Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Looking for John circa 1764.....

(Source: Bye Lines; Compiled by Jane & Clarence Bye. 1983; ancestors and descendants of Bye family of Crawford & Harrison Co., IN)

There have been Yates families in America since the beginning of this country. Ministers, statesmen, farmers, lawyers, soldiers, and probably a few not so notable ones, are listed among them. But so far, of the many people who have been working on this line for many years, not one has been able to hook our branch of the Yates family onto any of the other lines so that we may take it on back.

Until I found this petition to sell the Real Estate of Benjamin Yates in the Crawford County Court House, in English, Indiana, I, and many of the others, had been working with the idea that all the older Yates men who settled in Crawford County in the early l800's were brothers.

This document proves we were wrong. From this, we know that Benjamin Yates left no children as his heirs, only eight nephews, and five nieces, all of age in 1965. The nephews are named by first names only, so we may assume they were all Yates, John, Tolbert, Silas, Daniel, Eli, Silas, William, George. The nieces are given by their full names, Casa Martin, Rachel Hughes, Sarah Bell, Nellie Pilliman, and Sarah Yates.

(Sarah Bell was Sarah Elizabeth Bell, who links us with the Yates line. I believe Nellie Pilliman was Ellen Pittman, for the names Ellen and Nellie were often interchanged, and it requires only a stroke of the pen, left undone by whoever was drafting the document, to change Pilliman to Pittman.)

After the heirs that were known to the petitioner were listed, he made himself safe, in the legal way, by adding "the unknown heirs of Robert Yates, deceased, the unknown heirs of James Yates, deceased, and the unknown heirs of John Yates and the unknown heirs of John Yates, Jr. and the heirs of Casa Yates. So these, with the exception of John Yates, are the brothers and sister of Benjamin Yates, giving us, for the first time, a true Family Group Sheet, with John Yates as their father.

And now I must go back sixty-five years and give my reasons for saying John Yates was their father, other than his being named in Benjamin's settlement. These reasons do need more proof, of course, and I will welcome hearing from anyone who has such proof, whether it proves me right or wrong.

John Yates was the only Yates listed on the 1800 Barren County KY Census. Ten years later, he is listed on the 1800 Census there as John Jr., with another John Yates also listed, which, I believe, was the one called John Yates Jr. in Benjamin's settlement. Robert Yates was also listed on the 1800 Barren County Census. We know that between the 1800 and 1810 Census both John, Jr. and Robert had married in Barren County.

January 18, 1808, John, Jr. had married Polly Swift, and three months later, Robert had married Mary Ann Byers on April 21, 1808. There were other Yates married in Barren County during that

period, and others were listed on the 1810 Census there, which has caused us much confusion in the past, For now, I intend to stick to only those we now know were our direct line.

On the 1810 Barren County Census, John Yates, Sr. was listed as being over 45, with a female, probably his wife, also over 45, 2 males, 10-16 were living with him. Their ages fit James and Benjamin Yates, who we later find in Indiana, and in Benjamin's settlement.

There was also a female 16-45 in John Yates, Sr.’s house in 1810. This may have been a daughter, the Cassa Yates mentioned along with the 4 brothers in the settlement.

This 1810 Census shows both John and Robert Yates as 16-26, with wives in the same age bracket. Both men had had a son during the two years they had been married, and John also had had a daughter.

Kentucky was either getting too crowded, or the spirit of adventure was in the Yates men. February 16, 1816, Robert Yates was assigned two tracks of land of 80 acres each that had originally been assigned to Riggs Pennington. These were E 1/2 SE Sec 10. T SE R1 W and W 1/2 SE Sec T3 SR 1 W.

These 160 acres of land, assigned to Robert Yates, John's son, was in the part of Indiana Territory that would be Crawford County after Indiana became a state two years later in 1818. But in 1816, Indiana Territory was still a wild, mostly unsettled area, with steep hills covered with virgin timber and deep valleys laced with many small fast moving creeks that drained into Little Blue River, Big Blue River and eventually on south into the wide Ohio River that had carried so many settlers into the Territory from "up East." It was along these waterways that most of the early settlers built their log cabins. There will be more about this in the next chapter on Robert Yates.

From an article published in the Elizabethtown, KY News, 1816 was called the "year without a summer," not an ideal time to be making a move north with a passel of babies. "January was so mild, and February not very cold, with the exception of a few days. March was cold and boisterous during the first part; with a great freshet (flood) on the Ohio River that caused a great loss of property.

April began warm, but ended in snow and ice with temperatures more like winter than spring. In May, buds and flowers were frozen, ice formed half an inch thick, corn was killed, and the fields planted again and again until it was deemed too late for anything to mature. June was the coldest ever known in this latitude with frost, ice and snow common. Almost every green thing was killed and fruit almost all destroyed.

July had ice and frost and Indiana corn was nearly all destroyed. During August, Indiana corn was so frozen that the greater part of it was cut down and cured for fodder. Almost every green thing was destroyed. September had about two weeks of the mildest weather of the season, but after the middle of the month it became very cold and frosty and ice formed an inch thick. October had frost and ice and November, cold and blustery. December was quite mild and comfortable."

John Yates Sr. probably came to Indiana with his oldest son, Robert, for we know his younger son, James, married Mary Ervin January 7, 1819 in Crawford County, Indiana, the year after Indiana became a State. I have found no record of John Sr. owning any land in Indiana, so he probably lived on a part of the 160 acres Robert had gotten in 1816.

The 1820 Crawford County Census, the first taken in Crawford County, listed John Yates as over 45, as was his wife, for this was the oldest bracket the Census showed at that time. A male and a female, both 16 to 26 were living with him. The male could have been Benjamin, the youngest son, still at home. While we have found no record of Benjamin ever marrying, he may have, and this having been his wife, or the Cassa Yates who seems to have been John, Sr.'s daughter.

Robert Yates was on the 1820 Census, with him and his wife both listed as 16-44, and with 7 children. As we will be following Robert's life in the next chapter, I will not go into this any more here.

James Yates, married the year before in Crawford County, was on the 1820 Census with his wife and 2 children, a boy and girl under ten. They may have been twins, but as they have no bearing on the history of John Yates, Sr. being too far removed, I have not tried to trace them.

There was only one listing for a John Yates on the 1930 Crawford County Census, and that was for John, Jr. evidently, for he was listed as being 40-50, with his wife the same age, and 7 sons and three daughters.

Robert Yates was listed with his wife and 6 sons and 4 daughters. From the overabundance of children these brothers seem to have had, along with their other brothers on other Census records, and yet how few nieces and nephews show up on Benjamin's settlement in 1865. I wonder if the Census taker found the kids visiting, and perhaps living, back and forth between the homes, and listed them wherever they were found on that day, which could vary wildly from one house to the next.

John Yates, Sr. was not listed on the 1830 Census for Crawford County. This could have meant that he and his wife had both died between 1920 and 1830. It could also have meant that they had gone to Illinois with their son, James, who we know from later Census records was in Illinois about that time. A search of Illinois records might show something on this.

Benjamin Yates, the youngest son, is listed on the 1830 Census records as head of the household for the first time. A female 20-30, whose age matches with the female on John Sr.'s Census record of ten years before, is living with Benjamin. Had they stayed on in the same place when John, Sr. either died or left? The Census shows two young people, a boy 10-15 and a girl 15-20 living with Benjamin in 1830. There is as also a male 90-100 and a female 70-80 years old living there. These were too old to have been John Sr. and his wife.

Were these people all a part of Benjamin's family? Or were some of them people he was keeping for the "County”, a way of caring for orphans and elderly while being paid for it.

James Yates does not show up on the 1830 Crawford County Census, but from the 1850 Census records, which shows the birthplace of everyone, we know that he was in Illinois about that time, for a daughter was born there.

As there is no record of John, Sr. ever owning land in Crawford County, so there is no record of him ever disposing of any, or of any kind of settlement that would tell us when he died.

There is no record in the National Archives for Revolutionary Service for John Yates, but they sent me a reference to check, which was found in the Indiana State Library in Indianapolis, IN. Perhaps someday there may be more found about this.

Robert Yates and his wife and some of their children are buried in Union Chapel, sometimes called Yates, Cemetery, south of English, IN. In that Cemetery, there is a stone for John W. Yates, with no dates. Is this John, Sr.? John, Jr.? Or John W., the son of Robert?

John Sr. and his wife may be buried in the old part of the cemetery, in an unmarked grave, for this Cemetery, they tell me, was made from part of Robert Yates’ land.

In the Grantsburg Cemetery, not far away from the Yates Cemetery, other Yates members are buried. There is a stone there to "MOTHER" Yates, again with no dates. This may have been John or wife, the Mother of the Crawford County Yates, but I am afraid that is something we will never know for sure unless someone finds some old Yates Bible records hidden away in an old trunk or attic.

The Mormon Records in Salt Lake City show a Benjamin Yates as the father of John Yates, Sr. I have carried him on the Family group Sheets with a question mark, for someone else to search for, as there was no proof given on the copy of this I saw, and just putting down a name does not make it so.

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