Isaac Taylor, The House and Gardens
GENEALOGY TIES PROMINENT 18TH CENTURY NEW BERNIAN TO POPULAR 21ST CENTURY SINGER
Taylor Family Keepsakes Conserved by Historical Society
By Jim Hodges, Curator
New Bern Historical Society
NEW BERN, NC - Genealogy is, indeed, fascinating and reveals both the highs and lows of a family history.
Growing up in New Bern, I have always been aware of the Isaac Taylor House on Craven Street. The William Ward Family lived there as far back as I can recall. Today the house serves as an art gallery and venue for special events. In recent years, learning more about Isaac Taylor and his family has been a priority.
Isaac Taylor was born in Scotland in 1762, and, after the death of his parents, he and his brother James sailed to Wilmington, NC, probably in the mid-1780’s. With the proceeds from his parents’ estate and the sale of their brig, Isaac settled in New Bern, married a local girl, Hannah Justice, in 1792, and began his career as a maritime merchant. Being a savvy businessman and a respected citizen in town, he greatly prospered – accumulating ships, retail stores, warehouses, and a working plantation named Glenburnie.
By 1796, the house on Craven Street was completed and the Taylor Family eventually grew to include six daughters and one son. Three of the daughters (Janet, Mary, and Louisa) married and three of the daughters (Phoebe, Catherine, and Frances) remained unmarried. More about the son Alexander later.