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.
Family history states that Samuel Lee of Wayne County, Mississippi, was born in 1772 in Edgecombe Co NC, and the family migrated to Bladen Co NC, a portion of which 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 16 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. . .I’m 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 about 10 children migrated from North Carolina to 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 Natchez area; 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 purchase of land 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 16 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. However, she packed up and went back to Wayne County once the men had passed out of sight.
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 with him 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.
Born 1772 Edgecombe Co NC
Migrated by 1779 w/ family to Bladen Co NC
1787 Robeson Co spilt from Bladen Co
1790 Robeson Co NC Census
Married c. 1790 in North Carolina to Lucy Ann Bunn b. c. 1772
Lucy Ann Bunn died before 1797 in North Carolina
Married c. 1797 in North Carolina to Sarah Shay b. c. 1775 in North Carolina
9/30/1808 Passports Issued by Governors of Georgia (1785-1820) p. 49:
|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.|
11/10/1810 Passports Issued by Governors of Georgia (1785-1820) p. 73:
|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 may be a different Samuel Lee.
Migrated before 1813 to Wayne Co MS
6/9/1818 Lawrence Co MS Land Transaction
|Original Tract Book of Lawrence Co., MS:
6/9/1818. Certificate #1523 Samuel Lee
150 acres of land at $2.25/acre for the price of $320.00 .
SE1/4 of Sec 22, T9N, R20W .
SE1/4 of Sec 22, T9N, R20W .
6/14/1818 Wayne Co MS Land Transaction
|St. Stephens AL Land Office:
applies for purchase of 160 acres in Sec. 22, T9, R20 for receipt #6322
for $16.00 .
applies for purchase of 160 acres in Sec. 22, T9, R20 for receipt #6322
for $16.00 .
Sarah died 12/18/1818 Wayne Co MS
1820 Wayne Co MS Census
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.
|16-18||1802||1||Samuel, Jr.||10-18||1805||1||Lucy Catherine|
1823 Wayne Co MS Tax List
|Samuel Lee—paid taxes on 393 acres of 4th class, 2nd quality land on Chickasawhay, title from US, value of $886.00. (First tax list entry)|
1830 Wayne Co MS Census
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 son Elder and 2 of 3 daughters Samantha or Eleanor or Clara. The evidence indicates that several of the children died young.
|Males||Born After||#||Lee||Females||Born After||#||Lee|
|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"
|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|
9/1/1830 Lawrence Co MS Land Transaction
|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.
1831 Wayne Co MS Tax List
Samuel Lee, Sr—121 acres; 0 white poll
(No taxes paid)
Married 1835 in Wayne Co MS to Martha "Patsy" Overstreet West b. 1808 in Georgia
1836 Wayne Co MS Tax List
121 acres on
(No taxes paid); (Last tax list entry)
1836-39 Clarke Co MS Land Transactions
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
7/15/1839 Lawrence Co MS Land Transaction
|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.
1/2/1840 Lawrence Co MS Land Transaction
|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.
1840 Wayne Co MS Census
|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
|to 15||1825||2||Abraham West
|to 10||1830||0||to 10||1830||1||Katie West|
|to 5||1835||2||Jefferson Lee
Migrated by 1840 to Catahoula Par LA
|Catahoula Par LA Record
Adam Riser Store Ledger, Goodwater LA, p. 69:
Samuel Lee ? 22, 1840 July 12 and 30, 1843 acct pd in full
1841 Wayne Co MS Tax List: Samuel
1841 Mississippi State Census: Marthy
6 m, 3 f
1845 Mississippi State Census: Martha
4 m, 3 f
2/1845 Catahoula Parish LA/Clarke & Wayne Co MS Records
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
Died after 2/1845 Catahoula (now Winn) Parish LA
1850 Wayne Co MS Census
1850 Federal Census: Mississippi, Wayne County LN HN FN LAST FIRST AGE SEX BIRTHPLACE =============================================== 42 213 213 West Martha 42 F Geo
Martha "Patsy" Overstreet West Lee died after 1850 Wayne Co MS
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.
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. (U) Cynthia Ann Lee b. 1811 in North Carolina
11. (M) Angeline Elizabeth "Anzeby" Lee b. 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. (U) Missing Son b. c. 1817 Wayne Co MS
18. (B) Robeson "Rob" Lee b. 4/6/1818 Wayne Co MS
19. (C) James W/ Jeff 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