After months looking for the final resting place of William Yerks (b. 1801) and his wife Maria (b. 1803), I decided to pursue a lead that I had dismissed long ago because I just couldn’t see how it could be related.
Several years ago, I came across a record at the Find-A-Grave website that listed a William Yerks being buried at “Potter’s Field” in Valhalla. It gave no date of birth or date of death. So, stuck at a brick research wall, I decided to write to the Westchester County Archives to see if they would have any additional information about the people buried at Potter’s field.
There is a William yerks buried in Potters Field in Valhalla. Can you tell me whether there are any records for Potters Field that might provide me with date of death or other info? Apparently he is buried in Row I , a double grave that is shared with Isaac Stokes .If you think you may have records, I will come down from Connecticut to research him if necessary.Thanks.Phil Hayes
A short time later Jackie, from the County Archives, wrote back to me.
Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. We have very little on Potters Field, unfortunately. As it was connected to the county Almshouse, that would be the place to look. From the index, I see there was a William Yerks who passed away in the Almshouse in 1876. He was from Mount Pleasant, and was 75 years old. If that sounds like your man, you are welcome to come in to see the record; we’re open Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9-4. The amount of information is in these Almshouse records varies, some are very sketchy, and some have a decent amount of detail. It depends on who was keeping the records.
I was already interested in the Almshouse because Armenia Yerks, daughter of the William Yerks that I was looking for, showed up in the 1900 Census there. Now I also had a William Yerks who was within the same age range as the one I was looking for.