Caswell County Family Tree

Entries: 70133    Updated: 2016-12-04 07:55:26 UTC (Sun)    Contact: Richmond Frederick    Home Page: Caswell County Historical Association

For more information on the purpose and scope of this Caswell County Family Tree see the Caswell County Family Tree Guidelines.

Index | Descendancy | Register | Pedigree | Ahnentafel | Public Profile | Add Post-em

  • ID: I1639
  • Name: William (South Hico) Lea 1
  • Sex: M
  • Reference Number: 1639
  • FACT: South Hico AKA
  • Title: Captain
  • Birth: ABT 1715
  • Death: 1804 in Person County, North Carolina 2
  • Note:
    William Lea (South Hico) (c.1715-1804)

    Ben L. Rose Map (Lea Property)

    (for larger image, click on photograph)

    Controversy continues to swirl over the brother of Captain William (South Hico) Lea, but most researchers seem to agree that he was one of the children (three documented) of John and Ann Lea of King and Queen County, Virginia. One camp believes his brother is James (Country Line) Lea, while the other designates James (Kilgore's Branch) Lea as his brother. Note that in this database we side with the former and show James (Country Line) Lea as the brother of Captain William (South Hico) Lea.

    Spotsylvania County, Virginia
    Deed Book B (1729-1734)

    October 5, 1731. Thomas x Crethers of Spotsylvania County to William Lea of same county, and Robert Baylor of King and Queen County, Gent. 12 by Lea, 30 by Baylor, 100 acres in Saint George's Parish, Spotsylvania County, whereon said Crethers now lives and bought by Crethers of John White of King William, as per deed April 4, 1730. Z. Lewis, Zachary Taylor. October 5, 1731. (Zachary Taylor guardian to said William Lea, a minor.)

    Source: Spotsylvania County Records, 1721-1800: Being Transcriptions from the Original Files at the County Court House.

    Spotsylvania County, Virginia
    Deed Book D (1742-1751)

    March 6, 1743. James White and Sarah, his wife, of Hanover County, to Thomas White of Spotsylvania County 29 currency, 300 acres (devised to said James White by the will of his father, John White, deceased, recorded in King William County) in Spotsylvania County, adjoining the land of said Thomas White, William Lea and Chilion White. Witnesses, John Graves, William Lea. March 6, 1743.

    Source: Spotsylvania County Records, 1721-1800: Being Transcriptions from the Original Files at the County Court House.

    Spotsylvania County, Virginia
    Deed Book E (1751-1761)

    September 1, 1752. William Lea of Spotsylvania County, and Frances, his wife, to Thomas White of the same county. 55 curr. 100 acres whereon said Lea, lives and part of a patent belonging to said Thomas White in Spotsylvania County. Chilion White, Milisent x White. September 1, 1752.

    Source: Spotsylvania County Records, 1721-1800: Being Transcriptions from the Original Files at the County Court House.

    Person County, North Carolina
    Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions
    March Court 1804
    Record Book 3, Page 243

    Will of William Lea, dated 30 October 1802. Daughter Eunice Rose; oldest daughter of grandson Benjamin Lea; son George Lea; daughter Anness Cochran and her six children of first marriage with John McNeill. Executors: James Cochran, Alexander Rose, Sen., grandson Duncan Rose, Moses Bradsher, Loyd Vanhook. Test: Loyd Vanhook, Margaret Vanhook, Alexander Rose, Jun.

    Codicil: "I William Lea Sen. of South Hyco": daughters Anniss Chchran and Eunice Rose. 5 July 1803.

    September Court 1804
    Record Book 3, Page 290

    Inventory of property of Captain William Lea, Sen. of South Hico taken 16 June 1804 by Alexander Rose, Executor.

    September Court 1805
    Record Book 4, Page 34

    Sundries sold by Alexander Rose, executor of Captain William Lea on 8 February 1805.

    March Court 1806
    Record Book 4, Page 99

    Bill of sale: Alexander Rose, executor of William Lea, deceased, to James Cochran. 7 March 1805. Test: Wm. Brown, Edw. Clay, Sen., William Ragon.

    Person County North Carolina Compilations: Land Grants, 1794, 1805, 1823 Tax Lists, Record Books Abstracts 1792-1820, Letters of Attorney, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1978) at 64.

    The following is from The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) at 355 (Article #443, "Capt. William Lea" by Katherine Kerr Kendall):

    Before 1755 William Lea and his wife Frances had removed from St. George's Parish, Spotsylvania County, VA, to Orange County, NC, the part later Caswell and then Person. His brother James had settled on Country Line Creek possibly a little earlier [James (Country Line) Lea]. On the 1777 tax list of Caswell County he valued his holdings at 1417 pounds.

    His close neighbors were Thomas and Ann McNeill also former residents of his former county in VA. William Lea was a Captain in the NC Militia. By 1784 he had aquired 756 acres of land and owned 4 male slaves. He was active in county government serving as trustee (treasurer) from 1778 until 1789. When Person County was formed in 1791 Capt. Lea was paid "1/2 cost of buying weights and measures and lawbooks for Caswell County" indicating Person had to purchase same. The old courthouse at Leasburg and the Jail were left in Person Co. and as trustee he paid Caswell Co. for same (See Court Minutes July 1795).

    On October 30, 1802, Capt. William Lea of South Hyco wrote his will calling himself Sen. to signify he was the oldest Lea. Devisees of his will were son George; daughters Eunice Rose, Elizabeth Lea, Frances Hendrix deceased, and Anness Cochran with her 6 children of John McNeill. On july 5, 1803 he wrote a codicil omitting daughter Elizabeth. She had apparently died in the interim. Probate of his will was at March Court 1804.

    (1) Son George Lea married Lucy Tolbert and both were witnesses for the will of Thomas McNeill on 20 April 1781. George Lea appears on the 1782 tax list of Caswell on South Hyco. By 1784 tax list they are gone and had left the area. Also on the 1782 tax list is George Lea & mother Mary of Cobb Creek. This George Lea remains on the 1784 list and all subsequent lists and he was the Col George who qualified as executor of his mother's estate in 1785. He lived on the Cobb Creek land, was in the Legislature from Person Co. and will probabed in Caswell Co. 1830. This George Lea son of William and Mary has been confused with George Lea son of Capt. Wm. and Frances.

    (2) Daughter Eunice Lea married Alexander Rose and their descendants have been traced by Dr. Ben Lacy Rose in his book Alexander Rose of Person County.

    (3) Daughter Frances Hendrix was deceased before her father. No Hendrix family is found on Person County tax lists. However In Caswell County descendants of James (Country Line) Lea did marry into a Hendrix family.

    (4) Daughter Annis Lea married on 8 September 1780 John McNeill who was a merchang at Leasburg and co-owned a store in Orange County with Thomas Cole. He was deceased before March 1792 when an inventory of his store property was returned to the first term of Person County Court. Their 6 children were:

    (a) Hosea McNeill who found his bride in Caswell Co when he married his cousin Isabella Graves.

    (b) William McNeill.

    (c) John Hubbard McNeill married 25 June 1810 Anne Darby and they had children Cicero, Darby, and Betsy who married 9 Dec 1834 David Richmond of Caswell.

    (d) George McNeill married Elizabeth Kirkland and 2nd a Miss Ruffin and he had a son Rev. George McNeill the first editor of The North Carolina Presbyterian published in Fayetteville.

    (e) Sarah McNeill married 5 Nov 1800 William Lea of Leasburg a son of Gabriel Lea and they had children William, Addison, Willis, Lorenzo, Rev. Solomon, Maggie, and John Lea.

    (f) Frances McNeill married 14 November 1796 Nathan Williams (son of Henry) and they resided in Caswell County before removing to Rutherford Co. TN and on to Henry Co. TN

    Daughter Annis Lea McNeill was married 2nd to James Chchran on 14 Jan. 1793 and their children were Annis, Susan, and Addison. James Cochran served in the US Congress. The Cochrans are buried at Lee's Chapel Church near Leasburg, but in Person County.

    (5) Elizabeth Lea daughter to Capt. William Lea had married James Lea who died testate in Person Co. before Feb 1816. James Lea had written his will 7 Sept. 1803 and his wife was deceased. (Note date of codicil of will of Capt William.) James Lea named children Abner, Richard, Benjamin, and daughters Naomi Satterfield, Frankey Lea, Nicey (Unice) Chandler, and Annis Lea. Abner Lea a grandson of Ctp. William contested his will probably because his mother was deleted. Capt. Wm. also mentioned his grandson Benjamin in his will, and on the 1805 tax list of Person Co. Abner, Richard, and Benjamin Lea each list 36 acres of land indicating eaual shares in a legacy. Daughter Annis Lea married probably 18 Oct 1808 William Carver after the date her father wrote his will.

    It is possible that Elizabeth Lea daughter of Capt. William had an earlier marriage to a Henry Lea. In 1771 Henry Lea witnessed the will of James (Country Line) Lea and he saw Capt. William write it. This Henry Lea died 1774 probabe, Orange Co. He left his wife Elizabeth and young daughter Frances. He named James Lea as executor and called him brother-in-law, but he may have been his half brother.

    The following is from When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County North Carolina 1777-1977, William S. Powell (1977) at 95:

    With a town in the making around the courthouse it seemed fitting that it should be formally recognized. Benjamin Douglass, Caswell member of the House of Commons, introduced a bill in the Assembly in November 1788 "to establish the Town already laid off at the Court House in Caswell." The bill had easy sailing through both the House and the Senate and the Session Laws for 1788 noted that Nicholas Delone and William Lea had already laid off one hundred acres adjacent to the courthouse into streets and sixty-two lots and that a number of lots had already been sold to merchants, workmen, and others. Many buildings had been erected and considerable improvements made to many of the lots. The Assembly then incorporated the site as the town of Leasburg. Trustees "for the further designing, building and improving the said town" were to be Nicholas Delone and William Lea, of course, but also included Lloyd Vanhook, Thomas Neeley, Gabriel Lea, Samuel Johnson, and John M'Farlin. This was to be a self-perpetuating body, and the trustees were instructed to reserve the four acres on which the public buildings stood and the springs in the town for public use.

    His birth year has been reported as 1714, 1715, 1719, 1734, 1747, and others.

    He was granted land on South Hico in 1755. Source: Report of Research on the Lea Family in Virginia & North Carolina Before 1800, Ben L. Rose (1984/86) at 142.

    One of the earliest records in Virginia of James and William Lea appear in the Spotsylvania County records: "On Motion of William Lea Orphan of John Lea Deced to have Liberty to Choose Zachary Taylor his Guardian is granted, the said Taylor having Entered bond with Thomas Chew Gent his Security & acknowledged the same in Court as the Law directs." [Spotsylvania County, VA, Order Book 2, p. 89, October 7, 1731]

    Captain in the NC Militia. Source: Heritage of Caswell County at 355 (Article No. 443).

    The following is from The Heritage of Person County, Volume I, Madeline Hall Eaker, Editor (1981) at 293 (Article 600 by Ben L. Rose):

    Captain William Lea

    William Lea, known as Captain Lea, was the owner of a plantation on South Hyco Creek when Caswell County was formed from Orange County in 1791 [actually in 1777]. He had moved from Virginia to this area of North Carolina around 1750. His title of "Captain" came from his service in the colonial militia before the Revolution.

    In a memoir, his grandson, Beverly Rose says that William Lea was a native of England, but some family historians believe that he was born in Virginia. His wife's name was Frances ?. William Lea had five children: Eunice Lea, George Lea, Elizabeth Lea, Frances Lea, and Anness Lea.

    Apparently William Lea was one of the founders and a leading supporter of Lea's Chapel Church which was established quite near his home on South Hyco Creek. The church which was originally Anglican is now a Methodist Church. Alexander Rose, who married his daughter Eunice Lea, served as executor of his will.

    ---- Ben L. Rose

    The author of the above article on Captain William Lea is a much respected Lea family researcher. However, incorrectly giving 1791 as the date Caswell County was created is cause for concern. Also, he strongly believed that William (South Hico) Lea and James (Kilgore's Branch) Lea were brothers, the son of John and Ann Lea. Most researchers disagree, concluding that the brother of William (South Hico) Lea is James (Country Line) Lea.

    Also note that based upon the research done by Ben L. Rose we have detached John (Country Line) Lea from this family. Other researchers had John (Country Line) Lea as a brother of Captain William Lea. While some family relationship may exist, Ben L. Rose has concluded that John (Country Line) Lea and Captain William Lea were not brothers. For more on this see the entry for John (Country Line) Lea.

    Name: William Lea
    Spouse: Frances White
    Parents: John Lea , Anne Taylor
    Birth Place: King Queen Co, St Stephan S Par, VA
    Birth Date: 1719
    Death Place: Person Co, NC
    Source: Edmund West, comp. Family Data Collection - Individual Records. [database online] Provo, UT:, 2000

    Henry Black of Caswell Co. to Nicholas Delone for 55 lbs., 18.8 ac. adjoining Wm. Moore, Nancy Love. Also signed by Sarah Black 25 Jan 1786, Witnesses: Benj. Douglass, Thomas Vanhook.

    Philip Voss of Caswell Co. to Nicholas Delone of same for 100 lbs., 98 ac. adjoining Wm. Moore's land at the Courthouse beginning on road. 23 Apr 1788.

    Wm. Moore of Caswell Co. to Nicholas Delone and Wm. Lea for 700 lbs. 295 ac. 22 Sep 1788.

    The following eight Leas appeared on the 1755 Orange County, North Carolina Tax List: James (Country Line) Lea, James (Cobbs Creek) Lea; William (Cobbs Creek) Lea; Captain William Lea; George Lea (son of Captain William Lea); William (Country Line) Lea; John (Richland's Creek) Lea; and Zachariah Lea. Source: Rose, Ben L. Lea Families in Caswell & Person Counties, North Carolina and Virginia Before 1800. Decorah (Iowa): Anundsen Publishing Co., 1995, p. 11. Print.

    While we do not agree with the conclusion reached in the following by Ben L. Rose (that James (Kilgore's Branch) Lea is the orphan son of John Lea and the brother of William (South Hico) Lea), his arguments are set forth here in an effort to provide researchers all sides of the issue. Note also that Rose suggests that the third orphan, Betty Lea, may have married Thomas White, and that guardian Thomas Creathers served not only in that capacity and as the executor of the estate of John Lea (father of the orphans), but also was the orphans' "step-father."

    James Lea, the orphan, who in 1731 is identified in the records of Spotsylvania County, Virginia, as one of three orphans of John Lea of King & Queen County, Virginia (The other two orphans were William and Betty.). In 1731, John Key was appointed by the court as guardian of this James Lea, which means that at the time James was under fourteen years of age. James's brother and sister, William and Betty, were allowed by the court to choose their guardian, which means that they were over fourteen but not yet twenty-one years of age. In 1754, this James Lea was a witness to the sale of a small parcel of land by Thomas White and his wife, Betty (whom we believe was James's sister), to the church wardens for the new church on East North East. Four years before this, in 1750, the vestry of St George's Parish had ordered that a church be built "on William Lea's old field" on East North East Creek. In 1766, James Lee (Lea) and his wife Ann of Orange County, Virginia, sold one-hundred acres of land in Orange County, Virginia (Orange County had been formed from Spotsylvania County in 1734), on "a branch of the Pamunkey River called Arseforemost." This was almost certainly the one-hundred acres that James Lea, the orphan, had inherited from his father, John Lea (KQ). Although no deed for this has been found, James's brother William received one-hundred acres from his father's estate, so we assume that James received the same since Creathers, the administrator of John Lea's estate, reported to the court that he had paid two of the orphans and was "ready to give security for the payment of the third."

    We note that all these transactions were in the extreme western part of Spotsylvania County, Virginia, near the line between Spotsylvania County and Orange County and that Arseforemost is a creek in that vicinity. After he sold his land in 1766, this James Lea disappears from the records of Spotsylvania and Orange Counties, Virginia. The records of these counties between 1731 and 1766, tie together James, William Lea, and Betty Lea, orphans of John Lea (KQ), and Thomas Creathers, who was step-father of the three orphans and administrator of the estate of John Lea (KQ), in such a way as to leave no doubt that James Lea, the orphan of John Lea (KQ), did not leave Virginia until after 1766. The other James Lea of Spotsylvania County, Virginia, sold his land in Virginia and apparently settled on Country Line Creek in Orange County, North Carolina, thirteen years before this. We believe that James Lea, the orphan of John Lea (KQ), moved to North Carolina after 1766 and settled on Kilgore's Branch. We believe further that this James Lea was the brother of Captain William Lea who, we hold, was also one of the orphans of John Lea of King & Queen County, Virginia.

    Source: Lea Families in Caswell & Person Counties North Carolina and in Virginia Before 1800, Ben L. Rose (1995) at 135-136.

    The following calls into question whether Thomas Creathers was the guardian appointed for William Lea:

    Spotsylvania County, Virginia
    Guardians Bonds, Will Book A

    50 Zachary Taylor, guardian to William Lee, orphan of John Lee, with Thomas Chew, security. October 5, 1731.

    50 John Key, guardian to James Lee, orphan of John Lee, with Zachary Taylor, security. October 5, 1731.

    Source: Spotsylvania County Records, 1721-1800: Being Transcriptions from the Original Files at the County Court House.

    "I realize the published data that Zachary Taylor m Elizabeth dau of Hancock Lee but Elizabeth Lea & Zachary Taylor grew up together in K & Q where their fathers were the wealthiest & leading citizens & Zachary Taylor at 24 yrs of age was guardian of John Lea's daughter Betty and son William Lea. 1731, Oct Spottsylvania Co Va. Thomas Creathers is chosen guardian by William & Betty Lea (Ordr Bk 1730-8 p 62) orphans of John Lea, dec'd to have liberty to chuse Zachary Taylor his Guardian; granted & Thomas Chew, Gent. security for Zachary Taylor; on same date James Lea, orphan of John Lea, dec'd chooses John Key guardian, Zachary Taylor security (Ordr Bk 1730-8, Will Bk A Guardians Bonds p 71). Therefore, Betty, William & Jaes Lea are 14-20 yrs of age & b 1711-7. 1731 Oct 4 dated Spotts. Co Va (Deed Bk B, 1729-34 p227) Thos. X. Creathers, guardian of William Lea, heir at law to his father John Lea late of K & Q Co dec'd sells Robert Baylor 100 a K & Q Co adj Robert Baylot & Joseph Roberts which land descended to said William Lea from his father Wit Zachary Taylor Rec 5 Oct, 1731. 1731 Oct 7 Spottsylvania Co Va New Attachmen to replace a former attachment against Thomas Creathers on the re-petition of Richard Shackleford & Catherine, his wife, & of George Priddy late of King & Queen Co dec'd; said Thomas Creahers to give an account and security for the estate of John Lea, late of K & Q Co deceased, he having intermarried with Ann Lea relict of the said John Lea, who is since deceased & he the said Creathers having moved the said estate out of the said county of K & Q to this & pr relation is selling & wasting the said estate & is going out of this county, etc."

    Source: Amite County, Mississippi 1699-1890 (Volume #3): The Environs, Albert Eugene Casey (1957) at 551.

    Casey then oddly (page 552) attempts to make William (South Hico) Lea (one of the three orphans of John and Ann Lea) a son of William (Cobb's Creek) Lea and provides the following description of William (South Hico) Lea:

    "William Lea b c 1734 d Person Co N C. on South Hyco 1804 (Will Person Co N C Bk 5 p 243-5) (leaving issue: Eunice Lea b c 1756 Orange Co N C. m Caswell Co N C. 5 May, 1775 Sandy Rose: Annis Lea b c 1758 m (1) Orange Co N.C. Caswell Co N.C. 8 Sep, 1780 John McNeill, m (2) James Cockran; Col. George Lea b c 1760 Orange Co N C m Caswell Co N.C. 24 Feb, 1785 Jane Douglass);"

    The author of the letter set forth below, Gabriel M. Lea, claims that James (Kilgore's Branch) Lea is his great grandfather and that Captain William (South Hico) Lea is his great granduncle, being the brother of James (Kilgore's Branch) Lea. While some do not believe that James (Kilgore's Branch) Lea and Captain William (South Hico) Lea are brothers, one must at least consider the possibility that Gabriel M. Lea knew the identity of his great grandfather and great granduncle.

    Letter from Gabriel M. Lea to Edwin Holmes Lea, 1 June 1897:

    My great grandfather James Lea came from England & located two miles West of Leasburg, N. C. now in Caswell Co, a village named after the Lea family & he had five children: Polly (Lea), William (Lea), Gabriel (Lea), James (Lea) & Phoebe (Lea). He had a brother William Lea who settled 3 miles East of Leasburg, was a dry goods merchant & died in Leasburg. He had 3 children: George (Lea), Annis (Lea) and Nicey (Lea). It was about 1750 when the 2 brothers settled in Leasburg, which was then in Orange Co N. C. My grandfather, Gabriel Lea lived 1 mile West of Leasburg, was at one time a member of the Legislature. He was born 1758, died 1834. His wife Elizabeth Ashburn died a few years later, 83 years old. They had 9 children, viz: Vincent (Lea), Phebe (Lea), William (Lea), Gabriel (Lea), James (Lea), Elizabeth (Lea), Polly (Lea), Sally (Lea), & Barbara (Lea). My father Gabriel B. Lea was born in Leasburg 1783, died in 1871, 87 years old, was for some years a dry goods merchant in Leasburg then moved to Pleasant Grove, Orange Co. where he married my mother Mary A. McCauley, only dau of Andrew McCauley who came over from Londonderry Ireland & died in 1840 about 100 yrs old. My father had 6 children: Maria Louisa (Lea), Martha Ann (Lea), William Andres (Lea), Gabriel McCauley (Lea), James Washington (Lea) and Addison Lea. I was born in Orange Co., now Alamance Co, N. C. in 1825. Affectionately, Gabriel M. Lea.

    Source: Amite County, Mississippi 1699-1890 (Volume #3): The Environs, Albert Eugene Casey (1957) at 553.

    Genealogy described in the above letter:

    1. James (Kilgore's Branch) Lea (brother of William (South Hico) Lea)
    2. Gabriel Lea married Elizabeth Ashburn
    3. Gabriel B. Lea married Mary A. McCauley
    4. Gabriel McCauley Lea

    James (Kilgore's Branch) Lea is believed to have the following children: William (Merchant) Lea; James Lea; Mary (Polly) Lea; Gabriel Lea; Phoebe Lea; and, possibly, Betsey Lea. Five of these children correspond with the children listed by Gabriel M. Lea in his 1897 letter.

    William (South Hico) Lea is believed to have the following children: George Lea; Eunice (Nicey) Lea; Elizabeth Lea; Anness Lea; and Frances Lea. Three of these children correspond with the children listed by Gabriel M. Lea in his 1897 letter.

    Now, one more word about the feelings in Caswell County after the British rampage through, both chasing the Colonials, and surprising the militia, picking them up prisoners by the hundreds, but the often repeated account about what happened at the Captain William Lea, of the South Hyco's place when the British dragoons reached him, after they lost "the chase to the Dan." Mad as hornets and hungry. Captain William (South Hico) Lea's place was the repository for supplies for the Continentals. In a strongly built building, secured with locks, against any normal pilfering. When the British rode up they demanded the supplies. "He gave them the keys." Now, they gave him two separate notes or receipts, listing what they took, and signed by the British Major. This was not done except for those who were know to be "Kings" loyal supporters. They are in the North Carolina State Archives. I have copied them. We have the British army records. They had copies. More on their records next. When brought before the committee to defend his actions, he pointed out that it would have served no purpose to have resisted. However, the stain remained, his house was not raided. So, people could take their own views. That year was called, "the starving time."

    The British records also show two major lists they made, one before the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, of all their prisoners, where taken, by whom, what were they doing, etc. The second record was three days after the battle, for prisoner exchange, or parole. Each man was judged, this would count against them after the British had won the war, and decisions made as who would be kicked off their land, and who could stay, etc. It is interesting to note how many made excuses about their "innocence," noncombatant, "I was out looking for my cow." The British already knew who were fighting rebel militia, and their "taken in-arms" was an ultimate condemnation. Unusual but a practice of the Colonials was to let the man take his weapon home, instead of turning it back to the militia arms man for securing, as was normal. "It is the key to the phrase "the right to bear arms." It meant, this man had a military weapon, not a hunting piece. The British were setting up for after the war court judgments. The colonists knew this. Many tried to "play both sides, or plead "Quakerism."

    After the battle at Guilford Court House, these men were paroled, except for those hanged. These were the men who had accepted parole in Charleston, May 1780, from the Caswell County area, 2000 about, and sworn not to take up arms again against the King. Cornwallis had that list of names with him. It was also found recently in his papers in England. The British were very thorough.

    Remember: Major Lea, fought for the "Country," while brother Luke Lea was a "Kings" man. Captain William (South Hyco) Lea left the area with his entire family, but not in undue haste. Important to the story is the dividing of the two counties, with the line dividing Leasburg. The unsold plots of land were a loss to many, and one name that pops up on many of the deeds is that of Archer Lea, son of William (Cobb's Creek) Lea and Mary Barnett. Archer and Barnett are names from the early Jamestowne people. There are others, but they are clumped together (like Graves).

    As for that mix-up in the Casey article, I know that these two were brothers in Tennessee. I know that Major Lea had a son Major Lea, but he was too young to participate in the Revolutionary War. So the Casey brothers were a bit confused. But, it shows the early feelings of Luke Lea, provoking his father.

    Source: Betty Fitzgerald, 9 January 2012.

    Reverend Lorenzo Lea Genealogical Notes.

    Mar 1804 - Will Probated in Person County, North Carolina: William Lea, of Person County, made Will on 30 Oct 1802; named: daughter Eunice Rose; oldest daughter of grandson Benjamin Lea; balance of estate to son George Lea, 1/5th; daughter Elizabeth Lea, 1/5th; daughter Eunice Rose, 1/5th; children of deceased daughter Frances Hendrix, 1/5th; daughter Anniss Cochran and six children by first husband John McNeil. Executors: James Cochran, Alexander Rose, Sr., grandson Duncan Rose, Moses Bratcher (as Bradsher), and Loyd Van Hook... /s/ William Lea. Wit: Loyd Vanhook, Margaret Vanhook, Alexr Rose, Jr. Codicil to Will of William Lea, Sr., of South Hyco, made 5Jul1803; named: daughter Anniss Cochran to have land bounding tract sd Lea sold James Cochran; daughter Eunice Rose to have rest of the tract, including "my dwelling house. Balance of land, all on west side of South Hyco, to be sold and distributed per Will.../s/ William Lea. Wit: Loyd Vanhook, Margaret Vanhook, Elisha Sarrett. (PeC Wills D:243)

    1 Sep 1806 - Power of Attorney: John Hendrix and Abner Hendrix, of Jackson County, Georgia; Elijah Hendrix, Larkin Hendrix, William Bramlett, of Spartansburg District, South Carolina, to William
    Hendrix, farmer, of Spartansburg District, South Carolina, power of attorney to obtain inheritance
    from Executors of William Lee, Decd., "our grandfather," of Person County, North Carolina... /s/
    [Signatures, witnesses not included in abstract provided.] (Spartanburg Co., S.C., Deeds K:332)

    While many Lea researchers (including the Caswell County Historical Association) disagree with some of the Lea family relationships assumed by Ben Lacy Rose, the following is in print and for that reason is shown here. As stated above, while Captain William (South Hico) Lea is believed by most Lea family researchers to have a brother named James Lea, there is disagreement as to the identity of this person: some favor James (Country Line) Lea, while Ben Lacy Rose has chosen James (Kilgore's Branch) Lea:

    William Lea of South Hyco (also called Capt. William Lea) was born in England around 1715 and came to America with his parents before 1731. The family settled in King & Queen Co VA and William's father is known in the records of Virginia as John Lea of King & Queen County. William was the oldest of three children. He had a brother James and a sister Betsy.

    William's father died and his mother, Ann, married Thomas Creathers and moved to Spotsylvania Co VA. The three children chose Creathers as their guardian, but a month later William changed his mind and chose as his guardian Zachary Taylor, who was the grandfather of U.S. President Zachary Taylor. In the settlement of his father's estate, William received one hundred acres of land in Spotsylvania Co VA on which he settled. There he married and began to raise a family. His wife's name was Frances, but we do not know her family name. William tended his farm and apparently served as constable in Spotsylvania county for a time, but in 1752 he sold his land to Thomas White, who had married his sister Betsy, and moved to North Carolina.

    William petitioned for a grant of land in Orange Co NC on South Hyco creek and a survey of it was ordered in 1753. William built a home and settled his family on this land. In 1755 he was appointed Captain of the local militia and after that he was referred to as "Capt. Lea." The Orange county militia was called out by Governor Tryon in 1768 and again in 1771 to suppress the Regulators, and it is possible that Capt. Lea participated in these engagements, including the Battle of Alamance, which took place not far from his home. Capt. Lea's name does not appear on any list of officers or soldiers from North Carolina who participated in the Revolution. In 1776 he would have been over 60 years of age and was probably considered too old for such duty.

    Capt. Lea was a respected citizen of the community and was quite active in local politics. In addition to the usual services as overseer of the road and various jury duties, he was for a long time Trustee (Treasurer) of the county and was also for a number of years a Justice of the Peace. Capt. Lea and his wife, Frances, had five children: Frances who married James Hendrix and moved to South Carolina; Eunice who married Alexander Rose and lived not far from Capt. Lea's home; Anness who married first John McNeill and second James Cochran and who also settled in the area of Lea's Chapel; Elizabeth who married James Lea, son of William Lea of Cobbs Creek; and George who married Lucy Tolbert and moved to Georgia. George Lea's granddaughter, Maggie Lea, married Gen. Sam Houston of Texas fame and raised a fine family of eight children by him.

    Capt. Lea was not a rich man, but he was not a poor man either. To his original land grant of 332 acres on South Hico creek, he added several other tracts until he owned almost a thousand acres. The inventory of his estate after his death listed two slaves. Before he wrote his will in 1802, his wife Frances must have died for she is not mentioned in the will. Capt. Lea was 87 when he wrote his will, which begins thus: "Being aged and in a weak and enfeebled state of body but sound mind and memory and reflecting how uncertain in the date of this present life, I make my last will & testament." James Cochran, Capt. Lea's son-in-law, came into court in December 1803 and alleged that Capt Lea "has lost the reason of his natural power and is non compos mentis." The court arranged for a jury to ascertain the truth of the allegation, but Capt Lea died before the jury could be assembled. An inventory of his estate was presented to the court in June 1804 by his son-in-law Alexander Rose, who was one of the executors named in the will. The inventory of Capt. William Lea's estate, made by Alexander Rose, included, among many other items, these: "Two Negroe Fellows, Bristol and Cyrus .... l cow & yearling, 1 nohorned cow & ditto, deduct the value of the old cow's calf as since is dead, ...1 brass clock, 1 bedstead & cord, Capt. Lea's easing chair was without a bottom until one was put in .... l ten gallon Rundlett at Mr. Thos. Meeley's not returned, 2 barrels fallen to pieces for want of a good place to put them in, I old scyth blade broke, the remains of a vial of castor oil, Capt. Lea's armchair at James Cochran's, ditto house Bible at James Cochran's, there was a glass tumbler of his but the rats throw'd it off of the shelf and broke it all to pieces, 2 sermon books, 1 Book of Common Prayer at James Lea's."

    Capt. Lea is probably buried in Lea's Chapel churchyard. Several years ago a marble headstone with the name "William Lea" engraved on it was found in the churchyard with no grave anywhere near. At that time the southwest corner of the church building was sagging and needed such a stone to support it. The church committee instructed the workmen to use the headstone as underpinning for the corner. The committee felt that no place was more appropriate for this stone to be preserved than as a cornerstone of the church the Leas had founded. Since then the church has been enlarged by the addition of Sunday School rooms and a fellowship hall so that the gravestone is now so far under the building that it would be impossible to retrieve it. Whether this stone marked the grave of Capt. William Lea, we
    shall never know.

    Capt. Lea had a brother, James Lea, who came from Virginia to North Carolina and settled on Kilgore's Branch two miles west of the present town of Leasburg. He was known as James Lea of Kilgore's Branch. His son, William, became a prominent merchant and was instrumental in the establishment of Leasburg, where his business was located. It was for him that the town was named. Gabriel Lea, another son of James Lea of Kilgore's Branch, was the father of Solomon and Lorenzo Lea, both of whom became prominent Methodist ministers. Rev. Solomon Lea was at one time president of Greensboro College. These Leas of Leasburg worshipped at Bethany meeting house which was located a mile and a half north of Leasburg. When the Leasburg Methodist Church was formed, they transferred to that church. Miss Wilhelmina Lea, a daughter of Rev. Solomon Lea, says in a memoir that her father often preached at Lea's Chapel and that she much enjoyed attending services there.

    Rose, Ben Lacy and Satterfield III, Preston. Chapel on South Hyco: The Story of Lea's Chapel United Methodist Church, Person County, North Carolina 1750-2000 AD. Richmond: Robert Schreiber, Printing, 2000. Pages 14-17.

    Father: John Lea b: 1677
    Mother: Ann Unknown [Lea] b: 12 JAN 1684 in Carlisle, Cumberland, England

    Marriage 1 Frances Unknown [Lea]
      1. Has Children Elizabeth Lea b: AFT 1751 in Caswell County, North Carolina
      2. Has Children Anness Lea b: 13 JAN 1761
      3. Has Children Eunice Lea b: ABT 1749
      4. Has Children Frances Lea
      5. Has Children George Lea b: 16 JAN 1739 in Spotsylvania County, Virginia

      1. Details: Report of Research on the Lea Family in Virginia & North Carolina Before 1800, Ben L. Rose (1984) at 134 and 142
      2. Details: Report of Research on the Lea Family in Virginia & North Carolina Before 1800, Ben L. Rose (1984) at 142

    • Index | Descendancy | Register | Pedigree | Ahnentafel | Public Profile | Add Post-em

      Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version Search Ancestry Search Ancestry Search WorldConnect Search WorldConnect Join Today! Join Today!

      WorldConnect Home | WorldConnect Global Search | WorldConnect Help, Inc. is NOT responsible for the content of the GEDCOMs uploaded through the WorldConnect Program. If you have a problem with a particular entry, please contact the submitter of said entry. You have full control over your GEDCOM. You can change or remove it at any time.