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. 

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