Discover your family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

Start Now

Biography of Colonel Edward J. Steptoe

The available records of the Steptoe family go back to the year 1697, when Anthony and John Steptoe, brothers, located in Lancaster County, Virginia. From one of these was descended Colonel James Steptoe of “Hominy Hall,” on the Lower Potomac. Colonel James Steptoe arose in military rank from the militia of his colony, and his career in the profession of arms began with his appointment as captain of “a company of horse” in 1734, from which position he was promoted to the office of colonel. He was twice married, and there were born to him six children. One of his daughters, Elizabeth, became the wife of Samuel Washing ton, only full brother of General George Washing ton, To them was born George Steptoe Washington, who became an officer in the army, and one of the five nephews mentioned in the will of General Washington as his executors. He married the beautiful Lucy Payne, sister of the renowned Dolly Madison. Colonel James Steptoe’s second wife, a widow, Mrs. Aylett, had two daughters at the time of their marriage, and one of these married the Hon. Richard Henry Lee. James Steptoe, one of the sons of Colonel James Steptoe, was clerk of Bedford County, Virginia, for fifty-four years, and was, as might well be supposed, a man of sterling character. It is said of him that he had his slaves taught various trades in order that they might be able to support themselves, and as they thus became efficient gave them their freedom. While driving along the road to Bedford one day, his attention was attracted by a crowd of citizens...

Biography of Captain Oliver Hazard Perry Taylor

Oliver Hazard Perry Taylor was the youngest son of Commodore William Vigneron Taylor of the United States navy. He was born at Newport, Rhode Island, September 14th, 1825. He entered the Military Academy at West Point July 1st, 1842, before he had reached the age of seventeen, and graduated July 1st, 1846. On the day of his graduation he was appointed Brevet 2nd Lieutenant, First dragoons, but did not enter immediately upon his duties. The company to which he was assigned was serving in New Mexico against hostile Indians, and it was there he joined it on October 25th, following his graduation. On January 29, 1847, he engaged the Indians in battle at Embudo, New Mexico, and fought them again on February 4th, the same year, at Pueblo de Taos. For gallant and meritorious conduct in these engagements he was brevetted 1st Lieutenant. Crossing the border, into Mexico, he participated in the battle of Santa Cruz de Rosales, March 16, 1847. For bravery and skill displayed in this action he was promoted to the rank of Captain. He was engaged in a number of slight skirmishes with Indians during the next few years, and on July 26th, 1850, was in combat with them at the headwaters of the Canadian, or Red river, in which he bore a distinguished part. His service in New Mexico required him to be often in the field, and the headquarters of the command to which he was attached were frequently moved. During his stay there he traversed a large portion of that territory. In December, 1851, he went east on leave. Resuming his duties...

Biography of Lieutenant William Gaston

William Gaston was born at Newburn, North Carolina, April 5th, 1834. He was the oldest of a family of three children of Alexander and Eliza W. Gaston. Alexander Gaston was a man who exercised marked local influence and was of some political prominence in his state. Among the public duties committed to him was that of representing Hyde County in the State Convention of 1835. Judge William Gaston, father of Alexander Gaston, served as a judge of the Supreme Court of North Carolina. He was also for several years a member of Congress from that state. The Gaston family is an old one in the United States, and several of its members participated in the war for independence. The descendants of the old families are now widely scattered throughout the Union. The family of Alexander and Eliza Gaston, however, is now extinct. Their children were William, Hugh, and Susan. Hugh, the second son, was born in 1836. Early in the war between the states he entered the Confederate army and became a Captain. He was mortally wounded at the battle of Antietam, or Sharpsburg, and died on October 11th, 1862. Susan Gaston married Robert D. Baelieff, and at her death left no descendants. Alexander Gaston, by another marriage, had a daughter named Eliza; a half-sister, therefore, to William, Hugh and Susan. Eliza married S. S. Kirkland and has one son, John Gaston Kirkland, whose home is at Tampa, Florida. William Gaston graduated from the Military Academy at West Point in 1856, at the age of twenty-two. General Hylan B. Lyon, who afterward, as a lieutenant with Colonel Wright, assisted...

Pin It on Pinterest