Information concerning
descendants of
Hiram John Yancey Sr.
(son of Austin Yancey of North Carolina)
Early Mormon Converts and Pioneers

The following information was published in "Pioneer Ancestors of Emron Yancey and Dorothy Dean Yancey" Compiled by Deanne Yancey Driscoll, 1997. Much of the information was taken from "Family Book of Remembrance with Allied Lines" By Meacham, 1952 (often referred to as the "Tolman/Yancey Book". Some of the pictures here were not published in Deanne Driscoll's publication.
Also look at: "Yanceys West"   as well as "Adam Yancey Inventory ..."

Hiram John Yancey Sr.

Until March 1947, it was thought that Hiram John Yancey Jr. was the first to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [Mormon Church]. After a thorough search of the library in Salt Lake City, his father Hiram John Yancey Sr., was established as the family heir. Hiram John Yancey Sr. was baptized in January 1844, but no endowment date could be found.

Seven families of Yancey's, left Illinois and went to Salt Lake City. These families included Hiram John Sr., and his married children. Hiram John's four sons were William Riley, Hiram John Jr., Jesse Pratt, and Oliver. The four daughters were Adaline who married Gilbert Cox, Elizabeth married Thomas Wycoff, Emeline married her second cousin, Thomas Yancey, and Charlotte married Lem Davis. While Emeline and her family were living in Placerville, California, her husband left to join the army at the time of the Civil War, and was never heard from again. Later Emeline married Ambrose Toleman, but they had no children.

The Yancey families were considered well off for those days as they had a lot of fine cattle and horses, new wagons, nice furnishings, and money for those days. They arrived in Salt Lake City sometime in 1853. Several different stories are told of them not being well received in Salt Lake City by some people they had known in Illinois. At any rate, when an immigrant train came through Salt Lake City, they went on West with them and landed in Placerville, California in 1857.

Adaline Yancey and her husband never went any further West than Salt Lake City, but from there went to Mound City, Lynn Co. Kansas.

Grave Marker for Hiram John Yancey Sr - broken and lying flat in Sears Cemetery in Oregon

Page with photos of all the children of Hiram John Yancey Sr

Birth Place oif Hiram Yancey

Yanceys migratng to Utah

Yanceys in Utah

Hiram John Yancey Jr.
Page with photos of all the children of Hiram John Yancey Jr


Hiram John Yancey Jr. was born December 1832 in Marion, Williamson Co., Illinois. He was baptized in September 1853 and married first, Harriet Wood on November 22, 1853 in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah. Harriet Wood was the daughter of Daniel Wood and Mary Snider. Four Children were born to Hiram John and Harriet; Elizabeth, John H., Parley and Adam. Elizabeth and Parley died as infants.

Hiram John Yancey Jr. was a carpenter by trade and traveled around a great deal. Very little is known about his life. He became partly blind at an early age and never fully recovered his sight.

Hiram John Jr. was not content to stay in Utah although his wife was and did not want to leave the church and her people. At the time of Johnston's Army (1857), he left home and went back East, though he did not stay long and soon returned to his family in Bountiful. Later he wanted to leave again. His wife, Harriet, did every thing she could to persuade him not to go. One day they took the team and went to Salt Lake City to do some shopping. When ready to return home, Hiram took the groceries and the baby, John H. who was about two years old, and got into the wagon. He told Harriet he was going East and wanted her to go with him. She would not and supposed he would come back. However, he did not return and that was the last time she saw him or her baby boy, although she did hear of them in later years.

Hiram kept the child with him and rode on until he caught up with an emigrant train that was passing through Salt Lake City. Harriet's father, Daniel Wood, sent men after him to get the baby. Hiram John kept a gun by his side along with the child, and they were not able to get the child away from him. Hiram's purpose in taking the child was that he thought his wife would follow, but she was too devout a Latter-day Saint to leave the church.
[click here to see newspaper articles about Hiram Yancey]

Jesse Pratt Yancey and Hiram John Jr., who lived with Jesse Pratt at different times, were in the habit of picking up and leaving at a moments notice. Jesse Pratt's wife would shed tears at times when she had to move. When they lived in Placer County, California, they were near a gulch where 100 Chinamen were working, when a stump fell and hit one of the Chinamen. They all threw down their tools and things and left, leaving their machinery right where they were working. Jesse, Hiram and the others could have used this machinery and made thousands of dollars. They went right on chopping wood with their axes (they did not have any saws). William Riley, Jesse Pratt, Hiram John and Thomas Yancey and Lem Davis were here at this time doing the same kind of work. They all left together and went to Sonoma Co., California. Jesse Pratt Yancey once owned 300 acres in Sonoma Co. He traded it for four horses and left.

During their stay in Placerville, Calif., flour was cheap but at Carson City, Nevada they were paying one dollar a pound. Jesse Pratt, Hiram John Jr., and William Riley packed ten horses with two hundred pounds of flour each and started to Carson City. They thought they could make some easy money as they had only paid 75 cents a sack for the flour.

They were snowed in on their way through the mountains and had to feed the flour to the horses. They almost starved before they got out. Hiram thought being in the snow so long could have caused his eye trouble.

George Yancey, a son of Hiram John Yancey Jr. and Nancy Ann Harris, said his father had told him that there was Cherokee Indian blood in the Yancey family and said that he was one eighth Indian. George said his father had high cheek bones and long loose straight black hair which showed his Indian blood.

Hiram John Jr. followed several occupations until after the Civil War. He then went to Missouri where he married the widow Rhodes. She was Hester Ann Harris, daughter of George Harris, who had first married Seymour Rhodes by whom she had four or five children. Mrs. Etta Walsh, daughter of Hiram John Jr. and Hester Ann Harris, names four C Rachel, Emma, Ivan and Marie Rhodes. The three daughters married Hiram John's cousins. Once when Hiram John Jr. was in Austin, Nevada, he talked of going to Salt Lake to see his son Adam. He was afraid that he would not be well received so returned to Missouri.

Hiram John Yancey Jr. was baptized a a member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on August 14, 1875 at Mound City, Linn Co. Kansas, by F. C. Warnky. He died in Missouri in January 1912. He is buried at Independence, Mo.

Adam was born after his father left, so Adam never saw his father. After Adam Yancey and Alice Tolman were married, they had letters from Adam's brother, John H. Yancey. John H. said he would come out to see them if they would send him the money. Adam and Alice sent him $100.00 just before they moved to Idaho. Conditions prevented John H. from coming so he returned the money.

They heard nothing else from John H. until Cyrus, Adam's son, went on a mission to the Central States. Cyrus heard of a John Yancey living in Independence and found him to be his Uncle John. Adam and Alice went to Independence to see him. Later John H. and his second wife, Ida, came to Idaho to see Adam and Alice. After they returned to Independence, they were separated. Ida told Adam, "You certainly had a good father. For although, being blind, he did more than a lot of men with good eyes."

When Adam and Alice were in Independence, they saw Adam's father's grave. They gave Adam's brother John some money to get a marker for the grave. John H. had two lots in Independence. One lot had his home on it and it was mortgaged for about $300.00. Adam and Alice paid off the mortgage and were given title to the other lot for so doing. Later Alice deeded the lot to the Church through the Presiding Bishopric.

After Adam died, John H. came to Idaho and was not well. Alice took care of him until his death in May 1922. John H. is buried in the same plot as his brother, Adam, in the Groveland Cemetery.


more info about Harriet's husbands

Adam Yancey lived at the home of his grandmother Wood (Mary Snider Wood), with his mother (Harriet Wood Yancey). Harriet was an attractive woman and like her son, had a splendid character. She would often seem mentally abstracted with a melancholy expression for reasons which were attributed to the fact that her husband insisted on going away.

She would sit for hours and knit with a very serious expression on her face and was seldom jovial. She had repeated opportunities of marriage. She married Captain James Brown of Ogden 17 Sept 1859. He died a few years after in 1863 as the result of an accident and left quite a large grant which included the site of Ogden City. James Brown was the first white settler in Ogden, Utah. The histories speak quite freely of him.

Harriet thereafter denied all opportunities of marriage until after Hiram John Yancey Jr. was married. She married a widower by the name of Lewis. She did not love him but as they were both alone, they thought that perhaps through their marriage, their lives would be made happier through more intimate associations.

After the death of Captain Brown, Adam lived most of the time until he married with the family of John Moss, whose wife was Rebecca, another sister of Harriet, their children were just like brothers and sisters to Adam. When at school the boys used to tease Adam by telling him his name was not Brown. One day he got into a fight about it and when he went home, his mother told him about his real father. Harriet lived with Mr. Lewis until she died in 1871 when Adam was twelve years old.

Adam Yancey and mother Harriett
probably about 1870

[click here to review a genealogical survey response by Adam Yancey]


Alice Tolman was the eleventh child in the family of the fourteen children of Judson Tolman and Sarah Lucretia Hollbrook and was born August 29, 1863 at Bountiful, Utah. In 1848, her parents came across the plains to Utah, one child being buried on the way. Her mother died at the age of thirty-seven years. She helped Aunt Jane, her foster mother, take care of her children when they were young. She lived most of the time with her sister, Sarah Mabey, and family. In her own words she says, "My sister with whom I lived a great deal was the same as a mother to me and her children seemed like my own children. I remember very little about my mother as she died when I was little more than five years old. I did not know my sister, Nancy and her children so well but learned to love them just as I did Sarah and her family. I remember as a girl of the good times Kate or Catherine and I had. Kate was just two years older than myself. I remember of being re-baptized and it sure thrilled me. I also remember going to school and getting a whipping. I did not cry at the time, but had a good cry when I got home. I had to go to school bare-footed most of the time. My father had a molasses mill where he made molasses. I would take his dinner to him when he was cutting grain with a scythe. I also remember my step-grandmother, Hannah Flint Holbrook, and of going to see my grandfather, Joseph Holbrook and of his death.

We used to have cutting bees when we would gather fifteen or twenty bushel of peaches in a pile. Then we would ask boys and girls to come and help cut them. The next morning we would have to spread them on the roof or on scaffolds made of lumber all turned right side up. After we were through cutting, we usually had lunch and that is how we got our peaches dried.

The following events are as told by Alice Tolman Yancey about their married life.

Adam herded sheep a great deal when he was a young man and also learned something of carpentry. While herding sheep he started to use tobacco, but said at one conference he attended in Salt Lake City one of the speakers said, "Boys do not use tobacco as it is harmful." He went home and never used it again. When Adam was about twenty years old, he met Alice Tolman at a dance in Bountiful either on the 4th or 24th of July, and took her home from the dance after which they associated together. They were married October 2, 1879 in the Old Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah. Adam had a team and wagon in which they rode to Salt Lake City to be married.

After they were married, they lived in Bountiful, Utah in a two room rock house by Daniel Wood. Joseph and Inez Wood were their neighbors on one side. Here their first son Adam Adonirum was born August 9, 1880, Alice was just seventeen years old on the 29th of August.Adam and Daniel Wood went in together and bought the Durham place in West Bountiful, and Adam and Alice moved there. In a year or two Alice's two brothers Joseph and Add Tolman (Judson Adonirum) decided to move to Idaho so they sold their share of the place to Daniel Wood and moved to Idaho at the same time. They stayed at Bancroft, Idaho at first living in a slope that Adam built himself. He had two good teams and both the mares would have colts soon, but they were stolen. Adam hunted for a week but never could find any trace of them

After they were married, they lived in Bountiful, Utah in a two room rock house by Daniel Wood. Joseph and Inez Wood were their neighbors on one side. Here their first son Adam Adonirrum was born August 9, 1880, Alice was just seventeen years old on the 29th of August.Adam and Daniel Wood went in together and bought the Durham place in West Bountiful, and Adam and Alice moved there. In a year or two Alice's two brothers Joseph and Add Tolman (Judson Adonirum) decided to move to Idaho so they sold their share of the place to Daniel Wood and moved to Idaho at the same time. They stayed at Bancroft, Idaho at first living in a slope that Adam built himself. He had two good teams and both the mares would have colts soon, but they were stolen. Adam hunted for a week but never could find any trace of them.

There was a saw mill at Bancroft at which Adam worked part of the time. In the fall they moved to Chesterfield about ten miles north of where Alice's brother had settled. It was here in Chesterfield that their second child, another son, Orval, was born Sept. 12, 1882. Alice just had her neighbors, Mary Call and Della Tolman, to help her. Something was wrong so Adam had to take a team and wagon and go ten miles for a lady doctor. Then she got along all right.

During their first year in Chesterfield, they lived in a slope made out slabs. The second year Adam built a one room log house, 16x20 and plastered it inside and out. Adam built a two story frame building with five rooms and a large pantry. In the front was a large porch with a railing around so they could go on to the porch from upstairs and look out over the country. It was one of the best homes in Chesterfield at that time. They had to draw all the water up in buckets for the stock as well as for themselves, but later bought pumps which were much better. They had a large barn, cistern, cellar and other buildings.


Adam Adonirum (1880) was born in Bountiful, Utah. Ten children were born in Chesterfield, Idaho and three were born in Groveland (Blackfoot), Idaho. The children born in Chesterfield were Orval (1882), James Henry (1884), Emron (1886), Bertha Lucretia (1888), Cyrus (1890), Alice (1892), Daniel (1895), Sylvia May (1897), Mary (1898), and Nathan Orley (1900). Sara Luella (1903) Elizabeth (1905-stillborn), and William (1909) were born in Groveland. Sylvia was raised on the bottle, so Bertha was able to give her about all the care she needed. Mary was also bottle fed, but died from whooping cough when she was about a month old on September 24, 1898.

Yancey Family about 1906
Back Row: Alice, Bertha, Orval, James and Cyrus
Front Row: Emron, Orley, Alice, Adam, Sylvia, Sarah and Daniel Yancey

After their younger children were in school, they took two children to adopt, Ruth a baby six weeks old and a boy about the same age as Sarah, from the Children's Home. There was so much friction between this boy and the younger children, some other people adopted him. They kept Ruth who was born in a Blackfoot hospital March 1916. When she was about three years old, they went to Logan to have their second Endowments and have Ruth sealed to them. Alice had bought Ruth a nice little brown coat and hood to wear on the trip. On the way to Logan, somewhere between Blackfoot and Pocatello, a woman made quite a fuss over Ruth and had her take off her coat. Her coat was missing and they had to go buy another one for her. They felt so bad because Alice had paid $6.00 for it.

It was surely cold in Chesterfield. Alice remembered Adam taking the cattle to the hills where the snow had gone because they had no feed for them in the spring. Adam became snow blind a time or two, or that is what they thought it was. She also remembered one storm when the snow rolled up just like rolls of cotton. It was a pretty sight. There was a lot of wild game in the country, at that time, which they were able to get and it helped give them variety in their food. Their buildings were made from lumber and Alice said when it was so cold, they would pop and snap.

Grave markers of Adam Adonirum and Mary Yancey in Chesterfield Idaho - children of Adam & Alice Yancey

Adam and Alice went to Bountiful a time or two in their light spring wagon. They called it the "Red Wagon" as it was painted red. When they were first married, they had one cow. They would sell the butter and eat bread and white gravy. They always had plenty to eat but not much variety. Latter when they had plenty of milk and butter, Alice would set a pan of clabber milk on a box or chair and give the children a spoon and how they enjoyed it.

When they moved to Blackfoot from Chesterfield, they were milking forty cows. At one time in Chesterfield they made seventy pounds of butter a week. Most of the time they did not get to bed until twelve o'clock at night. Adam would work all day and then come home and would have to get the cows, and by the time the milking was done, it would be late. Sometimes the wind blew so hard the snow drifted as high as the house. They always had plenty of wood to keep warm. They had homemade carpets when they could afford to make them. Adam was always improving and building something and got out most of the timber himself. He also helped build the meeting house and Sunday school house in Chesterfield.

There was no Ward organization at that time, but Alice remember Adam baptizing a number of children. Fast Day was usually held on Thursday. The Yancey family were among the first families to move to Chesterfield. Their closest neighbors were the Nels Hogan family, the Fred Bergerson family, and a family by the name of Balfour. They had to go about three miles to Church and Sunday School and would go in their "Red Wagon" or in sleighs in the winter. Sometimes the snow would be so deep they could go right over the fences and all and not stop for anything.

Alice was an officer in the M.I.A. and counselor in the Relief Society to Sister Sarah Call, but was released when we moved to Blackfoot. Adam was called on a mission in July 1885 as also was Alice's brother, Lamoni, to go to the Southern States. It was hard for Alice to see him go, but the boys were more help now. He was only able to stay about six months as he took sick with chills and fever soon after arriving in Texas. Adam could not get it out of his system so was released to come home.

In October 1901 they moved to Blackfoot. Alice drove one team with one year Orley on the seat by her. Alice said Maybe you think it wasn't hard to leave Chesterfield, they were leaving a lot of their friends and family in Chesterfield and went to Blackfoot when there were only a few people in that section of the country.

The ranch they bought in Blackfoot belonged to George Baumgartner. They had the boys to help and plenty of water. They put up lots of hay and got along all right by being careful. The first summer they were in Blackfoot, They raised every kind of fruit and vegetable, watermelons and all kinds of garden stuff. It surely seemed good to have what they could eat out of a garden as well as all the fruit they needed as there were raspberries, gooseberries and fruit trees on the place.

There was a three room house on the place and Brother and Sister Andrew C. Jensen lived in it. Adam built two more rooms on. They had quite a family of nine children, Orley being only one years old. It was certainly a great change for them to come to Blackfoot. The first winter they were there they kept their churn, but after a year or two in Blackfoot they sold most of the cows and the churn was used to haul water. The boys were older and they put up lots of hay. Adam cleared, with the boys helping, the sagebrush from about one hundred acres of land. He then put in seven acres of orchard, 100 cherry trees and a few pears and plums and the rest in apples and a big raspberry patch.

Adam took great pride in growing the trees, but there was not much sale for the fruit and thousands of bushels went to waste at different times. He went with many a load to Pocatello, and peddled them to get rid of them. One summer the cherry trees were loaded with cherries, it rained and rained until they all burst and bushels of them went to waste. To take care of the apples, they finally got a cider mill and made lots of cider and vinegar.

When they first moved to Blackfoot, they went to the Riverside and Moreland Ward to church for the first year or two. The only way they had to go was with buggy and horse. Alice remembered how she used to take the sisters in the buggy and drive the horse with a baby in her arms. A year or two later, the President of the Stake, Elias S. Kombal, and others came and asked Adam to cut up his farm into lots which he did. They had to sign quite a few deeds. This helped to pay for the place and in 1904 they had a new brick house built with twelve rooms and very often had twenty or more people staying with them.

The Adam Yancey House in Groveland (about 1910?)
Pictured in front of the house from left to right:
Bertha, Sylvia, Alice, Orley, Sarah, Adam and Daniel Yancey

Adams first acted as presiding Elder and then later was sustained as Bishop and the Ward was named the Groveland Ward as that was the name of the school district. He was made Bishop in 1903 and was bishop for twelve years when he was released on account of his health and failing eyesight. In July 1915, Adam went with President James Duckworth on the genealogical "special train" to San Francisco to attend the International Congress of Genealogy held in connection with the Panama Pacific International Exhibition. His heart trouble gradually grew worse and he died September 15, 1920. James made the coffin in which Adam was laid away and also made a marker for his grave.

When the meeting house was built, Adam and the boys did a lot of the carpenter work. They spent a lot of time working on it, and he also built a tithing cellar. Adam and Alice went to San Francisco in 1912 to the Worlds Fair taking Orley with them. We enjoyed seeing the sights and also went on to San Diego, California.

Alice was President of the Relief Society from May 1902 until June 1919. She also served later in that capacity. She was President of the War Mothers from about 1917 to 1920 and while she held this position, the War Mothers went on a trip to visit the War Mothers out at Salmon and Mackay and had a very nice time.

At the time of World War I in 1917, Cyrus enlisted and was assigned to the Marines. Later Daniel also went. They were both gone one year. Cyrus was wounded very badly. The doctors did not think that Cyrus would live, but he came home and the Government sent him to school. He married and moved to San Francisco, California.

When Orley was born, Alice wrote to her father and told him she wanted him to name the baby boy. He wrote for her to name him Nathan Orley, and she liked the name. He went on a mission and it was while he was gone, that Adam took sick and died. Then the winter after Adam died, Alice took in a man to room and board. He was a cripple but he helped with the chores. That winter was hard for her because she had to get money to send to Orley. Alice managed for a while, then Orley was released to come home.

Adam was a sort of quiet man of few words, but when he spoke, he usually said something. He always stopped worked so he could have his meals on time. He would stop work soon after five-thirty so as to be in for supper at six o'clock and always kept things neat and in good repair.

Adam and wife Alice (Tolman) Yancey


Adam Yancey's sons
Back: Daniel, Orley, Cyrus
Front: Orval, Emron, William, James H. Yancey

Adam and Alice Yancey's daughters:
Front: Sarah Luella and Sylvia May Yancey
Back: Alice, Bertha, and Ruth Yancey (Insert)

Adam Adonirum Yancey (1880-1892)

Other Links:

Descendants Chart of William & Sophia Yancey of North Carolina (Ancestor of this branch of the family)

Yanceys West

Adam Yancey's Missionary Journal

Tolman Family Records

Adam & Alice Yancey's Children:

Memories of some of the children of Adam & Alice

Orval Yancey & Family (1882-1954)

James Henry Yancey & Family (1884-1959)

Emron Yancey & Family (1886-1957

Bertha Yancey Jensen (1888-1980)

Cyrus Yancey & Family (1890-1948)

Daniel Yancey (1895-1939)

Sylvia Mae Yancey (1897-1940)

Nathan & Elda Rider Yancey (1900-1969)

Sarah Luella Yancey (1903-1966)

William Yancey & Family (1909-1977)

Alice Yancey (1892-1985)

Ruth Yancey