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YANCEY WHITE  (b. 1809-1813, d. after 1880)

This page last revised 5 April 2017.
Compiled by Travis Hardin (grandson of William Ausie White)

Yancey White, born 1810-1812, believed first cousin of  Adolphus White

While I have not proven Yancey White's relationship with Adolphus White (father of our subject William White), both families came from Pendleton District, South Carolina.

Summary from records

1811 Born in South Carolina.
1833 Aug 5: Yancey's first daughter Jane was born in Pickens County, SC. Jane Burns died Oconee County 1918 June 28.
1840 Lived in Pickens County, SC., 3 in household: Himself and wife, each 20-29 and a daughter 5 - 9. He and his wife were born 1811-1820.
1849 Lived in Pickens County.
1850 Lived in Anderson County, SC
1860 Census: Age 49, lived Cave Spring P.O., Floyd County, Georgia with Elizabeth, age 80, his presumed mother. Neither had slaves counted in the census.

Earliest Records

At least 18 White families were in Pendleton District, SC in 1810. By coincidence several were on the same page as Aaron Hardin, a direct ancesor of this writer.

1810 Born Pendleton District, South Carolina. According to the 1864 Census for Re-orgaiizing the Georgia Militia, living in the 1059th militia district of Floyd County, Ga. He was a farmer.

1830 Census, South Carolina, Pickens District.
Alexander White 50-59; his presumed wife 50-59 (b. 1770-80). He had a son 15-19 who could be Yancey, and a son 20-29. He had two daughters 20-29 (the right age to be Mahala), one girl 15-19 , and one girl 5-9, making a household of 8. There were no slaves. There are age matches to Yancey, to Mahala, and to the mother Elizabeth. However I have no proof this is the family of Yancey White.

1840 Census, South Carolina, Pickens District, p. 355.
Alexander White 70-79 (b. 1761-70)
presumed wife 70-79
2 M 5-9
1 F 15-19
2 F 20-29
1 F 30-39
No slaves.
1 person employed in agriculture

adjacent to above:
Andrew P. White 20-29 and his presumed wife 15-20
2 boys under 5, 1 5-10. No girls.
No slaves.

I located Yancey White (who I believe is the first cousin of Adolphus White) on the 1840 Pickens District, SC census, p. 346. He was married to Rebecca Brice and had one daughter Jane, b. 5 Aug 1833, who later married a Burns in that place. Both husband and wife stated their age as 20-29. A daughter was age 5-9. No slaves in 1840.

1845. Between 12 Nov and 12 Dec 1845 "Yancy White" was a buyer at an estate sale of John Harris in Anderson County. Alexander, Elliot, Willie, "Pendleton District & Anderson Co SC Wills, Estates, Inventories, Tax Returns & Census Records" p.254 (c. 1980)

1850 Census, South Carolina, Anderson District, Northwest Division page 177a, family #294. Dated 8 Aug 1850.
Yancey White, 38 (b. 1811-12), M, farmer, $200, b. SC
Margaret White, 48 (b. 1801-02), F, b. SC
Jane White, 17 (b. 1832-33), F, b. SC.
There were three slaves: One woman, 25, black; one girl, 2, black; and 1 male 8 months, black.

On the following page, family #300:
G. R. League, 28, M, blacksmith, b. SC, married within the year.
Mary League, 26, F, b. SC, married within the year.
Jane White, 6, b. SC.

A death certificate issued in Oconee County, SC in 1918 confirms Yancy’s presence there in 1833.  Jane Burns, female, white, widow, died 28 June 1918. She was born 5 Aug 1833 in Oconee County, SC (then Pickens). Her father was Yancey White, born SC, and her mother was Rebecca Brice, born SC. The informant was J. Y. Burns of Seneca, SC. Debbie Bryce Mccollum, has the name as Margaret Rebecca Brice at

1849: Pickens District Real Estate Divisions (Continued from Volume XVIII, p.158)
The undersigned respectfully shows that so far as he knows or is advised that Jas R. G. Bryce for whom he had been appointed “Guardian ad Litem” would receive no injury for the sale of the Real Estate of Thomas Bryce Decd and that he therefore consent to said sale 3 Decr 1849. Yancy White Guardian ad Litem for J. R. G. Bryce.
The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, SCMAR, Volume XVIII, Number 4, Fall, 1990

(Yancey White’s wife was a Bryce. So the young man may have been his wife’s nephew.)

In 1850 Yancey White lived in the Northwestern Division of Anderson County, SC. His daughter Jane was age 17 and instead of Rebecca a 48-year-old woman named Margaret White (b. SC 1802) resided with him. There were three slaves: One woman, 25, black; one girl, 2, black; and 1 male 8 months, black.

“Compton’s Place of Georgia Connections and Much More” is a tree on by Under Margaret Rebecca Bryce he prints this note he received:  “My name is Debbie Bryce Mccollum and my E-mail address is  Jane White born June 5, 1833 is the only child of Yancey White born 1812 and Margaret Rebecca Brice/Bryce born 1802 possibly a sister of my second great grandfather Alexander Bryce and his brother Thomas Bryce born 1805 married to Mahala White born 1804 (sister of Yancey). I do not know the parents although I think the mother is possibly Elizabeth.”
Sincerely, Debbie McCollum.
6/19/15 McColllum letter to me: Mahala White's oldest daughter is Elizabeth Bryce. She married Jonathan Reeder Cleveland.

External source, not confirmed by the present author:
Yancy White family by fmb1943 at

There can be two interpretations. Yancey married Rebecca Bryce who was also known in 1850 as Margaret, whose age was misstated by 10 years. OR Rebecca died and Yancey married Margaret, a widow 10 years his senior and relocated to northwest Anderson County. She had slaves. In 1850 she was stepmother to 17-year old Jane.

Yancey White in Floyd County, Georgia

By the 1860 census Yancey White, 49, had moved to Cave Spring district, Cave Spring post office, Floyd County, Georgia. He was a farmer and the only household member was Eliza White, 80. That person is likely his mother. The form is mixed up, but one or both of them was born in South Carolina. His name is not on the slave schedule as an owner that year. If Yancey’s mother was Eliza and Adolphus’s mother was Nancy, then Yancey and Adolphus can be related no closer than first cousins.

In 1860 Yancey White, 49, was in Cave Spring district at Cave Spring post office, household 1511 page 352, date 30 July 1860 by Wm. Johnson. He had $3500 in real estate and $5639 in personal property.

1860 census, Georgia, Floyd County, Cave Spring post office. family #1511, p. 352. Enumerated 31 Jul 1860 by Wm. Johnson.
Yancey White, 49 (b. 1811), farmer, $3500 in real estate, $5639 in personal property, b. SC
Eliza White, 80 (b. 1780), domestic, b. SC.
Cave Spring is a little over 4 miles from State Line Cemetery. Therefore Yancey White was in proximity to the Harbour plantation and Mary Adams.

1863. For a time during the war, Yancey White was in Floyd Legion (State Guards) as a private and a cavalryman.

1864 January. Yancey White appeared in the "Census for Re-organizing the Georgia Militia" in the 1059th Militia District, where ie was a 54-year-old farmer and stated he was born in Pendleton District, SC. (By this report he was born before January 1810.)

1867 August 31, Yancey White married Tillitha Murray in Floyd County.
"Georgia Marriages, 1808-1967," database, : 24 December 2014)"
Note below that on 28 August he was arrested on a charge of Bastardy brought by Katherine Matthews
, a black woman, and released on $1000 bond. This marriage was three days later. Was it a marriage to cover another pregnancy, or did it benefit Yancey in some other way such as being a diversion from his Katherine Matthews troubles?

His home in 1867, according to the news clipping below, was Thomas' Mills on Big Cedar Creek.

In 1870 Yancey White, age 61 (b. 1809), lived in subdivision 141, Livingston Post Office, Floyd County, Georgia. As in 1860, he was a farmer. He owned personal property worth $650, no real estate. He was born in South Carolina. Note that he lost his ownership of real estate and moved away from Cave Spring district to Livingston/Thomas' Mills after 1860. His partner and housekeeper was Talitha (Murray) White, 30 (b. 1840), born in Georgia. Children in the household were Mary Elizabeth White, 2, born Georgia; and Alice Watters White, 5 months, born December 1869 in Georgia. The two-year-old was designated an idiot.

In 1880 Yancey White continued to live in Livingston, militia district 1059. He understated his age as 67. He was a farmer and he and his parents were all born in South Carolina. Mary White, age 28 was his wife and housekeeper. She and her parents were born in Georgia. Three children were in the house: Mahalie, 4, female, daughter; Martha, 2, female, daughter; and Yancey, 7 months, male, son. Yancey Jr. by the way was buried at Oakland Cemetery, Rome, Georgia and his stone says born 30 Sep 1879 (possibly of Mary Murry). The children were born in Georgia. The last person in the household was Billey, 24, male, black, a servant who worked on farm. He and his parents were born in Georgia.

Two marriage certificates exist for Yancey White and Mary Murry. On 10 Jan. 1875 he was married in Floyd County by A. D. Hardin, J.P., and in Dallas County, Alabama on 9 Feb 187, Yancey White married Mary Murray. No one with those names is found in the Dallas County 1870 census.

1885. Yancey White was on the Georgia Property Tax Digest at Livingston District, Thomas Mills post office. He had 160 acres valued at $250. He had livestock worth $470, as much as anybody else except one on the page. Georgia, Property Tax Digests, 1793-1892 [database on-line], accessed 3 Jun 2017.

Yancey White's Meeting and Relationship With Mary Adams and other freed women

James White, by his mother's recall to the census taker, was born 1862. Mary, his mother, was still a slave in 1862 in the household of Burwell Harbour at State Line, Georgia. When James was conceived in 1861, Yancey White , age 50, lived with his aging mother, age 81, at Cave Spring if he had not already moved to Thomas' Mills, on Big Cedar Creek. Either was within 3 or 4 miles of the Harbour household. The Harbours lived near the Alabama line on the Coosa River near State Line Church on Blacks Bluff Road. The State Line cemetery was where Harbour was later buried. When I wrote on another page about Yancy White having the opportunity, I mean he lived within a couple of miles of his victim. The motive is revealed by his lifetime pursuit of other young women, both black and white, into his later years. Bullying, or force, is suggested as the means by a reading of other episodes, one involving attempted murder of a black woman who had a child by him in or before 1867. Let me present to you, without pleasure, the likely father of James White.

Harbour was not a pleasant man either, according to his father-in-law John Bale, who disinherited him for his intemperance with alcohol. His wife got the inheritance and seems to have applied it to form a company with her husband. When Harbour's wife Josephine died in an institution after a long illness, Harbour moved quickly to restructure the business into a partnership with another man.

1867 Location of Yancey White
The newspaper article says he lived at Thomas' Mills. The map shows that to be on Big Cedar Creek. From Big Cedar Creek to State Line Cemetery, where Burwell Harbour is buried, is three miles. I don't have the exact location of his plantation, but three miles is a reasonable guess and close enough for a motivated man to walk.   

The below complaint was lodged with the U.S. military government which sparsely occupied each county during reconstruction.
Bastardy Complaint

Date: 28 Aug 1867   
Complaintant: Katherine Matthews (Col'd)      
Defendant: Yancey White (white man)               
Place of Residence: Floyd County Ga.
Nature of Offense: Bastardy
Deposition: Referred to civil authorities. Arrested and bound in sum of $1000 to appear at next session of Court.
Source: "United States, Freedmen's Bureau, Records of Freedmen's Complaints, 1865-1872," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 29 January 2017), Yancey White, 28 Aug 1867; citing Residence, Floyd, Georgia, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1903, Records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1861-1880, RG 105, (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 76; FHL microfilm 1,574,284.

News Article about Killing a Negro Woman September 1867

Map showing Thomas' Mills, home of Yancey White. Source: George Cram Railroad and County Map of Georgia, 1885, at  

Yancey White's White Supremacy Platform

In the 1870's Yancey White was the foreman of a Floyd County grand jury that recommended a number of measure to disenfranchise and segregate newly freed black citizens. I found the record at, possibly in the Superior Court minutes. I am unable to locate it again.

The Role of William White in the Life of Mary Adams White and Two Other Women

In light of the history of Yancey White, I am inclined to believe that William White decided to take the role of protecting Mary and James from his violent kinsman Yancey. William had gone back to Polk County, Georgia after his 1863 discharge, worked at farming, and married Lucinda Brazile in that county in July 1866. He heard about his kinsman's callousness toward a mixed-race woman and her two children  and became so concerned he signed on as a laborer with Harbour. In1870 he lived in a former slave house with Mary and her children on the Harbour place. He made the transformation to Mary's protector within four years of his marriage to Lucinda. Maybe he was influenced by the spirit of reconstruction and the concept of freedmen and freed women. Or maybe his marriage to Lucinda went bad very fast.

I theorize William, becoming familiar with Whitfield County perhaps from his army days, moved Mary and son James there before 1875 with himself as protector. He lived with but did not, could not, marry  Mary. He informally adopted James, Connor White said. The adoption tells us William's motives were to help. Perhaps it was Mary's plan to "pass," if not for herself, then for Jim. That plan succeeded.

The oral tradition "William went outside for firewood one night and never came back" probably was the cold night in early spring 1875 when he tired of his situation in Dalton and crossed the Conasauga River into Murray County. Soon, on Thursday, April 8th, 1875, as A. J. White, he appeared with Sarah "Sally" Taylor at the courthouse in Chatsworth and took out a license to marry. William established a permanent marriage with Sally. Mary White was left on her own in Dalton with son Jim.  Lucinda Brazile was left on her own in Cedartown. Lucinda disappears from the records. Perhaps she was institutionalized for several decades. Yet Lucinda allowed conjugal visits from someone because she stated in 1900 she had three children and caled herself Lucinda White. That's the best explanation I can come up with. Find a better one if you can.
Good luck in your searches. Travis Hardin.