An unusual name leads to some insight into family history

features@beaufortgazette.comJuly 24, 2012 

The community of Riverside is special to the Faulkner family. It is where many of them were born.

When my husband's relative David Cauthen, husband of Elfreda Faulkner Cauthen, died, he was buried next to his wife in the David Stand African Episcopal Zion Church cemetery. The ride to the burial ground from the city of Lancaster took us through the neighboring community of Van Wyck.

The time we spent at the graveyard gave us time to read the tombstones of relatives and talk about family history. One of my husband's grand uncles was named Yoder Faulkner, an odd name to me. When I inquired about the history of it, no one had any information.

Some of the mystery was solved as I read about the history of Van Wyck, the community just across the stream from Riverside. I discovered that the name Yoder is common to this community.

The Washaw and Catawba Indians once called this area their home. These indigenous people farmed the fertile land and hunted the woods, which were abundant with deer, turkey and other wildlife.

Present day Van Wyck is along what was an ancient Indian trading path that ran from the Catawba village in Camden.

The Scots-Irish forefathers called this area their home beginning in the 1760s. After living in Carrickfergus, County Antrim, North Ireland, for a generation, these people sought a better life in the New World. Their parents left Scotland after being recruited by the English king to "civilize" the land of Catholics.

Soon they found themselves being mistreated by the Crown. Their children crossed the Atlantic and settled in what are now Lancaster and Chester counties in Pennsylvania. Unhappy with Pennsylvania, these hardy, quick-tempered, fiercely loyal settlers journeyed south to find a place where their religious sensibilities would not be comprised.

They traveled along the Great Wagon Road, which began in Philadelphia and wound its way through the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, the Piedmont of North and South Carolina and into Georgia. One of the most famous Scots-Irish residents, Andrew Jackson, probably explored and hunted in the area that later became Van Wyck in the 1880s.

Faulkner family members continue to research their history. They are typical of most African-American families in that much of their oral history is just beginning to be recorded.

The name Yoder makes some appearances in the cookbook, "The Best of Van Wyck."


1 (16 oz.) can refried beans

1/2 package taco seasoning mix

8 oz. sour cream

2 avocados, mashed, or 6 oz. avocado dip

1 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

1 can ripe olives, chopped

2 large tomatoes, diced

1 small onion, chopped

1 can green chiles

Combine sour cream and seasonings. Spread beans in a 12 by 8 by 2-inch dish. Layer dip, sour cream and taco mix, followed by other ingredients, ending with shredded cheese.

From Margaret "Sis" Yoder


Makes: 4 1/2 quarts

1 (12 oz.) can frozen orange juice, undiluted

1 (12 oz.) can frozen lemon juice, undiluted

1 (46 oz.) can unsweetened pineapple juice

2 cans unsweetened grapefruit juice

1 quart apricot nectar

2/3 cup sugar

1 (33.8 oz.) bottle ginger ale

Combine juices and sugar. Chill. Add ginger ale and serve.

From Patricia "Pattie" Yoder Awbrey


1 1/2 cup cranberries, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup granulated sugar

3 cups all purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

4 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1 cup pecans, chopped

2 teaspoons grated lemon rind

2 eggs

1 cup milk

Combine cranberries and cup sugar. Set aside.

Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder and salt.

Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in pecans and lemon rind; make a well in center.

Beat the eggs until light and lemon colored; stir in milk. Add this mixture to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Gently stir in cranberries. Spoon batter into greased muffin pans, filling 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

From Janice Yoder Smith

Columnist Ervena Faulkner is a Port Royal resident and a retired educator who has always had an interest in food and nutrition. Email her at

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