Hiram Yancey

The Birth Place of  Hiram John Yancey  Sr


For nearly a century now descendents of Hiram John Yancey (1804-1887)  have usually recorded his birth place as “Carey, Bell County, Kentucky”.  All so often,  just one person copying it from an existing  family group sheet or online computer database and making it a part of their family file - with no thought of its validity.  

The source of the "Carey, Bell County, Kentucky" locality attributed as his birth place can be traced back to one and only one source document - that of the Patriarchal Blessing found on LDS Church Archives in Salt Lake City, Utah - given to Hiram Yancey in 1854 in Weber, Utah by Patriarch Isaac Morley.  As with most Patriarchal Blessings - virtually no one in the family has seen the original. Photocopies, normally given to direct descendants, have as far as I know in this case not been available due to the very light original - not allowing a good readable copy to be made.  In the early 1900's family members were able to get church archives to provide them with a compilation of family information extracted from various patriarchal blessings of the family including that of Hiram Yancey. Also, in the 1980's I was able to get someone at the archives to transcribe a typed copy of Hiram's blessing which I still have.  

A few things to consider however:

 It should be noted that the COUNTY of Bell is not recorded on the original church archive record. Those reading and transcribing the source document interpreted the birth place recorded as "Carey Cty, Kentucky". Members of the family in the early 1900's seeking information about this "Carey, Kentucky" reached out to the Postal System in the state of Kentucky and were told that the only known "Carey" in Kentucky was a locale in Bell County.  And thus from that point forward Hiram's birth place on family group sheets was recorded as Carey, Bell County, Kentucky.

 BUT some things that few seemed to have considered over the years:

 Few (possibly none) of  any known maps exist that even show this town named Carey or Cary. Extremely little is known about this supposed community in Bell county Kentucky.   Also of note is that Bell County was formed in 1872 - almost 70 years after Hiram's birth in 1804.   Researchers should be aware that that the county demarcations / boundaries that existed in 1804 have since changed extensively over the decades. Here is an animated county formation map where by one case see how boundaries changed. Now obviously if there was a town called Carey where Hiram was born - it could have originally been in one county and then in 1872 been made part of the newly formed Bell County.  BUT there is no real evidence to indicate that a town named Carey existed as early as 1804 and as most residents of the early Kentucky wilderness - few people lived in the towns and most people lived out in the country often far from civilization.

 Also of note was that there seemed to be a total absence of Yanceys recorded on Bell County records or even its antecedent original counties.

Then About 10 years ago or so - I reviewed the notes recorded by early members of the Adam Yancey family - based on genealogical information extracted by Church Archive personnel originating from the Patriarchal Blessing records of 1854. Recorded in the notes were places like Montgomery Cty, Tennessee; Warren Cty, Tennessee;  Union Cty, Illinois.  AND THEN IT DONNED ON ME - - - - These aren’t towns/cities at all - these are COUNTIES. And I realized that chances were - that what had been recorded as a birth city for Hiram Yancey – in all probability was a birth COUNTY and State. And then I realized what had been recorded for so long as CAREY city, Kentucky - was actually in all probability CASEY COUNTY, Kentucky.  A small "s" and a small "r" in cursive writing on a poorly legible copy of the record over 75 years old - would have probably been indifferentiable.

 So - were there records to substantiate the Yanceys indeed living in Casey County Kentucky???  The truth is Casey county Kentucky has not been known as a county with plentiful Yancey records.  BUT over the years I have compiled some interesting information from Casey County - and indeed there seem to be almost unquestionable evidences that our Yancey line indeed has connections to CASEY County.

 Family Records of the Reynierson / Rynerson family of Casey County do indicate Yancey-Reynierson marriages happening in the early 1800's.  In fact among such records are references to names like Hiram Yancey and Mariah Gibbs - both names in our family line. For more information about this family visit this page.

 Of interest is the fact that a house still stands on the land of the Reynieson - that was probably built in the early to mid 1800's and apparently belonged to Henry Reynierson - son of Christipher Reynierson and Mary Yancey. A few days ago I was able to acquire an impressive photo taken in recent years of the home - that someone was restoring. Behind the home on a hill is a family cemetery where members of the family were buried.  The home and cemetery are located in Casey County.

reynierson home 

Here in the photos you see the house - very much fitting "the mold" of  Kentucky plantation home of a prosperous plantation owner for the period in question.   Note what appears to be tobacco growing in the field - right up the edge of the house.

Casey County was formed in 1806 - two years after Hiram Yanceys birth - and formed from the antecedent LINCOLN County.  Note that Hiram's father Austin is recorded on TAX rolls of Lincoln County Kentucky on land near the Rolling Fork River in the years .   One wonders if Hiram Yancey - walked and travelled this land shown above in the photo. 

.For more info on Austin/Hiram Yancey see this link

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