Share this page

Lee Book

Eric Trudgill    -    2 March 2018

LEE BOOK PAGE ONE Ten Major Lee Families

Most of the major Boswell, Buckland and Smith families were connected to others, identified as such by shared territory, cousin-marriages and unusual forenames, and this was true of some of the major Lees, Duke and Elisha, who were surely at least cousins and maybe brothers, and George, Edward, James, Christopher and Damon, who again were surely at least cousins, and maybe brothers.

Elisha’s only confirmed child, Manfield, was baptised in N Kent like Duke and his three known siblings, like Duke’s three known children, and like the two known sons of surely Duke’s brother John. Elisha, who had been given the distinctive forename of Duke’s father, became seemingly, after Duke was hanged in 1766 and John transported in 1767, an adoptive father of Duke’s orphaned children; certainly his son Manfield behaved like their brother, naming sons after Duke and the latter’s son Joseph, and giving a daughter in marriage to Duke’s grandson Benjamin.

Similarly, George, Edward, James, Christopher and Damon were linked by territory, apparent cousin-marriages and unusual forenames. George was found exclusively in Hampshire, where Edward married, and where Damon was baptised and was recorded travelling with Edward; George’s daughter Susanna almost certainly married James’ son Mark (who hung out on Susanna’s family patch with the husband of James’ daughter Carnation); and James surely named his Carnation after George’s, while Christopher surely named his Damon, like Edward and James’ son Charles, after his, Edward’s and James’ close relation and maybe brother.

Shared territory, cousin-marriages and unusual forenames can indicate family connections, but we shouldn’t confuse them with over-lapping territory, neighbour-marriages and coincidentaly unusual forenames. Our third Kent Lee, Thomas, was surely a brother of the Abel baptised in Chartham, Ken in 1852 son of Orson and Sarah (Thomas named his second son Abel and baptised one child in Chartham, two next door in Thanington, and a third close by in Badlesmere). His inherited territory was a few miles south of Duke’s and Elisha’s (their parents must have known each other), but when Duke’s and Elisha’s families left the area after the calamities of 1766-67 (when one family member died, one was hanged, and two were transported), Thomas’ family didn’t follow: Duke’s and Elisha’s families moved onto an arc through Essex, Hertfordshire and Middlesex, and Thomas’ stayed comfortably in N Kent, now not even over-lapping.

A similar caution is needed with two Lees to the West: Samuel, son of John and Phyllis, baptised in Enborne, Brk in 1765, and Righteous, son of John and Mary, baptised in Bisham, Brk in 1770. It’s tempting to see a single John here with consecutive wives, especially when we compare Samuel’s and Righteous’ travel profiles as adults. Samuel and Hannah, not impelled as far as we know by family issues, went on a restless journey that ended for most of their family in Wales: they were NE of Berkshire in 1792 in Hertfordshire, SW of Hertfordshire in 1794 in Middlesex, S of Middlesex in Sussex in 1802 and 1805, NW of Sussex in 1810 in Gloucestershire, and nearby in Worcestershire in 1815 (we don’t know whether they lived long enough to accompany their children to Wales). Righteous simultaneously went on a similarly restless journey: he was SE of Berkshire in 1803 in Sussex, NW of Sussex in 1805 in Gloucestershire, W of Gloucestershire in 1815 in Wales, and after a few years in Herefordshire and Shropshire buried in 1827 in Yorkshire (with his children soon spread from the N East, to Wales, to the S West).

It’s tempting to see Samuel and Righteous as brothers travelling together on shared territory. However, the dates and locations suggest we’re really seeing over-lapping territory. And there’s no support from cousin-marriages or unusual forenames. Not one of Samuel’s or Righteous’ children married a Lee, although Samuel’s sons Sampson and Elijah married sisters and made Lee/Buckland cousin-marriages twice over for their children, and Righteous’ son Thomas married two children to their Warton cousins and a son to his Lee/Warton niece. In fact the nearest we have to a Lee/Lee cousin-marriage is Righteous’ great-grandson John marrying Samuel’s great-granddaughter Laura. And as for distinctive family forenames, not one of Samuel’s descendants named a son Righteous, and not one of Righteous’ for some decades named one Samuel.


Righteous Lee’s Descendants: Explanations

Righteous’ daughters are difficult to trace, except for Charity (although the only evidence she was the Charity who married Elijah Warton lies in the numerous marriages between their families and her alleged age at her death). Two of Righteous’ sons, William and Henry, present no difficulties, apart from finding the children William presumably had between 1831 and 1840 and finding evidence to support the gypsiologists’ claim, deriving presumably from Henry’s family, that he was the one who married Alice Wood (evidence, for example, in the form of distinctive Christian names, common locations and inter-marriages). Righteous’ other son Thomas, however, presents real difficulties: he’s Righteous’ only child for whom no baptism has been found, and more importantly, even with the gypsiologists’ list of his children and grandchildren to help us, there are numerous puzzles to solve.

Thomas and Louisa Lee were found in Yorkshire in the 1851 census without their children Matilda and Righteous (baptised respectively in 1829 and 1832), who had already started families of their own, and with four named children (Thomas junior, Eve, Owen and Abraham), with five unnamed children represented only by a letter, C, I and R (the gypsiologists’ Charity, Isaiah and Rhoda), and a puzzling P and M (the birth order is also somewhat puzzling). No baptisms have been found as yet for Owen and Rhoda (unless the latter was a Rhoda Ann christened as Ann), nor any support for a Hope and Shingarn the gypsiologists gave as other children of Thomas and Louisa.

The families of Matilda, Righteous, Rhoda and Abraham are unproblematic once you recognize Righteous in the records is sometimes Richard and Abraham sometimes William. Owen’s is only slightly less so, since he appeared with his widowed father in Yorkshire in the 1871 census as John, but with a wife Susan and three children, Owen junior, Hope and Abraham, in line with the gypsiologists’ information. Thomas and Louisa’s Isaiah, however, is distinctly tricky.

The gypsiologists claimed he was married to a Dinah Heron and fathered a Mulley, an Inan husband of a Nancy Lee, a Terence, a Keziah wife of a Taylor, a Clara wife of Bob Watson, and an Albert and Walter. The census takers in Yorkshire in 1891 recorded an Isaiah and Dina Lee with two children, Clara 17 and John, husband of Nancy, 27. The census takers in Durham in 1901 recorded a John and Dinah Lee with their sons Albert 19 and Walter 16, and Robert and Clara Watson and their two children. And in Durham in 1911 they recorded a John and Dinah Lee with their sons Mully 55, Enna 49 and Kazilia 45 and their daughter Clara (minus her Watson name and family). The Mully here (perhaps Muldobriar, a name used by the Herons) suggests Isaiah was the husband of a Dinah in Yorkshire in the 1871 census (his name hopelessly garbled) travelling with Thomas and Louisa Lee’s daughter Matilda and her Warton family, and with children recorded as Muldilis 9, Emma 6, and Priscilla 2, that is Mully, Enna/Inan and the child baptised in 1869 as daughter of Keziah and Dinah and recorded as a male Kazilia in 1911.

Isaiah’s Inan (a name recorded in other families as Henan or Ina) was baptised twice in Yorkshire in 1865, first as Anon Lee son of Asa and Dinah and then as Hena Lee son of William and Dinah. And Isaiah was surely indulging in plural baptisms again 1876-77 in four Yorkshire churches very close together and pretty close to the churches in which he’d christened Inan: the parents 1876-77 were recorded as John and Sarah Lee (like the parents of Isaiah and Dinah’s Clara Lee baptised in 1874), but the child baptised 1876-77 was Walter twice, Ahaziah once (the unusual name with which Isaiah had himself been christened in 1841), and Keziah once (the unusual name for a male with which Isaiah himself had christened Priscilla). So perhaps Keziah son of Isaiah was the husband of the gypsiologists’ Taylor. Or perhaps the boy christened with three different forenames died young (Isaiah and Dinah in 1901 had a “son” Walter born about 1884, although perhaps that Walter was a grandson, recorded as Inan and Nancy’s “daughter” in 1891). It’s all a bit confusing.

Copyright © 2018 Eric Trudgill