Hi Greg! I'm not sure why I was never notified of your reply. I haven't researched the Benker line in a while and just happened upon your message. I may be able to help you so I hope you get this!
My g-grandfather had a brother named William and I'm pretty sure he lived in White County at one time. My grandmother would know for sure so I'll ask her. I'll ask about his children too, that may help us confirm the connection. I know he had a daughter Wilma that now lives in TX and a son Howard John. Does that ring any bells with you? Anyway, here's what I have. (This is a xerox copy of a family Bible that someone in the family has.)
Andreas Benker b. 1834 Gopfensgriss, Hunsidel Co., Staat Obenfranker, Germany; d. Nov. 24, 1903; married Dora Martin who was b. 1833 in Leutenbergty (?) Grafenneuth (?) Germany; d. Jan. 19, 1892.
They had a son, John Martin Benker b. Aug. 10, 1862 Leutenbergty (?) Grafenneuth (?) in Hunsidel Co., Staat Obenfranker, Germany; left Germany March 10, 1883 on the Ship of Fulda; landed in New York on Good Friday, March 23, 1883.
Not sure how John Martin wound up in TN, but he married a TN girl by the name of Lucinda Yates (spelled Lusanda Yetz in the family Bible). She was the daughter of John Yates and Rose McBride Yates. She was born in Van Buren County TN July 8, 1871. They married Nov. 18, 1887 and had 13 children:
Dalton b. 10-29-1888
"Wilie" or William A. b. 4-6-1890
"Jam" (maybe James?) b. 1-26-1892
Dora b. 11-6-1893
Sofie b. 12-23-1895? (year is hard to make out)
John b. 2-14-1898 (aka John Matthew)
Andreas Baxter b. 11-5-1899 d. 2-15-1985 (my g-grandfather, aka AC)
Minnie b. 10-22-1901
Dieme (female) b. 5-14-1903
Lila b. 1-17-1906
Elmer b. 7-21-1908 d. 2-24-1929
Christof b. 8-3-1910
Aron (aka Aaron) b. 4-19-1915
I also have a copy of a letter and an obituary that Wilma sent to my grandmother. The obit was for Lizette Benker Papcke. Apparently she was one of two sisters who came to America with John Martin. (We believe there were 8 children altoghter.) I don't know the other sister's name, but they married brothers Howard and Fred Papcke. Howard and Lizette lived in Richmond VA and Elkhorn, Wisconsin.
I found a posting on the Yates forum about John and Rose Yates. It says John was a minister. He and Rose were charged with bigamy in Van Buren Co. in the 1860s. She had been married to Jacob Hayes, but had filed for divorce. The charges were dropped.
I believe John Yates may be the son of Thomas and Phebe (Combs) Yates, but not sure of it. (Also found that info on Yates forum.)
Well, I hope this helps. Would love to hear from you if it sounds like your family and would like to know how you fit in.
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