Caswell County Genealogy

Share Print Bookmark
Yancey, Bartlett

Yancey, Bartlett

Male 1785 - 1828  (43 years)

Personal Information    |    Media    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Yancey, Bartlett 
    Birth 19 Feb 1785  Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Occupation Lawyer 
    Reference Number 3228 
    Death 30 Aug 1828  Yanceyville, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Burial Yancey Family Cemetery, Yanceyville, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I3188  Caswell County
    Last Modified 24 Feb 2024 

    Father Yancey, Bartlett,   b. Abt 1736, Hanover County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this locationd. Oct 1784, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location (Age ~ 48 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Graves, Ann   d. 1818, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Relationship natural 
    Marriage 1760  Orange County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Reference Number 20007 
    • Marriage Record
      Name: Bartlett Yancey
      Spouse: Ann Nancy Graves
      Marriage Date (Day, Month, Year): 1760
      City: Orange County
      State: NC
      Source: Edmund West, comp. Family Data Collection - Marriages[database online] Provo, UT:, 2001.

      U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900
      Name: Bartlett Yancy
      Gender: male
      Birth Place: VA
      Birth Year: 1736
      Spouse Name: Nancy Ann Graves
      Year: 1760
      Marriage State: NC
    Family ID F1373  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Graves, Ann,   b. 3 Dec 1786   d. 8 Apr 1855, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 68 years) 
    Marriage 20 Dec 1808  Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Reference Number 24470 
    • Marriage Record
      Groom: Bartlett Yancey
      Bride: Nancy Graves
      Date: 20 Dec 1808
      Bondsman or Witness: Azariah Graves
      Source: Caswell County North Carolina Marriage Bonds 1778-1868, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1981) at 125

      Marriage Record
      Groom: Bartlett Yancy
      Bride: Nancy Graves
      Bond Date: 20 Dec 1808
      Bond #: 000019407
      Level Info: North Carolina Marriage Bonds, 1741-1868
      ImageNum: 003071
      County: Caswell
      Record #: 01 358
      Bondsman: Azariah Graves
      Witness: Alex Murphey
      Source: Ancestry.Com North Carolina Marriage Bonds, 1741-1868
     1. Yancey, Rufus Augustus,   b. 26 Aug 1809, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 5 Nov 1829, Richmond, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 20 years)  [Father: natural]  [Mother: natural]
    +2. Yancey, Frances Williams,   b. 31 May 1811, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 3 Oct 1839, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 28 years)  [Father: natural]  [Mother: natural]
     3. Yancey, Caroline L.,   b. 13 Dec 1812, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 1813 (Age 0 years)  [Father: natural]  [Mother: natural]
     4. Yancey, Curtius,   b. May 1813, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this locationd. Apr 1814, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location (Age ~ 0 years)  [Father: natural]  [Mother: natural]
    +5. Yancey, Algernon Sydney,   b. 28 Jan 1816, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 27 Aug 1846, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 30 years)  [Father: natural]  [Mother: natural]
    +6. Yancey, Mary Catherine,   b. 26 Dec 1817   d. 21 Feb 1906, Graham, Alamance County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 88 years)  [Father: natural]  [Mother: natural]
     7. Yancey, Bartlett,   b. Jun 1819   d. Jun 1819 (Age ~ 0 years)  [Father: natural]  [Mother: natural]
    +8. Yancey, Ann Elizabeth,   b. 15 Jun 1821, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 20 Jul 1900, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 79 years)  [Father: natural]  [Mother: natural]
    +9. Yancey, Caroline Louisa,   b. 19 Oct 1823, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 24 Dec 1842, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 19 years)  [Father: natural]  [Mother: natural]
     10. Yancey, Virginia Bartlett,   b. 2 Nov 1826, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 15 May 1901, Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 74 years)  [Father: natural]  [Mother: natural]
    Family ID F1043  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 24 Feb 2024 

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 19 Feb 1785 - Caswell County, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarriage - 20 Dec 1808 - Caswell County, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDeath - 30 Aug 1828 - Yanceyville, Caswell County, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBurial - - Yancey Family Cemetery, Yanceyville, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Bartlett Yancey, Jr.
    Bartlett Yancey, Jr. Portrait
    Ann Graves and Bartlett Yancey, Jr. Portraits
    Bartlett Yancey, Jr., Portrait
    Bartlett Yancey, Jr., Yancey County Seal

    Bartlett Yancey, Jr., Family Bible
    Bartlett Yancey, Jr., Family Bible
    Bartlett Yancey, Jr., Family Bible Transcript
    Bartlett Yancey, Jr., Family Bible Transcript
    Bartlett Yancey, Jr., Children
    Bartlett Yancey, Jr., Children
    Bartlett Yancey, Jr., Home
    Bartlett Yancey, Jr., Home
    North Carolina General Assembly Speakers
    North Carolina General Assembly Speakers
    Sprunt Publications
    Sprunt Publications
    Bartlett Yancey, Jr., Tribute
    Bartlett Yancey, Jr., Tribute
    Bartlett Yancey, Jr., Our State Magazine Article
    Bartlett Yancey, Jr., Our State Magazine Article
    Yancey Family
    Yancey Family

    Bartlett Yancey, Jr., Grave Marker
    Bartlett Yancey, Jr., Grave Marker

    Bartlett Yancey, Jr., Elected Speaker of NC Senate, The North Carolina Star, 21 November 1823
    Bartlett Yancey, Jr., Death, Western Carolinian 16 Sept 1828
    Bartlett Yancey Candidate. Milton Gazette and Roanoke Advertiser, 15 May 1828
    Bartlett Yancey, Charles Dixon Donoho Resolution. The Journal (Salisbury, NC), 28 October 1828
    Bartlett Yancey: Adams and Clay Letter. The Raleigh Register (Raleigh, NC), 31 May 1844

  • Notes 
    • Bartlett Yancey (1785-1828)

      Bartlett Yancey, Jr. (1785-1828)



      Bartlett Yancey Candidate. Milton Gazette and Roanoke Advertiser, 15 May 1828

      (for larger image, click on photograph)

      The North Carolina Star, Friday, 21 November 1823.

      Western Carolinian, Tuesday, 16 September 1828.

      Milton Gazette and Roanoke Advertiser, 15 May 1828.

      Bartlett Yancey Papers: The Southern Historical Collection

      For more information about Bartlett Yancey, Jr., and his family go to Bartlett Yancey, Jr..

      "Died, [a]t Oakland, his residence in Caswell County, three miles from Milton, on the 30th inst. the Hon. Bartlett Yancy, after four days illness of a disease, designated by his Physicians, the Cold Plague. In the death of Mr. Yancy, the State has sustained a great loss. He possessed talents of the highest order & for many years has acted a distinguished part in the affairs of the State.

      "After having represented Caswell County for many years, in the State Legislature, he was repeatedly elected to Congress, where he remained until he declined the tender of his services. From that time to the present, he has we believe been a member of the Senate of this State, and its presiding Officer, the duties of which he discharged with a dignity, propriety and impartiality, which rendered him the ornament of that body. It is highly probable, had he not been cut off in the pride of life, he would have been called to fill the highest offices within the gift of the State.

      "At the bar Mr. Yancy had but few equals. He was more remarkable for close and powerful argument, than for the force of his imagination. Clear as light in his statements & facts -- distinct in every point for which he contended -- as he advanced, the powers of his mind enlarged and illustrations poured in from every quarter. He pressed onward, until the judgment of his hearers was convinced, like the wave that first whitening in the gathering tempest, increases in its progress, until it bursts upon the shore."

      The Raleigh Register (Raleigh, NC), 5 September 1828.

      "Yesterday, in the senate, Bartlett Yancey, Esq. of Caswell, was elected Speaker in the room of the governor elect."

      The Raleigh Minerva (Raleigh, NC), 5 December 1817.

      The NC Governor elect was John Branch, who had been Speaker of the Senate.

      North-Carolina Legislature: Senate

      Monday, Nov. 19. -- "All the members being present, except three, on motion of Mr. Outlaw, Bartlett Yancey, Esq. of Caswell was unanimously elected Speaker."

      Western Carolinian (Salisbury, NC), 4 December 1821.

      Hillsborough Recorder (3 Sep 1828): Died - Bartlett Yancey, distinguished for his eminence at the bar, at his residence in Caswell County, Sunday last.

      He married his first cousin, Ann (Nancy) Graves. His mother, also named Ann (Nancy) Graves, was the sister of John Herndon Graves, who was the father of his wife, Ann (Nancy) Graves. Also, his mother-in-law is Ann (Nancy) Graves.

      No son of Bartlett Yancey, Jr., had a son. Thus, the Yancey name associated with this branch of the family died out in the first half of the nineteenth century.

      The first University of North Carolina graduating class was 1798. Bartlett Yancey, Jr., purportedly was in the class of 1806 (possibly the ninth graduating class). His mother, Ann Graves Yancey, was much opposed to his attending college, whether a general disapproval or just with respect to the newly formed university is not known.

      Caswell's Bartlett Yancey Was Political Wheelhorse

      He Sponsored Governmental Improvements

      Town of Yanceyville Was Named In Honor Of Famed Son

      By Paul Ader

      Yanceyville, May 31 [1941] -- (Special) -- Bartlett Yancey shares a reputation second only to that of Romulus Saunders, in the political life of the nation, of the many Caswell men who entered the political arena. Yanceyville, Caswell's county seat, was named in honor of this son, who was born Feb. 19, 1785, about six miles south of the county seat, of Bartlett and Nancy Graves Yancey (or Yancy, as it is sometimes spelled).

      In North Carolina itself Bartlett Yancey's influence was particularly great: he was the popular representative of this district in the National House of Representatives from 1813-1817, a friend of Clay and Calhoun; he entered the State Senate in 1817, of which he was presiding officer for 11 consecutive terms. He was influential in establishing the State Supreme Court, in reogranizing the Treasury Department, and in promotion numerous internal improvements, such as the creation of a State fund for education, and reform of the State Constitution.

      The Herald-Sun (Durham, North Carolina), 01 June 1941, Sun, Page 11.

      The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina - 1985
      [Entry number] 838

      The following excerpt from The Heritage of Caswell County has been much criticized and is placed here because it already is in the public domain and for research purposes:

      There were three Yancey brothers, Louis, Henry, and Richard who came from England to America. Two of them settled in Virginia and one In North Carolina. Their father was a Welshman and Episcopal minister, ordained by the Bishop of Canterbury in England [See Note below] . Bartlett Yancey, Sr. descended from Louis Yancey and came from Granville County, North Carolina to Caswell County. His father was James Yancey, born in 1712, in Hanover County, Virginia. His mother was Ann Thornton.

      The children of James Yancey and Ann Thornton Yancey were: Major Thornton Yancey born In 1740, died in 1779 who married E. Mitchell; Bartlett Yancey, Sr. who married Nancy Graves and died in 1784; Philip Yancey who married Dura Hester; Thomas Yancey who died when a young man; Ann Yancey who married Jesse Saunders; Nancy Yancey who married - Baynes; Lewis Yancey born 1736, married Mary Graves; and Jane Yancey married Ed Saunders.

      Bartlett Yancey, Sr. was a man of great decision of character. He was greatly afflicted with rheumatism and sciatica and could not walk without crutches. When he heard the cannonading at Guilford Court House, he made a servant put him on his horse, hand him his crutches, and he started to go to the battle. His wife came out and took the bridle off the horse and would not let him go. He sat on the horse awhile and she reasoned with him until she convinced him that he could do more good by not going and he might lose his life. He taught school for many years but was not physically able to work on the farm.

      The children of Bartlett Yancey, Sr. and Nancy Graves Yancey were: John Graves Yancey; Thomas Graves Yancey married Betsy Tate; James Yancey married 1st, Lucy Kerr - married 2nd, Zelpha Johnston; Polly Yancey married John Graves; Nancy Yancey married Isaac Johnston; Isabella Yancey married Kimbrough; married 2nd, James Collier; Elizabeth Perry Yancey married Nathaniel Slade; Sallie Yancey married Isaac Rice; Frances Yancey married Alex Wiley; and Bartlett Yancey Jr. who married Nancy Graves, his first cousin, daughter of John Herndon Graves and Nancy Slade Graves.

      Bartlett Yancey, Jr. was born February 19, 1785, four months after his father's death. His family lived six miles south of the county seat of Yanceyville, N.C. He attended private school, then Hico Academy, studied under Hugh Shaw until he reached the age of fifteen. He taught a year then resumed school as assistant teacher. The trustees elected him principal of the Academy where he taught two more years. He then went to the University [of North Carolina], 1804-1806, against his mother's wishes. He studied law In Hillsborough under Judge Archibald De Bow Murphey. He began practicing law in 1807, was elected to Legislature, nominated to Congress, 1814 and 1817. He served six years in Congress. He was appointed Minister to Peru in 1826 by President John Adams but declined the appointment. He returned to Legislature, was a member of the House of Commons, a member of the Senate. 1817-1827.

      He was Speaker of the Senate seven terms. He was appointed Chief Justice but declined. He died at his home, Oakwood, August 1828 and was buried in the family cemetery near Yanceyville. Bartlett Yancey, Jr. lived at Oakwood on the Dan River, near Blanch, N.C. This river home did not suit him because of the dampness, chills and ague so he bought a large acreage near Yanceyville and built "Summer Hill" which still stands.

      Bartlett Yancey, Jr. presided for the last time In the Senate at the session of 1827. He was elected the following year but died before the meeting of the Assembly. Very few men in the State's annals have exercised a larger influence in public affairs. His abilities and personal magnetism were such as to give him a great ascendency over those with whom he came in contact. He was the head and front of those who were laboring for the opening of the resources of the State by railways. He largely aided the movement resulting in establishing the Supreme Court; the Treasurer's and Comptroller's departments were likewise mainly at his suggestion.

      Bartlett Yancey, Jr. was one of the greatest men North Carolina ever produced. His massive frame was a fit tenement of the. large and luminous intelligence which animated it. In forensic oratory he was the peer of Mr. Gaston, while in political tact and address he was greatly his superior. When Speaker of the U. S. House, Mr. Clay, often when in Committee of the Whole, called Mr. Yancey to the chair, and even under the trying emergency of such a comparison, the North Carolinian suffered no derogation. His consummate abilities were adorned and enhanced by a bland elegance of manner that was matchless in his day.

      The children of Bartlett Yancey, Jr. and Nancy Graves Yancey were: Frances Williams Yancey born May 31,1811-died October 3, 1839, married Dr. Henry McAden; Mary Katherine Yancey born December 26. 1817-married Giles Mebane; Virginia Marie Yancey born November 2,1826-died 1904, married George W. Swepson, (she changed her name to Virginia Bartlett Yancey when she grew up); Anne Elizabeth Yancey born June 15, 1821, married Thomas J. Womack; Algernon Sidney Yancey married Henrietta Williams Graves; Rufus Augustus Yancey born October 26, 1809-died Novembers, 1829; Curtius Yancey born May 1813 - died 1814; Carolina Louisa Yancey born October 19, 1823-died 1842, married Lemuel Mebane and an infant who died at birth.

      Dennis J. Yancey: Note - The information concerning the three brothers and their father and their relationship to Bartlett is totally erroneous. See: Yancey Family Website

      Along with Henry Potter (Granville County) and John Louis Taylor (Craven county), compiled a revision of the "Law of the State of North Carolina" (2 vols., 1821).

      Note that death date is either 03 or 30 August 1828. As he died one day after being re-elected to the NC Legislature, a check of the election date would provide the proper death date.

      Western Carolinian (Salisbury, North Carolina), 2 September 1823

      Election Returns: We learned verbally, that, in Morgan district, Dr. Robert B. Vance is returned to Congress by the casting votes of the Sheriffs -- Vance and Walker each having 1913 votes; three of the Sheriffs voted for Vance, and one for Walker. Bartlett Yancey, and Romulus M. Saunders [Saunders] are elected delegates from Caswell county. Willie P. Mangum, is elected a Representative in Congress from the Raleigh district. Romulus M. Sanders [Saunders] is re-elected to Congress from the Caswell district. Caswell -- B. Yancey, senate; B. Brown and J. Rainey, commons.

      The county [Yancey County, North Carolina] was named for Bartlett Yancey, a native of Caswell county. He was educated at the University of North Carolina, studied law, and became eminent in his profession. He was twice a member of the Congress of the United States, and eight times a member of the senate of North Carolina. He was one of the first men in the State to favor public schools for all the people.

      Source: Arthur, John Preston. Western North Carolina: A History from 1730 to 1913. Published 1914 by the Edward Buncombe Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution of Asheville. Reprint Edition: Johnson City, Tennessee: The Overmountain Press, 1996 (page 178).

      In December, 1833, the North General Assembly established a new western county, named Yancey, from sections of Burke and Buncombe Counties. Yancey County was named in honor of one of North Carolina's most distinguished statesmen, Bartlett Yancey, of Caswell County. As a U.S. Congressman (1813-1817) and as ...speaker of the N.C. Senate (1817-1827), he was instrumental in many accomplishments that benefited the state, including the creation of an education fund that was the beginning of the N.C. Public School System.

      He was an advocate of correcting the inequality in representation in the General Assembly by the creation of new western counties; but he died on August 30, 1828, over five years before the General Assembly created a new county named in his honor. In Yancey's boundaries looms Mount Mitchell, the highest peak in the Eastern U.S., at 6,684 feet (2037 m) above sea level.

      Between 1804 and 1810 nine young men from Caswell County and five from nearby counties entered the University [of North Carolina] following their years at Caswell or Hyco Academies: James W. Brown, Saunders Donoho, Elijah Graves, John Lewis Graves, John W. Graves, Archibald Haralson, David Hart, Edward D. Jones, James Miller, Horace B. Satterwhite, Romulus M. Saunders, William W. Williams, Bartlett Yancey, and Tryon Milton Yancey. Only three were graduated, however; these were all in the Class of 1813 -- John Lewis Graves, John Williams Graves, and Tryon Milton Yancey.

      Source: When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County North Carolina 1777-1977, William S. Powell (1977) at 359.

      Caswell County, North Carolina
      Deed Book Q, Page 173-4

      John Graves of Caswell County to Bartlett Yancey of same, for filial regard and affection and for $1, 315 acres on Moon's and Country Line Creeks adjacent William Lyon, John Scott, John Graves, including all tenements. 27 October 1810. Witness: Alexander Caldwell.

      Source: Caswell County North Carolina Deed Books 1777-1817, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1989) at 305.

      Wednesday, September 10 [1828].

      For the Recorder.

      At a meeting of the Orange Bar, held at the Court House on Monday the 8t inst. after the adjournment of court, his honor Judge Ruffin was called to the chair, and John W. Norwood acted as secretary. Mr. Nash rose and thus explained the subject of the meeting.

      We are met, sir, to pay as a body our tribute of respect to the memory of our deceased friend and brother Bartlett Yancey. I hold in my hand certain resolutions to this effect, but before I lay them before you, I beg to retain you with a few remarks. It is now, I think, twenty years or more since my acquaintance with Mr. Yancey commenced. He was then just entered into the profession -- young, unknown, and poor; but by a steady attention to business, and vigorous prosecution of his profession, he had built up for himself a name and a fortune. At the time of his death he was no longer unknown or poor. Though still a young man, as a professional man we all have known him; you and I sir, for a longer space of time than any other member of this bar with one exception, and we have know him as a high minded, honorable man.

      Like some, he was excelled in the powers of reasoning, and by others in the grace of oratory, by none was he surpassed in that plain practical good sense, which rendered him eminently successful as a jury lawyer. In a short time after he had been in the practice of the law, the district in which he resided chose him as its representative in the congress of the United States, and here Mr. Yancey took a high and distinguished status; his practical talents soon brought him forward and placed him at the head of one of the most important committees of the house of representatives. This status he continued to occupy while a member of the house. But in a few years he was admonished, that however alluring the path of political life might be, it did not, in this country lead to wealth, and that the time had not yet arrived to him, when justice to his family would permit him to devote himself to the general politics of his country.

      He resigned his seat in congress, returned to the discharge of his professional duties, and never, I believe, in this country, did more abundant and rapid success crown the efforts of any individual. But though his private affairs drew him from congress, they did not forbid his taking an active share in the domestic politics of his native state. At the united voice of the citizens of Caswell, the county in which he was born and raised, he took his seat in the senate of our legislature, and was, upon his appearing among them, with one voice called to preside over its deliberations. And here, sir, as speaker of the senate, Bartlett Yancey was in his appropriate sphere. Nature had, in a peculiar manner, fitted him for the station. Dignified in his appearance, he filled the chair with grace; prompt to decide, little time was lost in debating questions referred to the chair; and energetic in enforcing order, the most unruly became obedient; fair, candid, and impartial, all were satisfied, and so entirely so, that from the period of his first election to the chair no effort was once made to disturb his possession of it. Even those who, in other respects, differed from and opposed him, as a speaker admitted he was without reproach, and that he gave dignity to that body. But it was not alone as speaker of the senate that Mr. Yancey was useful to his native state as a legislator. He was too sound a politician not to perceive the true policy of the state. Ardently attached to the land of his birth, his constant effort was to elevate her in the moral and political scale. Whenever a measure was brought before the legislature, which in his estimation had these objects in view, he fearlessly threw himself and all his wealth of character into the ranks of its friends, and with as full contempt of consequences he never failed to frown upon and oppose all those wild measures of misrule which have from time to time agitated the legislature of hour state.

      Such, sir, was Bartlett Yancey as a politician. He is gone, and greatly do I fear the state at large will have cause to morn his death. But, sir, there is another point of view in which I wish to present to you the death of our departed friend. He has spoken to us from the chair of office; permit him to speak to us from the bed of death. We have listened to the eloquence which has guided senates and enlightened juries; let us now listen to the mute eloquence of the grave. But a few months since, and Bartlett Yancey stood upon the spot I now occupy, but a few days since, and he also now addressed you mingled in debate with him, and upon the termination of the weekly labour, we shook each other by the hand and bade God speed. Little did we think that interview would terminate our mortal intercourse. Little did we think that the arrow was sped which was to lay one of us on the dust. . . .

      And on and on.

      The Hillsborough Recorder (Hillsborough, North Carolina), Wednesday, 10 September 1828.

      Yancey Family

      Bartlett Yancey (1785-1828), and Ann Graves (1786-1855) may have had ten children. Only three, all daughters, had long lives (88, 79, and 77). The average age of the others at death was around 14 years (with none of the seven making it past 30).

      Set forth below is a list of those children, along with brief life facts:

      1. Rufus Augustus Yancey (1809-1829). He graduated from the University of North Carolina and died unexpectedly young at age of twenty while visiting Richmond, Virginia.

      2. Frances Williams Yancey (1811-1839). She is the second child and first daughter. In 1829 she married Dr. Henry McAden, M.D. (c.1800 - c.1843). The couple had four children, and Frances Williams Yancey McAden apparently died giving birth to the fourth on 3 October 1839 (Frances Yancey McAden). The children were orphaned, and a brother of Frances Williams Yancey McAden was appointed guardian.

      3. The third child of Bartlett Yancey, Jr., and Ann Graves is shown by many Yancey family researchers as Caroline L. Yancey, born 13 December 1812 and died 1813. However, the existence of this person has not been confirmed. No primary source record has been found, and she has no grave marker in the Yancey Family cemetery in Yanceyville, Caswell County, North Carolina. The Yanceys did have a daughter named Caroline Louisa Yancey (thus, a Caroline L. Yancey) born much later, 19 October 1823. Of course, the existence of a later child with the same name as a deceased sibling is not without precedent.

      4. Curtius Yancey (1813-1814).

      5. Algernon Sidney Yancey (1816-1846). In 1838 he married his first cousin Henrietta Williams Graves (1816-1872) who outlived him by many years. Her second husband is John Howe Mebane (1806-1875). She is Mebane's third wife.

      6. Mary Catherine Yancey (1817-1906). In 1837 she married Giles Mebane (1809-1899). Her mother's will gave to her the portrait of Bartlett Yancey, Jr.

      7. Bartlett Yancey (born and died in June 1819). Some researchers claim that he lived until 1820, but provide no supporting documentation that would call into question the grave marker date. Nor has the name been confirmed.

      8. Elizabeth Yancey (1821-1900). In 1855 she married Thomas Jefferson Womack (1831-1889), and the couple had at least four children.

      9. Caroline Louisa Yancey (1823-1842). In 1841 she married Lemuel H. Mebane (1816-1855), and died the next year. However, her exact death date is uncertain.

      10. The tenth (and believed last) child Graves is Virginia Bartlett Yancey (1826-1904). She was born Maria Virginia Yancey, but changed her name. In 1842 she married the notorious George William Swepson (1819-1883). No children are known.

      No son of Bartlett Yancey, Jr., had a son. Thus, the Yancey name associated with this branch of the family died out in the first half of the nineteenth century.

      Yancey Family

      (for larger image, click on photograph)

      Supreme Court of North Carolina, 38 N.C. 88 (N.C. 1843)

      From the pleadings and proofs the case appeared to be this: Bartlett Yancey died intestate in the year 1828, seized in fee of lands in Caswell County, and leaving several children, his heirs-at-law; of whom one was Caroline L., who intermarried with the plaintiff, Mebane, in 1841, and died 66 *66 in December, 1842, without having had issue, and under the age of twenty-one years. Some years anterior to the marriage of Mrs. Mebane, upon a suit instituted between herself and the other heirs for that purpose, the Court of Equity decreed that a part of the land should be sold for a division, and they were sold by the Clerk and Master, and brought about $25,000. The money was subsequently paid into the office of the Master, and he was directed by the Court to lend it out at interest for the benefit of the parties in the cause; and he did so, and received for interest about the sum of $6,000, which he re-invested from time to time as opportunity offered. After the marriage of the plaintiff, to wit, in March, 1842, he took a loan of $2,500, part of the fund, and executed his bond therefore to the Master. In November, 1842, an order was made in the cause, that the Master should pay to the heirs respectively their several shares of the said fund, the payments to be made to the adults in person and to the guardians of the infants respectively; but nothing was done under the same before the death of Mrs. Mebane.

      The plaintiff took administration of his late wife's estate, and filed this bill against the surviving heirs and the Clerk and Master, and therein prays his wife's share of the proceeds of the sale of the land and the interest accumulated to be paid to him, or such part thereof as he is entitled to.

      The answer of the heirs insists that the whole fund is real estate and descended to them in possession; because there is nothing in the case equivalent to actual seisin, which would have been necessary to give the husband an estate as tenant by the curtesy, and because the wife was supported out of her personal estate, and not at all out of the interest accrued on this fund, which, in truth, was in no manner severed from the principal.

      RUFFIN, C. J.

      It is very plain that the plaintiff has no title to his wife's share of the capital; that is, of the original price for which the land sold. As administrator, he can not have it; because the proceeds of sale are, as respects infants and married women, real estate and to be secured accordingly, so that they shall go to the real and not the personal representatives. Rev. St., c. 85, sec. 7. For the same reason, he is not, as husband, entitled to the fund absolutely; nor as tenant by the curtesy, for the want of issue. If it had got into his hands, he would have been obliged to refund it to 67 *67 his wife's heirs, as things have turned out. Scull v. Jernigan, 22 N.C. 144. The decree of November, 1842, makes no difference. Being both an infant and covert, the decree would not have been binding on her, as between her and her husband, they not being opposing parties in the suit. But the decree does not cover her case in terms; for it gives no directions for the payment of the shares of the married women, and no doubt the omission was of purpose, as the act directs such shares to be invested or settled, so as to be secured to the wife and her heirs. As respects a share of the capital, therefore, the bill must be dismissed.

      But we hold that the plaintiff is entitled to a decree for all the interest accrued on his wife's share, after defraying her proportion of the expense of those proceedings. Regarding the original fund as realty, yet the interest is not, for that is the annual profit; and the general rule is that rents or the profits of real estate, accrued during the seisin of a particular person, go to the executor of that person, and not to the heir, nor even to one who takes by a limitation over on a contingency, which divested the estate of the first taker. Profits of land are not taken in land, but in its produce, money; and that is personalty. The profits during the marriage, vested in the husband, who has survived, and those which accrued before, belong to the plaintiff as administrator. We say they belong to him as administrator, because we can not regard the sum received by him from the Master, for which he gave his bond, as received in his own right, or in any other light than a loan. He exercised no right of ownership over the fund; not even becoming a party in the cause, as far as appears. Consequently, he succeeds to that part of the fund in his representative direction.


      Caswell County's Bartlett Yancey, Jr., (1785-1828) was not a fan of alcoholic beverages, observing in 1810:

      "There are, I suppose, upwards of fifty distilleries, the greater part of which have been erected within a few years.

      "Some of them are useful to the owner and the country, but most of them are nuisances to society, being the resort of idle, dissipated men, who by their visits to such places, bring on ruin to themselves and their families.

      "I know of nothing which has so great a tendency to demoralize society, except it be the late practice of electioneering by drenching the people with grog, and with falsehoods."

      Answer to Caswell County Quiz: Name those born in Caswell County, North Carolina who served in the United States House of Representatives.

      Bartlett Yancey, Jr. (1785-1828) served 1813-1817
      Romulus Mitchell Saunders (1791-1867) served 1821-1827
      John Hosea Kerr (1873-1958) served 1923-1953

      While not born in Caswell County, as such did not exist at the time, mention should be made of Robert Williams (1766-1836) who apparently was born in that part of Orange County, North Carolina, that became Caswell County. Robert Williams served in the United States House of Representatives 1797-1803. He later was appointed Territorial Governor of the Mississippi Territory by President Thomas Jefferson.

      Similarly, Marmaduke Williams (1772-1850), brother of the Robert Williams discussed above, appears to have been born in that part of Orange County that eventually formed Caswell County. He served 1803-1809 in the United States House of Representatives. He moved to Alabama and became a judge.

      And, some Caswellians claim John Kerr, Jr., (1811-1879) as a Congressman. However, while he did indeed live in Yanceyville and represent Caswell County 1853-1855, he was born in Halifax County, Virginia. He rests at the First Baptist Church in Yanceyville.

      Bartlett Yancey, The Political and Professional Career of Bartlett Yancey, Letters to Bartlett Yancey, The James Sprunt Historical Publications, Published Under the Direction of The North Carolina Historical Society, J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton and Henry McGilbert Wagstaff, Editors, Vole. 10, No. 2. (1911).

      From Romulus M. Saunders to Bartlett Yancey, Jr.
      Washington, Jany. 20th, 1827.

      "My dear sir:

      "I observe what you say in regard to my proposal to the Bank. I can freely say, that I think they ought to take the property, for nothing but my anxiety to free myself from the debt and the idea of getting a full price for the property could induce me to give their debt the preference to others, which I am under primary obligations to pay, yet I flatter myself that in getting that discharged, I shall be able in a few years to wipe out every debt. They could not lose very much by taking the property. If they decline I must sell it for what it will bring, but the proceeds must go to other objects. I shall feel thankful for any service you may render me."

      [Remainder of letter omitted]

      Bartlett Yancey, Jr. Bought 384 Acres from Romulus M. Saunders: 1827

      In an 1822 letter from Romulus Mitchell Saunders (1791-1867) to his friend Bartlett Yancey, Jr. (1785-1828) Saunders stated his intention to sell his "river land" and asked Yancey to purchase it. Yancey apparently did so (at least part of it), but a few years later:

      Romulus M. Saunders of Caswell County to Bartlett Yancey of same, for $2,304, 384 acres on the Dan River at the mouth of Little Creek, adjacent to the property owned by Yancey, William Harris, and Stephen Dodson. 24 March 1827. Witnesses: Charles Willson, A. Slade.

      Caswell County, North Carolina
      Deed Book X, Page 153

      Letter from Romulus M. Saunders to Bartlett Yancey, Jr.
      Washington, Jany. 20th, 1827.

      "My dear sir:

      "I observe what you say in regard to my proposal to the Bank. I can freely say, that I think they ought to take the property, for nothing but my anxiety to free myself from the debt and the idea of getting a full price for the property could induce me to give their debt the preference to others, which I am under primary obligations to pay, yet I flatter myself that in getting that discharged, I shall be able in a few years to wipe out every debt. They could not lose very much by taking the property. If they decline I must sell it for what it will bring, but the proceeds must go to other objects. I shall feel thankful for any service you may render me."

      [Remainder of letter omitted]

      Below is part of a letter from Romulus Mitchell Saunders to Bartlett Yancey, Jr., addressed to Caswell Court House, NC, which became Yanceyville, NC. It apparently concerns property owned by Saunders in Milton, NC. While Bartlett Yancey's primary residence was in Yanceyville, he owned a house and areage in Milton.

      Washington Jany. 30th, 1822.

      "Col. Donoho* writes me, that Henderson has been up & that he [illegible] on Perkins to give him up my House. I am glad of this both on his account & on mine, as it may possibly lead to the sale.

      "My bank debt gives me so much uneasiness that I am resolved on my return, if I can to sell my river land. I wish you would bring your mind to consent to buy both my Land & House.

      "I am not in as good health as I have been."
      *Probably Saunders Donoho (1784-1826) or Charles Dixon Donoho (1788-1828) of Milton. See: Alumni History of the University of North Carolina, 167.

      Newsome, A. R. "Letters of Romulus M. Saunders to Bartlett Yancy, 1821-1828." The North Carolina Historical Review 8, No. 4 (1931): 427-462.

      Letter from Romulus M. Saunders [Washington, DC] to Bartlett Yancey, Jr. [Caswell Court House, NC], 20 December 1822

      "I hear from home that things are going on well -- the times at Milton pretty brisk -- market full of every thing. I understand from Petersburg that they are more in want of money than they have been for several years.

      "I have prevailed on the [US] Post Master to continue the Stage twice a week from Warrens to Milton. The Southern route he has not yet determined on."

      Source: Hamilton, J. G. De Roulhac and Wagstaff, Henry McGilbert, Editors. "The James Sprunt Historical Publications," Vol. 10, No. 2. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina, 1911, p. 35.

      Caswell County History

      Bartlett Yancey (1785-1828) did not die in what now is known as the Bartlett Yancey House in Yanceyville (many decades later desecrated by a restaurant). He died at his summer home "Oakland" near Milton, Caswell County, North Carolina.

      Some years ago Sallie Anderson mentioned a pencil sketch of Oakland that had been drawn inside the cover of a book once owned by the Bartlett Yancey family. Somebody has that book, but I don’t remember who has it. The house was located on the Dan River somewhere off the present day Culver Rd. Apparently it burned and the brick shell was taken down and the brick sold for use elsewhere. Source: Jim Upchurch 21 September 2022 Post to Rick Frederick Facebook Page.

      Romulus Mitchell Saunders (1791-1867) won an 1814 libel suit with respect to a piece he authored using the pseudonym "Gracchus" that, among other things, supported his political friend Bartlett Yancey (1785-1828). The jury rendered a verdict of not guilty.

      Raleigh, Oct. 28.

      A Political Libel. -- On Friday last came on to be heard at the Superior Court of Stokes County, in this state, the trial of a libel, on an indictment found at October term, 1813, against Romulus Sanders [Saunders] of Caswell County for having written and published in this paper of the 23 of April preceding, a libel on James Martin, Jun. Esq. Councellor at Law, of Stokes County, at that time a Candidate for a seat in the present Congress, in a letter addressed to him, under the signature of "Gracchus."

      The prosecution was conducted in [on] behalf of the state, by Edward Jones, Esq. Solicitor, and Thomas Ruffin, Esq. was Counsel for the Defendant.

      Mr. Jones proved by sufficient evidence that Mr. Sanders [Saunders] was the author of the piece in question; but failed in fully establishing the publication by Mr. Saunders, or his agent the Editor of the Register, in the County of Stokes. A paper was produced which was found in the possession of a citizen of that county; but it did not appear that it was bro't or sent there by either the writer or the printer.

      One passage in the piece which was charged as libelous, was set aside because it was not published precisely as written.

      Mr. Ruffin on the part of the defendant, produced a Circular written by Mr. Martin just before the election, to which Gracchus was intended as an answer, and contended, in an animated and eloquent address, that though the piece was spirited and somewhat severe, it was not more so than the Circular warranted; that the publication was altogether levelled at the political and not at the private character of Mr. Martin, and that so far from being written with malicious intent, the parties were unknown to each other.

      That the writer had undertaken, as he had a right to do, to support Mr. Yancey, Mr. Martin's successful opponent, to defend the present administration and the present war, against the attacks of Mr. Martin; and to encourage the people to support both, notwithstanding the taxes with which they were told by the Prosecutor they would be oppressed.

      Judge Seawell laid down the law on the subject of Libels to the Jury in a clear and perspicuous manner; said that malicious intent was a necessary ingredient in every libel; and if that was ascertained, it must also appear that the libel was published by the author or his agent, the printer, in the County of Stokes, in order to bring the matter within the cognizance of the court. If these facts were satisfactorily proved, the Jury would find the defendant guilty; but, if on the contrary, they believe the writer to have done no more than exercised a right which every citizen enjoys, of examining the qualifications and pretensions of a candidate for a seat in Congress, free from malicious intent, or personal slander, then they would find the defendant Not Guilty.

      He directed the Jury to carry with them, when they retired, not only the bill of indictment, but the newspaper containing the piece signed Gracchus, compare them together, and form their own judgement of the correctness of the innuendoes contained in the indictment, and of the whole matter, and return a verdict accordingly.

      The Jury retired, and in a few minutes, returned a verdict of "Not Guilty."

      Richmond Enquirer (Richmond, VA), 4 November 1814.

      John Branch, Esq. from Halifax County (the Speaker of the [NC] Senate) is appointed Governor of North Carolina for the ensuing year [1818].

      Bartlett Yancey, Esq. from Caswell County, is appointed Speaker of the [NC] Senate, in the place of Mr. Branch.

      Richmond Enquirer (Richmond, VA), 9 December 1817.

      Jailor's Notice

      Taken up and committed to jail in Pittsboro, Chatham County, N.C., a negro man by the name of Daniel. He says he belongs to a man by the name of Bartlett Yancey, living in Caswell County. He also says he is a cooper by trade. The owner is requested to come forward, prove property, pay charges, and take him away; otherwise he will be dealt with as the law directs.

      William Riddle, Jailor
      August 16, 1827

      The North-Carolina Star (Raleigh, NC), 30 August 1827.

      The death of NC State Senator Bartlett Yancey precipitated the following:

      Legislature of N. Carolina: Senate, Monday, Nov. 17 [1828]

      "On motion of Mr. Miller, ordered that a writ of election issue to the Sheriff of Caswell County, directing him to hold an election in that county on the 24 instant [November], for the election of a Senator to supply the vacancy occasioned by the death of Bartlett Yancy, Esq."*

      The North-Carolina Star (Raleigh, NC), 20 November 1828.

      Bedford Brown (1795-1870) was elected to serve the remainder of Bartlett Yancey's term. The next year, 1829, Brown resigned to accept appointment to the US Senate to fill the seat of Senator John Branch, Jr., who had joined the Andrew Jackson administration as Secretary of the Navy. Brown was succeeded by James Rainey. In 1828, George Williamson was Caswell County Sheriff.

      Bartlett Yancey was succeeded as Speaker of the NC Senate by Jesse Speight of Greene County.

      *Yancy was a common spelling of the surname.

      It appears Yanceyville first was to have been named "Yancy" in honor of Bartlett Yancy/Yancey (1785-1828).

      "Yancy. -- At a meeting of the citizens of Caswell county, held at the Court House, on the 7th inst. it was resolved that the village in which the Court House is situated, should hereafter be called Yancy, after their late highly esteemed and lamented fellow citizen, Bartlett Yancy, Esq. -- ib"

      North-Carolina Free Press (Halifax, NC), 5 June 1832.

      Yancy is how this newspaper item spelled the name. Also, it was the convention at this time not to capitalize "county" as part of a county's formal name.

      Either the date is incorrect or "inst" should have been "ult." The meeting could not have been held 7 June 1832 and reported in a newspaper dated 5 June 1832.

      This further puts to rest for whom Yanceyville is named. Some claim it was for James Yancey (1768-1829), brother of Bartlett Yancey. Others claim it was to honor the entire Yancey family. But, the evidence supports Yanceyville being named for Bartlett Yancey (1785-1828).

      In 1825, Bartlett Yancey (1785-1828) was offered the position of "Minister to Peru." Today this position is called ambassador. While the offer formally was made by President John Quincy Adams, it was upon the recommendation of US Secretary of State Henry Clay, who served in that post 1825 to 1829. Yancey declined the offer.

      Bartlett Yancey apparently was a member of the Democratic-Republican Party. This party, established by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, eventually split into what became the modern Democratic Party, with a minority faction forming the Whig Party.

      As John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay were founders of the Whig Party, it is possible that Bartlett Yancey would have been a Whig had he lived past 1828. The Whig Party is considered the primary predecessor party of the modern day Republicans.

      In an earlier post, we discussed the political affiliation of Bartlett Yancey (1785-1828) and pondered if he would have moved from the Democratic-Republican Party to the Whig Party, as did many of his fellow Democratic-Republicans. The Whig Party is considered the primary predecessor party of the modern day Republicans.

      While Bartlett Yancey might have been a Whig in the 1830s/1840s had he survived, it would have been interesting to see how he evolved during the 1850s leading to the Civil War. When the war began, Yancey would have been 75.

      It is possible that Yancey would have been like Bedford Brown (also from Caswell County), who succeeded Yancey in the NC legislature upon the death of the latter. Brown, who also served in the US Senate, fought for state's rights, including the right to own slaves. He also fought until the very end to keep the union together. Caswell County's Dr. Houston G. Gwynn, Ph. D., described Brown as a "State's Rights Unionist."

      But, although Brown was determined to keep the Union intact, when North Carolina decided to secede, he very reluctantly supported secession and became a Democrat in opposition to the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln. Would Yancey have done the same?

      Source: Caswell County Historian Richmond S. Frederick, Jr. Facebook Post 20 December 2022.

      Bartlett Yancey Papers, 1800-1828
      Southern Historical Collection
      University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, NC)

      Bartlett Yancey was a lawyer and politician of Caswell County, N.C., U.S representative, 1813-1817, and member and speaker of the North Carolina Senate, 1817-1828. The collection includes frequent letters to Bartlett Yancey from Nathaniel Macon, Romulus Mitchell Saunders, and Lewis Williams, and scattered letters from John C. Calhoun, William H. Crawford, Willie P. Mangum, Archibald D. Murphey, Thomas Ruffin, and other prominent men, particularly concerning the preliminaries of the elections of 1824 and 1828, reflecting the viewpoint of the "Old Republican" group which supported William H. Crawford for the presidency in 1824 and Andrew Jackson in 1828.

      "Willie Mangum and the North Carolina Whigs in the Age of Jackson" by Benjamin L. Huggins. Jefferson (NC): McFarland and Co., 2016.

  • Sources 
    1. Details: The Yancey Family Surname Resource Center.