Sepia Saturday – Yost

Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs. Historical photographs of any age or kind become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images. If you want to play along, sign up to the link, try to visit as many of the other participants as possible, and have fun.

The “Y” prompt was the nudge I needed to research a line of my family that I know almost nothing about – the Yost line. I have headstone photos of several of the Yost family from a trip I took to Iowa in 2012.

I always hope for success in answering all of my questions, but it is never that easy!

I found some photos on that are identified as my 3rd great-grandparents. Below: John Yost

Said to be John Henry Yost, Sr., born 1803. Retrieved from

John Yost was born 21 July 1803 in what is now West Virginia. I have as his parents Jacob Yost and Sarah. I don’t know where I got those names – an unmistakable sign of an amateur genealogist! So I have no real clues to parentage.

On 22 April 1829, John Yost and Henry Siler filed a marriage bond in Berkeley County, VA in the amount of $150 for a marriage license for John Yost and Barbara Siler. I do not know the relationship of Henry to Barbara. Brother? Uncle?

Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940. Accessed from

I also found a photo on that is identified as my 3rd great-grandmother, and wife of John Yost, Barbara Siler.

Said to be Barbara Siler. Retrieved from

I have been unsuccessful in locating early census records for John and Barbara Yost, but later census records confirm the birth of my 2nd great-grandmother, Martha Jane Yost in Virginia in March of 1830.

By April of 1832, the family was in Greene County, Ohio, where a son, Peter, was born. A third child, Andrew, was born in October 1833, also in Greene County, followed by a fourth child, Catherine, in April of 1836. I searched through the 1840 census for Greene County, page by page, but never found the family. Perhaps they were on the move again, as they eventually settled in Jefferson County, Iowa.

I have a little more that I could share about the Yost family, but I keep searching and researching, looking for more information and additional context. Now that it is mid-afternoon on Sunday, and having intended to post something on Saturday, I realize it may be best to just stop for now.

Perhaps I should have gone with my other thought for the “Y” prompt – yarn. I could have finished that in a week’s time.

Please visit other Sepia Saturday participants and see what yarns they have to tell. You can find them here: Sepia Saturday

4 thoughts on “Sepia Saturday – Yost

  1. What a great connection to fin about ancestors. If you have an Ancestry account (and the first month used to be free) there’s a way to search in census records all across the US…so you don’t always have to know the correct location. It means finding other people of the same name usually, but sometimes I’ve found excellent informaion, because you get to see the actual census forms, which give a lot of information about people.

    • Yes – I’ve spent quite a few hours on ancestry this week! I found census records 1854 and more recent, but no luck with the older ones so far. And I went down a few wrong paths based on something I saw on a census record. After spending hours following what I thought was a good clue, I realized I was looking down the wrong rabbit hole. Ugh! The search continues!

  2. My uncle got interested in tracing our family genealogy in the 1950s. He mapped the tree back to the 1600s using the old fashioned research. He lived to be 101 which let him enjoy adding the names of several new generations too. I don’t think that he ever got to see what websites like can do, but if he had been able, I’m sure he would have been one of those super contibutors to several family trees.

    With my special interest, I don’t venture much into the archives before 1850. The number of documents available now on are amazing. But I have found that its newspaper section is limited and not easily searchable. has a lot of small town newspapers and I find it more useful when looking for persons. is best for searching subjects or multiple phrases. How the computer algorithms can read the old dense typeface or scrawled handwriting is the real wonder of 21st century technology.

    • I had a great aunt who did a lot of research the old fashioned way and I really admire how much information she found and shared. I’ve been on and newspaperarchives this week as well as ancestry. Just couldn’t find my people! Either the local papers haven’t been digitized or my people just didn’t make the news, it seems. I haven’t tried genealogybank. I’ll give that a try. Quite a few returns for “you” and “young” while searching for Yost! Oh – and “just.” Ha! But usually the way the items are shown, I can pass by them fairly quickly. Not that many years ago, I’d request microfilm to be sent to the nearest LDS church and turn the wheel. Now, if I can’t find it digitized somewhere, I shrug and assume it doesn’t exist. Well – sometimes I contact a local genealogy society or library, but I don’t do that as much as I probably should.

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