The Yeldell Family (Through My Eyes)

{February 21, 2012}   Martha Brooks the grandmother to Jeff

My next honoree is my great great grandmother Martha Brooks Yeldell.  I am going to put her bio up and you will see why she should be honored for Black History month Martha Brooks is the grandmother to Jefferson Davis Yeldell.  She was born in 1834 in Edgefield, S.C.  The first time I found her was in the 1870 census.  She had 6 children Rebecca 18 Robert and David 6, Peter 4, Thomas and George 2….   Everyone’s last name is Brooks.  It doesn’t state whether she is married or not but she is head of household and both she and Rebecca are farm laborers.  It seems that only she and Rebecca are the ones that are taking care of the home.  The next time I see her she is on the 1880 census.  This time Rebecca has been married and widowed and her last name is now Rainey.  David, Robert and Peter’s last name is now Yeldell, Martha has a younger sister named Martha Yeldell living with her and a cousin. I sent an email to the Edgefield County Archives about Martha asking several different questions.  Below is the response:   In 1857, Preston Brooks estate inventory (74/2990) lists Martha, a female slave.  She was valued at $1,205 which was very high for that time.  If this is your Martha she was obviously considered a prime “breeding” woman.  She was sold to Lemuel Brooks that same year.   Prior to this time, in 1852 and obviously younger, (before Preston Brooks owned her) she was the property of Whitfield Brooks – Preston’s father.  The Brooks family in this area had a very good reputation with their slaves.

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