A Yeo Family of Ireland

by Mike Darch and David Yaw

The PDF file accessed via the link below contains the results of our research into a Yeo family in Ireland: the ancestors and descendants of Henry Yeo of Dublin born c1777.

The linked PDF file contains significant new material, much of it not previously in the public domain. The file is subject to copyright as indicated. Users of some operating systems might need Adobe Acrobat to view it.

Previous research by others into the descendants of William Yeo and Agnes Savery – who baptised children at Totnes in the late 16th century – has identified the marriage of Henry Yeo and Martha Byrne in Dublin in 1807. From his estimated birth year of 1777, it has been suggested that Henry’s parents might have been a William Yeo, baptised in Plymouth in 1750, and Martha Duer, who he married in Chichester in 1776.

The authors have reviewed that descendancy. We have also undertaken an extensive search of Irish sources. The earliest found are references in lists from the probate court at Armagh in 1663 (to the will of James Yeo, hatband maker of Dublin) and in 1677 (to administration of the estate of Humphrey Yeo, apparently from Devon). Both are too far away for us to propose a direct link to the Henry Yeo born a century later. We then find only two further Yeo records before 1770 and the award that year of Freeman of the City of Dublin to Henry Yeo, carpenter. This is followed in the early 1800s by a small cluster of awards of freeman and marriages of Yeos – in both of which this Henry Yeo features.

Henry has thus proved to be an enigma. We can find no baptism record for him, nor any other record of his early life. In summary, after exhaustive research and with records insufficient for total certainty, we suggest there are doubts that his parents were William Yeo and Martha Duer. We further contend – and show in our pedigree – that from the circumstantial evidence it is more likely that the Henry Yeo born c1777 was a son of carpenter Henry Yeo, the freeman of 1770, and that others in the cluster of freemen were his brothers.

What is beyond reasonable doubt is that Henry married Martha Byrne in Dublin in 1807 and that she bore him seven children. We have been able to document in some detail four generations of their descendants in Ireland and the dispersal – temporary or permanent – of their descendants to England and further afield to South Africa, India and Australia, covering roughly the period 1800 to 1925. 

As far as we are aware, this is the first time that a pedigree of this Yeo family has been placed in the public domain. We welcome enquiries and information from other researchers interested in this line – our contact details are provided in the PDF file.

A Yeo Family of Ireland
© Mike Darch and David Yaw 2020