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. 

No comments:

Post a Comment