Family history is a passion of mine. Knowing more about our ancestors, their descendants and then locating their graves helps complete the story of one's life, legacy and heritage. For over 55 years I am a practicing Family Historian and Genealogist of all YORK families throughout the USA and their many intermarriages with many other surname families. Through YDNA Chromosome Testing at Family Tree DNA in Houston, Texas over 220 living YORK males have been tested since 2002. Several are genetically related; others are not related. These YDNA tests have provided excellent resolution to many seeking answers to their genealogical research seeking their ancestors and kin.
Beginning in 2002 these YDNA Y-Chromosome tests have established two major YORK Family Groups. The Jeremiah York (1683 England - 1765 Randolph County, North Carolina), Family Group 1 and the William York (1632 England - 1690 Baltimore, Maryland), Family Group 2. These York Family Groups 1 & 2 are not genetically related to each other. Both groups have been traced back to England linked to multiple ancestors. Since 2002 other different YORK Family Groups have also been identified that are genetically unrelated. Most of these YORK Family Groups have been traced back to their origins in England, who immigrated as pioneers to America in the 1600 or 1700 hundreds.
In recent years it has been discovered that many of the York families in New England that came to Colonial British America as early as 1635 are related to the Jeremiah York Family Group 1 of Randolph County. These New England families are related through an English ancestor relationship of Jeremiah York, 1st cousin, 3 X times removed to, John Yorke III (1592 England - 1640 North Yarmouth, Cumberland, Cumberland County, Maine, FAG # 158602752). Hopefully we can add living descendants of these New England York families to the YDNA Testing Database of the York, Yorke project in the near future.
As I research in my native Randolph County, North Carolina and beyond by E-mail it has been my privilege to visit in the homes and on the internet of many fine folks who shared their life stories. Please share your YORK Ancestry genealogy as known to your family story. Consider participation in the YORK/YORKE Project for YDNA Chromosome genetics testing to identify your accurate York ancestry connections.
There is a staggering number of young and old folks whose families have no idea where they are buried. I get the greatest feeling of elation when a current family member, researcher or genealogist finds one of these and the circle is closed when they are back with family through Find A Grave Memorials links. But when I visit cemeteries it is such a sadness to often discover such neglect and deterioration. My commitment is to rescue, document and record as accurately as possible these final resting places as a genealogical history and legacy for future generations. Whenever possible my goal is to restore, preserve, clean with professional D2 solution, water and light brushing these tombstones. Photographing after cleaning and repairing deteriorated tombstones of our ancestors and relatives is a major service project of our 501c3 nonprofit organization before they are lost to the memory of mankind .
Many Colonial Era grave sites have been discovered at field rocks or on very deteriorated unreadable tombstones by my cousin Franklin ALLRED and myself. Both of them are in their eighties who are cousins and long time friends, they enjoy the discovery of grave sites lost to the ravages of time. Both men were trained by the the North Carolina State Archeologist of how to respectfully use archeological probes to determine and confirm colonial era grave sites. When funds and contributions are made by living descendants new tombstones are designed and installed to preserve the legacy and heritage of those ancestors lost to ravages of time.
"Show me [how you care for] your cemeteries and I will tell you what kind of people you have."
"You gravers are welcome to copy any of my gravestone photos onto other genealogy family data bases or family history websites; your kind credit to me is appreciated."
"Helping other family historians and genealogists by sharing these photos is my way of paying forward all the help I've received from so many other helpful Find A Grave researchers and photographers."
"Of course! You may use any of my Find-A-Grace photos anytime. That's the whole purpose of this site as far as I'm concerned. Enjoy!"
An 11 year member states: "For me personally, the point of volunteerism is not about recognition or numbers, but a willingness to share my time and efforts with others. Feel free to use any photos I post with my blessing."
As I write for permission to use photographs over 99 % respond very favorable. I am truly indebted to all those people on the Find A Grave website who have spent their time and money to travel to cemeteries throughout our nation to visit and photograph these tombstones. Most likely I will never be able to visit most of these cemeteries. But these kind FAG contributors have enabled me to connect and link so many missing persons of countless family trees. I want to say “THANK YOU!” to all those members who have contributed so much abundant time with their camera. Then posting their pictures on the Find A Grave website is a real blessing to me. The wonderful attitude of some members to share is so encouraging to those of us who can no longer make field trips to cemeteries especially into distant states because of health issues. A special thank you for volunteers, family associations and genealogical societies who are visiting cemeteries, documenting, cleaning (D2 Solution & Water), repairing, and photographing the tombstones.
One graver in Indiana is an example; "If I have created a memorial for one of your family members, I will be more than happy to transfer ownership to you so you can make it the memorial your family member deserves". Another long time Graver just sent the following note; "Thanks for the kind words. I've never understood why some people want to keep pages of memorials they've created for strangers when somebody with a family connection to the stranger can take care of it." Another long time Graver writes; "If you'd like me to transfer management of one of your family members' memorials, I would be happy to do so. " Another graver writes; "It is my wish that if I have entered someone you are looking for. If I have entered any one related to you and they are not related to me - I will be happy to transfer. My goal is not to see how many memorials I can create, but to help you find your love ones ." Another long time Graver writes their opinion; "If there is a memorial for your family member that I manage that you would like me to transfer to you, please contact me and provide your connection to the person and your contributor id number (without your id #, I can't make the transfer). I will be happy to make the transfer (unless they are my family). Please feel free to use any photos I have contributed in your family records or for non-profit use. It would also be great if you would give credit to Find A Grave because without them, we could not do what we do. I take exception to those contributors that hold a protective copyright use of their headstone photos. We are here to help each other and provide information to build our family trees."
"Next time you're feeling (no purpose or) rather unimportant, try a little arithmetic trick based on the undebatable fact that it took two people, your parents, to get you here. ('Before I formed you In the Womb I knew you. Before You were born I set you apart' Jeremiah 1:5) Each of your parents has two parents, so in the generation just prior to that of your mother and father, there were four people whose pairing off and sharing love contributed to your existence.
You are the product of eight great-grandparents, 16 great-great-grandparents, 32 great-great-great-grandparents, etc. Keep on multiplying the number by two. If you figure an average of about 25 years between each generation, you'll discover in a scant 500 years ago, there were 1,048,576 people on this planet beginning the production of you. ('For YOU formed my inward parts; YOU knitted me together in my mother's womb'. Psalm 139:13)('For I know the PLANS I have for You, "Declares the LORD", plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'. Jeremiah 29:11)
--The Rev. Gene Britton in East Point, Ga., 'Southside Sun'. (plus edits by Dennis York)
Links to previous unknown family members plus photographs, GPS locations and biographical information is a valuable genealogical asset. Discovering these final resting places of my far flung cousins, ancestors and descendants of my family and friends is a thrilling virtual genealogical field trip. Otherwise these individuals would have remained unknown to me except for your efforts. YOU ARE APPRECIATED SO VERY MUCH!....Dennis York, FAG # 47405652.
I am retired from working on NASA projects as an Engineering Project Manager for 18 years as part of 42 years in America's Aerospace Industry. I am a native of Randolph County, North Carolina. I grew up in Asheboro, North Carolina; graduated Asheboro High School in 1954. Operated a Design and Construction Landscaping Company for 42 years, from 1975 to 2017. Operated a Engineering Knowledge Management Consultant Company for 10 Years. Committed to lay evangelism, restoring/cleaning old tombstones (D2 & Water) and helping others.
Attended North Carolina State University in Electrical Engineering , 1958 BEE, plus post graduate work at Western Electric Bell Telephone Labs Graduate Engineering School, MSE in 1960. My engineering career started with assignments on the Niki Ajax, Niki Hercules, Niki Zeus Missiles systems used to protect our largest US cities during the cold war period.
In 1961 I was called to Electro-Mechanical Research, Inc in Sarasota, Florida to work on the classified X-20 Air Force Dyna Soar Space Glider program. The Boeing X-20 Dyna-Soar was a United States Air Force (USAF) program to develop a space plane that could be used for a variety of military missions, including aerial reconnaissance, bombing, space rescue, satellite maintenance, and as a space interceptor to sabotage enemy satellites. Dyna-Soar Space Plane was more like the much later NASA Space Shuttle in the 1980's. Although the Dyna Soar program was cancelled in December 1963, much of the technology including the development of the heat shield tiles used on the Space Shuttle were transferred to NASA. EMR was created in 1957 by Schlumberger LTD who had many years of Data Telemetry experience in the deep well Oil industry that NASA utilized.
EMR products have been used in many NASA space projects such as Project Mercury, Project Gemini, Ranger 7 and the Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 missions. EMR also worked on several classified projects including the X-20 Dyna-Soar prior to the program's cancellation in 1963.
After working at Electro-Mechanical Research (EMR) in Sarasota, Florida from 1961 to early 1965 we were called to Dallas Texas in mid 1965 for more NASA work on the Apollo Program. Next it was a privilege to work as an Engineering Project Manager on the NASA Apollo Environmental Control System at LTV and other classified space projects. Concurrently at night school was completing a masters education at Southern Methodist University, SMU in Engineering Administration and Business Administration.
In 1970 the newly created University of Texas At Dallas (UTD) employed me as the Program Manager to direct their Apollo program for the two gifted Principal Investors of Mass Spectrometers at UTD. Our team built for delivery to NASA the worlds smallest Mass Spectrometers for Apollo flights 15, 16 and 17. The Mass Spectrometer for Apollo 16 was deployed onto the surface of the moon by the Astronauts along with six other scientific instruments. Next our UTD engineering team built a mass spectrometer for the space probe that was parachuted and landed on the planet Venus for the NASA Pioneer Venus Program. Concurrently NASA Ames Research Center recommended me to offer engineering consultant services from York & Associates to the University of Bonn Germany. It was my privilege to assist the gifted team of German engineers and the University Principal Investigator to delivery their mass spectrometer to NASA. The German mass spectrometer was placed in orbit by NASA around the Planet Venus. With much extensive traveling and more opportunities to learn more, I became very interested in computers. While living in Richardson Texas and working at nearby University of Texas At Dallas (UTD) from 1970-1978 I also started Master Studies in Computer Science which I did not complete due to another opportunity.
In 1978 I was called by E-Systems in Garland Texas to work on some amazing projects including the upgraded TR21 U2 Spy Plane with excellent engineering teams working on state of the art intelligence and reconnaissance systems. As a Program Manager in Electronic Warfare, Special Projects, Schedules and Cost Controls for the company it was my privilege to work there for 26 years until 1999 shortly after Raytheon Purchased E-Systems.
Next I went into Knowledge Management Consultant work for large Municipal Cities to evaluate and present Reports for standardizing city wide sharing of database information, software, computers and communications systems for major cost savings and cooperative management among all departments. Next in 2007-2009 I developed an extensive relationship database and business model for a major Landscape and Design Company to perform cost estimates and proposals with delivery to potential customers with a major cost savings in time and data tracking for Taxes and CPA state and federal filings. In parallel with all these professional engineering activities over four decades, operating part time Landscape Design and Construction Company provided work opportunities for friends, my wife, two sons, their college friends and seminary students for the Saturday work in the north Texas Dallas Area.
I have been college trained in professional genealogy but still learning and participating in software beta testing of new genealogical software programs for three different companies.
I am a descendant of four great grandfathers that served in the Civil War and survived. My grandfather George Michael "Mike" York died in January 1965 at age 93. At the encouragement of his nine children, my aunts and uncles wanted me to learn about the family ancestral heritage. That started my serious family genealogical research in 1965. Then I discovered that researching my family genealogy made them come alive for me. Genealogy lead to studying US History, Church Histories, migration routes, Maps, military battles and their histories, occupational activities, deeds, birth/death certificates, estates, wills, probates and court cases.
Restoration and preservation of colonial tombstones and cemeteries is my passion. Comprehensive Researching and accurate documentation of the lives of people no longer with us is my aspiration. Now for over 55 years I have been doing extensive research on the Jeremiah York (1683 England-1765 NC) Family and all other York/Yorke families.
My research also includes many associated families including many other genetically unrelated York families back to their roots in England. I have done extensive research on the WWI Sgt. Alvin C York family line that is genetically unrelated. I have also done extensive research on the New England York families that are related. I have also researched the Yorke/York family from wealthy Philadelphia Sea Captains who married into the President Andrew Jackson family in Tennessee.
I have had the good fortune to talk to many older family members in the 1970's that have long ago died. I just wish I could again have the pleasure to sit down with my notes, a camera and my laptop to ask them more questions. I still have many mysteries and too few photographs that I did not realize the opportunity to record and photograph at the time. They could provide much for the gaps in my research. But I am most grateful for the stories they did tell me. These would have been lost to the memory of man without those visits. So it was a real treat to visit and hear their stories. I was privileged to record many of those conversations and cemetery visits. These several bookcases full of notebooks of handwritten Family Group Sheets with their stories of their families in my research library in Dallas, Texas. It is a continuing endeavor to transfer and link these Family Group Sheet data into a Family Tree Maker research file, Roots Magic program and Find A Grave memorials.
I have made many research field trips to the east coast cemeteries of my native North Carolina and spent much time in many of the east coast and southern state archives and genealogical libraries. Conducted many years of research at the LDS library in Salt Lake City, Utah. The majority of my research has been done at the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh and numerous North Carolina Court Houses. It is a delight to serve as a Charter member and former Board of Director member of the Randolph County Genealogical Society in the Randolph Room at Asheboro. I very much want to add interesting Bios and family photos to family Find A Grave memorials to accurately Honor our ancestors.
I serve as the administrator for seven surname Family Tree YDNA projects as a volunteer for the Family Tree DNA organization in Houston, Texas. Many ancestral mysteries have been resolved by establishing the Y Chromosome Genetic profile markers. We have now tested over 220 York participants in the York YDNA project. This has been of great benefit to scientifically establish ones genetic ancestral line and confirm ones paper trail of genealogical research. Now with the encouragement of extensive research, field trips and collaborative writing of other cousins; it is a dream that we can publish a series of books to leave a legacy for those that remain. May GOD grant health, quality of life and length of days that we can publish these volumes of research to share our heritage and leave a legacy.
"The Story Teller"
We are the chosen. In each family, there is one who seems called to find the ancestors. To put flesh on their bones and make them live again, to tell the family story and feel that somehow they know and approve. Doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but instead breathing life into all those who have gone before. We are the storytellers of the tribe. All tribes have one. We have been called, as it were, by our genes. Those who have gone before cry out to us, "Tell our story". - Author, Tom Dunn
Provided by my cousin Contact: BAKCollie@gmail.com
Thank you for the many fine fellow genealogical researchers who have shared their stories or posted flowers to the Find A Grave Memorials.