Edward Taylor searches for his family, 1885 and 1889

Dublin Core


Edward Taylor searches for his family, 1885 and 1889


Slavery--Social aspects--United States--History.
African American families--History.
Slaves--Family relationships--United States--History


In 1885 and again in 1889, Edward Taylor placed advertisements in the Southwestern Christian Advocate seeking siblings that he had been separated from in the era of slavery. Taylor and his siblings - Reverda, Noble, and William (and possibly his sister Charlotte) - had been owned by the Maryland Jesuits and lived at White Marsh with their mother, Eliza Dorsey. Their father, Moses Taylor, was owned by a man named James Evans in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Eliza and her children were included in documents from the 1838 sale of the Maryland Jesuit enslaved community. It appears that Edward ended up in Louisiana, while his parents remained in Maryland. An 1842 runaway advertisement (GSA448) indicates that Moses and Eliza (then owned by a Mr. Clarke) were still in Maryland and had escaped from their owners.

Taylor's advertisements were found by genealogist Judy Riffel with the Georgetown Memory Project and provided to the Georgetown Slavery Archive by Richard Cellini, the founder of the Georgetown Memory Project. We are grateful for their contribution to this archive.

For more on these advertisements and the search for Edward Taylor's descendants, see Rachel Swarns, "The Search for a Meaningful Clue to the Mystery of an Enslaved Ancestor," New York Times, August 6, 2022.




Adam Rothman


GSA448: Moses and Eliza Taylor run away, March 15, 1842

GSA449: Baptism of Noble Taylor, November 2, 1832






Newspaper advertisement



Text Item Type Metadata


[Southwestern Christian Advocate, September 17, 1885]

MR. EDITOR - I wish to inquire for my brother and sister; my father's name was Moses Taylor; my mother's name Eliza Taylor. We were born in Prince George county, Maryland. Father an mother left us these - four boys and one girl - and went off I don't know where. My brothers' names are Reverda Taylor, Noble Taylor and William Taylor; my name is Edward Taylor and my sister's name is Charlotte Taylor. Address me in care of Rev. C. A. Taylor, Musson post office, Iberville parish, La.

[Southwestern Christian Advocate, February 21, 1889]

MR. EDITOR - I wish to inquire for my people. My father's name was Moses Taylor, my mother's Eliza Taylor. When I saw them last it was in Prince George's Co., Md. I had four brothers and one sister. My eldest brother's name was Revida Taylor; the next was Noble Taylor. I am the next; my name is Edward Taylor and Anatha William Taylor. My sister's name was Charlotte Taylor. We were all seperated long before the war.
Address EDWARD TAYLOR, Musson P.O., La.

Original Format

Newspaper advertisement



Lost Friends: Advertisements from the Southwestern Christian Advocate, “Edward Taylor searches for his family, 1885 and 1889,” Georgetown Slavery Archive, accessed April 22, 2024, https://slaveryarchive.georgetown.edu/items/show/523.