Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Preserving Our Cultural Heritage

October a Special Month to Honor Our Heritage

Since 2001 Americans have officially observed Family History Month in October. This is the month set aside specially to observe this very important part of our culture. To many, October is a time to decorate with ghosts, skeletons, witches, and all kind of horror characters. The trick or treaters look forward to their special night of celebrating on Halloween.  For others, October means the beginning of fall and cooler weather, the turning of leaves to fall colors, and pumpkin flavored seasonings for their special treat. Then, there is a special day set aside for Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas. His landing celebration in the Americas is set aside on October 12.  But to the genealogists and family historians, October is a special time set aside for Family History.

The month of October is a time for us to pay tribute to our cultural heritage. My ancestors were farmers. There is much to be learned from my ancestors and their deep roots as farmers. There are lessons to be learned from the ways our ancestors lived – the trials, traditions, and experiences of their lives. There are stories of lives that we can preserve and share for future generations. Honoring our cultural heritage is an important part of family history.

How will you honor your cultural heritage? How do you want to be remembered? Some ways you can pay tribute is to begin researching a family line. You can do that by choosing  one family line and research that line – maternal or paternal line. Another tribute is to visit a cemetery and take photos of headstones and share those on, or share some family photos with family members. It is important to talk to the eldest family member and get family information. That person may have vital information about the family that you didn’t find while researching your family.  So now is the time to set up an interview with an elderly family member. Do you know about traditions of your family? What traditions does your family have?  Learn about food traditions or other traditions of your grandparents.

Genetic Genealogy is a fast-growing tool being used in genealogical research and family history. A great way to honor your heritage is to share your online family tree if you have DNA tested, and be willing to share family stories or information with new found cousins. Or if you have not DNA tested take the time to consider DNA testing and take the steps to make that a part of your family history. If you have a living male in your surname line have him YDNA tested. Get other family members or relatives on board with autosomal DNA testing, and utilize DNA test results in researching your family.

If your family has not had a family reunion, plan a family reunion. Fall is a good time for reunions since the weather is cooler and the changing of the season is in the air. A family reunion is a great way to get to know your collateral line relatives – cousins, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, siblings, etc. Your direct line ancestors are your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. Plan to take family stories, photos, memorabilia, or artifacts to the reunion and encourage others to do the same.You will be happy you had this time with family, and who knows this may be the beginning of a family tradition.

Lastly, take time to record some things about your immediate family such as - your husband, your parents, grandparents, or aunts/uncles. What are some special character traits or attributes about your love ones? Write a story about that person sharing those with others.

October is a time when we are reminded to honor our cultural heritage. What is the legacy of your family? What artifacts or heirlooms have been passed down from generation to generation? What traditions have been passed down? What folklore do you know of in your family? How are you preserving your cultural heritage? Are you doing what you can to preserve your family’s heritage for future generations?  

This is the time to start if you aren’t doing your part in preserving your cultural heritage. Future generations will thank you for doing that for them.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

More on the Lees from South Carolina

Burrell Lee Son of Jordan Lee and Letty "Lidia" Hodge

Research on the Lee family line has been a trial of endurance and persistence for me. The records have been difficult to find online; however, that doesn't mean there aren't any records available for Burrell. It means that I haven't found them all. There most likely are records in a courthouse or other repository waiting for me to come and remove the dust from their storage boxes or bins and find them. That is for another time though. For now I will do my best to utilize the records that I do have and present my case as to how I determined that Burrell Lee is in fact the son of Jordan Lee and Letty "Lidia" Hodge.

The Jordan Lee family line has been researched for about sixteen years. The descendant that I began my research with was Alice Lee one of Jordan Lee's descendants and my grandmother. That particular Lee family migrated from Elmore County, Alabama to Eros, Jackson Parish, Louisiana about 1903. The Lee and Edwards families migrated and settled in that area of Jackson Parish. The Edwards sometime later migrated back to Alabama.

Burrell Lee acquired land in Shelby County, Alabama 20 Sep 1839 at the Tuscaloosa land office. He acquired the land after his service in the Indian War. He had no other service at that time. As stated on the pension application Burrell served in the war about thirty days and was honorably discharged at Collumbus, Georgia in 1836. Keep in mind this was before he married Nancy Ann Pate. Mahalia Nelson Lee was still living at this time. If you use the AniMap to look at the Alabama and Georgia Counties, you will have a better understanding as to why the Lee family was in Alabama and Georgia during these time periods.

The documents used to place Burrell Lee in the Jordan Lee family were applications from member applications of the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution). Those applications and the documents are invaluable to genealogists and family historians. The DAR has very strict standards that prospective members have to adhere to when applying for membership into the lineage society. The documents used for the application process must be reliable and authentic, and the application must meet the DAR standards.Therefore, I am confident that I have the son of Jordan and Letty "Lidia" Lee. There are censuses for 1840-1880 with a Burrell or Russell (on 1850 with Mahalia) Lee listed as the head of the house.

1854 Tallapoosa County, Alabama state census with Burrell Lee listed
on it. Burrell' s brother Benjamin Lee is also enumerated on this census. 
Benjamin is my direct line ancestor and the son of Jordan Lee. 
The pre-1850 censuses only give numbers in age categories for male and females. Using names for the particular family member you can get a picture of the family for that year. However, the information is not reliable to use for proof of the family members link to the head of the house.

The 1850 Hallocox, Muscogee County, Georgia census has a Russell Lee as the head of the household. Family stories shared from other Lee cousins say that Burrell was Russell Burrell. Listed on the 1850 census is Mahaia Lee; however, it doesn't state the relationship to Burrell. Descendants of Burrell Lee have shared information about Burrell and his first wife, therefore,  I will assume that Mahaia Lee is the wife of Burrell Russell Lee. Listed on the 1850 with Russell Lee are Isabell Lee age fourteen, Berky Lee age thirteen, Betsy Lee age eleven. Possibly there was a child born between Berky and Betsy given the ages of the first three children and their births. Maniver Lee was eight years old, Malvinia was six years old and then there was the youngest Harman age four years old.

As I observed the age of the first child listed on the 1850 census I concluded that Burrell Russell Lee and Mahala married at a young age.

Mahalia Nelson Lee apparently died about 1854 in Georgia. Possibly she died in childbirth. Between the birth of Harmon and the next child Geedene (the spelling looks more like Gesour on the census, probably named Gasper) a male child age thirteen, so who is that child? Nancy was listed as twenty-two years old, so Nancy would have been nine years old when the child was born. I concluded that child, a male, was Burrell and Mahalia's child. And that the name and age was a transcription error. Burrell Lee (Burwell) and Nancy Ann Pate got married 23 Nov 1956 in Chattahoochee, Georgia. There is another child Thos (Thomas) Lee age nine. Thomas was born about 1851, and Harmon would have been about fourteen years old in 1860. The next three children listed on the census, Jeff, age three and a child named Logene age two who isn't on the 1870 census as Logene, but after researching further I discovered her to be Martha. Nancy age three months isn't listed on the 1870 census, so I can only speculate as to what happened to her.

In 1870 there is a family with B. Lee as head of the house who is sixty-nine years old and born in South Carolina. Nancy is thirty years old and her place of birth was listed as Alabama. Burrell and Nancy married in Georgia. Is this the same Nancy? The children listed on the census are Thomas fifteen years old, Jefferson twelve years old, and Martha eleven years old, and was born about 1859. Martha is the child of Burrell and Nancy Ann. The male Gasper is living nearby B. Lee and Nancy Lee, and is married by 1870. He is listed as G Lee and is nineteen years old and Sarah E. is living in the household. There is a Rebecca J. twenty-two years old living nearby, and listed with her is a Hugh Isbell twenty-one years old. There are two children Sherman age four and Annis a female age two listed with that family. As I scanned the 1870 census further, I noticed a family living nearby in dwelling number 241 with a Melina age twenty-four living in the household, and also listed was Thomas Harris twenty-eight years old and the head of the household. There was a young male child living in the house named James Harris.  As I scanned down the 1870 census I noticed an H. Lee age twenty-six and a Rebecca age eighteen with a child five months old living in dwelling 245.

Burrell's children were living nearby him and Nancy, and all the families were farmers. In order of visitation of the census taker, the families were listed from family 240, first was Rebecca J., 241 was G. Lee, 242 was B. Lee and Nancy, 243 was Melina, and 247 was H. Lee.

The Burrell Lee family was living near Branchville Post Office in Precinct 3, St. Clair County, Alabama by June 1, 1870. Burrell left South Carolina after 1830, lived in Georgia a few years then migrated to Alabama. Tallapoosa County is where Jordan Lee settled and it wouldn't be impossible for Burrell to travel from Tallapoosa County to Muscogee, Georgia. B. Lee is living in Tallapoosa County in 1840. There are Nelson families living nearby B, and are probably relatives of Mahalia Nelson Lee.  In those days wives wanted to be near family when they had their babies, so that is a possibility of why B. Lee is in Tallapoosa County, in 1840 and back in Muscogee County, Georgia in 1850.

By the time the 1880 census was taken Burrell and Nancy Lee's family had gotten smaller with only three children left in the household. Three sons, Benjamin fourteen years old, John J. thirteen years old, and Alexanderia eleven years old were left with their aging father. Nancy is listed as forty-three years old and it shows that her occupation is keeping house, her place of birth is Georgia and she was born about 1837. On the 1870 census it stated she was born in Alabama and was born in 1840. It makes more sense that Nancy would have been born in Georgia since she was married in Georgia.

Burrell Lee served in the Indian Wars and applied for a Survivor's Pension in St Clair County, Alabama on 10 July 1894 at the age of 85 years. It states on the application that he enrolled as a soldier in 1836  and commanded by __ L. Smith of the Georgia volunteers in the war with the Indians known as the Cherokee War. It is difficult to read the name but it looks like a Colonel Scott commanded the volunteers.

Listed on the application is vital information for the family historian. Burrell states on the application that he was twenty-seven years old at the time of entering the war. He would have been born in 1809. He was five feet six or seven inches tall, blue eyes, black hair, fair complexion, a farmer by occupation, and was born in Richland District, South Carolina. He also states that since leaving the service he resided at Muscoggee County for several years at the age of thirty-four years. Burrell states that he then resided at Wolf Creek, St. Clair County.

The 1850 census has him listed as age 43; so the census taker probably transposed his age. Keep in mind that there are numerous mistakes on censuses, and it is vital for a family historian to use more than three records when possible to prove the information.

It states on the Survivor's Pension application that he was married to Mahallie Nelson 5 or 6 January 1834 in Collumbus, Georgia. Columbus in Muscogee, the first consolidated city-county in Georgia, began development in 1826, building on ceded Creek Indian territory. Muscogee is the name of a branch of the Creek Nation. Columbus was named for Christopher Columbus. Burrell stated that Mahallie died in 1854 and he remarried his present wife Nancy Ann Pate. At the time of the application Burrell lived in Cook Springs, St Clair County, Alabama.

Burrell is eighty-five years old 11 August 1894 at the time of the claim for the Survivor's Service Pension, for the Indian Wars, so he is coming to the end of his life. By the time the 1900 census was taken Nancy was widowed and living with her son John J. Lee.

Burrell Lee memorial and the link below will take you to the memorial. 
The 1900 United States Federal Census has vital information on it for the family historian that isn't listed on the previous censuses. Nancy is residing in District 133, Dunnavant, Shelby County, Alabama.  Nancy's birth month is listed as Oct and she was born in 1838. Her father was born in Virginia and her mother was born in South Carolina. Nancy had eight children with six living. She is listed as a farmer and John J., her son, is a farm laborer. John J. was born Sep 1865 in Alabama. Alexandria D. Lee is living nearby his mother and brother. Alexandria D. was born November 1869 in Alabama. A very important lesson in genealogical research is, when you come to a census with your ancestor listed on it, scan the current page and scan two or three pages to the left and two or three pages to the right. Almost always family members are living nearby.

In 1910 Nancy was seventy-eight years old and living with her son John, who was forty-four years old. After an exhaustive search, I finally found John and Nancy on the 1920 census. Nancy was listed as Mandy by the person who transcribed her name. The foreign indexers who transcribe the records for Ancestry are not familiar with our American names and there are many spelling mistakes in the transcription of  records and censuses. I was an indexer for the Family History Library for the 1940 census. Getting back to the 1910 census, apparently John never married since he is listed as single on the census as he was on censuses up to 1940. John probably was handicapped since he is single and living with his brother Alex D. in 1930 and with a nephew in 1940. However, John and Nancy were living on Montevallo Road in Precinct 12, of Jefferson County, Alabama in 1910. John worked odd jobs and they were renting their home. Nancy is still widowed.

The FindaGrave Index has Nancy Ann Lee's death date 27 Jan 1922 in Jefferson County, Alabama. her interred in the Henry Ellen Cemetery, Scott City, Jefferson County, Alabama. The bio has Burrell Lee as her spouse, her father Benjamin Pate, children Thomas B., Martha Ann Lugenia Isbell, John Joshua, Alexander Daniel, and Benjamin Henry Lee. Nancy Ann would have been eighty-four years old when she died. 

Burrell and Nancy Ann Lee lived a long and productive life, and between the two wives Burrell was the father of at least fourteen children. After extensive research on this Lee family member I am confident in the research, conclusion, and that Burrell is the child of Jordan Lee. Questions that I had about the Lee family in Georgia and Alabama were answered due to the research and records found during the search. Utilizing all available resources enabled me to place the Lee family in certain locations at given times. While looking at certain records for the Lee family, those records almost always gave me clues for further research. 

This has been a project that was ongoing for several years and now I believe the project is complete. There are other Lee family members to research. 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Surname Saturday

Looking for the Meadows

Ten children! Can you imagine feeding and providing for a family of twelve today with the cost of goods with today’s prices? John Calvin Meadows and his wife Sarah Ann had ten children from 1842 to 1864. John was a farmer and Sarah Ann kept the house. The children worked on the farm when they became of age. Families helped each other in those days. Neighbors helping neighbors; and witnesses at weddings; and family members were witnesses on wills or probate records when needed. Families lived nearby unlike today where families are miles apart. John and Sarah Ann moved their children to Tallapoosa County between 1851 and 1853. Each of these family members have a story, and the story gives a glimpse into their lives.

Using the information for each ancestor from the censuses and writing their stories gives a glimpse of their lives; their stories are a vital part of history. They weren’t governors, or trailblazers or world changers, but they were family and their stories needs to be told. John Calvin had a son John Calvin, Jr. his namesake and he was the middle child. John Calvin Meadows Jr. was born in Georgia in 1851. He probably was born in Troup County.

Tracking John C. Meadows, Jr. through the censuses from 1860 to 1930 was easy since they stayed in the same area. The 1860 census gives a snapshot of the population prior to the Civil War. He was living with his parents and siblings in 1860. The Meadows family lived in the New Site, Western Division of Tallapoosa County, Alabama. Seven of John C.’s siblings are living at home with him and his parents.

The 1870 census adds a little more information for the residents to provide about themselves. The 1870 census was the first census after the Civil War and slavery ended. It was the first census to list all persons; however, not included are the relationships to head, including former slaves as individuals. In 1870 John Calvin Meadows Sr. and family are living in Daviston Beat in Tallapoosa County, and John C. Jr. is fourteen years old, and can’t read or write. There are seven siblings still living at home and a ten-year-old Edwin, a black child, and he was born in Alabama. The census enumerator only provided a surname to the head of this family. Therefore, Edwin had no surname listed. Edwin may have been the son of a worker; or a child of former slave who was deceased; or he could be their child; or the enumerator could have made a mistake when recording race. His relationship to the family wasn’t stated therefore the relationship to the family is unknown. By 1880 John Calvin, Jr. is married and a father of a two-year-old.

John Calvin Meadows Jr. married Martha Priscilla Spates 10 September 1876 in Tallapoosa County, Alabama. John C. Meadows Jr. and Jordan Spates applied for the marriage bond on 2 September 1876 in Tallapoosa County, and it was signed, sealed and delivered by Allen D. Sturdivant. Who is Jordan Spates? He is the brother of Martha Priscilla Spates. Their parents were William Spates and Zady Priscilla Lee Spates. Zady is the daughter of Jordan and Lydia Lee. John Calvin’s sister Emma married William Alfred Lee, Jordan and Lydia’s grandson.

Marriage record for John C. Meadows Jr. and Martha Spates from database. 

By 1880 John Calvin, Jr. is married and a father of a two-year-old. The 1880 census has more information about a resident had been added and the relationship to head of the household was a valuable feature to the census. There was more personal information about an individual added. The resident’s location was an added feature. So, with the information that was added a profile of an individual may be developed. In 1880 John and his wife Martha are living in District 142, Newsite Beat 5, Tallapoosa County, Alabama. They had been married a year. John is a farmer and his wife Martha’s occupation is keeping house. In 1880 John is twenty-six years old and still can’t read or write. Martha is twenty-two years old They have a daughter Lizzie who is two years old.

There is a twenty-year span to the next census so a lot of changes can take place. On the 1900 census the name of each person in the household is named, their relationship to the head of household, and a personal description of the residents are important features of this census. John is fifty years old on the 1900 census and Martha is forty. Lizzie is no longer living with the family. She would be about twenty years old so she is old enough to be married. Martha is the mother of nine children with seven living. Therefore, Lizzy was only two in 1880 so she probably died young, and another child was born and died in the twenty-year span between censuses. There are six additional children in the family. There is James who is nineteen; Mattie is sixteen; Alice is ten; Jody is eight; Carrie R. is five; and Vera is one year old in 1900. The Meadows family are still living in Newsite Beat 5, Tallapoosa County in District 70. John and Martha have been married twenty-four years.

The 1910 census allows the resident to give home data such as owning their home or if they are renting, if they own their home that is stated, and the head of house’s spouse was named, and on this census, was Martha Meadows. He was still farming and owns his home, is free of mortgage, and has a farm. He hadn’t been out of work in 1909, and he is his own employer. The residents can also give a more personal description of themselves. John and Martha had been married thirty-three years. John was sixty-one years old and Martha was fifty years old. They had four children living at home. Martha was the mother of ten children with seven living. Another child died. Alice was ten years old on the 1900 census, but is missing from this census with her siblings.

Another added feature of the census in 1910 is the family can add information about their education, place of birth, their parents place of birth, if they were employed, and if they were a survivor of the Union or Confederate Army or Navy. James W. was twenty-nine years old and living at home and is single. Why would a twenty-nine-year-old still be living at home with his parents? It looks as though he has some disabilities and unable to work, he could read and write so he attended school. However, his father, John Calvin, never learned to read and write. In 1910 John and Martha had three other children living at home. Jodie his seventeen-year-old son, Carrie his daughter who is fifteen, and Vera an eleven-year-old daughter. John and Martha had only been married one time.

The Meadows family has gotten smaller by 1920 and there is only one child living at home, Carrie O. age twenty-three and single. She wasn’t working, but she could read and write. Why is she still living at home? The information on the 1920 census doesn’t provide that information. It provides the relationship to the head of the house John C. Meadows. Carrie is their next to the last child born to Martha. John owns his home and his farm. They are still living in Newsite, Tallapoosa County in District 167. He was sixty-seven years old and Martha was sixty-six. Where is John C. and Martha son James W.? Did he marry? Is he living on his own? Did he die between censuses?

The 1930 Newsite, Tallapoosa County census provides some information about this family. They are living in Precinct 5, District 10. Residents for the 1930 census could provide more personal information such as home data. If they owned a radio set, they could provide that information. John and Martha didn’t own a radio. If they owned or rented their home, the resident could provide that personal information. They owned their home, and lived on a farm. They could give a personal description such as age at last birth, marital condition, age at first marriage, and another added feature was if they attended school or college any time since Sept 1, 1929. John was twenty-four years old at his first and only marriage. He was seventy-four years old. Martha was sixteen years old at her first and only marriage. She was seventy-three years old in 1930 when this census was taken. John Calvin never learned to read and write.

John and Martha had many years together and had ten children. They were married fifty-nine years. They lived in the same area throughout their married lives. John Calvin Meadows Jr. died 21 May 1935 in Rural Road Route 1 in Wadley, Tallapoosa County, Alabama. He was born into a family of farmers and died a farmer. He was eighty years old when he died.

Martha Priscilla Spates Meadows died 30 January 1946 in Wadley, Tallapoosa County, Alabama. She was eighty-six years old when she died. They are both buried in Newsite in the Harmony Cemetery. Martha’s son James Washington Meadows died the same year she died. He died 13 December 1946 in Wadley. He was sixty-six years old when he died. A death record for Carrie O. Meadows hasn’t been found; however, a marriage record that is an odd record. It has Carrie married Feb. 1947 however, the groom isn’t named. More research on this record to prove this information.

John Calvin Meadows and his wife of many years lived a laborious life farming and raisin seven of the ten children. They are both at peace now and their memories will live on.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Ancestry DNA and MRCA

Finding a MRCA on Ancestry DNA  

This morning I was looking through my DNA match list on Ancestry. I decided to look through the predicted fourth cousin match list. I came across a match that caught my eye. She had 968 people in her family tree. If you have looked through matches on the DNA match list, as I have, rarely does anyone have a tree that large. So, I clicked on view match. That took me to her page with the family tree, surnames list, and predicted relationship information.

The list of surnames are names that I have in my family tree; however, Stephens is a paternal line and Coon and Smith maternal lines. After looking through the DNA match for the Stephens family there were some discrepancies in the tree. But I was interested in the Coon family information. 

I looked to see how many centimorgans we share. The match and I share 23.9 cM across two segments of DNA. A maternal predicted fourth cousin match. Then, I looked at her surnames listed – Coon and Smith.  Looking at her family tree there was a Samuel Coon married to Nancy. I went to Samuel's tree information and he is the son of Jacob Coon my maternal 3rd great grandfather. Jacob is also the father of Lewis Coon, my maternal 2nd great grandfather. Jacob Coon married Nancy Genet Smith in South Carolina about 1818. I already had Samuel son of Jacob and Nancy Coon in my family Tree Maker program, but I didn’t have the children. My new found maternal fourth cousin and I have a MRCA (a most recent common ancestor), Jacob Coon. 

Next, I decided to find the children of Samuel and Nancy. I did further research for Samuel Coon born about 1816 in Mississippi and he was listed on the 1850-1870 censuses. Samuel’s wife was Nancy (Unknown), and they had seven known children. As I tracked Samuel and Nancy through 1850-1870 censuses I looked at the children's names and recorded those in my Ancestry tree.  Then, I began to research the oldest child Zachariah Coon. He was born about 1839 in Mississippi. He is listed on the 1850 District 3, Pike County, Mississippi census, 1860 Monticello, Lawrence County, Mississippi census, and the 1870 Ward 3, Claiborne, Louisiana census living with his parents, Samuel and Nancy, and his siblings. 

Next, continuing my search for Zachariah Coon I found him living in Sebastian Township, Ouachita County, Arkansas in 1880. On the 1880 census Zachariah is a boarder living with his brother and his family. Zachariah is 41 years old, and a widower. Elizabeth Coon, is listed on the census but her name is marked through and states that she is dead. She was listed on the Mortality Schedule for 1880. I have never come across a deceased person listed on the Federal census. Keep in mind when using censuses, they are notorious for errors in spelling, age discrepancies, and places of birth. Analyze censuses carefully and thoroughly when using them. 

Zachariah Coon is next listed on the 1900 Beech Creek, Clark County, Arkansas census as a boarder living with Elonzo Coon, who is listed as divorced, and Jane Coon his mother. Elonzo and Jane are related to Zachariah. Then, in 1920 Zachariah Coon is living in District 60, Caddo Township, Clark County, Arkansas in the Clark County Poorhouse as an inmate. He is 81 years old and widowed. Zack Coon is listed on the Arkansas department of Health Division of Vital Records Certificate of Death, Volume 053, Certificate 00196. He died 26 May 1920 in Clark County, Arkansas.

The new-found maternal cousin is a fourth cousin once removed. Her mother, Lorraine, is a descendant of Zachariah Coon. Zachariah Coon and wife Elizabeth had one son John Calvin Coon. John Calvin and his wife Julia had a son Harvey Lee Coon, parents of Lorraine Coon. 

This is the method that I use to determine the MRCA (Most Recent Common Ancestor) between my match and myself. This was an easy match to work with because of the information provided by my match – surnames, locations, and a robust family tree. Ancestry helps with the tools they provide, but sometimes it is necessary to use tools, such as a chromosome browser, available on other sites.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Wednesday's Thoughts

John Emery Edwards and Wife Zelah Ostella Stevens 

John Emery Edwards was born 06 June 1917 in Harpersville, Shelby County, Alabama
He married Zelah on 02 April 1939 in Vincent, Shelby County, Alabama. He died 03 May 1956 Vincent, Shelby County, Alabama.

John Emery enlisted in the United States Army 21 March 1944 in Fort McPherson, Atlanta, Georgia. His release date from the Army was 7 March 1946.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Jordan Lee and wife Lydia (Hodge) Lee

Elusive Records and Problems in Linking Children to Parents

Researching the Lee family line has been a test of my genealogical skills as well as my patience. The elusive records for the Jordan Lee family lineage has made it difficult to prove with one hundred per cent certainty that Jordan is the father of Benjamin Lee. However, I do feel confident that Jordan Lee is the progenitor of the Lee clan. I have used all available online records in my research, and one-day plan to make a trip to Alabama to look for records in the local courthouse and archives. I have concluded from all the records used in researching the Lee family that Jordan Lee is the father of Benjamin Lee.

The connection of the Eleys to the Lees is through Alice Lee, the mother of Esters Eley. Alice Lee’s father was William Alfred Lee and was born in Alexander City, Tallapoosa County, Alabama. This information on the Lee family I am confident of, since I have gathered information about the Lee family from Lee family members. I have researched the Lee lineage extensively and DNA tested with all three testing companies.

The information for the next two generations of Lees gets to be more “fuzzy.” Benjamin Lee is a son of Jordan Lee and wife Lydia, and was born in Richland County, South Carolina. Benjamin is the father of William Alfred Lee. 

The censuses used in locating Jordan Lee and following his migration to Tallapoosa County, Alabama are the pre-1850 censuses. On the 1810 Columbia, Richland County, South Carolina census Jordan is the head of family and there are five persons under sixteen years old. The next census for Richland County, South Carolina shows Jordan Lee as the head and there are seven persons under sixteen years of age. In 1830 living in Richland County, South Carolina Jordan Lee is the head and there are five persons under twenty years of age living in the household. It appears there was conflicting information as to where Jordan Lee was living in 1840; however, after careful examination of the inventory papers for his father-in-law Benjamin Hodge I resolved the conflict. William Brown administrator of Benjamin’s Hodge’s estate received the money from Jordan Lee for a purchase he made from the estate. William Brown on November 27, 1843 submitted the money to the Court of Ordinary 5.

Benjamin Hodge, Jordan Lee’s father-in-law died 28 January 1837 in Richland County, South Carolina. Jordan Lee is stated to have bought a set of pewter plates from the Benjamin Hodge estate. Jordan stated, I am entitled by my intermarriage with the daughter of the deceas (deceased).” This is the same Jordan Lee married to Lydia Hodge, daughter of Benjamin Hodge. By 1840 Jourdan Lee was living in Tallapoosa County, Alabama and there were four persons under twenty years of age.

Jordan and Lydia had other known children – Elizabeth “Betsy”, Neoma, Burrell, Margaret, Zady Prescilla, and Zachariah. I have proven these children Elizabeth Betsy, Neoma, and Zachariah – using Lydia Lee on census records living near her children and with them in 1860 to 1870.Lidia (Lydia) Lee was living near her son Zachariah Lee and wife Martha in Township 24, Tallapoosa County, Alabama in 1850. In 1860 Lettie Lee (Lydia) was living with her daughter Neoma Lee Hastin and her husband Hugh (High on the census) Hastin. Then, on the 1870 census

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday

Another Coon Sibling: Martha Lavenia

Martha Lavenia Coon is another one of my 3rd great aunts. She was the eldest daughter of Jacob Coon and wife Nancy Smith, and she was born in Columbia, Richland County, South Carolina. Martha was born 20 July 1810. She was an infant when her family migrated from South Carolina to Mississippi. 

She was married to Rev. Peter McDonald.Both Rev. McDonald and Martha are interred in the Shady Grove Cemetery in Haynesville, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana. 

Several of the tombstones for the family are difficult to read and are in need of repairs.