Sunday, December 27, 2009

John Stephenson Lee (1847-1948) Feature Article in Florence Morning News 27 July 1947

Florence Morning News, Sunday, July 27, 1947, p. 11, columns 1-5, transcribed by Teresa McVeigh 27 Dec 2009

Thrice-Married 98-Year-Old Confederate Veteran Who Walked Guard At Stockade Still Much Alive
by Leroy Bannerman

A spry old man of 98 sat upright in his straight-back, wooden chair stroked a white beard and said, "The God Almighty has blessed me." John S. Lee, one of only four living Confederate veterans in South Carolina and who up until last year was an ardent fox-hunter, credited the Lord for his unusual good health and long life.

"Uncle John"--as he is known to the people of Coward community of Florence county--has been married three times, proudly possesses two of his original teeth, has never drunk a cup of coffee in his life, likes fox-hunting and visiting a multitude of friends. Moreover, he displays a keen wit and a memory that recalls the hard times of years gone by. As his 68-year old son would say: "There never was a man like him."

His direct descendants are many--estimated over 160--with 121 living today. This family of five generations, includes five children, 38 grandchildren, 67 great-grandchildren, and 13 great great-grandchildren. [Totals 123] And the old man who still rules the roost, quietly maintains of his three wives: "Three better women never were on this earth."

Today the third Mrs. Lee, looking young and beautiful for her sixty years, labors industriously about the house preparing meals and keeping the frame, weather-beaten home tidy in tiptop condition. She is devoted to her 98-year-old husband and answers to his familiar "Ma," his only title for his last two wives.

He first married on February 12, 1874 to a girl named Zilppha who 22 years later [1896] died after bearing twelve children for him, three of whom are living today, including the two oldest sons. They are John T Lee, 72 [b. 1875], and Stephen J. Lee, 67 [b. 1880]. On September 13, 1890, he married the second time to Leslie who died November 1, 1928 after giving birth to three children, two of whom are living today--Mary E R Lee, 46 [b. 1901] , and Oscar C. Lee, 43 [b. 1904]. A short while after the death of his second wife, Mr. Lee married again. This time to his present wife, Eunice, with the present day philosophy: "There are too many women around to live alone."

While still a boy in his teens, John Lee shouldered a musket and took his place among the Confederate ranks that walked guard around the Union stockade, that loomed out of the mud and wilderness just outside Florence. The terrible times of starvation and exposure that the prisoners suffered are still etched in the mind of this old man, who says now, "I've never seen the old stockade since. I never want to see it again."

He remembers the meager rations of one soda cracker and a tumbler of water twice a day to each of the multitude of prisoners. He remembers the bellowing voice of Captain Jim McCall informing the pitiful throng that 'if yuh try to escape, these youngin's (the guards) ain't got any better sense than to shoot you!" He remembers the wallow, the mire, and the moans of the sick and dying. He remembers the heavy musket, which he never fired and his thinking that if a prisoner did get out, he would likely have said: "Get away if you can."

But John Lee remembers, too, the joy of peace, of going home to his "mammy," and the shock of finding the ravaged land that Sherman had left behind. "His soldiers camped under the mulberry trees at home," he said

And it was during these first days of peace that he last heard of his father. His father had fought all through the Civil War up until the seige of Petersburg. It was then that the Union soldiers tunneled under the Confederate lines and dynamited...breaking through...The faltered... and..though for some time confusion reigned. It was during this period of shock that a brother and two other soldiers ran past John's father who was lying behind a log. They stopped long enough to plead with him to come with them, but he merely said, "I won't run another step." That was the last heard of him. The skirmish was known as the Battle of the Crater. [July 30, 1864]

The memories are vivid of the long weary reconstruction days that followed. He recalls the time when they raised their own wheat, the days when one biscuit a week was doled out on Sunday mornings. He likes to tell of the times when women pulled off their shoes and carried them in their hands, putting them on just before entering church. Of that, the says, "You couldn't get shoes every day." But of all the difficult years, he lists '82 at the toughest. "It was awfully dry," he explains. "Why we didn't even make any corn."

The face and beard of old John Lee is known far and wide, but as he puts it: "My name's known farther." His friends are more numerous than his descendants and today, they all know him by the great white beard. With a twinkle in his eye, he says proudly, "Since the third Saturday afternoon in July '81, a razor hasn't touched my face."

He says that his health is "not so good," but he still remains a remarkable man of energy and will-power, fully capable of getting around by himself. He worked his own farm until he was 85. Jokingly he says now that he works his "jaws." Of his place located deep in the sandhills of Coward community, he says, "I bought the first place...and ever since..." and...John Lee reluctantly admits that...Confederate reunion in Columbia...ago. "I'll never go again," is his solemn vow.

He says that he never has been drunk but once in his life, that being before he married for the first time. He lives an upright life in every respect, demands that his children do likewise, for as he firmly states, "When I die, I'm not going to hell if I can help it."

Today he sits on his porch and looks out over a rickety, oft-repaired picket fence at his farms and tobacco beyond viewing a passing era with uncertainty. He has lived to see many changes in the world--from horse and buggies to jet-propelled planes--and will undoubted live to see many more. His grave opinion: "We're living too high."

The ... in the transcriptions are skips in the print, probably due to folding of the paper before micro-filming.
John S Lee's wives:
Zilpha S McGEE 5 Sep 1854, SC-29 Apr 1896 SC
Leslie S McALLISTER 16 Jul 1860 SC- 1 Nov 1928 SC
Eunice JOHNSON b. 1888 SC
John S. Lee's father, who died in Petersburg VA was Timothy LEE (b. 1826 SC) and his mother was Agnes LEE (b. 1833), dau. of John Alexander LEE and Margaret SMITH
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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Marriage of Rev. Wiley P WARWICK and Mrs. Elizabeth BEALL 8 Oct. 1846

Marriage and Death Notices from the Southern Christain Advocate, Vol 1:1837-1860, Brent Holcomb

Pg. 110 Issue of Oct. 30, 1846

Married by the Rev. W. H. Evans, on the 8th inst., the Rev. Wiley Warwick, of the Ga. Conf., to Mrs. Elizabeth Beall of Hall, Ga.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Obituary of Elizabeth PAYNE WARWICK (1763-8143)

Marriage and Death Notices from the Southern Christain Advocate, Vol 1:1837-1860, Brent Holcomb, pg. 80, Issue of January 5, 1844:

Mrs. Elizabeth Warwick, wife of the Rev. Wiley Warwick of the Ga. Conference, departed this life on the 24th of November, 1843, in Habersham Co., Ga., and in the 81st year of her age. She was the daughter of William and Jane Payne, and was born in Charles Co., Maryland. Her parents died when she was very young, and she was brought up by her grandmother. At the age of 17 years she came with her brother Jacob Payne to Brunswick Co., Va. In the year 1787, under the ministry of Rev. John Easter, joined the M.E. Church at Benjamin Johnson's Meeting House, where she remained until the year 1791 when she married her present bereaved husband.... (Josiah Askew)

Rev. Wiley P. WARWICK (1771-1856)

My husband's maternal great grandmother was a Warwick and my husband's middle name is Warwick. The furtherest I have proven back on this line is Wiley P Warwick, an itinerant Methodist Minister in Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Taken from "Methodist Preachers in Georgia 1783-1900", Harold Lawrence, United Methodist Church, pg. 579

WARWICK, WILEY (3-17-1771 - 5-7-1856) (Methodist Episcopal Church)

b. Sussex Co., Va.; converted age 26; on 8-14-1819 he was accused of profane swearing and the Conference judged the said accusation to be malicious slander. On 11-26-1819 he was recommended to the Conference as a preacher of usefulness. His last years were spent in Dahlonega, Ga., in a sad state of decrepitude. He travelled in his ministry 66.849 miles, preached 5,938 sermons, and received in salary $6,392 for 30 years of itinerant labor. m/1791 Elizabeth Payne (1762 - 11-24-1843) b. Charles Co., Md. d. Habersham Co., Ga., dau. of Wm. and Jane Payne; m 2/10-8-1846 Mrs. Elizabeth Beall of Hall Co., Ga.

1799 Licensed to Preach; 1804 Admitted on trial; 1806 Full connection Deacon; 1808 Elder,

S.C. Conference: 1804 Little Pee Dee & ansom (Camden); 1805 Anson; 1806 Bladen and Brunswick;

1807 Santee; 1808 Great Pee Dee (Catawba); 1809 Rocky River; 1810-11 Wateree (Camden);

1812 Santee (Pee Dee); 1813 Santee; 1814 Black River (Broad River); 1815-16 Enoree; 1817

Located; 1821 Readmitted; 1821 Union Cir. (Catawba); 1822 Black Mtn. (Athens); 1823-24 Grove;

1825 Gwinnett; 1826 Broad River; 1827 Habersham; 1828 Gwinnett; 1829 Grove; 1830 Habersham; 1831 Sup.

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Copyright © Teresa McVeigh 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Will of William BURRIS (2 Mar 1792, Darlington District, SC)

Will of William Burris

In the Name of God, Amen. I William Burris of Darlington County, and State of South Carolina, being of sound mind, but by an unforseen Accident much bruised in by Body, and in my own apprehension drawing nigh the end of my Life, do make and constitute this last Will and power, in the Manner following--

First I give and bequeath unto my son Samuel Burris one Hundred Acres of Land lying in the Middle of my Tract of Three Hundred acres----Secondly I give unto my son John Burris One Hundred Acres of Land lying at the lower end of my Tract of Three Hundred Acres--Thirdly, I give unto my Son William Burris One Hundred Acres of Land lying at the upper end of my Tract of Three Hundred Acres, which He shall not take into posession during the life of his mother Jane Burris, but by her free will and consent, It is also my desire that the above mentioned tract of Land be run again and an equal division made between my Three Sons above mentioned---

Also I give and bequeath my beloved wife Jane Burris all and every part of my moveable estate during her remaining a Wide [sic], but if she Marries she shall divide equally with all my Children.

In Witness of the within Will I have here unto set my hand and Seal this 2nd Day of March 1789 in the presence of us,

William x Burris (LS)


J. B. Turner
Daniel Miers
Mary Turner
Robert Nettles

Furthermore I lastly appoint Sam'l Burris my Son and Jane Burris my beloved wife to be my Executors to this my last will and Testament

Transcribed by Teresa McVeigh 7 Dec 2009 from
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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Will of William BURRIS, Sr. (d. c. 1789) Darlington District, South Carolina

Taken from the book "Myers and Neighbors of Jeffries Creek, SC" by Neil O. Myers, 2007, Aiken, SC, p. 29

Soon after Mary and Samuel married, Samuel's father died. His father, William Burris, wrote his will 2 March 1789 and it was probated about 18 Oct 1791 but we don't know the exact date of his death. He stated he had an unforeseen accident and was much bruised in his body. The will was witnessed by J. B. Turner, Daniel Miers, and Robert Nettles. William Burris named his wife as Executrix and his son Samuel as Executor. He specified that his 300 acre plantation was to be run again and an equal division made between his three sons with Samuel to receive the middle 100 acres, son John to receive the lower 100 acres, and son William to receive the upper 100 acres "which he shall not take into possession during the life of his mother Jane Burris, but by her free will and consent." He further stated, "Also I give and bequeath to my beloved Wife Jane Burris all and every part of my moveable estate during her remaining a Widow, but if she marries she shall divide equally with all my children." A note of my records from someone said that Jane and Samuel Burris, executors of the will of William Burris stated, "The soul is a precious jewel, so sell it not."

Transcribed by Teresa McVeigh 6 Dec 2009

Available on Google Books:,+sc%22+by+neil+o.+myers+(2007)&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=zFUWRKt6a8&sig=jb36fzBwaHFxtnlfNgaB7yGiEZY&hl=en&ei=OiEcS8-SGZGwtgfGh9TiAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CBkQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=&f=false

The Samuel and Mary (MYERS) BURRIS Family by Jesse Stallings BURRIS

Two days ago I heard from a lady named Terri, who is a descendant of Benjamin W. BURRIS. Benjamin is the brother of Sarah Jane BURRIS, mother of Arelia Darnella (TAYLOR) SPORTS. Their father was William BURRIS, Jr.

Previously I had William BURRIS, Jr.'s will and knew his children's names. I knew his first wife was a CHANDLER, daughter of James CHANDLER (who moved to Amite, MS), but I did not know her name. William's second wife was named Jane. Terri sent me information which revealed that William's first wife was named Martha CHANDLER. Terri wrote:

There is a book called "The Samuel and Mary (Myers) Burris Family" by Jesse Stallings Burris, written in 1952. It follows the family of the brother of the William Burris whose will I referenced in my original email. This family moved to Amite Co. MS in the early 1800's. But it had one really interesting nugget of information. It lists the children of Martha Chandler and William Burris. James Chandler was a friend of Samuel Burris who also moved to MS, and in James Chandler's will, he left money "to the children of my deceased daughter Martha Burris, the late wife of William Burris of Darlington District, South Carolina, the number and names of them I do not know, four thousand dollars." Then there were court documents filed in Darlington County and in Amite Co., MS, to establish who those children were. The one cited in the book is from Darlington on Oct. 16, 1832.The children listed are as follows: Benjamin W. Burris, Ira E. Burris, William M. Burris, Emily Burris Fraser, Samuel N. Burris, Elizbeth Burris, John Burris, and Martha Burris.

I have found the book on-line on Google Books and will transcribe the pertinent parts.
The Samuel and Mary (MYERS) BURRIS Family
by Jesse Stallings BURRIS, Flora Mae BURRIS, and Mamie Lettie BURRIS-SIMMONS
1952, Pelican Publishing Co., Inc., 1000 Burmaster St., Gretna, LA, 70053, on-line on Google Books
Transcribed by Teresa McVeigh 6 Dec 2009

p. 93 Data on the Samuel and Mary (MYERS) BURRIS Family

One of the first families by the name of Burris and one of the pioneer families to settle Amite County, Mississippi, was doubless the Samuel and Mary (Myers) Burris Family. The migrated there from Darlington District, South Carolina in 1809....

The prior migration to Amite County of close friends may have influenced their migration there. He appears to have migrated to Amite county in 1807, two years prior to Samuel and Mary (Myers) Burris's migration there. According to American State Papers--Lands II, pp. 243-8 --he was granted 320 acres of land on the Amite River in 1807. This place is though to be on the East Fork of Amite River, about seven miles east of Liberty, Miss., and near the place known as Chandler's Hill, which doubtless got its name from James Chandler. This place is also near the place where Samuel and Mary (Myers) Burris settled. According to a nearby resident of Chandler's Hill, there is an old broken-up tombstone near an old grave on this hill, which tombstone has James Chandler's name engraved on it, indicating that he was buried there....

p.96-97 Will of Samuel BURRIS, copied from Amite County Records:

The Last Will and Testament of Samuel Burris as Exhibited by the Executrix, Mary Burris, and James Chandler, Executor

For Probate Record
Mississippi Territory
Amite County}

In the name of God, Amen. I, Samuel Burris, of the territory and county aforesaid, being weak in body, but of sound mind and memory, blessed be to God, do make this my last will and testament, and first give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Mary Burris, all of my personal estate, consisting of five Negroes, horses, dogs, cattle, household and kitchen furniture, duing her natural life, and, at the same time, what money I have by me and what will arised from the sale of my land in the State of South Carolina, or, at least as much of it as can be conveniently spared from the necessay support of my family, to be laid out for the lands, at the commencement of the sales of the public lands and the land so bought shall be equally divided amongst my children at the death of their mother, together with all my property, whether real or personal; and lastly, I do appoint my beloved wife, Mary Burris, Executrix, together with James Chandler, Executor, to this my last will and testament. I also give and bequeath to my son, John Burris, my shot gun.

In witness, whereof, I have set my hand and affixed my seal this 10th day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eleven, and in the thirty-sith of the American Independence.

Samuel Burris (L.S.)
John Wilson
Craddock Gober

[There follows an inventory of the estate and other documents regarding the orphaned children and the estate.]

p. 99 The Relationship of Samuel Burris and James Chandle

....In James Chandler's will, James bequeaths "to the children of my deceased daughter, Martha Burris, the late wife of William Burris of Darlington District, South Carolina, the number and names of them I do not know, four thousand dollars." Just who this William Burris was, and what kin, if any to Samuel Burris, is not known. It is thought, though, that he may have been Samuel's brother, or nephew; and that it was for this brother (or nephew) that Samuel named his son, William.

Also, in James Chandler's will, he bequeaths one thousand dollars to his step-son, Sam'l B. Simmons. Samuel Burris's daughter, Harriet Almira, married a man by the same name and it is thought that he was this step-son of James Chandler's that she married.

The following document, which was drawn up and executed in Darlington District, S.C., and copied from the Amite County, Miss., records, distinguishes this William Burris of Darlington District, S.C., husband of Martha Chandler, late daughter of James Chandler

p. 100

whom James Chandler mentions in his will, and to whose children he bequeaths some of his estate, from Samuel and Mary (Myers) Burris's William:

State of South Carolina
Darlington District}

Personally appeared before me, Hugh E. Cannon, who being first duly sworn, says that he has been acquainted with William Burris and Martha Burris as man and wife since the time that Ira E. Burris was born, who was the second child of said William and Martha--that Benjamin W. Burris was at that time reputed to be the first child of said William and Martha and always contained in the family of said Martha and William as one of their children--further deponent says that the lawful heirs or children of said Martha Burris are eight in number, to-wit: Benjamin W. Burris, Ira E. Burris, William M. Burris, Emily Burris (now Fraser), Samuel N. Burris, Elizabeth Burris, John Burris, and Martha Burris.

Hugh E. Cannon
Sworn to before me this 16th day o
Oct., 1832, Alex D. Sims, J. Q.

On-line on GOOGLE Books:
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Will of William BURRIS (c 1770-1840), 17 Oct 1840 Darlington District, South Carolina

I haven't posted in over a month, but I have been busy. I traced my friend Sandra's tree back about 4 generations. I found out more about my friend Ben's family. I just have not blogged about the research. When I find data, I add it to my Ancestry trees, my genealogy database, and back it up on at least two external drives. Adding it to a blog is yet one more place to enter the data. That can be tedious, and I did not feel like devoting the time to these other lines, but today I have some great discoveries in my BURRIS lines to share with anyone out there who might be searching. 

I was contacted two nights ago by a lady named Terri who is the descendant of Benjamin W. BURRIS. Benjamin turns out to be the brother of Sarah Jane BURRIS, mother of Arelia Darnella SPORTS. She has shared some wonderful information, but first I need to share with you the will of Benjamin and Sarah's father, William BURRIS, Jr. Jane is his second wife and mother of Robert Lenn, George and Sarah Jane. The other children were the children of Martha CHANDLER, daughter of James CHANDLER.

Will of William Burris (c 1770-1840), 17 Oct 1840 Darlington District, South Carolina

Will is on file at the Darlington County [SC] Historical Society

State of South Carolina, Darlington District.

Know all men by these presence that I William Burris of the State and District aforesaide, being weak (?) in body but sound in minde and of a disposing disposition do make and do make and do ? and ordain this my last will and Testament. ? it is my wish and will that all my just debts should be paid.

Item I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Jane Burris all the land lying on the east side of the road from Jefferies Creek to Black Creek Bridge or with a line from Jefferies Creek on to the back line laid off for my son Ira E. Burris. I also give her one of my horses which she can chose, one feather bed ? and furniture and ten head of hogs, One hundred bushels of corn and in the event of my wifes marrying the land is to be taken from her by my Executors for the benefit of my three youngest children namely Robert Lenn, George & Sarah Jane..I give to my son Robert Lenn Burris a negro Boy by the name of Tom, and my shot gun. I give unto my son George Burris a negro boy named Dawson..I give unto my Daughter Sarah Jane Burris a negro Boy named Lisbon, one feather bed and furniture. I also give unto my sons Lenn & George and my Daughter Sarah Jane one cow and calf ? to be chosen out of the stock by themselves..After my just debts are all paid, then it is my will that the balance of my estate shall be equally divided among all my children that are hereafter named...Namily..Ira E. Burris, William Wilson Burris, Emily Fraser..Samuel Burris..Jane Elizabeth Burris, John Burris, Martha Salmonds, Robert Lenn Burris, George Burris & Sarah Jane Burrris..I give unto Benjamin Burris two dollars which is to be all that he is to have and the hole of my estate. I do hereby nominate and appoint Ira E. Burris & James Cole as my lawful Executors.....I do hereby make and ordain this my last will & Testament revolking all other wills.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and this the Seventeenth day of October one thousand eight hundred and forty and in the Ninety fifth year of American Independence of the United States of America.

William Burris (Seal)

Thos. Stanly

Angus Gilchrist

Wm. L. Moye

Will probated Jan. 18, 1841. William died in December 1840.

Transcribed by Teresa McVeigh

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