Tennessee Records Repository

Decatur Co. TN


Chapter XIV

From Lillye Younger, The History of Decatur County Past and Present (Southhaven, MS: Carter Printing Company, 1978).
Special thanks to Constance Collett for permission to make these web pages.

In Memory of Lillye Washburn Younger 1912-1998.

Thanks to www.tnyesterday.com for contributing this transcription.

Clyde Yarbro

The Yarbro" family is indeed one of the oldest families in our county, they have been here since Colonial times.

The name "Yarbro" has been spelled many ways through the years such as Yarbor-Yarboro-Yarbrough-Yarber-Yarberry-Yarbur-Yarburgh Yarbour-Yarbourugh-Yerby, and possibly others.

The reason for these many spellings is primarily because many people could not read and write and when giving their name it had to be spelled phonetically, therefore the spelling was changed. It has been found that brothers living within the same area had different spellings.

 Regardless of the spelling all the "Yarbro's" in America today are related in some manner and can trace their ancestory back to the Three "Yarbro's" who came to America from England. These three men came to America at different times, yet they were all related and upon arriving here they also married into the "Yarbro" family, so if you can connect your family line to the "Yarbro's" in America today, you will have one of the longest genealogies anywhere!

According to a chart that was prepared by The College of Arms, London, England, the original spelling was "Yarburgh or Yarborough" which have the same meaning, therefore they were used interchangeably.

Yarborough really meant the place of residence, Borough in Anglo-Saxon days meant house or manor. The English Yarborough family is one of the oldest families in England. It can actually be traced back to 853 AD when the House of Yarborough was formed by Germund. The family was of Danish origin and it is assumed that they came into England (then known as Anglo-land) during the Danish invasion in 800Ad. The Danes in England were enemies of the Anglo-Saxons and they sided with William, the Conqueror of Normandy during the invasion of 1066AD. As a result William awarded these Danes various estates when he came into power. According to records at this time Eustachius de Yarburgh, a descendent of Germund, was made Lord of Yarburgh, which was known by both names, (Yarburgh & Yarborough) This estate of course received a charter from the King and was allowed a representative in Parliment.

The Yarborough or Yarburgh family is reportedly the eleventh oldest recorded family in England. (Much of this information was not known until World War II, at which time an old monastery was bombed and it unearthed enough information to trace this line back to 853AD in an unbroken line.)

 Very few families have such a rich history, nor can be traced so far back. Actually this is a heritage one could be proud of, but others don't know it, so the least you can do is go about your daily tasks with an inner pride and feeling of self confidence and individualism. Just to help you out in this respect, I might add, it was in the "Yarborough" section of England that we find the Robinhood legends originated and the Canterbury tales too.

The first permanent settlement in America was in 1607 and it was only 36 years later that Richard Yarbrough came to America.

from other research...

Contrary to what was earlier believed to be true, later research has shown that while Frances Proctor may have been married to a Richard Yarborough (b. ~1615, d. 1702, buried at Old Blandford Cemetery, Petersburg, VA), this is not Richard the Immigrant (as the first known Yarborough is known). As of this time, nothing is known about who was the wife of Richard (the Immigrant) Yarborough.

Source - Leonard Yarbrough, editor, The Yarbrough Family Quarterly. More information may be obtained at www.yarbro.org, the website of the Yarbrough National Genealogical & Historical Association, Inc.

Richard Yarbrough married Francis Proctor in London, England in 1635 and made application for passage to America in 1643. He married at least twice more after he came to America. According to the old land deeds and wills which are now on record in Cossit Library in Memphis, Tenn. he was a large land owner in Amelia County, Va.

It is said that a Yarborough won heavily in a high stake poker game with the King of England about this time. The King paid off his gambling debt with land in the new country, therefore he had to come to America to collect his debt. In all probability this was Richard for there is no known record of any other Yarbrough that had come to America at this time.

Also, we know that the Yarborough's in England were card players for there was a hand of cards named after them. This was in a game called "whist", the "Yarborough" hand consisted of a five card hand with nothing higher than a nine. It is said that one of the Lord Yarboroughs would make a side bet each deal that the dealer wouldn't catch such as hand, and give him 1000 to one odds. (The actual odds are 1827 to 1) (That is a Yarborough for you!) This inner pride previously mentioned may be deflated some when you consider this fact: You are literally here by chance! (And think of those odds!)

 There are deeds, wills and grave markers and other records still available that show Richard Yarbrough married Elizabeth Mason in 1680 and also married again a lady named Williams and had the following children: 1. Richard, Jr. 2. William Williams Yarbro 3. Edmund 4. John 5. Henry 6. James Charles 7. Thomas and three girls whose names I don't know.

The honorable G.W. Yarbrough, Senator from Alabama, who is a historian has traced this line back as far as possible and has made these remarks regarding the Yarbro line:

"It is remarkable that the same given names have been used over and over in each generation, which makes it even harder to trace the family line. There is still a striking resemblance in this blood line of physical features and also other characteristics such as, generally serious minded, quiet, and intelligent. It is also very noticeable that for about 200 years after Richard came to this country the boys doubled the girls in birth rate."

Not one "Yarbrough" family is known anywhere outside Virginia before 1720. It was somewhere between 1720 and 1775 that the migration started into North Carolina. The migrants were the sons of three families, John, Thomas and William.

 From N.C. three distinct lines went elsewhere to the South and West and finally populated the entire country. From time to time you will hear them referred to as: The Tennessee Line, The South Carolina line and the Alabama line.

The English cousins surely kept in contact with the Yarbro's of America for Ambrose Yarborough left England about 1732 and came directly to Amelia County, Va. to a member of the Yarbrough family and married one of his cousins. This line went into South Carolina, then to Georgia and Ala. and finally into Mississippi. There was also another line went into St. Clair County, Ala. but this was later during the 1800's.

There was also, another Yarborough, which made the third one, who came to Virginia from England in the 1750's. His name was Guy Yarborough, he was from Lincolnshire County, England. He was a relative of Richard, so he may as well face it, all Yarbrough's are related, regardless of the spelling.

 The sons of John Thomas and William who migrated to N.C. during the 1700's were Zachariah, Archibald, Manoah, Alexander, Thomas, Henry, John.

Up to now I have a broken line in the geneology at this point.

The first Yarbro to come to Decatur County (at that time it was known as Perry Co.) was Edmund Yarbro and his immediate family of which I have a detailed history from his arrival in this County up to now but I can't connect him with any particular one of those seven listed above. I know he was the son or grandson of one of them, but I don't know which. (I am still searching for info on this!) I have ruled out two of them, Henry and Manoah, but that still leaves 5 who could have been his forefathers. Henry's descendants went into Tipton County, Tenn. and Manoah's went into Alabama.)

Here we shall begin with Edmund Yarbro the first one to settle in this area:

Edmund Yarbro — born 1766 — died 1850

Sophia Gosset — born 1768 — died 1841-married Davidson Co., NC. —1788

The following children were born to this union:

Aquilla — born in Ansco Co. N. C. — 1789 [Should read Anson County]

Henry — born in Ansco Co. N. C. — 1790*(this is our direct line)

William — born 1794*

Nancy — born 1796*(All these were born in N. C. but I am not sure which county, for they moved around a lot according to the census records I checked)

Joseph — born 1799*

John H. — born 1801*

Edmund & Sophia and family also. Edmund's brother James came to Decatur County, Tenn. in 1818 and settled on Lost Creek. The old home place where they first lived is now known as the Billy Ivey Farm, N.E. of Decaturville & of Mt. Lebonan. The cemetary where Edmund and Sophia and others are buried is the Old Yarbro Cemetary just East of this home place. (On top of the hill behind WE. Turpin's house) There are no markers to the graves so there is no way of knowing just how many were buried there.

Edmund's brother James who came with him to this County married Moses Richardson's daughter, they had one son, who was named Johnson Yarbro, he went to Missouri at an early age. His mother died very soon after he was born. James met with an accident, he fell off a horse and died as a result of the fall. He was known as a drinking man, he said "that God called him to preach and he refused the call and drinking followed which resulted in his death."

Edmund died in 1850 of Malaria and his children scattered to various parts of the country.

I will give a brief rundown on his children as I know it:

John H. went to South Carolina and became a Methodist preacher and lived there all his life. He died in 1864.

I have no record of what happened to Nancy & Joseph, but Henry Aquilla and William stayed in Decatur County and reared large families.

Aquilla moved around quite a bit, he lived at one time on White's Creek near the site of Cedar Grove school house, but finally moved near Parsons Tenn. He was the forefather of Arthur Frank and Verlon and all those around Parsons. [Note: This is not true.--David]

William stayed in Decatur County around the Brownsport Furnace area and his children moved to Decaturville around the middle of the 1800's. Several of them held political offices in Decaturville during this period and at least one of them became a Doctor. I have reason to believe that it was his descendants that moved into Madison County around Jackson Tenn. Two of his daughters married into the Henry Yarbro family (their first cousins) as will be listed later.

Henry Yarbro (born in Anson County-N.C. in 1790) son of the above mentioned Edmond & Sophia Yarbro) came to Decatur County with his parents n 1818 and settled on the Lost Creek farm. He lived with his parents until 1824, at which time he married Delilah Crawley. (This is not one of the Crawley's which now live in that area)

Delilah was the daughter of William Mitchell Crawley from Kentucky. William Mitchell Crawley was a half-brother to Tommie Ramsey, a Revolutionary War soldier under the command of George Washington at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1784. Delilah's mother was Serah Loyd Crawley.

Henry & Delilah were married at the Old home place on Lost Creek in 1825 where they resided until the Spring of 1828. Their first child was born in the winter of 1827, then in the following Spring Henry & Delilah and their son, William Mitchell rode horseback and carried all their earthly possessions on the two horses and rode up White's Creek until they could no longer see any sign of back water and it was there they built a log cabin and planted a corn crop and a vegetable garden. Delilah carried her baby tied up in her apron and dropped the corn for her husband.

This cabin was built on a high point between White's Creek and Buck's Branch. (Just a little distance of the Yarbro Cemetary, not far from the Joe Herbert Yarbro home place).

This was before Decatur County became a county and the land in this area still belonged to the Government and could be bought for a very reasonable price.

This is where Henry & Delilah reared their family, and both are buried in the Yarbro Cemetary near this cabin site and their grave markers read thusly: Henry Yarbro born 12/18/1790 died 10/25/1866.

Delilah Crawley Yarbro born 1808 died 4/1 2/1 886

The children born to this union are as follows:

Name/Birthdate: *Note the high birthrate of boys!
William Mitchall, 1827
James Loyd, 1828
Joseph G., 1829
Milton Jasper, 1832
Martha Jane, 1833
Sarah Ann Pamelia Caroline, 1835
Mary Ann, 1837
Henry Nixon, 1839
Nancy Emiline, 1841
Rufus M, 1842
John Lawson, 1844
Lorenzo, 1846
George, 1849
Jesse Thomas, 1851

*This info has been gathered from various sources and I have noticed some conflicts in birthdates of may-be a year or so. These conflicts appear between Census records and Grave markers which is very understandable for it would have been easy to have given the wrong dte to a Census taker.

This is the family of Henry & Delilah Yarbro, all the children were born on White's Creek except the first one who was born on Lost Creek as previously mentioned.

Following is a brief rundown on each of the children:

William Mitchell — the oldest son left home as soon as he was grown to work on a Mississippi River Boat. He died of Cholera in 1848 on Miss. River Steamer named, The Ammaridh, It was on a trip from New Orleans to St. Louis not far above New Orleans. He was buried by a friend on Black Island. They received this news from this friend who told them he died singing and praying.

James Loyd — the next son known as Jim married his first cousin Ann Eliza Yarbro, the daughter of William Yarbro (Henry's brother) The children born to this union were:

Jenny — born 1864 — she married a Magers, she was the mother of Anderson and Floyd Magers (My wife's great grandmother)
Laura — born 1869
George — born 1871 — never married
Henrietta — born 1873 — went to Texas
Dorah — born 1878— She married J. W. Ivey 11/1 2/1893 moved to Sand Hills near Pleasant Hill community

 James Loyd & Ann Eliza are buried at Yarbro Cemetery their grave marker reads thusly:

James Loyd Yarbro — born 1828-died 1877
Ann Eliza Yarbro — born 1842-died 1887

Joseph G. is the next. He was born 1829. He married Mary Elizabeth Fisher in 1854 at Cedar Grove on White's Creek. She was the daughter of Jacob F. Fisher. I read a letter he wrote in his later years concerning his wife which stated that it was almost unbearable and impossible to live with his wife when they first married, but finally she "professed religion" and got up and testified for an hour and a half and after that she was a perfect wife.

To this union were born 4 children, Mildred, Kathaleen, Sophia & Jimmie. Mary Yarbro born 1856, she married Dr. Fagg and they had one child then she married William Smith and they had 3 children, Stanley, Clyde and Janoah.

Milton Jasper was next he was born 1832 — he married twice, His first marriage was to his cousin Minerva Yarbro, another daughter of William Yarbro. To this union were born Henry, Tom, Ed, and Mary V. and Alice.

(Up to this time I know nothing of Henry, Tom and Ed, but would appreciate any info I could get) Alice married Ben Turner and Mary V. was a mentally retarded child and lived with Alice all her life, she died 1923 and was buried at Yarbro cemetary.

At the death of Minerva, Milton Jasper married again to Maggie C. Brock 6/28/85 to this union were born four children:

Jesse Oscar — born 1886 — (my grandfather)

Wheat — (I have been told that this full name was Whittaker Whitfield Heat but I have doubts about that)

Grover Clevland who went to Arkansas and lived the rest of his life.

Cordelia was the only girl born to this union, she married a Sutton, Jesse Oscar married Gardner Stafford and had three children, Clyde, Myrtle and Mable. Jesse Oscar married again in his later years to Virginia Toilett.

Wheat married Kate Grindstaff and had six children, Guy, Pearl, Zinna, Irene, Beatrice and Loyd Edgar. Kate died while the children were yet young. Irene Zinna, and Beatrice went to State Orphans Home in Nashville Tenn. Guy drifted around among his family and friends finally moved to Missouri and married. He is now living in Nashville Tenn. Loyd Edgar was reared by Oscar and Gardner Yarbro. Pearl was reared by a Burton at Perryville, Tenn. Wheat married again in his later years to Bertha Rosson at Parsons and I don't know how many children they have.

Clyde Yarbro married Evie Bailey and have one child living, Clyde Jr. and Myrtle married Bill Perry and they have 2 children, Billy and Linda Ann. Mable married Loyd Perry and has three children, Margie Faye, Audrey June, and Loyd William. Mable is now married again to Andy Kilpatrick.

Martha Jane was the first girl born to Henry & Delilah, she was born 1833. She was never married. She moved to Oklahoma when she was grown. She died in 1906.

Sarah Ann Pamelia Caroline — born 1835 and died as an infant.

Mary Ann was born in 1837 she married a South Carolina Yarbro and moved to S.C.

Henry Nixon was born 1839. He was a Civil War soldier. He was killed in 1862 near Corinth, Miss.

Nancy Emiline was born 1841 and died 1894 — She never married.

Now a continuation of the children of Joseph G. Yarbro on the previous page I listed only one of the four, which was Mary. The next one was Jacob F. Yarbro he was born 1859 he was always known as "Jake" he married Lilly Crawley 11/3/97 (she was the sister of Floyd Crawley) She died this year at age 91 (in 1970). To this union were born three children: Clayton, Helen and a daughter (whose name I have forgotten but she married a Martin). Clayton and Helen are still living. The next child of Joseph G. was Robert E. who was born in 1866, he had 9 children. Boys: Otto (Dot), Grover Harry, John, Joe and Forrest. Girls: Bettye Jo, Elina, and Ann Margaret.

The next child of Joseph G. was Mike, he married Willie Raney 5/30/95 they had one daughter, Bertha.

Now Rufus M. Yarbro born 1842, (this may not be accurate for I found two different birthdates in the Census records. I think his age was listed wrong in the 1880 Census) He married Susan L. Bledsoe 1/24/1874 as far as I can determine there were 8 children born to this union. Nancy, born 1874, married A.M. Luton in 9/13/93. (Whatever info you can give me on this I will appreciate) Alminda, born 1879 she married Bob Kindle. Hulda, she married a Blackburn. Bertha, Joe and Liza went to Utah with their parents. Georgie, a son who died at an early age. He died at Old Hopper Place just south of Charles McClure's. (As you can see my information is very limited here. If you can corect this or fill me in on more details I will appreciate it)

John Lawson was next. He was born 1844. He married Dorah Vise 3/1 7/1880 to this union were born Henry, Guy Alfred, Tennessee (Tennie), John Ganett, Pearl (Thompson), James Wilburn and Joe Herbert.

Lorenzo was the next, he was born 1846. He was a Doctor, commonly called "Ranz" he was married twice, both times he married a girl named Tole, they were sisters. He had one child-his name was Lindsey Yarbro. Lindsey was married four times first to an Adkisson, to this union was born the boys, Jim and Stewart, next to a Singleton, then to a Simms. To this union was born one daughter, Edith (Scott), then later he married a Butterball. (Now laugh if you want to, this is what I was told!) Lorenzo finally moved to Benton County where he lived all his life. He is buried in the Ada Cemetary near Camden, Tenn.

George was next, he was born 1849. The information I have says he was never married. He moved to Arkansas and stayed until his death.

 The last child born to Henry and Delilah was Jesse Thomas. I have found out very little about this one. The only person I have ever talked to about this who stated he knew him, is no longer living, but this is what I was told: Dispute it if you like.

He was known as "Long Tom" Yarbro, because he was very tall and wore one of those long swallow tail coats. He supposedly married Ida White, who at the time lived at the Zoar White Place. (Just above Woodrow Scott's). Very soon after they married they moved to Texas and never returned to live.

 This information has been gathered from several sources, little by little, thru the past few years and I have several details about most of these persons listed that time nor space won't allow me to print just now, but if you are interested any particular person I will be happy to help you trace them if I don't already have the information.

The major sources of my information on this subject have been:

Personal contacts:

Mr. Pete Leasure-Mrs. Pearl Thompson-Mrs. Tennie England-Mrs. Ella Warren-Mrs. Ludell (Yarbro) Dickey, Mr. & Mrs. Clyde Yarbro Sr-Mrs. Cora Bailey.


Cossit Library (Historical section)n Front St. Memphis, Tn. Micro-film of Census taken 1870 & 1880. Marriage records and wills and deeds from Decatur Co. which date back to the mid 1800's)

Sugar Hill Library-Ripley, Tn. Microfilm of 1850 Census taken of Decatur County. A book entitled Tennessee Cousins by W.S. Ray. Magazines entitled "The Yarbro Family Magazine" pub. Austin Tex. by Jean & Charles Yarbro.


Yarbro cemetary (Whites Creek & Lost Creek) Mt. Zion Cem.-Mt. Lebonan