Monday, March 31, 2014

52 Ancestors - Week 14 - James Augustus Jones 1841 - 1911

James Augustus Jones was my great grandfather. There is very little information on the Jones side so I am hoping that as I go through the Ancestry DNA matches, I will find someone who is related. 

We do know he married Nancy Elizabeth Findley and they had eight children, including my grandmother Nancy Ellen Jones and her twin, Allen Augustus Jones. This information is documented but beyond the children, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of clues.

James was born in Texas, verified by census reports. He was a farmer and owned his own farm. He lived his entire life in Texas. That's all the information I have. Sad isn't it?

Monday, March 24, 2014

52 Ancestors - Week 13 - James Madison Yeakley

Now that I doing the Yeakley side, I am finding that there are errors in the tree. These are not errors others have made, these were created by me when I first started years ago and blindly copied information from other trees. The Rhea side of the family is correct but it took two years to finally get it right although I still find surprises there too.

I do know James Madison Yeakley was my great grandfather. He was born on August 10, 1843 in Washington, Missouri and was one of six children. This is where I had to stop because some of my information didn't add up.

One of the things I chucked at was the names of the boys in his family. There was Jacob but apparently he died as an infant. There were two girls, Caroline and Margaret. Then the came the three remaining children: Martin VanBuren Yeakley, James Madison Yeakley, and George Washington Yeakley. I wish I knew why they named the children after presidents. It is probably an interesting story. 

The back of this photo reads: "J. M. Yeakley father of 1) Marvin Yeakley, 2) Morgan Melendez Yeakley, 3) Mrs. Jenny (Yeakley) Riley, 4) Nolie (Yeakley) King. J.M. Yeakley moved from Denton County, MO to Denton County, TX, spent the night in Bonham, Texas the night Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated president of the United States." 

He moved to Texas on March 4, 1861, according to the writing on the picture posted on I'm betting that's right since the person who posted it has contacted me on several occasions and has the original photo. 

Records do indicate that he was born in Missouri. He was a blacksmith by trade and the 1900 Census shows him still working as a blacksmith.

James married Margaret Ann Shearer in 1867. They lived in Texas and had five children. One of them was my grandfather Ernest Marvin Yeakley. She died on August 13, 1893 at the age of 46.

Margaret Ann Shearer

On October 10, 1901 he married again. This time to Minerva Adaline (Briley) McGinnis. As my mother would have said, "She was a widow woman" with five children of her own. 

Both Minerva and James Madison died in 1928. James died at the age of 84 on March 6 and Minerva at the age of 72 on November 25.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Historical societies - a great place for research on family history

On my upcoming blog post on the A to Z challenge, specifically "Y", I bemoan the fact that my ancestors hide behind other names and make it difficult to track them. I am having trouble with Benedict Yuchli. Apparently he's not mine but belongs to other Yeakley's who are semi-related to me.

In desperation, I wrote the Cocalico, Pennsylvania historical society hoping they could direct me to some source that would help clear up the confusion. I received a reply yesterday from Cynthia Marquet, the librarian at the Cocalico Library with more information than I expected. While she could not make the connection either, she did verify some of the rest of the facts and she has also sent my questions to the Ephrata Cloister to see what they have.

Historical libraries are a great place to go to when all else fails. Actually, they are probably the first place I should go. I have had great success with not only the Cocalico library but the one in La Farge, Wisconsin. When you live in California, it is difficult to do the research in far away places. We vacation once a year in the mid-west but getting to Pennsylvania is not on the agenda.

So a big thanks to Cynthia for her help. Her response will be posted on the "Y" post that will need to be rewritten to share the new information. As I have stated before, family history is fluid and changes with the ebb and flow of facts and details. And will the real father of George Yeakley please reveal yourself!  

Monday, March 17, 2014

52 Ancestors - Week 12 - New Cousin, granddaughter of Nola Mae Yeakley

This is really exciting. I just found an entry on Family Search made by Jan. It's about my grandfather, Ernest Marvin Yeakley and says:

"Marvin lived with Dr. George Washington Yeakley and was educated by him. Marvin became a teacher, superintendent of schools in Iowa Park, Texas. He was owner of a newspaper in Brinkley, Oklahoma and a newspaper printer. "

That's something I didn't know so I wrote to her. She responded with some pictures of the family that I hadn't seen.

This is a picture of her grandmother, Nola Mae Yeakley. She was the sister of my grandfather. My cousin Christine looked very much like her. She had dark hair and eyes too. As a child, I always wondered who Christine looked like but now I know. 

Jan has a lot of family information so we can share what we know. It is very exciting to find someone else who has part of the family history and is willing to share! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

52 Ancestors - Week 11 - William Christian Shearer III 1759-1830

4th cousin DNA match with lgsM63. William Christian Shearer III was my 3rd great grandfather.

This side of the family is well documented but it doesn't tell us who they were as people. There is also a discrepancy on the birth and death dates that needs further research. Even the headstone does not have a death year but the birth year agrees with my records. It's interesting that it also shows both wives.

William Christian Shearer III married Sallie Walters. It was his 2nd marriage. Sallie and William had Solomon Shearer, my 2nd great grandfather.

He was an educated man and well liked in his community. He ran a transportation line moving household goods, machinery, and merchandise. He setup and conducted the first Bible study class in Wayne County, Kentucky and it was once said that all the teachers in the county were Shearer descendants.

Monday, March 3, 2014

52 Ancestors - Week 10 - William F. "Billy" Morris 1764-1840

Changing direction!

While I wait for Mayflower confirmation, I am going to start looking at my Ancestry DNA results. My 1st and 2nd cousins are a no brainer. We speak frequently and share the same passion for genealogy but the list shows five 3rd cousins and the relationship to them. 

Abitapumpkin comes up as a 3rd cousin match and Tdsimmons1950 comes up as a 4th cousin with William F. "Billy" Morris as our shared ancestor. However, it seems I have more information then they do. 

Billy Morris was my 4th great grandfather. He was the husband of Charlotte "Lottie" Warner. 

We actually have some documentation on Billy Morris. This is an excerpt from the book Kinsmen All: Descendants of Wettenhall Warner and Related Families. Pg 409. 

"Billy Morris, of Methodist faith, served as a Deputy Sheriff in St. Tammany Parish in 1811 & 1812. He lived in and ran a water mill on the Bogue Chitto on the Louisiana/Mississippi State Line.  He and his sons were cattlemen. Billy fought in the Battle of New Orleans along with his son, Whit, in the 12th-13th Consolidate LA militia, under the command of the brother-in-law, Thomas C. Warner. Served from Dec 1814 - March 1815, under the command of Capt. Thomas Bickham and Major John Wright. Also fighting in this Regiment were Willis Brumfield, Edwin Fussell (brother of two of his sons-in-law) and Stephen Richardson (his son-in-law). His son, Chess, served in the Civil War. 

Billy's daughter, Betsy and her 2nd husband, Tom Brassfield, lived and operated a mill on Lee's Creek (sometimes called Brassfield Creek).  Betsy Creek in Washington Parish is named after Betsy and is on the old homestead of her father-in-law, Hardy Richardson."

We also know he was a confederate soldier in the 12th Regiment, Louisiana Infantry in the Civil War. He enlisted as a Private and mustered our as a Corporal.