Saturday, June 8, 2024

Alfred Lee


In the cool fall days of the year of our Lord, Eighteen hundred and thirty -two, (1832),  on November 13, Alfred Lee and William Lee, together, both of Montgomery County, North Carolina, sold a parcel of land to one Jacob Shoffner. For $200 paid in hand, they sold together, three tracts of land on the southwest side of the Pee Dee River, which would be land now in Stanly County. The first tract, on Little Creek of Long Creek, contained 100 acres, and was described only using a variety of trees and stakes, long gone, which doesn't tell us much. The second tract was near the 'fork throng' of the creek and also contained 100 acres. The third tract was located near the first, along a small branch and a lake, in the second line, and was a 100 acre tract granted to James Roper. It then ran due east, 24 chains, and crossed McGuire's fork three times,  coming to Benjamin Lilly's corner, running with his property for awhile,  eventually meeting back up with Ropers property, and containing 22 acres. The document was signed by William Lee and Alfred Lee, and witnessed by Benjamin Cagle and Lindsey F. Cagle.

This was a Montgomery County Deed, and predated the existence of Stanly County by 9 years. It had been brought back into court and filed in Deed Book 2, pages 135 and 136 in the Stanly County deeds, and was registered on the 23rd of October, 1848, where it was proved in open court, it is presumed, by Jacob Schoffner, or one of his heirs.They needed to prove the land was theirs, before they disposed of it, or for other reasons.

The reason the men sold the property would become clear. They would, as many would do during those days, move west, as land in Tennesee opened up for settlement. The BBD -bigger better deal . The grass is always greener...

The reason I am interested in these two men is because where they lived,  the land they left behind, is where my mysterious ancestor, Calvin Lee, first appears. I am following a theory that William Lee of Montgomery/Stanly County, (as he had contemporaries in neighboring Anson County of the same name), could be the father of Calvin Lee, and Alfred Lee, his brother. If this theory were to be true, then why would Calvin have not left North Carolina and traveled with them? The answer to that question could be found in the form of a person, Elizabeth Duke, daughter of James Duke. Calvin Lee would marry Elizabeth Duke and it could have been his ties to her, and her family, that anchored him to what became Stanly County. 

This post is about Alfred Lee and his family. Alfred Lee and Calvin Lee were only two years apart in age, both born after the arrival of a new century. 

NameAlfred Lee
Home in 1830 (City, County, State)West Side Pee Dee River, Montgomery, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - 5 thru 92
Free White Persons - Males - 30 thru 391
Free White Persons - Females - Under 52
Free White Persons - Females - 5 thru 91
Free White Persons - Females - 20 thru 291
Free White Persons - Under 205
Free White Persons - 20 thru 492
Total Free White Persons7
Total - All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored)7

Outside of land records, Alfred Lee first appears in the 1830 census of Montgomery County, North Carolina. From the land records, we can know he lived in the part of Montgomery that would become Stanly County in 11 more years. By this time, Alfred had married, about 1822, to his first wife, Nancy Culpepper. Her name is known from the records of her children.

The Culpeppers were a very early family who settled in Anson County along the Rocky River, with deeds starting as early as 1754. They were often associated with the Lee family of the same area, "Upper Anson" and many attended the old Rocky River Baptist Church. It's not a far-fetched idea to think that Nancy Culpepper Lee was descended from, and related to, this same group of Culpeppers,  and that Alfred, and his father, William, were also connected to the descendants of Robert Lee. 

Here, Alfred is shown as a man in his 30's with an adult female in the household in her 20's, that could logically be Nancy. There were 4 children in the home, two boys between 5 and 9, one, of which corrresponds to the age of John Culpeper Lee, born in 1823, one girl between 5 and 9, and two others between infancy and five. Two of these would have been Milly, born in 1826 and Lucinda, born in 1829. Two children, one son and one daughter, are unknown . These two could have passed away in childhood, as was not uncommon, or married and independent before 1850, and not known as the children of Alfred Lee. 

There are two siblings that at least one individual has tagged as children of Alfred Lee, and I will be looking into that in a separate post. They were in Marshall County, Tennessee, at the same time he was, but at the moment, that's the only indication I can find, that suggests they could be. Of course, nothing is suggesting they're not, either.

William Lee, Alfred's father, also appears in the 1830 census in Montgomery County, North Carolina. He's in his 60's, there's a man and a woman in their 40's and a girl between 10 and 14 in the household, too.

Will Lee is listed right above the name of my 4th Great Grandfather, Rev. Samuel P. Morton. Also nearby are James, John and Will Morton, whom I believe may be related to Rev. Sammy, Uncle and cousins, perhaps, as I know his father died when he was about 19 years old.

Also nearby are Henry Marshall, Abner Nash, and another direct ancestor, James Mauldin. I know Sammy Morton ,and his kin, lived on David's Creek at this time.  This area is where Calvin Lee shows up in 1840, near the family William and Alfred sell their land to, the Schoffners. That act took place in 1832, and by 1836, Alfred Lee was on the tax lists of Monroe County, Tennessee.

He wouldn't stay in Madison County long, in the 1840 census, Alfred and family,  with father in tow, it appears, were living in Marshall County, Tennessee. Marshall County was founded in 1836, from parts of Maury, Giles, Bedford and Lincoln Counties. Madison and Marshall are over 150 miles apart. 

By this time, there were 6 children in the home, Albert was in his 40's, William in his 70's, but now there was a younger adult female. It appears Nancy Culpeper Lee may have passed away and Alfred had married his second wife. There were two boys, one 10 to 15, and another under 5. These would correspond to the ages of his two known sons, John, and William, born in 1937. Alfred had a lot of daughters. By 1840, he is shown with two between 10 and 14, Lucinda and Millie, one between 5 and 9, Temperance, and one under 5, Mary, born about 1839. We still have one  possible unknown daughter and one unknown son.

Marshall County Tennessee is located in the south-central part of the state, a very fertile area, where the mountains gave way to rolling hills. 

NameAlford Lee
Enumeration Date11 Sep 1850
PlaceDistrict 9, Marshall, Tennessee, USA
Schedule TypeAgriculture

On an agricultural schedule, Alfred is listed as owning 105 acres of land, 30 acres improved and 75 wooded. As for livestock, he owned 3 horses, 2 oxen, 3 'milch' cows, 2 other cattle, 17 sheep and 25 swine. He grew a variety of corn, wheat and oats. He would need that to feed all of the daughters he would accumulate.

The second wife of Alfred Lee was another Nancy. This one was named Nancy Morris, and she was born in Tennessee about 1817. They married around  1835. William would have been her first child, more than likely, due to the 7 year age gap between himself and Temperance..

NameNancy Lee
Birth Yearabt 1817
Home in 1850District 9, Marshall, Tennessee, USA
Cannot Read, WriteYes
Line Number39
Dwelling Number199
Family Number199
Inferred SpouseAlfred Lee
Household members
Alfred Lee50
Nancy Lee33
Lucinda Lee21
Wm Lee13
Mary Lee13
Sarah Lee10
Martha Lee7
Susan Lee7
Anilica Lee2

By 1850, Alfred had added four more daughters to his total, Sarah, 10, Martha, 7, Susan, 7, and Aneliza, 2. William and Mary are both shown as 13, Lucinda is 21 and not yet married. John Culpepper Lee married in Marshall County, Tennesee in 1844 to  Tennessee E. Hayes. Millie had married four years prior in Marshall County to Erastus Yandle Clark and Tempie had married in 1848 to H. J. Chunn.

NameMilly Lee
Marriage Date12 Feb 1846
Marriage PlaceMarshall, Tennessee, USA
SpouseYandell Clark

The Lees would remain in Marshall County until at least 1856, when oldest son John C. Lee would marry a second time to Louise Tennessee McElhaney. He must have had a thing for girls named Tennessee.

NameJohn L Lee
Marriage Date18 Jan 1846
Marriage PlaceMarshall, Tennessee, USA
SpouseTennyser E Hays

Tennessee Elizabeth Hayes in 1846 (victims of transcription errors) and 10 years later,

NameJohn C Lee
Marriage Date13 Mar 1856
Marriage PlaceMarshall, Tennessee, USA
SpouseLouisa T McElhaney

Louisa Tennesee McElhaney in 1856.

Four years later, 1860, found the family in Graves County, Kentucky.

NameAlfred Lee
Birth Yearabt 1800
Birth PlaceNorth Carolina
Home in 1860Graves, Kentucky
Post OfficeMayfield
Dwelling Number1200
Family Number1200
Real Estate Value2000
Personal Estate Value500
Inferred SpouseNancy Lee
Inferred ChildS C Lee; S F Lee; A E Lee; N J Lee; N M Lee
Household members
Alfred Lee60
Nancy Lee43
S C Lee19 Sarah
S F Lee14 Susan
A E Lee12 Ann Eliza
N J Lee9 Nancy Jane
N M Lee6 N Margaret

Alfred is now in Graves County, Kentucky at age 60, and he and his much younger wife have added 2 more daughters to the family, Nancy and Margaret. But why Graves County, Kentucky? It wasn't known as a popular destination spot, unlike Marshall County, Tennessee. It could be explained by a curious detail in the 1860 census- the Lees had settled in amongst a grove of Morisses. Within 5 homesteads, in either direction of their place on the list were households headed by 26 years old A. S. Morris, 37 year old Sarah Morris, 63 year old William Morris, 24 year old M. F. Morris and 39 year old Jesse Morris. As Nancy Lee was also a Morris, the possibility of all of these Morris's being a family is not difficult to intimate. I've not looked into it, just struck me as interesting and possible.

Alfred Lee and family settled in the village of Farmington, not far from the Calloway County border. It was and still remains, a farming village, founded in 1836. Located in the "foot" of Kentucky, Graves County borders Weakley County, Tennesee to the south, with a corner of Obion County, Tennessee meeting its southwest corner and Henry County, Tennesee meeting its southeast corner. On its northern border is McCracken County, Kentucky, and it borders Marshall and Calloway on the east and Ballard, Carlisle and Hickman, with Fulton near, on its western border.

In researching the children of Alfred Lee, some of them crossed  into these counties. There was nothing untypical, or extraordinary of his existence. In the attached schedules and other minimal records, Alfred's bounty had increased in time, as one could presuppose of a doughty laborer. He grew grains and typical farm animals, and lots of daughters, many daughters. 

NameAlfred Lee
Age in 187070
Birth Dateabt 1800
BirthplaceNorth Carolina
Dwelling Number25
Home in 1870Farmington, Graves, Kentucky
Post OfficeFarmington
Male Citizen Over 21Yes
Personal Estate Value800
Real Estate Value1500
Inferred SpouseNancy Lee
Inferred ChildrenNancy J Lee; Margaret Lee; Susan Lee; Mary Lee
Household members
Alfred Lee70
Nancy Lee53
Nancy J Lee19
Margaret Lee17
Susan Lee9
Mary Lee7
William Lee34

By 1870, Alfred was 70 and Nancy Morris Lee, 53. Their last two daughters, Nancy and Margaret, were the only ones left in the home. Younger son, William, had found himself a widower and had returned home to aid his father with the farm, bringing his own two daughters, Susan and Mary, ages 9 and 7, respectively.

Farmington, Kentucky is where Alfred Lee would end his days and with this, we would find Alfred's most remarkable record. Otherwise, he was just another fellow who had left the green fields of North Carolina for the green fields of Tennessee, and then left them for an isolated little town in Kentucky.

In the Kentucky, US Death Records, 1852 -1965. we learn that Alfred Lee, aged 75, male, married, and a farmer by trade, died on June 17, 1875, of Heart Disease. He had been born in Montgomery County, North Carolina. His place of death and place of residence were both Graves County, Kentucky. His parents names were William and ______ Lee. Whomever was the informant of the information, most likely his wife, Nancy, didn't know his mother's name. William's birthplace was given as Virginia and Mrs. Lee as North Carolina.

With this we know that Alfred Lee of Graves County, Kentucky was also Alfred Lee of Montgomery/Stanly County, North Carolina. This verifies that William was his father, yet there is still no documentation of their relationship to Calvin Lee. There may never be. Did Calvin fall out of the sky? Of course not. Circumstantial evidence, simply from location, not being a son of other Lee's in the area who left more records, and the right age to be William's other son, along with the names Lloyd and Alfred running through the names of the next generation on both sides, suggest the possibility. 

The fate of Nancy Morris Lee is unknown. As Alfred is shown as married, and not widowed, in 1875, Nancy lived until then, at least. She is not found in the 1880 census of Graves County, KY. She could have remarried, or passed away before 1880. She's not found in the homes of any of the children.

NameSusana Lee
Birth DateAbt 1861
Home in 1880Mayfield, Graves, Kentucky, USA
Dwelling Number155
Relation to Head of HouseNiece
Marital StatusSingle
Father's BirthplaceTennessee
Mother's BirthplaceKentucky
NeighborsView others on page
Household members
Andrew G. Kesterson46
Mary F. Kesterson42
Mary M. Kesterson23
Sarah A. Kesterson20
Thomas J. Kesterson18
Litha J. Kesterson16
Ida V. Kesterson13
Minnie M. Kesterson11
John W. Kesterson9
William E. Kesterson9
D. Malachia Kesterson6
Charles I. Kesterson4
Susana Lee19
Mary J. Lee17

The only Lees from the 1870 census found in 1880 in Graves were the younger Susanna and Mary Lee, who were the daughters of William Lee and his first wife, Sarah Wheeler. They are found living in the home of Andrew G. Kesterson and wife, Mary Francis Wheeler Kesterson, their aunt and uncle. Between his two wives, Nancy Culpepper and Nancy Morris, Alfred had 10 known daughters, and two known sons, and 2 unknown children. There have been two assigned to him, and they did indeed live in the same area at the same time as he, and were married before 1850, so not named in his home. I will look into them in a later post, but until then, below is a list of known children of Alfred Lee, son of William Lee of Montgomery County, NC.

1) John Culpepper Lee  born 23 Oct 1823 in Pee Dee, Montgomery County, NC, according to his records.He died in 1905 in Hunt County, Texas. He married first, Tennessee Hayes, no children. He married second, Louisa Tennessee McElhaney. He was by trade, a farmer. He had 9 children: William Alfred, Virginia Clementine, Susan Emmaline, Robert Nicholas, John Morgan, James Columbus, Samuel B., Thomas Boyd and Randall Lee. 

2) Millie Lee (1826-1898) Born in  Montgomery County, NC, died in Klamath, Oregon. She married Erastus Yandle Clark, Sr. on February 12, 1846 in Marshall County, Tennessee. Four children: Joseph A. Vance Clark, John Becton Clark, Erastus Yandell Clark, Jr. and Susan Clementine "Clemmie" Clark. Millie settled in Rutherford County, Tennessee, where she would end up raising her children mostly on her own. The 1880 census has her and Clemmie living with the family of her sister, Lucinda Lee Scott, and her marital status was 'divorced'. Millie ended up trekking to Oregon with her children, where she passed away at the age of  72.

3) Lucinda Lee (1829-1893)Born in Montgomery County, NC, Died probably in Loudon County, Tennesee. Married Eli Patton Scott in Marshall County, Tennesee on March 3, 1854, Two children: Susan Smith Scott and Robert Lee Scott. (The names of her two children are significant because the most common name for granddaughters of Alfred Lee is "Susan" and Smith also runs through the family, of course, so does William and Nancy, as expected. Makes me wonder if Alfred's mother may have been a Susan and if William was a son or grandson of Robert Lee, who settled in Anson County, NC. Lucinda's husband would remarry after her death.

4) Temperance Ann "Tempie" Lee (1831 - bet 1880 and 1900) Born in Montgomery County, NC and died probably in Graves County, Kentucky. Married Humphrey James Chunn on March 8, 1848 in Marshall County, Tennessee, one child, Emily Jane Chunn. They lived in Maury County, Tennessee and then Calloway County, KY. She married John Summerville on June 16, 1878 in Calloway County. They moved to Graves County, KY near her father afterwards. Tempie was 47 by the time she married the second time. She did have a stepson named Oscar Summerville. 

The next group were born in Tennesee, after the marriage of Alfred Lee to Nancy Morris.

5) William G. or J. Lee (1837 - 1881) Born in Marshall County, TN, died in Graves, KY. Married 1st, Sarah Wheeler, two daughters, Sussanna and Mary J Lee. Married 2nd Susan Paralee Fuqua, two sons, Alfred Lloyd Lee and Robert Ora Lee. Almost identifal names of sons to Calvin Lee back in Stanly County. Williams widow would remarry after his death and have another child, but not his.

6) Mary E Lee (9 Feb. 1839 - 28 March 1924) Born Marshall County, TN,died in Fulton County, KY. The 1850 census seemed to suggest William and Mary were twins. They were not.

Mary married Darius Powers, three children: David F., Mary E and Alice L. She outlived all of her children, except Alice.

7) Sarah Catherine Lee (1840 - Unknown) Born  in Marshall County, Tennesee, died probably in Tippacanoe County, Indiana. Married Enos Wheeler. One son, James C. Wheeler.

8) Martha Lee (1843 - aft 1900) Born in Marshall County, Tennesee, died supposedly in Texas.

Married James Morgan on Nov. 7, 1881 in Gibson County, Tennessee, although living with him as a wife prior to that date. Three children, Mary, David and Jane Morgan. She was a widow, living in Grave County, KY in 1900. She supposedly moved to Texas and died there, probably relocating with a child or grandchild, or even possibly with her sister, Susan.

9) Susan Francis "Mollie" Lee (1849 - bef 1900) Born in Marshall County, TN, died in San Antonio, Bexar, Texas.  Married first, about 1863, to an unknown McCuan. One daughter, Tennessee "Tenie" Mccuan. Married in 1867 to Hosea Jerome Singleton. Five children: Wesley Vernon, Sallie, Evelyn Lillian, Vella May and Lena Singleton.

10) Aneliza or Anne Eliza Lee (1848 - bef 1880) b Marshall County, TN d Rowan County, TN. Married Miles F. Cogswell. One son,  Franklin. She appears to have died shortly after his birth, but he grew up to have a large and beautiful family.

11) Nancy Jane Lee (b 11 Nov. 1850 - 3 Feb. 1914) Born in Marshall County, Tennesee, died in Paducah, McCraken, KY. Married August Nickles Veal in 1878. Five children: Bury Calvin, Rufus A., Maude E., Luby Lee, and Augustus "Gussie" Veal, Jr. They lingered for a while in Farmington, then moved to neighboring Calloway County, then back to McCraken.

12)  Margaret Melinda Lee (17 July 1853- 1 April 1896) b Marshall County, TN, d Graves County, KY. Married Thomas V. Cochran. Four children, James Alma, William V., Critt O. and Effie Mae Cochran. Raised family in Graves County, KY.


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