The Hayes Family History Site

Including Members Of The Hayes, Tierney, Lewis, Beattie, Sheehan, Yerks, Condos, Smith and Other Families

Archive for the 'Surname: Yerks' Category

Isaac Yerks was born circa 1823 to John Van Tassel and Fanny Yerks in New Castle, New York. He was the first of nine children born to them.

Somewhere in the mid-1850s, Isaac married a woman by the name of Elizabeth and began their family, living in the town of Mount Pleasant near other Yerks relatives.

Ezra Yerks, Isaacs younger brother was born circa 1830 and does not appear to have ever married.

On July 4, 1856 Isaac and Elizabeth gave birth to their first child, Charles W. Yerks.

In April of 1869, Issac and Elizabeth Yerks moved to the Tarrytown area of Mount Pleasant and set up residence in Isaac Van Wart Buckhout’s house. A move that he would undoubtably regret. Issac worked on Buckhouts farm for shares. According to the 1870 United States Census record, Ezra Yerks was also living with them in Mount Pleasant. Isaac Van Wert Buckhout was a wealthy man, an accomplished violinist, and a reportedly a misogynist who brooded over the perversity of women. He lived in his Sleepy Hollow Road home with his wife Louisa Ann, who owned the house in which they resided.

On New Years day, the normally quit and reserve Tarrytown village was rocked with the news that two of its citizens had been brutally murdered. Louisa Ann and Alfred Rendall, a wholesale liquor dealer from New York City, were found dead in the Buckhout home. Alfred was fatally shot in the head. Luisa and was killed with blunt force trauma to the face using the same rifle that was used to kill Alfred Rendall. Rendall’s son Charles, was also seriously injured with a bullet wound to the eye.

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In my quest to acquire all things that are historic in nature and related to the Yerks family, I found the postcard below on eBay.  I was able to purchase it for just $3.50.  Although G.W. Yerks is not a direct relative of Colleen’s, he is a distant cousin.

GW Yerks 1

GW Yerks 2

George W. Yerks was born at Unionville (now Hawthorne), New York on February 4, 1848. He died in Albany on August 9, 1903.  He was the son of William H. and Mary A. (Clark) Yerks. George  was educated at Amenia and finished his education at Claverack Academy. After graduation he became employed by the United States government. He then went to Albany and established himself in the fancy grocery business on Broadway, under the firm name of Benjamin & Yerks. In 1877 he became a sole proprietor.

Dissolution of Benjamin & Yerks Company

Dissolution of Benjamin & Yerks Company.  
The Albany Daily Evening Times; May 15, 1877

But in 1878, just one year later,  he admitted a new partner under the firm name of George W. Yerks & Company. He held offices of honor and trust in the city; was trustee of the Madison Avenue Reformed Church and a member of the Fort Orange Club. On July 8, 1868, he married Adaline Maria, who was born in Cleveland, Ohio and died in Albany on October 30, 1900. Adeline was the daughter of George Whitman and Adaline (Powell) Benjamin.

Finally…. conclusive proof as to the parents of George Oakley Yerks arrived today via US Mail.  George Oakley Yerks is the great, great grandfather of Colleen Hayes, my wife.  Since acquiring George’s Brooklyn Death Certificate several years ago, there has been a lingering doubt in my mind as to who his parents really were.  This is because the Death Certificate indicated that his parents were George Yerks and Elsie Donlap.  I have spend countless hours researching all George Yerks’ and Elsie Donlap’s, but could find nothing that made any sense.  With nothing to go on, I resorted to Census records and an obituary as my only proof of lineage.  I was able to determine that George was living with William and Lucinda Yerks in the mid 1800’s and that he had a sister name Emeline.

The newspaper article below was published in the Mount Kisco Record on December 20, 1890. It tells an interesting story how Chappaqua residents banded together to prevent a conflagration that could have destroyed their town.  A fire that started at Mr Alexander Yerk’s store quickly spread and challenged the residents of Chappaqua to save their town as there was no “Chappaqua Fire Department ” until 1910.  The story gets even more interesting when you look through the newspaper and gather related articles.  Prior to the fire, Mr Alexander Yerks was a well respected and generous member of the community.  In the five years leading up to the fire, he was also known for making the “Alexander Yerks Hall” available to the community for social events.  Countless community organizations including church groups utilized the space.

From the Mount Kisco Recorder:

  • 18 Mar 1887 – Alexander Yerks hosts a “Japanese Surprise Social”
  • 27 Jan1888 – Alexander Yerks and the Chappaqua Baptist Church hosts a “Donkey Socialable”
  • 11 Jan 1889 – The Mount Kisco Recorder calls for his recognition of service to his Country.  He spent three years fighting for the North during the Civil War.
  • 21 Jan 1889 – Cassius Yerks, Alexander’s son, left the Chappaqua Shoe Factory and took a position with a shoe Factory in Lynn, Massachusetts.
  • 18 Jan 1889 – Alexander Yerks made signifiant improvements to his property, formally used as a Wheelwright Shop.
  • 19 Apr 1889 – Alexander Yerks opens his new Grocery Store.
  • 5 Dec 1890 – Just 15 days before the fire, the I.O.G.T  (possibly the International Order of Good Templars) voted to change Yerks’ Hall into a “Lodge Room”.

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Way back when, I picked up a Brooklyn Death Certificate for George Oakley Yerks from the New York City Archives.  He was the  great x2 grandfather to Colleen Yerks Hayes, my wife.  The Death Certificate disrupted everything I thought I knew about George Oakley Yerks and his parents.  According to his Death Certificate, his parents were listed as George _________ and Elsie Donlap.  My previous research, largely based on Census Record research, had led me to believe that his parents were Lucinda and William Townsend Yerks.  For about a year, I aggressively pursued other leads and possibilities with no luck whatsoever.  So, With nowhere else to go, I have recently continued Yerks family research on the premiss that my initial Census Record  research had been correct.  But something still made me feel uncomfortable about that, until this past Monday.

Last week, I acquired two important dates of Deaths for William Townsend Yerks and Emeline Schenck.  They came to me by way of Kim at the Onondaga County Public Library.  They hold a copy of the Birth, Marriage and Death indexes for the State of New York. “Wm T Yerks” died on August 12, 1900.  Emeline Schenck died  on March 4, 1939.  So armed with that information, I headed over to the Town Clerks office in Bedford, where they both died,  in search of the details reported on their Death Certificates.  The Town Clerk informed me that it may take about an hour or so to do the research and get everything typed up, so I decided to head over to the Mount Kisco Library to see what I could find on Microfilm about their deaths.

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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.
Phil Hayes

A short time later Jackie, from the County Archives, wrote back to me.

Hi Phil,

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.

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The following is a biography of Nathaniel Cutler Sr. (b. 1 Jan 1808, d. 12 Apr 1886).  Nathaniel is Colleen Yerks’ great x4 grandfather .  He lived in Mount Kisco, New York for most of his life, but may have been born in North Castle. He married Sally Ann Weeks in 1829 and had several children.

John Cutler 1828 – 1850
Cornelius Cutler 1833 –
Amy Cutler 1834 –
Cyrus Cutler 1836 – 1918
George Washington Cutler 1836 –
Araminta Cutler 1838 – 1855
Julia Cutler 1842 –
Stephen Cutler 1842 – 1865
Nathaniel Cutler 1844 –

According to the recently discovered bio, I have learned that his father was John Cutler and comes from old Westchester County stock. The Cutlers apparently are of English origin.  Nathaniel is buried at the St Marks Episcopal Church Yard in Mount Kisco with his wife. I have been there many times.

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Ralph Yerks was the third and youngest son of George Oakley Yerks and Annie Cutler.  According to his draft registration card filed on June 5, 1917, Ralph was single, living in Rye and was working as a plumbers helper.  His two brothers, Leroy (later known as James Leroy) and William Benjamin also registered for the draft on June 5, 1917.  The oldest son, William Benjamin Yerks was a single Teamster and also lived in Rye with his mother and father.  Leroy Yerks had married Kathryn Regan of Goldens Bridge in the summer of 1911. The year he registered for the draft, he and his family (wife and two boys)  were living in Somers and had requested an exception for his “Family” status.

On June 6, 1917, Ralph Yerks was enlisted and reported to Fort Slocum in New York City. Fort Slocum, was a US military base occupying Davids’ Island and Hart Island at the western end of Long Island Sound. There he was assigned to Company K of the 9th Infantry Regiment.  Once overseas, the 9th Infantry joined the 2nd Infantry Division.

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Jean L. Condos Yerks,  of Port Chester, died peacefully at age 67 on December 4 after a brief illness.  She was born in Stamford on March 31, 1943.  She is survived by her mother, Patricia Barnes, brother Rick Barnes, son James Yerks, daughter Colleen Hayes and her husband Philip and grandchildren Samantha Yerks, Philip and Kevin Hayes. Her life will be celebrated at a memorial gathering from 1PM to 5 PM on Saturday December 18, 2010 at Craft Memorial Home, Inc. A service will be held 2PM during the gathering. In lieu of flowers, donations made to the Humane Society or ASPCA would be an appropriate and appreciated way to celebrate her love of animals.

Craft Memorial Home, Inc.
40 Leicester St. Port Chester, NY
(914) 939-0131

As I continue to struggle to find proof that George Oakley Yerks is the son of William Townsend Yerks, I changed focus for a bit in hopes that something else might pop-up that would help me put the pieces of this family puzzle together.  I decided to research the brothers and sister of William T Yerks.   I’ll give you a little spoiler…  I have more questions now, than I did before.

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