My great grandfather Philip Henry was born around October of 1870, the third child of Sandy and Agnes York. I believe Philip was born in Arkansas and I know the family was in Bradley County by 1871 when Sandy sold $62.50 worth of cotton to E. B. Turner. But I have yet to find the household in the 1870 Census. By the 1880 Census Philip was 11 and listed as working on his father’s farm.

York-Wilfong Marriage License, 1894On Christmas Day 1894 Philip married his first wife Mary H. Wilfong (the daughter of Monroe and Ellen Wilfong) and in fairly rapid succession they had 4 children: Calvin in the following September, Sandy Napoleon in November of 1896, Aunt Rachel in April of 1898, and Frederick Philip in August of 1899. The family is enumerated in the 1900 Census and Philip is listed as renting land and farming as well as being able to read and write (unlike his parents). He is counted immediately following his father’s household and before his younger brother Edward. I’ve also found a note indicating in 1905 Philip had paid his poll tax to be eligible for voting.

York-Philips Marriage License, 1903While I have been unable to find a death certificate or notice, family stories indicate that Mary died young and in December of 1903 Philip married, Mattie C. Philips (the daughter of Shade and Camelia (Howell) Philips). Mattie added five children to the line: Preston Garett, Ossie B., Mary, Walter, and Mamie. When the family was enumerated in the 1910 Census Philip owned (with a mortgage) and worked his farm with the added labor of Calvin and Sandy Napoleon.

York-Wheeler Marriage  License, 1913Again, family stories indicate that Mattie died young and in October of 1913 Philip married his third wife (and my Great-Grandmother) Sallie Wheeler, the daughter of Moses and Candes (Thompson) Wheeler.  Unlike his other wives, Sally brought a small parcel of children born out of wedlock with her into the family—Ressie and Willie B. Wheeler and James Avery. The couple then added Anna, Arverse, Herman Lee, Oscar Shelly, Ernest Philip and finally my Grandmother, Elnora in 1926.

By the 1920 Census the large family was farming on rented land with a few of the older sons working the home farm. This was also after the death of Philip’s father and his mother and older brother, Albert, were also counted in the household. The 1930 Census offered a surprise in the form of a previously unmentioned sibling credited to Philip and Sallie, a daughter named Katheline born in 1928. This is probably actually Katherine York, their granddaughter and the daughter of Mamie York and Willie B. Hampton.

Less than a year later, in March of 1931, Philip died and the following November Sallie followed, leaving the younger children scattered among older siblings and cousins. Grandma remembered time spent in the household of Uncle Sandy and his wife though in 1940 she is listed (as a cousin) in the household of her half-sister Ossie B. and James Rogers.

There’s so many important bits and pieces I’m missing in this family… death dates, information on how the children were parceled out after Sallie’s death, the location of the York families in 1870, just to name a few. Dad’s family is full of roadblocks I’ve yet to skirt but I’ll keep working on it.

Happy hunting,

Jess

YorkErnestArverseIt’s the start of a month long trend… September is the 2nd most popular birth month in my database. And today would have been my Great Uncle Ernest Philip York’s 90th Birthday. Here’s Uncle Ernest in the foreground with (I think) his brother Arverse York. Please correct me if you know I’m wrong about which of my many York uncles this is.

Happy hunting,

Jess

Bradley County Cousins, c.1964This one’s for my Bradley County, Arkansas family members—Trotters, Yorks, and Allied families. Daddy has this one labeled as Cousins 1946. I’m guessing it’s a shot from Arkansas but I can’t name anyone in the picture. Is one of the older girls Aunt Alfreda?

Happy hunting!

Jess

Elnora (York) Trotter, c. mid-1940s

We’ll miss you, Grandma!

Elnora (York) Trotter, 1926-2013

Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother

Enjoy the time you have and ask questions while you can!

Jess

Grandma & Grandpa Trotter, 1972Today is the 66th anniversary of my grandparents wedding. On January 18, 1947 they married at the home of my Great Aunt Rachel (York) Elliot in Palestine Township, Bradley Co., Arkansas.

This is a shot of their 25th Anniversary party at their home in Detroit, Michigan. They were married 41 years and raised 8 children before Grandpa died in 1988.

Happy hunting,

Jessica

Grandma & Grandpa Trotter, c. 1981

I’ve been a bit bogged down with deadlines and the creeping ick that seems to be common this time of year… but I didn’t want to miss Wordless Wednesday. And Grandma Trotter has been on my mind lately.

These are my grandparents Elnora (York) and Levie Trotter enjoying the swings at a Trotter-Johnson picnic outside of Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, Michigan in 1980 or 1981. It’s a bit fuzzy but it brings back fond memories.

Happy hunting,

Jessica

I’ve been scrounging through photos lately and I keep coming back to this set. I don’t know who everyone in the pictures is but these were taken around my Great Aunt Rachel (York) Elliot’s funeral in 1971 and the majority of the men are York brothers and in-laws.

Can any Yorks/Trotters or other Bradley County folk recognize any of my unknowns? Or, for that matter, correct our identifications?

Happy hunting,

Jess

Between Dad & I, we think we have identified…

Grandpa Levie Trotter & the York Brothers, c.1971

Picture 1 (L to R): Oscar York, Levie Trotter, Arverse York, Preston York, UNKNOWN, and The York Brothers, c.1971Herman York

Picture 2 (L to R): Arverse York, Preston York, UNKNOWN, Herman York, Ernest York, UNKNOWN, and UNKNOWN

The York Brothers, c.1971

Picture 3 (L to R):  Herman York, Ernest York, UNKNOWN, UNKNOWN, and UNKNOWN

I’m currently working on an article about researching African American roots and spending a lot of time working on that half of my line. And this week’s picture goes along with that. I believe this is a gathering of Yorks and right in the middle on the couch is the baby of the family my grandmother, Elnora (York) Trotter. I’m pretty sure that’s GrandpaLevie to the right of her too. Grandma Trotter is gorgeous! The photo is ca. 1949 and probably taken in Bradley County, Arkansas.

Happy hunting,

Jess

More wordless than not this time because I have no idea who these ladies are. This is from a collection Trotter and York family pictures. Both ladies have the looks of my Grandmother and Aunts—which makes me think they are York or Wheeler relatives—but I don’t know who they are. Any Bradley County Arkansas researchers recognize this pair?

Happy hunting,

Jess

I am very lucky to be a descendant of American veterans who survived their various enlistments. Both my Grandfathers served during the Korean War, my uncle Mike served during the Cold war, my 3rd Great Grandfather Henry R. Massy served briefly in the Civil War as did two of his brothers, and my 7th Great Grandfather served in the Revolutionary War. And that’s leaving out the many uncles and cousins who also served or for that matter are serving now. That said I am so thankful for those who gave their life for our country and our freedom.

Happy Memorial Day!

Jess

 

 

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