Caswell County Family Tree

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  • ID: I1875
  • Name: Ann Graves
  • Sex: F
  • Name: Nancy aka
  • Reference Number: 1900
  • Birth: 3 DEC 1786
  • Burial: Yancey Family Cemetery (Yanceyville, North Carolina)
  • MAP:
  • LATI: N36.4165
  • LONG: W79.3618
  • Death: 8 APR 1855
  • Note:
    Ann (Nancy) Graves (1786-1855)

    Ann (Nancy) Graves Yancey (1786-1855)


    (for larger image, click on photograph)

    Note the possibility that regionally famous artist William Garl Browne, Jr. (1823-1894) painted the above portrait of Ann (Nancy) Graves Yancey. According to Katherine Kerr Kendall in her biography of the Reverend John Sharshall Grasty, Grasty spent part of his time in Yanceyville ". . . watching Raleigh artist, William Garl Brown, paint pictures of friends in the studio which Brown had set up in the Rucks home . . . ." And, in Grasty's diary he references observing Mrs. Yancey have her portrait painted. Grasty boarded in the Rucks Yanceyville home.


    Kendall, Katharine Kerr. "John Sharshall Grasty (24 April, 1825 - 18 April, 1883," North Carolina Presbyterian Historical Society Newsletter, Volume 4, No. 1 (February 1979).

    Grasty, John Sharshall. Diary (1849-1850).

    April 2rd [1850 Yanceyville] - This morning I saw Mrs. Yancey taking a sitting for her portrait. I conversed with her and Martha Miles - I then read James' Earnest Ministry - after dinner read the same. Dr. Allen of Danville came up - I afterwards went and conversed with Mrs. Roane while she was sitting for her portrait - after tea I went up to the Academy to Mrs. Gould's concert - after this Mr. Lindsay came to my room and we spoke of the action of Grier's Church.

    Source: Diary of Reverend John Sharshall Grasty (April-December 1850).

    1. Mrs. Yancey probably is the wife of Bartlett Yancey, Jr. (1785-1828), Ann (Nancy) Graves Yancey (1786-1855).

    2. Martha Miles probably is Martha Rice Miles (c.1815-1873), daughter of Abner Miles (1792-1856). On July 20, 1850, she married Yancey Jones.

    3. James, John Angell. "An Earnest Ministry: The Want of the Times" (1847). He argues that the effect of preaching is directly related to the heart-condition of the preacher: "[I]t is feeling which gives power to words and thoughts." To command attention for the truth, its spokesmen must first be earnest, that is to say, be possessed by one single aim and by a devotion which leads them to surrender all that would hinder its attainment.

    4. Mrs. Roane [Roan] is the wife of Dr. Nathaniel Moore Roan, M.D. (1803-1879), Mary B. Henderson Roan (1817-1896).

    5. The Academy is the Yanceyville Male Academy.

    6. Mrs. Gould probably is the wife of Benjamin Gould (teacher), Eliza B. Gould. Benjamin Gould may have taught at the Yanceyville Male Academy.

    7. Mr. Lindsay [Lindsey] is Archibald Clark Lindsey (1814-1862) schoolmaster at the Yanceyville Male Academy.

    8. Grier's Church is Grier's Presbyterian Church, organized 1753 in Caswell County, North Carolina. It is on the National Register of Historic Places (1985).

    The Weekly Standard (Raleigh, North Carolina), Wednesday, 25 April 1855.

    Nancy (Ann) Graves Yancey (1786-1855) was the daughter of Revolutionary War veteran John Herndon Graves (1746-1829) and Nancy Talbot Slade Graves (1749-1807). In 1808, she married her first cousin Bartlett Yancey Jr. (1785-1828). This relationship created the oddity of the mother and wife of Bartlett Yancey Jr. having the same name (Nancy (Ann) Graves Yancey). Her father, John Herndon Graves, was the brother of Nancy (Ann) Graves, the mother of her husband.

    See: Bartlett Yancey, Jr.

    For the 1851 will of Ann (Nancy) Graves go to: Will of Ann (Nancy) Graves. Note that in this will, Ann (Nancy) Graves Yancey, who outlived her husband by some twenty-seven years, the Yancey family homeplace (Bartlett Yancey House and surrounding acreage) was left to daughter Ann Elizabeth Yancey for her life, and then to the children of Ann Elizabeth Yancey. Ann Elizabeth Yancey married Thomas Jefferson Womack 9 July 1855, and they had four children. Three of these children were alive when Ann Elizabeth Yancey Womack died 20 July 1900: Nancy (Nannie) Graves Womack; Thomas Pancoast Womack; and Sallie Henry Womack. Son Bartlett Yancey Womack had died in 1897. It appears that Thomas Pancoast Womack obtained the rights of his siblings because the Bartlett Yancey House and substantial acreage passed to his wife, Mattie Hatchett Womack (who subsequently married Edgar Archibald Allison).

    Accordingly, unless unknown events intervened, these three surviving children inherited the Bartlett Yancey, Jr. house, associated buildings, and surrounding 500-600 acres.

    The 1855 estate inventory for Nancy Graves Yancey includes $190 in notes owed by Thomas day from 1853 to 1855. Ann willed the house to her daughter Ann Elizabeth, who married Thomas Womack later that year. Possibly Day cleared the debt by executing the architectural woodwork for the two-story 1856 Greek Revival addition built by the couple shortly after their marriage.

    Source: Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color, Patricia Phillips Marshall and Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll (2010) at 248 (footnote 32).

    First Ladies of Caswell County, Past and Present (1985)

    Mrs. Archibald D. Murphey, Mary Lee Varner Carter (Register of Deeds); Mrs. Bartlett Yancey; Janet Harris Cobb (Clerk of Superior Court); Mrs. Bedford Brown; Mary Skipwith Brown (Preservationist); Mrs. Romulus Saunders; Maud Florance Gatewood (Artist, Teacher, and Former chairman of County Commissioners); Mrs. Solomon Lea; Ann Gunn Everitt (Member, Board of Education); Mrs. John Kerr; Bea Gatling Gwynn (Resident M.D.); Mrs Tom Day; Dorothy Yarborough Zimmerman (School Supervisor); Mrs. Henrietta Jeffries (Midwife); Helen Payne (First African-American Home Demonstration Agent); Miss Lizzie Lownes (School Teacher); Helen Little (Member, District Highway Commission); Miss Ida Poteat (Professor); Geneva Williams Warren (Member Governor's Staff and Businesswoman); Mrs. B. S. Graves (Clubwoman).


    The Lady Pioneers of this Generation Who Have Taken Their Places in Business and Organizations at County, State, and National Level While Maintaining Their Homes and Rearing the Next Generation.

    Source: Whitlow, Jeannine D., Editor. The Heritage of Caswell County North Carolina 1985. Winston-Salem (North Carolina): Hunter Publishing Company, 1985. Page 680.

    John A. Graves v. Catharine Howard et al, Supreme Court of North Carolina, 56 N.C. 302 (1857)

    The bill was filed by the administrator with the will annexed of Elijah Graves, praying the advice of the Court as to his duty in the payment of the debts and legacies. The parts of the will material to the questions propounded, are as follows:

    "To the children of my deceased sister Elizabeth Kimbrough, who may be living at my death, I give the sum of twelve hundred dollars.

    "In like manner, I give to the children of my deceased brother Thomas Graves, who may be living at my death, twelve hundred dollars, to be equally divided between them.

    "To my sister Catharine Howard, I give the like sum of twelve hundred dollars, if she be living at my death. If she dies before I do, or is now dead, then I give the sum to her children, who may be living when I die, to be equally divided between them.

    "To the children of my deceased brother William Graves, who may be living at my death, I give the like sum of twelve hundred dollars, to be equally divided between them. The share of Elijah Graves, the younger, however, to be held by my personal representative in trust, for the sole and separate use of his wife and children, so long as he lives, and then to be paid over to his wife and children in equal shares.

    "I give to the children of my deceased sister, Delilah Miles, who may be living at my death, twelve hundred dollars, to be equally divided between them.

    "I give to my nephew Napoleon Elijah Graves, my undivided half of the tract of land, near Milton, in Caswell county, known as the Milton race tract.

    "I give to my friend Major L. Graves, of Georgia, the sum of three hundred dollars.

    "My will is that my land shall be divided as follows:

    (Setting out the metes and bounds).

    "The lower tract of land aforesaid, I direct to be sold by my personal representative, upon such credit as he may deem expedient.

    "To the living children of my sister Nancy Yancy, I give twelve hundred dollars, to be equally divided between them; the share of Virginia, the wife of George W. Swepson, is to be paid over to and held by Giles Mebane, in trust for the sole and separate use of Virginia Swepson aforesaid, so long as she lives, and after her death, if she dies without a living child, to be equally divided among her surviving sisters.

    "My will is that all my slaves shall be equally divided among those of my brothers' and sisters' children who may be living in Caswell county at the time of my death, and if there shall not be property enough away from the sale of land, and property of a perishable nature, belonging to my estate, (and such land only as I have directed to be sold), to make the children aforesaid, living out of the county of Caswell, equal, in reference to the division of slaves, with those living in the county, then I direct that the children to whom I give the slaves aforesaid, shall pay to those living out of the county such sum of money as will be sufficient, together with what may arise from the sale of property aforesaid, to equalise them all in the distribution of the slaves; but I direct that the share of Elijah Graves, jr., shall be delivered to and be held by Abisha Slade in trust, as aforesaid, for the sole and separate use of the wife of the said Elijah, and her children, so long as he lives, and then to be equally divided between his said wife and children. * * * All the residue of my estate and effects, I give to the four youngest daughters of my deceased brother William Graves, namely, Isabella Dodson, Fanny Tuberville, Cornelia Tuberville and Virginia Graves."

    The first question submitted in the bill, is whether Mrs. Swepson's share shall be assigned to her in slaves, or shall be made up in money. It is insisted by some of the legatees that, because Giles Mebane, to whom the legal interest in the legacy is conveyed, is not a citizen of Caswell county, but lives in Alamance county, she is not entitled to a share of the slaves in kind.

    Secondly. The bill alleges that the administrator has sold the land and perishable property set apart for sale, and that the fund thus arising, added to the money on hand, and that arising from debts due the estate, and other sources, is insufficient to pay the pecuniary legacies and debts, and to equalise the division of the slaves between the two classes of legatees. He says that there is nothing falling into the residuum except the houses and lots in Yancyville. He asks the Court to instruct him how to proceed in this case: whether the pecuniary legacies shall abate, or shall he sell property to pay the whole, and if the latter, what property is he to sell? Shall he, in the latter alternative, sell slaves, or apply the money raised by selling the houses and lots falling into the residuum?

    The plaintiff also asks the Court to "advise him upon the construction of the will generally."

    The several legatees interested in these questions, were made defendants, and filed answers, admitting the facts, but insisting on different views of the rules governing the case, according to their several interests.

    Cause set for hearing on the bill, answers and exhibit, and transmitted to this Court by consent.

    Pearson, J.

    1. Virginia Swepson is entitled to a share of the slaves. She was living in the "county of Caswell." The circumstance that Mebane, in whom the legal title vested, lived out of the county, does not affect the legacy. She is the beneficial owner. Indeed, the will speaks of her share in the slaves. This removes all doubt.

    2. The residue of "the testator's estate and effects," means what is left after all liabilities are discharged and all the purposes of the testator are carried into effect. Consequently, the lots and houses in Yancyville must be sold, if, upon taking an account, it is found necessary to sell any property other than that directed to be sold.

    The fund for equalising the distribution of the slaves, is the money arising from the sale of the land and property of a perishable nature, with this restriction, such land only as I have directed to be sold. There is, then, a further provision by which the children who get slaves are to contribute for equality of partition. This is a charge on the slaves as a dernier resort.

    The fund for the payment of debts and pecuniary legacies, is the same with this addition, it also extends to the houses and lots in Yancyville, which are not specifically disposed of. This presents a question of "marshalling." There is a fund common to both, and a fund subject only to one charge. Upon a well-settled principle of equity, this separate fund must be applied in aid of the common fund; that is, the lots and houses must be applied to the payment of debts and pecuniary legacies, so that the common fund may, if possible, be made to cover both charges before the ultimate resort is made to the slaves for contribution.

    3. The advice asked upon the construction of the will generally, is too vague and indefinite.

    There will be a decree in pursuance of this opinion. The costs will be paid out of the estate.

    Per Curiam, Decree accordingly.

    1850 United States Federal Census
    Name: Ann Gancarz [Yancey]
    Age: 63
    Estimated birth year: abt 1787
    Birth Place: North Carolina
    Gender: Female
    Home in 1850 (City,County,State): Caswell, North Carolina
    Family Number: 380
    Household Members: Name Age
    Ann Gancarz [Yancey] 63
    Ann E Gancarz [Yancey] 29
    Francis McAden 10

    Father: John Herndon Graves b: 1746 in Spotsylvania County, Virginia
    Mother: Ann Slade b: 1749 in Baltimore, Baltimore County, Maryland

    Marriage 1 Bartlett Yancey Jr. b: 19 FEB 1785 in Caswell County, North Carolina
    • Married: 20 DEC 1808 in Caswell County, North Carolina
    • Note:
      Marriage Record
      Groom: Bartlett Yancey
      Bride: Nancy Graves
      Date: 20 Dec 1808
      Bondsman or Witness: Azariah Graves
      Source: Caswell County North Carolina Marriage Bonds 1778-1868, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1981) at 125

      Marriage Record
      Groom: Bartlett Yancy
      Bride: Nancy Graves
      Bond Date: 20 Dec 1808
      Bond #: 000019407
      Level Info: North Carolina Marriage Bonds, 1741-1868
      ImageNum: 003071
      County: Caswell
      Record #: 01 358
      Bondsman: Azariah Graves
      Witness: Alex Murphey
      Source: Ancestry.Com North Carolina Marriage Bonds, 1741-1868
    1. Has No Children Rufus Augustus Yancey b: 26 AUG 1809 in Caswell County, North Carolina
    2. Has Children Frances Williams Yancey b: 31 MAY 1811 in Caswell County, North Carolina
    3. Has No Children Caroline L. Yancey b: 13 DEC 1812 in Caswell County, North Carolina
    4. Has No Children Curtius Yancey b: MAY 1813 in Caswell County, North Carolina
    5. Has Children Algernon Sydney Yancey b: 28 JAN 1816 in Caswell County, North Carolina
    6. Has Children Mary Catherine Yancey b: 26 DEC 1817
    7. Has No Children Bartlett Yancey b: JUN 1819
    8. Has Children Ann Elizabeth Yancey b: 15 JUN 1821 in Caswell County, North Carolina
    9. Has Children Caroline Louisa Yancey b: 19 OCT 1823 in Caswell County, North Carolina
    10. Has No Children Virginia Bartlett Yancey b: 2 NOV 1826 in Caswell County, North Carolina
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