Dan Edward Yearout, 7/5/1928-9/11/2010

When I was much younger, I was in school with a girl whose last name was Yearout.  It was pronounced “YOUR-owl” and sometimes you couldn’t hear the “l”, and it sounded like “Your-ow”.  I promise.

I did not understand how this could be.  It was clearly “Year out”.  I like for things to be what they are on the surface, even though in literature I love symbolism and innuendo.  Like the meaning of the name of Sylvia the cat who loves to hang out in the woods, because she is sylvan and from the forest.  Although she’s not from the forest, she’s from the ditch besides the liquor store in Garnett.  I digress, but only a bit.

Sylvia: "My friends can call me Ditch".

So.  I started studying genealogy in 1999, and I met, via email, a man named Dan Yearout, who was also a studier of genealogy.  It seems that my ancestor, Lynch Webb, was in the Civil Wah at age 40 along with two of his sons and one of their cousins, Merah Yearout.  (It will pay us to note that Lynch’s FATHER was Merry Webb.)

Merry Webb, 1778-1864, at the Myers Cemetery in Townsend, Tennessee. (I promise this says Merry Webb.)

Merry Webb the elder was the progenitor of a large family.  He married several times.  When the time came for naming children and grandchildren, several of them, all males, were named Merry.  It appears that it was pronounced “Merah”, since that’s how Merah Yearout’s name is written on his Civil Wah pension file, and he was a descendant of Merry Webb.

So.  Merah Yearout and his wife are buried in the Lenoir City Cemetery when my parents and my mother’s parents and various other collateral relatives are buried.  Small world.  I’d never heard of Merah Yearout until I met, by email, his descendant Dan Yearout.  Who sent a picture of Merah that I cannot find now (insert future finding of picture of Merah Yourowl HERE!! Click here!!).

He also sent me a copy of a letter from one August Jahraus in Germany.  It seems that Dan did some sleuthing and traced the Yourowl name to Germany.  Now, I am not a German scholar, but my mother-in-law’s mother was from Sweden (Yumpin’ Yiminy!) and her maiden name was Jaderberg.  No, not JAY-der-berg, but YAH-da-bare.  So I can easily make the mental stretch from Jahraus to Yahrow to Yourowl.  Because when I am determined, facts do not necessarily get in the way.

Somehow Dan also found a translator.  Determination scores another win.


Translation of August’s Letter

26 of December 2000

Dear Mr. Dan Yearout

I’d like to excuse myself for not responding to your letters of 4th of July and from September 2000 and I hope that at least you received my response to your Christmas greetings with the attached photo of myself, my wife Katarzyna and our daughter Julia.  This photo was made on my 50th birthday on November 9th, 2000.

I married my wife Katarzyna at the age of 46.  She comes from Poland, close to Krakov, our daughter is 3 years old.

I run the vinery I took over from my parents and furthermore plant apples.  There are no other families by the name of Jahraus in Ilbesheim.  My father Karl Jahraus died in 1980 and my mother [no name mentioned] died in 1988.  As I am the only son, the name of Jahraus in Ilbesheim will not succeed. 

After my mother’s death I lived in our house by myself from 1988 to 1996.  Only during the times when there was lots of work in the vineyards, as in February-March (cutting the wine-plants back), June-July (working the leaves), and September-October (harvesting the grapes and apples), my today’s wife Katarzyna was here.

I make wine from the grapes, which I do not bottle and sell myself, but this wine is sold via commissioners to big vineries.  Under this marketing system we have not even been able to cover our costs in the last two years with the white wines.  Only with the red ones we can make decent money.  But the areas we use for growing red wine are very small and newly implanted vineyards do not carry enough harvest.  Thus all vineries with solemn or mostly production of barreled wine are in a sour economical situation.

Because of this I try to sell my apples directly to the customers.  Every Friday afternoon and Saturday I drive to a region where they do not have apple plantations, to sell them there.  This time is but amiss in my vinery.  During the time of grape harvest from the end of September until the middle of October there are many working hours necessary.  Furthermore there is lots of paperwork to be done until certain dates.  As my wife cannot do these, and even does not have a drivers license, which is valid in Germany, I managed to keep the fruit plantation in a good shape, but the paperwork keeps piling up, and I am only able to get the things done, that are absolutely running into their closing dates.  Especially the bygone year 2000 brought several problems onto the surface.

I can assure you, Mr. Yearout, that I am really interested in keeping in touch with you, but I never went into genealogy myself.  At this moment, I am not able to supply other information than the following ones:

I have a booklet, in which the emigration of people from Ilbesheim in the 18th and 19th century until WW I (1914-1918) is described.  There are three persons by the name of Jahraus mentioned, who have emigrated to the USA

1.  Jahraus, Jacob 1832

2.  Jahraus, Johannes 1832

3.  Jahraus, Katharina 1888

The author of this booklet mentions 33 persons, which have emigrated in the middle of the 18th century (1738-1754) from Ilbesheim.  But there are Jahrauses among these.  This might have its reason in the fact, that there were probably (guessed) more than 100 emigrants.

I wish you and your family health and luck in the New Year 2001.

Heartily greetings

August Jahraus


I was in the shed a few days ago in search of something and I uncovered a Rubbermaid tote that had the letter above.  I was curious to know if Dan Yearout was still out and about, so I did a google search and I found his obituary.


When I find Merah’s picture, I’ll post that, too.  I promise.

Rest well, Dan.


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6 Responses to “Dan Edward Yearout, 7/5/1928-9/11/2010”

  1. Leo Says:

    I, of course, do not know any of the good people of which you so charmingly wite. However you do make it so interesting that I find it worth my time to read whatever it is you have to say about such wonderful folks, times, and places. Please keep up the good work.


    • ruthrawls Says:

      Leo, you are too kind.
      By coincidence, or perhaps because the stars and planets were in proper alignment, a Lawton descendant found my blog. Her grandmother and Sugar’s mother were sisters. We met her for lunch two days ago and spent over *TWO* hours at lunch. It was a wonderful lunch, but she started the lunch off by saying to me, “You are such a good writer!”, and then she expounded a bit about the pictures and how wonderful the blog was, and that I should really do something with my writing.


      • kariann Says:

        Yes, this

        “You are such a good writer!”, and then she expounded a bit about the pictures and how wonderful the blog was, and that I should really do something with my writing.


  2. sharon elaine boyd Says:

    I have just discovered your blog while researching the area that will become my new home. I loved savannah while visiting as did my daughter. Thank you for taking the time to share your history and stories.

    Much Appreciation, Sharon


  3. Walking Outside the Lines « Ruthrawls's Blog Says:

    […] died, and the man in the office remembered that the man was from Knoxville.  I said, “Well, that was probably Dan Yearout, and he IS deceased.”  Funny how life strings us […]


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