Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sentimental Sunday

Lee Reunion:  Lee Cousins and Related Families

Progenitor of Lee descendants
William Alfred Lee and Emma
Meadows Lee.
What a way to welcome in fall and coming holiday season than getting together with family and sharing stories, photos, and family history of long ago. Saturday, October 22, 2016 was a day that I will cherish and savor for a while. It was a day filled with reminiscing, seeing long ago cousins, meeting new cousins, and talking about the old home place, Concord Community. Daddy, Esters Eley, died in February 1990, and I haven’t been to a Lee reunion since Daddy died. I went to a few of the reunions when I was younger and living close enough to go to them; but when I moved away to New Orleans, then Fort Worth, and later to Shreveport the trips were too difficult to make with small children for a weekend.

Daddy’s mother was Alice Lee. The progenitor of the Lee group was William Alfred Lee father of Alice. William’s son James William Lee or Uncle Jim as he was known to us was the oldest of his children. Uncle Jim’s descendants organize the reunion and take care of all the organizational needs for the reunion. Those descendants live in the area where the reunion takes place, West Carroll Parish.

Organizing an event for a large family takes lots of planning making sure all necessary needs for the event is taken care of. The Lee reunion planners and organizers did a fantastic job and the reunion was a huge success. There was plenty of food, door prizes and games. There were displays of memorabilia. The American Legion was decorated in fall colors and was a perfect place for a large group. A person from each family group got up to speak on behalf of their family and tell from which family they came and how they connect to the Lee family.

I had not been to a Lee reunion since about the early 1970s so I wasn’t sure of what to expect. I didn’t know if I would know anyone attending the reunion. That uncertain feeling was soon put to rest when I went in and saw my second cousins Roger and Betsy Ann. Betsy Ann and I haven’t seen each other since my family moved from West Carroll Parish in 1956. Betsy Ann and I were neighbors and we played together when we were growing up. We lived in Concord Community and Betsy Ann’s parents and her siblings lived next door to our family. Those were happy times, and seeing family again after all those years was a happy moment in time.

How did all this reunion and reconnecting with living cousins come about? Social media! Had it not been for social media this reunion with Lee cousins would never have taken place. I am the self-appointed family historian of the Eley family, and I am a family history buff. The Lee family research has taken me back in time to 1778 Jordan Lee in Richland, South Carolina. I have been using social media or Facebook since its beginning for registered users. Up until this time I was looking for dead folks; and then when I set up a Facebook account I started looking for living folks or living cousins. Facebook has been a tool that has made it possible for me to connect with living descendants of William Alfred Lee or the Edward and Lee cousins. Using social media has made it possible to find long ago cousins and reconnect with them and to find new cousins; learn how they connect to the Lee family; and to keep up with happenings in their families. Edward cousins live in the same vicinity that the original Lee family migrated from in 1904. William Alfred Lee and the Edwards family migrated to Eros, Jackson Parish, Louisiana from Elmore County, Alabama. About 1912 the Edwards family migrated back to Elmore County, Alabama.  The Edwards family is connected to the Lee family by way of Dolly Ophelia Lee who married John Houston Edwards.

If you aren't using social media in researching family then you are missing out on the possibilities of finding living cousins or relatives. Social media is very safe tool to use when used following the guidelines stated by the company. The possibilities of finding living cousins and relatives is greater when using all available resources. And it is fun reconnecting with family or connecting with new found relatives or cousins.. Will I go back to the Lee reunion next year? Only time will tell. As for now I will cherish the memories of yesterday. 


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