Monday, April 21, 2014

52 Ancestors - Week 17 - Facts are not enough - George raises Marvin

I really wish I was further along in this research. It is completely frustrating to start over with a new family line and not know anything!

Margaret Ann Shearer was 46 years old when she died in 1893. That is a documented fact. So far so good, but what does it mean?

I've already used this quote I found on family search in a prior post but it takes on different meaning when combined with the facts.

"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. "

Why did my grandfather live with his uncle? The first thing to do is the math.

Margaret Shearer died in 1893. Ernest Marvin Yeakley was born in 1886. 1893 minus 1886 is 7. My grandfather was a little boy when his mother died. Wow, that's sort of sad. Still, he wasn't so young that he couldn't have lived at home with the four other kids.

Melendoz Morgan Yeakley was born in 1868. He was 25 when his mother died and had been married 6 years. He was 18 when my grandfather was born, already a man in those days, and planning a marriage for the next year. He wasn't living at home.

Mary Jane "Jennie" Yeakley (aside here, my mom talked a lot about "Aunt Jennie" so she must have been a big part of my grandfather's life) was born in 1871, making her 15 when my grandfather came along. She married John Riley in 1887 when her baby brother was a year old and was not at home either.

Nola May Yeakley was 11 when Ernest Marvin was born. Too old to be a playmate. She was 18 when her mother died.

Edgar Worth Yeakley was born in 1877, 9 years before his youngest brother came along. When Margaret Ann passed away, he was 16. There is not a definitive answer in the facts which leaves them open to conjecture.

Dr. George Washington Yeakley was a prominent man. He was well regarded in his community. He married Margaret Edwards in 1880 and had one daughter, Belva Myrtle in 1885, a year before Ernest Marvin was born.

He must have divorced Margaret because she died in 1953 at the age of 90. According to the census reports, Belva went with her when she remarried. There is another child named Charles who is listed as a Yeakley as a stepchild to Charles Wood and appears to have been born four years before she remarried. Yet, there is no mention of him on the family documents.

George Washington Yeakley remarried also. He married Sally Moore when she was 25 and they had a daughter, Varina Davis Yeakley. Varina was born in 1902 which would have made Ernest Marvin 16 years old.

Those are all the facts and the dates and the math. What is the real story? Ask me in two years when I have spent time researching every avenue like I did on the other side of the family.


  1. It sometimes takes a while to make sense of our forebears lives. I look forward to reading your findings

  2. Oh, you're doing 52 too! So am I. It's making me pay attention to some long-neglected ancestors. If nothing else, I'm seeing what I DON'T know.

  3. Oh, the twisted webs we weave! I can hear an interesting DNA story coming....Margaret remarries...stepchild of her longer mentioned by Dr. Yeakley....Ernest Marvin becomes like a son to Dr. Yeakley....and on and on. Have fun!!

  4. I just now came upon your blog while I was searching for my Wood ancestors. My 3rd great-grandfather was the Charles Wood that you mention married Margaret. According to stories that I have heard (not sure about the validity of them), Charles left his wife, Laura Alice Proctor, and children and ran off with Margaret and the 2 Yeakley children. They appear to have moved to the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma area.

  5. Well, this is certainly interesting! I've been trying to figure a lot of this out for some time now. My beloved grandmother was Varina Davis Yeakley, daughter of George and Margaret. I knew there was a Belva, though my grandmother didn't mention Belva until I found a picture of her, that I recall. I have the photograph of her (will have to go through the box!). I never heard of her half brother, Charles Chuglu (!?!) Yeakley til I was doing some research. My sister told me that George W. went to South Carolina to find a wife, so I figured he was a widower. I thought he was looking for someone to help raise Belva (I had no dates of her birth at that time). Then when I found out he had two children who were living with Margaret in Oklahoma. The plot thickened! Margaret running off with another man and her kids makes some sense in that they were never mentioned in our family. I tried to find divorce records, but couldn't find any. When I find the picture of Belva, I'll post it! Thanks for all these missing pieces.I also have Dr. Yeakley's diploma from medical school. Seems there is a long line of physicians in the family.

  6. Marilyn, my computer died this morning and I dislike using my phone. Thanks for the comment. Truly fun when someone has more information. When I am back online I will do some more research. I'm in the process if writing my grandma's story on my dad's side but will be spending more time on my mom's side when I'm done.

  7. Thanks, Ann. I see that in my comment, I said that my grandmother Varina Davis Yeakley was the daughter of George and Margaret. Good grief! What was I thinking? She was the daughter of Sallie Moore Yeakley, George's second wife. No need to make the story more complicated than it already is! Of course, that's part of the fun of genealogy research--trying to fill in some of the missing pieces. Fascinating to try to figure out what our relatives' lives must have been like!