Descendants of John Lee of England

Generation #4

Samuel (3Zachariah, 2Joshua, 1John) Lee of Wayne Co MS

Note: My grandmother, Tommie Campbell Lewis, did not know her grandmother, Katie West Lee. But, her older sisters did. And, Katie West knew her father-in-law, Old Sam Lee. These female members of my family had a very negative opinion of Old Sam as previously described on this site. That's neither here nor there. What is important is that family history states that Old Sam Lee was the natural father of at least 21 children whose descendants populated Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.

CE Lewis

Samuel Lee was born in 1772 in Bladen Co NC. This was just about the time the family migrated down from Edgecombe Co NC. And, Samuel grew up on lands along Flowers Swamp would become Robeson County. Note, son Robeson Lee states in the 1880 Wayne Co MS Census that his father and mother were both born in North Carolina.

Samuel Lee lived in the vicinity of Robeson Co NC during his youth. Reportedly, he married Lucy Ann Bunn. Many people believe that Samuel and Lucy had several boys; but there is great uncertainty about which of the many Lee settlers in Mississippi were Samuel's sons. If Samuel did marry Lucy, she died before 1797, probably in North Carolina.

In about 1797, Samuel married Sarah Shay, probably in North Carolina. Samuel and Sarah continued the family begetting several children, perhaps as many as 18 or more, of whom Robeson Lee was the last born to this couple.

My maternal great-grandfather Samuel Lee and his wife Sarah Shay were among the first white settlers of Wayne County, Mississippi. They came there from North Carolina. . .Im not sure of the date, but it had to be around 1800. They stopped to settle on the Chickasawhay River (the river that runs through Enterprise) while the brother [Everett?] who came with him went on further west to build up a plantation near Natchez.

Tommie Campbell Lewis Memoirs

In 1808 Samuel Lee received a passport from the Governor of Georgia to pass through the Creek Nation to Mississippi. As there are no other records at this time for Sam, this could mark Sam's migration to Mississippi. And, Old Sam and family became part of a migration wave which came to be known as "Mississippi Fever."

Detailed research of the three possible migration routes--by sea from the Carolina coast around Spanish Florida to the Spanish ports on the Gulf Coast, by land west to Tennessee then southwest to Mississippi, by land south to Georgia and then west to Mississippi--indicates that the Great Wagon Road south to Georgia then the Three-Chopped Way west to Mississippi was the most practical route.

Of note, another 1810 passport for "Samuel Lee of Barnwell Co SC" caused this researcher to look for this Samuel Lee among the many Lee's of South Carolina. The Lee Surname DNA Project proves this Samuel Lee is a 100% match to the Lee Family of Old Georgetown Dist. SC. However, they are most likely only cousins.

Sometime before 1813, Samuel, Sarah, and 11 or more children arrived in Wayne Co MS. Oral history states that the family traveled overland through Georgia, trekking through virgin forest and fording streams along the way. And just as the family forded the Chickasawhay River, one or more of the children died. The family had been en route to the Pearl River Settlement; but Sarah was so heartbroken, she refused to continue. The family stopped on the west bank of the river atop the bluff, building a ferry and a farm which would later be called the Lee Plantation.

An 1818 land purchase in Lawrence Co MS marks Samuel Lee's first documentation in Mississippi. Proof that this is the same Sam Lee comes from the 1839-1840 forced sale and resale of the original land by Samuel Lee of Wayne Co MS.

And after bearing 18 or so children, Sarah died. She was buried atop the bluff with at least two of her children. Reportedly, there was a magnolia tree atop the bluff with the date 12/18/1818 carved into it. Unfortunately, the exact location of this first Lee Cemetery is not known; however, it is believed to be on the original homestead.

Samuel Lee, Sr. and family are enumerated in the 1820 and 1830 Wayne Co MS Censuses. Along with them is an unknown woman. Perhaps Samuel took a woman in to tend the house and care for the children. It is not likely that she was another wife; as Samuel did not father legitimate children between 1818 and 1836.

In 1835 Samuel married Martha "Patsy" Overstreet West. Martha "Patsy" was the widow of Dr. John West of Greene Co MS. Dr. West had been considerably older than Martha "Patsy," and she was probably his third wife. When John West died, Martha "Patsy" and her brood of upwards to 10 West children relocated next to her brothers in Wayne County. There, she met Samuel Lee. Evidently, marriage to Old Sam seemed like a good idea.

Family history states that Sam's children by his former wife/wives left the homestead to be on their own or live with older siblings by the time of Samuel's marriage to Martha "Patsy." Sam and Martha "Patsy" lived on the homestead through 1840 where they are enumerated with the younger West children and 2 new Lee children.

Sometime after the 1840 census, Sam packed up his goods, many of the older boys and their families, and Martha "Patsy" and kids and headed west, reportedly to Texas. Along the way, Martha "Patsy" is reported to have stopped on the east bank of the Mississippi River in Louisiana, refusing to continue. Sam and the boys continued on toward Texas, believing that Martha "Patsy" was waiting for them in Louisiana. But once the men passed out of sight, she packed up and went back to Wayne County. 

Evidently Martha "Patsy" was not only sick of going to Texas, she was sick of Sam. Upon her return to Wayne County, she forsook not only the original Lee homestead but everything which connected her to Samuel Lee. Martha "Patsy" filed claim on the land of a "Fiddle-footer" who had left for Texas. She is enumerated in the 1850 Wayne Co MS Census, using the last name "West." And most notably, she dumped the 3 children she had had with Sam Lee off at the home of one of her other children. These children are enumerated in the 1850 Wayne Co MS Census at the home of 20 year-old Stephen West, going by the last name of West.

Grandma Tommie (Campbell) Lewis relates in her letters that Samuel Lee retraced his path back to Louisiana. And finding Martha "Patsy" gone, he tracked her back to Wayne Co MS. By the time he caught up with her, the traveling season had passed. So, Sam wintered-over at the Lee homestead in the company of his son Robeson. Samuel swore that once he found good land in Texas, he would return to Wayne County and collect up everyone related to him, by force if necessary, and take them to Texas.

Adding to the confusion is the number of Lees in southern Mississippi. Some have suggested that Old Sam relocated to Hancock Co MS, marrying a woman named Nancy George and continuing to beget more children. Evidence is found with a Samuel Lee aged 60+, born in North Carolina, and married to a Nancy along with many children. However, the age of the children would have required Sam to have sired children with Nancy back in the 1830s.

We may never know whether Old Sam Lee found land in Texas. Sam is last documented in the part of Catahoula Parish LA which would become Winn Parish in the vicinity of sons Willis, Zachariah, and Nathan. Proof of Sam's death after 2/1845 is found in Clarke Co MS records where Sam Lee of Catahoula Par LA deeded property to son Robeson Lee of Wayne Co MS. Old Sam Lee is probably buried in Winn Par LA.

Males Born
# Lee Females # Lee
18+   2 Jesse


2 Lucy
17- 1778 1 William
Males  Born
# Lee  Females Born
# Lee
45+   45+  
25-44 1755 25-44 1755  
18-25 1775 16-25 1775  
10-15 1785 10-15 1785
to-10 1790   to-10 1790
Friday 30th September 1808. On the recommendation of Samuel Beckcome, ordered that a pass port through the Creek Nation be prepared for Samuel Lee, which was presented and signed.
Sat. 10th November 1810. On application, ordered that passports be prepared for the following person to travel through the Creek Nations of Indians, to wit, one for Mr. Joshua Neeland with his wife and five children, from the County of Richmond in this State, one for Mr. Francis Grubbs, with his wife, four children, and three negroes from the County of Columbia in this State and one for Messrs. Samuel Lee and Thomas Hale, the former with his wife two children and five negroes, and the latter with one child, from Barnwell District, South Carolina, and one for Mr. David Mills with his son and three negroes from the County of Wilkes in this State--which were severally presented and signed.

Note: This is probably a different Samuel Lee. From the 1820 census, we find that Old Sam had at least 6 children born before 1810. And, further research indicates Old Sam actually had 9 children born before 1810.

Males  Born
# Lee  Females Born
# Lee
45+   45+  
25-44 1765 25-44 1765
16-25 1785 16-25 1785
10-15 1795 10-15 1795
to-10 1800 to-10 1800
Original Tract Book of Lawrence Co., MS:
6/9/1818. Certificate #1523 Samuel Lee purchased 150 acres of land at $2.25/acre for the price of  $320.00. Description is SE1/4 of Sec 22, T9N, R20W.
St. Stephens AL Land Office:
6/14/1818. Certificate #6633 Samuel Lee of Wayne County applies for purchase of 160 acres in Sec. 22, T9, R20 for receipt #6322 for $16.00.

Note: Land purchases in Wayne Co MS were first through St. Stephens AL (1806-1819), then Old Augusta, Perry Co MS (1820-1859) and then Paulding, Jasper Co MS (1860--).

Research Note: The only way the list of Old Sam's children fits this chart is if the oldest son, Zachariah, and the oldest daughter, Lillie or Zilpha, moved off the plantation to start their adult life.

Males Born
# Lee Females Born
# Lee
45+   1 Samuel 45+   1 Unknown
25-44 1775 0   25-44 1775 0  
18-25 1795 2 Willis
Jacob D.
18-25 1795 1 Lillie or
16-18 1802 1 Samuel, Jr. 10-18 1805 1 Lucy Catherine
10-15 1805 1 Nathan
to 10 1810 3 Unknown
to 10 1810 6 Betty "Anzeby"
Samuel Leepaid taxes on 393 acres of 4th class, 2nd quality land on Chickasawhay, title from US, value of $886.00. (First tax list entry)

The 1830 Census is concerning; as so many children who should be enumerated are missing. After eliminating the children who were married by 1830, the missing children are sons Elder and 2 of 3 daughters Samantha or Eleanor or Clara.

Males Born After # Lee Females Born After # Lee
100+   0   100+   0  
to 100 1730 0   to 100 1730 0  
to 90 1740 0   to 90 1740 0  
to 80 1750 0   to 80 1750 0  
to 70 1760 0   to 70 1760 0  
to 60 1770 1 Samuel to 60 1770 1 Unknown
to 50 1780 0   to 50 1780 0  
to 40 1790 1 Jacob D. to 40 1790 0  
to 30 1800 0   to 30 1800 1 Mary
to 20 1810 1 Nathan to 20 1810 2 Betty "Anzeby";
Samantha or
Eleanor or
to 15 1815 1 Robeson to 15 1815 1 Clarissa
to 10 1820 0   to 10 1820 0  
to 5 1825 0   to 5 1825 0  
Original Tract Book of Lawrence Co., MS:
9/1/1830. The 150 acres of land located at SE1/4 of Sec 22, T9N, R20W and purchased by Samuel Lee on 6/9/1818 was transferred to Willis Lee.
Samuel Lee, Sr121 acres; 0 white poll (No taxes paid)
Samuel Lee, Sr
121 acres on
Chickasawhay; 0 white poll
(No taxes paid); (Last tax list entry)
Clarke Co MS Land Grants
Grantee      Grantor                      Book      Date
LEE, Samuel  OVERSTREET, Braswell & Lucy  B319-320  31 Dec 1836
LEE, Samuel  ARRINGTON, Arthur & Milly    B321-322  31 Dec 1836
LEE, Samuel  HERON, Samuel D. & Jemima    B439-441  26 Nov 1839
Lawrence Co MS Deed Book B, p. 450-451:
Dec. 18, 1839. Solomon Sutton, Sheriff of Lawrence Co MS was commanded by a writ of execution from the Circuit Court of Jasper County to make the property of Willis Lee, late of your county, the sum of $1,620.00 which Samuel Lee had recovered against him in the Jasper County Circuit Court. Sheriff Sutton seized and sold at public auction on July 15, 1839 to Samuel Lee for $100 the N1/2 NE1/4 of Sec 27, T9, R20 in Lawrence County containing 80.5 a. Signed Solomon Sutton Shff.
Lawrence Co MS Deed Book B, p. 451-452:
Jan. 2, 1840. Samuel Lee of Wayne Co MS to William Weathersby of Lawrence Co MS for $1,200.00 land in Lawrence county on Silver Creek, the SE1/4 of Sec 22, T9, R20W, and the NE1/4 NE 1/4 of of Sec 22, T9, R20W; and the NW1/4 NE 1/4 of Sec 22, T9, R20W containing 240 acres. Signed Samuel Lee. Wit. Duncan Weathersby & H. S. Green.
  Born After


Lee   Born After # Lee
100+   0   100+   0  
to 100 1740 0   to 100 1740 0  
to 90 1750 0   to 90 1750 0  
to 80 1760 0   to 80 1760 0  
to 70 1770 1 Samuel to 70 1770 0  
to 60 1780 0   to 60 1780 0  
to 50 1790 0   to 50 1790 1 Martha "Patsy"
to 40 1800 0   to 40 1800 0  
to 30 1810 0   to 30 1810 0  
to 20 1820 2 John West
Daniel West
to 20 1820 0  
to 15 1825 2 Abraham West
Stephen West
to 15 1825 0  
to 10 1830 0   to 10 1830 1 Katie West
to 5 1835 2 Jefferson Lee
Washington Lee
to 5 1835 0  
Catahoula Par LA Record
Adam Riser Store Ledger, Goodwater LA, p. 69:
Samuel Lee       ? 22, 1840
                 July 12 & 30, 1843
acct pd in full  Oct 7, 1844
Clarke Co MS Property
Grantee                Grantor           Book  Date
LEE, Robertson, et al  LEE, Samuel, Sr.  C437  20 Feb 1845
LEE, Robertson         LEE, Samuel, Sr.  C437  20 Feb 1845
1850 Federal Census: Mississippi, Wayne County
42  213  213 West   Martha  42  F    Geo

Because of the many possibilities of lineages for the Lee families of Mississippi, all of the families who are believed to be descended from Samuel Lee of Wayne Co MS are presented in greater detail: Siblings of Robeson Lee

The following lists children which were enumerated in the Lee Family Bible (B), mentioned in records as married (M), found in the 1850 Wayne Co Census (C), or are unconfirmed (U) but probable descendants of Sam Lee.

    Children with Sarah Shay

According to the 1820 Wayne Co MS Census, we are missing one son b. 1810 to 1820.

    1. (B) Zachariah Lee 1797 in North Carolina

    2. (U) Willis Lee b. 1800 in North Carolina

    3. (U)  Jacob D. Lee b. 5/26/1801 in North Carolina

    4.  (B) Samuel Lee, Jr. b. 1802 in North Carolina

    5. (B) Nathan Lee b. c. 1804 in North Carolina

    6. (B) Lillie Lee (Twin) b. c. 1806 in North Carolina

    7. (B) Zilpha Lee (Twin) b. c. 1806 in North Carolina

    8. (M) Lucy Catherine Lee b. 6/19/1809 in North Carolina

    9. (U) Mary Lee b. c. 1810 in North Carolina

    10. (M) Betty "Anzeby" Lee b. 1811 in North Carolina

    11. (U) Cynthia Lee b. c. 1812 in North Carolina

    12. (B) Samantha Lee b. 7/16/1813 Wayne Co MS

    13. (B) Elder Lee (Twin) b. c. 1814 Wayne Co MS

    14. (B) Eleanor Lee (Twin) b. c. 1814 Wayne Co MS

    15. (B) Clara Lee b. c. 1815 Wayne Co MS

    16. (B) Clarissa Jane Lee b. c. 1816 Wayne Co MS

    17. (C) Unknown Son b. c. 1817 Wayne Co MS

    18. (B) Robeson "Rob" Lee b. 4/6/1818 Wayne Co MS

    Children with Martha "Patsy" Overstreet

    19. (C) Jefferson Lee b. 1836 Wayne Co MS

    20. (C) Washington "Billy" Lee b. 1838 Wayne Co MS

    21. (C) Rebecca Lee b. 1841 Wayne Co MS

Generation #5: Robeson Lee

Generation #5: Sibling of Robeson Lee


This site is provided for reference only. Except where specifically cited, information contained is conjecture and should not be considered as fact.
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