- Means “a tailor” — someone who sews clothing
- Commonly used as a last name
- A unisex name, popular for both boys and girls
History of the name Taylor
Historical authorities have pointed out the fact that there are even more persons by the name of Taylor than the common occupation would warrant.
When that is the case, it is usually to be found that this the name has “absorbed,” as they say, some early name of similar sound.
In this case, it has been discovered that two surnames once fairly usual — Teler and Teller, meaning weaver — have become changed to Taylor in present usage.
Thus weavers and tailors alike had descendants who became Taylors, and some of the early Tylers, descended from one who had been a tiler, eventually also became Taylors.
It is interesting that in the Middle Ages, when names were forming, there were other words to indicate the tailor’s trade — and these were Seamer, Shapster and Parmenter. The French equivalent of Taylor is Tailleur and Letailleur, and the German is Schneider, often simplified to Snyder in this country.
The occupational name of Taylor possesses peculiar distinction in this country as the name of one of our Presidents. Needless to say, those who first took it as a surname did so because of their trade.
One of interesting members of the family in this country is James Taylor, who has the peculiar distinction of having been great-grandfather of two Presidents — James Madison and Zachary Taylor. He was the son of James Taylor, the elder who came from Carlisle, England, and settled in Virginia in 1682.
Besides being a Presidential name, Taylor is the name of one of that justly-honored group of men, the Signers of the Declaration of Independence.
This was George Taylor, who was born in Ireland in 1716. He studied medicine and then ran away from home for some reason or other. George Taylor settled in Pennsylvania, and was there chosen to substitute for one of the delegates who refused to sign.