Hamilton Yancey (27 Sep. 1848-15 Nov. 1931)

Hamilton Yancey was born in Edgefield District, South Carolina. He was the son of Benjamin Cudworth Yancey, Jr. (1817-1891) and his second wife, Sarah Paris Hamilton. The family had moved to Atlanta, Georgia by 1860. Though young Hamilton did not serve “officially” in the Civil War—he was age 12 through 16 from 1861-1865—he was called “Colonel” Yancey throughout his life.

Hamilton Yancey graduated from the University of Georgia in 1868, then attended the University of Virginia in session 45 (1868-1869). At both Universities he was a member of Chi Phi Fraternity, and at Georgia he was a member of Phi Kappa. He earned L.L. B. (1870) and A.M. (1871) degrees from Georgia Law School. He worked from 1871 to 1888 as a lawyer in Rome, Georgia. He served as city attorney of Rome, as solicitor of the County Court of Floyd County, and as alderman of East Rome.  In 1892, he became manager of the Rome Fire Insurance Company, and later the Commercial Union Assurance Company, of England. In 1915, he was appointed special deputy insurance commissioner in charge of the State Mutual Life Insurance Company of Georgia. (Knight)

On 29 Apr. 1874, Hamilton Yancey married Florence Julia Patterson (1854-1929), in Macon, Georgia. The couple had eight children: Julia Marsh (d. young), Benjamin Cudworth, Robert Patterson, Thomas Hamilton, Sarah, Mary Lou, Florence Weston, and Clare de Graffenried Yancey. Their home was Claremont House, which Hamilton Yancey had built in 1882, and which is now a bed & breakfast. Yancey died in Rome and was buried at Myrtle Hill Cemetery, in Rome, GA.

[Note: Thanks to Patrick Wheaton, former Chief Justice, Phi Kappa Literary Society, for the information on Yancey’s membership, and to Holly & Chris, the owners of Claremont House, for additional information about the Yancey family.–JLC]


  • Ancestry.com. 1850-1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc.
  • “Georgia, Deaths, 1928-1930,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JJWC-FYJ : accessed 18 Dec 2013), Hamilton Yancey in entry for Florence Yancey, 18 Sep 1929.
  • “Georgia, Marriages, 1808-1967,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FWWD-Y3N : accessed 18 Dec 2013), Hamilton Yancy and Florence Julia Patterson, 29 Apr 1874.
  • “Hamilton Yancey.” in Knight, Lucian L. A Standard history of Georgia & Georgians. 1917, p. 2643-2646. http://yanceyfamilygenealogy.org/hamilton.htm
  • “Hamilton Yancey.” in Southern Historical Society. Memoirs of Georgia.  Atlanta, GA., 1895, v.1, p.683.
  • Pinson, Maxine. “Dwell in Victorian Opulence at the Claremont House.” INNside Scoop, Summer, 1998.  http://www.the-innside-scoop.com/articles/claremont.htm
  • Yancey tombstones, Myrtle Hill Cemetery, Rome, GA. Findagrave.com.
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One Response to Hamilton Yancey (27 Sep. 1848-15 Nov. 1931)

  1. Patrick Wheaton says:

    The Phi Kappa, or Phi Kappa Literary Society, at the University of Georgia is not the same as a Phi Kappa at the University of Virginia. Phi Kappa is not a social fraternity; it is a literary debate society. If Yancey belonged to the Phi Kappa Literary Society while at UGA, the more likely equivalent at UVA would have been either the Jeffersonian or Washington Literary societies. Phi Kappa was founded at UGA in 1820 and it has no chapters at other schools. If there was an organization at UVA named Phi Kappa in 1868, it was not affiliated with the Phi Kappa at UGA. Perhaps you meant that Yancey was a member of Phi Kappa Psi at UVA, which is a social fraternity founded in 1853.

    The Lucian Knight source you cite notes that he was a member of Phi Kappa at UGA, and a member of Chi Phi at both UGA and UVA.

    Patrick G. Wheaton (UVA 1986; UGA 1993, 2001)
    former Chief Justice, Phi Kappa Literary Society

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