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William Youel, Rev. War Soldier in Rockbridge Co., VA
Posted by: Cathleen Shiff (ID *****7042) Date: March 31, 2009 at 11:32:48
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I came across the following newspaper article in my grandmother's papers. I am not related to this family, but I trust this will be of help to Youel's (all with 1 l) doing family research. This was published in a STaunton, VA, area newspaper during the Bicentennial.
It says:

"Youel descendants, DAR plan ceremony

"Faced with the problem of how to part in the bicentennial, members of one old Virginia family are cooperating with the Daughters of the American Revolution in plans to place a "Soldier of the American Revolution" marker on the grave of their ancestor, William Youel, in a family plot near Goshen (VA).

"The ceremony is set for 2:30 p.m. Sept. 4 at the old Youel family burial ground in the valley of the Little Calfpasture River in Rockbridge County.It will be conducted by officers of the Virginia Frontier Chapter, DAR, of which Mrs. W.G. Williamson of Lexington is regent, and the Adam Throughgood Chapter, Virginia Beach, in which Mrs. Rice McNutt Youell, Jr. is vice regent.

"A color guard from the Virginia Military Academy will participate, and Bicentennial officials, other leading citizens and descendants of William Youel will attend.

"It will be preceded by a luncheon at the Keydet General Motel, Lexington, for the descendants of William and Elizabeth Youel, his wife, from many parts of the United States, and the special guests.

"In planning the ceremony and the reunion, Mrs. Youell of Virginia Beach worked with Mrs. Naomi Youel Nielsen of Lyons, Kansas, family historian and genealogist, who will attend and participate. Mrs. Nielsen's research shows there are descendants in a number of states of the union. The William Youels had six daughters and three sons, and families in suceeding generations tended to be large. Mrs. Nielsen has notified the hundreds of descendants for whom she had addresses and many will attend.

"Members of the committee had the benefit of the assistance and counsel of Dr. George West Diehl, noted historian, prior to his death on August 10, 1975. Dr. Diehl provided them with a great deal of information on Rockbridge County and the participation of its residents in the Revolutionary War.

"The Youel ancestor who will be honored by the DAR 141 years after his death was born in Scotland in 1734. He came to Virginia in 1771, or a few years earlier. When the cause of independence was being threatened by British advances through Carolina, the Gilmore Rifles, a Virginia militia company, was rushed to Cowpens, now South Carolina, and played a part in the American victory there. William Youel was slightly wounded.

"After his military service, he expanded his land holdings in Rockbrige County. In 1784, he was one of the founders of the Lebanon Presbyterian Church, which is still in existence near Craigsville (VA). He participated in the movement opposing an established church in Virginia, efforts which resulted in the adoption of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom as drafted by Thomas Jefferson.

"William Youel died in 1834 at the age of 100 and was buried in the family cemetary which is near the house he built in 1819 and in which he lived furing the last years of his life.

"Ownership of the large property owned by William Youel, stretching across the valley of the Little Cowpasture, from mountain ridge to mountain ridge, was left to his son, James George Wilson Youel. Other sons, John and William Nelson Youel moved west about 1830. Some of the daughters remained in Virginia, others joined those who crossed the mountains for the fertile and undeveloped lands of Ohio and Indiana.

"The old home near Goshen, which is still standing and in good repair, remained in the family until 1863 when it was sold to David Condon. Mrs. D.A. Condon of Charlottesville and other members of the Condon family are the present owners.

"Descendants of William Youel have been prominent in Virginia. A grandson, William Henry Youell ---(note double l's)---- was killed in the battle at Hatcher's Run near Petersburg in 1864. A great great grandson, Rice McNutt Youell, had a distinguished career. He was graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1913. He entered World War I as a first lieutenant and came out a major. His valuable and conspicuous war service commended him to state officials and he served as head of the state penitentiary system as first Commissioner of Corrections for many years. He died in 1962. His son, Capt. Rice McNutt Youel, Jr., is a retired captain of the United States Navy. His grandson, John Rice Youell, Jr., was graduated from VMI in 1971 and another grandson, William Nelson Youell in 1972.

"Other prominent Virginians who are descendants of William Youel include Richard Obenshain of Richmond, co-chairman of the Republican National Committee; Joseph Obenshain of Blacksburg, curator of the Smithfield Plantation; and Kenneth Youel of Earlysville, retired General Motors executive, former president of the Public Relations Society of America, and current president of the Charlottesville-Albermarle chapter of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Dr. John K. Youel of Charlottesville is a great great great grandson of William Youel.

"Mrs. Rammel Harman Gayhart, Sandra Lee Gayhart, Gary Lee Firebaugh and Richard Clemmer Firebaugh are Staunton residents listed as descendants."


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