John "Yellow Jacket" Wesley Bailey

Born:1798 In:  Wilkes Co., NC
Died:1889 (at age ‎~91‏)In:  Yancey County, North Carolina


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Immediate family

Lovada "Lovie" Louisa Bailey (born Ray)
His wife
Sarah E. Bailey
His daughter
Calvin Bailey
His son
Elmira "Myra" Bailey
His daughter
Ancil\Ansel Bailey
His son
Ansel Bailey
His son
Elizabeth Bailey
His daughter
Patricia Bailey
His daughter
Hiram Bailey
His son
Stephen Morgan "Morg" Bailey
His son
Stephen Morgan Garrett Martha E Temperance Ann Lovia Louise Elmira "Myra" Ancil\Ansel Elizabeth Patricia Hiram Thomas John Margaret "Peggy" William Jefferson Martin Luther Addison Crusoe Bailey
His son
Thomas J. Bailey
His son
Garrett D. Bailey
His son
John A. Aaron Wesley Bailey
His son
Martha E. "Patty" Elvira Bailey
His daughter
Margaret "Peggy" E. Bailey
His daughter
Temperance Ann "Tempy" Bailey
His daughter
John Bailey
His son
Lovia Louise Bailey
His daughter
William Jefferson Bailey
His son
Love L. Bailey
His daughter
Martin Luther Bailey
His son
Addison Crusoe Bailey
His son
Curtis Bailey
His son
Liza Jane Bailey
His daughter
Ansel Ancil\Ansel Bailey
His father
Elizabeth "Susan" Bailey (born Bradley)
His mother
Mary Ann Bailey
His sister
Charles N Bailey
His brother
Martha Elivira Elvira Ray (born Bailey)
His sister
Mary Ann Polly Bailey
His sister
Frances Bailey
His sister
Edward Edmund Nettie "Neddie" Bailey
His brother
James W Bailey
His brother
Jefferson "Jesse" Bailey
His brother
Elizabeth Bailey
His sister
Sussanah Bailey
His sister
Unknown Bailey
His sibling

Source citations

Matched to: John "Yellow Jacket" Bailey
Date: Oct 1 2009
Citation text:
Added by confirming a Smart Match
Matched to: John "Yellow Jacket John" Bailey
Date: Oct 1 2009
Citation text:
Added by confirming a Smart Match


John Wesley Bailey also known as "Yellow Jacket" due to his temper! (per Darla Hardage)
He had a bad temper and got his nickname, "Yellow Jacket". He was bset friends with Yancey Barlett and Captain Otway Burns. He was one of the founding fathers of Yancey CO.,NC because there's a story that he rode his horse back and forth to the NC General Assembly. Finally, he gave 100 acres of his own land for the town of Burnsville and started Yancey CO.,NC.

John "Yellow Jacket" BAILEY was born about 1798 died 1889 in North Carolina.

1850 census, Yancey # 223, John is age 52. married to Lovada { Lovey} Ray lived near Burnsville, near Relief , North Carolina.


1860 Yancey County Census Day Book

July 14, 1860

Household: #639, family #639

Bailey, John Sen. 62 NC farmer, realestate - $600, personal estate - $111

Lovey 56 NC

(living next door to John E. Cooper, #640)


1880 United States Federal Census Record Stantonsburg, Yancey, North Carolina

Name: John Bailey

Age: 81

Estimated Birth Year: abt 1799

BirthPlace: North Carolina

Relation to head-of-household: Self

Spouses's Name: Lovey

Father's birthplace: NC

Mother's birthplace: ---

Occupation: Farmer

Marital status: Married

Race: White

Gender: Male

Cannot read/write:

Household Members: Name Age

John Bailey 81

Lovey Bailey 74


History of Yancey County, North Carolina

Independent and sturdy Scottish, English, and Irish settlers of the Carolina frontier had crossed the Blue Ridge mountains and settled the Toe River Valley by the mid-1700's. In the year 1796, one of the early land speculators, John Gray Blount, paid for 326,640 acres of land, according to Lloyd R. Bailey, Sr., Ph.D., president of the Yancey History Association. Blount was not granted a blanket charter of 360,000 acres, as has been erroneously reported. This and other erroneous reports are corrected in this revision.

In December, 1833, the N.C. General Assembly established a new western county to be named in honor of one of North Carolina's most distinguished statesmen, Bartlett Yancey, of north-central Caswell County. As U.S. Congressman (1813-1817) and as speaker of the N.C. Senate (1817-1827) he was instrumental in many accomplishments that benefited the state, including the creation of an education fund that was the beginning of the N.C. Public School System. He was an advocate of correcting the inequality in representation in the General Assembly by the creation of new western counties; but he passed away on August 30, 1828, over five years before the General Assembly created a new county, named Yancey, from sections of Burke and Buncombe Counties. In Yancey's boundries looms Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak in Eastern U.S.. at 6,684 feet above sea level

On March 6, 1834, John Bailey, nicknamed "Yellow Jacket," conveyed 100 acres of land for the county seat, named Burnsville. Its namesake, Captain Otway Burns, who was serving in the General Assembly in 1833, voted for the creation of the new western county. The grateful peole named their county seat for Captain Burns, a naval hero of the War of 1812. His tomb in Beaufort's Old Burying Ground is surmounted by a canon taken from his ship, "The Snap Dragon." A statue of Captain Burns stands on a forty-ton, Mount Airy granite pedestal in the center of the town's public square, which was given the official name of "Bailey Square" by the Yancey County Board of Commissioners on September 1, 1930. The statue of Captain Burns was given to the county on July 5, 1909, by Walter Francis Burns, a grandson of the sea captain. The inscription reads: "Otway Burns - Born in Onslow County, North Carolina, 1777 - Died at Portsmouth, North Carolina, 1850. Sailor - Soldier - Statesman. North Carolina's Foremost Son in the War of 1812-1815 - For Him, This Town Is Named - He Guarded Well Our Seas, Let Our mountains Honor Him"

Yancey county was formed in 1833. It was cut off from Burke and Buncombe. Three counties have since been partly formed out of Yancey. They are: Watauga in 1849; Madison in 1851; and Mitchell in 1861. Yancey county is now bounded on the north by Mitchell county and the State of Tennessee; on the east by Mitchell and McDowell counties; on the south by McDowell and Madison; on the west by Madison and Buncombe counties and the Tennessee line. Mt. Mitchell, the highest mountain in the eastern half of North America, is in Yancey county. It was named for Dr. Elisha Mitchell, a teacher in the University, who explored it. Mt. Mitchell is a part of the Black mountains which extend partly across this county. Yancey county contains eighteen mountain peaks that rise above 6,300 feet. These mountains are very fertile and are covered with great forests of gigantic trees. Cherry trees in Yancey often grow four feet, the walnut eight feet, and the poplar ten feet in diameter.

The county was named for Bartlett Yancey, a native of Caswell county. He was educated at the University of North Carolina, studied law, and became eminent in his profession. He was twice a member of the Congress of the United States, and eight times a member of the senate of North Carolina. He was one of the first men in the State to favor public schools for all the people.

The county seat of Yancey is Burnsville , named in honor of Capt. Otway Burns, of Beaufort, N. C. He won fame in the war of 1812 against England. With his vessel, the "Snap Dragon," he sailed up and down the Atlantic coast, capturing many English vessels and destroying the British trade. He had many wild adventures, and his name became a terror to British merchants. Finally the English government sent a war vessel, called the "Leopard," to capture Captain Burns. The "Leopard" succeeded in capturing the "Snap-Dragon" while Captain Burns was on shore sick. After the war he was frequently a member of the legislature. A monument to his memory was recently erected at Burnsville.

Yancey has an approximate area of 193,000 acres, with an average assessed value of $2.60 per acre. Over 40 per cent of the land is held in large tracts of 1,000 acres or more in extent. These holdings are valued chiefly for their timber and are held principally as investments.

The topography is generally rough and the average elevation is high. The Black mountain range in the southern portion of the county contains many peaks more than 6,000 feet high, and Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Rockies, rises to an elevation of 6,711 feet above sea level. In the northern and western sections of the county the ridges have an average elevation of about 4,000 feet above sea level, Bald mountain rising to 5,500 feet.

Four considerable streams, South Toe and Caney rivers, and Jacks and Crabtree creeks, rise within the county, and flowing in a northerly direction empty into Toe river, which forms the northern boundary of the county.

Mrs. Nancy Anderson Gardner:

There are many old people in these mountains, but 'Mrs. Nancy Gardner of Burnsville was 98 the 15th of January, 1913. She was in full possession of all her faculties, and in 1912 furnished for this history a list of names of the first settlers of Yancey county. Her husband's father was Thomas Gardner, who was born in Virginia in 1793, and died in Yancey in 1853. He settled on Cane river when a boy. Her father was W. M. Anderson and her mother Patty Elkins, who was born in Tennessee in 1790. Her parents were married in 1809. James Anderson was from Ireland and served in Virginia with the Americans during the Revolutionary War, after which he moved (1870), first to Surry, and then to Little Ivy, where D. W. Angel now lives and where Mrs. Gardner was born, January 15, 1815. Her husband was William Gardner, to whom she was married March 22, 1832. Thomas Dillard, father of the wife of Robert Love, was her mother's uncle. She died early in 1913.

First Settlers of Burnsville:

Mrs. Gardner gave the following as the first settlers of Burnsville:

John L. Williams and his sons Edward and Joshua

Dr. Job

Dr. John Yancey

Abner Jarvis

Dr. Jacob Stanley

Samuel Flemming

Gen. John W. McElroy

James Greenlee

John W. Garland

"Knock" Boone,

Amos Ray

W. M. Westall

J. Bacchus Smith

Joseph Shepard

Adam Broyles

Mitchell Broyles

W. M. Lewis,

John Woodfin

James Anderson

Milton P. Penland

Jack Stewart

John Bailey

First Settlers of Yancey:

Among them Mrs. Gardner mentioned the following, giving also the names of their wives: Henry Roland, Berry Hensley, Ed. and James McMahan, Thomas Ray, Edward Wilson, Jacob Phipps, Jerry Boons, Hiram Ray, John Bailey, John Griffith, Joseph Shepard, Strowbridge Young, James Proffitt, James Greenlee, Blake Piercy, Thomas Briggs, John McElroy, Wm. Angel, James Evans, W. M. Angelin, John Allen, Rev. Samuel Byrd.

Interesting Facts About Old Times:

Mrs. Gardner's grandfather, James Anderson, was said to be the first Methodist west of the Blue Ridge. She remembered Parson Brownlow and the "lie bill" suit and the sale of his bridle, saddle and horse; also that William Angel lived near the present site of Burnsville but moved to Georgia, carrying his family and "One hundred geese, which they drove." She gave not only the names of the wives of the first settlers, but their children, and where the first settlers lived.

Also, that John Bailey married Hiram Ray's daughter and donated the land for the town of Burnsville; that Joseph Shepard married Betsy Norton, the grandparents of the late Judge J. S. Adams; that Thomas Ray married Ivey Hensley and lived in Cane river valley; that Jacob Phipps married Nancy Hampton, and lived four miles west of Burnsville; that Edward Wilson married Polly Gilbert and lived on Cane river; that Jerry Boone was a noted blacksmith and married Sallie McMahan. They lived where Burnsville now stands; also that Hiram Ray married a Miss Cox and was a wealthy and influential man. Also that Zepheniah Horton lived one mile west of Burnsv ille, but none of his descendants now live in Yancey, though some live in Buncombe and the State of Kansas; that Henry Roland married Sallie Robinson and lived on Cane river; that Berry Henley married Betsy Littleton, among whose descendants were B. S., W., and Jas. B. Hensley. Edward and James McMahan were the first settlers of Pensacola, and Strowbridge Young married Patty Wilson. She spoke of James Proffitt as having lived on Bald creek, and of his direct descendants, but did not give the name of his wife. She also spoke of James Greenlee as having married Polly Poteet and living on Cane river, but having had no children; Blake Piercy who married Fanny Turner, and lived on Indian creek, Thomas Briggs who married Jane Wilson and lived on Bald creek, John McElroy who married Miss Jamison and lived on Bald creek, James Evans who married a Miss Bailey and lived on Jack's creek, W. M. Angelin who married Miss Betsy Austin and lived on Banks creek, John Allen who married Molly Turner, and the Rev. Samuel Byrd who married a Miss Briggs and lived in the northern part of the county, naming many of his descendants.

Fine River Bottoms:

Those splendid lands, extending from the mouth of Prices creek up Cane river to within two or three miles of Burnsville, were in possession of white people as early as 1787, and were originally granted to John mocking Alexander and Win. Sharp. The 640-acre tract at the mouth of Bald and Prices creeks is owned by descendants of Thomas L. Ray, who was among the first settlers of Yancey county. The Creed Young place, originally the John Griffith farm, on Crabtree, about two miles from Burnsville, is another fine farm. Milton P. Penland was another early settler, and owned valuable land near Burnsville. He was a man of influence and ability.


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