John Fetrow Sr. and Nancy (Ann) (Yinger) Fetrow’s Ownership
John Fetrow was married to Nancy (Ann) Yinger the only surviving child of George and Freney (Broband) Yinger sometime before 1808. A son also named John was born to this couple in that year. Nancy (Ann) Yinger was born February 2, 1784 and died October 27, 1875 at the age of 91 years 8 months and 25 days according to her tombstone in the Fetrow family cemetery. The cemetery is adjacent to the family farm in Yocumtown, York County, Pennsylvania.
John Fetrow died June 16, 1860 at the age of 77 years 7 months and 15 days according to his tombstone next to his wife, Nancy (Yinger) Fetrow in the family cemetery. His birth date, therefore, calculates to be November 1, 1782 more or less.
John Fetrow Sr. was a grandson of John Phillip Fetrow who was a German speaking immigrant according to family history information I have seen posted on genealogy web sites. According to those postings John Phillip Fetrow was born in Germany May 1, 1719 and died March 7, 1791 In Newberry Township of York County, Pennsylvania. His wife was Anna Marie Bose who was reputedly born in Germany in 1732 and died March 23, 1805 in York County, Pennsylvania.
John Fetrow Sr. was a son of Joseph Fetrow and Catherine Fischer. Joseph was born to John Phillip Fetrow and Anna Marie (Bose) Fetrow October 10, 1759 in Newberry Township and died in Lewisberry borough of Newberry Township May 18, 1818. John’s mother was the daughter of Gotlieb Fischer and Ursula Hoffstadt. Catherine was born in 1760 and died July 14, 1831 in the town of Lewisberry as well.
The Fischer, Hoffstadt, Fetrow and Yinger families were neighbors and adjoining property owners in the Yocumtown area of York County from the late 1700’s through the mid 1800’s. All these families were German speaking descendants of recent immigrants.
In 1813, after John Fetrow Sr. and his wife Nancy (Ann) Yinger Fetrow had been married several years, they executed a document with Anthony Yinger to clarify the division of the 140 acre farm Nancy’s parents, George Yinger and Freney (Broband) Yinger had acquired from Freney’s father’s estate in 1788. Anthony Yinger and John & Ann Fetrow, 1813 Land Deed. This matter has been previously discussed in the section of the family farm narrative under the George Yinger period of ownership.
In short, Nancy (Ann) Yinger inherited an approximately 95 acre section of her father George Yinger’s 140 acre farm when she became an adult. When she married John Fetrow in the first decade of the 1800’s this portion of the ancestral farm became a significant real estate asset of John Fetrow and later his descendants. John Fetrow would gradually add to his portfolio of real estate in Fairview and Newberry Townships.
Eventually the 45 acre portion of the 140 acre farm which George Yinger sold to his brother Anthony Yinger would be reunited with the 95 acre portion which John Fetrow’s wife Nancy (Yinger) Fetrow had inherited as the only heir of her parents George and Freney Yinger. The first opportunity toward this reunification occurred in 1840 when Anthony’s son George Yinger died and the 1 acre home site he had bought from his parents in 1825 had to be sold to pay his debts after his death according to his estate file which is included elsewhere on this web site in transcript form. George Yinger 1840 Estate Documents.
Following is a tax list excerpt for Fairview Township from 1840 which illustrates the fact that a Fetrow bought the 1 acre tract from George Yinger’s estate:
Note the sad reality that the tax list shows George’s widow Margaret Yinger as only owning a cow for tax purposes immediately after her husband’s death in 1840. She was not permitted to keep the home and lot according to the estate file for her husband, George Yinger. Also note the appearance after Margaret Yinger of Jacob Yinger (carpenter).
Jacob Yinger was the eldest son of George and Margaret Yinger. He was my great, great, great grandfather. He probably played a very important role in helping his mother Margaret recover from the loss of her husband George and the economic challenges which that tragedy caused.
A review of subsequent years’ tax lists for Fairview Township, York County reveals that George and Margaret Yinger’s house and 1 acre lot were, in fact, purchased by John and Nancy (Yinger) Fetrow’s son, John Fetrow Jr. An excerpt from the 1844 tax list is presented below which indicates the taxable property of John Fetrow Sr. and his son John Fetrow Jr.:
Note in the tax list excerpt that John Fetrow Jr. is listed as having a house and lot of 1 acre. The real estate holdings of John Fetrow Sr. are the same in 1844 as they were in 1840 as illustrated by the excerpt from 1840 below for John Fetrow Sr.:
Several years later, in 1848 John Fetrow Sr. bought from John Yinger, Anthony’s son, the 41 acre farm which John had acquired from Anthony’s estate in 1830 according to Anthony’s estate file. This transaction has been previously illustrated and discussed in the section covering John Yinger’s period of ownership of the family farm.
Generally speaking, tax lists after 1849 are not available on microfilm from the Mormon’s family search archives or the York County Archives. Tracing the change in ownership for the family farm after that date from tax list analysis is not possible at this time. However, other records do provide the necessary information to determine the ownership transfers of the 140 acre family farm after 1849.
One record is the United States census records which were compiled every ten years beginning in 1790. From the 1850 census of Fairview Township the following excerpt is taken indicating that John and Nancy (Yinger) Fetrow lived next to their son John Fetrow Jr. and his wife Lydia (Brubaker) and their growing family:
Note that John Fetrow Sr. has a large value of $10,000 for his real estate holdings in 1850 while his son John Fetrow Jr. has a modest amount of only $400 for his real estate holdings. This suggests that in 1850 the vast real estate holdings of John Fetrow Sr. remained in his possession and had not been transferred to his son as of that date.
From the 1860 census of Fairview Township the following excerpt is taken indicating that John and Nancy (Yinger) Fetrow lived next to their son John Fetrow Jr. and his wife Lydia (Brubaker) and their growing family:
Note that John Fetrow Sr. has a large value of $25,000 for real estate holdings while his son John Fetrow Jr. has a modest value of $500 for his real estate holdings at the time of the 1860 census. John Fetrow Sr. died on June 16 of that year as has been previously noted. The census was prepared June 22, 1860 just after he had died. Nevertheless, because of the timing, he is still listed on the census, apparently. Note that a granddaughter, Elizabeth must have moved in to help Nancy (Yinger) her grandmother deal with the recent loss of her husband, John Fetrow Sr.
These census excerpts seem to suggest that John Fetrow Sr. held the reunited 140 acre family farm he had acquired from his wife’s inheritance (95 acres more or less when they married before 1808), and from the 40+ acres he purchased from John Yinger in 1848, until his death in 1860.
After the death of John Fetrow Sr. in 1860 and his wife Nancy Yinger Fetrow in 1876 their son John Fetrow Jr. and his wife Lydia Brubaker Fetrow inherited their real estate holdings including the 140 acre reunited Broband\Yinger\Fetrow family farm.
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