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Hi, My name is Vickie and to tell you a little bit about myself, I was born and raised in Kentucky and the majority of my ancestors have been in Kentucky since the 1790’s. I have always loved history, a good mystery and puzzles and that is what Family History Research is all about. As a child we would take day trips on Saturdays and head down some dirt road looking for old cemeteries. A lot of the time we weren't looking for anyone in particular, we just like to read the epitaphs. We would have a picnic lunch packed and have lunch at whatever cemetery we were at. If the weather was bad my Dad and I would go to a court house and dig through old records in musty old basements looking for our ancestors. So as you can see I have had an interest in Family History for quite some time.View my complete profile

Monday, May 18, 2015

Sarah Jane Frances Humphreys

We tend to not know a lot about the majority of the women that make of half of our ancestry.  But back in the day they seem to have just been over looked for the most part.  A lot of the time maiden names are very hard to find and it seems you usually find them only listed as Mrs. Jones or Mrs. Smith like they didn't have their own identity.  I have written about a few of my female ancestors now, but more about the male ancestors.  Since the beginning of the year when I started this project, I have written about 8 females and 12 males.  So this week’s installment will be about another of my female ancestors, Sarah Jane Frances Humphreys who was my third great-grandmother, on my Mom’s side of the family, through her mother Daisy Elnora Loftis Fraley.

Sarah Jane Frances Humphreys was born, October 27, 1842 in Crittenden County, Kentucky the daughter of Samuel Humphreys and Mariah Austin.  She was the oldest child of her parents, but the third child of her father.  Her father Samuel Humphreys had been married previously to Dorcas Price, April 16, 1836 in Davidson County, Tennessee and they had twins, William Albert Humphreys 1837-before 1870 and Mary Ann Elizabeth Humphreys Bennett 1837-1902, who were born January 9, 1837 in Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee.  Dorcas Price apparently died sometime after the twin’s birth and before May 14, 1841 when Samuel married Mariah Austin in Livingston County, Kentucky.   I do not know if Dorcas Price died in Tennessee or on the way to Kentucky or after their arrival, so as you can see in this example not a lot is known about Dorcas, but thankfully I do have her maiden name and their marriage date.

I don’t know anything about Mariah Austin, Sarah’s mothers either.  I know her birth, death and marriage dates, but I know nothing about her growing up years, her parents, siblings, etc.  Mariah’s death record states that she was born in Tennessee, as do the census records, it also states that her father was born in England and her mother in Virginia.  When Mariah married Samuel, William Humphreys who I believe was Samuel’s older brother, gave proof of Mariah’s age, which makes me tend to believe she did not have any parents still living who could verify that for the marriage record.  Again as you can see not a lot is known about this female ancestor either.

Sarah’s full siblings by her parents, Samuel and Mariah, were the following: Lewtisha Mary Ann Humphreys 1844-before 1860, Charles Edward Humphreys 1848-1916, Henrietta Carlene Necitie Tennessee Virginia Ann Humphreys Bebout 1850-1917 (she went by Etta), Nancy Mariah Humphreys Hall 1852-1909, Samuel Jefferson Humphreys 1854-1918 and he had a twin sister, not named, that died at birth or within a few days.  Again I know Lewtisha’s name and that she was born in 1844 but I don’t know when she died, but sometime after 1850 and possibly before 1860, and Sam’s twin sister, did she live a few hours or a few days or was she stillborn, things like this did not get recorded most of the time, or if it did the record did not survive.  Thankfully Sarah’s other sisters all lived to adulthood, married, had children, etc. so I do know more about them.

Now pictures for this side of the family are hard to come by as well, I do have one of Sarah’s father, Samuel Humphreys, but none of her mother Mariah Austin.  The following is of her father, Samuel which was from an old tin type, so the quality is not very good.  The next picture was taken in 1924 and is of eight of the children of Charles Edward Humphreys, Sarah’s brother, he had 19 children all together, with three different wives.  If anyone knows who these eight kids are I would love to hear from you.  I wish I had written down who I got these pictures from, but unfortunately back in the day, I was more excited about finding stuff then I was about recording where or who I got things from.

Sarah I am sure had a typical, normal childhood and as was common in Kentucky, she was married when she was 16 years old.  Sarah married first to my third great-grandfather, Thomas Jefferson Yates on December 8, 1858 in Crittenden County, Kentucky and they were married by a cousin to Thomas, the Rev. John T. Yates.  Thomas was born December 8, 1839 in Livingston County, Kentucky and was a son of John Yates and Martha Jane Henson and was number three of the seven children born to them.  Sarah and Thomas had three children together: John Henry Yates 1859-1929, Mary Tom Yates Loftis 1862-1938 (my direct line) and Anna Marie Yates Gilland 1864-1935.  The following is the only picture I have of Sarah’s daughter Mary Tom, my second great-grandmother who is with her husband John Bartley Loftis.  The next two pictures are of Sarah’s daughter, Anna Marie and her husband William Gilland.  I don’t have any pictures of any of her other children, but I would love to see some if anyone has any they would like to share.

Thomas was the right age to have been in the military, in the fighting that was tearing a nation apart, brother against brother, father against son.  From the following records, Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865, I found Thomas J. Yates, age 23, married, farmer, lives in Crittenden County, Kentucky subject to military duty, dated June of 1863.  However, I have never found that he actual did go and fight.  One record I found years ago said he died November 9, 1864 in battle with the Union Army.  Another source said he died August 10, 1865 which would have been after the war.  Either way Thomas apparently died either in the war or as a civilian, because on December 25, 1866 his wife Sarah married his older brother, Henry Bartlett Yates in Crittenden County, Kentucky.  If someone has an actual record that clearly shows when Thomas died, I would love to see it and get a copy.

Henry Bartlett Yates was born May 10, 1833 also in Livingston County, Kentucky.  I do know for a fact that Henry did serve during the Civil War in the Union Army in Company E, 48th Kentucky Mounted Infantry as a private.   The following shows that he filed for an invalid pension and then that his widow, filed for a pension after his death.

I have even found Henry’s obituary which reads as follows: From the Crittenden Press issue dated March 12, 1896 - Died at his home near Levias, January 6, 1896 Henry B. Yates, after many years of suffering with that dreadful disease, rheumatism.  Brother Yates had suffered with that disease since the War.  He was born May 10, 1833 was married December 25, 1866 and professed religion during a meeting held at Siloam Church about 1878 and was received into the Methodist Church at that place.  He leaves a wife and 5 children and 3 step-children, one brother and one sister.

Sarah and Henry had been married for 29 years when he passed away in 1896.  They raised Sarah’s three children by Thomas and they also had six children together, who were the following: Martha Ellen Yates Perrin 1867-1911, Sarah Caldonia Yates Wright 1870-1954, Emma S. Yates 1874-1876, Benjamin Lewis Yates 1877-1918, Cora M. Yates Summers 1880-1939 and Nora B. Yates Binkley Little 1882-1961.  Sarah and Henry were faithful members of the Siloam United Methodist Church.  Brenda Joyce Jerome, states in a record entitled ‘Early Crittenden County, KY Churches” that in 1843, William Hickman deeded land to the trustees of a newly organized church, Siloam.  A log church was used at this location until 1879.   The church records begin in 1886.

I never had a picture of Sarah until just a couple of years ago when a cousin of mine sent me one that was in her father’s old pictures.  Sarah is the older little lady in the black cape, but the others in the picture are unknown to me and my cousin at this time.  My cousin said the back of the picture just said this is your great-grandma Yates in the black cape.  If anyone knows who the other three people in the following picture are please let me know.  The older gentleman could possibly be Sarah’s son John Henry Yates and maybe the other woman is his wife Mollie Jennings, since it was one of his great-granddaughters that I got the picture from.

Sarah lived another 15 years after her husband, Henry died.  My Mamaw, told me that she lived out by the Union Baptist Church close to Levias in Crittenden County in a little two room cabin, her Mamaw had told her that.  I have also been able to find Sarah’s obituary which was located in the Crittenden Press issue dated March 30, 1911 - Mrs. Yates, mother of Rev. B. L. Yates, died at her home near Levias last week, she had been ill several months.  Her son who has charge of the church at Lafayette, Kentucky was here to see her several times this year.  I have also found her death certificate which follows.

Sarah died March 28, 1911 of tuberculous, she was only 68 years old.  This death certificate and other records I have seen, say that Sarah and Henry were buried at the Yates Family Burial Ground.  Does anyone reading this have any idea where that may have been?  I am assuming that it could possibly have been near Levias, since that is where they lived, but I have no clue.  I am coming home to Kentucky in August this year and would love to be able to see where it was if anyone knows.


  1. Vickie I so enjoy your stories

  2. My great great grandfather was a Charles Humphreys but he didn't die in 1916. But the Humphreys I'm related to came from Tennessee. His father was Albert.