Solomon Yoakum, born 1773 in Virginia

This page was updated on Sunday, February 11, 2001

All those researching the Solomon Yoakum line realize that the biggest problem we face is trying to determine which Solomon is which? How many wives did old Solomon have, and how many children? One of Solomon's wives was named Mary; his son's wife apparently was also named Mary. Did he actually have a son born in 1803, or was it 1797 as many believe? Did old Solomon take care of his son's family, or was it his own young wife and family (that old dog!)?

Below are listed some interesting documents relating to this problem.


Federal Census, Denton County, Texas
Enumerated on the 29th day of Oct 1850

Dwelling Family Person Age Sex Occupation Value of Real Estate Birth Place
10 10 Solomon Yoakum Sr 77 m Farmer 320 Va
    Mary Yokum 50 f     Mo
    Solomon Yokum Jr 25 m Farmer 160 Mo
    Mary Yokum 23 f     Mo
    John Yokum 24 m Farmer 160 Mo
    Elizabeth Yokum 19 f     Mo
    Rachel Yokum 18 f     Mo
    Sarah Yokum 16 f     Mo
    Anna Yokum 14 f     Mo
    Susanna Yokum 13 f     Mo
    Nancy Cooker 29 f   320 Mo
    Edward Cooker 8 m     Mo
    Maryann Cooker 4 f     Ark
    Anna Yokum 4 f     Mo


This census record has often been mis-read, citing Solomon Yoakum Sr to be 47 years old, thus born in 1803. Microfilm of the original census record shows clearly that his age was 77, and that the "Sr" protrudes slightly into the age column, leading to this error. The most notable example of this error is reflected in Connor's "Peters Colony" book, discussed below. This raises the question whether or not there actually was a Solomon Yokum of this family born in 1803?

There have been two interpretations of this census record (and Solomon's history in general). First, that Mary (b. ca 1800) is Solomon's daughter-in-law, and the children listed are, for the most part, his grandchildren by his son Solomon (b. 1803?). The whereabouts of Solomon b. 1803 was not known, but some believe he was in the gold fields of the west. The second interpretation is that Mary b. ca 1800 is perhaps Mary Starnater, the old Solomon's young third wife, and that the children listed are his own, not his grandchildren. If this is the case, it would indicate that while a very old Solomon was still very good at producing children, he wasn't so good at producing names. Several of these children bear the same names as his children by his first wife Susannah Adams!

Though Solomon (age 77) and Solomon (age 25) are listed as "Sr" and "Jr", what is their true relationship?

Throughout this census, the "Value of Real Estate" column usually lists figures such as 160 or 320. These are equal to even fractions of land sections (each section contains 640 acres). My assumption is that land was given the nominal value of $1 per acre, and that this figure probably indicates the number of acres owned. Compare this with land records discussed below.


County Court of Denton County, Texas

"THIS INDENTURE made and Entered into on this 4th day of March A.D. 1854 by and between Mary Yocham widow of Solomon Yocham Deceased, late of the County of Denton and State of Texas, of the first part, and William W. Martin of said County of the Second Part, Witnesseth, That Whereas, the said Mary Yocham after the decease of her husband did apply to the Hon County Court of Denton County Texas, from which Letters of Adm. issued on the estate of her said husband deceased for an amount sufficient for the support of herself and 2 minor children and also for an amount in lieu of the property exempt from execution and forced sale by the constitution and laws of the state of Texas, Whereupon a Decree was passed by said court Granting to the said party 160 acres of land together with other property in lieu of said allowances said decree being made at the June Term A.D. 1852 of said court. Be it known...that I Mary Yocham...have on the date above written for and in consideration of the sum of Five Hundred Dollars to me in hand paid by [William W. Martin] grant, bargain, sell...unto said William Martin...a certain tract or parcel of land containing 160 acres being part of of head right of my Deceased husband Solomon Yocham, situated on Clear Creek a tributary of Elm Fork of Trinity River and in Denton County...beginning at the S.W. corner of a 40 acre survey made for Nancy Coker, thence West 950 varas a stake in prairie, thence north 950 varas stake in prairie, thence East 950 varas the N. W. corner of said Nancy Coker survey, thence north to the place of beginning..."

Two months later the following is recorded:

"THIS INDENTURE made and entered into on this 8th day of May A.D. 1854 by and between William Martin and Nancy Martin, his wife (alias Nancy Coker) of the County of Denton and State of Texas, of the first part, and Solomon Yocham Junr. of said County and State of the Second part, Witnesseth That Whereas the said party of the first part for and in consideration of the sum of One Hundred and sixty dollars to them paid, by the said party of the second sell [etc] a certain tract or parcel of Land containing three hundred and twenty acres situated on Clear Creek a tributary of Elm Fork of Trinity in Denton County...described as follows, to wit Beginning at the N.E. corner of a survey made for Solomon Yocham Senr. Thence East one mile, thence south one half mile, thence west on mile to the south east corner of said survey made for Solomon Yocham Senr. Thence North to the place of beginning, Said land being located by virtue of the Colony Headright of Nancy Coker Now Nancy Martin, as a Colonist of Peters Colony."


Solomon died shortly before 1852, leaving his wife Mary. Which Solomon? Presumably Solomon Sr. It would appear from this that the second interpretation of the census above is correct. Note also that William Martin and his wife, Nancy (Coker) sold land (some of the same land?) to Solomon Jr., presumably the Solomon Jr. from the above census (born 1825).

Nancy is actually a Yoakum/Yocham, having previously married a Coker before marrying William Martin. Which Solomon is her father?


Note about Texas land records from Jo Ann Hatch:

"Yes, I did order the Texas Land Office records. Unfortunately all the document said was "heirs of Solomon Yoakum, Sr., decd" with no further identification. It is dated 1856 and grants them 160 acres in Denton County, as said Solomon was a settler in Peter's Colony. Another document dated 4 Nov, 1850 is Solomon Yoacham, Sr. claiming 640 acres of land as a settler in the Peter's Colony. It states that Solomon emigrated to Texas prior to July 1848 with his wife and children. I feel that somewhere there must be other records that identify these heirs by name. I fear it may be in the burned records of Denton County, but I am trying other places also.

Yes, there certainly is a mix-up on the Solomons. Too many."


See Item 4.


Before moving to Texas, Solomon (b. 1773) lived in Missouri. Apparently some of his children remained in the state after Solomon moved to Texas.

In my efforts to determine the father of Jacob Yokum (b. 1802) of Dade County, Missouri (shown by H. C. Smith as George Yoakum b. 1763), Audrey Becker sent me the following gem:

Dade County, Missouri Recorder's Office Files, Vol. 3 pg. 322
"This Deed of Trust made and entered into this second day of April A.D. 1851 by and between John Yoakum party of the first part and Eveline Yoakum, wife of Jacob Yoakum, party of the second part, and Sarah Jane Yoakum, Lydia Elizabeth Yoakum, America Yoakum, and Jacob Yoakum Jr. all son and daughters of Jacob and Eveline Yoakum of Dade Co. State of Missouri. Witness that the party of the first part for and in consideration of one dollar in hand paid...and for the further consideration of natural affection for my brother Jacob's children, do grant, bargain and sell unto said party of the second part and to her heirs and assigns...[personal property, mostly horses, to the children]...Also do give, grant, bargain and sell to said party of the second part [Eveline] all my right, title, claim, interest and demand(?) to a certain tract of land in the State of Texas, which I bought of my father's estate amounting to 6 shares of said estate out of 12, to have and to hold..." [following is express language establishing Eveline as the trustee for the property given to the children].


This document confirmed my suspicion that John (b. 1808) was Jacob's (b. 1802) brother, and further that their father was NOT George Yoakum as stated by H. C. Smith. There is no evidence that George Yoakum ever went to Texas. Of the four Yoakum/Yokum heads of families listed in the 1850 Federal Census of Texas (A.S. Yoakum, Samuel Yoakum, Henderson Yokum, and Solomon Yokum) only Solomon is a reasonable candidate to be father of Jacob and John.

Note that this was not a will, but a transfer of property to his brother's family just prior to his (John's) moving with his own family to Oregon (1852).


Biographical sketches of settlers in the Peters Colony (from S. V. Connor's The Peters Colony of Texas, published in 1959):

"John Yoacham settled in the colony as a single man before July 1, 1848. He was issued a certificate for 320 acres by Ward in 1850. The certificate was sold unlocated and was later patented in Denton County (Fannin third Class No. 1542). He is listed on the 1850 census (Denton County, family No. 10) [see above] as a 24 year-old farmer, born in Missouri. He was illiterate.

"Michael Yoacham came to the colony as a widower with one child prior to July 1, 1848, but died before 1850. His father, Solomon Yoacham, was issued a certificate by Ward in 1850, and his heirs patented 640 acres in Denton County (Fannin Third Class No. 1541).

"Solomon Yoacham, Jr., moved to the colony as a single man before July 1, 1848. He reported to Ward in 1850 and was issued a certificate for 320 acres, which he patented in Denton County (Fannin Third Class No. 1540). He is listed on the 1850 census (Denton County, family No. 10) as a 25 year-old farmer, born in Missouri. He was illiterate.

"Solomon Yoacham, Sr., migrated to the colony as a family man prior to July 1, 1848, and settled on a company survey in present Denton County. He was issued a certificate by Ward in 1850 and his heirs later patented 640 acres in Denton County (Fannin Third Class No. 1539). He is listed on the 1850 census (Denton County, family No. 10) as a 47 year-old farmer, born in Virginia, with eight children. Apparently he moved to Texas from Missouri."


The citation of the census record in the entry for Solomon Yoacham Sr. is in error. The census actually shows Solomon to be 77 years of age. Is this the source for the supposed birth date for Solomon's son Solomon (1803)? The designation "Sr" and "Jr" do not always denote a father/son relationship. Often it was used simply to distinguish older and younger people of the same name. Which is the case here?

It seems more likely that Solomon Sr.'s son Solomon was born, as reported by some researchers, in about 1796 in Tennessee rather than in 1803 in Virginia (note: Solomon was in Tennessee by at least 1793.)


From court papers of Stone County, Missouri:

"November term of the Stone County Court AD 1851
Ordered by the court that the clerk of the Stone county court make application to the clerk of the Taney County court [Mo] for all the papers and proceedings relative to the administration of the Estate of Solomon Yochum, late of the county of Stone, deceased."

"[copy unreadable] 1852
Ordered by the court that all the papers belonging to the Estate of Solomon Yochum Dec in Taney Co be delivered to the clerk of Stone count court. Thomas Patterson administrator."


Several questions about this. Which Solomon is this referring to? Did Solomon Sr. return to Taney County after settling in the Peters Colony of Texas? Is this his son Solomon (b. 1796 or 1803?) who died about the same time, whereabouts previously unknown? Does this record necessarily mean that this Solomon died in Missouri, or just had property there to settle???


One widely held opinion of the nature of Solomon's line is as follows:

Descendants of Solomon Yoachum

1 Solomon Yoachum b: Abt. 1773 in Virginia
.. +Susannah Adams b: Abt. 1776 in Virginia
...... 2 Mary Yoachum b: 1793 in Jefferson County, Tennessee?
.......... +Samuel Still II b: Abt. 1780 in Bladden County, NC?
...... 2 Sarah Yoachum b: 1795
.......... +William Matney b: 1783 in Virginia
...... 2 George W. Yoachum b: March 16, 1796 in Jefferson County, Tennessee? or Ohio?
.......... +Alcey Friend b: April 23, 1805 in Missouri
...... *2nd Wife of George W. Yoachum:
.......... +Ann Elizabeth Hooper b: 1815 in Kentucky
...... 2 Solomon Yoachum II b: 1797 in Jefferson County, Tennessee
.......... +Mary Martha "Polly" Gentry b: Abt. 1800 in Missouri ?
.............. 3 William "Will" Yocum b: 1825 in Taney County, Missouri
................. +Mary Hurst
.............. 3 Solomon Yoachum III b: 1825
.............. 3 John Yoachum b: 1826 in Taney County, Missouri
.............. 3 Mary Yoachum b: 1827 in Taney County, Missouri
.............. 3 Frances "Fanny" Yoachum b: Abt. 1828 in Taney County, Missouri
................. +James Reed Sr.
.............. 3 Serena Elizabeth Yoachum b: July 16, 1831 in Taney County, Missouri
................. +Henry Clay Lewis
.............. 3 Rachel Yoachum b: 1832 in Taney County, Missouri
.............. 3 Sarah Yoachum b: 1834 in Taney County, Missouri
.............. 3 Anna Yoachum b: 1836 in Taney County, Missouri
.............. 3 Susannah Yoachum b: 1837 in Taney County, Missouri
................. +George Gentry
...... 2 Daniel Yokum b: 1798 in Jefferson County, Tennessee
.......... +Rosannah Campbell May b: 1800 in Rockingham County, Virginia
...... 2 Jesse Yoachum b: 1799 in Jefferson County, Tennessee
.......... +Mary Jones b: Abt. 1818
...... *2nd Wife of Jesse Yoachum:
.......... +Unknown Coker?
...... 2 Michael Yokum b: 1799 in Jefferson County, Tennessee
.......... +Sarah "Sallie" Coker Trimble b: 1796
...... 2 Jacob Yokum b: 1802 in Jefferson County, Tennessee
.......... +Lydia E. b: November 16, 1808 in Wilson County, Tennessee (near Nashville)
...... 2 Winnie Yokum b: 1805 in Tennessee
.......... +Edward Coker b: Abt. 1801 in Tennessee
...... 2 John Yokum b: May 02, 1808 in Jefferson County, Tennessee
.......... +Malinda Dugan b: 1812 in Missouri
...... 2 Henry Yokum b: 1810 in Tennessee
.......... +Martha E. "Mary" Jennings b: 1817 in Ohio or Illinois
*2nd Wife of Solomon Yoachum:
.. +Mary Starnater
...... 2 Peninah Yoachum b: 1817 in Arkansas
.......... +Joseph Philabert b: Abt. 1802 in Bellville, St. Clair County, Illinois
...... 2 Michael Yoachum b: 1818
...... 2 Rebecca Yoachum b: 1820
...... 2 Nancy Yoachum b: 1821


Another version of this line, found in an FHC Ancestral File, lists the same marriage to Susannah Adams and children from that union, but lists Solomon's second wife as "(Indian) Yoakum, b. 1777 in Virginia" and lists children as:
...Peninah Yoakum b. 1817 Va
...Mary Yoakum b. 1819 Va
...Michael Yoakum b. 1821 Va

And it lists Mary "Polly" Starnader, b. 1800 as his third wife with the following children:
...Nancy Yoakum b. 1821 Mo
...Solomon Yoakum b. 1825 Mo
...John Yoakum b. 1826 Mo
...Mary Yoakum b. 1827 Mo
...Francis Yoakum b. 1830 Mo
...Elizabeth Yoakum b. 1831 Mo
...Rachel Yoakum b. 1832 Mo
...Anna Yoakum b. 1836 Mo
...Susanna Yoakum b. 1837


While the latter version is possible, 64 is pretty old to be having kids. And there's still that problem of re-using several children's names...which is also possible. Notice that the conventional view attributes old Solomon's (supposed) children by Mary Starnader to his son Solomon and his wife Mary "Polly" Gentry intuitively more acceptable view.

But then there is the 1840 census of Taney County, Missouri, which lists the following family:
YOKAM, SOLOMON 0021000001-3022001
(Solomon age 70-80; two males age 10-15; one male age 15-20; female age 40-50; three females under 5; two females age 10-15; two females age 15-20.)

This is remarkably similar to the old Solomon Yoakum and Mary Starnater family above, and also to the one listed in the 1850 Denton County Texas census. It shows an old (age 70-80) Solomon with a young "wife" and "children" about the right age for that family...but remember that the 1840 census names only the head of family, and no relationships are given. Old Solomon's son Solomon (b. 1797?) would be only 47 in 1840, so the head of family listed is definitely not him. It could be (again) that Old Solomon is taking care of his son's family while he is gone (as is suggested for the 1850 Denton County Texas census). Has anyone found a census record for young (b. ca 1797) Solomon Yoakum with a family matching this one? Anywhere, any time?

[Yes. 1840, Washington County, Arkansas. See Item 9 below. I have no proof that this Arkansas Solomon (b. 1790-1800 according to census) is the son of old Solomon. However, if he is, then the children listed with the old Solomon in Taney County, Missouri in 1840 are apparently NOT his grandchildren by his son Solomon. Very circumstantial.]

ITEM 7 (September 3, 1998)

Notes on census records from JoAnn Hatch:

1860 San Saba Co., Texas, p.382
SOLOMON YOAKUM, age 28, farmer, real estate 960, personal estate 1002?, b.MO
.....POLLY YOAKUM, age 61, b. MO
.....JANE NOWLAND, age, 15, b. MO
.....SOLOMON NOWLAND, age 13, b.MO
.....ANNY YOAKUM, age 13, b. MO

1870 Kimble Co. Texas, p.153
SOLOMON YOAKUM, age 45, vagrant, b. MO (cannot read or write)
.....POLLY YOAKUM, age 80, b. MO (cannot read or write)


The general ages of Solomon and "Polly" and the association with the Nowlands leaves little doubt that this is Solomon Jr. (b. ca 1825) and his mother Mary. Notice that the actual ages recorded from one census to the next do not precisely agree. See Item 8 below.

ITEM 8 (September 3, 1998)

More notes on census records from JoAnn Hatch

1880 Benton County, Hico Township, Arkansas
Solomon Yoakum, White,Male, age 52, Single, Farmer, b. in Missouri, father born in N.C. and Mother born in Missouri.
Mary Yoakum, white, female, age 85, Mother, Widow, b. In Missouri, father born in Germany and Mother born in Pennslyvania.
Serena?Crawford, white,female, age 18, niece, single, b. in Texas, Mother born in Missouri and father born in Missouri.


From JoAnn Hatch: The fact that Mary Yoakum would have been born in 1795 in Missouri and her father was born in Germany and mother in Pennslyvania, makes me think this is the Mary Starnader(sp?) that was listed as the wife of Solomon Yoakum in St. Genevive County, Mo in 1818. (Looks like Solomon did't know how old he was, and neither did Polly)

From Greg Brown: It does look like this could be Mary Starnater, and mother of Solomon Jr. (b. ca 1825). But still, who was her husband, Solomon b. 1773, or his son, Solomon b. ca 1797? Some accounts have Solomon (b. 1797) married to Mary Gentry (where are Mary Gentry's parents from?). So we are still left with the age-old question: Is Mary Starnater the young wife of old Solomon, or is she his daughter-in-law? This Mary's husband apparently died around 1850. Old Solomon died around 1850. But what became of Solomon b. ca 1797? Did he also die around 1850? If he can be located on a census or any other record after 1850, then it would appear that this Mary (Starnater?) was indeed old Solomon's wife.

From JoAnn Hatch, 10 September 1998: This won't help solve our Solomon problem, but I think it is interesting.
This is the Homestead Proof of the Solomon Yoakum of Benton County Arkansas. The document is dated 1878. The questions asked of him and his answers were:

What is your age? 64
When did you first establish a residence upon the land? In August 1872
Was your residence upon the land continuous? Yes, I lived on the land all the time since 1872 up to this time.
Did your family reside thereon? I had no other family except my mother who has lived with me all the time on the land.
What improvements have you made on the land? Dwelling house, stable, tobacco barn and about 20 acres fenced and in cultivation.
What is the total value of said improvements? $400.00
How much of the land have you broken and cultivated, and what crops, if any, have you raised? About 20 acres cultivated. Corn, wheat, oats and tobacco.

Solomon made his mark on this document on 28 October, 1878 in Benton Co.

[Obviously, this Solomon had a great deal of trouble determining his age. One gets the feeling that he did not really know his age, and just gave the number that came into his head. Other times, perhaps, officials just put down the age they believed him to be. I can't remember seeing such a wide variation in reported ages for anyone before!--Greg]

ITEM 9 (September 3, 1998)

Notes on census records from Audrey Becker:

1840 Washington County, Prairie Township, Arkansas
Solomon Yoakham 0221001-221001
(Solomon age 40-50; two males age 5-10; 2 males age 10-15. Wife (?) age 30-40; two females age under 5; two females age 5-10; one female age 10-15.)


From Audrey: Who are these people? Solomon II (b. ca 1797) and his wife Mary and their family perhaps? Note that Solomon III (b. ca 1825) and his mother Mary were in Hico Township, Benton County, Arkansas in 1880. Prairie Township, Washington County, Arkansas, is just a few miles away. Maybe they (Solomon III and his mother) came back to their old stomping grounds.

From Greg: Old Solomon would have been 67 at the time of the 1840 census, so this is apparently not him. The age is right for Old Solomon's son (about 43) and for Mary Starnater or Mary Gentry (about 40). (See also 1840 Taney County Missouri census in comments under Item #6)

ITEM 10 (September 3, 1998)

Notes on census records from Charles Williams:

1860 Stone County, Cass Township, Missouri
Solomon Yocham, age 22, b. Missouri
.....Mary S. Yocham, age 26, b. Arkansas
.....Agustus Yocham, age 8, b. Missouri
.....George W. Yocham, age 6, b. Missouri
.....Sarah V. Yocham, age 3, b. Missouri
.....Jacob W. Yocham, age 1, b. Iowa
.....John Jefferson, age 25, b. Kentucky (farm hand)


There's a pretty good chance that this Solomon is the son of George W. Yoakum and Alcey Friend, and thus a grandson of old Solomon and Susannah Adams (see Individual #541 in Bob Derryberry's compilation). Fortunately, due to his age, he isn't directly involved in the current question...which is fortunate because he, too, married a Mary!

From JoAnn Hatch, 10 September 1998:
Dorothy Carter has identified the 1860 Stone Co. Missouri Solomon as follows:
Solomon married Mary Jane Stallings May 22nd, 1849 in Boone Co., Ark. Mary Jane born 1825 and Solomon born 1827. Solomon's second wife was Lucy Mildred McCandles. Solomon was in the Mexican War. Solomon and Mary Jane are in 1850 Taney Co., MO., 1860 Stone Co., MO, 1870, Boone Co. Ark., By 1880 Solomon and Lucy Mildred were in Sumner Co. Kansas and 1900 they were in Christian Co. Missouri. In 1910 Solomon was living with his son, William Clyde Yocham in Logan Co., OKla. Solomon died Sept 4, 1910 while enroute to Ontario, Oregon. Mary Jane Stallings died Sept 4, 1875. Lucy Mildred McCandles and Solomon married October 30, 1876.

I think Dorothy has the right idea. Process of elimination may help.
[The ages seem to be off by about 10 years. Did I make a mistake in copying one of these JoAnn? Charles?---Greg]

ITEM 11  (June 20, 1999)

Comments submitted by Mike Sizer

I have just spent some time going through your Yoakum website. You questioned the source for the parentage of Priscilla Yoakum who married Frederick Mayberry. It seems one source has Jesse Yoakum born about 1738 son of Matthias Yoakum as the father of Priscilla. I strongly disgree. I am the sole source of her father being Michael Yoakum born abt. 1740 (brother of Jesse). I came to this conclusion about seven years ago. I have also submitted to the LDS Ancestral file. I also believe that the mystery of Solomon Yoakum can be found with Michael Yoakum. There is strong evidence that Priscilla and Solomon Yoakum were siblings [and children] of MICHAEL YOAKUM. I also believe that he had other children namely Agnes and Jacob.

First, we know that Michael Yoakum was born about 1740. He married in Bedford Co., Va. in 1762 to Ann Boyles the daughter of Alexander Boyles. He lived in Bedford County, Va. from 1762 until about 1784. His name appears in Bedford county records to prove this. Please note Michael Yoakum history in H. C. Smith's book pages 529-530. On Feb. 9, 1773 he sold a parcel of land. In 1774 he signed a petition to the House of Burgesses for the establishment of a Presbyterian Church at the Peak of Otter. In 1774 He was ordered to pay his wife three pounds a month for her subsistence. The case was dismissed in 1784 or 1785. On Feb. 7, 1775 Charles McGlothlin of Bedford County conveyed to Michael Yoakum of same County 55 shillings for a parcel of land lying on the banks of the Little Otter. On Nov. 14, 1777 he is listed as a witness to the will of John Downing of Bedford County. A daughter of John Downing is listed as Mary Downing. In Sep. 1779 Michael Yoakum deed to Lawrence McGuire of Bedford County for the sum of 500 pounds, 80 acres on the north branch of the Otter River. According to Smith he states" The last record we have of this Michael Yoakum is on the 5 of October 1785 when he deeds to Thomas Wood of Bedford County ...At this time Michael has moved to Green county, North Carolina. Of him we find in Bedford County no further trace.

Let us now jump to Greene County, Tennessee. At the time this was considered North Carolina territory. A note to remember. Michael Yoakums daughter Priscilla was born in 1773. She married Frederick Mayberry around 1790. The Mayberry's also came from the Peaks of Otter in Bedford County, Va. In Greene County court minutes from November 1784 " The last Will and Testamnet of JAMES DELANY was duly proven by the oaths of ANNE YOKUM and MARY MOHONEY and the same is ord to be recorded. Ord that letters Testamontory be granted to ELIZABETH DELANY & JACOB SMELCHER on the estate of JAMES DELANY decd. Deposited forty shillings. Then in May of 1788 the marriage of JACOB SMELCER and Agnes YOCUM in Greene County, Tenn. (The only Yocum marriage listed in the county).

In 1791 minutes of the Court of Common pleas 1783-1795 of Greene county we find...from JOHN KNAVES to JAMES_____ on French Broad River and JOHN KEENEY, JONATHAN WOOD, JAMES NETHERTON, MICHAEL YORAM, FREDERICK MAYBERRY, GEORGE MAYBERRY, HENRY KNAVE, JOHN, KNAVE, JAMES FARMER, CHARLES ATKINS, ROBERT MILLER, AND JOHN MCLEHNNAHN view and mark the same and report next court. Please note the spelling of Michael Yoakum should have been YOKAM. He is listed next to FREDERICK MAYBERRY! Frederick Mayberry and Priscilla were married around 1790-91. NO other Yoakum's are listed in Greene county at the time. I find NO Jesse Yoakum. Now if Frederick Mayberrry and Priscilla were married around this time were is JESSE YOAKUM?

We know now that Michael Yoakum and his wife Ann were in Greene County (NC), Tennessee from about 1784-5 to 1791. No further Yoakum records can be found in Greene county after 1791. So were did he go?

Let us now jump to Jefferson County, Tenn. Which was just formed from parts of Greene County and ten miles to the west from Greene county. He may not have even moved but the county was formed out of Greene county.

>From Jefferson County, Tenn. Court Minutes 1792-1795.

"At a Court of Pleas and begun and held for the County of Jeffeson in Dandrdge the 12th day of August a.d. 1793. Present were JOHN BLACKBURN, WILLIAM COX, AND JAMES LEA Esquires. The following inquest appeared in Court were qualified and received theri charge to wit: JOHANN GILLIAND, WILLIAM HORNER, WILLIAM PARKS...MICHAEL YOKEM...

In 1793 marriage in Jefferson County of SOLOMON YOCHIM and SUSANNAH ADAMS. Note the bondsman was JACOB SMELCER! He had married Agnes Yocum in Greene county in 1788.

>From Jefferson county Wills: An inventory of the good and chattels, rights, and credits of the estate of SAMUEL McCLANHAN late of Jefferson County, deceased. Debts desperate: WILLIAM NELSON, LEWIS TARWATER, JOHN MORROW, GEORGE GRAHAM, WM. THORNTON, JOSEPH COPELAND, JACOB DERRICK, JOHN KENNEY, JOHN BRIGGS, SAML.JACK, MICHAEL YOCUM. October term of court 1798.

Also listed in land and will records is Frederick Mayberry along with his brothers George, Jacob, John and Henry Mayberry. Often listed on the same deed and will is JACOB SMELCER.

It is more likely that the families of Frederick Mayberry, Jacob Smelcer and Michael Yoakum did not move, rather the land were the lived on the French Broad River, became a part of Jeffeson County.

After 1797 no record of Michael Yoakum appears in Jefferson County. Let us now jump to Knox County, Tenn. The next county to the west.

On Tax lists for Knox county in 1799 are: JACOB YOCUM MICHAL YOCUM SOLOMON YOCUM

The most likely case is that Michael Yocum is the father of Solomon and Jacob. I can not account for Jacob Yocum. We can assume that this is the same Solomon Yoachim who married six years earlier in Jefferson County next to Knox county. We know that Michael Yoakum was living in Jefferson County in 1793 at the time Solomon was married. I have not found a Jacob Yoakum listed in ANY records there. I do not know where Michael Yoakum is after 1799. He may be too old to be listed on Tax records after that time. In 1804 Jacob Yocum is listed and is living on the Clinch River. Some other things to note. Frederick Mayberry and Priscilla Yoakum named their first son Michael. Their second son was Solomon. I am trying to find the source of Priscilla Yoakum being the daughter of Jesse Yoakum. I would like some proof. From what I have been able to find there remains only one possiblity and that is Michael Yoakum. We know from Bedford county, Va. records that he had children. None are listed on the website for him. It appears that many researchers have tried to tie into other brothers of Michael such as Jacob and Jesse when they were living in Kentucky around 1785-1793.

Michael Yoakum's family as I see it:

Michael Yoakum born abt. 1740 in Pennsylvania. Lived in Bedford Co., Va., Greene, Jefferson, Knox Counties, Tenn. Died aft 1799. married 1762 in Bedford Co., Va to Ann Boyles dau. of Alexander Boyles


Agnes Yoakum born abt 1765-70 in Virginia. married 1788 in Greene co., Tenn. to Jacob Smelcer

Priscilla Yoakum born 1773 in Bedford Co., Va. married abt. 1791 in Greene county, Tenn to Frederick Mayberry. Died 22 May 1849 in Hamilton Co., Ill Buried at Big Hill Cem. near Norris city, Ill.

Solomon Yoakum born 1773 in Virginia. married to Susannah Adams in 1793 in Jefferson co., Tenn.

Jacob Yoakum born about 1765-74 in Virginia.

I can send copies of any of the records I have quoted from if you would like.

When you get the chance please let me know what you think.


ITEM 12  (July 7, 1999)

Comments submitted by Mike Sizer

Thank you for your reply. Please feel free to post any information. In answering your question as to the father of Michael Yoakum, yes I believe he was the son of Matthias Yoakum Sr. Michael Yoakum was born about 1740. I find him receiving land from Matthias Yoakum in Bedford County, Va. in 1761. He later conveys this land back to Matthias Yoakum. It is interesting to note that none of the prior Yaokum researchers have any listed children for Michael Yoakum(b. 1740). According to court records in Bedford County, Va. he was ordered to pay child support in the late 1770's. So he did have at least one child and most likely several.

I have also found the area he moved to when the records in Bedford County, Va. state that he moved to Greene County, Tenn.(N. C.). He lived near the upper French Broad River. Also living there was Frederick Mayberry and Jacob Smelcer. Rembember Jacob Smelcer would be the son in law of Michael Yoakum and the bondsman to the marriage of Solomon Yoakum to Susannah. In 1784 it was Greene County. Around 1791 that area became Jefferson County. In 1796 the area belonged to Cocke County(earlier called Hancock County). So it appears they did not move at All! The county lines moved. So for a period of fourteen years Frederick Mayberry, Jacob Smelcer, Michael Yoakum and Solomon Yoakum were all living in the same area together. Unfortunatly, the records for Cocke County, Tenn. are lost. The records of Greene and Jefferson Counties survive and that is where all of them appear in the records. When Cocke County was created they are not listed in Jefferson. The Revolutionary War pension application for Frederick Mayberry states that he lived in Cocke County, Tenn. for a number of years. His brother was also there and raised his family there.

Michael Yoakum, Frederick Mayberry, and Jacob Smelzer or Smelcer, are listed over and over again in Jefferson County records. I have pages and pages of references. I am still acquiring more! It is interesting to note that Jesse, Jacob or ANY other Yoakum's are not named in any Jefferson county records or in the immediate vicinity. Again, one would think that Solomon Yoakum being only 18-19 years old at marriage in Jefferson County would have his family nearby. The Michael Yoakum listed in Jefferson County, Tenn. records IS the same Michael Yoakum of Bedford County, Va. and he is the son of Matthias Yoakum Sr. born abt. 1700-1705. Priscilla Yoakum, born in 1773, daughter of Michael Yoakum, named her first child and son Michael Mayberry. Their second son was named Solomon Mayberry. This can not be used as proof but it does fit very well.

One problem many Yoakum reseachers have had is there are several Michael Yoakum's! The problem is the same with Solomon. The absence of a will and the lack of records such as in Cocke county, Tenn. which could cement Michael Yoakum as the father of Ann, Priscilla, Solomon and Jacob has made finding the children of Michael Yoakum difficult.It seems that when Michael Yoakum left Bedford County, Va., researchers had written him off. Many researchers have tried to "fit" their ancestor to a previously researched child of Matthias Sr. I would venture to say at this point that any Yoakum living in Jefferson, Greene, or Cocke counties between 1784-1796 belong to the family of Michael Yoakum. There are Yoakum's who moved into Hawkins county, Tenn. around 1798. We know that Michael Yoakum was living in Tennessee as early as 1784. His siblings were living further north in Hardy, Hampshire counties in now West Virginia and in Mercer county, Ky during this time.

I will be sure to let you know of any new findings!

Sincerely, Mike

Please note that new comments may have been added within the discussions above, rather than added to the end. This document was last updated Sunday, February 11, 2001. Browse through it to be sure you haven't overlooked anything new. Thanks!


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Many thanks to all those who have contributed information on the Solomon Yoakum line, including Audrey Becker, Marilyn Pfitzner, JoAnn Hatch, Bob Derryberry, Helen Olson, and many others!

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