The Yeldell Family (Through My Eyes)

{May 21, 2010}   Info on the Yeldells

Hello Family I have attached census records articles and other information that I have found or was given to me by Candace so far on our family. I hope you enjoy it and be just as confused as I am.

Parson Flemon a.k.a. John Yeldell1

Parson Flemon a.k.a. John Yeldell2

Peter Yeldell


Peace and Love


Before I get into the connection between Melvin and the Yeldell’s I would like to plan a bus trip to Edgefield, SC. If you are interested please let me know. The trip can be like a trip to AC but instead of money you winning you are learning your history and that to me is worth a lot more. Now, you remember when I told you about Melvin Duncan and how he had a family tree that had all of the original 13. Well he contacted me finally and explained the connection. It seems that Uncle John married three times. For those that don’t know he is the second oldest child. His first wife Fannie father was named Percy Jernigan. Now Percy had a sister by the name of Ellen and Ellen is Melvin’s grandmother. So that is how he is connected to us. He is not a direct cousin to us all but he is a cousin to one of us. For those that know the DC yeldells when you are a cousin to one you are a cousin to all. Stay tuned for information.

This post is dedicated to my grandmother Annie Mae Yeldell. I chose to write about her today because On May 9, 1950 she left this earth. She was the mother of all mothers (until my mommy of course). Now I didn’t get a chance to meet her as a matter of fact none of my siblings met her because she died when my mom was 11 years old. But I have heard stories of her greatness.

On December 24, 1913 Annie Mae Senior took Jefferson Davis Yeldell off of the singles list. According to stories I have heard women were in tears because Jeff was know longer available. She was born on January 8, 1898 so as you can see they married pretty young. Annie had her first child in 1914 and there after she was having babies every 18 months to two years. While being the ultimate wife to Jeff she became an outstanding mother. She was very involved in all of her children lives. I mean she had to be superwoman with thirteen children to take care of. She was the president of everyone’s PTA (that’s 13 people ya’ll).  She used to make sandwiches and sell them off a cart.  She did it all.

I am sorry I never got to meet my grandmother but I have been told that she is in me. I was told that I look like her and that my daughter looked more like her than me.  I never thought it was possible to miss someone you never knew but I guess I do.  Happy Mother’s Grandma from your last born grandchild.

{May 5, 2010}   Edgefield South Carolina

Ok so now you know why I started and this is what I found.  My grandfather’s name is Jefferson Davis Yeldell.  He is the son of Peter and Katie Yeldell.  They had 8 children but I have only been able to find five in the census.  Including Jeff there names are Martha, Eddie, Gary (Gairy) and Janie or Jamie.

Now Katie’s parents were named Ezra and Jaycie or Joycie Ann Adams.  I am confused about Katie’s mom because her name was entered incorrectly so many times I am not sure what her first name is but I do know that her maiden name was holloway.  Katy had four sibling including her made 5.  There names were Rhody (g), Elvira (g) Ellerape (b) and Gairy (b).  As you can see she named one of her sons after her baby brother.  In the first census that I found my grandfather Gary’s name was spelled like his uncle but he later changed the spelling of his name when I found him older.  Gary and my grandfather lived right by each other.  So close that there names were listed together in the 1930 census.  I am lead to believe that the four oldest Yeldell children that were born in South Carolina knew him and his wife and son Marry and Henry.

According to the death records Gary died at an early age 28.  He died in 1919 two years before their mother Katie.  Although I haven’t found a death record for Katie’s parents they were still alive according to the 1920 census and living in Edgefield County South Carolina.  The 1920 census had them at ages 80 and 73.

Grand daddy’s father Peter had 5 siblings and there were 6 of them in all.  There names were Rebecca, David and Robert, then Peter and finally George and I think Thomas.  His parents names were Martha Brooks and Jasper Yeldell.  Jasper was the slave master.  So far I think that Jasper parents was William and Mary Yeldell and they were both born in VA.  This is where my search as ended.  Stay tuned for more updates.

My name is Donya Williams but my mom is a Yeldell.  She is the last born of 14 children.  Growing up I saw how proud my family was of its name.  As I got older I saw why they were so proud.  My grandparents Jefferson and Annie Mae Yeldell had come to DC and paved a good road for their family.  They were deep in the growth of DC.  They founded a church, possibly had a hand in the negro woman’s council even new famous singers like Aretha Franklin.  They had 6 strong men and 7 beautiful girls who had body’s and legs that would and (from stories I heard) did stop traffic.  They were all extremely intelligent and talented in any way you could think of.  If one couldn’t handle a task there was always one that could.  Yes the Yeldell’s grew to be a proud an influential Black Family in the District of Columbia.  But with all of that pride no one asked the question how they got started?  Where they came from?  If the original 13 asked they never shared with those that were to follow.

So one day I asked my mom about her sister Lula’s side of the family.  See Lula was the fifth oldest child and had four shy of 13 kids like her parents.  Her family is the bulk of Jeff and Annie’s grandchildren.  So in or around 1996 her family was celebrating the five generations of women.  I thought that was amazing and I asked my mom exactly how many children and grandchildren she had.  My mom called her and we counted 9 children, 24 grand children, 42 great grand children and I think about 4 great great grand children at that time.  I was amazed…not just at the amount of children but at the fact that my mom and she were able to call off all of those names.

Any way a few years passed and I started thinking again just how big my immediate family was.  I mean we were so big that we couldn’t be like most families where you stop counting after third cousins.  Hell third cousins were growing up with fourth cousins so it just didn’t happen.  So I called my mother again and we created a family list.  When we got finish my grand parents had almost 400 hundred offsprings.  I was SHOCKED!!!!  The list was so big and there were so many names unknown. I mean we knew the children existed we just didn’t know there names. So two years ago I started a family reunion. They both turned out to be nice but it never really got off the way I would have liked.

So it is a year later my Aunt Lula is gone along with my Uncle Rob and my Aunt Evelyn. Out of the fabulous 13 there are only three left. Joseph, Josephine and Juanita (my mommy). Maybe it is a spirit pushing this on or me knowing my children need to know their family but I started up again on who my family is. I logged into and did a search on my grandfather. In the course of a weekend I found his parents, four out of eight of his siblings, his parents parents (on both sides) and the all famous connection to the large number of white yeldells. I was amazed, shocked and overall thrilled. I started to share my info with my family and possibly extended family on facebook. And thought to myself this is a lot. Maybe I should blog about it…

et cetera