William S. Lee, my maternal 4th great-grandfather, was born c. 1797 in Williamsburg, Georgetown District, South Carolina. Family tradition states that he was widely known as "Bill Lee" and he was the son of Samuel Lee and Sarah Shay Burns.
It is uncertain as to the exact time of Bill's arrival into the southern Mississippi territory, but he was in Marion County by 1828 proved by his marriage on 29 July 1828 to Margaret "Peggy" Collins. It is estimated that Peggy was born about 1805 in South Carolina.
A review of the 1830 and 1840 census of Marion County, Mississippi shows the following in William Lee's household:
1830: 1 male <5 (unknown); 2 males age 20 and <30 (William and unknown); 1 female <5 (Mary); 1 female age 20 and <30 (Margaret).
1840: 1 male <5 (Riley); 1 male 10-15 (unknown); 1 male 40-50 (William); 1 female <5 (Margaret?); 3 females 5-10 (Martha, Nancy, Unknown); 1 female 10-15 (Mary); 1 female 30-40 (Margaret).
On the 1850 census of Marion County, Mississippi, the household members are listed individually. However, initials were used for first names. The census record that year shows the following: Wm. ,53M, farmer, S.C., M. Lee, 45F, S.C., M. Lee, 19F, Miss., N. Lee, 16F, Miss., M. Lee, 14F, Miss., R. Lee, 11M, Miss., W. Lee, 7F, Miss., A. Lee, 2F, Miss. These individuals have been identified as- William (head), Martha (wife), Martha Ann (daughter), Nancy (daughter), Margaret (daughter), William Riley (son), George "Wilkie" (son), and Almedia (daughter).
|1850 Federal Census, Marion County, Mississippi|
By 1860, the family of William Lee is shown on the Perry County, Mississippi census. They resided in the Enon Community of the Southern District. Bill and Peggy's daughter, Martha Ann, had married Edward Johnson so she was no longer in their household. Their other children listed on the 1850 census were identified by name on this census- Margaret, Riley, Wilkie and Almedia. Furthermore, Bill and Peggy had another child, a daughter, Sarah Ann, age 7 years.
|1860 Federal Census, Perry County, Mississippi, Southern District|
The passing of another decade found Bill and Peggy still residing in the small community of Enon. Though they were along in age, their house was still full of family in 1870. Their daughter, Nancy, had married Elisha Ryan Anderson in 1857; he died in 1866. Bill and Peggy took in Nancy along with her children- Mary, John and William. Their daughter, Mary, who had married a Weldy, resided in the house as well, along with her three children- Margaret, Nancy and Levi. Bill and Peggy's son, Wilkie, had married Rebecca Williams; the couple resided next door with their four children. Their son, William Riley, had married Matilda Johnson. Their daughter, Almedia, had married Calvin Johnson. The whereabouts of their daughter, Sarah Ann, who would have been about 17 years old in 1870, is unknown.
|1870 Federal Census, Perry County, Mississippi, Enon|
In 1880, Bill and Peggy were back in Marion County, Mississippi where they resided next to their son Riley. Bill was in his 80's by then. Why had they chosen to move so late in age? I can only speculate that perhaps Riley promised to provide his aging parents with assistance in their daily needs. Riley and his wife had eight children- I can mentally imagine Bill and Peggy, in their old age, being visited by their grandchildren regularly.
Living next door to William Riley Lee was the James Simmons family. James was my maternal great-great grandfather. In 1880, he was residing with Elizabeth Jane Entrekin, listed as his "wife", but their marriage record states the couple actually married in 1886. But that's another family tale. The boarder, T.J. Entrekin, who is listed in the household of William Riley Lee, stirs my curiosity. He was 59 years old, certainly old enough to be Elizabeth Entrekin's father- seems there could possibly be a closer connection between these two families than I'm aware of.
|1880 Federal Census, Marion County, Mississippi, Beat 1|
Since the 1890 census is unavailable, I am unaware if Bill and Peggy were still living at that time. Their date of death is unknown. They were both buried in the Lee Cemetery, Lamar County, Mississippi. Their original grave markers had been destroyed and were replaced with new grave markers in the 1980's. The new grave markers identify them by name only, no dates are listed.
|William S. "Bill" Lee Grave Marker|
Lee Cemetery, Lamar County, Mississippi
|Margaret "Peggy" Collins Lee Grave Marker,|
Lee Cemetery, Lamar County, Mississippi
|Map indicating the areas where Bill and Peggy resided|
I would love to hear from other family members connected to this group of Lee's, particularly direct descendants. Please contact me by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!