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Although it is often stated that the name of Yancey is of Welsh origin , it should be kept in mind that there are, and have been for some time, African Americans who carry the surnames YANCEY/YANCY/ YANCIE (as well as a few other racial/ethnic groups). The origins of these Yancey families is not often easy to trace or determine - and any possible connection (and there surely were at least some genealogical "blood" connections) to branches of the family of "Anglo" origin, is often very difficult to document. Although uncommon prior to the Civil War, census records have recorded "free blacks and mulattos" by surname Yancey as early as the late 1700's. Prior to the Civil War there were very few African Americans using the surname Yancey. This was because most black slaves did not carry a "surname" but were only referred to by their first name. They only started using a surname, in most cases, when they obtained their freedom. The how and why of choosing the name of "Yancey", by these African Americans, may have been very different from one family to the next. Some may have chosen the name because of known, or suspected, "blood" connections to the slave owning families by surname Yancey. Others may have simply chosen the name because it was the surname of their "Master". There were probably a multitude of other reasons and trying to generalize and stereotype these cases seems inappropriate. Many of the early (white) Yancey families being southern plantation owners having slaves, it is not surprising to see the large number of blacks by surname YANCEY/YANCY which appear in the 1870 census - the first census taken after the Civil War when blacks were granted freedom and counted in the same way that the whites were. So great was the black Yancey population that in 1870 in Virginia and North Carolina there were more black Yanceys than white. Concentrations of Blacks by surname Yancey can now be found concentrated in Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and other scattered areas along the East Coast.

Click on each photo below for more details!
asa yancey
Asa G Yancey (1916-2013)
Toni Yancey
Toni Yancey (1957-2013)

Daniel Joseph Yancey [right] (1876-1953)
Family of Greene Co., MO

Jimmy Yancey (1898-1951)
Famous Blues Pianist

Early Pioneer Family and Community Organizer of Edina, Minnesota

Bernise Arthur Yancey - early African American M. D.
- killed before he could practice


mr yancey

Funeral Photo of Benjamin F Yancey (1870-1915)
 - Educator of Albemarle Co., VA

Marvin Yancy (1950-1985)
Musician and former husband of Natalie Cole

Bill Yancey, Negro League Baseball - 1930's

Joe Yancey (1910-1991) [left]
Olympic Track Coach for Jamaica

Allen Yancy (1842-????)
Father of Vice President Allen Yancy of Liberia Africa

Jefferson Davis Yancey (1887-????) & wife Rebecca Alexander of Louisa County, Virginia

Robert H Yancey - Educator, Army Sargeant

Lovie Yancey (1912-2008)
Founder of the Fatburger Fast Food Chain

Luther Francis Yancey - World War II War Correspondent

J Dilla [James D.] Yancey (1974-2006) - Famous Hip-Hop producer

hugh yancy

Hugh Yancy
1972 White Sox

clyde yancey

Clyde W. Yancy
Past President - American Heart Association
Family Background

Photo: img1056A

Charles Yancey of Boston (left) & Nelson Mandela (center)


!Click on any of the above photos for more details!

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Branches of the Yancey family of African American origin:

From Maria to Bill Cosby:
A Case Study in Tracing Black Slave Ancestry

By Johni Cerny
(with an interesting connection to the Yancey family)

Major Branches of the Family

African American Branches of the Family
        Benjamin Yancy Branch    
        Beverly C Yancey Branch       [click here also] 
        James Yancey Family of Massachusetts
       James H Yancey Branch
        Walter C Yancey Branch
        William Yancey Branch
        Robert Yancy Branch

Miscellaneous Records

Civil Rightsnew

Effie G Yancy and the importance of education new

U.S. Federal Census records containing information concerning Yanceys/Yancys of African American origin

Marriages of persons of color in North Carolina - Post Civil War era

Yanceys among the U.S. Colored Troops during the Civil War

Yanceys in Early Ohio

George Washington Yancey - slave faithful to the Confederate cause.


Our Family Keepers - by Rose Morton

Slave information extracted from Yancey family Records

A Large Slave Cemetery where various Yancey are buried in Granville Co., NC

Digital Library on American Slavery

Slave Narrative of J. H. Banks - born on Yancey Plantation

Biography of Frances A. Joseph

Free African Americans in Virginia & North Carolina

History of Slavery

Slave Narratives

Thomas Jefferson on Slavery

The Underground Railroad

Charles Yancey emancipated Slave

Virginia Slave Birth Index

Virginia Birth Indexes (1866-1879)  (1880-1896)

I have often wondered how many liberated slaves  chose the surname of their former master - this page gives an idea.    another great web page 

Slave Narratives
        Alabama Slave Narratives with photos
        Library of Congress Slave Narratives           
        PBS Slave Narratives   
        Sarah Gudger Slave Narrative

        Louis Hughes Narrative
        Voices of Slave Narratives



Sources on the WEB for Help in African American Genealogical research

Search the Yancey Family Genealogical Database

Some African American Yanceys/Yancys on the WEB:

African American Yancey/Yancy - Obituaries

Bill Yancey (2004)

Demetrius Lee Yancey (2002)

Enid Yancey (2004)

Felicia Yancey (1996)

Frederick Howell Yancey (1997)

James Yancey (aka Jay Dee,  J Dilla ) (2006)

Joe Yancey (1991)

Leonard A. Yancey (2005)

Linda Yancey (1994)

Luther Yancey (1998)

Sadie Yancey (1958)

Sylvia Farmer Yancey (1998)

Mrs. Tamer H Yancey (2001)

Wesley Allen Yancey (2010)


From Various Editions of: "Who's Who Among Black Americans"

Asa G. Yancey Sr, Professor of Surgery, Medical Director. Son of Arthur H. Yancey and Daisy S. Sherrard. Born in Atlanta GA. Lives in Atlanta, GA. [more info]
Family: Son of Daisy L Sherard Yancey and Arthur H Yancey; married Carolyn E Dunbar Yancey Dec. 28, 1944; children: Arthur H II, MD, Carolyn L, MD, Caren L Yancey-Covington, Asa G Jr, MD. Education: Morehouse Coll, BS 1937; Univ MI, MD 1941. Military/Wartime Service: US Army 1st lt Medical Corp 1941. Memberships: Bd trustee GA Div Am Cancer Soc; fellow Am Coll Surgeons; diplomate Am Bd Surg; ed bd Jrnl of Natl Med Assn 1960-80; Am Surg Assn; Southern Surg Assn; Atlanta Bd of Ed 1967-77; life mem, golden heritage mem NAACP; Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority, the trustee body of Grady Memorial Hospital. Addresses:  Home: 2845 Engle Rd NW, Atlanta, Georgia, United States 30318-7216. AWARDS Recip Distinguished Serv Morehouse Coll; Service Awd Atlanta Inquirer; Aven Cup; Hon Doctor of Science, Morehouse College; Hon Doctor of Science, Howard University.Achievements:Author, "A Modification of the Swenson Operation for Congenital Megacolon," Journal of the Natl Med Assn, Sep 1952, published 10 years prior to Soave's publication of the same operation. CAREER Vet Admin Hosp Tuskegee AL, chief surg 1948-58; Hughes Spalding Hosp, chf surg 1958-72; Grady Mem Hosp, med dir 1972-89; Emory Univ Sch Med, assc dean 1972-89; Georgia Medical Care Foundation Inc, associate medical director, 1989-91; Emory Univ School of Medicine, prof of surgery emeritus; Morehouse School of Medicine, clinical prof of surgery.

Carolyn Lois Yancey, Pediatrician. Daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Asa G. Yancey. Born  Tuskegee, Alabama. Works in Landover, MD. [more info]

Charles Calvin Yancey, City Official. Son of Howell T. Yancey and Alice White. Born  in Boston, Massachusetts. Works in Boston, MA. [more info]

Dorothy Cowser Yancy, Educator, Labor Arbitrator. Born in Cherokee Co., AL. Married Robert James Yancy. Works in Atlanta, GA. [More Info]

Earl L. Yancy, Researcher, Educator, & Business Executive. Born in Lafayette Co., LA. Lives in Newton,

Irving Victor Yancey, son of Frederick Howell & Ana Bosfield Yancey. Born in  Suffolk Co., MA.

Laurel Guild Yancey, International Broadcast Attorney. Husband of Arthur H Yancey II, MD. Works in Washington DC.

Preston Martin Yancy, Educator. Born in Sylvester, GA. Son of Preston Martin Yancey Sr & Margaret Elizabeth Robinson. Lives in Richmond, VA.

Prentiss Q. Yancey, Attorney. Born in Atlanta, Georgia. Lives in Atlanta, GA. [more info]

Robert James Yancy, Educator. Born in Tifton, Georgia. Son of Preston Martin Yancey & Margaret Elizabeth Robinson. Works in Marietta, GA.



New York Times, July 29 1972 - "Jersey Woman Sentenced in Slaying of County Judge"
Elizabeth, NJ - July 28 -- Mrs. Naomi Stout was sentenced today to a 10-to-15 year jail term in connection with the slaying on Feb 9 of Essex County Court Judge
Roger Yancey. Mrs Stout , who lives in East Orange, pleaded no defense to the shooting. The plea came on the seventh day of her trial. Judge Yancey, who in 1967 became the first black county court judge in New Jersey, was shot to death in a room at the Gateway Downtowner Motor Inn in Newark.

Further info concerning Roger Yancey from Joanne Yancey -
I learned about this story when I visited Howardsville, Virginia about 15 years ago and spoke with an old woman by the name of Dosher White (sp?). Ms. White has probably died -- she was quite old. She informed me that the property where my father (Harry Yancey) was born was adjacent to her land in Howardsville. At the time of my visit, only three chimneys stood on the land where once there were houses. Roger Yancey had his roots there also. She informed me that some of the Yanceys who had inhabited the land there in Howardsville had migrated to Newark, NJ. She told me about Roger Yancey's murder. I researched her story and following is what I learned: Roger Yancey lived 1905-1972. Roger Yancey was named "Man of the Year" by Newark Student Council in 1958. At the time he was an Essex District Court Judge. First black county court judge in the state in 1960[?], selected by Governor Robb B. Meyner. Previously served in Meyner administration as Deputy State Attorney General. Graduate of Hampton and Rutgers U. School of Law. Served 10 years as Assistant U.S. Attorney until 1952. Became an assistant Newark Corporation Counsel [something] [my notes are not clear here]. Named to Essex District Court by Meyner in 1956. Died at Mortland Hospital. He was 67. Lived at One Somerset, Newark, NJ. Survived by wife, Adele, two daughters Jacqueline and [St. Claire or Mrs. Yvonne Amos -- notes unclear], a son, Roger, Jr. (in the armed forces) and five grandchildren. Funeral services were Monday, February 15 at Bethany Baptist Church, 117 West Market Street, Newark, NJ, officiated by the Reverend James E. Churchman. Buried at New Hope Cemetery, Esmont, [?]. Naomi Stout aka Mrs. Naomi Berry, convicted of his murder, lived at 7 North 17th Street, East Orange, NJ. She was convicted of stabbing Yancey in the neck in his chambers and placed on probation in 1967.



Jet Magazine 16 Feb 1961

Jet Magazine - Jul 1, 1965



kim yancy
kim yancy


Jet Magazine Apr 6 1992

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