||Joseph Yates belonged to the New Netherland Community 1614-1700.|
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Some descendants of Joseph and other early American settlers named Yates have claimed that Joseph Yates was from the English nobility. One account of his origin says that he was one of three sons of Sir Christopher Yates of Yorkshire, England, who emigrated to America after their family's estates were confiscated. A genealogy compiled in the early 20th century by Adelaid Yates Ellicott stated that Robert, Joseph and Christopher Yates were sons of Sir Christopher C. Yates and Lady Mary, third daughter of Lord Howard of Eskirk, England, and that they left England in the reign of Charles I settled in or near New Amsterdam. A letter written in 1917 by George L. Yates stated that these brothers arrived in America in 1643, and that one brother settled in Virginia, another in Maine, and the third near Albany, New York. A typescript by Bobbie McLane, which repeats the Adelaid Yates Ellicott theories, also states that Joseph Yates was born in 1650 in the town of Maile in Lancaster or Yorkshire, where his family held an estate until 1774, and that he went to America in 1664.
Mrs. Victor Johnson noted that inconsistencies in the dates of the events described in these accounts of family origins cast doubt on their authenticity, and she conducted research in England that found no evidence in support of these accounts. She searched heraldic registries in England and found no record of a Sir Christopher C. Yates. Additionally, she reported that an English professional genealogist found no record for Lord Howard of Escrick having a daughter named Mary in the relevant time period. She also looked for records of estates and confiscations in Yorkshire and Lancashire, and found that records of confiscations were lacking, but there was no evidence for a Sir Christopher Yates holding an estate in these counties. She learned that there is no town called Maile in either Yorkshire or Lancashire, but that the name possibly could refer to Maghull in Lancashire. Her search for a baptism record for Joseph Yates in Maghull was fruitless, as the parish baptism register had no entries for the period between 1640 and 1651, when Joseph plausibly might have been born.
Mrs. Johnson did find a set of records that plausibly could belong to the Joseph Yates who went to Albany, New York. Joseph Yates, son of Robert Yates of Headrow, was baptized on 26 December 1647 in the parish of St. John's in Leeds, Yorkshire. Robert Yates of Headrow had been married to Mary Dyson of Brigait on 12 September 1646. The St. John's parish register lists the deaths of Robert Yates on 18 April 1751, a daughter named Mary Yates on 15 April 1751, and Robert, "son of the late Robert Yates" in 1753. Mrs. Johnson noted that the Joseph Yates born in 1646 would have been 17 years old in 1664, a likely age for a soldier, and suggested that the depletion of his family would have left him with few prospects in life, so he might have been motivated to seek passage to "the New World." Also, she noted that Joseph Yates of Albany gave the names Maria (i.e., a variant of Mary) and Robert to his first daughter and his second son, respectively, suggesting that these might have been family names.
Joseph Yates is thought to have arrived in Albany, New York, in 1664 as one of the volunteer soldiers from northern England who participated in the Duke of York's expedition to take New Netherland from the Dutch.
After the success of the military expedition, he remained as a soldier in the military garrison at Fort Orange (Albany, New York). While serving as a soldier, he worked as a blacksmith as Albany and supplied firewood to the fort, and he was granted city carting licenses as a porter in 1686-7 and 1699-1700. The earliest mention of him in Albany records was in 1676, when he was named in the record of a lawsuit against another Englishman who was charged with taking a horse from the Governor's stable without permission.  In 1714 he was one of 17 men in Albany who were awarded pensions for over 20 years of service to the Crown of Great Britain.
He married New Netherland native Huybertje Marselis before 1683. Nine children have been identified from records:
Joseph Yates and his wife, Huybertje both died in 1730. They were buried in the Beaver Street yard of the Reformed Dutch Church of Albany; Joseph Yats on 22 May and Huybertje Yaets on 13 July.
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