Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Connecting with Lee Cousins

Thomas Jordan Lee son of Benjamin from Alabama

Thomas Jordan Lee, the second child of Benjamin and Drucilla, was born on 3 September 1839, in Talladega, Alabama. His parents, Benjamin and Drucilla, had not lived in Alabama long when Thomas Jordan was born. The Lee family migrated from Richland District, South Carolina sometime after the 1830 census, and by 1840 they were in Tallapoosa County, Alabama. Benjamin, would have been about thirty-three years old and  Drucilla, would have been about twenty-nine years old. 

Thomas Jordan married first Mary Holdridge 09 December 1865. Mary died about 1867, and he then married Mary’s sister, Martha Ann Holdridge, 15 December 1867 in Tallapoosa, Alabama. Martha Ann was born 05 June 1850 in Alexander City, Tallapoosa County, Alabama. It wasn’t uncommon for men to marry a sister of the deceased spouse.

His brother Benjamin William Henry was born on September 27, 1841, in Tallapoosa, Alabama, when Thomas Jordan was 2 years old. His sister Letty Jane was born in 1843 in Tallapoosa, Alabama, when Thomas Jordan was 4 years old. His brother William Alfred was born on October 6, 1847, in Tecumseh, Alabama, when Thomas Jordan was 8 years old. His sister Charlotte Sophronia was born on May 3, 1849, in Tallapoosa, Alabama, when Thomas Jordan was 9 years old. His sister Frances Drucilla Emmaliza was born on September 22, 1859, in Tallapoosa, Alabama, when Thomas Jordan was 20 years old.

Thomas Jordan Lee lived in Tallapoosa, Alabama, in 1850 in Township 24, Tallapoosa, Alabama.
Thomas Jordan Lee served in the military in 1860 in Alabama when he was 21 years old. His father Benjamin passed away in 1860 in Tallapoosa, Alabama, at the age of 53.

Thomas Jordan Lee served in the 14th Alabama Inf. Co. G along with John Holdridge, James Holdridge, John H. Holdridge and other Lee family, friends and relatives from the Hackneyville, Alabama area. At the close of the War Between the States, most of these men were at the Appomattox Courthouse at the time of surrender. Thomas Jordon Lee married first Mary Holdridge and then Martha Holdridge, daughters of John Holdridge, and sisters of James and John H. Holdrige.

Thomas Jordan Lee lived in Chinabee, Talladega County, Alabama, in 1880. His mother Drucilla passed away on September 27, 1895, in Childersburg, Alabama, at the age of 84.

Thomas Jordan Lee lived in District 9, Wilsonville, Shelby County, Alabama, in 1900. His wife Martha of thirty-six years is still living in 1900. Thomas and Martha married in 1867 so the years are an error by the transcriptionist.  Jordan is head of the household and living with him and Martha are sons James T. twenty-one years old, George H. nineteen, Beverly A. thirteen, and  William A. eleven years old. Martha was the mother of eleven children and eight of them living.

In 1910 Thomas Jordan (T.J.) is seventy years old and his second wife Martha was still living, and they reside in District 11, Spearman, Shelby County, Alabama. His fifty-nine-year old wife Martha and he have been married forty -two years is living there with him and one son Arthur age twenty-one and four grandsons. He is married and his relation to head of house was head. Thomas Jordan Lee died September 15, 1916 in Wilsonville, Alabama at the age of seventy-seven years. The grandsons Joe fourteen, Arthur twelve, Otis ten, and Edmond five are probably another of Thomas and Martha’s children’s children. If you consider the age of twenty-one year old Arthur he would have been eight when the Joe was born.


Thomas Jourdin enlisted in the Confederate Army at Hackneyville, Alabama. The muster in roll was dated 5 September 1861 at Camp Johnston. He was a private. He served his country well when he served in the Civil War. Thomas was in Co. G 14th Alabama Regiment. He was captured at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. He was wounded at Williamsburg, Virginia. He suffered from those injuries the rest of his life. He was paroled on 9 April 1865 at Appomattox Court House Virginia.

Thomas Jourdin Lee died 15 September 1916 in Wilsonville, Shelby County, Alabama. He is interred in the Union Methodist Cemetery in Wilsonville. His beloved Martha Ann Holdridge lived 07 January 1929 in Arkwright, Shelby County, Alabama.
Photo added by Kitty Walker Lennard  

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Connecting with Lee Cousins

Frances "Fannie" Drucilla Emmaliza Lee

Researching family is a fun hobby, especially when connecting with living cousins. Connecting with living cousins is possible by using all available resources such as social media, blogging, and DNA testing.

Social media is a great tool for family historians and researchers. Facebook Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinerest, and Linkedin are a few of the social media sites. These web-based technologies allow users to connect with others and share information.

Recently I connected with a descendant-in-law of Frances “Fannie” Drucilla Emmaliza Lee. Fannie married Clem Thompson. They had a son named Grover Cleveland, who married, and he and his wife had a son named Fred Harold. Then, Fred, Sr. and his wife had a child and that is where I connected with a living cousin.

Connecting with this living cousin was made possible by this online site, my blog, using Google Blogger. My living cousin stumbled across my blog and found the contact information and contacted me. We then corresponded to determine the connection. We are related on my paternal Lee line. Then we connected on a social media site and are sharing information. It has been a fun journey researching and connecting with living cousins.  

Mrs Frances Drucilla Emmaliza Lee Thompson

BIRTH 22 Sep 1859 Tallapoosa County, Alabama, USA
DEATH 5 Dec 1918 Talladega County, Alabama, USA
BURIAL Vincent Cemetery, Vincent, Shelby County, Alabama, USA

Family Members
Parents
Father: Benjamin Lee born – 1807–1859
Mother: Drucilla Lee – 1811–1895

Spouse
Clem Thompson –1839 – 1901
Married:  14 July 1877, Clay County, Alabama
Siblings
Elizabeth “Betsy” Lee 1838 – 1850/1860
Thomas Jordan Lee 1839–1916
Benjamin William Henry Lee 1841–1882
Lettie Jane Lee Patterson 1844–1914
William Alfred Lee 1847–1917
Charlotte Saphronia Lee Sharbutt 1849–1935
George Washington Lafayette Lee 1855–1932

Children
Alace Stella Thompson Edwards 1877–1966
Sarah D. Thompson Dewberry 1878–1939
Zackeriah B. Thompson (died young)        
Albert L. Thompson 1883–1935
Grover Cleveland Thompson 1885–1970
John Harlan Thompson 1889–1973
Mallory S. Thompson 1893–1937

Monday, December 11, 2017

Life's Earthly Journey is Complete

The Last Chapter of History

Another chapter of history was completed on December 7, 2017. What is history anyhow? According to the dictionary.com, history is a continuous, systematic narrative of past events as relating to a particular people, country, period, person, etc., usually written as a chronological account. Do you think of the death of a person or a loved one as the completion of history? There are a series of events in our lives as we journey through life. These events happen in chronological order. They end at the time of death.

Mary Ann McKinney, my brother’s wife, completed her journey through life December 7, 207, and the last chapter was complete. She was sixty-eight years old at the time of her death. She was a lady who touched and changed many lives. You may be asking what lives did she touch and how did she do that? Mary Ann taught school for thirty-four years. Those who are not teacher/educators may not be aware of the impact that a teacher/educator has on the lives of the students who are assigned to their classrooms.

There were a lot of children who came through her fourth-grade classroom over those thirty-four years. The students she taught were of average and low ability levels, middle income families and low-income families, but to Mary Ann they were all the same. She loved teaching, her love for her students were evident in the stories she shared of them, and the years that she spent in the classroom. Teaching is a tough profession; however, the reward is knowing that you have touched a life and put a glow of hope into a life.

Family was an important part of Mary Ann’s life. Her immediate family was her husband, two children, and five grandchildren. Then, there was her only sibling, a brother who was special to her. He didn’t live his life as his sister would have chosen for him; however, she loved him because he was “her brother.”

She was a talented lady and was as some folks would call it, a traditionalist. “Things need to stay as they are, they work well, and no one should change them,” she would say. When computers were being introduced into the classrooms, she was happy with things as they were and wasn’t interested in learning to use one, and she managed her classroom without a computer. She loved decorating in themes and which was a skill she used in her teaching as well as her home.

One might say that family themes are events in a person’s life, and covers many aspects. There are celebrations such as births and deaths, holidays, education, occupation, traditions, spiritual, social and traditions. Mary Ann wanted things to be decorated according to the event that was taking place at that time.

Once she retired from teaching, she took on the challenge of leading the senior adult group in her church. She worked with the “Joy” group in the church and prepared their events, such as the speakers and the meals. She saved the decorations from her years of classroom teaching and used those to decorate the dinner tables in the Family Life Center, the meeting place for the senior adult group. She was creative in many ways due to her education and training as a teacher/educator.

Mary Ann doesn’t know how many lives she touched and changed; but she loved the journey she took along the way. As we journey through life we don’t know how many lives we touch. The same is true about our ancestors as they journeyed through life. They didn’t know they would have descendants who would be looking at their lives and mapping their journey. Some of those ancestors’ lives are easy to map and others are a bit more difficult for whatever reason. However, we continue to look for ways to identify them and map their lives so that we can be assured we have the correct ancestor.

One day Mary Ann will be someone’s ancestor who will be researching and mapping her life. Her descendants will rsearch her life and map it as we do ours. It will be an easy task for her descendants since she lived and died in the area where she was born. She lived and died in the house she grew up in, taught at the same elementary school she attended as a student, attended the same church as a child and adult, married in the same church, attended college in her hometown, and was well educated with a plus thirty in education. Her journey through life from birth up to the time of her death was an interesting venture. She worked to improve the quality of life or others.

Mary Ann’s death came suddenly and unexpectedly. Humans are not assured of tomorrow, so are you living each day more consciously. Or, are you sleepwalking through life? Life is full of experiences while making the journey. Are those experiences ones that your descendants will be proud of and be happy to say, "this is my ancestor."

As we journey through life our descendants will we proud to call us their ancestors or they will be saddened by the life we lived? What will they be able to say about us? For each of us our final chapter will come, and we will be someone’s ancestor. How will our final chapter read?

A peach orchard near Ruston, Louisiana
Photograph courtesy of Office of Louisiana Tourism

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tuesday's Tip

Land Records


The United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management website has a treasure trove of information for genealogists. It is a time intensive and an educational trove for anyone who is interested in learning about land records and the history of public lands. Since I have been researching my paternal great grandparents, William Alfred Lee and Emma Meadows, I have wondered why they migrated from Alabama to Louisiana. There were events that I have uncovered while researching the Lee family, and one of those events could have been the reason for them leaving Alabama. However, I could not find the evidence to prove why they migrated. I thought possibly the Lee family migrated to Louisiana because of cheap land for sale.

I have reconnected with two of my Lee second cousins once removed and over the years we have shared research notes and family stories. Recently one of my Lee cousins messaged to tell me that she had land information for William Alfred Lee, her great great grandfather, and that she would email it to me. Well, I did the genealogy happy dance? This was a great find, and answered the question I have asked since I have been researching the W. A. Lee family. Did they own land? This is my first rich find for land records. With the assistance of my husband, I went to the Bureau of Land Management website. He has taught classes on using land records in researching our ancestors.

My cousin acquired the land information from another Lee cousin. He took a trip to the Jackson Parish Courthouse to look through the land records. He found the conveyance record for the W. A. Lee land in Jackson Parish, Louisiana. My cousin sent me the land description, not the actual conveyance record. I will soon make a courthouse trip and acquire of copy of the conveyance record. And make a trip to Ouachita Parish Courthouse to check out land records there. The cousin who found the record lives near the plot of land that W. A. owned, and wasn’t aware he owned the land or the location of the land until he found the record.

Armed with the new land information, I went to the Bureau of Land Management website , put in the location, land description and clicked on search patents. The results came up and the Accession number was LA1280 .356 Duke, Charles the date 5/10/1898, Doc# 7812, LA then the township range 015N-001E, then the Aliquots NE1/4, Section # 14, County Jackson.

You then click on the image and a copy of the certificate comes up, then you may print a copy of the certificate. 

When I put in the land description, the patent search results gave me a name for the original owner of the land, Charles Duke. Charles was issued the land May 10, 1898. When I looked at the Patent Details I noticed this was a Homestead Entry Original. You can check out the history of Our Record Keeping History here. Public Lands History Timeline here. Surveys takes you to the original survey description. Also, a map of the township is shown.

If you click on the Patent Details on that page where the copy of the certificate is, there are details of the land with a map. Where the words Land Description is on that same page, directly below those words, there is the word Map. Click on Map and the township map comes up. This is where you can use Irfranview to snip a copy of the map and save to your computer, or use the Snipping Tool that is installed on your computer.

This is my first rich find for land records. Learning how to use land description to plot out your ancestor’s property and locate it on a map isn’t difficult. It lets you see your ancestor in the context of his surroundings such as churches, schools and physical features of the land. Once you discover where your ancestor’s land located then you can take a virtual tour on Google Earth.

The question of did William Alfred Lee own land has been answered. Now my next three projects are to research Charles Duke to see if he is connected to the Lee family, make a courthouse trip to the Jackson Parish Courthouse to get a copy of the original conveyance record and any other records available, and make a courthouse trip to the Ouachita Parish Courthouse to look for land records for W. A. Lee in Ouachita Parish. Research for this project is ongoing.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Monday's Maps

Plot of William Alfred Lee's Land in Jackson Parish, Louisiana About 1905






1907 Parish Map of Louisiana

Current Map from Google Maps of Jackson Parish, Louisiana

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday’s Record

Land of William Alfred Lee

The Lee, Edwards, Winn, and related families arrived in Jackson Parish, Louisiana about 1903 from Elmore County, Alabama. William Alfred Lee and his wife and children left Elmore County after the enumeration of the 1900 census. The window of time when they arrived in Jackson Parish was estimated by looking at the birth dates and places of birth of the grandchildren of William A. Lee. Why did these families migrate to Jackson Parish? Were they looking for a better life? Were they running away from the law? Were they looking for cheap land? Were they job hunting? Trying to answer the question, why these families left Alabama and settled in Louisiana is like looking for a needle in a haystack. It won’t be found, unless there is a manuscript or records somewhere that hasn’t been uncovered in researching this family.

One question has been answered though, and the question was did William A. Lee own land in Jackson Parish. This question was answered because a Lee cousin thought possibly the Lee family owned land. So, this cousin recently took a road trip to the courthouse in Jackson Parish. At the courthouse a conveyance record was found for W. A. Lee, my great grandfather. Since I don’t have a copy of the actual conveyance record, I have a road trip planned to the courthouse in Jackson Parish. While I am on the road I also plan a trip to the courthouse in Ouachita Parish. It stated on the record that W. A. lived in Ouachita Parish about 1905.

April 15, 1910 William A. Lee was living in District 53, Ward 1, Jackson Parish, Louisiana near Pine Bluff and Columbia Roads. He owned forty acres described as NE ¼ of the NE ¼ Sec14, T15N R1E. Great grandfather William Alfred Lee paid seventy-five dollars for the land, and later was paid eighty-five dollars by the Tremont Lumber Company for the pine timber.

I looked for the original land owner of the property who W. A. Lee acquired the land from and found the original certificate on the U S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management in the General Land Office Records. It was originally homestead land. The land was acquired by Charles Duke through the Homestead Act.

How long did the W. A. Lee family live in Jackson Parish, Louisiana? Where did they go after leaving Jackson Parish? William Alfred Lee died 18 October 1917 in Oak Grove, West Carroll Parish and Emma died 11 November 1920 in Oak Grove, West Carroll Parish. They both are interred at the Oak Grove Cemetery in West Carroll Parish, Louisiana.

There are several unanswered questions about the William Alfred Lee family. The research is ongoing, and it may take years to find the answers. I will enjoy the hunt along the way for the answers.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Surname Saturday

The Mysterious Carmack

The challenge in researching the William R. Carmack family line is lack of records for that time in which I am researching. The other problem is that online family trees show William R. Carmack with no child named Drucilla, and those online trees show William R. Carmack with varying names for his parents. Drucilla, according to Lee relatives, was a Carmack. There are no historical records to link her to her parents,William R. and Pency Kent Carmack.

The question remains, who are her parents? How does Drucilla fit into the family? One of my Edwards cousins married a descendant of Benjamin and Drucilla Lee. They had a daughter named Frances “Fannie” Drucilla Emmaliza Lee and the descendant is from Fannie’s line.

Who is Drucilia? This question is an easy one to answer if I look at the family trees for the Lee family; however, to prove she is a Carmack is an impossible research tasks because there are no records to link Drucilia to her parents. The link that I have made from Drucilia to William R. is an indirect link. There is a William Carmack on the 1820-1840 censuses. I have taken each of the censuses put the assumed children of William and Pency in the age categories and they fit the categories for each census year. The estimated ages for Willam and Pency also fit their categories. Drucilia, her husband Benjamin, and their children are listed on the 1850 Tallapoosa County, Alabama census and living in the area is William, Pency was deceased by 1850. Also, William’s son John and his family lived in Tallapoosa County. Then, there was an 1855 Tallapoosa County census with William, John and James Carmack listed on it. Using these censuses to make an indirect connection from Drucilia to William is the closest that I have come to connecting Drucilia to William Carmack. William R. Carmack didn’t leave a will, or one hasn’t been placed online yet. Wills sometimes have the children’s names listed in them, and the connection from the parent to the child is proven.

Drucilla married Benjamin Lee about 1830 give or take a few years. Elizabeth “Betsy” is the first child that was born, or is listed on the 1850 census. Although there possibly is another child that I am unaware of in researching the Benjamin Lee family.

Benjamin Lee was forty-three years old and wife Drucilla was thirty-two years and they are living in Township 24, Tallapoosa County, Alabama in 1850. Their children are Elizabeth was twelve years old and was born about 1838 in Georgia, Jourdin T. ten years old and born in Alabama about 1840, Benjamin W. eight years old and born in Alabama, Lety J. seven years old born about 1843 in Alabama, and the youngest child was Charlote C. two years old and born 1848 in Alabama. Probably, Benjamin and Drucilla were married in Georgia since Elizabeth was born in Georgia. It is assumed these are their children since the relationship for the 1850 census doesn’t state the relationship.

Drucilla Lee is living in Youngsville, Western Division or Beat 2, in Tallapoosa County in 1860, and Benjamin is absent on the census with her and the children. However, living near her is a Patterson family and Drucilla and Benjamin’s son Thomas is living with the Patterson family. The Black family lives nearby Drucilla. Their son Henry married Sarah Ann Black and they live in dwelling 1357 and Drucilla lives in dwelling 1356 with Saphronia twelve years old, William A. ten years old, Washington seven years old, and two-year-old Francis. The mystery here is that William A. was born in Georgia and Saphronia was born in Alabama. Did Drucilla go back to Georgia to be  near family to have William A. Lee? Possibly she did go back to Georgia to be near her family to have her baby, William A.  Women sometimes would go back to be near family when they were expecting a child. Washington and Francis were born in Alabama. Where is Benjamin in 1860? Since the 1860 doesn’t state relationships or whether married, single, divorced, or widow I can only assume what happened to Benjamin before the 1860 census was taken.

In 1866 Drucilia and the three males and three females are living in Tallapoosa County and Drucilla is head of the household. Therefore, it is presumed that Benjamin Lee was deceased by 1866.

I haven’t found Drucilia listed on an 1870 census; however, she may be living with one of her family members or a relative. In 1880 Drucecila was living with her daughter Fannie Thomason, husband Clem, daughter Alice, Sarah, and son Zacheriah B. in District 141, Hackneyville, in Tallapoosa County. Druecilia is a boarder and was born in North Carolina as were her parents. Again, Benjamin Lee is missing from the census and is presumed to have died before the 1860 census since he isn’t on any records after 1850.

The parentage of Drucilla Lee will remain uncertain until records are found that will connect her to her parents. However, the indirect evidence and family stories are as close as I can get in connecting her to William R. Carmack and Pency Kent as her parents. Research will continue, and possibly historical records and DNA evidence will prove or disprove the parentage of Drucilla.
Tallapoosa County, Alabama

Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday's Find

Sharing Our Photos
Six of the eight Holton children
from the author's private collection

This photo was tucked away in one of my archival photo boxes. Recently I decided to begin the process of scanning my photos. This photo was buried among all the photos, and when I came across it memories of my cousins came back that was stored away from long ago. The children from the oldest to the youngest: Dorothy Earline, Vernie, Henry, Rosa Lee, Joyce Marie, Mitchell Glendon, Rebecca Inez “Becka”, and Charles Holton. Those are the names of the eight children of John and Ellen Eley Holton.

This photo and the expressions on the children’s faces are a reminder of the difficult life they lived. Pictured here are Dorothy the oldest daughter who married at a young age to get away from the home life. She married and removed herself from her parents and siblings. She remained married to the same husband until she died at the age of 69. Vernie is to Dorothy’s right and is holding Mitchell. She married and has one son. Vernie is the only child living of Aunt Ellen’s eight children. Henry, the other boy in the photo died a tragic death, as did his younger brother Mitchell. Rosa Lee the girl on the left was the fourth from the oldest and died of cancer. Rebecca the youngest daughter died at the age of sixty-five from complications of various health problems. Their father died at the age of seventy-seven, and “drank himself to death” according to family stories. Aunt Ellen died of cancer at the age of seventy-five years. 

Four years ago, my double first cousin who lives in Texas sent me this photo, and while looking at this photo, memories of my Aunt Ellen Eley Holton’s family came to life. Her children had many struggles and difficulties while growing up in rural West Carroll Parish, Louisiana.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Monday's Matriarch

Saphronia Emma Meadows
Great Grandmother Emma

Emma Meadows seemed to have been forgotten in the history written of her husband William Alfred Lee. Most research has been for William Alfred. I was mulling over this thought about Emma, and realized that while working on William Alfred and the children rarely did I give Emma any attention. Emma was the wife of William Alfred Lee and she was the mother of seven children and five of them survived and lived to be adults. Emma was born about 1849. I believe Emma was born in Troup County, Georgia.

There seems to be confusion about my great grandmother’s name. If you look at the Ancestry family trees that members have submitted, she is named Emmer Jane Sophronia, Emmer Emma Saphronia, and Saphronia Emma Meadows. There is no evidence that I have found to prove her name was Emmer Jane Sophronia. There are a limited number of records for my paternal great grandmother; however, the records that are available with her on them are used to support the name Saphronia Emma (Emer) Meadows. She is the daughter of John C. Meadows and Sara Ann Oliver. There are the 1850-1860 censuses, a surety note that I found on Family Search database written by Emma's father J. C. Meadows, her marriage records, and family stories.


On the 1850 census for District 699, Troup County, Georgia there is a Babe Meadows one year old and her place of birth is Georgia. I believe this Babe on the 1850 census is Saphronia Meadows who is age 9 on the 1860 Newsite, Western Division Ward 4, Tallapoosa County, Alabama census. On this census, 1860, her place of birth is Georgia. The Meadows family listed on the census down to Saphronia were born in Georgia. The other four children were born in Alabama.





By the time the 1870 census was taken Saphronia Emma Meadows had married William Alfred Lee. I noticed a conflict on the 1870 census with names. It showed a Saphronia age 12. When I looked at the family members on the 1860 census and compared them to the 1870 census there was an error in the listing for a daughter – Susan A. Meadows age 3. She was named  Safronia Meadow age 12 on the Daviston, Tallapoosa County, Alabama census. For whatever reason this is an error in the naming of this child on the 1870 census. If the child was still living by 1870 her name should have been Susan A. and not Safronia. Unless that was a nickname given her after her older sister Saphronia Emma left home to marry.


Emma married 5 September 1869 in Tallapoosa County, Alabama and by the 1880 census she was living in Newsite Beat 5, Tallapoosa County. She lived in Newsite with her parents and siblings in 1860. By the 1880 census Emma had two children James W. age nine. After analyzing the census records and marriage record several times, one day I noticed a very important detail that I had never noticed before when analyzing those records. James W. her oldest child was born, 3 July 1869, before she and William married, 5 September 1869. Perhaps that is the reason for the name from Saphronia to Emma.




Why is that detail important? I had one of Uncle James William Lee’s descendants YDNA tested. For almost two years there were no close matches at the 67-marker level. I was looking at all possible scenarios. One being a non-paternal event. That looked as though that was happening here with this situation. Then, last January there was a Lee male relative who YDNA tested at the 37 Marker level and he matched my male Lee cousin. The problem was solved there was no non-paternal event; however, my Lee line was not a match to any of the famous Lees, Maryland Lee, North Carolina Lee, but an ungrouped Lee line. Probably my Lee line was from a Lee who was the only Lee to immigrate or one of the three families in South Carolina from the beginning. More research needed to determine the Lee progenitor.

For now, back to Emma and her story. Emma was the daughter of John Calvin Meadows and Sara Ann Oliver. Emma was one of eleven children. Sara Ann died at a young age of about forty-five years.

Emma had one other daughter who was listed on the 1880 census and she was one year old. There was an eight-year span between the two children, therefore, I surmise that two children were born and died after James W. was born.

On the 1900 Elmore County census Emma states she is the mother of nine children; however, I have accounted for seven children. The family story has it that two children died when the Lee family migrated to Louisiana. Since we don’t have the 1890 federal census, the number of children they had will never be proven. Lee cousins who has more knowledge of our great grandparents only knew of seven children, and of the seven five survived.

By the time the 1910 census was taken the Lee family was living in Ward 1, Jackson Parish, Louisiana. On this census Emma states that she is the mother of eight children and five of them living. Those five children have been found and accounted for. What happened to the other children will remain a mystery unless there are records that will be uncovered and their story revealed.

Saphronia Emma Meadows Lee died 11 November 1920 in Oak Grove in West Carroll Parish, Louisiana.

This photo from the author's private collection. Dolly Ophelia,
Leakie Lee, sister-in-law of Dolly and Alice Lee, their brother 
Robert E. Lee's wife. In the back is Irma Eley, Alice's oldest 
daughter and Truman, Dolly's youngest child. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sunday's Sentiments


https://www.loc.gov/resource/fsac.1a34363/
Clothes of swimmers hanging on a telegraph pole, 
Lake Providence,Louisiana. The children from
the nearby farms and neighborhoods go swimming,
on Saturday afternoon and Sunday, in the lake.
When my family lived in Oak Grove in West Carroll Parish, Louisiana in the 1940s to 1958, we lived near many of our relatives. There were paternal Lee relatives and related families and maternal Coon relatives and related families living near our family. East Carroll Parish was a neighboring parish south east of West Carroll. Lake Providence was in East Carroll and our relatives also lived there in the Lake Providence area. Daddy moved our family away from West Carroll Parish in 1958 seeking better employment. Memories of living near Lake Providence has been tucked away for many years until recently.

I was on the Library of Congress website looking at the photos, then I came across a photo that caught my eyes. It was an interesting one and a scene that brought back memories of long ago when my family lived in West Carroll Parish. The photo was a telegraph pole beside Lake Ponchartrain and hanging on the pole were clothes. Someone had decided to take a swim in the Lake. 

One afternoon Daddy came home and told Mother there was a drowning in Lake Providence. Lake Providence has a large six-mile oxbow lake, named Lake Providence. The lake was formed when the Mississippi River changed its course many years ago. Lake Providence was a popular swimming hole for the locals. It was a great place to take the family and have a fun filled Sunday afternoon with family. Folks during those years learned to swim by watching others, or a family member taught them, they were self-taught. There were no swim lessons at a local YMCA or city sponsored swim lessons.

Daddy came in and shared the sad news with Mother and they were upset. The person who drowned was a young male cousin sixteen-year-old. It was a shock. He was in the lake trying to swim, and he got too far out in the water and couldn’t touch the bottom. Went under and never came back up. As the story unfolded, the kids were sitting around Daddy and Mother listening attentively. Not understanding what it meant to drown, or die. This was the first death that my three younger sisters and brother and I had ever experienced. We didn’t understand what it meant to drown. I was about eight years old at the time. Daddy shared the details of the funeral. What is a funeral I thought to myself? We didn’t ask questions, but listened as Daddy shared the details with Mother.

The funeral arrangements were planned, and our family made plans to go to the funeral home to view this young cousin’s body. This was my first experience with death. Daddy and Mother took us inside where the casket was with the young body on display. The casket was open, and he was lying there as though he was asleep. He was a handsome young man with dark brown hair and fair skin. He was at peace, just sleeping. Those were my thoughts of my first sight of a person who was dead. Our family stood there a while and viewed this young man. Then, my family visited with others, and we left to go home. Of course, us children had questions about death, but no answers. This wasn’t the time to ask those questions either.

The memories of this have been long ago forgotten until I saw the photo of the lake and those clothes hanging on the telegraph pole. That scene jogged my memory, and the events of that tragic story came to life again. There was a young boy’s life cut short that day! On a day he was out to just have fun. My siblings and I didn’t understand the events that happened, but life went on for us. This tragic accident wasn’t discussed again by our parents, and we didn’t ask questions about death.

Photos are a useful tool when writing family stories. Events that took place long ago are still stored in our memory; however, they can be recalled with a little help as the memory of this long ago tragedy of a young cousin whose life was cut short.

African American's tenant's home beside the Mississippi River levee.
Near Lake Providence, Louisiana, June 1940.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veterans Day Their Special Day

Honoring Veterans From All Time

James Esters Parden was born 10 May 
1954 in Port Arthur, Jefferson County,
Texas, Died 23 Mar 2013 in Duluth,
 Minnesota. He served in the United 
States Army. James "Ricky" as he was 
known to family died of leukemia at the age 
of fifty-nine.  
November 11 is a special day set aside in the United States to honor military veterans who served in the United States Military. It is a day where all military veterans are honored. Today this blog is dedicated to all our honor all my ancestors who served in wars.

Family history research takes time and dedication. It takes time to research the military veterans in our family lines. As we research each one it gives us time to focus and reflect on their service they provided for our country. Researching and learning about their life gives me a chance to connect mentally and emotionally with the ancestor and the service. Their stories give me an opportunity to see them as real people and with real life stories that needs to be told. It is because of records that have been made available through online databases that have made researching our veterans possible.  By keeping the historical records alive, by creating a family history, then sharing that history with others will preserve our veteran ancestor's legacy. If we don’t share their stories, the memory of their lives fades forever, and they will be forgotten

As I have researched over the past fifteen or more years, I have learned that several of my ancestors served in wars from the founding of the colonies to the present day. Researching those who came before me helps me understand the sacrifices made during their lifetime. An appreciation for the freedoms of today is forever in my mind because of my ancestors. There is a deep sense of appreciation and love for those who lived before me. Also, there is a sense of connection to this country’s past and its beginning because of those veterans did their part in making this country the “land of the free.”

There are several veterans in both my maternal and paternal line ancestors. There were men who served in the American Revolution, Patriots who supplied goods for the Revolutionary soldiers, Patriots of the Indian Wars, War of 1812, Confederate Veterans, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, and whose who served in branches of the military during peace times.

One of the reasons that I write articles for my blog is to honor my ancestors. Before I write an article about one of them, I research his or her life and gather all available information for that person’s life. One of the rewards of family history is learning about my ancestors and their unique stories. Researching, then analyzing each record to glean all the tidbits of information about an ancestor helps in creating a story of their lives. The stories help to bring these ancestors into real people who lived through real life events.

Discovering the military veterans and information about them gives me a better understanding of history and historical events. Although a distant ancestor might have fought in the Indian Wars, or he could be a living relative who served in the Vietnam War, getting to know the individual makes the events more realistic.

The veterans who served in this country’s military services deserve to be remembered and honor in a special way. Serving our country takes sacrifice and bravery. Every individual who has served in the military has contributed to our country's history. They contributed to building of a country where we live and where we have many freedoms – such as the freedom to worship and free speech.

Today, I thank each of the hero veterans within and outside of my family for their dedication to their service for our country and our country's history.  This blog article is a small way of saying thank you for your service and your service.

American soldiers examining their new rifles after turning in the old ones.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Thursday’s Thoughts Genetic Genealogy

The Proof is in the DNA

You may be asking, what is genetic genealogy? It is using DNA testing for genealogy. Genetic genealogy is the use of DNA testing to determine the relationships between individuals. Genetic genealogy is used in combination with old fashioned (or traditional) genealogy. Traditional genealogy is simply the study of an individual’s ancestry or family tree. Family historians have been using records, documents, stories from family members, cemetery research, etc. for decades to determine family relationships. Genetic genealogy is a way for family historians to go beyond the information collected from historical records, document, and relatives. Genealogists use DNA testing to answer questions about their ancestry, to confirm family relationships, it provides clues about ethnicity, it help to break through difficult research questions, and you find living relatives.

I started using DNA testing seven years ago when I decided to resolve a family story. and it has produced some amazing results. Using DNA test results, I have learned about my Lee surname and family through the Lee FTDNA Project, family stories have been proven. DNA testing is a powerful tool when used along with traditional genealogy and historical records. Using DNA testing in combination with traditional genealogical research to enhance your ancestral discovery requires both skills as a genealogist, and you will need to commit to learning about DNA, interpreting the results and working with your matches. So, skills as a genetic genealogists are essential to get the most from DNA testing.

A few years ago, researching family meant trips to the courthouses, cemeteries, and libraries in several towns. A genealogist would search through records, search through documents, walk the cemetery, and interview relatives to gather information about an ancestor. This could be a daunting and time-consuming process. However, since we live in the age of technology, and there are innovative people who are willing to be ingenious when using technology and genealogy, combined with science, a new useful too is invented. This useful tool is used to solve problems in the field of genealogical research. That tool is called DNA testing. The tool of DNA testing is a very useful resource and fast growing in popularity among genealogists. Researching our ancestors and connecting relationships is made easier, and that is one of the benefits of DNA testing used along with traditional genealogical research.

I have used DNA testing more and more with traditional genealogy to prove or disprove surnames, infer relationships between individuals, find living cousins, and reconnect with long lost cousins. Since my husband and I led the genealogy group in our hometown, it was essential to learn about this new resource. First was the mtDNA test with Family Tree DNA. Next, my brother submitted his sample for the 67 Marker YDNA test to Family Tree DNA Testing Company. Later, the autosomal DNA test was released by the testing companies and submitted our samples for that test. We have tested with all three testing companies and have tested several family members on both paternal and maternal lines.

We use our DNA and traditional genealogy methods to show relationships, and to prove family surname lines. My father’s biological father was proven using the 67-Marker YDNA test results. The family story that had been shared about “Uncle Johnny” being his biological father was proven and the story was laid to rest. The Edwards paternal line has been proven by working with matches from FTDNA, Ancestry DNA, and 23andMe autosomal DNA tests results.

Surname lines on both maternal and paternal lines have been proven using DNA testing and working with matches from all three testing companies. 

My paternal line Meadows family was proven using autosomal DNA (atDNA). This family line was one that I relied on family members for information, now I am confident that I have the correct great grandmother Emma Meadows in my family tree.

Keep in mind that when you YDNA test there may be a family situation that you were not aware of and when the results come back it is revealed. This happened on my maternal line when I had my Coon cousin YDNA tested to verify my COON (KUHN) surname line. It really wasn’t surprising since my cousin had told me her father revealed to her that her brother was not his child. I dismissed this story as I have most other family stories as just being a “story.” When the results came in her story was proven to be true. YDNA testing in this case wasn’t any help; however, my COON surname line was proven by working with matches from 23andMe and Ancestry DNA. For some unknown reason my Coon relatives don’t test with Family Tree DNA. I have one match on FTDNA with a fourth cousin match; however, his Coon line is from another family line. We haven’t found the correct one yet.
Genetic genealogy and traditional genealogy are viable methods in the field of genealogical research. DNA and traditional genealogy help in filling in the gaps in your research. I am currently using the YDNA 67 Marker test results and working with others to determine the branch of the Lee family that my great grandfather William Alfred Lee belongs. I had a Lee male second cousin YDNA tested on the 67 marker test. He only has one match in his test results list and is on the 37 marker, and a genetic distance of  two markers. He is a fourth cousin and we share a common colonial ancestor. Jordan Lee, our common ancestor,  was born in South Carolina about 1778. His ancestor is the son Burril Lee and mine is Benjamin, his brother.  A connection with the known branches of Lees has not been proven with genealogical research. Research on this Lee family origin is ongoing.

While DNA testing can be an awesome tool, it is not a replacement to traditional genealogical research. Beginners to genealogy should continue to focus on compiling their family tree back five or six generations using traditional research methodologies. The more information that can be compiled the better, as it will enable you to compare your family tree with others identifying common surnames and common locations where ancestors previously resided. And, you use this information along with DNA tests results to prove family relationships.

Genetic genealogy and traditional genealogy has immense power to help us understand who we are, and what regions our ancestors came from. If you are serious about building an accurate family tree, breaking down those brick walls, and even discovering old family heirlooms and photos, you want to get your DNA tested at one or more of the testing companies. Also, you will want to get relatives tested. Then you start communicating with your matches and find living cousins. It’s an adventure you’ll always be glad you began. It is probably the best thing you can do for your genealogy research and family tree building. Future generations will thank you for your work.

https://www.loc.gov/collections/fsa-owi-color-photographs/

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Wedding Wednesday

James William Lee and Nancy Matilda Wynn

This Photo of James William Lee and Nancy Matilda Wynn
was given to me by their great granddaughter.  

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday

Honoring Those Who Have Passed

Rebecca Lee daughter of Burrell Lee and Mahalia Nelson. Rebecca was 
born in Muscogee County, Georgia and died in Paul, Conecuh County,
Alabama.. She is buried in Pleasant Grove Primitive Baptist Church 
Cemetery in Conecuh County. Burial information may be found on 
Findagrave.com.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

A Snapshot of the James William Lee Family

Those Who Have Gone Before Us

James William Lee, was the oldest son of William Alfred Lee and wife Emma Meadows. Uncle Jim, as I will call him, since that is the only name I knew him by until I began researching the Lee family about fifteen or more years ago. James W. Lee was born July 1869 probably in Tallapoosa County, Alabama since great grandparents William and Emma were married there. Emma was pregnant with her son when she and William Alfred married 5 September 1869 in Tallapoosa County; therefore, Tallapoosa County, is the likely county where he was born. There are no living relatives with firsthand knowledge of his birth, so I will rely on records for information of his life.

Uncle Jim was my father’s mother’s brother, and that makes him a paternal grand uncle of mine. My father spoke fondly of “Uncle Jim” as I was growing up in West Carroll Parish, Louisiana. Aunt Nannie was widowed at the age of forty-nine. Uncle Jim died 27 June 1929 in West Carroll Parish. Aunt Nannie, his widow, lived near us in Concord Community in West Carroll Parish. Lula, Janie, Gussie, Hallie, her daughters lived nearby. Also, her granddaughter Martha Gray Sanders lived near her. J. W. Lee and N. M. Wynn married 03 July 1899 in Elmore County, Alabama. The ceremony was performed by H. J. Lancaster.

By the 1900 census Uncle Jim and Aunt Nannie were living in Tallassee, Elmore County, Alabama there was a son born Oct 1899 in Tallassee, Elmore County. At the time of the census taking James W. Lee, their son, was seven months old. There were a couple of boarders living with the Lee family, Lee Teal and William D. Smith. More research needed to determine how they connect to the Lee family.

James W. Lee and Nannie were living in District 53, Ward 1, Jackson Parish, Louisiana by 1910. There were seven additions to the Lee family by 1910 – Eula was ten years old. So, she was born about the time the 1900 census was taken. Mary was nine years old, Efflu was seven, Axem a son was six years old, Dollie O. was four, Mary (another Mary) was three, and Tiney was 1 year and three months old. The Lee family was living on Pine Bluff and Columbia Road area in Jackson Parish. This is where the Lee family lived on April 10, 1910. Uncle Jim was a farm laborer. All the Lee families were farmers during that era. Uncle Jim was forty-two years old on this census and Aunt Nannie was thirty-nine.

Censuses are taken every ten years in the United States and names, ages, places of birth, and family members change or disappear. In 1920 Uncle Jim and Aunt Nannie had more additions to their family. William is now twenty years old on the census, Eular’s name is slightly changed from Eula. There is now May age seventeen, Ethel age sixteen, Axem is Accum and he is fifteen years old. There is Lizzie who is now fourteen and Dollie is now twelve years old. Noah is a name for a daughter, and she is eleven years old. Then, there is Tinnie who is now eight years old, and Hallie is one year old. The new addition to the Lee family who were born during the ten-year span between the censuses are Janie age seven, Avis, six years old, Gussie four, and Hallie one year old. Listed last in the household is Rubbie a granddaughter of Uncle Jim and Aunt Nannie’s. She is the daughter of Eular the oldest daughter. Rubbie was two months old which would make her birth month Nov 1919. Uncle Jim was giving the information to the census taker. There is a mark by the person who gives the information to the census taker.

Some names changed in this household, and family members’ ages varied from one census to the next census. Analyzing censuses and gleaning all relevant date from them are vital in researching our ancestors.

The next census was the 1930 census, and by the time that census was taken Uncle Jim had died. He was about sixty years old at the time of his death. One can only speculate the cause of his death, which was probably heart problems. Providing for a large family in difficult economic times was a strain on families. Farming was a laborious occupation and long hours, difficult working conditions, and very little money was a heavy burden to carry. On the 1930 census Aunt Nannie was living with her son Harrison, whom I found from researching him further. His full given name was Axum Harrison and his nickname was “Tack.”

Aunt Nannie had one more daughter, Lula, by the 1930 census, and Lula was listed as nine years old on this census. She was born 1920. Lula was Uncle Jim and Aunt Nannie’s last child. One can only surmise the heartache Aunt Nannie felt at the loss of her beloved Jim at the age of sixty. Leaving her with fifteen children to care for probably caused her unbearable anxiety and grief. How would she survive? What will happen to all her children? Survive she did. She lived to be seventy-eight years old. Her oldest son James William, Jr. was killed in 1945.

Family story has it that James W. was changing a tire on the side of the road and was hit and killed by another vehicle. He was only forty-six years old when he died and left a wife and four children, all daughters.

About a year after James W. died Eular, the oldest daughter died. Eular died 11 August 1946. She left to cherish her memories ten children and her husband, John Hulon Gray. Baby Annie Lou died of pneumonia at the age of nine months. It would be just a short time and the Gray children would lose their other parent, John Hulon Gray. He died 26 October 1947 leaving behind his nine children. The nine children made it through those difficult times. Life always will send hard, difficult, trying times our way, as it did with the Gray family. The children grew up, married, and had families of their own. They lived through the heartache and learned from those life lessons.

All of James William Lee and Nancy Matilda Wynn, children are deceased, and their descendants are many, and they have descendants living in various places throughout the United States. Their descendants have a variety of occupations, and most likely there are a few farmers among the descendants.

James William Lee and his wife Nancy Matilda Wynn had fifteen children two boys and thirteen girls, what an awesome responsibility for a couple who had meager resources to provide for their family. however, the two of them must have been strong, persistent, and determined, and kept moving and doing the things they needed to do to provide for their children. One can only surmise what life was like for them during their lifetime. Uncle Jim was a farmer, and the best that I can tell from census records he always rented on a farm. Uncle Jim died 27 October 1929 in West Carroll Parish, Louisiana.

James William Lee and Nancy Matilda Wynn
This photo was given to me by a descendant of
Uncle Jim's oldest daughter Eular's descendant.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

A Look Back

One of the Lee Boys

The origin of the Lees of South Carolina has been difficult to tie down. In this case YDNA testing hasn’t proven to be beneficial in determining the origin of Jordan Lee and his descendants. However, it is a work in progress and more people are testing; therefore, one day there may be a breakthrough for the Jordan Lee line. The Jordan Lee line has been proven down through the generations to my grandmother. My grandmother was a Lee and that I am confident of since she was living up to 1961, and there was firsthand knowledge of her origin.

Possibilities for Jordan Lee’s origin is that he received his surname from one of the three other Lee lines in South Carolina who were living there at the same time. There are trees on Ancestry that show them coming from Scotland; however, there are no sources to prove their claim. There are also family trees that show the father of Jordan Lee is John Lee and his mother is Elizabeth. Once again there are no sources to link them to Jordan Lee. The records haven’t been found by this researcher online to prove the parentage of Jordan Lee. There most likely are records in repositories that will prove the parentage of Jordan Lee or records that will link him to a parent; however, until those records are found to prove his parentage, he will be in my family tree without parents. The search continues, and the focus is on other Lee ancestors.

Information that I have learned about the Lee family from YDNA testing is helpful. I will know what Lee lines not to waste time researching. That means more time for research for other possibilities. One of my second paternal line male Lee cousins volunteered to submit his DNA for the YDNA test with Family Tree DNA. The test was the sixty-seven marker YDNA test. The results show the Haplogroup for this unnamed Lee group is R-M269 the largest haplogroup for males of the Western European heritage. Which means this is a common haplogroup.

There are many defined subgroups of Lees. There are the Lees of Virginia, the John Lee group from Nansemond which is a large group. There are the Hugh Lee group, the Mary Lee of Maryland group, the Richmond County, Virginia Lees, the Lees from Middlesex County, Virginia, the Leas of Leasburgh and our Lee group will have a subgroup since there are two of us in the group now. For a researcher who has been researching the Lee family line for over fifteen years now, I know there are many many Lees and they came through Virginia and North Carolina. They were all unrelated biologically. Possibly with the Jordan Lee of South Carolina there is a nonpaternal event that happened. If that is the case then, unless a male who is from the line where the non-paternal event happened, I will never find the parents of Jordan Lee. In the meantime, our Jordan Lee group will have a subgroup of its own since this group doesn’t match the others. There are no matches to these groups and the hunt continues.

Rumor has it that our Lee family is related to the famous Lees from Virginia. Robert E. Lee. Everyone wants to be related to a famous person or every family claims Native American heritage. That is the great thing about DNA testing for genealogy, those stories can be proven or disproven. The Lees from Virginia are from another haplogroup and our group doesn’t match. The John Lee, Esq. group from Johnston County, North Carolina is a group that our Lee male group does most closely match, however, it is forty to sixty generations back and before surnames began to be used; and that makes it impossible to name a common ancestor for our Jordan Lee group and that group. Our group doesn’t match the John Lee, Esq. group’s profile. In other words, we do not match that profile for the John Lee, Esq. group. For now, our Lee group is in a “lone” group and we are a group of our own.

Another possibility is the father of Jordan Lee was the only son who immigrated and there are no other Lee branches to match Jordan. Another possibility is Jordan Lee is a son of one of the three Lee men who originally settled in South Carolina and were there at the same time.

There are Lee family members who are known, and the origin is documented and proven; therefore, the focus will be on them. But, the research on the Jordan Lee line and proving his parentage will continue as an ongoing research plan. One of the Lee men that I am familiar with through researching and family stories is William Alfred Lee a descendant of Jordan Lee through his son Benjamin from South Carolina. William is a paternal great grandfather. William and Emma lived in Oak Grove in West Carroll Parish where my father grew up.

On September 1, 1869 Druciller Lee signed a surety note stating, “September the 1 1869 This is to scailyly that thear is a Marige contract Between my son William Lee and Emer Meadows.” The note here is written as she wrote it with the original spelling exactly noted by Druciller Lee. What Druciller is saying is this is to certify that there is marriage contract between her son William Lee and Emer Meadows. William Alfred would have been about twenty-two years old at the time of the writing of the note. This note is a treasure for a family historian, since Druciller names her son William Lee and his future wife Emer Meadows. That is proof Druciller is William’s mother. Some folks would say this isn’t proof and you need at least two more documents for proof. There are census records that link Druciller to William. This is proof for me along with family stories.

This note was found three years ago on the Family Search database when I was looking for the marriage record for William Alfred Lee and Emma Meadows. The marriage bond and marriage license were on Family Search as well. Those can be found here. There is also a note for her son Henry to marry Sarah Ann Black.



The note for Drusila Lee’s son Henry Lee and his future wife Sarah Ann Black. This note is proof of her being the mother to Henry Lee, Benjamin William Henry.


The note from J. C. Meaders is also a treasure for a family historian because it links J. C. Meaders to his daughter Emer. There is a post on Friday, April 3, 2015 from my blog that shows the marriage information for William Alfred Lee and Sophronia Emma Meadows.

William Alfred Lee and his wife Emma were living in Newsite, Tallapoosa County, Alabama in 1880 with their two children James W. and Dolly O. Lee. Emma was expecting when she and William married so James W. was nine years old by the 1880 census taking and Dolly O. was one. There is a eight year span between James and Dolly. On the 1900 census Emma says she is the mother of nine children, five living. Those children most likely died during that eight-year span. The missing child born between Dollie and Robert has been identified as Flora.


Willie and Emma were married twenty-nine years by the time the 1900 census was taken. There was a twenty-year span from the 1880 census to the next census since the 1890 census was destroyed. The 1900 census shows two other children were born during that twenty-year span – Robert and Alice. Robert was born Sep 1882 and was seventeen and Alice was born Nov 1887 and was twelve years old. Willie was a farmer, however, previously in 1880 he was a blacksmith. The family is living in Channahatchee in Elmore County, Alabama. Emma was the mother of nine children and five were living. Three of the children were living elsewhere, probably married. The oldest James W. would have been thirty-one years old by the 1900 census taking. Flora would have been twenty-five years old, Dolly O. twenty-one years old, and they are all were at the age for marriage. The year of the 1900 census changes were made in the information required of the citizens. The data is more helpful and gives a snapshot of a family, and names the relationship of the head of the house to the people named in the household.

The William Lee family migrated to Louisiana about 1903 and lived on Pine Bluff and Columbia Road in District 53, Ward 1, Jackson Parish, Louisiana. Several families migrated with the Lee family. The Axiom Winn family lives nearby William A. Lee and Emma. The John Houston Edwards family lives nearby. John Houston married William and Emma’s oldest daughter Dollie Ophelia. Also, James W. Lee, William and Emma’s oldest son lives nearby. The Axiom Winn family is related to Nannie, James’ wife. She was Nancy Winn (Wynn) before she married. Families migrated as a group and often their intentions were to permanently settle in the new location. There probably were family members or related families already in the area where the Lees settled. The Lees and related families were looking for a better way of life. In 1900 six percent of people born in Alabama lived in other states in the South. The Lee, Edwards, and Wynn families were included in the six percent of the people who left Alabama and settled in the south, Louisiana.


Louisiana is where William Alfred Lee and Emma Meadows made their home until their deaths. Their descendants live in Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, and parts unknown.