Here are some York stories
accounts over the years:


Yorkes of Twickenham

in 1381 that John York, possibly from Greenwich, acquired land where
in London now stands.   Ownership was
without its problems.  In 1410 it was
recorded that John Warden of Winchester College was apprehended to
answer to
John York on a plea of arrest and unlawful detention and seizure of
cattle on
Whitton Marsh.

John York’s son, also
John, inherited.  He died in 1413 and in
1445 William Yorke, possibly his grandson, obtained Twickenham Manor.  William, a fishmonger and wool merchant of
London, died in 1476 leaving his widow Elizabeth in possession of more
than 300
acres of land around Twickenham.  A
descendant of this line was later said to have moved to Ramsbury in



The Yorkes from York

were an extremely successful mercantile family from the city of York.  The first Sir Richard Yorke had been both
mayor and MP for the city in the 1480’s.

successors blazed a colorful trail through history.
Sir Richard’s grandson was knighted by Edward
VI before being thrown into the Tower by Mary Tudor.
Sir Edward Yorke repelled the Armada and then
circumnavigated the world with his cousin, Sir Martin Frobisher.  Sir John Yorke, a staunch Catholic, was
implicated in the Guy Fawkes gunpowder plot of 1605.


Simon and Philip
Yorke of Dover

Yorke was buried in St.
James’s Church in 1664 and his son, Philip, an attorney and some time
Clerk of Dover, resided at a house of many gables on Snargate
Street.  The
Yorke’s house was on the corner of the street and, although somewhat
pretentious in appearance, was not a large mansion.  Philip Yorke,
although attorney and Town Clerk, was not rich.


Richard Yorke of Dover, New Hampshire

is believed to have come to America from Shropshire.
He was on The James with thirty other
emigrants from Shropshire under Thomas Wiggins that arrived in Salem,
Massachusetts in 1633.  Two years later
he had settled in an area of New Hampshire then known as the Oyster
settlement, but now known as Dover, New Hampshire, where he married and
until 1672.  He was survived by his wife
Elizabeth and his sons John and Benjamin.
The eldest son John was killed by Indians in 1690.

Descendants were to be found in Dover in New
Hampshire, Falmouth in Maine, and Gloucester in Massachusetts.

Henry York, Canadian Immigrant

Henry York and his wife Ann and their five children left their home in
Buckby, Northamptonshire and sailed for Canada in search of a better
life.  Henry’s dream was to farm his own
land. They
sailed on the ship Cairo, arriving at
Grosse Ile, Quebec in September, 1844.
Ann, who had been ill for half of the journey, spent about three
in the infirmary there and died.  Henry,
grief stricken and feeling very alone, made his way with the five
children to
Picton, Ontario, where he and his son Frederick found work.

Many of Henry’s letters home at this time
have survived.  The following is one

“They live different here. They eat butter and cakes, pickles
preserves, plums and cherries which grow in great quantities in the
woods.  I have been out to supper several
times this
winter and have had meat, potatoes, pickles, preserves, apple sauce,
pumpkin pie all heaped on my plate at once, like a mess for a mad dog.  All very good if kept separate, but such a
mixture I don’t like. 
We have butter and
meat allowed us while at work three times a day, and tea without sugar.  If a man is ever so poor here, he may still
get plenty of bread and meat and if industrious he will get himself
cattle. They are easier to get than money.
When a man has some pigs, which nearly keep themselves, and a
cow or two, his
family has something to depend on beside his labor.
But with all these prospects there is an
aching void on my part, for the loss of my wife embitters everything
and is
always uppermost on my mind.” 

was December 1851 before he remarried, to Elizabeth Prentice.  Henry and Elizabeth’s marriage resulted in
the birth of nine children between 1853 and 1872.  Happily
settled now, Henry lived in the St.
Vincent township area for more than 30 years.

Sergeant York


was a 1941 biographical film about the life of
Alvin York, the most-decorated American soldier of World War 1.  It was directed by Howard Hawks and was the
highest-grossing film of that year.

York, played by Gary Cooper, was a poor Tennessee hillbilly.  He was an exceptional marksman, but a
ne’er-do-well prone to drinking and fighting.
He then underwent a religious awakening when he was struck by
during a late-night rainstorm and it turned his life around.

He tried to avoid induction into the Army for
World War I as a conscientious objector due to his religious beliefs,
but he got
drafted into the Army nonetheless.

York wanted nothing to do with the Army and killing.
But pinned down by German fire on the Western
Front, his self-doubt disappeared.  He
worked his way around behind German lines and shot with such deadly
effect that
the Germans surrendered.  He and the
handful of other survivors ended up with 132 prisoners.
York became a national hero and was awarded
the Medal of Honor.

Returning to
Tennessee after a ticker tape parade and celebration, the people of
purchased the bottomland farm he tried to get before the war and paid
for a
house to be built on the land where Alvin and his wife Gracie were to
their married life.


Return to York Main Page


Leave a Reply