According to early New York historian Jonathan Pearson, Joseph was a son of Robert Yates and Margarita de Graaf, born July 12, 1714 at Albany, New York. On that date, the register of the Albany Reformed Dutch Church shows the baptism of Joseph, child of Robert and Merry Jojets. Joseph Jojets was the witness.
He married Maria Dunbar, daughter of John Dunbar, on September 5, 1737.
Children of Joseph Yates and Maria Dunbar were:
Robert Yates, baptized in the Reformed Dutch Church of Schenectady on 27 January 1738.
Jannetje, July 1739 at Schenectady; aoparently died young
Maria, 14 December1740, at Schenectady; married J acobus Teller
Catharina, March 20, 1743, at Schenectady, married Johannes Mynderse;
Elisabet, March 17, 1745, at Schenectady; married Cornelis A. Van Slyck
Jannetje, June 7, 1747, married Cornelis Cuyler
Johannes, July 2,1749; apparently died young.
Sara, July 21, 1751
Nicolaas (or Nicholas), born 20 December 1752; married Rebecca Fonda. 
Abraham, Mar. 23, 1755; apparently died young.
Abraham, baptized in the Reformed Dutch Church of Schenectady on 27 February 1757. His parents were listed as Joseph R. Yates and Maria Dunbar; witnesses were Abraham and Sarah Yates.
↑ Records of the Reformed Dutch Church of Albany, New York, 1683–1809, Excerpted from Year Books of the Holland Society of New York. Part 3, page 7: 1737, Sep. 5. B. Joseph Jets, y.m., and Maria Dumbaer.
↑ From Pearson, page 300, except as noted otherwise.
Pearson, Jonathan. Contributions for the Genealogies of the Descendants of the First Settlers of Schenectady.
Yates, Austin A. Schenectady County, New York: Its History to the Close of the Nineteenth Century. New York: New York History Co., 1902. pp. 270-277. Republished online by Schenectady County Public Library.