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Archiver > YATES > 2001-09 > 0999550863

From: "Dan Wright" <>
Subject: Re: [YATES-L] Researching John P Yates
Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2001 15:03:30 -0600
References: <01c1348c$4a2ccb80$4ea3efd0@1>

I was not able to make the reunion, but hope to one of these years.
I do have a lead on Sealy's name. It is not proven, but no one has been able to disprove it yet, either.

Descendants of William Yates

Generation No. 1

1. WILLIAM1 YATES was born August 1775 in Wilkes Co., NC1, and died February 17, 1846 in Andrew Co., MO1. He married CECELIA (SEELEY) DURHAM? WFT Est. 1811-18381, daughter of JOHN DURHAM and ELIZABETH SMITHSON. She was born WFT Est. 1764-1789 in Maryland?1, and died 1840 in Missouri1.


[Brøderbund WFT Vol. 2, Ed. 1, Tree #6253, Date of Import: Dec 31, 1995]

!Ref: Yates Publishing, FGSE, 1598.123 Ellen Byrne, Rt. 1, Box 69-1A,

Juliaetta, ID 83535. William A. Yates, Yates Findings, Vol. II.


The Durham name is not proven.

. I am 99% convinced that Seeley was the daughter of Elizabeth Smithson and

John Durham of Maryland (later moved to VA), and that

William was the son of George of MD. I hope to prove

this before I die. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Gail Erikson


i. LEVI2 YATES, b. 1800, NC1; d. April 02, 1867, Worth Co., MO1; m. ELIZABETH SHEPHERD, WFT Est. 1833-1867, Gentry County, MO1; b. 1801, VA1; d. October 20, 1873, MO1.

Notes for LEVI YATES:

[Brøderbund WFT Vol. 2, Ed. 1, Tree #6253, Date of Import: Dec 31, 1995]

!Ref: Mrs. Robert J. Buxton, Albuquerque, NM; letters 30 Sep 1978 and 17 Aug

1979. The family was in Gentry Co., Mo. in 1850 and in Worth Co., Mo. by 1870.


Sun, 24 Oct 1999 12:27:21 -0500


"Anne Ryan" <>



Hi Daniel,

I found your web page at family tree maker and think we have a connection.

I have a Levi Yates that was married to an Elizabeth in Gentry County MO.

Levi was born about 1798-1800 in NC died 1861 in MO he is buried in Oxford Cemetery in Green Twp MO.

His wife Elizabeth born 1801 died 1873.

Children were:Lucinda Yates, Joshua Yates, Levi Yates, Celia Ann Yates.

Celia Ann Yates married John Henry Cole.

Looks like the Yates and Coles were in MO for sometime.

Hope to hear from you soon. Maybe you have some info that would help determine if we are looking at the same family.

I think they are.

Thanks Anne,

ii. SOLOMON HILL YATES, b. 1802, Lee Co., VA1; d. 1859, Gentry Co., MO1; m. (1) RACHAEL WELLS, Abt. 1828, Lee County, VA1; b. Abt. 1803, Lee Co., VA1; d. 1833, Jackson Co., MO1; m. (2) MARY LAVINIA WELLS, September 09, 1834, Lee Co., VA1; b. November 12, 1815, Lee Co., Virginia; d. April 25, 1907, Gallatin County, Montana.


[Brøderbund WFT Vol. 2, Ed. 1, Tree #6253, Date of Import: Dec 31, 1995]

!Ref: William A. Yates, Yates Findings, Vol. II.

Gail Erickson, Rancho Bernardo, CA, is a 3rd great granddaughter. See her

letter, 22 May 1975.


(from Montana Farmer Stockman; Feb. 4, 1965)

Descendents of Mary Wells Yates Can Boast Spartan Heritage

by Nina R. Manley, Townsend, MT.

Mary Wells was born in Virginia November 14, 1815. At the age of 17 she married her sister's widower, George Yates. Mr. Yates had three children by his former wife and needed a mother for them. The Wells family were strong Baptists who searched the Bible over for a word that might indicate it was wrong for a sister to marry her brother-in-law under such circumstances.

Evidently they were satisfied, for Mary and George were married soon after and departed for Missouri, where George had left his children while he returned to Virginia to fetch a new mother for them. The couple rode all the way through to the Far West, about 1,600 miles, each on a horse with bedroll tied behind. They lived in Jackson County about two years, then moved to the Platte Purchase in north-west Missouri, settling near Platte City. Later they made moves to Nadaway and Andrews Counties, residing in this area for 15 years.

Nine more children were born to the family. Apparently the family was self-sustaining on various farms, although not much is known about the life of the family during this period.

It was at Gentry, Missouri, in the late 1850's that George died of typhoid fever. Here Mary buried her husband and began the struggle of the early Civil War years. Raiders came into northern Missouri and were shooting slave owners. The Yates family freed their slaves voluntarily at about this time.

In 1863, when the news of the gold strike in Montana reached Missouri, the strong spirit of adventure that moved Mary Wells Yates to leave her Virginia home again persuaded her to make the long journey to Montana. By now she was 48 years old, and most of her family were grown, or nearly so. She said, "Constant discouragement made me leave the land I had found a wilderness and for 30 years had made blossom as the rose, so I prepared to again seek frontier life."

On May 5, 1864, she joined a wagon train, probably at Independence, accompanied by three of the older boys and driving six shod cows. She was able to milk the cows, and churned butter in utensils attached to the wagon as it bumped along over the rocky trail. As the wagon train was large they had no trouble with Indians.

Mrs. Yates also had fresh eggs on the trip, as she brought along a number of chickens. Later, she was credited with having been the first to bring Plymouth Rock chickens into the state of Montana, at the time Montana Territory.

The first trip was made up the South Platte through old Fort Kearney, Laramie, Hallek and the Bitter Creek valley, on the California overland route. Later trips were made by various routes. On some trips she drove horse or mule teams, but she always insisted that the oxen or cows were best.

When she arrived in Virginia City, Montana this first time she was able to sell the cows at a profit and thus finance another trip back to Missouri in 1864. This time she brought more of her children, and instead of coming through the South Pass in Wyoming on her return, she came up the Missouri River to Fort Benton.

The flat boats were held up close to Ft. Benton by herds of buffalo crossing the Missouri River, going from their winter range to their summer range. It is said that the buffalo crossed for three days and nights along 18 miles of the river--a lot of buffalo!

This was only the second of five more such round trips. Mrs. Yates crossed the plains between Missouri and Montana 13 times. On several of the later trips Mrs. Yates, now called "Granny" by those who knew her best, acted as guide and organized for emigrant parties.

She first brought all of her relatives and friends from Missouri, and any others who wanted to come. Apparently she was acutely aware of the possibilities for a new life in the northwest, and wanted her own people and friends to share in such opportunities.

The third trip was made up the Yellowstone, probably in 1865 or 66. The train was always careful to make camp on a rise so a lookout could be kept for Indians. One morning, when the stock was being taken down to the river for watering before starting on the long day, some Indians rose out of the tulies and attacked the herd. The men on the lookout on the bluffs immediately fired and drove off the Indians.

One of the Yates boys, Sol, was wounded in the leg, the only injury resulting from the attack. Sol managed to jump on the back of his brother Ben's horse and return to camp. His leg was bound and splinted and he was tied to the wagon braces and he recovered fully without any infirmity.

After the Indian attack, the youngest boy, George L., named for his father, was hidden among the flour sacks and barrels for protection and rode there the remaining miles to Virginia City.

On another trip Mrs. Yates brought back three barrels of dried apples. She used these apples to make pies which she sold to the miners for a dollar a piece.

We are told that Mrs. Yates was a woman of sturdy build, well-portioned and able to hold her own in the frontier life she chose for herself. She was about five feet and seven or eight inches tall, and weighed about 160 pounds.

After the first trip out with the cows, Mary drove horses or mules and was careful to see that only good stock left Missouri with the emigrant trains. She often rode horses herself, using a side-saddle, as was the custom in those days. Some of the horses in the Gallatin and Madison Valleys at the present time are descended from the stock Granny brought west.

Mrs. Yates set up some of the newcomers in cabins she had built. These they could use until they could find a place of their own. This place was called "Pilgrims Rest" located below Emmett Huffine's farm on Foster Creek where it runs into Smith Creek.

Strangely enough, Granny never homesteaded, but eventually she bought a place of her own. When she was settled in her own place, she took a boy from the Orphans' Home, about 9 or 10 years old. He grew up under Granny's guidance, giving her companionship, while her own family went about their own affairs.

In later years, her eyesight failed. She regretted that her formal education had been limited, but the fact that she could not read nor write did not prevent her from having well defined opinions on most subjects. She was a woman of character and purpose, with much forcefulness in her makeup.

A great-grandson tells a humorous ante dote of Granny's later days. Her children and grandchildren often did Granny's shopping for her in the town of Bozeman. When the shopping trip was to be made, every three months or so, they would stop by Granny's home near Belgrade and pick up her shopping list. One time she ordered a corset, and when it arrived it was too long and uncomfortable. But Granny did not propose to wait three months to exchange it. She took the corset to the chopping-block and hacked it down to her length, presumably with the axe. Since a man was telling this tale, it was not possible to probe out the finer points, such as which end was cut off, how it was rebound, etc.

The descendants of George and Mary Yates are scattered throughout most of the western part of the United States. Some eventually returned to Missouri. One of her children, Zack, was killed on the Yellowstone in the 1870's by the Indians. Sam, another son, drowned at about the same time in the slough where the Jefferson and the Boulder Rivers meet.

One of the daughters, Lavina, who came west with her mother on the 1864 trip, married Columbus C. Collins. This Collins had come west in 1863 with Dan Creighton. Dan Creighton drove an outfit of 62 wagons loaded with telegraph wire, each wagon drawn by four mules. These wagons debarked from Davenport, Iowa, destination Virginia City, Montana.

This Mr. Collins is reported to have been the individual in the crowd to whom Clubfoot George called during the tense moments of the hanging of the stage coach robbers by the Vigilantes in January, 1864. Collins was also present at the arrest and hanging of Captain Slade. It was when Molly Slade was observed on horseback dashing over the hill toward Virginia City that the officials called out, "Men, do your duty," which they promptly did.

These accounts give us almost direct reports on the kind of life that Mary Wells Yates was projected into upon her arrival in Montana. For a woman and a widow to come west and leave and return again and again to this rugged frontier of the gold rush days, and to be enterprising and strong enough to make a place for herself among Montana pioneers, must excite our admiration and amazement. What a woman! All westerners with a drop of Granny Yates blood in their veins should be proud indeed.

Blood relatives in the Gallatin Valley include some of our foremost citizens and old timers, among them Wallace Cox and Zina Duncan of Belgrade, Violet Lilly of Three Forks, Sol Miller of Willow Creek, Till Tribble and Blackey Watson of Cardwell, and some who have moved to the Billings area, Elizabeth O'Donnell, Thelma Parr and others, and, of course many who have left the state, Frank Lewis and D.S. Lewis and others.

And we can boast of a goodly number who have made Broadwater County their home for many years, coming here at the turn of the century or earlier. These include the James Sittons of Radersburg and their many descendants, the Freemans, the Wilders, the Wayne Millers, the Hollings, and Evangeline Wright, now a resident of Townsend, whose mother was Susan Sitton, a daughter of James Sitton.

Granny Yates returned to Montana by the Oregon Short line Railroad to Dillon on her last trip west. She died in Gallatin County in April, 1907, ending more than 91 years of heroic activity.

At the time her story was sketched in the book, "Progressive Men of Montana," in 1901, she stated that she had raised 11 children and at that time had 50 grandchildren and 40 great-grandchildren. Now, about 63 years later, it would require considerable research to arrive at the exact number of descendants who can boast of their relationship to their courageous pioneer ancestor, Granny Yates.

The following report is written by Shirley Morrow Sedivy

Mary Wells Yates


The year is 1828. We begin our story in Big Stone Gap, Lee Co, VA -- the western most part of VA, nestled between Kentucky and Tennessee. Now part of Wise Co., Big Stone Gap is in the area of the "Three Forks" of the Powell River and is very near Daniel Boone's Cumberland Gap which opened Kentucky for settlement. The surrounding countryside is hilly, wooded and green.

In this community, three families were entwined: Sheppard, Yates, and Wells. They were strong Baptists of the southern "hard shell" variety. Solomon Yates son of William and Seley, married Rachel Wells, daughter of Zacharia Wells II and Rebecca Sheppard. Solomon took his bride to Jackson Co., MO and there, four children were born: William H., Rebecca, Isaac, and George Anderson. In 1834 Rachel died and Solomon , needing a mother for the children, returned to Big Stone Gap. Late on the night of September 9, 1834 Solomon stole his intended bride, Mory or "Polly" Wells, the youngest of the nine Wells children, from the family home. They were married by Andrew Turner (according to the Lee Co. Marriage Register) and immediately set out for Missouri. The 1000 mile journey, which in reality was a honeymoon on horseback, took 36 days to complete. After her marriage, Mary never heard from her parents -- she had no idea when or where they died. (A History of Granny Yates, a paper by M!
ary Ellen (Miller) Fitzgerald, g-g-granddaughter of Granny Yates.)


Burial: Bozeman, MT

iii. JOSHUA YATES, b. 1804, Lee Co., VA1; d. 1850, Andrew Co., MO1; m. MARY, WFT Est. 1835-18451; b. WFT Est. 1800-18191; d. WFT Est. 1835-19041.

iv. REBECCA YATES, b. 1811, Lee Co., VA1; d. February 23, 1885, San Felipe, Santa Clara Co., CA1; m. (1) ELIJAH SHEPHERD, May 1829, Jackson Co., MO1; b. Abt. 17921; d. 1845, Jackson Co., MO1; m. (2) JOSHUA MCDANIEL, November 10, 1847, Andrew Co., MO1; b. WFT Est. 1796-18271; d. 1851, Cooper Co., VA1.


Burial: San Jose, CA

v. ABEL YATES, b. 1815, Lee Co., VA1; d. WFT Est. 1848-19061; m. (1) PHEBE BLANTON, April 11, 1830, Jackson Co., MO1; b. WFT Est. 1794-18181; d. WFT Est. 1844-19081; m. (2) CHINA MEYERS, November 16, 1843, MO1; b. WFT Est. 1803-18261; d. WFT Est. 1848-19151.

Notes for ABEL YATES:

[Brøderbund WFT Vol. 2, Ed. 1, Tree #6253, Date of Import: Dec 31, 1995]

!1850 census of Buchanan Co., Mo. (contributed by Betty Lee Stalder).

vi. NANCY YATES, b. 1813, Lee Co., VA1; d. WFT Est. 1837-19091; m. EZEKIEL BLANTON, April 03, 1831, Jackson Co., MO1; b. WFT Est. 1786-18151; d. WFT Est. 1836-19021.

vii. GEORGE WASHINGTON YATES, b. 1814, Lee Co., VA1; d. WFT Est. 1852-19071; m. (1) SARAH FRANCIS MILEM, WFT Est. 1847-18791; b. WFT Est. 1808-18301; d. WFT Est. 1852-19171; m. (2) RACHAEL CLARKE, January 18, 1836, Ray Co., MO1; b. WFT Est. 1799-18231; d. WFT Est. 1841-19121.

viii. ELIJAH YATES, b. September 13, 1816, Lee Co., VA1; d. June 09, 1852, Andrew Co., MO1; m. SUSAN PORTER, April 15, 18401; b. July 19, 18151; d. March 23, 18771.


[Brøderbund WFT Vol. 2, Ed. 1, Tree #6253, Date of Import: Dec 31, 1995]

!Ref: Denny Alumbaugh, Rt. 1, Box 14A-1, Clearwater, KS 67026 (FGSE). Name

also given as Elihu Yates, b. 13 Sep 1816.


Burial: Andrew Co., MO

ix. IRA GOFF YATES, b. March 15, 1821, Lee Co., VA1; d. November 03, 1899, Napa Co., CA1; m. JOHANNAH SHEPARD, May 25, 1842, Platte Co., MO1; b. 1823, Lee Co., VA1; d. May 05, 1896, Lake Co., CA1.


[Brøderbund WFT Vol. 2, Ed. 1, Tree #6253, Date of Import: Dec 31, 1995]

!Ref: Yates Publishing, FGSE, 1598.017 Mrs. Irl Rickabaugh, Ukiah, CA.

Also, 1598.018 Ellen Byrne, Rohnert Park, CA.


Burial: Lake Co., CA


Burial: Lake Co., CA

x. HASKELL YATES, b. 1824, Lee Co., VA1; d. November 12, 1862, Ft. Scott, Bourbon Co., KS1; m. ELIZABETH PETTIJOHN, February 11, 1846, Andrew Co., MO1; b. 1834, TN1; d. WFT Est. 1863-19281.


[Brøderbund WFT Vol. 2, Ed. 1, Tree #6253, Date of Import: Dec 31, 1995]

!Ref: Mrs. George C. Brune, Portland, OR to "Yates Descendants", 22 Jun 1966.

(File of Prewitt - Misc. Corres.)

xi. ANDREW JACKSON YATES, b. 1826, Jackson Co., MO1; d. WFT Est. 1852-1917, CA1; m. MARY A. PETTIJOHN, December 10, 18461; b. WFT Est. 1809-18331; d. WFT Est. 1851-19221.


1. Brøderbund WFT Vol. 2, Ed. 1, Tree #6253, Date of Import: Dec 31, 1995

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