The Highland Township Historical Society
Highland, Oakland County, Michigan

Original Highland Township Landowner

John Taylor

S 1/2 of SW 1/4 of Section 35

The identification of this man is rendered more difficult by the fact there are multiple references to men named John Taylor in the records relating to Highland, Milford and White Lake Townships, Oakland County, Michigan.   Matters are complicated still further by the fact Taylor's parcel in Section 35 of Highland Township adjoined Milford Township and was roughly 1.5 miles from the corner where all three townships meet.

John Taylor of Highland is undoubtedly the man who appears on the 1840 Census for Highland, with 2 males between 20 and 30; 1 female under 5; 1 female between 15 and 20; 1 female between 20 and 30; and 1 female between 50 and 60.  Assuming one such male is Taylor himself, he would thus have been born 1810-1820.  Since he was presumably of legal age (21) at the time of his purchase in 1836, it would seem he could not have been born later than 1815.  Durant's History of Oakland County, Michigan, notes that Highland pioneer Enos Leek sold "... ten acres of the east of north half [sic[ of the southwest quarter to John Taylor" but no date for this transaction is given.

Meanwhile, a John Taylor made a number of different purchases in White Lake Township, buying 80 acres in Section 15 on November 15, 1836; 40 acres in Section 15 on December 20, 1836; 80 acres in Section 23 on March 21, 1837; and 80 acres in Section 3 on January 4, 1837.    He thereafter appears on the 1840 Census for White Lake with 1 male between 10 and 15; 1 male between 15 and 20; 1 male between 20 and 30; and one male between 50 and 60; together with 1 female between 10 and 15; and 1 female between 40 and 50.

The 1845 Michigan State Census shows no John Taylor living in Highland; however, two are shown living in White Lake.  The first is found living with Thomas Taylor (presumably a son), whose household includes 1 male 1 male 21 to 45; 1 male over 75; and one female 45 and under 75.   The other, younger John Taylor in White Lake had a household consisting of 1 male between 10 and 21; 1 male 21 and under 45; 1 female between 10 and 21; and 1 female 21 and under 45.  There is also, for the first time, a John Taylor living in Milford Township with 2 males 21 and under 45; 2 females under 10; 1 female 21 and under 45; and 1 female 45 and under 75.  One of the males is identified as John Taylor himself, while the other is Norman "Branard" - quite possibly the Norman Brainard who settled in Hartland, Livingston County, in 1835. 

Turning to the 1850 Census, one finds an elderly John Taylor living in White Lake, born circa 1790 in England, with a wife Elizabeth, born circa 1800 in England.  This is no doubt the John Taylor who purchased land in White Lake in 1836-37; was between 50 and 60 on the 1840 Census; and shown as over 75(?) on the 1845 Michigan State Census.  He is likewise the John Taylor who died October 21, 1868, at age 80, and is buried beside an Elizabeth Taylor (no dates/stone broken) in Lakeside Cemetery, White Lake Township. 

Meanwhile, the 1850 Census shows John Taylor of Milford age 40, born in Ireland, with a wife Jane Taylor, age 33, born in Ireland.  This is consistent with the 1845 Census for Milford, as well as the 1840 Census for John Taylor of Highland.  It may therefore be argued that the John Taylor who purchased land in Highland in 1836, and appears there on the 1840 Census, subsequently moved south into Milford Township where he appears on the Michigan State Census for 1845 and Federal Census for 1850.  Whether this man is related in any fashion to the older John Taylor in White Lake Township is less clear.


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