Young Family of Tennessee

The Young family starts with Robert Young Sr who first appeared in the Borden Tract area, Augusta County, Virginia in 1740. He and his wife Mary, whose surname is unknown, had their children on their property on the forks of the James River and then moved, probably in 1770-1771, to what became Washington County, Tennessee, but which then was the western land of North Carolina. We have no information on where they came from before appearing in Augusta County, whether they immigrated or whether they were born in the colonies. They moved with the Douglass family (Phebe Douglass was the wife of Robert Young Jr, son of Robert and Mary) and the Sevier family (Valentine Sevier was the spouse of Phebe's sister Naomi and John Sevier, Valentine's brother, was the future governor of Tennessee). These were families moving from a relatively well-settled area on the Shenandoah Valley migration route to an area of greater wilderness, the Holston-Watauga River area known as the Watauga Settlements. See the web page on Washington County for more on this migration.

One of the notable descendants of Robert Sr was his grandson Ewing, son of Charles. Ewing's story was the subject of a PhD dissertation by Kenneth Holmes in 19632 and subsequent books by Holmes3 and Hafen.4 He left Tennessee for Chariton County, Missouri, on the Missouri River, then migrated to New Mexico. Later, he was in California and then journeyed to Oregon, where he died in 1841. He was a master trapper and clearly had a unique exploratory spirit. A listing of books and articles on Ewing can be found here.

Lebright E R Young was born in 1816 in Washington County, Tennessee, and paid taxes in Washington County from 1839-1848 (early in the year) but he married Oney Lucinda Alley in Habersham County, Georgia, 14 Jan 1847 and they had their oldest son, William Sanford, in September 1847 (if the dates are all correct, then Oney was pregnant at her marriage). Why was Lebright in Habersham County? By 1850 he and his family were resident in Murray County, Georgia, where they stayed until about 1872.

William Sanford Young, my great-grandfather, married Sarah Elizabeth Simmons, daughter of Wilson Glenn Simmons and Jane A Powell, on 10 Mar 1878 in Chattooga County, Georgia. He died in 1894 according to the passport information supplied by one of his sons. William and Sarah had five children:

From at least Jun 1880 until May 1887 the family lived in Walker County, near the village of Center Post, close to the Chattooga County line and near Route 337. Sarah's family was from Chattooga and most lived there. William did not do well in land transactions or in farming - he lost his property in late 1887 for non-payment of the mortgage and it seems he moved the family to be near, or live with, some of his wife's family in Chattooga County, based on the birth location of Marvin. Sarah died 6 Oct 1892 and this is the last we hear of William Sanford Young - what happened to him?

The children of William and Sarah did well - all of them marrying, except Allie, and having children. Their first home, after Georgia, was Chattanooga, Tennessee. Their second home, after Chattanooga, was Washington DC. This family remained close during their individual lives in Chattanooga and several continued to live together and support each other as they established themselves in Washington. However, by the 1920s they were starting to go their separate ways with only three of the family remaining in Washington. The only member of the family besides Thomas Henry that I ever knew existed, until recently, was Aunt Allie, owner of a hat shop on Connecticut Avenue - there was never any mention of a larger family, which I find surprising considering how close the five children were for the first 30 years of their lives. Thomas's three daughters were very close to their parents and family was important to them. Did Thomas not get along with his brothers? We know that other family in Tennessee, notably, cousins Mabel and Price (Jacoway), were talked about in family gatherings and there was always talk of "family in Chattanooga."

The first of William Sanford Young's children to journey to Washington DC was William Glenn, who arrived about 1900 to become a student at George Washington University School of Medicine, from which he graduated in 1904. He had married his first wife, Elizabeth, in 1903. By 1908 he had returned from postgraduate work in urology at the New York Postgraduate Medical School and Hospital and rented an apartment at 903 M Street NW where he both lived and practiced medicine. In addition, his brother Robert Augustus lived with him and worked as a clerk in the Post Office Department.

Their sister Allie joined them in 1908, living and working as a milliner at the same address of 903 M Street NW. However, at this time both William, his family, and Robert moved to 1315 N Street NW where they resided until 1912. William continued to practice out of his home and Robert continued to work as a clerk at the Post Office Department. Allie joined them on N Street in 1911, still running her millinery business out of her home.

In 1912, William and Robert, and likely Allie, moved to 1722 Kilbourne Place NW but at this time William obtained an office at 1737 H Street NW (The Bachelor Apartments). They all remained at the H Street residence until 1918. William continued to run his medical practice and Robert his law practice. Robert married Persis in 1914 and also obtained an office at #711 Evans building the same year and #912 Woodward building in 1917. William moved his medical office to # 3 1523 L Street NW in 1914 where he remained until 1920. Killbourne Place was surely crowded with Young families in the years 1914-1918.

Allie's millinery business must have run into difficult times by 1915 because she then worked as a clerk at Julius Garfinkle & Co and in 1917 she was noted as a buyer (no company listed). However, from 1918 forward, she was a milliner with a shop on Connecticut Avenue, first at 1303 in 1920, then at 1143 in 1924 through at least 1930. In 1935 her business was located at 2040 S Street NW but she moved back to Connecticut Avenue by the 1940s. She resided on the 2900 block of Connecticut Avenue during the late 1920s (the Cathedral Mansions Apartments), the 5200 block of Connecticut Avenue in the mid-1930s and in Apt 302, 2116 Kalorama Road by 1941. I can remember visiting her hat shop in the late 1940s when on shopping trips to Washington DC (the only place where the department stores existed at this time just after WWII. Lansburg's and Hecht's were two most frequented by Mom and I recall the fancy tea room where we had lunch - not fun for a small child) and watching the women working in the back room mould hats.

Robert Augustus remained in Washington until late 1917 when he moved to Westchester County, New York. He had married Persis Virginia Stallings in 1914, likely in New York, and likely returned with her to Washington where his law practice continued until 1917. His first son, Robert Jr, was born in New York in January 1918.

Marvin Simmons Young first appeared in Washington DC in 1910-1911, living with his brothers and sister at 1315 N Street NW and working as a clerk at the Post Office Department. By 1914 he was secretary-treasurer of the Ballou Bookbindery Company and had moved away from his siblings to the Falkstone Courts Apartments, #114, 1401 Fairmont NW. In the following year he was secretary-treasurer of the Marvin S Young Company - he likely purchased the Ballou operation - and the business was located at 1108-1116 E Street NW. In 1917 he moved the business to Rhode Island Avenue NE, near the B&O Railroad tracks where it remained for a couple of years. Marvin's home in 1918, located at 1011 Rhode Island Avenue NE, was near his business. By 1919 he had left Washington and appeared in East Orange, New Jersey, in January 1920, when the census was taken, and he was working as a printer. Something happened to the printing business, perhaps the depression, because by the 1930 census his occupation was "inventor, automobile industry."

Thomas Henry was the last to show up in Washington, in 1918, after spending two or three years in Atlanta. He lived at 225 Rhode Island Avenue NE, working as a clerk for the U S Food Administration but by 1920 was working as a clerk for the railroad administration. He remained in the railroad business all his life, retiring in 1948. One of the sounds that both my brother and I remember is Grace calling to Henry - Hen-REE! That meant she wanted him now. In their home on Emerson Street, when we visited for the many Sunday trips to DC, they had an old Victrola, hand-wound, in the basement - it provided hours of entertainment for us kids.

Young Family Migration

The Lebright Young family that started in Washington County, Tennessee, in the early 1800s made a journey to north Georgia, then back to Tennessee in a period of about 60 years. Lebright went to Murray County in north Georgia then his family resided in Walker County. From there, the family moved to Chattanooga with some staying in the area and many moving to Washington DC in the early 1900s. From there, some branches moved to the New York City area (Westchester County), others moved to Texas and Oklahoma.


1. Mathew Carey, Carey's General Atlas, Improved And Enlarged; Being A Collection Of Maps Of The World And Quarters, Their Principal Empires, Kingdoms, &c. (Philadelphia: M. Carey, 1814).
2. Kenneth Lloyd Holmes, “Ewing Young, Enterprising Trapper,” dissertation (unpublished), 1963, University of Oregon, Eugene.
3. Kenneth L Holmes, Ewing Young, Master Trapper (Portland, Oregon: Binfords and Mort, 1967).
4. LeRoy R Hafen, Trappers of the Far West: Sixteen Biographical Sketches (Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1983).