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An American Family History

Adolphus Yerkes

 
Yerkes has also been spelled Gerkes, Gerckes, Jerghes, Jerghjes, Jurckes,Yercas, Yercks, Yerkhas, Yerkas, Yerkiss, Yerks, and Yerkus
 
 


Home of Anthony Yerkes in the Pennypack Creek area of the Manor of Moreland. It was inherited by Herman Yerkes.

 

A yeoman was a man who owned and cultivated a small farm. He belonged to the class below the gentry or land owners. A husbandman was a free tenant farmer. The social status of a husbandman was below that of a yeoman.

Baptist churches were found in early colonial settlements and grew out of the English Separatist movement and the doctrine of John Smyth who rejected infant baptism.

Adolphus Yerkes was born in the late 17th century. He was either born in Pennsylvania or immigrated to America with his parents. He was the son of Anthony and Margaret Yerkes. His brother was Herman Yerkes.

Adolphus was a gentleman farmer and lived in Pennsylvania. He married a woman named Ann. 

Ann and Adolphus' children included:
Adolphus Yerkes,
Hannah Yerkes Paine (married Richard Paine), 
Samuel Yerkes (married Elizabeth Rue), and
Sarah Yerkes Evans (married Aniel Evans).

On June 10, 1719, he and his father sold John Simcock 100 acres along with the buildings on them in the Manor of Moreland for £137 6s 8d. This land was part of his father's 300 acre plantation. His father had already unofficially given him his land.

The next day Adolphus bought Simcock's share of stock in the Society of Free Traders which included land in Philadelphia for f £100. A few days later he gave his brother, Herman Yerkes, 3/4 of that land.

The Free Society of Traders, a joint-stock company founded by a small group of English Quakers in 1681, was organized with the intention of directing and dominating the economic life of colonial Pennsylvania. . . Penn’s March 1682 charter for the Free Society, which granted the company and its members 20,000 acres of land. . .The legacy of the Free Society of Traders and its members is preserved by the neighborhood where its trading house and much of its property once stood, Society Hill. Extending roughly from Walnut to Lombard Street and from Front to Fifth Street . . . (Free Society of Traders
by Lance R. Eisenhower)

Ann Yerkes was a Baptist, and received a letter of dismission from the Pennepek Baptist Church, in 1724, to join the Montgomery Baptist Church, and in 1727 received a similar letter from the latter to the former church, from which it would appear that about this time the family removed to the locality of the Pennepek Church in Lower Dublin Township, Philadelphia County.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Yerkes were living 5 October, 1744, on which day they renounced their right to administer upon the estate of their deceased son, Anthony, but whether or not they were in Pennsylvania at that time is not known.

The Manor of Moreland was composed of a tract of ten thousand acres, and was created, in 1682, by a grant from William Penn to Dr. Nicholas More. Most of the Manor was in Philadelphia County, but is now Moreland Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
Old Style Calendar
Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.

The Pennepek Baptist Church, also known as Lower Dublin, was founded in 1688 by Elias Keach. It was originally Calvinist.


American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.
 

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Lower Dublin Township was located in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania and adjoined Moreland and Byberry Townships. The township was incorporated into the City of Philadelphia

Chronicle of the Yerkes Family, with Notes on the Leech and Rutter Families by Josiah Granville Leach

Adolphus Yerkes2 (Anthony1) is supposed to have emigrated to America with his parents.The earliest record of his presence in Pennsylvania is under date of 10 June, 1719, when he joined his father in conveying to John Simcock one hundred acres of land, with the buildings thereon, located in the Manor of Moreland, being a portion of the plantation of three hundred acres which the father had bought from John Holme, 5 November 1709, and which one hundred acres the father had previously given, but not conveyed, to the son. The consideration money expressed in the deed is £137 6s 8d, and the son is styled therein as "of Moreland, yeoman." At that date he was doubtless residing on the estate so sold.

The day following such conveyance Adolphus Yerkes purchased from Simcock all his right, title, and interest of, in, and to the share which he, Simcock held in the stock of the Society of Free Traders, together with the rights to liberty lands and city lots in Philadelphia, which attached to the ownership of the stock, paying therefor the sum of £100. A few days later Adolphus Yerkes assigned unto his brother, Herman Yerkes, three fourth parts of the estate so acquired from Simcock.

But little further is known of Adolphus Yerkes. He had a wife, Ann, and three children. Ann Yerkes was a Baptist, and received a letter of dismission from the Pennepek Baptist Church, in 1724, to join the Montgomery Baptist Church, and in 1727 received a similar letter from the latter to the former church, from which it would appear that about this time the family removed to the locality of the Pennepek Church in Lower Dublin Township, Philadelphia County. Both Mr. and Mrs. Yerkes were living 5 October, 1744, on which day they renounced their right to administer upon the estate of their deceased son, Anthony, but whether or not they were in Pennsylvania at that time is not known. There is a tradition in the family that one of the sons of Anthony Yerkes, the emigrant, removed to Virginia, but no record has been discovered to support such tradition.

You can still buy Leach's classic work.