In recent decades thousands of people  have been involved in the "crowdsourcing"  of transcribing old documents containing information of a genealogical nature (census, court, probate, military and other records).  The greatest example of this are the records indexed by FamilySearch - literally millions, if not billions of names transcribed by human indexers.  Also in recent decades, machine/computer  based transcribing / OCR technology has really come of age.  The Google Book search feature is an example of this.   All in all - this indexing of documents and books is an incredible boon to genealogical researchers.   However one has to consider that both human and computer indexers will never be 100% accurate - just because of the nature of the items being indexed.   Yancey genealogists especially, need to be aware of how "mis-transcriptions" may influence and affect the results and interpretation of their genealogical research using tools that rely on indexing/transcription.

Because of various reasons, but often because the original documents are so hard to read - names can often be mis-indexed or mis-transcribed in databases like those at familysearch or ancestry.com.  

Here in the link below is an example of a Yancey family whose name has been been indexed as ZANCEY on familysearch indexes.


Here below are the most common mis-transcriptions for the name YANCEY/YANCY   ( documents have been mistakenly transcribed with these name spelligs when it shoudl have been Yancey/Yancey).  In searching genealogical indexes/databases - it is often a good idea to look for variant spellings such as these because of the possibility of variations in name indexing.  Only those with an “ * “ appear to be legitimate spellings of other names that have sometimes been mistranscriebd as Yancey.  (for example Zancey does not appear to be a legitimate name – but YOUNG surely is – both are spellings that in some cases have been mis-transcribed for persons by name "Yancey".

see also this link


As an interesting exercise – look for these names on a database like findagrave – where so often we have a photo of the engraved name on the headstone – and you will note most of these names just don’t exist.

Researchers also have to seriously consider the opposite - the fact that in some cases names which are totally unrelated to Yancey/Yancy  have been mis-transcribed as Yancey/Yancey/Yansey - most especially in massive databases of indexes to records originally written in cursive hard to read writing.  In a database with billions/millions of names it is almost certain there will be more than just one or two - that have been mis-transcribed as Yancey.

Here is an example of an English Census record that sure appears to be the name JANCEY - that has been indexed as Yancey.

The most common legitimate names to be mis-transcribed as Yancey/Yancy/Yansey include the following:

TANSEY - Irish name
JANCEY - English name
JAUNCEY - English name
YAXLEY - English name


How does one know for sure if a name that has been indexed as Yancey/Yancy - really was such?  In some cases it can be difficult to tell?

Here are some tips as to how to judge.


See also this link - for various "Ancey" spelled names

Below are various additional examples of  mistranscriptions on European records - that have  erroneously led people to believe that the Yancey/Yancy name existed in Europe - when there really doesnt seem to be hard evidence to support that.  Similar cases also exist for immigration records that seem to indicate Yanceys immigraing to America.





Also there are a few very rare cases of  American Yanceys living abroad and having children abroad -including England


Things that I have NOT found:

I have NOT  found any grave markers in Europe with the spelling Yancey/Yancy  (using multi million grave databases like Findagrave)

I have NOT foud any Yanceys/Yancys on social media whose are living in Europe - that appears to descend from a set of Yanceys in Europe that are not connected to /  or descendants of American Yanceys/Yancys.  Social Media searches go against millions (if not billions of names)

I have NOT found the name YANCEY / YANCY on any printed European sources of the 19th century (such as city directories etc, - where one would expect the name Yancey to show up if it existed.   (I say "printed" to differentiate from hand written sources - where the atcual spelling is often hard to read or interpret)

Though it does seem probable that our immigrant Yancey ancestors came from the British Isles around the year 1700 - -  It would appear that that the Old World ancestors used a name spelling other than YANCEY/YANCY - and tha tthe name Yancey - originated right before or after the immigration to America.

Other Links of Interest

Spelling Doesnt Count

Ancey Names