Was Mary Yancey Really A Witch?

Taken from: "A Genealogy of the Reynierson Family" By Peter Rinearson & Arthur Rynearson. Page 91-92

Christopher Reynierson
b. 1801 KY
d bf. 24 Jul 1854, Casey Co., KY
m 13 Jan 1827 Casey Co., KY

Mary Yancey
b 1800-1810
d bf 1850 bu. Rocky Ford Cem., Casey Co., KY

There is a story that Mary Yancy was a witch -- "Chris did not know that he had married a witch -- someone told him so. He went home and killed her, but before she died she cursed the male Reyniersons unto the third generation. He buried her up on the hill behind the house. Before he died, he made his hired hands promise to bury him face down under three feet of stone, ‘so the devil won’t get me’. The three feet of stone is still there and until Harold, all the males did die, how shall I say this ? - one hanged himself, one drank bad - but I don’t know if they were Chris Jr’s children or not. The people who ended up with the property said that at midnight some nights you hear her play the piano. So, the old house was torn down, but you can still hear her play some nights. The tale comes from Lewis Cox who lives across the road from where Reyniersons were. His family lived there for years and years . . . Seems any old-timer along Rocky Ford Rd knows the tale.

[From Sherry Arlotta: arlottas@uswest.net - Feb 2000 - I visited Casey Co. about a year and a half ago. I located where the Reyniersons had at one time lived and chatted with an old fellow named Hollis Allen across the road. While he was giving us directions as to how to get to the Reynierson cemetery which was located on top of a high hill behind the house, he sort of chuckled. He then told us about "old Reynierson" and how he’d wanted ten tons of rocks put on top of his grave so the devil wouldn’t get him. So I guess that people along Rocky Ford road do still remember the story somewhat. But what was most amazing was when my husband and I reached the top of the hill, we actually found the grave, still covered by a big pile of large rocks. ]

Rynerson/Yancey Family connections
from various source but mainly taken from:
"A genealogy of the Reynierson Family"
by Peter M Rinearson and Arthur P. Rynearson

Christopher Reynierson Sr
Born: 11 June 1769 - Somerset Co., NJ
Died: 1853 - Kentucky
Married: (1st) Mary Durham, 25 Feb 1796, Mercer Co., KY (she died 8 Aug 1803)
Married: (2nd) Elizabeth (Betsy) Yancey*, Kentucky
Children: (1st Marriage)
- Mark born 1796-1800, Kentucky
- Martha "Patsy" born 28 April 1797, Kentucky
- Mary "Polly", born 1798-1799, Kentucky
- Christopher Jr, born 1801, Kentucky
Children: (2nd Marriage)
- Nancy Jane, born Kentucky
- Frances, born Kentucky
- Elizabeth "Betsy", born Kentucky
- Quintilla, born 1818-1821, Kentucky
- Henry Hardin, born 3 Nov 1821, Kentucky

* Elizabeth (Yancey) Reynierson is found on the 1850 Census with son Henry and is age 63 and born in NC. She is to have died about 1884 in Kentucky. It would seem most, if not all, Christopher's children were from his first marriage. One has to wonder if Elizabeth Yancey was a widow herself - having previously married a Yancey (possibly Austin Yancey Jr. ??)

Chrisopher Reynierson Jr
Born: 1801 - Kentucky
Died: 1854 - Casey Co., KY
Married: Mary Yancey* 13 Jan 1827, Casey Co., KY
- Elodia, born 1827-1828, Kentucky
- Martha, born 1829, Kentucky
- Benjamin D., born 16 Oct 1830, Mercer Co., KY
- Thomas D., born 1831-1832, Kentucky
- Christopher Henry, born June 1833, Kentucky
- Quintilla, born abt 1836-1840, Kentucky
- Margaret P., born 1838-1839, Kentucky

* Mary Yancey Reynierson died sometime before the 1850 census. Could she have been a daughter of the Elizabeth Yancey above?

Source: Casey County, Kentucky marriage bonds, 1808-1850. 1985.

Bride: Yancy, Mary - Groom: Rynerson, Christopher 7/13/1827

Source: Reinierson/Rynsrson family records:

Quintilla Reinierson - born in Kentucky. Had three children - Betsy Ann, Jane, Susie. Lived and died on the Big Rolling Fork, Casey County, Kentucky, at 90 years of age.

Quintilla's brother Henry Rienersion beame the wealthiest man in Casey County. Had eight children - Henry Jr, Fannie married Arthur Scrogens - a prosperous Casey County Farmer, and had two boys and one girl (Florence)

[Parents of Quintilla:]

Betsy Yancey* - From Central Kentucky, died in Kentucky at age [97?]. Six children: Quintilla, Henry, Betsy Ann, Nancy Jane, Christopher Jr., and one died before named.

Christopher Reinierson ** - came through Cumberland Mountains into Kentucky from Virginia alone when a young man. Died in Kentucky at age 88.

* Betsy's father - Hiram Yancey and her mother Mariah Gibbs came into Kentucky from South Carolina.

** Christopher 's father - [Oka?] Reinierson married Elsie Snedaker in Europe. They sailed the Atlantic to Virginia about the year 1750 and raised ten boys and two girls. Three boys when grown came west singly at different times into Kentucky.

[DJY: It seems doubtful that the father of Betsy Yancey was Hiram Yancey - but he very well could have been her brother - and they both children of Austin Yancey (and possibly Maria Gibbs).

Source: Casey County, Kentucky Census records:

1830 - Besty Ann Yancey - page 283

1840 - Betsey [Yanez?]

1870 - Elizabeth [Yanckey?] - page 259

[DJY: The identity of this Elizabeth Yancey is very difficult to ascertain.]