Yanceys Sorted Out
(from the other Charles Yanceys that have taken years to sort out)
For anyone researching the lives and family of William Lowndes Yancey and his brother Benjamin C Yancey Jr - one will sooner or later come across the name of "Charles Yancey". There is a wealth of information about William and Benjamin - but clearly identifying all the references to Charles Yancey - is often difficult due to the lack of many details among the records. Indeed there were actually no less than THREE different Charles Yanceys whose lives crossed/intertwined with those of these two brothers.
Benjamin Cudworth Jr & William Lowndes Yancey were the sons of Benjamin Cudworth & Caroline Bird. Their father had lost both of his parents (James & Abigail Cudworth Yancey) when only a small child. And this, with various other factors resulted in the brothers knowing little about their ancestry and distant family.
1st Charles Yancey
They did know that there father Benjamin, had two siblings - also orphaned at a very young age. They were taken in by the Cudworth family (the family of their mother). One sibling Nathaniel Barnwell Yancey died as a teenager in rather mysterious circumstances - it seems he may have run away from home. The other sibling was a boy named Charles - - who was raised by the Cudworth Family it seems - and may have actually used the Cudworth surname in his youth. This Charles - along with his brother Benjamin - seem to have been financially taken care of by a friend of their deceased father named Robert Goodloe Harper of Baltimore. He ensured their education in his practice of law - and also was apparently key in helping them secure the position of Midshipmen in the US Navy. Both Benjamin and Charles served in the Navy during the years around the time of the War of 1812.
Benjamin C Yancey Sr would also die young like his father James - but the brother Charles lived a relatively long life. It seems he never married - and his relationship with his two nephews Benjamin C Yancey Jr and William Lowndes Yancey seems to have been a stressed relationship - especially due to his drinking.
There are documents in the National Archives in relation to the Military Pension Application of this Charles Cudworth/Yancey. It seems as an adult he settled on the name of Charles C. Yancey. - often using the initials "C. C." - and it would seem logical that the second "C" was for Cudworth. There is also a land grant record on file with BLM records one can view.
2nd Charles Yancey
With William Lowndes & brother James - knowing so very little about their ancestry and who their kin were - - in the mid 1800's they contacted a member of the Virginia Legislature by name of Charles Yancey of Buckingham County. They may have known that their grandfather originated in Virginia - but most of their lives they knew nothing of any cousins in Virginia. This Charles Yancey of Buckingham County was one of the most prominent members of the family - and well educated and prosperous. One would expect this to be a great source of family information for the brothers. How ever it should be noted that this Charles Yancey was of an advanced age - and though he knew with certainty that these two brothers of the South were cousins - the details of his communication to them - as to the exact connections and family links - is evidence of a confused mind - probably due to the effects of age and related mental disabilities. This Charles Yancey is usually titled "Major Yancey" and he lived his entire life in Buckingham county, VA. He had no male descendants.
3rd Charles Yancey
About the year 1839 William Lowndes Yancey was an editor of a newspaper in Wetumpka, Alabama. An opposing political newspaper at the same time and area - was being edited by one Charles Yancey. The lack of information concerning his parentage and background has led many researchers hanging . . . In all probability it appears he was from Virginia and was most likely the son of Jechonias & Mildred Wood Yancey of Albemarle County.