Thomas Hines Yancey (1818-1881) - two families from two different wives.


[DJY:  This really is a good example  of the type of things that  can often be the cause of much difficulty tracing a specific line for which researchers may  seem to hit a "brick wall" in their research progress".  Researchers working on lines for which information is very hard to come by - should consider possibilities similar to the one below that may be the cause of the family knowing so little about their origins]


Two of the books that were published in the early years of Yancey Genealogical Research were the titles:

Genealogy of Yancey - Medearis and Related Lines. 1958

And Some Yancey, Medearis, and Hicks Descendants. 1973

 Both of these works – contained extensive genealogical and family material most of it applying to the descendants of Richard Yancey of Mecklenburg County, VA – through his son William and grandson Thomas Yancey.

 One of the great grandsons of Richard Yancey was one Thomas Hines Yancey.  Information on him and his wife Mary Ann Bullard Gowen was included in such books – with detailed information as to the descendants - many of which lived in Texas.

 However, it was known by descendants that he had married prior to his marriage to this Mary – and had had children from this prior marriage.  Exact details and circumstances were not really known by most of the descendants of the 1900's. Descendants by the 2nd wife – had virtually no contact or information about the first family – and it was not clear whether the relationship ended by death of the first wife, divorce or other.

 At some point in time researchers theorized that Thomas Hines Yancey had married one Permeliah whose maiden name was not known – and had two daughters Nancy J Yancey and Mattie Yancey.  They made contact with descendants of these two sisters and information concerning the descendants of  these two sisters was included in the 1973 volume concerning the genealogy  of the Yanceys – even though there was no concrete proof that Thomas  was the father of Permelias daughters.  Though information on the descendants of these daughters seemed good – the validity of the Thomas Hines Yancey – Permeliah relationship – seemed very questionable.  Later it was discovered that such a relationship seems to have never even existed – but was the result of over zealous family researchers trying to make some connection.

 In the late 20th century – various  researchers of a Yancey Family of Arkansas – began tracing their somewhat mysterious yancey line back to a dead end – to one Thomas H Yancey and Elizabeth Floyd who had married in Georgia – but very little was known about the origins of thiis Thomas H Yancey.  He was originally thought to have drowned. Later it was discovered that he had seemingly deserted the family – this all happening when the four children were very young.  Elizabeth later remarried one Wiley Miles in Alabama.    As researchers such as Peggie Cook, Jim McVey and others began to research the possibilities as to their ancestry – they made contact with descendants and researchers  of Thomas Hines Yancey of Texas.  The two Thomas Yanceys – appeared to be one and the same.   Over a period of years extensive information was passed – mainly between Peggie Cook  of the Arkansas branch and James D. Yancey of Dallas Texas who and researched the Texas family for many decades.   Finally the two families knew of each other and were able to compare notes and information – and the Arkansas branch was now able to trace their line back many more generations and instantly found a multitude of cousins.


Here is an interesting comparison made by Peggie Cook concerning the two Thomas’s that are now believed to be one and the same person. (she was of the Arkansas branch - from the first wife).


Our Thomas H Yancey (Arkansas branch) Their Thomas Hines Yancey (Texas branch)
Thomas H Yancey married Mary Elizabeth Floyd  8 June 1843.  After Thomas's disappearance (some time in the 1850's) she remarried the Rev. Wiley Miles in 1860 and had three children by him.
See also:
Item 1
Item 2

 Findagrave site  (Mary)
 Findagrave site  (Thomas)

Thomas Hines Yancey married: Mayann Ann Bullard Gowin 16 Oct 1864 in Rusk Co., TX



Findagrave site  (Thomas)
Findagrave site  (Mary)

John Thomas Told his daughter Minnie that his father had deserted the family when he was a young boy. 1864 in He bought a change of clothes at a store near where they lived, left his old clothes on the river bank and disappeared.  The family thought he had drowned.
Years later he (John Tom) went to another area and met a man who told him "your father came here, remarried and had 7 boys and a girl. He is buried in our family plot".   Sam an x slave of John Thomas's family was also in that area and verified this.
He went to Texas
He Remarried and had 6 boys and 2 girls
He is buried in his brother David's family plot.
Thomas H Yancey was a real "rabble rouser".  He would come home drink and make one of the kids hold a cat by the tail and he would shoot its head off.

He was a heavy drinker up till 6 months before his death.

Grandpa had a sister my mother referred to her as aunt Nan. Two known children of Thomas Hines and his first wife were Nancy & Mattie
They did own slaves He inherited slaves from his father
Thomas H Yancey lived in Chambers Co., Alabama Thomas Hines Yancey's brother also lived in Chambers County, Alabama in 1850.
John Tom (son) named three of his sons:  Perry, Curren, David Thomas Hines Yancey had brothers: Curren Perry, David
Both of John Tom (son) brothers married in Tennessee.   All of George's children were born in Tennessee.  We dont know where John Tom and his first wife were married. He married his first wife in Tennessee
The 1850 census of Chambers Co., Alabama gives his wife as Elizabeth - born in Georgia about 1822. His first wife said to be Permelia - last name unknown. "this information came from two little old ladies in a nursing home".
Additional notes by Dennis Yancey (2013)  
1860 - Fayette Co., AL ., Al - Mary Elizabeth  remarried Rev. Wiley Miles
after he had been abandoned by Thomas H Yancey. Mary's children at the time were as follows:  Mary (bn 1845), John T (bn 1846), William (bn 1848), George (bn 1853)

Thomas H Yancey married  Maryan Ann Bullard Gowin 16 Oct 1864 in Rusk County, Texas.

1860 - Fayette Co., AL - Elizabeth  & Wiley Miles found on 1860 census.

1860 Census - Thomas H Yancey does not appear to be recorded on the census

1870 - Fayette Co., AL - Elizabeth  & Wiley Miles  found on 1870 census.

1870 Census - Thomas H Yancey living in Hunt County, TX - with wife Mary, her children from prior marriage (Robert, Susan & James)  and their children (Nathaniel, David  & Thursday)


1880 Census - Thomas H Yancey living in Titus County, TX  - with wife Mary, children:  Nathan, David, Thursday, Irena, Andrew J., George & Omega.

Wiley and Mary Elizabeth  are both buried in  Mt Vernon Cemetery in Fayette Co., AL.  Wiley died in 1879 and Elizabeth died in 1891. 

James David Yancey (2013) states that Thomas H Yancey was buried in the same cemetery as his brother David Yancey - in an unmarked grave.


1850 Census Entry for Thomas H Yancey & Family (1st wife) - Chambers County, Alabama

Some Photos of Interest
provided by Karen Burns, Peggie Cook, Cheryl Hopkins and others



The three brothers from the first family - William H and John T.  Yancey standing.  George W. Yancey seated with rifle in his lap.

another photo of the brothers - from:
"150 Yesteryears" book put out by the Fayette Historical Society.


William H. and Sarah (Porterfield) Yancey
click here to see more photos of William H. Yancey descendants

This one is somewhat unknown.  The father sure looks like William and John.  It is believed to be Wiley Yancey (the son of William H Yancey)  and his family



John Tom Yancey

Married (1st) Elizabeth Harten abt 1868
Married (2nd) Alvee Etter Hayes - 12 Sep 1901


Children from 1st Marriage:

1st Marriage  Elizabeth Harten
William Yancey (1864-????)
Alice E. Yancey (1868-1874)
John T. Yancey (1870-1874)
Calvin L. Yancey (1872-1921)
Charles John Yancey (1874-1948)
Ida Emma Yancey (1876-1909)
Ada Bell Yancey (1878-1886)
Robert Yancey (1880-1936)
Curren Jeffry Yancey (1881-1962)
David D Yancey (1883-1958)
2nd Marriage Alvee Etter Hayes
Perry Green Yancey (1902-1940)
Noah Edgar Yancey (1903-1980)
Ada Bell Yancey (1906-1965)
Mary Altha Yancey (1907-????)
Wiley Benton Yancey (1909-1993)
Virgie Yancey (1912-1978)
General Lee Yancey (1914-1987)
Minnie Genlda Yancey (1920-1997)




  Even More photos from Steve Riggan:

Sarah Jane Porterfield Yancey, b. 1864 Gasconade Co., MO, d. 1963 Oxford Izard Co., Ark. 
She was the daughter of James "Jemmie" T. and Susan Reeves Porterfield and granddaughter of John Milton and Annis Lea Porterfield natives of Wilson Co., TN.
  She married William Harrison Yancey as his second wife and had 10 children, one being my great grandfather
Maxey W. Yancey, b. 1887 Oxford, Izard Co., Ark., d. 1978 Calico Rock, Izard Co., Ark. 

Picture taken about 1960, Oxford, Izard Co., Ark.  Sarah Jane Porterfield Yancey and her living children:
Standing L to R:  Houston Yancey, Shelby Yancey, Alvie Yancey, Maxey Yancey (my great grandfather) and Reuben Yancey.
 Seated L to R:  Esther Yancey McVey, Sarah Jane Porterfield Yancey, and Raymond Yancey. 


This is a McVey family picture, but my grandfather's oldest brother Austin Yancey is standing in the very back right row. 
Picture taken at Larkin, Izard Co., Ark.  Family of Cecil and Aunt Laura McVey Melton. 
Back row:  Elmer McVey (Laura's nephew), Cecil Melton, and Austin Yancey (Laura's nephew and my great uncle, son of Maxey and Mahala Ethel Ann McVey Yancey).
Middle row:  J.P. Melton, Aunt Laura Bell McVey Melton, and Nora Melton.
 Front row:  Leonard Melton, Marvin Melton, and Troy Melton. 


Maxey & Ethel McVey Yancey


Maxey & Ethel McVey Yancey

Ethel & Emma McVey - sisters

Joseph Riley and Pernetta Ginn McVey

Joseph Riley and Pernetta Ginn McVey