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William, Jennings & Bryan Taylor, notorious triplets

I notice that at least one web-search that led to my site this month was a search for my sixth cousins twice removed, the triplets William, Jennings & Bryan Taylor, named after the great turn-of-the-century populist orator. They were sons of Frank L.8 Taylor (Joseph W.7, Tarpley6, John Clark5, Tarpley4, George3, Simon2, Richard). Duplicating the search myself led (thanks, Google News) to the following, from the Boston Evening Transcript of 7 July 1904:

Here I read it into the record:

Bryan’s Immortality Secure
[From the Chicago Record-Herald. Ind.]

Nature, cruel and inexorable, has played sad havoc with the ratio for which he stood, but the name of the “peerless leader” himself is not to be effaced.

It required triplets to assure William Jennings Bryan of this immortality. Thousands of youngsters have been named after the silver leader, but it took a triple combination to carry his full name down the corridors of time to posterity. The triplets were provided by Mr. and Mrs. F. L. Taylor of St. Louis, and this names are William Taylor, Jennings Taylor and Bryan Taylor.

When the mother calls them in from the street in a bunch she will repeat the name of the peerless leader, and as the youngsters grow up the memory of the eloquent champion of sixteen-to-one will be kept green. Of course many things may happen to break the triple alliance. The contingencies of life in St. Louis are to be faced. The perils of existence in the Missouri town have been lessened, it is true, by the purification of the water supply through the Chicago drainage canal. But this does not remove the danger of trolley accident. If Jennings should swallow a large button and suddenly shuffle off there would be nothing left but William Bryan, which is not the name that stirred his six million followers in two campaigns. This would put a large crimp in the immortality of the venerated leader. It is to be hoped, however, that no such fate awaits the Taylor triplets or the immortality of Mr. Bryan.

Luckily, the somewhat callous hypothetical by this author never came to pass. Jennings, at least, prospered — I was contacted by a male-line grandson in 2008!


  1. DiggyDoug wrote:

    My great-grandpa was William Taylor… So I guess we’re long lost cousins! Do you have any other information on the Taylor family?

    I’d love to hear from you,
    Diggy Doug

    Friday, February 25, 2011 at 19:26 | Permalink
  2. Nat Taylor wrote:

    Hey Doug, glad to hear from you! William, Jennings & Bryan Taylor are in my book, tucked into family 6.45 (current numbering). I have previously corresponded with a great-grandson of Jennings Taylor, so that’s two out of three accounted for. I hope Bryan Taylor left a family to…

    Check this page for the current version of the Taylor book:

    Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 00:48 | Permalink
  3. DiggyDoug wrote:

    Hi Nat,

    I found some old pictures that aren’t in the best condition of the Taylor Triplets, but I thought you might be interested nonetheless. If you send me your e-mail address I’ll send what I got to you. If you can pass on any genealogy directly related to William Taylor I’d really appreciate it.
    Thank you,

    –Diggy Doug

    Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 17:11 | Permalink
  4. Ty wrote:

    Im the great grand-daughter of Bryan Taylor, and i have a picture of the three of them in a boxing gym.

    Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 14:47 | Permalink
  5. Nat Taylor wrote:

    Hi Ty! Back in May Diggy Doug sent me a good newspaper clipping showing the three of them posing with gloves, in an advertisement for an exhibition round in San Francisco, probably in the 1920s. If you’re willing to share your photo I would be delighted if you could send a digital copy of it — I have added Diggy Doug’s photos to my online Taylor book but haven’t uploaded the revised version yet with these photos — probably will in a month or so. You can contact me by e-mail at Thanks!

    Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 20:57 | Permalink
  6. Ty wrote:

    Where are the pictures of them posing with gloves? Im e-mailing you the picture now.

    Sunday, June 19, 2011 at 15:02 | Permalink

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  1. […] been hearing from a steady stream of cousins. Notable among them have been descendants of the media-sensation triplets William9, Jennings9, and Bryan9 Taylor, sons of Frank L.8 Taylor (Joseph W.7, Tarpley6, John […]

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