Nancy Ann Taylor was named after her mother and was born Jan. 18, 1795. She married at the young age of 16 in 1811. The man she fell in love with was John M. Tilford. Most people in those days had large families and they followed suit with 10 of their own.
A clipping taken from a book called “A Wake for the Living” by Andrew Nelson Lytle has a statement about this Nancy. I found it on Ancestry.com attached to someone’s family tree. It states “that every Southern man of a family out-marries himself and it is said that this is true when Nancy Taylor Lytle supposedly stepped-down to marry John M. Tilford a native of Virginia. It is rumored that although Nancy, very much a lady, dipped snuff. Apparently frontier women could smoke a pipe, but dipping snuff was another matter entirely.”
I found a copy of Bible Records and Marriage Bond records for Tennessee. It included a list of Tilford records that had been copied by a Mrs. E. L. Jordan of Rutherford County, Tennessee. On the top of a list of marriages it had John M. Tilford to Nancy Lytle, Oct. 24, 1811. Under births it had John M. Tilford, Sept. 18, 1788 and his wife Nancy Jan. 18, 1795. These are the kinds of records genealogists love to find and are precious to keep in family records. I have a copy if anyone is interested. This record was found on Ancestry.com also.
In past articles I have given you details from Federal census records and how we get family history information from them. I did this with Nancy and her husband and they gave me lots of helpful information. Sometimes you can‘t find these records for an individual.
The first census record I found was an 1820 United States Federal Census. It is the old type that does not include names for family members, just the main person in the house. They also tell you race, number of slaves, sex and occupation. This census showed John M. living in Rutherford, Rutherford County, Tennessee. The date of the census is August 7, 1820. The census taker finds a total of 17 people living at the one address, this includes slaves. It gives a total of 13 of these 17 as being slaves. It then tells us that four of the remaining 17 are white. Sometimes a white person is an indentured slave and it will tell you if this white person was free or not. Of the white people living here are 1 white male under age 10, 1 free white male between ages 26 and 44, 1 free white female under 10 and 1 free white female ages 26 through 44. Remember this is 1820.
Nancy and her husband John Tilford were married in 1811. This gives them 9 years to have children. Family trees that I found online show they had 10 children. Now if we want to verify a family tree that I found online I could match the children’s names with which ones were born by 1820?
I found the name, James McCowan Tilford, born in 1812 - just a year after their marriage. Next is William born in 1814, Margaret in 1815 and Sarah in 1817. Two of these children died young and nothing much is known about the other two. William and Margaret are the two who died young.
The next census is 1830 and gives us similar facts. They have less slaves by this time, the number is down to 4. Total of white people living at residence is 6, one of them is a male under 5, 2 are females 5 thru 9, 1 is a female 10 thru 14 and 2 adults, one female and 1 male. These early census records seem so impersonal to me.
Now remember, two of the first four children died so there should be two of them still alive in 1830. Family trees I found add five more children to the family. A daughter Lucilla is born in 1820, Thomas in 1823, James and Jane in 1824 and Henry in 1827. So if you go by this you should have 7 children in 1830. We have an extra child here somewhere. So I go and look at when the children died who were born between 1820 and 1830 and find that Thomas born in 1823 only lived a few months. He wasn’t alive in 1830 for the census. What about the twins James and Jane in 1824? Are these correct or was there only one? The other children all seem to be correct and still alive. It takes some more math and you can come up with a good guess on which of the children’s names are on this 1830 census. You have to remember that girls married young in those days. Margaret Ann was born in 1815 and by 1830 would be 15, old enough to marry and leave home in those days.
Family history trees online show one more child, Mary Ellen born in 1833. I didn’t find a 1840 census but the 1850 Federal census does show John and his wife Ann T. Tilford living in District 10, Tennessee with daughter Mary E., age 17.
Nancy Ann Taylor Lytle died in August of 1860 in Rutherford, Tenn. Her husband John died just four months before her in April,1860. He was 77 at the time and died of old age.
Maybe someone should change the name of the Little family to the “Big” family?