There was English settlement in Virginia from the early 17th century, and we have evidence that Yeos soon joined the pioneering families there. They include Hugh Yeo of Hartland (who emigrated in the 1640s and lived in Northampton County on a peninsula east of Chesapeake Bay), his brother Justinian Yeo and his sister Deborah Cleverdon.
Henry Yeo, originally from Wapping, died in Virginia; administration of his estate was granted in 1659.
John Yeo of Calvert County, Virginia made a petition to the House of Burgesses in 1727.
There have been connections between the Yeo and Selden families on both sides of the Atlantic since the 17th century (Seldon is the spelling generally used in English records).
Zenobia Yeo – daughter of Humphrey Yeo and Agnes Wheeler – married John Seldon at Hatherleigh in 1626.
Leonard Yeo – son of John Yeo and Rebecca Rolle – emigrated to America in 1637 and settled in Elizabeth City County, Virginia. He was a member of the House of Burgesses between 1644 and 1666, and died in 1670. Leonard’s daughter Rebecca married twice and was his executor. There is no record of her having any children.
Rebecca Yeo – daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Yeo – married Samuel Seldon at Meeth in 1684. Rebecca emigrated to Virginia with her husband and died in Elizabeth City in 1737. Their son John was executor of his relative George Yeo of Elizabeth City county, Virginia. Mary Selden Kennedy’s family history [note 1] quotes from George’s will, which was proved in 1743 [notes 2, 3]. He leaves a cash bequest and all his law books to John Selden [note 4], makes bequests to other Selden relatives, and leaves land at Hatherleigh to his relative George Arnold of London.
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Natalie Hughes contacted Sheila about Leonard Yeo in 1999. Yeo descendant Will Potter contacted Sheila in 2007 about his Yeo ancestors in Virginia. Yeos in Virginia are also mentioned in Mike Darch and David Yaw’s research. We are grateful to Thomas Gorman for his guidance on Selden sources.
1. Seldens of Virginia, published in two volumes by the Frank Allaben Genealogical Company, New York, 1911. Notes 2 to 4 below refer to this source.
2. Vol. I, pp.9 and 22.
3. George was related to John Selden by marriage. Vol. I, p.21 (quoting the William and Mary Quarterly) states that George Yeo junior of Elizabeth City county married Elinor Boswell, a widow, whose daughter Grace Boswell married John Selden.
4. Vol. I, p.35 (quoting research by William B. Selden) notes that John Selden died in 1654 at the age of 70.