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.