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Yates Family History

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Ben Yates circa 1730-1740
Ben Yates circa 1730-1740

BENJAMIN YATES [b. circa 1730-1740]

On February 16, 1816, Robert Yates b. 1873 was assigned two tracks of land of 80 acres each that had originally been assigned to Riggs Pennington. These 160 acres of land, assigned to Robert Yates were in the part of Indiana Territory that would become Crawford County after Indiana became a state two years later, in 1818. But there is no mention of Benjamin Yates activities in Kentucky or before 1830 in Indiana.

We know only one thing which we can document as to Benjamin Yates; all other things to date are speculation and not proven. This one thing is in 1830 Benjamin Yates resided in Crawford County, Indiana at the age of 90-99 years and appears to be living with a female at the age of 70-79 years; she may or may not be a spouse:

1830 United States Federal Census Name: Benjamin Yates Home in 1830 (City, County, State): Undistributed, Crawford, Indiana Free White Persons - Males - 10 thru 14: 1 Free White Persons - Males - 20 thru 29: 1 Free White Persons - Males - 90 thru 99: 1 Free White Persons - Females - 15 thru 19: 1 Free White Persons - Females - 20 thru 29: 1 Free White Persons - Females - 70 thru 79: 1 Free White Persons - Under 20: 2 Free White Persons - 20 thru 49: 2 Total Free White Persons: 6 Total - All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 6

Recently new information surfaced in the reading of the local Crawford County, Indiana newspaper which seems to hold great promise as a potential new additional source of information. In July 1838 the Crawford County, Indiana Postmaster published what letters were being held for pick up by local citizens. It is presumed these persons were known to have been recipients of mail previously but had not picked these most recent letters up.

Important to our history is that on July 1, 1838 a letter for Benjamin Yates was so advertised and it was announced that if not picked up within three months it would be considered a dead letter, not deliverable. As Benjamin Yates b. circa 1800 lives until 1865 when can certainly strongly speculate that this Benjamin Yates is the father of John Yates, Sr. and the grandparent of all Yates in the area as well as all the Roberson family descending from Daniel and Ester Ada Yates Roberson and Benjamin and Sarah Yates Roberson. The result is we have a speculated death date for the first time for our Yates line progenitor of June 1838.

The only presumed known descendant of Benjamin is his son John Yates, Sr. b. ca 1760 who was last documented in 1820 in Crawford County, Indiana. Thereafter we generally have a good handle on John, Sr.'s descendants but not his spouse or spouses.

There is no known recorded claim of previous residence for Benjamin; John Sr. is recorded on the Kentucky tax rolls and various court proceedings in the late 1790's era. There is one undocumented marriage claim for John Sr. in Kentucky list in 1782 but I believe it to be speculation or perhaps a new spouse.

John Yates Sr. has several documented children which are tantalizing; the oldest son (Robert) has always been listed as b. Kentucky; the next child (Sarah) has always listed b. Maryland.

Two of John Yates, Sr. daughters married brothers named Roberson who later migrated to Kentucky and thereafter to Indiana. Through intermarriage activity my John E. Yates (1825-1864) married his 1st Cousin Elizabeth Roberson in 1847. Elizabeth Roberson's father was named Benjamin and married the young Yates daughter Sarah. Benjamin Roberson was b. 1795 and christened in Prince George's Co., MD.

Diligent researchers have tried to define and connect this line for well over 50 years without success. It is my opinion shaped by a kind of Meta analysis of available documentation that we are dealing with a Great Grandfather ancestor (John Yates, Sr.) who migrated to Kentucky for some specific reason in circa 1780 from PA, MD or Virginia.

There is no documentation of Benjamin Yates in Kentucky and the only documentation is him at age 90 in 1830 in Crawford County, Indiana. At this point we are leaning towards the idea that key family lineage documents may have not existed or perhaps destroyed with the British destruction of key buildings during the 1812-1814 era.

Assuming reproductive practices of the era, we are absent Benjamin Yates' siblings and descendants and his son John Yates siblings and descendants so we are unable to find perhaps as many as 25-30 Yates descendants. It is current speculation that the reason we don't find all these other potential descendants is they may not have migrated and might be found at the original "HOME BASE", wherever that may be found. Casual researchers have simply connected this line to one of the 3-5 Prime candidate Yates lines flowing out of PA, MD and VA but none can be documented.

It is also speculated that Benjamin and his spouse would have been buried at the Yates Family Graveyard which would have been in existence in 1838 for some twenty years therefore well established as a burying ground. A known marked or location does not exist; it would seem evident that at least a fieldstone would have marked the burial location of these dear family members but after two generations of living exact location would naturally have been lost.

Ben Yates Land Tract adjoining south of Robert Yates land

Dicus-Denbo Kinfolk
Compiled by Jane Bye 1987
(Selected portions pertaining to the Yates family)

We are indebted to Jane Bye for her work on these family genealogies; she has done several and they all appear to be inclusive and helpful. Her work is held in the genealogy section of the Crawford County, Indiana library and is also available for purchase from her friend Doris Leistner of New Albany, Indiana. As Ms. Bye's work is held in high regards, I am including her work to lay a foundation and add new information where possible in a constructive way and provide illustration and images when possible to help the reader and share with others. All errors that may be found we will assume to be the responsibility of the website editor. Ron Yates; April 17, 2013.

JOHN YATES [b. circa 1760]

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.

Ben Yates Will

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 1800*s were brothers. This document proves we were wrong.

From this, we know that Benjamin Yates [b. circa 1800] left no children as his heirs, only eight nephews, and five nieces, all of age in 1865. 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 1810 Census there as John, Sr., 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, KY Census. We know that between the 1800 and 1810 Census both John, Jr. and Robert had married in Barren County.

January 18, 1806, John, Jr. had married Polly Swift, and three months later, Robert had married Mary Ann Byers on April 21, 1808.

There were other Yates carried 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.

census 1810 Barren

On the 1810 Barren County, KY 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 30 acres each that had originally been assigned to Riggs Pennington. These were E 1/2 SE Sec 10. T SE R 1 W and W 1/2 SE Sec T3 SR 1W.

The 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 l818. 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 com 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, with 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 was 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 1830 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 1320 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 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?

National Archives Note

James Yates does not show up on the 1830 Crawford County Census, but from the 1850 Census records, which shows the birth place 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, 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. 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, the son of Robert? [We know this to be John W. son of Tolbert, 1835-1862] 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. Other Yates family members are buried at Grantsburg Cemetery, not far away from the Yates Cemetery. There is a stone there to "MOTHER" Yates, again with no dates, this may have been John, Sr's 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. [This is not likely based on a number of factors; it is speculated that this mother is Nancy Roberson, sister to Elizabeth Roberson, daughter of Benjamin and Sarah Yates Roberson]

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, for there was no proof given on the copy of this I saw, and just putting down a name does not make it so.

Robert Yates (1783-1853) and Mary Ann Byers (1872-1871)

Robert Yates was, we now think, for reasons given in the previous chapter, the son of John Yates, a Revolutionary soldier from Virginia. [This is not proven.] We do not yet know who Robert's mother was. Census records say Robert was born in Kentucky. [This is not proven; his next younger sibling consistently record Maryland as her place of birth.] This may be right, for Kentucky was in the process of becoming a state, separate from Virginia, at the time of his birth.

The first record we find of John Yates, who we think was Robert's father, being in Kentucky, was in Barren County, on the 1800 Census. Barren had been made a County May 10, 1799, and was named for the Barrens of Kentucky. It had been made from Green and Warren Counties, so a search of the 1790 Census records, or early tax records, there, might show if he was there earlier and if, indeed, Robert was born in KY, rather than in Virginia as so many people were who remembered being raised in Kentucky and supposed they had also been born there.

Robert was probably the oldest of his family of four boys and one girl. His being named Robert might indicate that was the name of his grandfather, as it was the custom at that time to honor a man's father by naming his first son after him rather than after himself. The second son was often named after the wife's father, and the man did not name a son after himself until the third one, unless he carried the same name as one of his son's grandfathers.

Robert was about twenty-six when he married Mary Ann Byers December 4, 1809, in Barren County, Kentucky; she was the daughter of John Byers. There is more about her early life in the chapter on John Byers.

Robert Yates was, we now think, for reasons given in the previous chapter, the son of John Yates, a Revolutionary soldier from Virginia. [This is not proven.] We do not yet know who Robert's mother was. Census records say Robert was born in Kentucky. [This is not proven; his next younger sibling consistently record Maryland as her place of birth.] This may be right, for Kentucky was in the process of becoming a state, separate from Virginia, at the time of his birth.

The first record we find of John Yates, who we think was Robert's father, being in Kentucky, was in Barren County, on the 1800 Census. Barren had been made a County May 10, 1799, and was named for the Barrens of Kentucky. It had been made from Green and Warren Counties, so a search of the 1790 Census records, or early tax records, there, might show if he was there earlier and if, indeed, Robert was born in KY, rather than in Virginia as so many people were who remembered being raised in Kentucky and supposed they had also been born there.

Robert was probably the oldest of his family of four boys and one girl. His being named Robert might indicate that was the name of his grandfather, as it was the custom at that time to honor a man's father by naming his first son after him rather than after himself. The second son was often named after the wife's father, and the man did not name a son after himself until the third one, unless he carried the same name as one of his son's grandfathers.

Robert was about twenty-six when he married Mary Ann Byers December 4, 1809, in Barren County, Kentucky; she was the daughter of John Byers. There is more about her early life in the chapter on John Byers.

ClarksvilleVincennestrace

An old trace road crossed the Ohio River at Louisville, KY, known as the Clarksville and Vincennes trace. It is said that two-thirds of those who settled west of Louisville moved along this route, so Robert probably brought Mary Ann and his young children down the narrow, often only tree blazed route, between tall virgin timber that shut out the sun. His aging parents may have come with them, and Mary Ann, perhaps pregnant again, unless Robert was a considerate man who had waited on her to give birth to their latest, child so she could carry the nursing baby on one arm while dragging a toddler with her other hand, had probably welcomed her mother-in-laws help on the long, exhausting trip with Silas, who probably though himself quite a man at six, Sarah Elizabeth, going on four, John, also about four, and Tolbert, not yet two. The baby Mary Ann may have carried could have been Ellen, sometimes called Nellie.

Bear, deer, wild turkey, squirrels, and rabbits, were abundant along the trace, so meat was no problem for Robert and other men in the party to shoot with their muzzle loading rifles for their wives to cook in iron kettles swung over bond fires that were kept burning all night to ward off wild animals.

Did Robert have the foresight to see what Indiana was going to become, and want to have a part in that development, rather than just remaining a farmer in Kentucky? He must have made his move soon after buying his land, probably in time to put in a patch of corn between the stumps of the trees he chopped down to build a cabin, and for Mary Ann to get in her patch of "garden truck".

But Robert did not spend all his time in the corn field or building their cabin. He could have done that in Kentucky. Here, he circulated among his neighbors, getting to know them, and, more- important, letting them know him, and that he was available for any of the appointed jobs he knew would be coming up. When the County was organized, he was commissioned by Governor Jennings as one of the first County Commissioners, a job he held for many years. Aug 1, 1818, he served on the grand jury of a murder trial in Mount Sterling. There is no record of just how the men were selected for the jury, but it certainly wasn't by burying himself in a corn field.

In addition to his farming and commissioner duties, Robert had a mill. I do not know just where his mill was, but it may have been on Little Blue River, where mills of all kinds lined the banks a few miles apart, to be accessible to the farmers who wanted corn ground into cornmeal, wheat into flour, or, later, logs split into rough lumber for flooring, doors, and such on their log cabins.

There were 306 households listed on the 1820 Census of Crawford County, with three of them being Robert, his father, John Yates, and his brother, James, who had been married in Crawford County the year before.

This 1820 Census shows Robert Yates with 2 males under 10, and 1 10-16, also 1 16-26, who may have been his brother, Benjamin, living with him. The one 10-16 would have been, we think, Silas, and the other two John and Tolbert. Robert and Mary Ann also had three females under 10 shown on the Census that year. These would have been Sarah Elizabeth; the one I think may have been Ellen, and another girl born before 1820.

census 1820

Robert was still at his commissioner duties in 1822 when c-he and the other commissioners for the county accepted a new brick building 39 feet long, 33 feet wide, and two stories high used as the new County Seat building at Fredonia. The laws of Indiana said the water had to be good wherever a County Seat was located, and that at Mount Sterling, where it had been, was proven bad.

Of course then, as now, politics played a big part in decisions such as this. No one was just giving the county a large new brick building without expecting to get something out of it for themselves. In this case, the man who gave the building owned a large track of land at Fredonia, which he hoped to subdivide and sell as lots in the new town he hoped would spring up around the new county seat. In his History of Crawford County, Hays Pleasant says:

"When the court house was ready, tradition has it that the citizens of Fredonia went to Mount Sterling and removed the records, carrying them home in meal sacks. The few people who lived near Mount Sterling hated to see the records go. In fact, the county seat has been moved in most cases by force." Robert was still a Commissioner in 1824, and perhaps for longer. Roads were being built in Crawford County during the 1820's, and to again quote Hays Pleasant:

"Another historic old road ran from near Sulphur Well to English, Union Chapel, Grantsburg and Paoli. This road ran from Rome to Paoli by Robert Yates' farm. Robert Yates, being one of the county commissioners must have used his influence for the road.

Yet when the state about eighty years later built State Road 22 and State Road 16 these roads followed the old surveys fairly well Paoli to English, Grantsburg, and Sulphur, then to Leavenworth and Tell City."

Robert and Mary Ann had two more daughters in the 1820,s, Cassa, born in 1821, and Rachel in 1823. But their family soon began growing smaller as the children began marrying and leaving home. Sarah Elizabeth, our ancestress, was the first to go, when she married Samuel W. Bell August 21, 1828, when her baby sister, Rachel, was only five years old. Silas W. soon followed his sister, marrying into the same family, Samuel's much younger sister, Lavina Bell September 10, 1829, Sarah Elizabeth lacked a month being sixteen, years old when she married Samuel, who was twenty-five or six. Her brother, Silas, was nineteen or twenty when he married Lavina, who was also sixteen, as Sarah Elizabeth was.

On the 1830 Census, Robert Yates had one son, 5-10, and two 5-20, which would have been John, and Tolbert for the older boys, and perhaps a grandson or nephew for the younger one, for I have found no son born to them that late. The girls shown on that Census are also very confusing. One, 15-20, may have been the daughter I have guessed as Nellie or Ellen, while the 3 at 10-15 just don't fit in anywhere. Evidently the Census taker meant them for Cassa who was nine, and Rachel, 7 and, again, the other one may have been a grandchild. With no more information than these early Census records gave it is almost impossible to make an accurate record from them.

census 1830

During the next ten years, at least two more of Robert and Mary Ann's children married. September 5, 1333. Tolbert married Jane McCraney when he was almost twenty, and Cassa, their next to youngest child, married John (Squire) Martin September 7, 1837, before she was sixteen.

The 1840 Census of Crawford County shows only two at home with Robert and Mary Ann, a male 20-30 and a female 15-20. The male is evidently John, for he was still at home with his parents on the 1350 Census when everyone in the family was named for the first time. The age bracket of 15-20 for the female fits Rachel, their youngest child, and, as she didn't marry James A. Hughes until April 12, 1847, when she was almost twenty-four years old, she was probably still at home in 1840.

So what happened to the others who have been on the earlier Census records? The one I am guessing was the Ellen sometimes called Nellie on the Benjamin Yates land settlement included in the previous chapter, didn't marry Harrison Pittman until July 9, 1848 so she may not have belonged in Robert's family after all.

All of the Yates in Crawford County remained in Union Township, including the known children of Robert. Perhaps their ties with Union Chapel Christian Church, where several of them are buried in the clean, peaceful little cemetery behind the little white church, may at least partially have accounted for their remaining there, for they probably all attended the church as children. An old church record from Union Chapel might be of a great help in straightening out the Yates family, but I have not found one.

census 1840

On the 1850 Census, Robert was a farmer, 63, with 100 acres of land; he was born in KY, his wife, Mary Ann, 64, was born in S.C. and son John, 39, was born in KY. They were no, 34 on the Census Record.

No. 35 which usually denotes living next door shows Tolbert, wife, Jane, 7 children, with oldest daughter named Mary Ann. No. 36 was James A. Hughes and Rachel, while Eli and Silas, 21 and 22 were living at No.37. Eli and Silas were both named in the Benjamin Yates land settlement in 1865. Because William Yates, who we know was a son of James Yates, Robert's brother, from his death certificate, was living next door to Eli and Silas at No. 38, I believe they may have been his brothers and also sons of James.

A little way on down the road, or across the field, at No. 44, was Robert's brother, James, wife and 3 children still at home, which gives us the George mentioned in the settlement. At No. 48 four doors away from James, was Benjamin Yates, Robert's and James' youngest brother, whose land division in 1865 in the only concrete piece of evidence we have found as to the make up of the family. For years, the 1850 Census record of Benjamin has been misread, with all of us supposing that the Sarah Yates, 30 and Daniel Yates, 28, named in it were Benjamin's children, which we now know was not true. They were the children of his brother, John, and Sarah Swift, 80, who was also living there, was their grandmother, mother-in-law of John Yates. So Benjamin Yates was still living up to his youngest son's job of taking care of the old and homeless in his family.

Silas and 'Sarah Elizabeth,' the two of Robert's children to marry first, into the Bell family, did not live as close to their parents as the rest of the children, but were in Union County. Samuel W. Bell and Elizabeth were at No. 17, with nine children in 1850, and had yet another daughter later on that year. They named a daughter Mary Ann and a son Robert. Silas was living at No. 90 with his wife Lovina and nine children in 1850, with also a Mary Ann and Robert. Such a repetition of family names makes straightening out a family very difficult sometimes.

Robert is buried in the Union Chapel, sometimes called Yates Cemetery a few miles south of English, Indiana. Jewell Sears, the Crawford County Librarian and herself a Yates descendant, sent me how to find his grave and X went right to it. I will include her directions for anyone else who may want to look on his grave himself.

Ninth Row from West, 6th Entry
Jane Yates 1-29-1813; 2-25-1907
Tolbert Yates 11-13-1813; 3-14-1891
Catherine Bennett 9-15-1863 (dau. of James Yates)
Mary Ann Yates 12-5-1871 age 79 yr 10 mo 2 day
Robert Yates 9-30-1853 about 70 yrs
John W. Yates no dates [before military marker erected]

There is also Albert Yates, b. 13 Feb 1846 d 20 Jul 1B51 I do not know whose baby he was; there are no doubt other Yates buried there, women who we have not as yet identified, and also, some in the many unmarked graves.

So we know Mary Ann outlived her husband by eighteen years. A deed signed by her arid her son John shows they sold the final acreage of Robert Yates' land after his death. With so many children close by Mary Ann may have lived from one to the other, as devoted grandmother's often did in those days, staying; wherever she was needed.

When Robert's first two children married in 1828 and 1829, he still had a large family at home to feed and support. The idea of keeping his children near him and Mary Ann for their old age probably had not occurred to them at that time but when Tolbert married in I833 for some reason Robert did not want this son to move to the other side of the township as Sarah Elizabeth and Silas had done. Perhaps Tolbert had been a weakly lad or for some other reason was a favorite son. Two years after he and Jane were married, November 24, 1835, Robert and Mary Ann deeded him for $1.00 and "the love and affection we have towards the said Tolbert Yates" a piece of land next door to them. The deed "gives the borders the land but not the acreage of land in 'it. The 1850 Census shows Tolbert owning 500 acres of land, but I have found no record of Robert acquiring more than this original 160 acres, so he must have gotten the rest of it elsewhere.

There is no record of Robert giving or selling any land to John Martin when he and Cassa were married in 1837, but as the 185O Census shows him owning 800 acres, he probably did not need any of his father-in-law's small holdings.

But on February 28, 1848, less than a year after Rachael married James A. Hughes, Robert and Mary Ann sold him 56 ½ acres of land for two dollars. The 1850 Census shows him owning 300 hundred acres, so he too acquired extra land.

January 14, 1851, they sold, for $200 to their son John Yates, the only one of their children to be identified, the land not already assigned to Tolbert and James A. Hughes so it appears that Robert had disposed of his land before he died September 30, 1853, there is no division of land showing his heirs to help us. There may be a probate record somewhere in the English Court House but as they are mostly un-indexed, it is impossible what might be just a small slip of paper of paper in the ceiling high metal boxes that have carefully kept hidden 150 years of Crawford County records.

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