About the YNGHA

In 1979, the late Robert Price Yarbrough, a North Carolinian, visited the grave site of Richard ("the Immigrant" or "Old Richard") Yarborough in Old Blandford Churchyard, Petersburg, Virginia. Old Blandford is a lovely old church, located on Crater Road in Petersburg, and features stained glass windows rendered by the famous Tiffany Glassworks of New York. It is generally believed that Richard arrived ca 1642, but his origins and place on the family tree remain unclear. Tracing the lineages of the early Virginians is complicated by several of the early Yo.'s traveling back and forth between the old and the new worlds. Almost certainly, Richard was from the Lincolnshire branch of the family, and equally certainly he too travelled between England and Virginia during his lifetime. His tombstone, which had fallen into disrepair, had been replaced, but Richard's surname had mistakenly been changed to "Scarborough". Robert undertook to interest various members of the extended Yarborough family in restoring the headstone with the correct name in 1982. Although the charter of the YNGHA was granted in 1980, the association itself really began on the occasion of the restoration. Robert served as the first president, with the incorporator, Allen Yarbrough (deceased), Karen Mazock (a professional genealogist), "Texas" Charley Yarborough (a nephew of the late Senator Ralph Yarborough of Texas and now deceased), and "Tennessee" Charley Yarbro (deceased) being among the founders. The Association is incorporated by the Commonwealth of Virginia as a not-for-profit corporation.

The Association has two main purposes – to further genealogical research of the Yarb(o)rough and allied families and to educate the public about the historical contributions of Yarb(o)roughs everywhere. To that end, the Association has acquired considerable research material that has been prepared and donated by various Association members. For example, Ophelia Kessler and her sister Rea Donohue have provided several yards of records representing the research on their branches of the family. These records have been augmented by contributions from other researchers. The YNGHA publishes a quarterly magazine, which attempts to balance research articles and current news for its readership. The Yarbrough Family Quarterly is a continuation of the Yarborough Family Magazine, which was published by the late Senator Ralph Yarborough's nephew, Charles David Yarborough. Charles published his Magazine from September 1968 to November 1984. His Magazine was inspired, by the Yarbrough Family Magazine (sometimes referred to as the Yarbrough Family Newsletter, which was started by the late Nellie Jenkins of Emmelle, AL. The highlight of the year is the annual conference, hosted by a family member. The conference features a research room, research workshops, and the general membership meeting, as prescribed by the By-Laws. Election of officers and directors occurs during the conference.

Shortly after the advent of the twenty-first century, the Association inaugurated a web site/page (http://www.yarbroughfamily.org), which has been expanded to include considerable information about our extended Yarbrough families. Archival records of the three publications described in the preceding paragraph are accessible at this web site. Subsequently, and through the efforts of the late James Yarbrough of Houston, TX, a DNA project was undertaken. This has already yielded interesting, if not puzzling, results, which indicate as untrue the long-held belief that most New World Yarbroughs are Old Richard's descendants.

The advent of 2011 saw publication of the Yarbrough Family Quarterly transition from paper format to online delivery. The web site was reformatted to include a comprehensive site map, search capability, and capability for both the submission of forms and the payment of various fees and costs online. In 2014, the YNGHA began the digitizing of its records holdings. This project was completed in August 2015 with 139 scanned volumes, comprising nearly four gigaBytes of data, all searchable, indexed and archived on a DVD. Acquisition of single or multiple volumes are incorporated into the online store.

It is an unofficial custom to hold the annual meeting at or near Petersburg on the tenth anniversary of the restoration of Old Richard's headstone. The Church and adjoining cemetery is an on-going project of the Petersburg Ladies Memorial Association, beginning with the restoration of the old Church following the Civil War.

Leonard S. Yarbrough
Blountsville, AL

Rewritten October 2015
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