top of page

A Hidden Presidential Link?

People are fascinating. Researching stories and linking past to present is something I really enjoy. Very recently, I began re-reading my research on "Bloomsbury", the Taylor and Madison families as well as our 11th President, James K. Polk. I had learned not too long ago from a Madison/Taylor family descendant that Polk was the great-great grandson of Colonel James II and Martha Taylor, something I had not heard before. So, I started digging.

The link for all three of these families is in the Taylor line. I've used to clarify a few dates and names.

While we could go back further in the family tree, I felt Col. John William Taylor and his wife Elizabeth Culpepper Taylor (10/28/1610 - 2/18/1659) were a good starting place. Colonel Taylor (8/10/1607 - 1/1652) was born at Pennington Castle, Cumberland, England. Elizabeth was born in Hadleigh, Suffolk, England 4/15/1610. They were married in 1624 in Cumberland, England. Both of them died in Lancaster County, Virginia Colony, Colonial America. They had six children among which was son "James the Elder" or "James the 1st":

Colonel James I, (“James the Elder” or “James the 1st”) (2/12/1634 – 4/30/1698) was born in Carlisle, Cumbria, England, UK. His wife was Mary "Frances" Walker (10/21/1640 - 9/22 or 23/1680) of the Colony of Virginia. She was 39 years old when she died. They lived in King and Queen County in the Colony of Virginia.

Edlest SON: Col. James II (3/14/1675 – 6/23/1729) was born in New Kent County, Colony and Dominion of Virginia, Colonial America. (Virginia was the 4th Dominion of Great Britain.) He was known as "James the Younger," "James the 2nd," and "James Walker Taylor.

His wife Martha Thompson Taylor was born on February 23, 1679, in Blackwell Neck, Hanover County, Virginia. She married James II on February 23, 1699 in King & Queen County, Colony and Dominion of Virginia, Colonial America.

They had 12 children together (there were 17 half-siblings as well from his first marriage). Several siblings/half-siblings died young. Their eldest daughter was named Frances, perhaps after James's first wife - pure conjecture. Frances Thompson Taylor married Ambrose Madison, which is the link to the 4th and 12th Presidents of the United States.

4th President - Father of the Constitution and 4th President of the United States, Great-grandson, James Madison, Jr.

Col. James II and Martha Taylor’s daughter, Frances Thompson Taylor, married (Henry) Ambrose Madison on August 24, 1721. Their son, James Madison, Sr., married Eleanor “Nellie” Rose Conway Madison on September 13, 1749 at her family home Belle Grove Plantation at Port Conway, King William County, Virginia. James Madison, Jr. was born on March 16, 1751 at his mother’s family home Belle Grove Plantation.

12th President of the United States, Great-grandson, Major General Zachary Taylor

Col. James II and Martha Taylor’s son Zachary Taylor, Sr. married Elizabeth Lee in 1737. Their son, Lt. Col. Richard Lee Taylor (Hare Forest) married Sarah Dabney Strother in 1779. The Lt. Col. had acquired 8,000 acres throughout Kentucky. In 1783 started having the land cleared, moved his family there in 1784; however their fourth child was Major General Zachary Taylor was born during the journey, not yet out of Orange County, at Montebello. The future president resided at Springfield beginning in 1790, until he took his deceased brother’s military commission. The “Lee” family name is kin to that of General Robert Edward Lee.

QUESTION: Is there another presidential link?

11th President of the United States, James K. Polk - RESEARCHING.

We go back to the Taylor family, and pick up with James the Younger/James the II:

DAUGHTER: Wife’s name not given but he is listed as the father of Martha Taylor Polk who was born in 1763 at Stone House Farm in the Colony of Pennsylvania. …was the daughter of James Taylor, of "Stone House Farm" (PA) and his wife, who wasn’t Martha Thompson.”

QUESTION: Is there a mix-up on various James Taylor's? Is this simply a clerical error? Was James in Pennsylvania? Lots to learn!

IF the above proves true:

(DAUGHTER) Martha Taylor married William Polk (parents unknown) in 1725, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. 9 Children.

SON: Their youngest, Ezekiel Polk (12/7/1747 – 8/31/1824) married 1st wife, Mary Jane Wilson (8 children).

SON: Samuel (c. 7/5/1772 – 11/5/1827) married Jane (“Janette,” “Jean,” “Gracy”) Gracy Polk Knox (11/15/1776 – 1/11/1852).

SON: James K. Polk (11/2/1795 – 6/15/1849) 11th President.

That would make three presidents linked through the Taylor family line. Don't take this as factual yet. More work needs to be done. Until then -


bottom of page