Monday, May 26, 2014

52 Ancestors - Week 22 - Melendez Morgan Yeakley 1868-1946

I hate to say this but we have a family member who is less than perfect and therefore interesting. Melendez Morgan Yeakley was the brother of my grandfather. My grandfather, Ernest Marvin Yeakley, was perfect. Not that he wasn't interesting but he was just a very good man, father, and husband. M. M. Yeakley apparently did not get all the Quaker genes.

 Morgan Melendez Yeakley
I think he was a very good looking young man. It's an interesting picture as I see the same expression on my oldest son. 

M M (as he was called) was born in Collin, Texas on March 17, 1868. He was the oldest son of George O. Yeakley and Lydia Grubbs. He was 18-yrs-old when my grandfather (the youngest child) was born. 

In 1887, he married Millie Elvina Robison. He was 19, she only 15. However, it was a marriage made to last as they celebrated their 50th anniversary on December 4, 1937. 

 Morgan Melendez and Mille Robison golden wedding anniversary

In 1904, M M was the postmaster for Mountain View in Cooke County, Texas. In the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, there was a blub about Mr. Yeakley. It reads, "M M Yeakley, postmaster at Mountain View Cooke County, who is under a charge of violating the postal laws, had a hearing before the commissioner at Sherman and has been released on $500 bond." Unfortunately, I don't find any other remarks concerning this case so don't know the whole story or the outcome. However, the Quaker genes must have kicked-in because the rest of his life seems to be ideal. He does look sort of angelic in the photo below.  

Morgan Melendez Yeakley158

M M died in Gainesville, Texas on April 14, 1946 at the age of 78. Millie followed him two years later on July 9, 1948. Her obituary says she was well respected for her exemplary citizenship. She must have had a very good effect on her husband. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

52 Ancestors - Week 21 - George O. Yeakley - 1809 - 1883

At last, an ancestor where there is information. How correct it is has yet to be determined but at least it gives me dates and places and a little bit of color. 

The source of the information is from, A 20th-Century History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas, by Capt. B. B. Paddock, published 1906, volume II, page 50. Right off the bat, the information on the arrival of the family is in question after finding out Benedict Yuchli  is not correct. Still, by the time George O. Yeakley came along, there is verified documentation. I want to make a trip to the Fort Worth Public Library to see this book. 

George O. Yeakley was born on February 23, 1809 in Greene County, Tennessee. He was the 8th of 13 children. His parents were Henry Yeakley and Susannah McNees. Susannah has her own history that is also documented. One thing said about her was mentioned in the Pictorial and genealogical record of Greene County, Missouri, was she was a “most excellent woman and deeply religious, a Quaker”. The family was affiliated with the New Hope Monthly Meetings in Missouri. 

Faith runs deep in this family. George married Lydia Grubbs on February 23, 1832 at the New Hope Monthly Meeting in Rheatown, Tennessee, on his 23rd birthday. She also came from a Quaker family and the four older children are documented in the Quaker records.  

They lived in Tennessee a long time but in 1870, we find him at 61-yrs-old living in Denton, Texas. There is some speculation that he moved about the time President Lincoln was assassinated which would have been in 1865. The records indicate that he was a teacher, farmer, and blacksmith but went on to become a doctor and the only one in Mountain Springs, Texas. 

He and Lydia raised six children, one of them my great grandfather, James Madison Yeakley.    

George died on April 13, 1883 at the age of 74 in Chico, Texas, and is buried in the cemetery there. Lydia passed away on November 18, 1881 at the age of 65. She is buried at the New Hope Cemetery in Gainesville, Texas. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

52 Ancestors - Week 20 - Benedict Yuchli and the Ephrata Cloister

Yeakle, Jackle. Juchli, and Yeakely: These are the names in the history books. Then there are the names used by census takers and other outsiders with more creative natures like Youghli, Yuchli, and Yuckley. What does this have to do with Benedict Yuchli and the Ephrata Cloister?

Benedict Yuchli was born in 1710 in Switzerland and arrived in Pennsylvania in 1736 at the age of 26. My mom's research indicates that he didn't live at the Cloister but had a farm nearby. There is documentation stating he provided lumber for the Cloister to build one of the larger buildings.

There is no mention of his wife's name but it believed her last name was Wenger and they had three children.

Benedict Yuchli died in November of 1741 at the age of 31. He was a very young man when he died and we don't have any indications of the cause of his death. However, he left two boys to carry on his name, regardless of how it's spelled.

Sounds good right?

Not so fast...My mother, the ultimate genealogist, tracked the family back to the Ephrata Cloister. She did it with actual footwork since the Internet was not available when she started. She actually gathered more documentation that can be found online so when I started on the Yeakley side, I had documents to scan and add to It is a shame that she never had the opportunity to use She would have loved it. At 80 years old, she was more computer savvy than most of the kids today. She has been gone 15 years and I am still wading through the documents, pictures, and notes she left for me.

While I have the documentation my mother gathered, I was having difficulty matching it with the information online. Just recently I ran across a conversation on In essence, it said that the book that everyone had used for research called "Counting Kindred" is wrong and George Yeakley married Anna Laucks, not Anna Deppen. Furthermore, the conversation went on to say that not only was the spouse of George Yeakley wrong, Benedict Yuchli was not the correct father and the Yeakley's we come from were not the ones that were at the Ephrata Cloister.

I contacted the Historical Society in Cocalico, Pennsylvania. They did a little research for me and found Benedict Yuchli was not the correct father for our side. They did confirm that our George Yeakley was correct and he did marry Anna Deppen. "Counting Kindred" was never documented and there are no sources to back it up. It has been discounted as a credible source. Written by Elmer Elsworth Deppen in 1867, at least we know the family migrated from Switzerland.

It seems that I am back to square one and completely frustrated at this turn of events. Still, we can count George Yeakley and Anna Deppen so we have a new starting point.

BTW, we have visited the Ephrata Cloister and I recommend a visit for anyone wanting to get a taste of how they lived. It is truly a magnificent place. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

A to Z blogging challenge reflection

This is my second year doing the A to Z blogging challenge. I did California destinations last year but this year it was a way to get a start on the other side of my family history. 

I am not really a blogger. Last year was my first attempt at maintaining some sort of schedule. I am also a lazy blogger but I did sign up to receive posts from the blogs I enjoyed so I can continue to read those. 

I was one of MJ's minions. It made me read blogs I would have otherwise overlooked. I do have a suggestion for next year though. I think all the blogs should have some sort of identification. Mine is clearly family history but there were many I didn't find until later that were topics I was really interested in. 

I scheduled most of my posts. That made it so much easier and I was free to spend more time reading others. If I do it again next year, I will follow the same schedule. 

I am glad the challenge is over because at the end of the month, our lives got dramatically busy. At least I was able to finish the month although I wan't able to read or comment on the last few days. I will go back and catch up when I have some breathing room.  

Thanks to the people who read my posts and left comments. They were appreciated. A big thanks to the other bloggers who enriched my life with their posts. I laughed and learned. 

52 Ancestors - Week 19 - Isaiah McNees

Isaiah McNees was born in Copte Hill, County of Cavan, Ireland in 1752. I looked it up and Copte Hill is a real place. That made me happy. This is one of those things I am unsure of because I haven't really looked at Ireland to know if places are right or wrong.

He arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1736 at the age of 16. This is where it all goes wrong. I was going to delete the whole post but decided to leave it in all it's misinformation so I know to go back and do the real research needed.

The source document on is the "Pennsylvania, Quaker arrivals at Philadelphia (Meeting), 1862-1750". I consider this a valid source as the Quakers kept detailed records of who was a part of their meetings but it does muddy the waters. If Isaiah arrived in 1736, based on his birth year, he would have been 16. However, the meeting notes dated 21 Feb 1736 says:

"who hath lived within the compass of our meeting these Twenty years." He is about to "remove from hence with some of his Children (he being a Widower) to Pensylvania."

I have him married to Elizabeth with four children who were born after he arrived in America. So either the meeting note is incorrect or this piece of record belongs to another Isaiah McNees.

Rats, back to the drawing board.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Family history in the making

Some events in our ancestor's lives are missed because they are not documented. My grandson's goal is to play on a major league baseball team, specifically the Dodgers. He has been working towards this goal since he was five. 

He is a great ball player and has been taking lessons for pitching and was just starting catching until last Thursday's game. While warming up, he and his friend went for the same fly ball. In one of those freak moments, they collided and Niles broke his tibia in three places. 
Fortunately for him, baseball season is almost over. He is bummed out but he did play and pitch not only for his recreational league but his travel team as well. He was the catcher when he wasn't pitching. Is this going to get in the way of his goal? "No way", he announces. 

The doctors have said the cast time is six to eight weeks. After that, there is therapy. According to his pitching coach, the therapy will help him actually become stronger. 

I put this out there today so all the folks who watch him play for the Dodger's in the future will have this information. While this is a current event, it will become a piece of our family history. My grandson's children will know that he broke his leg doing what he loved and it did not stop him. It will tell them a little bit about him and his personality. And we are putting the Dodger's on notice, Niles is on his way.