Extracts from Family Letters of Robert Yancey, Jr. and Agnes Wilkinson
of Mecklenburg Co., Virginia
About 1775-1853

[note photos at bottom of page]


Ancestry: Robert Yancey, son of Robert, son of Richard, son of Charles, son of Charles Yancey

Robert Yancey, son of the senior Robert Yancey and Philadelphia Jones Griffin, was born about 1775 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. He married Agnes Wilkinson on October 10, 1796 in Mecklenburg County. Agnes was the daughter of William Wilkinson and Sarah Franklin. To better place this family in a historical timeline, their marriage would have occurred during the closing years of George Washington's presidency. It would seem that Robert and Agnes grew up in the years of the Revolutionary War. It was also a time in which the population was on the move. Four of their six children left Virginia to settle in other states. Sally and John stayed in Virginia. Robert (son of Robert Jr.) and his brother James went to Georgia, and Lewis settled in Mississippi. Harriett moved to North Carolina after marrying her second cousin, Richard E. Yancey. Richard was the son of Absalom Yancey and his wife (name unknown.)

Robert Yancey was a farmer. Most, if not all, of his sons followed in his footsteps and seem to have farmed most of their lives. Several letters written between the family members in the 1840s and 1850s have survived.

[Note: Some punctuation has been added to assist reader. Letters are not corrected for spelling. The letters were usually addressed to one of the brothers and then forwarded to the other. They were addressed to either the Marthasville (Atlanta) or Rough + Ready (Forest Park) Post Office.]

To: Robert Yancey and James Yancey DeKalb Co. Ga Marthasville P.O. January 3, 1846

"Dear Children I take the oppotunity to write a few lines to you both... to in form you all that we are all well at this time thanks be to God for the same. hoping when these few lines reach your hands they may find you all in the same state of health... Richard and harriet wishes to be remembered to you all. herriets got five children, three boys and two girls... it takes a great deal to bread them... Luis is in a bad fix he is going under the docter... I want you both to write to me how you all are and how you are makeing out. Nothing more only remain your father and mother until death.

Robert Yancey and Agness his wife I receive your letter that you rote 28 September [1845]"

Some of the letters dealt with the price of farm goods in the different areas of the country in which they were living...

"...I will say something to you now about the times in this country. every thing to eat is high here. [flower is worth 8 to 9 dol per bar] corn is worth $5.00 per bar. and hard to git at that. people that has got it dont like to sell it. wheat is worth $1.60 per bu. bacon from 16cts to 18cts per lb coffee and sugar is about the same. corn crops are sorry then I ever saw them. wheat was very short. bugs are very numerous and we have had a long dry spell..."

Richard E. Yancey Harriett P. Yancey Granville County NC August this the 21 1856

Other letters dealt with the settling of Robert's estate.

"...I am very mutch troubled for the lack of my Father... I want you to wright to mee how you are geting on in the world and tell Brother Robert I want to hear from him. I want you to wright to mee when you expect to go to Fathers and I want to go my self when you do. John wrot to mee that he and Richard thought best to let the estate stand until fall... Dear Mother she is destitute of a friend now. No wone to console her nor provide for her... She is never out of my mind and there fore it troubles mee. ...all I can do is to try and meet him in a better world..."

Lewis B. Yancey May the 14 1853

Apparently, Robert had at least a few slaves. One slave, named Starling, was purchased from the estate by James and Robert. However, before he was fully paid for, Starling died.

"...I was very sorry to here of the loss of your negro. It seems... you have very bad luck... Mr Graves owes [you for work Starling did] a little... I dont know exactly the amount yet but I going to find outt... and after paying for his coffin and other little expenceces what is left I will send it own to you. Starling has a suit of Kentucky jenes close here and a sort of over coat and I want to know what I must do with them? his children has asked me for them and I told them I did not have any rite to give them away without your concent... John says you are due the esstate seventy 1,50 [$71.50] for Starling..."

Richard E. Yancey

"I seated myself to write to you once more... I wrote to you about the death of Starling. he died the fourth Saterday in May. ...people think now he died with the small pox for old Caty Cousin was sick with it and died with it and Starling wint to see her and so did some of Kiah Griffins family wint to see her but nobody didint know what kind of deseas it was then untill after Starling died and then Kiahs whole family and some of the free negros was taken with it and then the Drs prenounced it the small pox... John F. Yancey wants to know which is going to setle for Starling, you or Robert... he has not settle the state yet..."

Richard E. Yancey [About 1856]

Robert Yancey and Agnes Wilkinson were born, married, raised their family, and died in Mecklenberg County, Virginia. Robert died April 16, 1853 and Agnes died the next year in 1854. The exact date of her death is unknown.


John F. Yancey and his wife Lucy Wilkins
of Halifax County, Virginia
More photos

James Yancey
of Clayton County, Georgia
More Photos

Lewis B. Yancey - of Tippah Co., Mississippi
[More Photos]



Below - Yancey Family Cemetery
Mecklenburg County Virginia
where Robert & Philadelphia Jones Yancey are buried
Photos - thanks to Doug Yancey


Comments by Doug:

[Summer 2012]
"I spent three days in Virginia researching Yancey Family history and cemeteries.
I found an old cemetery (see pictures 32 thru 60) in Mecklenburg County, not far
from the town of Clarksburg, that has the graves of Robert Yancey (b.1745, d.1818)
and his wife, Philadelphia Jones (b.1745, d.1792). They are the great grandparents
of Simeon Plummer Yancey. The cemetery is in a wooded area next to an old farm
house. As you can see from the pictures the stones are very primitive and unreadable.
Most probably never had any writing on them. I found this information at the Clarkesville,
VA library.