Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Back in the Days When I Was YONGE (Part III)

I remember when I received my first DNA results. I was so excited until I actually read the damn thing. I was shocked at the results. My Y-DNA haplogroup is I1, which means my paternal ancestors descend from men who migrated to Northern Europe at the end of the Ice Age.

I took two more DNA tests just to make sure. At least one of my paternal great grandfathers in my branch of Young/Yonge family was white. First, I had to find out who was my first mulatto Young ancestor. Once I found David Yonge, my 3x great-grandfather, everything else fell into place.

My last two blog posts have been about the Yonge family:

There was one piece of the puzzle that I deliberately omitted in the last two blog posts. My 4x great-grandfather was a virtual unknown.

Based on my research I assumed the following:

  • I was a member of the Young/Demery free persons of color from VA/MD. Unfortunately, I was ripped off by one of their descendants who suckered me into purchasing one of their family CDs, which I never received! What a SCAM. I learned that "family ain't always family" lesson real quick! I didn't find a Demery in my cousins' list either.
  • I was related to Allen and Jesse Young, free mulattoes from GA in the 1830 census. This might still be the case if Flora, Judy or Cain had additional children. So far I haven't found any matches in my cousins' list that trace to either Allen or Jesse. 
  • I was a descendant of the white Young/Yonge family of SC. I participated in the Young and Allied Surnames Y-DNA Project. Most of them were of the R1b haplogroup. Only 18 of my 37 genetic markers matched to the members whose Young/Yonge ancestors were from England and Scotland.

Something didn't sit right with my spirit. Am I a Yonge/Young or what? Yes, because that is the name my ancestor David worked hard and paid for with his life. I am related to the Yonge family of Colleton County? Yes, just not directly as I had hoped.

In 1748, Lydia Yonge-Hazzard, daughter of Robert Yonge, married Colonel Thomas Fuller (1727-1789). Thomas owned the Stono Plantation in St. Paul's Parish, Colleton County, SC. On February 19, 1752 Francis Yonge Sr. presented a deed of gift to his sister Lydia Fuller for six Negroes including Daphne, her children Stepney and Flora, along with three girls Dorinda, Affey and Minna.

Lydia died on October 14, 1765. On September 7, 1766 Colonel Fuller married Elizabeth Miles. Elizabeth Fuller died young just like Lydia. In 1773, Thomas married Catherine Foley. In the meantime, Colonel Fuller took advantage of his female slaves. This included a young teenager named Flora, the house servant.

I know what you did and I know who you are Thomas Fuller. You are my 4x great-grandfather. I believe Catherine was not pleased with mulatto children running around her home. She had to raise several children of her own including the ones with Thomas' past wives. She probably demanded that Flora and her two sons, Cain and David, be returned to the Yonge family. That is why Flora and her family were found in the 1781 inventory of Francis Yonge Sr after he died. Thomas acquired Flora once again to be his servant until he died on March 3, 1789. Flora, circled in red, was included in his will but not granted the luxury of freedom.

I contacted my Fuller Y-DNA matches to confirm my ancestry. One in particular (4th to 6th cousin) was a descendant of Ezekiel Fuller (1675-1722). Ezekiel was the brother of William Fuller Jr. (1673-1731) who was Thomas Fuller's grandfather. Ezekiel and William were the sons of William Fuller Sr. (1609-1695) and Sarah Martiau Fuller.

William Fuller Sr., a native of England, was famous as a provisional Governor of Maryland who in 1654, repealed the Toleration Act, which gave Catholics the right to practice their religion in the state. He was a Captain in the Army and Commander-In-Chief during the Susquehannock Indian Wars. He was also responsible for bringing settlers to South Carolina.

I can now trace the Fuller family as far back as 1423. It always seems like when one story ends, a new chapter begins. I finally found the answers to questions that have been haunting me for 10 years. Another family secret that was buried has now been brought out into the light. Even though I have Fuller blood, I will still be Young forever!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Back in the Days When I Was YONGE (Part II)

As usual, there is more to the story of the Yonge family than meets the eye. I started the blog with David Yonge's happy ending, with his wife and children as free persons of color. There was a beginning too, with a parent and sibling in slavery.

I looked into the background of William Simmons of St. Paul's Parish, Colleton County, SC. He owned David's wife Judy Yonge and the kids. There were 100 enslaved people (no breakdowns) at his plantation in St. Paul's Parish during the 1810 census. William and his family actually lived in Charleston, SC. I thought I was going down her path at the time. Instead, it lead me right back to David.

On March 3, 1801 William Simmons married Sarah Yonge. Sarah was the daughter of Francis Yonge Jr and Sarah Wilkinson. Some of you may remember the blog post about my African-American Wilkinson relatives and the Great Migration. Everything is connected somehow.

Francis Yonge Jr. (1755-1789) owned Toogoodoo Plantation in St. Paul's Parish. He left a will in which David was mentioned as an enslaved person (not a child). I do not have an exact date of birth for David, so I can only estimate that David is a teenager in 1789. Yellow Judy and her children are mentioned as well. Was she my Judy? I don't think so. I do not know if Judy was part of a Deed of Gift from Sarah Wilkinson-Yonge to William Simmons. William's plantation was too large to trace.

Francis was the son of Francis Yonge Sr. (1730-1780) and his first wife Sarah Clifford. After Sarah died, Francis married Susannah Peckham Johnson. In his October 23, 1780 will, Francis left seven enslaved people including Joe, Tissey, Mary, Satira, Pitty, girl Judy and boy Anthony to Susannah. He left a girl Rachel to his daughter Sarah Samuels. This girl Judy might be my 3x great-grandmother but there isn't enough information to confirm that yet.

On January 10, 1781 Francis Jr took an inventory of his father's estate. There were more enslaved persons than what was recorded on the will. It also included relationships and children. On the 2nd page, I made another discovery! (No those are NOT my fingers!)

Circled in red are my 4x great-grandmother Flora and her two children Cain and David! Based upon this inventory, I can assume that Cain and David are between 5 and 10 years old.  Flora and her 2 children were valued at 125 British Pounds ($284.33 in US dollars).

Whatever became of Cain? Unfortunately Cain did not get the opportunity to free himself like his brother David. Cain never lived long enough to enjoy freedom granted by the Emancipation Proclamation. I did find Cain's wife Sylvia and son Cain Young Jr. They lived in Christ Church Parish, Charleston during the 1870 census. Cain Jr was married to Clarinda Murrell and had at least one child named Sanders Young. Sylvia was born in Africa.

Flora was a very resilient woman. She was born on Yonge's Island, South Carolina at Francis Yonge Sr.'s plantation. I estimate around 1750. From the SC Archives, I discovered a Deed of Gift dated February 19, 1752 from Francis to his sister Lydia Fuller with her name, her mother Daphne and brother Stepney.

Stepney and wife Phyllis (circled in blue) were also mentioned in the 1781 inventory of Francis Yonge Sr. Stepney and Phyllis were valued at 100 British Pounds ($227.47 in US dollars). I didn't find much about him or his family after Francis' death. Flora returned to the Fuller family as a house servant.

In 1870, I found Flora in Precinct 13, Brazoria County, Texas with her great-grandson Jacob Young.

Jacob b. 1840 was the son of Gabriel and Hannah Young. The census reported that Flora was 100 years old. I now know she was about 120 years old. Jacob was recorded in the September 3, 1867 Orange County, Texas voter registration list. The list indicated that he lived in Texas for 12 months. Therefore, Jacob, his wife Jennie, son Gabriel and great-grandmother Flora traveled by wagon to Texas after the Civil War. I can only imagine how tough that trip was on their family especially on an elderly woman. She was a survivor. I hope her final days were comfortable based on what happened to her.

Lastly, who were my 5x great-grandparents? I mentioned Flora's mom Daphne briefly. Daphne and her husband Pompey were probably the original Africans that were brought into the United States from Angola. I would estimate they were born between 1715 to 1725. They were enslaved to Christopher Wilkinson (1667-1733) of St. Paul's Parish of Colleton County. Christopher arrived in the US around 1710-1711 and relocated to SC in the 1720s. The Wilkinsons were first neighbors and friends of the Yonge family. As I stated in the beginning of this story, Christopher's granddaughter Sarah Wilkinson married Francis Yonge Jr. in 1766. When Christopher died in 1733, Robert Yonge (father of Francis Yonge Sr.) was one of three men ordered by the Governor to divide his estate. The estate remained in dispute for years among his children.  On March 6, 1745 Daphne and Pompey were among 19 Negroes mentioned in a lottery between the siblings Edward and Elizabeth Wilkinson.

Daphne would later be purchased by Francis Yonge Sr. but would reunite with Pompey in the February 3, 1762 estate inventory of Francis Wilkinson (another son of Christopher). Francis Yonge Sr was a witness who helped document the estate.

Documenting the Young branch of family has been one of the most challenging of my research. I have often went down the wrong path. It has taken me years to get to this point. I have had various pieces of the puzzle over time but could never make them fit until now. I am proud that I can follow the paper trail of my Young family for 300 years (1715-2015) even with the added challenge of slavery.

But Wait...THERE'S MORE!

Part III The great DNA revelation!