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About the research and me

I first started researching my husband's Yeo family in 1991. His branch of the Yeo family descends from South Tawton, near Okehampton, Devon. The progenitor of this branch was a Robert Yeo who married a Joane Arscott in 1719. The problem I then had was where was Robert born. Fortunately for me, when he was buried in South Tawton, on the 28th January, 1772 his age was recorded as 80. The only IGI entry I could find for this was a Robert son of Robert and Margaret Brown, baptised in Merton on the 16th March, 1692 but I had to prove this. Over the next few months/years I worked through all the Devon Parish registers that had not been IGI'd, extracting early Yeo baptisms. This was the start of the Yeo One Name Study....

It soon became apparent that many Yeo branches had experienced the same problems, and that it was only by collecting all Yeo baptisms and other events plus sharing information that we would be able to solve some of the problems. Over the last twelve years many Yeo descendants have joined together and shared their research and my role has been a 'caretaker' of much of their information. Living in Devon enabled me to have access to records that were not available elsewhere and over the years I have been able to help many fellow researchers and at the same time built up a massive data base. I have made many friendships and over the years have had numerous visits from distant cousins, all with a shared interest. This website enables me to share all this research with other Yeo researchers worldwide who are unable to access many of the records.

My main interests have been divided into two areas,

1. The One Name Study, which I have shared with so many people, and is constantly on-going.

The One Name Study.

As I have already explained, this is the work of many people, who have shared their trees and information with myself and others. The Study is world wide and includes branches in USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand etc. I have most of the trees on one massive tree, on my computer, far too large to send via the internet, but I will always share information when an enquiry comes in and can send branches... Where possible I prefer to put any new researcher in touch with someone who is related as there is far more meaning to the trees when people can discuss their own joint ancestors.

2. The Early Yeo research.

The Early Yeo Research

This research is mainly my own work, although I have tremendous help from other people, including researchers from the interlinking families, e.g. Crockers, Fortescue, Cory.

Whilst I have looked at the printed Yeo biographies, and value all the work that has been done, I have as far as possible tried to also use original material, basically so that mistakes aren't repeatedly copied. My theory is that each historian builds on the work of another and as more records are available now than there were a hundred years ago, it has meant that I am able to prove or disprove some of what was written in the past. There is one exception to this, the research done by Humphrey Toms and Reg Walters. In my early days, they were my mentors. Reg let me copy all the research they had done on the Yeo family in the Bradworthy and Stratton areas and it was a very thorough study and it gave me a firm base to work from. Any researchers of these two areas will be aware of the Bradworthy and Stratton Parish Registers that they both worked on and between them produced two excellent books containing all the extracted parish register events, plus many other anecdotes relating to these two parishes. Reg also transcribed many early Yeo documents that are held in the Public Record Office in London. He worked in Chancery Lane, London, and during his lunch breaks he used to extract the information from these original documents. Reg produced the tree for the Bradworthy Yeos, using these documents and old wills etc.

My approach has been similar, using Reg's work as a base I have extended the research on the Stratton and Bradworthy Yeos and also studied many of the other branches. It has never ceased to amaze me how many early records are available and I still have many Chancery Causes held in the Public Record Office, London, to view and extract information.

During the early days, I met Jeremy Engert. (Jeremy descends from the Stratton Yeos). What would I have done without Jeremy ? For a time he worked in the Hartley Library, in Southampton and he went through so many early historical deeds indexes and sent me masses through the post and by fax. Anything I wanted, often so I could cross reference a particular entry - just a phone call and it was there. This still goes on now and there can't be many early Yeo entries that he hasn't manage to find. We have often met in different parts of the country such as London and Bristol in pursuit of more Yeo information, and are now obviously very close friends.

Living in Devon, enabled me to access many original deeds. Held at Exeter Record Office, under Yeo family deeds, were masses of documents, personal letters, wills etc relating to the Huish branch of Yeos. I have acquired copies of most of this material and also some early wills and deeds held at the Cornwall Record Office relating to the Stratton Yeo family, plus Family papers for the North Petherwin branch and these I hope to share with you all.

 
  © 2003-6 Sheila Yeo | For more information on the Yeo family and the research contained in this site email sheila@yeosociety.com or call me on +44 (0)1626 360978