Robert TAYLOR and Dorothy ATCHERLEY, More, Shropshire

This is the tale of two couples – Robert TAYLOR and Dorothy ATCHERLEY, both of More, Shropshire (Salop).

With the recent release of historical parish registers from Shropshire, I’ve been looking at my ATCHERLEY family who originate there. Unlike most of my family lines this one has been well researched and published. However, there have been a couple of suppositions which have always troubled me. And these newly released documents have only strengthened my concerns. I need to work this out as I need to work out if my Dorothy is an ATCHERLEY or not, and if she is, which branch does she belong to.

At issue are a couple (or I believe two couples), Robert TAYLOR and Dorothy ATCHERLEY of More, Shropshire. Most, if not all people who research this family list the Rev Robert TAYLOR, his wife Dorothy ATCHERLEY and their 9 or 10 children as the family from whom many are descended.

We have a marriage for Rev Robert TAYLOR and Dorothy ATCHERLEY at Wem, Shropshire on 28 May 1782. Robert TAYLOR is identified as being from More, Shropshire and is identified as a Reverend. Dorothy is listed of this parish ie Wem, though born in Myddle. And I can find one child, Richard who was baptised at More 28 Dec 1790.

However, on the page in the register facing Richard’s baptism, we have listed the baptism of Anne, daughter of Robert TAYLOR, clerk and his wife, Dorothy on 10 Aug 1792. The interesting thing here is Robert being identified as a clerk. Nowhere else in the register is anyone elses’ profession listed. To me this suggests that this was done to differentiate this Robert TAYLOR from someone else of the same name, the obvious candidate being Rev Robert TAYLOR. All the other children listed to Robert TAYLOR, clerk, have his profession listed in their baptism record.

So, I believe we have two distinct couples. One of whom we have a marriage record, and which identifies the bride as Dorothy ATCHERLEY. I can find no marriage for Robert TAYLOR, clerk and Dorothy his wife. This is problematic as it means we have no way of identifying Dorothy’s maiden name. However, I believe we have a clue to this in the name of their first child, Robert Atcherley TAYLOR, baptised in More on 18 Jan 1784. Was he given his mothers maiden name as a middle name? Or does it mearly indicate some connection to the ATCHCERLEY family which was recognised by giving him this name?

Children of Robert TAYLOR, clerk and Dorothy:

  • Robert Atcherley Taylor, born 18 Jan 1784 in More, Shropshire, England.
  • Dorothy Taylor, born 28 Jul 1785 in More, Shropshire, England.
  • Jane Elizabeth Taylor, born 04 Oct 1786 in More, Shropshire, England.
  • Joseph Taylor, born 31 Dec 1787 in More, Shropshire, England; died 1789 in More, Shropshire, England.
  • Joseph Stedman Taylor, born 30 Jan 1789 in More, Shropshire, England.
  • Ann TAYLOR, born 10 Aug 1792 in More, Shropshire, England; died 1850 in Dungog, NSW, Australia; married Thomas John Wilkes 20 May 1816 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England.
  • Whitney Taylor, born 27 Oct 1794 in More, Shropshire, England.
  • Henry Taylor, born 26 Nov 1797 in More, Shropshire, England; died 1797 in More, Shropshire, England.
  • Susan Price Taylor, born 20 Oct 1799 in More, Shropshire, England.
  • Mary Ann Taylor, born 12 May 1804 in More, Shropshire, England; died 1804 in More, Shropshire, England.

So, my conclusions?

  • There were in fact two couples named Robert TAYLOR and Dorothy ATCHERLEY living in More and having children at the same time.
  • One Robert TAYLOR was a Reverend of the parish.
  • Second Robert TAYLOR was a clerk.
  • Both were married to women named Dorothy.
  • The one married to Rev Robert was definately called Dorothy ATCHERLEY, born in Wem.
  • The one married to Robert the clerk was definatly called Dorothy, probebly ATCHERLEY, born in Myddle.
  • This would require two different Dorothy ATCHERLEY’s of roughly the same age and therefore two different branches of the family.

Future Research

  • Marriage for Robert TAYLOR, clerk and Dorothy c. 1783 in Shropshire – possibly More or Myddle. (Not in More – Marriages 1756 – 1821)
  • Baptism for Dorothy ATCHERLEY c. 1760 in Wem or elsewhere in Shropshire. (Not Wem)
  • Check for missing pages in registers and record missing years.