The Skidmore/Taylor Families


The Skidmore family of the United States can trace its ancestery back to the 1400's in ancient England. It is a large family widespread throughout the United States.

My parents were Levy D. and Clemmie Rogers Friend of Ivydale, Clay County, West Virginia. Both my father's and mother's families have ties to the Skidmore family. The purpose of this presentation is to display the direct line from their families to the Skidmore line up to their (Skidmore) migration to the Braxton County, West Virginia, area in the early 1800's and then discuss briefly my family ties to the Skidmores. The information that follows on the Skidmore family was taken from the various sources listed at the end of this dissertaion.

The Skidmore family came from England, where the name was originally spelled "Scudamore" or "Scudimore". The early members probably descended from a robert Scyddamore who lived in Westerleigh, England in 1463. The first known American member of the line was Thomas who came To Massachussets. The family lived in New York and Delaware before dispersing all over the United States.

To date, the earliest identifiable Skidmore is Richard who was born about 1515 at Mayshill, Westleigh, Gloustershire, England. The idenity of his wife is not known, but his probable children are Richard (born 1540 and buried Oct 16, 1600), William (born about 1545, married Mary and died before Nov. 30, 1615) and Elizabeth (buried Sept. 18, 1614).

William Skidmore, a son of Richard Skidmore as stated above married a woman named Mary. The children of William and Mary Skidmore were Richard (born about 1580, married Agnes Annes Lawrence and died Nov. 25, 1606), John (born about 1580, married Joan and died on Feb. 2, in 1636 or 1637), William (born about 1585 and died after 1614), Thomas (born about 1585 and died before Sept. 14, 1636), Margery (born about 1590 and buried June 6, 1631), Elizabeth and Mary.

Richard Skidmore, a son of William and Mary Skidmore, was born at Mayshill, Westerleigh, Gloustershire, England, about 1580. He married Agnes Annes Lawrence, a daughter of Richard Lawrence, at Westerbury, September 4, 1604 in the Holy Trinity Church. Westbury is located about 12 miles from Westerleigh. Richard is also buried at the Holy Trinity Church. After Richard's accidental death on November 25, 1606, Agnes married John Cooke on September 27, 1608. The only known child of Richard and Agnes Lawrence Skidmore was Thomas. Thomas was born 1n 1605 and died October 31, 1684. He married Ellen, Joanna Baldwin after 1658 and Sarah Keeler in 1672.

Thomas Skidmore, a son of Richard and Agnes Lawrence Skidmore, was born at Mayshill, Westerleigh, Gloustershire, England, about 1605. He first married Ellen, who was born about 1605 at Wyne Valley, Heereford, England. Ellen apparently was the mother of all of Thomas' children. Thomas married Joanna Baldwin, the widow of Nathaniel Baldwin after 1658. His third wife was Sarah Keeler, the widow of Ralph Keeler, Edward Treadwell and Edward Whelpey

Thomas is the first of the Skidmore line to come to America. There are conflicting reports as to whether Thomas migrated first to Connecticut and them to Massachusetts or directly to Massachusetts. In any event, he settled in Massachusetts and died October 31, 1684, at Fairfield, Connecticut, at the age of 80, surviving his children. Thomas had formal schooling and learned blacksmithing, probably from one of his uncles.

Thomas and Ellen Skidmore had seven children. They were Thomas (born 1620 and died before Dec. 27, 1683), Jedidah (born about 1630 and died about 1658), Dorothy (born about 1634 married Hugh Griffin and died in April, 1670), Richard (born 1637 and died after Oct. 15, 1661), John (born April 11, 1643 married Susanna Davis and died in July, 1680), Grace (born about 1645 and married John Goulding) and Joseph (born about 1647).

John Skidmore, a son of Thomas and Ellen Skidmore, was born April 11, 1643, at Cambridge, Massachussets. John was educated in Connecticut and settled in Jamacia, Queens, by 1 November 1662, where he was granted a lot in return for blacksmithing - a trade most likely taught to him by his father. He married Susanna Davis, a daughter of Fulk Davis, at Jamaica, Long Island, New York, in 1662/1663. John died at Jamaica, New York, on July 9, 1680.

John and Susanna Davis Skidmore had five children. They were John (born about 1663 married an unidentified woman and then Mary Morton on Sept. 9, 1690. John died Jan. 22, 1741), Thomas (born about 1665 married Mary Hunt Aug. 20, 1684 and died in 1745), Samuel (born about 1668 married an unidentified woman and then Hannah Gray. Samuel died before April 9, 1773), Abagail (born about 1670 married Francis Muncy and died after June 7, 1774 and Joseph (born about 1674 married Rebecca Miller and died before May 12, 1708).

Joseph Skidmore, Sr., a son of John and Susanna Davis Skidmore, was born about 1674 at Jamaica, New York. He married Rebecca Miller at Kent, Delaware, July 10, 1702. Rebecca, a daughter of Thomas Miller, was born at Dover, Kent County, Delaware, about 1672. Joseph died before May 12, 1708, in Kent County, Delaware. Rebecca died in Kent County as well. Upon Joseph's death at the age of 34, his ninety-two acre plantation of the Dover River went to his son Joseph Skidmore, Jr. Rebecca was to have his personal estate and daughter Susanna was given a yearling colt. After Joseph's death, Rebecca married Edward Williams.

Joseph and Rebecca Miller Skidmore had two children. These children as mentioned above were Susanna (married William Cramer and afterwards Thomas Downham on April 7, 1730. She died after Jan. 1, 1747/1748) and Joseph, Jr., (born in 1706 and married Agnes Ann Caldwell).

Joseph Skidmore, Jr., a son of Joseph and Rebecca Miller Skidmore, was born in 1706 in Kent County, Delaware. He married Agnes Ann Caldwell April 7, 1730. Agnes, a daughter of Andrew and Margaret Train Caldwell, was born in Somerset County, Maryland, and was reported living in Pendleton County, Va. (now W.Va.) on January 2, 1778. Joseph died at Ruddle, Pendleton County, before March 17, 1778. Agnes died in Pendleton county as well and both are buried there. Steven J. Shaluta Jr., and Harry and Cherrell Skidmore have provided the following photo of Joseph Skidmore Jr.s cabin in Pendleton County.

Joseph Skidmore, Jr., is the first of his family line that is known to have migrated to the Virginia/West Virginia area. Although the exact date of this migration is not known at this time, it is known that their son John A. was born in Deleware on June 10, 1736, and the family moved soon afterwards. One source indicated that Joseph Skidmore, Jr., entered Virginia in 1747, bringing his family through Harper's Ferry and into the Shenandoah where they camped while Joseph found land across the Alleghenies.

Joseph, Jr., and Agnes Caldwell Skidmore had ten children. These children were Joseph (born about 1730 married Elizabeth Everman and died before Feb. 6, 1810), Rebecca (born about 1731 married Gabriel Coil (Kile) and died after Sept. 2, 1806), James (born about 1732 married Sarah McDonald and died before Dec. of 1807), Thomas (born about 1733 married Eleanor Collett and died before Sept. 28, 1807), Elizabeth (born about 1734 married Jacob Friend and died after Dec. 10, 1817), John A. (born June 10. 1736 married Mary Magdalena Hinkle and died Oct. 12, 1809), Samuel (Born about 1737 married Ruth Harrison and died before Mar. 27, 1780), Margaret (born about 1739 married Gavin Hamilton and died after June 4, 1811), Sarah (born about 1740 married Jonas Friend (brother of Jacob) and died in 1808) and Andrew (born Nov. 11, 1750 married Margaret Johnson and died Nov. 15, 1827).

John A. Skidmore, a son of Joseph and Agne Caldwell Skidmore, was born on the plantation "Fisher's Delight" in Kent County, Delaware, June 10, 1736. As mentioned above, soon after his birth, the family moved to that part of Augusta County, Virginia, that is now Pendleton County, West Virginia.

John served in the Augusta County Militia during the French and Indian War. He was called out in 1755 and served until the end of the War. John married Mary Madgalena Hinkle in the early 1760's. Mary was a daughter of John Justus Hinkle. John Hinkle and his family settled in the section of Virginia known as Germany Valley and were the builders of Hinkle's Fort. Hinkle's Fort is located in present day Pendleton County, West Virginia. A marker was placed there by the Henckel Family Association in 1936.

In 1767, John Skidmore was appointed Captain of the Augusta Militia and in 1770, he was commissioned as one of His Majesty's Justices for Augusta County. In 1774, John's company of the Augusta Militia was mobilized for service in Dumore's War and took part in the Battle of Point Pleasant. John was wounded twice during the Battle of Point Pleasant, in the leg and in the hip.

In 1778, John was appointed a justice of the newly formed Rockingham County by Patrick Henry. The first Rockingham County Court, in session April 28, 1778, found John A. Skidmore "fit to appointment, but retained his captaincy for several years".

When Pendleton County was formed in 1778, John was elected the first president of the new court. John served the new County for several years, including two terms as sheriff. John died in Pendleton County October 12, 1809, and Mary died October 18, 1829.

John A. and Mary Hinkle Skidmore had fifteen children. These children were an unidentified infant that was born and died about 1761, James, Phoebe, John, Ezekiel, Elijah, Nancy, Hannah, Rachel, Andrew, Levi, Isaac, Mary "Polly", Susannah and Edith.

From the above fifteen children of John and Mary of particular interest to this paper is their daughter Hannah. Hannah was born in 1776 and married Charles Rogers. Hannah and Charles Rogers' son Levi married Naomi Skidmore, Hannah's cousin.

In the early 1800's, Andrew Skidmore, son of Joseph, Jr., and Agnes Caldwell migrated to what is now Braxton County, West Virginia. At about the same time Alexander Pendleton Friend and his family migrated to the same geographical area. Alexander Pendleton Friend was the son of Jacob Friend a comtemporary of Andrew Skidmore.

While the Skidmore's are still a prominent family in Braxton County, West Virginia, their presence in Clay County where I grew up is much less pronounced. Still, both my father and mother had strong ties to the Skidmore family. On my father's side, his great great grandfather Jacob Friend married Elizabeth Skidmore. And Jacob's brother Jonas married Elizabeth's sister Sarah. On my mother's side, her great grandfather, Levi Rogers, married Naomi Skidmore, daughter of Andrew, Jr., and Margaret Hudkins Skidmore, and her great great Grandfather, Charles Rogers, married Hannah Skidmore, daughter of John A. and Mary Hinkle Skidmore. As mentioned above Naomi was the cousin of Hannah Skidmore.

Jacob Friend is in my father's direct genealogical line that goes back to Nicholas Larsson Friend who first came to this Country in 1648. Jacob has been cited by both the Daughters and Sons of the American Revolution as being a patriot during that War. Both Jacob and his wife Elizabeth Skidmore apparently are buried in Pendleton County, West Virginia. Jacob died about 1818 and Elizabeth died at some unspecified date after that.

Charles Rogers married Hannah Skidmore in 1796 in Pendleton County, Virginia (now W.Va.). He had come to this Country about 1796 apparently as a stowaway on a freighter. After their marriage, Charles and Hannah lived on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia for about fourteen years and in 1831, they migrated to what is now Wallback in Clay County, West Virginia. They spent the rest of their lives there. Hannah died in 1847 and Charles died in 1849. They are both buried in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery located at Wallback.

Levi Rogers was the son of Charles and Hannah Skidmore Rogers. He was born in 1803 in Bath County, Virginia. Levi married Naomi skidmore on March 3, 1825 in Nicholas County, Virginia (now W.Va.). Naomi was born in Nicholas County on December 4, 1809. She was the daughter of Andrew and Margaret Hudkins Skidmore and a cousin to Hannah Skidmore, Levi's mother. Both Levi and Naomi Skidmore are buried in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery located at Wallback.

In this presentation, the history of the Skidmore family was essentially stopped with their migration to the Braxton County, West Virginia area. But the reader should be aware that the family has a long and notable record in Central West Virginia . This record is well documented and easily accessible to those who wish to pursue it further.

An interesting sidelight to the Friend/Skidmore family connection is that of the Taylor family. Alexander Taylor was born in Glasgow, Scotland, January 6, 1762, and died in Champaign, Ohio, September 5, 1834. His wife was Phoebe Skidmore, daughter of Captain John Skidmore. She was born in Virginia on October 22, 1765. Her death occurred in Ohio in September, 1824. Their children were Nancy, Margaret, Archibald, Florence, Rachel, Phoebe, Susannah and John S.

Archibald Taylor, son of Alexander and Phoebe Skidmore Taylor was born in Ohio on October 27, 1795, and died at his home near Sutton, West Virginia, May 4, 1889. Archibald Taylor married Elizabeth Friend, daughter of Thomas Friend, who in turn was the son of Jacob Friend. Elizabeth was born in Pendleton County, Virginia, (now West Virginia) on February 9, 1866. Archibald and Elizabeth were married September 15, 1824, and their children were Rachel, Douglas L., Gustavus F., Susannah, John S., and Alexander T.

In 1812, Archibald Taylor belonged to a rifle company that assembled for the War of 1812 at Warm Springs, Virginia, but peace was shortly declared and the company saw no active service.

After his marriage to Elizabeth Friend, Archibald never left West Virginia again. In 1834, he purchased a thousand-acre tract of land 3 miles below Sutton, Braxton County, Virginia, (now West Virginia) on which he made his home. Archibald and Elizabeth Friend Taylor and other members of their family are buried in a Cemetery overlooking the Taylor farm and the Elk River Valley.

Captain Gustavus Friend Taylor was born June 27, 1834, and as noted above was the son of Archibald and Elizabeth Friend Taylor. As noted above also Gustavus' father, Archibald, was a grandson of Captain John Skidmore, and his mother, Elizabeth Friend, was a daughter of Thomas Friend - a son of Jacob Friend.

Captain Taylor lived during the Civil War period of our nation's history. He was descended from a distinguished Revolutionary War ancestry (both John Skidmore and Jacob Friend). And he himself played a significant role during the Civil War and in the formation of West Virginia as the 35th state in 1863.

Captain Gustavus Friend Taylor was educated in the best schools in Braxton County and also attended Ohio Wesleyan College. At the age of 26, he was elected to the Constitutional Convention which sat in Wheeling, Virginia, (now West Virginia) in 1861 and 1862, and he was recalled in 1863 to perfect the draft of the constitution for the formation of West Virginia in 1863. Captain Taylor was next to the youngest member of the Constitutional Convention.

After the adoption of the Constitution, Captain Taylor was made Captain of the Braxton County Company of state troops and served in that capacity until the close of the Civil War. He was the first Recorder of Braxton County after the Civil War, and in 1870 was elect Prosecuting Attorney of the County. In the 1870's, he owned and edited the Mountaineer, Braxton County's first newspaper.

Captain Taylor died October 5, 1915, and is buried at the Taylor Cemetery, three miles below Sutton, West Virginia. Art Friend


This article was written by Arthur R. Friend in October, 1997. Sources drawn on in writing this presentation include the following:

1. "Harper: Rogers-Skidmore Connection to Harper Family" By Jim L. Harper

2. "Harper: Skidmore Genealogy Beyond the Harper Connection" By Jim L. Harper

3. Don Norman Internet Site:

4. "History of Clay Co., W.V. 1989"

5. "History of Clay Co., W.V. Volume 11"

6. "History of Braxton County and Central West Virginia" By John Davison Sutton