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

Yost and Silar in Bethel Cemetery

I’ve been on two genealogy expeditions recently. I didn’t have time to finish writing about my trip to Iowa before I went on a jaunt to north Texas with my husband and mother-in-law. So much to do!  Pictures to download and identify and organize, records to search, emails to send, notes to write, and a blog to boot. I’m just going to stick with my trip to Iowa for now and finish documenting our trip to Bethel Cemetery.

Bethel Cemetery is located in Lick Creek Township near the Van Buren/Jefferson County line.

Cemeteries in Van Buren County, Iowa

Martha Jane Yost Smith Norcross (mother of Andrew Washington Smith) was the daughter of John Yost and Barbara Silar. The Yosts are located on Rows 7 and 8 in Bethel Cemetery.

John Yost, Bethel Cemetery, Van Buren Co., Iowa

John Yost

Feb. 16, 1857
53 Yr’s, 6 M
& 25 D’s

Between the sun, the concrete-like dried moss, the script, and age, I couldn’t read the bottom portion of the marker. I hoped it would be easier to read on the computer…. not so much. I think it is a verse from a poem. If someone would like to decipher that for me, I would really appreciate it and would thank you profusely. I might bake you some cookies.

John Yost

John Yost and his wife, Barbara Silar, share a marker. Again – a verse near the bottom that I can’t read.

Unfortunately, her side is weathered and extremely difficult to read.

Barbara Silar Yost

Wife of
?  I can’t read the rest, but her obituary records her date of death as March 17, 1889, at the age of 88 years, 8 months and 12 days.

I didn’t get a picture of Dad(Jerry) with his great great grandparents. I think this was about the time I saw him down on his hands and knees trying to find Mary Ann Rutledge. 🙂

The children of John Yost and Barbara Silar are Martha Jane, Peter, Andrew, and Catherine.

Peter Yost and Margaret Ann Smith

Andrew Yost and Elizabeth Ann, Rebecca S. and Charles O.

Andrew is buried with two wives, Elizabeth Ann Robertson and Rebecca S. Dole, and a son, Charles O. Yost.

And here is where I messed up.

I saw several markers with the name Widger near the Yosts, but the name didn’t ring a bell. Turns out that was Catherine Yost’s married name and all those Widgers were Catherine, her husband and children. I didn’t take any pictures. Oops.

I saw several markers with the names Hall and Johnson – ridiculously common names, but both names in the Smith ancestry. I took pictures of them, but will wait to post them later since I haven’t had time to figure out if they are my Halls and Johnsons.

You’d think with a bunch of ancestors named Smith, Hall and Johnson, I’d have remembered the name Widger!