An American Family History

Nathaniel Yerkes

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

In the Philadelphia yellow fever epidemic of 1793, 5000 or more people died between August 1 and November 9.

Nathaniel Yerkes was born August 9, 1763 in the Manor of Moreland. His parents were Josiah Yerkes and Mary Walton

He married Sarah Johnson. Sarah was born on September 20, 1765. She was the daughter of Philip and Sarah Johnson. 

Nathaniel and Sarah's children included:
Elizabeth Yerkes (1787),
Philip Yerkes (1789), 
Nancy Yerkes (1793),
Mary Yerkes (1796),
William Yerkes (1798),
Josiah Yerkes (1800, married Margaret Knight), and
Sarah Yerkes Frost (1802, married John C. Frost). 

Nathaniel was the executor of his father's will and received 100 acres in Moreland. 

The family appeared in the 1790 census in the Manor of Moreland. The family consisted of one male sixteen or older (Nathaniel), one male younger than sixteen (Philip) and two females (Sarah, Elizabeth).

On August 19, 1799 he conveyed certain water rights on Pennypack Creek to George Shelmire. 

On April 1, 1818 they conveyed their land to Joel K. Mann and moved to Romulus, Senaca County, New York.  Nathaniel died on June 5, 1831 in Romulus and Sarah died on April 20, 1835.

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.

Byberry is a township in the northeast corner of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. The Walton brothers were early settlers. Moreland Township was just west of Byberry. When Montgomery County broke off in 1784, Moreland was divided into two townships, both called Moreland. In 1917 the Montgomery County Moreland split into Upper Moreland Township and Lower Moreland Township.


Montgomery County, in southeast Pennsylvania was created on September 10, 1784, out of land that was originally part of Philadelphia County.

The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America and was ratified in 1789.

Chronicle of the Yerkes Family by Josiah Granville Leach published by Printed for private circulation by J. B. Lippincott, 1904

NATHANIEL YERKES (Josiah8, Herman2, Anthony1), son of Josiah and Mary Yerkes, was born in the Manor of Moreland, Montgomery (formerly Philadelphia) County, Pennsylvania, 9 August, 1763; died at Romulus, New York, 5 June, 1831. He received under the will of his father an estate of one hundred acres in Moreland, and was made executor of the will.

By deed of 19 August, 1799, he and his wife Sarah conveyed to George Shelmire certain water rights on the Pennypack Creek, attached to the above tract, and, on 1April, 1818, they conveyed unto Joel K. Mann the said tract, then described as consisting of one hundred and five acres. Mr. Yerkes is styled in this conveyance as "of Moreland," and it is believed that at about the time of the conveyance he removed with his family to Seneca County, New York, and settled there, in the town of Romulus.

He married, in Pennsylvania, Sarah Johnson, born 20 September, 1765; died at Romulus, New York, 20 April, 1835; daughter of Philip and Sarah Johnson. Of the children of Nathaniel Yerkes, the only one the writer has been able to trace is his son Josiah. One of the latter's descendants writes that other members of the family " removed West."

Children of Nathaniel and Sarah (Johnson) Yerkes; all probably born in Moreland:
Elizabeth Yerkes, born 30 August, 1787.
Philip Yerkes, born 20 November, 1789. He was in service in the Pennsylvania militia in the War of 1812.
Nancy Yerkes, born 13 March, 1793.
Mary Yerkes, born 27 July, 1796.
William Yerkes, born 24 January, 1798; died in 1859.
Josiah Yerkes, born 3 August, 1800; died 7 October, 1866; married (1) Mrs. Margaret Blain, nee Knight; (2) Rodah Barnum Church.
Sarah Yerkes, born 5 October, 1802; died at Minneapolis, Minnesota, 13 April,1887; married, at Romulus, John C. Frost, and had issue, but the writer has not been able to find any of such issue. The family removed West, and are supposed to have resided at Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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