William Yendle Yeo

William Yendle Yeo was born at Parracombe in 1862. He emigrated to Canada in 1885 and married Jessie Louise Baker in Windsor, Ontario the same year – did they meet during the sea crossing? Jessie had been born in Plymouth in 1865.

William and Jessie had two daughters in Windsor before moving across the border to Detroit:
– Mabel Minetta Yeo (born 1887, married surname Reese)
– Lilian Maud Yeo (1888, married surname Hoeder).
In Detroit, they had two further daughters:
– Bessie Mildred Yeo (1889, married surname Jones)
– Jennie Melete Yeo (1891, married surname Stiver).
They then moved further west to Portland, Oregon, where their remaining two children were born:
– Dorothy Marguerite Yeo (1901, married surname Cooper)
– William Frank Yeo (1905), their only son, who appears to have remained in Oregon, where he died in 1995.

William Yendle Yeo’s US naturalisation record from 1921 records him as an auctioneer; the 1930 US census for Portland also records him as an auctioneer, a widower living with his unmarried daughter Lilian. The 1920 US census shows him living in Portland with his wife Jessie, so we have a ten-year window for her death – children Lilian, Dorothy and William are also shown in this return.

William Yendle Yeo was the younger of two sons of George Yeo and Elizabeth Yendle. George is recorded farming at Walner, Parracombe in the 1861 census – his line of descent can tentatively be traced back to one of the Yeo families in Swimbridge, which is a little over ten miles south of Parracombe. Walner is an isolated farm in the hilly country of Exmoor.

Did William learn the auctioneer’s trade in Devon, where livestock markets were and still are an important component of rural life? Exmoor is sheep-farming country, so did he perhaps attend local auctions with his father?

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