The YEO surname has long been present in my maternal family tree. One of my mother's first cousins, Edwin BERNARD, married a Gladys YEO in 1938 in PEI, Canada. Then in about 2006 I uncovered another family interconnection involving the CORNISH, BOUNDY, McDONALD and GRIGG surnames etc., and wouldn't you know it, one of the GRIGG individuals in that branch (who I am now in contact with) married another YEO. But were the two connected? So I started researching online indexes as well as YEO family sites such as http://fyeo.tribalpages.com/ which opened my eyes even further, but at the time didn't answer all my questions.
I learned that the YEO family originally came from Cornwall and Devon, England. Many came from Kilkhampton, Cornwall, England, also the home of my mother's ANDREW ancestors. I learned that one of the many James YEO's emigrated to PEI Canada and played a prominent role in the shipbuilding industry there, and drew a lot of other familiar names to PEI as well from north Cornwall and Devon. I also read the book "West Countrymen in Prince Edward's Isle", a not always flattering account of James YEO's rise in fame and fortune! It also included some family information which was useful. But still all the YEO's remained "outlaws" in my tree - not related by blood.
In 2011 I connected with a number of CORNISH researchers (in my direct line an Elizabeth CORNISH married a Charles GRIGG, and their daughter Honour GRIGG married William ANDREW in Kilkhampton in 1807, leading to my mother several generations later). This CORNISH collaboration resulted in a number of important corrections as well as expanding my file with new information and contacts. I learned that an early Honor CORNISH (who I now believe is my 2nd cousin 8 times removed!), married a James YEO in Kilkhampton in 1728. She managed to have 5 children before she died at the age of 40, and of course their descendants are all related to me as well (although not in my direct line). One of the very helpful researchers in this CORNISH group heads the Yeo Society, and her website is one of the best one name study sites I've seen. I was originally interested in the limited information it provided on the CORNISH name - the article "Stratton/ Kilkhampton to Prince Edward Island - the descendants of James & Honor Cornish" is worth reading. But now, of course, the YEO information is also of great interest.
So this brings us back to 2013 when another YEO researcher from PEI makes contact. He is involved in the YEO family reunion held in PEI, Canada every 5 years and has been researching his YEO heritage for a good number of years. The information he shared really brought home to me how prolific the YEO clan was and how intertwined they are with so many other families. I have now been able to connect the various YEO names in my tree and am truly amazed at the maze it has created! There is a cliched saying that everyone on PEI is related to everyone else, and that may be closer to the mark than I once thought!
A final "small world" story that relates to the YEO connections started nearly 20 years ago when Terry and I were in the market for a bigger home, and made an offer on a house here in Victoria. We ended up not getting that particular house, but in the process we hired their realtor to sell our house and find us a new one. One day when we were driving around looking at prospective houses, we got talking about family. Much to my surprise I learned that our realtor had met his wife in PEI when he was stationed at the air base there. It turns out that she grew up in PEI on her family's farm near my mother's ANDREW family, and her mother's maiden name was YEO. This was quite mind blowing - who needs a full 6 degrees of separation when things like this happen! Of course I recognized the YEO name but didn't think too much of it at the time, and even forgot exactly how she was connected to the YEO name. Back then I was happy enough with this neighbourhood connection. We lost touch with the realtor and his wife, and it wasn't until late 2012 that I bumped into her at a yoga class. Now retired, they still live in their same house, and we are still living in the same house he found for us, only a few blocks away. The punch line here is that I have since discovered that she and I are very distantly related through the her YEO mother, and my latest YEO contact happens to be her second cousin!
It definitely is a small world, and no doubt there are many more interconnections to be found. I challenge anyone to top all this!