Thank you for this website. I've been reviewing materials and went back and looked at that site, again. I couldn't find anything there about anyone named Yates, but all those stories about bear hunting got me to thinking. One of the stories sounded much like one that has been handed down about John Yates -- bear hunting, bees and honey. Many of the stories seem to be told by S.C. Turnbo. Often the name of the county and water ways are mentioned in his stories, so I can go looking at old maps of the area. If my John did own land the courthouse burned, so no land records for his time there.
I went back and looked at the 1840 census for Searcy Co, AR and the page where my John Yates is listed. Just five families away I found a Samuel Turnbough[sic]. I'm guessing this just adds more credence to the story about my John out bear hunting when he stopped at the "plantation" to replace his torn clothing, and met what would be his future wife, Talitha Graves.
It certainly gets interesting. Love those stories.