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JoLee Gregory Spears

This page was last updated October 7, 2016

John Lee Senior

Died 1804/1805

Charlotte Co., VA

Please report to me any inconsistencies or errors. Additions are welcomedJo Lee Gregory-Spears

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John Lee Senior — Land Description

John Lee was styled "of county of Charlotte" when he purchased in 1773, 634 acres in Charlotte County on the Middle Fork of Meherrin River. Possibly he was already living on the land, as the previous owner, Charles Sallard, was a resident of Amelia County.Charlotte DB 3:3671

The Middle Fork of Meherrin heads in Charlotte County near the Lunenburg County line and flows through Lunenburg, emptying into the South Fork of Meherrin at the Lunenburg/Mecklenburg line. (drawing)

Of the 634 acres Lee in 1773, about 20 years earlier, in 1752, 400 acres of the tract was granted by patent to Joseph James Breedlove . The land was then described as lying at the head of the Middle Fork of Meherrin.Pat. Bk 31:85-862 In June of the same year, Breedlove and wife Mary sold the tract to Francis Smithson. In July 1761, Smithson gave the 400-acre tract to his son, Micajar,Lunenburg DB 6:364 3 who had in the previous year purchased an adjoining 234-acre tract from Joseph Williams, executor of Thomas Williamson.Lunenburg DB 6:156 4 Micajar was then, in 1760, living in Cornwall Parish, which was the part of Lunenburg that became Charlotte County in 1765. In Apr 1762, Smithson sold the 634 acres to William Hightower of Amelia County.Lunenburg DB 7:2045 After Hightower's death in 1764, his executors sold the land to the above mentioned Sallard, also of Amelia County. See an image of the land patents in the immediate area.

There were various alterations of the land. In 1778, John Lee of Charlotte sold 250 acres on the head of Robertson Fork of Middle Meherrin River to John Hanes of Lunenburg.Charlotte DB 4:876 In Oct 1790, John Lee purchased from John Haynes, 50 acres on Middle Fork of Meherrin River, bounded by lines of John Lee, Ambrose Haley, George Walton & Levy Blankenship.Charlotte DB 6:1087 In 1793 (recorded 1 Feb 1796) John Lee purchased 72 acres from Levy Blankenship on branches of Grassy Fork on both sides of King's Road adjoining Hendrick, Dupree, and Haley.Charlotte DB 6:2638 [Note: "King's Road" reportedly was present-day US Hwy 360.]  In 1794 John Lee is shown as a landline in deed of Elijah Hendrick to Joseph Deupree, both of Lunenburg County, 230 acres in Charlotte Co on waters of middle Meherrin River, adjoining John Lee, John Blankenship and Lucy Blankenship, Henry Haley and said Joseph Deupree. (Charlotte Co. DB 7:63)

In 1813, the John Lee Senr home tract went out of the family for a period of twelve years. By deed dated 6 Jan 1813, acknowledged 3 May 1813, Thomas Lee, executor of John Lee dec'd & Edward Lee conveyed to [The Reverend] Edward Almond, 596 acres,
"Whereas the said John Lee dec'd by his will duly proved & recorded in the county court of Charlotte did devise and bequeath that the lands whereof he died seized should be sold by his executor aforesaid and whereas the said Thomas Lee executor of John Lee did agreeable to the said will sell a certain tract of land lying and being in the county of Charlotte on the head waters of Middle Meherrin containing 596 acres to the sd Edward Lee, and whereas the said Edward Lee by and with the consent of the said Thomas hath sold the said land to the said Edward Almond for the sum of $1000.00 and also a tract of land by deed of this date conveyed by the said Edward Almond to the said Edward Lee. Now this indenture? therefore further witnesseth that for and in consideration of the sum of one dollar by the said Edward Almond to the said Thos Lee executor of John Lee dec'd in hand paid they the said Thomas Lee executor of John Lee dec'd and Edwd Lee have bargained and sold and by these presents do bargain and sell...all that tract of land the said Edward Lee now resides on, it being the same tract of land whereon the said John Lee dec'd before & at the time of his death containing 500 & 96 acres." The instrument was witnessed by Thomas Wood Senr, John Edmondson, and James B. Beach.Charlotte DB 12:1849

Deed of same date referred to in the above, 6 Jan 1813, from Edward Almond of Lunenburg to Edward Lee of Charlotte, was for 362 acres, "land situate lying and being in the county of Charlotte & the said Almond purchased of Levi Blankenship & joining Wm Thompson, John Pettus, Clement R. Jameson and others."Charlotte DB 12:18210

Edward Almond is said to have given the property the name, Haleysburg.

Thomas Lee buys back his father's land. In 1837, after Almond's death in 1825, Thomas Lee (son of John Lee Senr) purchased the 596 Haleysburg tract from Almond's executors. Thomas Lee added on to the tract with a purchase of 202 acres from Dr. Giles Harris. In 1848, Thomas Lee and wife Elizabeth divided the tract, reserving 14 acres for themselves, deeding 400 acres on Charlotte-Lunenburg line to son David Lee, and deeding 383 3/4 acres at the head of the Middle Meherrin River to son John H. Lee. The next year David Lee sold part of his property to Doctor Giles Harris and purchased the John H. Lee property which joined the tract he retained. The tract then contained 645 acres. The year is uncertain when David Lee built the now-standing Woodland. By architectural evidence, close to 1858-60. In 1876 Michael Anderson purchased the larger north end of the Woodland, the part containing "Woodland," the house that David Lee built, giving it the name The Oaks. It remained a home for the Anderson family for ninety-four years. In 1975 Ralph and Shay Gibbs purchased the house and 48 acres, with a right-of-way to US 360/15 (Old King's Road).Gerald Tate Gilliam, "Woodland: Standing at the Head of the Middle Meherrin River" The Southsider, v.XV, No.3 (1996), pp 56-66. 11

The site of Woodland can be spotted on a 36°58'28"N,-78°29'00"W Topo map at the road or exit marked 564, east of US 360 between Wallace's Store and Ontario. The visible stream is the head of Middle Meherrin River (Middle Fork or Robertson Fork), very near the Lunenburg line.The site of Woodland on the TopoZone map was spotted for me by Jerry Wallace.12

In 1880, the northern end of the tract, 200 1/4 acres, was sold to E. R. Bagby, by Stephen Snyder and wife, the tract having gone through several hands. The site of Woodland on the TopoZone map was spotted for me by Jerry Wallace.13 The tract remained with the Bagby family and Weatherford descendants for a century. The old house and tract came to be known as Weatherford.

The deed to Bagby described the land as being on the public road leading to King's Road. (As earlier stated, King's Road ran approximately north and south, near the Lunenburg Co. line, the same as present-day Route 360. The public road, in the deed, leading to King's Rd would be the present-day Ontario Rd. entering Lunenburg Co. and running eastward to Rehobeth in Lunenburg.) The 200 1/4 acres adjoined lands of Frank Watson, J. Watkins, P. E. Almond, Mrs Ann Haley and John Haley. Each time this tract was sold, settling business of David Lee, the conveyance was worded "with all the appurtenances and all the estate & interest therein except the small lot occupied as a burying ground for the burial of the dead which lot is not intended to be conveyed by this deed."

This is the same tract of land Char. Co., VA,1 Dec 1871, whereby Timothy N. Merrill & Harriet Merrill his wife of Charlotte sold to David Link of Burr Oak of State of Michigan, for $2,100, 200 1/4 a. being part of tract of land deeded said T. N. Merrill by David Lee & Elizabeth his wife by their deed dated 21 Mar 1871, likewise excluding the burying ground from the deed. The site of Woodland on the TopoZone map was spotted for me by Jerry Wallace.14

The last transaction before E. R. Bagby became owner was when David Link and wife Matilda sold the 200 1/4 acres in 1873 to Stephen Snyder, then of Ontario Co & state of NY. Again, the deed excluded the burying ground from the deed.The site of Woodland on the TopoZone map was spotted for me by Jerry Wallace.15 It is said the village and depot of Ontario was named after the home county of Mr. Snyder. Charlotte County Rich Indeed, p. 321, shows Ontario was probably named at Shotwell Powell's suggestion, as Powell who owned land in the area was also from Ontario Co., NY.

In 2005, Weatherford is leased out by its owner Ed Wallace.

In 1871 David Lee purchased from John E. Bouldin 8 3/4 acres near Drakes Branch. It is probably on this land that he lived out his life after relinquishing Woodland.The site of Woodland on the TopoZone map was spotted for me by Jerry Wallace.16

Plots representing distribution of the land of David Lee

Diagram by Stephen Israel 2005 of Weatherford and Lee/Weatherford Cemetery

Weatherford Place article by Stephen S. Israel. This article contains documentation and a fine account of the John Lee, Senior family.

For one researching land on the forks of the Meherrin in Lunenburg County and Charlotte County, the various names given to the forks, especially Middle Fork of Meherrin, can make things confusing. See (drawing) for clarification.

Haleysburg as a place or a post office is a bit vague. In February 1807, Thomas Lee, son of John Lee Senr, wrote a letter to his brother-in-law Hezekiah Almond in Williamson Co., TN re the John Lee Senr estate. The postmaster hand postmarked the wax-sealed letter, "Haleysbg Va Feby 16th" The inside of the letter is headed "Charlotte County Virginia." (See copy of the letter submitted by John Patrick Curley.) It is possible the post office was on the Lunenburg side of the county line. Lunenburg County, Virginia Post Office records show Haleysburg/Haleysburgh registered June 1801 with Henry Haley the first postmaster.Gerald Tate Gilliam, "Lunenburg County, VA Post Offices 1798 - 1970" The Southsider, v.XVII,No.1 (1998), pp 11-1617

An 1829 letter to John Gregory of Lunenburg shows the Haleysburg post office in Charlotte County.

The W. H. Eubank place in Lunenburg near the Charlotte line is said to have been named "Haileysburg." There was a blacksmith and wheel wright shop and a store there.Elizabeth Bruce Bass, "Memories at Random" (1973)18 This elegant home may have been built in the 1850's. Possibly it was the "W. Eubank" place shown near the Charlotte line on the 1864 Lunenburg map, section 11.

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Comments on John Lee Senior's Will

The will of John Lee Senr.was recorded in Charlotte Co., VA, 4 Feb 1805, WB 2:298 Click

Comments on the will:
  • Some wills list children by order of birth. The John Lee Senr will seems to follow an order of business.
  • It is clear there are nine (9) heirs/divisions.
  • Identified in the will as a son or a daughter:
    • Thomas Lee
    • William Lee
    • Sally Crenshaw
  • Named in the will, but not identified in the will as a son or a daughter:
    • Jane Pearson—marriage bond identifies her father, John Lee
    • Polly Almond—marriage bond identifies her father, John Lee
    • John Lee jr—the "jr" is indicative of a son
    • Edward Lee—land records verify relationship
    • Joseph Lee—
    • Henderson Lee—this devisee has frequently been incorrectly identified as a son. Indications are that Henderson Lee was not a son, but the only child of deceased son Ambrose Lee - thus, allotment to [grandson] Henderson Lee was one full child's (1/9th) portion of the estate.
In other words, no relationship stated did not necessarily mean the individual named was or was not a son or daughter.
Go to John Lee Senr Lineage Chart
Notes for Land Description and Comments on Will of John Lee Senior: 
  1. Charlotte Co., VA DB 3:367.
  2. VA Patent Bk 31:pages 85 & 86. (Click on page numbers to view patent online at LVA)
  3. Lunenburg Co., VA DB 6:364.
  4. Lunenburg Co., VA DB 6:156.
  5. Lunenburg Co., VA DB 7:204.
  6. Charlotte Co., VA DB 4:87.
  7. Charlotte Co., VA DB 6:108.
  8. Charlotte Co., VA DB 6:263.
  9. Charlotte Co., VA DB 12:184.
  10. Charlotte Co., VA DB 12:182.
  11. Gerald Tate Gilliam, "Woodland: Standing at the Head of the Middle Meherrin River" The Southsider, v.XV, No.3 (1996), pp 56-66.
  12. Jerry Wallace.
  13. Charlotte Co., VA DB 36:368
  14. Charlotte Co., VA DB 33:348
  15. Charlotte Co., VA DB 34:120
  16. Charlotte Co., VA DB 34:315
  17. Gerald Tate Gilliam, "Lunenburg County, VA Post Offices 1798 - 1970" The Southsider, v.XVII,No.1 (1998), pp 11-16.
  18. Elizabeth Bruce Bass, "Memories at Random" (1973).