To date Sandy York (my 2nd Great Grandfather) is my earliest identified York ancestor. Per the Census he was born a slave in March of 1837 in Virginia to slave parents also born in Virginia. He married his wife Agnes in 1861 and the couple settled in Palestine Township, Bradley County, Arkansas. And according to the 1900 Census they had 13 children, only 10 of which were still living. So far I’ve identified:
- Susan who married Charley Martin and Henry Webb
- Philip Henry (my Great Grandfather)
- Daniel G. who married Elizabeth Martin
- Edward who married Eliza Martin and Millie Hamilton
- Mary Lee who died young
- Agnes or Maggie who may have married Alexander Charles Cabean*
- Julia who married Joseph Trotter
- Ida Jane who married Harvey Ross
I have had trouble locating Sandy in major sources prior to 1870 but I have found him listed among registered voters in 1867. He also appears frequently in land transaction indexes. In 1871 a sale of cotton to E. B. Turner was recorded. In 1885, 1888, 1890 he bought lots of land from J. T. Johnson, B. F. Previtt, and John D. Pugh. The only sale I found was to his son Edward in 1903. In a compilation of material created by the Bradley County Genealogical Society as an 1890 substitute he was noted as the owner of 160 acres. He was also named as a witness in an inquisition on what was deemed an accidental drowning in 1886. And as late as 1905 he is listed as having paid his poll tax. He is also listed in the county Index of Marks and Brands on page 122 (which I would dearly love a copy of but haven’t tracked down yet).
Sandy died in (at least) his 70s on 7 May 1909 (105 years ago tomorrow) and was buried at Johnsville Cemetery.