (verified hopefully with first-hand evidence) about her life, I also plan to use this blog to talk about my thoughts, worries and plans. These are abundant. Especially worries. One of my big worries is that this has all been done before and that I'm kind of wasting my time. But that's all relative, right? Wasting my time doing this or wasting my time browsing Robert Pattinson sites, of which there are many - some of which are also fantastic.

Plus, so what, right? So what if someone's done all this before. I'm kind of out of practice with researching and this really is not even a week old, this idea. Calm down, me. Jeez. I mean, if Julie Crazy-Pants can do it, so can I, right? I'm a way better person than her, it turns out. Just write it. For God's sake. This is a problem I've had since childhood - anxiety about writing. I blame my mother. This whole project is going to help me out with this, though.

Essentially, I need to view this as a lab notebook and a diary combination. Maybe I should itemize my posts in that way? The lab notebook model to write down everything I learn and to source everything. A lab notebook is a legal document and if something happens and it's not in the notebook, then it didn't happen. Also it is strictly verboden to lie in a lab notebook, something I've tried to explain in the past to students of mine without much success. My view of the lab notebook is kind of religious, I'm noticing. Don't mess.

The diary aspect will involve my own thoughts about not just Phebe but about my family, my New Jersey experiences, such as they are, and other related things. Heck, why not non-related things? This is for me, after all. To get all this out of my head and to give me something worthwhile to do with my free time (such as that is too). Not that my children aren't worthwhile, but to be honest, my brain is rotting a bit and I've always loved library research, especially after I learned how to really do it in graduate school. I'm looking forward to that and have absolutely no idea both how to go about it and when I'll have the time. So there may be big breaks when I don't post, is what I'm saying.

In general, I'm extremely excited about this and, dear reader, whoever you are, I'm excited about sharing it with you. I'm going to need a lot of help and can't wait to meet others as excited about this time period and these people as I am. I know so very very little. I'll be reading as much as I can whenever I can and to be honest, this'll be slow. Just to warn you again. Who am I kidding, initially this'll be mostly diary and very little lab notebook. Until I really have more free time. Man, am I new at this blogging thing, or what? Until later, then...

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