William McKenney (McKinney) and Esther Yarnell

Are you a descendant down the line of William McKenney and Esther Yarnell of Van Buren, Iowa? If you are, please get in touch with me. We need info down this line to organize genealogical ties back to Ohio and hopefully a male descendant who will take a yDNA-37 test at FTDNA. So, please, if you’re related, get in touch!

William McKinney was born 1827 in Ohio and died 1862 Dec 7 in Prairie Grove, Washington, Arkansas. Circa 1844 he married Esther Yarnell in Monroe County, Ohio. She was born 1825 in Pennsylvania and died 1891 in Iowa. She’s buried at the Bentonsport Cemetery in Bentonsport, Van Buren, Iowa.

Right now, my belief is that William McKenney/McKinney was a brother of my George W. McKenney Sr. They are both placed in Monroe County, Ohio, they were neighbors in Van Buren County, Iowa, and Esther Yarnell’s father, Eli, in the 1840 Monroe Co., Ohio census lives a couple of households from a Robert McKenney who, based on census research of McKenneys of the area, I believe to be a grandfather or very close relation of both this William and my George McKenney.

Esther Yarnell’s father, Eli Yarnell, was born 1790 in Pennsylvania and died 1856 in Van Buren, Iowa, having moved out to Van Buren with William McKenney’s family. Her mother is unknown but she had, it seems (according to census data), only one sister, and she is unknown. Eli Yarnell is, sadly enough, a Yarnell who is unaccounted for. No one appears to know his lineage.

William McKenney and Esther had 9 children:

  1. Hannah b. 1845-1846 in Ohio was alive in 1860 and likely survived into adulthood and married, who is unknown
  2. unknown child probably deceased in infancy
  3. unknown child probably deceased in infancy
  4. Eli W. b. 1847 March 2 in Monroe County, Ohio (according to his bio), died 1946 Feb 21 in Los Angeles, California, is covered in another post
  5. Francis M. b. circa 1850 in Iowa, is only known to have survived to 1860
  6. William S. b. 1852 in Van Buren, Iowa, died 1928 in Bentonsport, Van Buren, Iowa, married before 1884 Hettie (Jenetta) M. She was born 1862 March in Missouri and died 1921 in Iowa and is buried at the Bentonsport cemetery in Van Buren, Iowa. Their children were John b. 1884, Dairy b. 1887 and Elsie b. 1890.
  7. Luther B. b. 1854 in Iowa, is known to have survived to 1863, when he was placed in an orphanage with Esther and William, but I have nothing on him after this
  8. Esther Anna b. 1859 Oct. in Van Buren, Iowa, married 1876 June 6 in Van Buren, Iowa to Josephus Barr. Josephus was born 1851 March in Ohio. They remained in Iowa and had at least one child, Carrie A. Barr b. in 1876 who married a man named Burt Hall who was born about 1877 in Kansas.
  9. Viola R.

Upon William McKinney’s migration to Van Buren County, Iowa (people believed to be relatives were already located here) the family is reported to have initially settled in Columbus, then Bentonsport.

The Rootsweb Van Buren County page remarks on the abandoned Columbus:

COLUMBUS. A pioneer village in section 27, Washington Township, on the northeast side of the Des Moines River, about two miles above Bentonsport. The government surveyors in 1837 report in their notes its existence.

William McKinney and Eli Yarnell are in the 1849 Van Buren County, Iowa census.

William SIMMONS
Mrs. BARKER
Josen PRICE
Arch CAMPBELL
Jacob SCHAEFFER
John SCHAEFFER
William ROGERS
Elizabeth ORR
William H. BOLANDER
Andrew FRANKLIN
William SHEPHERD
Nathan SHEPHERD
Martin STALEY?
Bartley SCHOORT?
Hugh GILLESPY
Anna MILLER
?
Samuel WHEELER
Wm. McKENNY 5 (WA)
William APPLETON
John W. BURTON
Judith CARSON?
Sam GASSITT
Eli YARNELL 3
? MCCUTCHEON
Arnold CARTER
Elias WALRAVEN
Joseph INGLES
Ira KELSEY
John SHEPHERD

They are observed in Washington in Van Buren in 1850.

1850 IA Van Buren Co. Washington Township

81/81 Thomas Trigg and Ellen from KY
82/82 Daniel and Celeste CRAWFORD 24 PA and OH
83/83 Jane MCCUTCHEON 50 NY
84/84 Mary NICHOLS 29 and family NY
85/85 James MCCUTCHEON 56 and family NY
86/86 Ira KELSEY 41 NY and Caroline 40 and family (oldest child, 14, born OH)
87/87 Wm. MCKINNEY 22 OH
Esther 26 PA
Hannah 4 OH
Eli 3
Francis 3/12 IA
Eli YOUNG 60 PA (is believed to be Eli YARNELL)

88/88 John SHEPHERD 29 and Jane and family VA and PA
Beniah BARRING 66 (in above house)
89/89 Nancy INGLES PA and Wesley and Margaret b. OH
90/90 Esther McCRACKEN PA and family from PA
91/91 Jacob W…ff? NY

The 1852 Washington, Van Buren, Iowa census.

Jacob SHARP
Charles SIMMONS
Robert M. WILLIAMS
Andrew FRANKLIN
Joseph LINDROW
William MCKINNEY 4 males 2 females 2 voters
Charles L. ALDEN
Peter DOHERTY
James McCUTCHEON
Malen MOORE or MOON
Thomas TRIGG
Richard CARTER
William SHEPHERD

The 1856 Washington, Van Buren, Iowa census shows my family’s George W. McKenney living next to William.

Iowa, Van Buren County, Washington Township Roll: IA_66
Andrew and Elizabeth FRANKLIN, he from Germany
Nathan SHEPERD 44 ? of OH with Jemima and family
David S. LEE and Jane household
Luther McCRACKIN household
David and Sarah ASKINS family 24 and 23 from IN and Ohio
Thomas and Mary ASKINS family, 63 and 60 from PA and KY
24/24 William MCKINNEY 28 Ohio laborer (family has been in the state 8 years)
Esther 30 PA
Jane 11
Eli W. 9
Francis M. 6
William S. 4
Luther B. 1
25/25 George W. MCKINNEY 25 Ohio carpenter (familyh as been in the state 9 years)
Isabelle 24 PA
Martha E. 4 OH
Margaret J. 2
Lucinda W. 1

Next household Felix and Angeline WILLIAMS, 40, from KY with several children born Missouri. (In 1850 they are in Schuyler MO District 91)
Harriet GILBERT 40 from KY with children William and James born Missouri
John BURTON 44 and his family, he born in KY
Thomas and Mahala TRIGG family, 40 and 33, from KY

The 1860 Washington, Van Buren, Iowa census.

Washington Township
560 Lonzo SHEPHERD 26 KY
561/569 Thomas TRIGG 49 and Ellen and family KY
562/570 James JACKSON 30 and Mary England and IL
560/571 Ira KELSEY 53 and Catherine OH and NY
8 564 572 McKinney Wm 33 M Labourer 50 Ohio
9 564 572 McKinney Esther 35 F Pa
10 564 572 McKinney Hannah 15 F Ohio
11 564 572 McKinney Eli W 13 M Ohio
12 564 572 McKinney Francis M 10 M Iowa
13 564 572 McKinney William S 8 M Iowa
14 564 572 McKinney Luther B 6 M Iowa
15 564 572 McKinney Esther A 2/12 F Iowa

565/573 Wm QUAINTANCE 39 and Harriet PA and NY
566/574 Allen LIPPENCOTT 54 and Sarah NY and England to OH
567/575 B. RIGGSBEE 25 and family MO and IA
568/576 Dudley HARDY 56 and Amelia NH and NY

William MCKINNEY is counted twice in the 1860 census. He is also in the Van Buren Village Township census, not far from my G. W. MCKINNEY. He is listed with his son Eli among a number of railroad workers:
9 137 137 McKinney Wm. 37 M Labourer O.
10 137 137 McKinney Eli 12 M Labourer O.

William McKenney enlisted 13 August 1862 in Company I, Iowa infantry. He died Dec 7th of 1862 at Prairie Grove, Washington, Arkansas.

His son, Eli, enlisted in Company K, 45th infantry.

For some reason, three of William’s and Esther’s children are found in an orphanage in 1863.

With William’s death, though Esther was still alive, in 1863 we find 3 of the children in an orphanage. Anna is given as 8 at the time though she would have been 4. Luther was given as 10 and would have been about 9. The 3rd child was likely William S., given as 12. Children thus not in the orphanage were 1 year old Viola, 13 year old Francis. The eldest child, Hannah, was old enough to have been married and Eli was in the army

LIST OF SOLDIERS AND ORPHANS WHO HAVE ENTERED THE SOLDIERS ORPHANS HOME AT DAVENPORT IOWA UP TO THE 1st of JAN 1867:
Reported by Maj. M.B. Cochran (late Surg. USA) Supt.
http://www.rootsweb.com/~iascott/sohome.htm
McKINNEY, Wm – Co I,19th IA Infantry – Van Buren Co – 12/07/1863
McKINNEY, ? 12
McKINNEY, Anna 8
McKINNEY, Luther 10

In 1870, William and Viola are back with their mother. I have yet to locate the daughter, Esther, in this census. She would have been about 11.

Bentensport, Van Buren, Iowa
pg. 408
2/2 MCCRACKEN Isaac 31 b. OH and Emma
3/3 MCKENNEY Esther 44 $100 b. PA
William 17 laborer b. IA
V. R. 8 (f) attending school b. IA

4/4 FRANKLIN Mary 52 or 58? b. OH
Sarah 21 b. IL
Benjamin 18
4/5 CARTER B F 38 b. IA and Amelia
5/6 STEVENS G. W. 60 b. Nova Scotia and Sarah
6/7 LAGLE J A 45 b. NC and Catherine
7/8 DOAN Thomas 46 b. IN and Mary
8/9 JACK J. F. (or J. T.) 30 paper peddler b. OH
Nellie F. 18 b. IA
L. F. 8/12 b. IA

In 1880, again, William and Viola are with their mother, Esther, but the daughter, Esther, has reappeared and is now living next door, married to Josephus Barr.

1880 IOWA VAN BUREN WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP
pg. 2 ancestry.com
J. D. or S. D. or I. D. Rergrin? on one side
16/16
McKINNEY Esther 55 Penn. Penn. Penn. (wd)
Wm S 27 common laborer Iowa Ohio Penn.
Viola 18 Iowa Ohio Penn.

17/17 BARR Esther A. 21 (daughter) married Iowa Ohio Penn
Carrie A. 3 (granddaughter) Iowa Iowa Iowa
Next McVITY Thomas and APPLETON Ann
Pg. 6
59/59 McKINNEY (no given name) 33 common laborer Ohio Ohio Penn.
Melisa A. 34 Indiana Vir Vir
Lottie 12 Iowa Ohio Ind
George C. 10 Iowa Ohio Ind
Charles 4? Iowa Ohio Ind

NOTE: I am assuming this unnamed McKINNEY is Eli, son of William and Esther.
60/60 OLINE-SMITH Luther 30 common laborer Iowa Ohio Ohio
Gertrude M. 30 Virginia virginia virginia
Bertie 7/12 b. Oct. Iowa Iowa Virg
61/61 CORNS or COMS? Martin 33 common laborer Ohio p-ohio
Mary E. 23 Iowa p-Ohio
Clara F. 1 Iowa Ohio and Iowa
62/62 BURNS or BUNS? James 37 common
laborer Iowa Ill. Ky
Mary 36 can’t read or write Iowa p-Ohio
Alice 10 Kansas Iowa Iowa
Lidia 8 Iowa Iowa Iowa
Rose 6 Iowa Iowa Iowa
Mattie 4? Iowa Iowa Iowa
Josephine 1 Iowa Iowa Iowa
Baby 1/12 April Iowa Iowa Iowa
MILLER Sarah aunt 69 (no marriage designation) KY P-VA

The 1885 census shows Esther living at 3rd and Benton Street in Bentonsport.

Name: Esther McKinney
Age: 59
Gender: F
Birth State: PA
Township Number: 69
Range: 9
Section: 36
Location: Corner Third Street and Benton Street
Marital Status: W
Can Read or Write: X
Line Number: 27
Dwelling Number: 61
Family Number: 62
Page Number: 619
State: IA
County: Van Buren
Township Name: Washington
Town: Bentonsport
Family History Film: 1020187
Volume: 269

In this census, Esther is living next to her daughter, Esther McKenney Barr.

1885 Iowa, Van Buren County, Bentonsport
60/61 Andrew and Sarah St. STEPHENS
61/62 Esther MCKINNEY 59 b. PA
62/63 Josephus BARR 36 ? Laborer b. OH
Esther 27 b. Van Buren
Carrie A. 8 b. Van Buren
63/64 Edward J. JIPHEY?

Esther (the mother) died in 1891 and was buried at Bentonsport Cemetery.

Before 1884, William S. McKinney married a Hettie (Jennetta) M. who was born March 1862 in Missouri.

William S. and Jennette (Hettie) are observed in the 1900 census with their three children, John, Dairy and Elsie. William’s sister, Esther Barr, is also observed in this census. Her daughter, Carrie Barr, has married and is living with her parents with her 3 year old daughter, Hazel.

1900 IOWA VAN BUREN COUNTY WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP CENSUS:
7/7
MCKINNEY William June 1852 47 m 16 yr. Iowa Ohio Penn
Hettie M. March 1862 38 m 16 yr 3 children and 3 surviving Missouri Missouri Ohio
John Dec 1884 15 s Iowa Iowa Missouri
Dairy Aug 1887 12 s Iowa Iowa Missouri
Elsie Sept 1890 9 s Iowa Iowa Missouri

Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Washington, Van Buren, Iowa; Roll: T623 462; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 105.
62/62 Emma GIBSON 1873 and son
63/63 BARR Josephus March 1851 49 md 25 b. OH father b. Delaware mother b. NJ
Annie E. Oct 1859 40 md 25 1 of w children surviving b. IA father b. OH mother b. PA
HALL Carrie I. Sept 1876 23 md 4 years 1 child b. IA father b. OH mother b. IA
Hazel I. grand daughter May 1897 3 b. IA father b. KS mother b. IA

By 1910, all three children have left the household and are listed in the census as still living.

Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Washington, Van Buren, Iowa; Roll: T624_425; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 118; Image: 1224.
1/1 MCKINNEY William S. 58 md 26 b. IA father b.OH mother b. PA
Jennette M. 47 3 of 3 children b. MO father b. MO mother b. OH

William S. and Jennette were also in the 1920 census in Washington, Van Buren co., Iowa:

Image 9
CARTER Charles O. 79 and Martha
STEINMEYRER John O. 40 and Ettie
OWINGS John W. 80 and Harriett
DAVIS Anthony O. 35 and Irene
MUSSES Frank P. 67 and Addie C.
HUBBARD Chester A. 29 and Mary
FRAIZER Warren 44 and Grace
CORNS Martin 75 and Mary
DANIELS Albert R. 61 and Rossie
102/103 MCKINNEY William S. 67 b. IA father b. OH mother b. PA
Jennetta M. 57 b. MO Father b. Holland mother b. Holland

103/104 JACK George L. 51 b. IA father b. OH mother b. OH
Mattie A. 48 b. IA father b. VA Mother b. MA
Charles A. 39

Jennette died in 1921. William S. died in 1928. They are both buried at Bentonsport.

Where did John, Dairy and Elsie go? I’ve been unable to track them any further. I’m hoping one of their descendants will eventually find this post and get in contact.

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