The Yeldell Family (Through My Eyes)

{April 10, 2013}   That Feeling…


Every genealogist goes through something; I can’t call it by name what that something is.  But whatever “it” is I believe it is the driving force that keeps us wanting to learn more.  My something is my spirits.  My ancestors continue to make themselves known to me.  Most times it is my great and great great grandparents.  Yesterday, it was something totally different.  I have posted the picture above several times both on Facebook and throughout this blog. When you look at it you see what we all call Springfield Baptist church. You always hear me say join us, come fellowship with us.  But did you know that once you get there you are walking into the building next door not the traditional building you see first in the picture. Now don’t misunderstand, both buildings are Springfield Baptist.  The brown one however, is the more recent one built over thirty years ago while the more traditional looking church was the one they walked into in November 1941.

Between researching and creating the newsletter for the church a lot of memories were formed inside the first building. Memories of baptisms, careers were made in that building (renowned gospel singer Edna Gallmon Cooke), famous preachers and singers (C.L Franklin and his daughter Aretha) performed in that building, historical photographs were taken in and on the steps of that building.  So much more happened right there. When interviewing and researching I always said I have to go in there one day. It’s not like I couldn’t the first Springfield is now home to the Kingdom Kids Childcare Development Center. Yesterday I had to go inside to get some information from Sister MacFadden and as I entered the building I was immediately overwhelmed with a strange feeling.  It wasn’t a bad feeling but the kind that produced visible goosebumps on my arms.

While talking with Ms. MacFadden she saw something on my face that made her ask if I was okay.  I told her that I had never been in this particular building but I always wanted to come in.  And now that I am here I was getting this strange or weird feeling.  She asked.  “You are related to the man whose name is on the building?”  I responded, “Yes.”  She then said, “It is him.”  She proceeded to tell me that even parents who would walk in and would always state how they have a good feeling and vibe that they get while being inside the church.  I smiled at what she was saying but was still truly mesmerized by the feeling I was receiving.  I told her that it may be my grandmother because she always took care of the children of the church.  She saw the awe in my face and said, “It is good to know that they are watching over us.”

I am still filled with that feeling.  Realizing how my grandparents are not just watching over us but they are watching over the babies of Springfield Baptist Kingdom Kids Child Development Center.

springfield cornerstone


{April 8, 2013}   What’s up Next?

Fresh and new things has been happening in my life.  I am so excited to share.  First things first.  You may have noticed the website name has gone back to adding the with in.  That is because I have been able to create a new and improved website. is dedicated to my family and finding new family.  During my 17 years of researching I have learned that I am not the only one trying to find my family connection.  We have several different surnames and they are all looking.  So I want to make it easier for us to find each other and work together to get that connection.

The Yeldell family website is a gateway to give insight to those who are looking for their families with surnames similar to mine.  I thought that because the last name Yeldell was so unique we could find each other easily.  I was half way right. We could find each other but couldn’t find the connection.  The time has come to stop that trend and I believe this website is the bridge.

The other great thing about the site is once we have found the connection the goal is to never lose it again.  This site will allow us to forever be connected to those who are alive and those who have passed on.  We have a virtual cemetery through  This is set up to see the parents connections and see the siblings.  We will also be able to leave virtual flowers and notes on birthdays, anniversaries and special holidays like veteran’s day, memorial day, mother’s day and father’s day.

Finally as a Yeldell I already know that you are a great think and entrepreneur in the making.  As family we should help each other get to where we should be in the world.  So if you have a business and you want to advertise it for a very small fee you will be able to advertise on the web.  This advertisement will allow you to display your logo that can link to and outside source and give you a page  dedicated to you to talk about what you do.  You will also get a personal email address showing your family name.  If you don’t need an email address use it as a tracker to help you see just how much traffic comes to you from the site.   Check out the video of my family the DC Yeldells – Our Beginnings

Did you think I was finish not by a long shot.  I have been blessed to meet nine people with a common bond.  That bond is Edgefield SC. We are joining together to write our story.  How we are connected and our journey in finding our ancestors who eventually led us to each other.  We are excited to write this book.

And last but not least I sent in my first DNA sample.  I used my wonderful mother.  This is exciting because the family that I have found so far is not far apart and DNA sampling states the closer the relation the better the results.  So on February 27th I sent my mom’s DNA to 23 and me.  As of right now it is being tested.  So you see I wasn’t ignoring just so much has been happening.  Stay tuned and be blessed.

Until Next Time…

{January 28, 2012}   A New Day

Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening,

This morning I woke with a new perspective, a look at what I needed to do and the enthusiasm of pushing forward to do so.  The first and most important thing is to join a church not just any church but Springfield Baptist church.  See my family founded a Springfield Baptist church back in the late 1930s.  If you have been reading my blog it is possible that they actually founded two churches.  One in Edgefield SC and one in Washington DC.  I plan on doing that this year.  Everyday I feel a change in me something that I have never felt before.  My mom says it is because I pray every morning but I have always prayed.  I am not sure what it is but I am accepting it and all that comes with it.

I haven’t posted in a while not because I don’t have new information but because I have been overwhelmed with alot of information.  I was blessed to do what I set out to do when starting this blog which was find my grandfather’s siblings.  Well so far I have found two and have learned that the Yeldells are really large.  I was able to connect Yeldells on facebook to my family people I have never met before.  I am nowhere near finished.  I learned that in order to connect my family I also need to bring my family together.  I promised GOD that I would pray them back together and I will continue to do that.

Since my blessings I have to get more into my family and I will do that.  I will post here more often so If you are a Yeldell and trying to see if we are related just keep reading I will find out.  Stay tuned.

I haven’t posted to here in a while because my search was brought to almost a halt. But just recently I got an unbelievable breakthrough.  In earlier post we know that my Grandfather Jefferson Yeldell has five other siblings.  One of the siblings I never knew the name of but the other four were Gary, Eddie, Martha and Jamie.  Well I have found the grandchildren of Gary and one of the daughters.  Before i go into the daughter let me tell you about Gary.

Gary had three children by his wife Mary Yeldell.  There names were Henry, Wilbert Robert (Bill) and Rosa Lee Yeldell.  I was able to talk with the wife and daughter of (Bill) and one of the children of Henry Yeldell.  This is all fresh and new but what I have learned is Bill had one daughter and she has children. Henry had three children and one out of wedlock three girls and one boy.  The boy David Yeldell died in the Vietnam War.  I also know that one of the girls Linda has three children.  I look forward to learning more about the other girls and if they had children as well.

Now to my grandfather’s sister.  As stated above and in earlier post it is documented that my grandfather’s parents had 10 children but only six lived.  The problem is I have only been able to find five (including my grandfather) so there is one child missing.  The names that I would always come across as siblings of my grandfather would be Martha, Eddie, Gary and Jamie. I think it is safe for me to assume that the child that was missing is a girl.  The reason why  I assume that is because girls are harder to find.  Once they marry their last name changes.  So when I found Mattie Freeman I assumed she was the sibling I never saw.  I mean her name was not Martha and the name martha is the name that showed up on the census. But there ages are so close and the name name Mattie could be short for Martha that I am just not sure.  But nevertheless I spoke with one of Mattie’s grand children Ulysses Freeman and he told me that she had ten children with a Mr. Nathaniel Freeman.  So our tree is growing and I am more than excited.

I am putting questions along with necessary information you will need if you think you have come across a possible family member. We have several different names in our family.  For a long time we only knew for sure that outside of Yeldell’s there were Peterson, Senior and Ryan. Now we can add to our definite list Freeman. If you think you have come across a possible relative here are a few questions you can ask before you start the deep researching:

Where is your family from?
This is the best first question to ask in this family.  In my research I have learned that the family’s from the edgefield area (Edgefield county, McCormick, Aiken, Greenwood etc…) are more connected than they even know.

What are your grandparents name?
Most yeldell’s that I have come across do not know beyond this point in their family.  I don’t know why but Yeldell’s black and white are very secretive.

What are some of there family names?
This is important because it allows us to find out if they are married in or actual blood relatives.

We have several names that are married in Adams, Brooks, Holloway, Williams (and I am not talking about my daddy)  Freeman, Ryan and Sheppard.  Here is how these names are connected:

Ezra Adams – father to Katie Yeldell (grand daddy’s mother)
J Holloway – mother to Katie Yeldell grand daddy’s mother)
Martha Brooks – mother to Peter Yeldell (grand daddy’s father)
Enoch Peterson – father to Lula Peterson (grandmother’s mother)
Anne Sheppard or Shefford – mother to Lula Peterson (grandmother’s mother)
Johnnie Senior – father to Johnnie Senior (grandmother’s father)
Jane Williams – mother to Johnnie Senior (grandmother’s father)

Freeman and Ryan comes in because grand daddy sister Mattie married a freeman and grandmother’s sister married a Ryan.  It is said that we have Harrison in our family but so far this is not so.  We get the relation of the Harrison’s because Uncle Gary wife Mary married a second time to a Harrison and had children by him thus connecting half brother’s and sister (yeldell children with harrison children).

Brooks is a story in itself. We know for sure that Martha Brooks was owned by Preston Brooks so it is safe to assume that is how she got her last name (taking the slave owners name).  To make it even more complicated Martha was known as a breeder (one who could have children) so we don’t know if she was mother to some of that family’s children or not.  But as you can see we still don’t know how the name Yeldell came to us.  We don’t know if Martha Brooks just simply gave them the name yeldell or if she ever married a Yeldell or even forced by a Yeldell man and had his child.  It is documented that she had a sister name Martha Yeldell.

Anyway I am starting to go deep which is confusing for me but I hope this helps you if you think you may have run across a family member.

On September 11th Candace Wellman a possible Yeldell Family member will travel to this side of the world to meet our family.  To give you some background I found Candace while researching granddaddy’s father.  I contacted her while reading on a message board.  She contacted me and we found there is a possibly that her ancestor may have been our slave master.  From there she and I have worked together and have decided to meet.  She has been doing research on the family name for many, many years.  So talking to her has been great and she wants to share with us all.

So you are all invited to meet Candace and listen to her stories about the Yeldells.  As the date gets closer more information will come available.  Hope you will attend.

When: September 11, 2010
Where: Council House Apartments
Time: 2:00 pm

We ask that you bring a dish and join us in a day good family fun while learning where we come from.

Peace & Blessings

I have been working on my family tree. Updating names, trying to get birthdates and so on. I realized there are not alot of Yeldell men. How long does this name have? I called my mom and she and I counted ten child bearing Yeldell men that can carry on the name.

Can you believe it 10! We are so proud of who we are but has anyone noticed that we are dying. From thirteen original siblings over 360 offsprings but only 10 can keep that name going. What does this tell me? The chances of my daughter or sons marrying, falling in love with, sleeping with or God forbid getting pregnant a cousin has just gone up. Sure the Donaldson’s, Robertson’s and Williams’s boys are all Yeldells but that name will die.

This is my plea…log on to our family site (, Enter your children’s names and age, add birthdates, be a part of planning a family reunion. Candace gave a compliment that was so nice I want to share it with you:

“You know, out here (in Seattle) all we get from national news of all sorts is either politics on the lawn of the White House or with the Capitol in the background. If it’s about the city as a whole, it’s usually about crime or in the past, Marion Berry’s activities. Watching Top Chef this season, we’re getting some views of the city as a place where ordinary people live and eat. Getting to know you shows me that there are lots of accomplishments in the city as a place where non-politicians have lived and built their town. Hearing Robert’s story was great.”

“Your grandparents must have been incredible people. Your grandparents started an incredible legacy through those children. It will be an honor for me to meet a few of the family in September.”

We have slowly dwindled away as a family. Cliques getting stronger, lost of loved ones or people moving forward and not sharing the good and bad times with each other. As many people as there are in this family I know of three of our children going away to college this year. I know there are more than that with our numbers being so large. This is not the way it should be. We must get together the way our Grandparents originally raised us to be. If we don’t we not only will be losing our name but, losing who we are as well.

Peace & Blessings,

{June 30, 2010}   The Yeldell Name in Lights!!!

Robert L. Yeldell
b: September 26, 1928
d: January 6, 2007

I have always been told stories about different family members but I was fortunate enough to have my own stories to tell about my Uncle Rob.  You see, I lived away from my family most of my life but he made it a point to keep track of me.  He knew about my gymnastics and dance while in Va. Beach.  He knew when I graduated from high school and told me how proud he was.  He would even check on me when I was pregnant with my children.  He probably was the closest I would ever come to having a grandfather.

When I was pregnant with my son Marcus he was the first person that I called after he was born.  He said to me “that is great baby what is your room number.”  For those that don’t know he needed that to play the number.  He won off of my brand new baby boy too.  Anyway he made us all feel special in his own way.

When he died he was honored by the building he lived in by changing the name of the building.  What used to be called Park Southern Apartments is now called Robert L. Yeldell Tower A Park Southern Community.  We as a family thought this was amazing since we had called it that anyway because of so many Yeldells living in the building.  When changing the name of the building you also need to change other things like phone book entries, local maps and even if transportation stops in front of the building what the bus sign reads.  Well that was my way of honoring my uncle.  I worked for three years pestering metro to change what is reflected on the bus and finally on June 29, 2010 I saw it.  I was playing a game on my ipod while listening to it and something just said in my head “Donya look up” and there it was bold and bright YELDELL TOWER.  The people on the bus thought I was crazy I was talking to myself out loud trying to pause my game and get to my camera.  I missed taking the picture but I called my momma, my sister Robin (his daughter) and my sister Tammy in that order.  It was wonderful.  Thank you Uncle Rob for being the type of man you were.  For being supportive of me and always following me.  For loving my children the way that you did.  You will forever be remembered and having your name up in lights will further the memory of you for generations to come.

On July 7, 2007 the name was changed and we were all there to see them unveil that new Awning doing the Yeldell name proud.  For those that want to ride the bus to see both the building and the name on the bus, go to Southern Avenue Station and ride either one of the following buses:

D12, D13, D14, W15, W19, A6 and A46

peace & blessings

Enoch Peterson Sr. is the father to Lula Peterson Annie Mae Senior mother.  Lula’s oldest brother was named Enoch Jr.  While on I cam across a public tree with alot of our family history.  So naturally I emailed her.  Well she has responded.

Ms. Brandi Jackson is the Great Great Granddaughter of Enoch Jr.  This would make her my great grandmother’s niece but most importantly a cousin from my grandmother’s side of family.  I hope to talk with her and possibly her mom.  I am so excited and will continue to keep you all posted.

Peace & Blessing


Hello Yeldell’s,

So I am continuing my search and happened to type in Annie Mae’s parents name.  When I did that so much happened.  I now know Annie’s grandparents on her father and mother side.  Her father’s name is Johnie Senior and his parents were named John Senior and Jane Williams.  Annie’s mom name was Lula Peterson and her parents were named Enoch Peterson and Ann Shefford.

Now when typing in Johnie Senior’s name I never found Annie.  I found her brothers Charlie, Johnie and ML.  I also found some sisters Mollie, Jennie, Essie & Margaret.  I have spoken with our cousin Freddy B on grandma side and he says that Mollie and Margaret are one in the same.  What I didn’t fine was Annie Mae.

Now when you do the ancestry search you have to give or take about two years because on the census dates may change.  Remember the census is as accurate as the person that enters it. So if a date is entered wrong or you can’t read the writing things change.  So Anyway there are three Lula Peterson’s (other than her mom) listed as daughters of Lula and Johnie.  I am under the impression that Annie Mae may not have been named Annie Mae.  She might have been named Lula and some how took on the name Annie and no one ever said anything.  Still looking into that.

Now Annie’s mom Lula had a huge farm.  While going through the archive papers Lula’s dad was very much into Agriculture.  He owned a lot of land, horses, cows, chicken and so on.  He sold meat, eggs and other products to take care of the family.  According to my mom Momma Lula had a very large farm and I am assuming it came from Enoch.  I found this to be exciting and am now looking into seeing what happened to all of the land.

I hope you guys are enjoying what I write as much as I am enjoying researching and sharing with you.  I am attaching the pictures of Grandma’s Mother and two of Sisters (I added grandma again just because).  We are beautiful women and they show why.

Peace & Blessings

et cetera