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Captain James Gee, Eldest Son
The story of Captain James Gee, the eldest son of Charles and Hannah, best exemplifies the legacy they left their family. James was born in 1694 and he died in 1760.
James received an education and could read and write. It seems he was the only son who was taught. I speculate that he received schooling under the supervision of his grandfather, James Jones who was likely his guardian after the death of James’ father Charles Gee.
He married Boyce Scott whose father, John Scott, left a large estate upon his death. John Scott’s will and the proceedings afterward are noted in The Scott Family. James and Boyce were married in 1724. They had eight children, three daughters and sons Charles, John, James Jr., Drury and Henry.
As the eldest son of Charles and Hannah, James represented the family in public affairs. Clearly this was also because he was the only one who could read and write. James was about sixteen when his father died and he became the head of his family. Because Hannah did not remarry she preserved the estate of Charles for his sons. One third belonged to her and would have gone to her new husband. The step-father would have controlled all of the estate until each child reached the age of twenty-one, and probably only the eldest son would have received his father’s portion of the estate and the younger sons would not have received any land.
James became a man of power and influence in Sussex County to the benefit of his brothers as well as his own sons. Only planters of wealth, as well as good character held the offices he did. In 1740 he was selected as Vestryman of Albermarle Parish. Also holding office with him were James Chappell, Christopher Tatum, Howell Briggs, John Mason Sr., and John Mason, Jr. These families would have dealings with the Gees in years to come including marriages.
Vestrymen met twice a year. They chose the minister and paid him by levying the parish taxes that supported the Anglican Church. They assessed the property and set property boundaries. The Parish taxes in Virginia were frequently four times all other taxes, so their budget was greater than that of the county. In addition to paying the minister the vestrymen cared for the poor in the county. In 1751 James Gee and Augustine Claiborne, Churchwardens placed this advertisement in the Virginia Gazette of Williamsburg: The Vestry of Albermarle Parish in Surry county, having come to a Resolution of repairing the Glebe House, of the said Parish, and of making such additional Buildings as the Law directs: We do hereby give Notice, to such as incline to undertake, that the said Work will be let, at the Glebe House, on Monday the 21st of October, by James Gee, Augustine Clayborne, Churchwardens.
Vestrymen also brought to court persons accused of moral crimes such as adultery, fornication, swearing, blasphemy, drunkenness, breaking the Sabbath and failure to attend church services. Attendance at an Anglican Church or chapel was compulsory under the law, but it seems enforcement was lax most of the time because settlers were widely scattered in the frontier parishes.
In 1755 James was appointed Justice of Peace and Justice of County Court for the newly formed county of Sussex. He was afterward appointed Captain of the Militia and Sheriff. The Sheriff was considered the county’s leading citizen and entrusted with collecting taxes and fines as well as enforcing the law.
Often church and public offices were held by the same people. Justices were frequently vestrymen. George Washington was both a vestryman and a justice for Fairfax County. The officers of the militia also were frequently these same men. Officers were recommended by the county justices to the Governor for approval.
The Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1776 was made up of over a hundred men only three of whom were not vestrymen. Vestrymen held office for life or until they resigned. It was where political and economic power was seated. Through the office of vestryman a planter gained access to others of influence and wealth. This in turn improved their financial condition. These were men joined together by common political and economic concerns and they debated the issues that led to the Revolution. They were the ruling cliques.
As Sheriff, James oversaw the election for Burgess of Sussex County. He would also collect fines from the Burgesses who failed to attend sessions of the House of Burgesses. James decided who was qualified to vote and when the polls would open and close. It was completely up to him. If the weather was bad he might hold the poles open for several days. If his candidate, probably David Mason, was losing, he could wait for supporters to arrive to vote before declaring the polls closed.
Voting was a public voice vote, so everyone knew your choice. When James decided to close the polls he stood in the courthouse door and cried out, Gentlemen freeholders, come into court and give your votes or the poll will be closed. Election Day in Virginia was a day for celebration, horse racing and cock fighting with beer and other spirits flowing freely. It was a very rowdy affair.
In 1722 James was granted 174 acres in Prince George County along Second Swamp. The deed reads: …grant to James Gee of Prince George County…parcel of land containing one hundred and seventy four acres lying and being on the South Side of Second Swamp in the County aforesaid and bounded as followeth to wit, beginning in Henry Leidbiters line at a shrub white oak thence South one hundred poles to a run near a pine marked four ways, thence East for only seven degrees south two hundred and three poles to a corner red oak thence east thirty seven degrees North one hundred poles to a corner pine thence forty two degrees north and hundred forty one poles to a corner Turkey oak thence West thirteen degrees North fifty seven poles to Charles William’s line thence West thirty degrees South fourteen poles along his line to his corner red oak thence West twenty seven degrees North sixty two poles to Henry Leadbiters line thence West along the second (?) thirty poles to the beginning.
In 1739 in Prince George is recorded: Ann Addison, relict of Thomas Addison, late of Bristol Parish, dec’d, made oath that Thomas Addeson departed this life without a will, and was appointed administratrix. Later it was recorded that Ann Addeson and her son Christopher Addeson recorded a deed for 439 acres to James Gee proved by oath of Thomas Eldridge, Thomas Eldridge, Jr., Thomas Williams, and Thomas Livesay, witnesses. In April, 1682, William Edmonds and John Williams patented 8,888 acres in Charles City County, on the South side of the James River in Jordan’s Parrish. This patent notes the transport of Chistopher Addison. Christopher Addison was granted 165 acres in Charles City County, Westopher (Westover) Parrish, South side of the James River, for the import of 6 persons. In 1722 Thomas Addison patented 239 acres in Prince George on the south side of Warwick Swamp, adjoining his own and Epps’ line, by Joseph’s road to the great branch of Joseph’s Swamp.
In 1749, James Gee was granted 1300 acres in North Carolina by the Earl of Granville. Lord Granville was the heir to one of the original Lords Proprietors of Carolina. When King Charles II of England was in exile following the English Civil War he accumulated large debts owed to those who supported him financially and politically. Eight men were granted large tracts of land in the area south of Virginia to Florida in 1663 as repayment for their support of King Charles II. Many immigrants from Virginia were attracted to North Carolina because of the opportunity of purchasing or appropriating the land belonging to Lord Granville. He controlled the northern half of North Carolina. William Byrd, one of the wealthiest grandees whose home was Westover, surveyed the Virginia and North Carolina border in 1728 and declared it an Eden. In that year he bought 20,000 acres and in 1742 he bought another 105,000 acres for only 525 pounds. He had hoped to get it free. We don’t know if James paid for his 1300 acres or not. If he did it didn’t cost him too much. He most likely made his purchase through Robin Jones, Granvilles agent, who grew up in Surry County, Virginia and was a cousin.
When James died in 1760 he left over 2,500 acres. He had probably already helped his sons acquire property before his death because only propertied men could vote or do well financially.
Will of Captain James Gee
Written July 8, 1759 – filed February 16, 1760
Son Charles Gee, plantation whereon he (Charles) now lives in Prince George County containing 439 acres purchased of Christopher Addison; also 174 acres known as Howard’s in Prince George County, and 350 acres on north side of Jack’s Swamp in Northampton County, North Carolina; also 6 negroes, desk, Bible and cattle.
Son Drury Gee, 250 acres in Ocaneachy Neck in North Carolina and 158 acres on Roanoke River adjoining the aforementioned 350 acres on south side of Jack’s Swamp, 3 negroes, horses, cattle, hogs and debts owed testator (James).
So Henry Gee, plantation testator now lives on and lands thereunto adjoining being 490 acres, and 382 acres on south side of Warwick Swamp in Sussex County; 6 negroes, and also all the profits, if any remaining, after my Pubick business be settled as sheriff; also wedges, cattle and table.
To Thomas, son of Samuel Chappell, 158 acres on north side of Roanoke River in North Carolina.
Labor of two negroes to John Bradley and wife Sarah for life, then to testator’s grandson Gee Bradley and granddaughter Sarah Bradley.
Daughter Sarah Bradley, table and table cloths.
Daughter Elizabeth Gee, 4 negroes, bed, furniture, horse and side saddles.
Granddaughter Boyce Gee, daughter of son James Gee, deceased, 183 acres in Prince George County between Joseph’s and Warwick Swamp, and 4 negroes.
Residue to daughter Elizabeth Gee. Executors: sons Charles Gee and Henry Gee. Witnesses: Richard Carter, William Heath, Junior, Abraham Heath and Thomas Young.
The valuation of James Gee’s estate was ₤1,003.10.3 making him one of the wealthier citizens whose estates were appraised during this period. James was about sixty-six years old when he died.
A Summary of the Inventory of Captain James Gee’s
21 hoggs old & young
3 horses 2 mares
5 feather beds, bolsters, furniture
2 oval tables
1 pair pistolls & hosters
3 cydar barrels (indicates an apple orchard)
2 pork barrels
1 barrel peas
8 hams of pork
Cross cut saw 7 whipsaw
8 sickles, 2 flax hatchets, 1 handsaw
1 spice mortar
Some carpenter tools & cooper tools
1 frying pan
1 large Bible, a parcel of old books
2 old barrels
2 spinning wheels 1 flax wheel
1 kettle pot and hoods
7 bees and hives
3 leather chairs
6 rush bottom chairs
6 knifes & forks 18 spoons
2 glass cans
1 dram glass
1 punch bowl (they entertained guests)
1 parcel stone ware
1 pepper box
5 candlesticks 1 pair snuffers
1 pair large stayard 1 pair small stayards (same as stilliards- used for weighing)
A parcel of tea ware
7 glass bottles 2 canisters
A pair sheep shearers 1 pair taylor shearers
1 pair fire tongs
A small looking glass
Small brandy and cask
A small quantity of tallon
A quantity of cotton
A parcel of wool
A parcel of files & rests
1 branding iron (probably use on slaves as well as stock)
Parcel of Indigo
2 men’s saddles, bridle
Parcel of cart gear
Some shoe tools
Pott and hooks, pott rack, spitt
Parcel of flax
2 diaper table cloths (diaper was a type of fabric often mentioned for linens)
1 brass skillet
60 bushels of oats
1 hosghead tobacco
1 side saddle & bridle
1 case of razors
2 pair gloves, 1 small bible, 1 wallet
17 head cattle
223 pounds tobacco
Submitted by sons Charles and Henry Gee and attested to by William Heath, Richard Carter and William Shands.
James Gee and Boyce Scott
1. Charles Gee born about 1728; died about 1784 married Mary Chappell
2. James Gee born before 1759 married
3. John Gee born 10/1739
4. Sarah Gee married 1st John Rives; 2nd John Bradley
5. Drury Gee born about 1730; died about 1786 married Mary Tiller
6. Henry Gee born about 1732; died about 1788 married Frances Parham
7. Elizabeth Gee born 7.1741 married John Mason, Jr.
8. Mary Gee died 1797 married Thomas Chappell
The Children of
Captain James Gee and Boyce Scott
Charles was appointed to procession land from 1743 to 1760 in Bristol Parish, Prince George County near the Dinwiddie County line. This required him to check boundaries and landmarks, recording them in the parish records. In 1782 he was taxed for the 439 acres he inherited from his father, which was the original home of Charles and Hannah. He was also taxed for 11 slaves. He died around 1784-85.
Drury was recorded in 1760 as a private in a Troop of Horse, Northampton County, North Carolina that was commanded by Henry Dawson. He was listed as Colonel D. Gee in a table of military Land Warrants for the North Carolina Continental Line.
In the records of Virginia on April 2, 1772 in the Virginia Gazette was this advertisement place by Drury Gee:
RUN away from the Subscriber, in Northampton, North Carolina, a likely Virginia born Negro named KIT, a stout well set Fellow, about twenty two Years old, his fore Teeth are somewhat decayed, the Small of one of his Legs is much scarred, owing to a Fever having fallen into it, and has occasioned one of his Feet to be shorter than the other. He has been run away ever since April or May last, and is supposed to be now in Virginia, and on or near Rappahancock River, in Company with a Brother of his, named TOM, who belongs to Mr. John Gee, of the County of Prince George, and is a very likely well set Fellow. They are both great Villains, have committed many Outrages, and are both outlawed. Whoever apprehends the said Slaves, or either of them, shall, on their Delivery to Mr. John Gee, in the County of Prince George, or on their being secured in any Jail (so that I may get them) and published in the Virginia Gazette, have TEN POUNDS Reward for each. DRURY GEE
Drury was a delegate to the North Carolina Provincial Congress n 1775-1776. He was also a member of the General Assembly in 1783. He was a sheriff and vestryman for St. Andrews Parish, Northampton, North Carolina. It appears he and Charles Gee III were close cousins.
In his capacity as sheriff Drury placed this advertisement in the Virginia Gazette in April, 1775. Committed to Northampton county jail, North Carolina, the 22d ult. An outlandish negro man, who cannot, or will not, tell his owner’s name. He is a small back fellow, about five feet four inches high, and has some of his country marks between his eyes; had on a negro cotton jacket with a red collar, and some red round the sleeves, and an old pair of leather breeches. The owner may have him by proving his property, and paying charges. Drury Gee, Sheriff.
While encamped at Halifax, foraging parties were sent out by Cornwallis into nearly every section of the county to gather supplies for his army before setting out to Virginia. Stedman, the historian who was with the British during the occupation of Halifax, records the fact that these foraging parties, or marauders, were guilty of some crimes that were a disgrace to the name of man. Tarleton, in his Campaign in the Southern Provinces of North America, states that a sergeant and a dragoon were executed at Halifax for rape and robbery.
Letter from General Ashe to the Council of Safety.
Camp at Wilmington, Aug. 13th, 1776.
Agreeable to yours of the 8th Inst which I Received last evening, I dismissed the Brigade early this Morning & have Given Marching Orders to the field Officers of the different Districts in Regard to their March home. I have Likewise spoke to Genl Moore in Respect of the Barracks, he tells me that he has not as yet Received any Orders in Respect to them. I could wish it might be given as speedily as possible as I am apprehensave much of the Lumber will be stole. Since my last to you I Received a letter from the Committee of Bladen County informing of me of a Number of deserters from the Regular Troops of this State, Tories & Other Disaffected persons that had Collected themselves together & that they were apprehensive of ill consequences attending if they were not disperced. Upon the Receipt of this Letter I Ordered off a Detachment from the Brigade of Two Companies, consisting of a Hundred & Ten privates under the command of Colo Brown to March into their Setlements and to apprehend them & to distroy such as should Oppose them; but before he could reach them they had killed Captn Nathaniel Richardson late Member of Congress & fired on Two Others; the Purpetrators of this Murder with a Number of others fled into the State of South Carolina, however he Apprehended Several of them & Left them in the Jaol of Bladen; five Deserters & Three of the most Notorious of the others he Brought to head Quarters, the Deserters I delivered to Genl Moore & the others I ordered to be Carried to you with Two others sent to you by General Moore by the Halifax Detachment under the Command of Lieut. Colo Gee. I have Inclosed a Charge against the Three. Mr Stuart was apprehended by Order of the Committee of War & Secrecy, Mr Bowan was apprehended Near the Fort, his conduct is so well known by the Chairman of your board that I Need not say any thing in Respect to him. I have likewise inclosed you the Determination of a Court of Enquiry & a Court Martial Respecting Captn Hill of the Detachment from the Edenton Brigade with my order thereon Subject to your Determination. I am Gentlemen with due Respect
Your Most Obdt & Very Humble Servt
The patriot forces, who had retired from the town upon the arrival of the British, kept watch upon the movements of the enemy, and were ready at any time to pounce upon them. The Edgecombe regiment under Colonel Hunter, Halifax under Colonel Allen, and Northampton under Colonel Gee were still in arms and ready to strike the foe at a minute’s notice. There were unimportant clashes between the opposing commands at Swift Creek, Fishing Creek, and near Halifax. In one of the bold dashes of the patriots into Halifax, one of the American cavalry-men became separated from his comrades, and, as he dashed for safety across Quanky bridge, was confronted on the bridge by several of the enemy. Beset behind and before, he reared his horse and made him leap the railing, plunging to the water thirty feet below. The horse was killed, but the daring hero made his escape. Tradition does not record his name.
After a delay of about a week, Cornwallis crossed the river at Halifax and retired slowly through Northampton and Brunswick County, Va., to Petersburg, where he was joined by the British army operating in the Old Dominion under General Philips and the traitor, Benedict Arnold. Halifax was thus rid of the enemy and was at once reoccupied by General Allen Jones in command of the Halifax Brigade. Cornwallis, after a short and decisive campaign in Virginia, surrendered his entire command to General Washington on October 19, 1781. (pg. 60 History of Halifax County)
In his capacity as sheriff of Northampton County Drury and Allen Jones often had interactions. After the war, Allen Jones and others were asked to audit his accounts and make a finding to the House of Commons. Drury had tried to settle earlier, but had been refused. The panel, in November, 1784, after many inquiries and accounting inquiries determined that the large sum of two-hundred and sixty-six pounds fourteen shillings and five pence currency were justly due to him.
Henry lived in Sussex. In 1760 Henry inherited the home plantation of his parents. It was 490 acres, and he also inherited 382 acres on the south side of Warwick Swamp in Sussex County. In 1763 Henry purchased for fifteen shillings one hundred and twenty three acres lying and being in the County of Sussex on the north side of the Three Creeks on Odums branch.
He was on the Committee of Correspondence appointed on May 8, 1775 with David Mason. The committees of correspondence were the seeds of the Revolution and the future Congress. It was the means by which the colonies communicated with each other concerning the problems with England and their debate over how to resolve these satisfactorily. On May 8, 1775 Henry was also on the Committee for Safety for Sussex County with David Mason, John Mason Jr., George Rives and others. David Mason was Burgess for Sussex County from 1758 to 1776. The committees of Safety were set up for self-defense in case of invasion by British Troops.
The records of King George’s War (1739 to 1748) note Henry Gee among the returns in 1746 to 1747 for troops raised in Virginia by Beverly Robinson for an expedition to Canada along with James Heath. It is interesting that a few days after their enlistment date they were both listed as not reporting to Williamsburg and considered deserters. It is likely Henry arrived late, as he later served with distinction in the militia. This is likely the military background that resulted in Henry being a leader in the Virginia Militia and also an indication of his interest in politics. Henry served as a colonel in the Revolution in the Virginia Militia. He was captured at his plantation by the British. Lt. Colonel J. G. Simcoe was sent south from Petersburg by British General Arnold to locate British General Cornwallis who had recently defeated the Halifax Militia in North Carolina and was marching north on the Halifax Road into Virginia. His purpose was to end the troubling raids by General Lafayette. Simcoe crossed the Nottoway River at Sweede’s Bridge and his cavalry surprised Henry at his plantation and captured him. The British troops went south on the Halifax Road to Hick’s Forde on the Meherrin River. Before reaching the ford they surprised and captured Colonel Hicks at his plantation. This was in newly created Greensville County, which was taken from the southern portion of Brunswick County. Hicks ford is now the town of Emporia.
“We proceeded,” says Simcoe, “with the utmost expedition, to the Nottaway River, twenty-seven miles from Petersburg, where we arrived early the next morning. The bridge had been destroyed, which was easily repaired, and Major Armstrong was left with the infantry. The cavalry went on to Colonel Gee’s, a rebel militia officer. He attempted to escape, but was secured, and, refusing to give his parole, was sent prisoner to Major Armstrong.” – Journal, page 207.
Lossing’s Field Book contains a wonderful description of the area as it existed in 1850 with illustrations. He states the road was red clay and narrow, as he travelled from Jones’s Bridge across the Nottaway into Brunswick County. The road occasionally broke into sand covered with pines, holly and laurel. The weather was stormy, with wind and rain, mingled with snow and hail. As the storm continued throughout the day, the Meherrin River increased its flow. His goal was Gee’s Bridge which was a rickety unstable old bridge built a short distance above the plantation founded by Colonel Gee. Used only when the Meherrin was too swollen to ford, its southern side was approached at an angle of forty-five degrees, and the approach at the steeper portion was leveled with boulders covered by logs.
From 1760 to 1775 Henry was Justice of the Peace, Captain of the Militia, and Sheriff of Sussex County. In 1763 he became a vestryman of Albermarle Parish. Besides inheriting his father’s home plantation he assumed his public role as well. It seems Henry removed to Greensville County or established a second plantation there during or soon after the Revolution. He died in 1788 five years after the war ended. Many estate inventories note payment of taxes to Henry Gee in his role as sheriff.
Published in the Virginia Gazette in October, 1777 was this advertisement. Strayed from Col. Gee’s in Sussex, last spring, a dark bay (or black) mare, intermixed with white hairs, most about the nose and head, better than thirteen hands high, five years old when she went away, drags her hind feet, which is very perceivable, is lower before than behind, but neither docks nor branded. I am informed she has been at Capt. Blunt’s near Surry old courthouse, and since at another plantation on Blackwater, higher up. Whoever gives such intelligence to the subscriber in Nansemond as he may get her again, or to Mr. Henry Applewhite of Southampton, shall be handsomely rewarded. William Coffield.
Perhaps Mr. Coffield had brought his mare to Henry Gee’s Plantation for breeding. In March and April, 1777 Henry placed a large, bold type add, with illustration of a fine stallion.
THE BEAUTIFUL HIGH BLOODED HORSE MERRY TOM, Being in high perfection, will stand at the High Hills in Sussex County, to cover Mares at 30 s. the Leap, 3l. the Season, and 5 l. to insure. Merry Tom was bred by Mr. William parker of Newcastle, in England, he was got by Regulus his Dam by Locust, a Son of Crab, his Granddam by a Son of Flying Childres, his great Grandam by Old Partner. The above Horse won the 300 Guinees sweep Stakes at Richmond, then 4 Years old; he won 50l. at Durham, and the Noblemen and Gentlemen’s Subscription at Cupar, then 5 Years old; this I have from under the Importer’s Hand. Good Pasturages for Mares gratis, but will not be answerable for any that may get away or be stolen. Henry Gee.
John Gee, of Prince George, age 21, 5 ‘ 9″, carpenter, being fair complexion, full faced with short black hair was included among those who enlisted in 1739-1742 in the Virginia detachment assembled to fight in King George’s War. These troops, under the leadership of General Clinton, made an expeditionary force to Canada. It would appear the John did not survive the campaign.
James Jr. died before his father. He had a daughter, Boyce. It is not known whom he married. Boyce married William Gary and they settled in South Carolina after the Revolution.
Elizabeth married John Mason III, son of Major John Mason Jr. and Elizabeth Chappell. Major Mason was a Major in the Revolution and served on the Committee for Safety with Elizabeth’s brother Henry and was also a vestryman of Albermarle Parish. Elizabeth Gee Mason apparently died without children not long after her marriage.
Sarah married John Rives and after he died she married John Bradley. They had a son, Gee Bradley who served with his cousins and uncles in the North Carolina Continental Line during the Revolution. He was captures by the British in May 1780 and released from service in January, 1783. He served in Captain Eaton’s Company. Gee Bradley became a leading citizen of Northampton County, North Carolina and later of Raleigh, North Carolina. He died in 1804. He was a member of the North Carolina Society of the Cincinnati, an organization of Revolutionary Officers.
Mary was the wife of Thomas Chappell. They settled in Northampton County on the land given to them in her father’s will. Their story is included in the chapter on the Chappell-Heath families.
The Grandchildren of
Captain James Gee and Boyce Scott
with some histories
Charles Gee and Mary Chappell
John S. 1745-1817
Chappell 1747-1777 m. Rebecca Lucas
Howell 1749 – 1788
Charles 1757-1825 m. Susannah Peebles
Henry 1761-1824 m. Sally Felts
Elizabeth m John Potts
Rebecca m. a Parham
Boyce m. John Powell
Mary m. William Harrison
Sarah m. Colonel Timothy Rives
James was Lieutenant, the Captain, in the 2nd North Carolina Regiment Continental Line. The records note that Captain James Gee was assigned by General Nash to sit with others on a board of Courts Martial to hear testimony regarding deserters. Before the verdict was made, Captain James Gee was called away on command. This was in July, 1777 at Trenton. By reading the testimony it becomes clear that the North Carolina troops had marched from their homes in early April, through Virginia, and eventually had arrived at Trenton.
Gee Bradley, his cousin, gave the following testimony in response to a suit by Allston Young and Company for the collection of debts owed British merchants before the war:
James Gee… this man died in the War Service at the Valley Forge, and he thinks insolvent.
A Revolutionary pensioner stated he enlisted in Captain James Gee’s Company at Edenton and served until 1780 when he was captured by British General Clinton, Captain James Gee having died prior to this. The battles this pensioner served in were Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth and Charleston. This helps us know where the 2nd North Carolina Regiment served.
The heirs of James were granted 3, 840 acres in Tennessee for his service. James died November 12, 1777 the day after he wrote his will.
Philadelphia Court, State of Pennsylvania, 11th November, 1777. In the name of God Amen. I James Gee late of North Carolina being of sound mind and memory but in a low state of bodily health desirous to settle my worldly affairs before I answer the last summons of nature do dispose of them as follows….
James left his land in Halifax County and his household goods to Rebecca Gee, widow of his recently deceased brother Chappell Gee. When she remarried in 1782 to David Thweatt, the land passed to his brother Henry Gee who also received James’ property in Northampton County. Chappell’s daughter Martha received the residue of the estate after the debts were paid. John Reeves (Rives), Alan Jones and James Martin were his executors. Witnesses were John Patten, Jethrew Sumner, Jr., and William McClurv. The will was probated after the war I 1783 in Halifax County.
John served in the 2nd Virginia Regiment from Sussex County in the Revolution. His son Henry also served in the War of 1812 as a Sergeant in the 62nd Virginia Regiment Militia. He enlisted in 1814, age twenty-four and received a pension for his service.
Chappell was Lieutenant, then Captain, in the North Carolina Continental Line. He died before James and was also sued by Allston Young and Company in 1788. His death ten t twelve years earlier was noted in testimony, as was the fact that he died with property.
Howell was first an Ensign in the 7th North Carolina Continental Line I April 1777. By November he was Lieutenant and then became a Captain in the 7th Regiment. His heirs were granted 2,560 acres in Tennessee for his service.
Charles married Susannah Peebles; daughter of Mary Hancock and Thomas Peebles. Mary Hancock was the widow of Clement Hancock, Jr. and the daughter of John Harrison and Susanna Edmonds. Her sister was Elizabeth Harrison who married Captain James Mason of Sussex. Charles Gee was Captain in Nash’s Brigade of the 2nd North Carolina Regiment. At sixty-seven he was among the officers to greet General Lafayette when he went to Richmond Virginia in 1824. Charles inherited the 439 acre plantation in Prince George County which was the original home of Charles and Hannah.
He and Susannah were the parents of :
a. Therina Gee who married a Belsches before 1836
b. Edmund Gee born about 1789 who died in 1812.
c. Charles Gee born April 9, 1792 in Prince George County
d. Thomas Gee born November 1793 in Prince George County and died in 1850 in Sussex County.
e. Theron Gee born in 1800 who died in 1845 in Prince George County. His plantation was called Shell Bank.
f. William Gee who was born about 1810 in Prince George County where he died. He built the Santa Rosa Plantation.
Some Histories of this Family
Serving in the War of 1812 were Lt. Edmond W. Gee and Sgt. Thomas Gee, sons of Charles. They were noted in Captain James Craig’s muster roll, mustered at Fayetteville, Tennessee, September 29, 1814, for service with Andrew Jackson’s Army of the Coosa, lower Alabama and Mobile Rivers. They fought the Creek Indians at Horseshoe Bend in Mississippi Territory on the Tallapoosa River and then went on to the Battle of New Orleans. Serving with them were Davy Crockett and Sam Houston. Lt. Edmond W. Gee was killed and Thomas returned to Sussex where in time he inherited the Gee Farm in Prince George.
Sgt. Thomas Gee was born in 1793. Thomas married a Lewis and died in 1850. He left the brick house plantation and 1358 acres in Sussex County to his son Thomas William. Thomas William died in 1869 without children. His estate went to his sister Caroline Mr. Bowden, and the family of his uncle William Gee and his aunt Mary C. Barrister. Fletcher states in his genealogy that this farm is locally known as The Gee Farm and may well be the one noted on the military map drawn during the Civil War. The entry for the obituary at the Library of Virginia notes that Thomas W. Gee died at Stony Creek.
Theron Gee, son of Charles and Susannah Peebles, married Eveline Collier. Her guardian was George Rives. Their children were:
- Edmund Gee, a grandson of Charles, served as Corporal, 2nd Lieutenant and Lieutenant in the Virginia Regiments of the Army of the Confederacy.
- Rosa McDonnogh Gee who married H. S. Mason
- Mary A. Gee
- Douglas Myrick Gee born in March 1837.
- Evelina J. Gee born in 1840 who married a Strachan.
William Gee, the son of Charles and Susannah Peebles, married Mary Emily Winter Temple. (Another source states she was Emily Wiseman Tyler) She was born in 1833. They were married November 24, 1848. Their children were Charles Gee born September 18, 1849 in Prince George County. Charles died at the Santa Rosa Plantation on Warwick Swamp in Prince George; William Gee born in 1852; Allen Gee born in 1855; and Edmund Gee born in 1857. 4 miles southwest of Disputanta, Virginia is the William Gee Graveyard. It was established on property owned by William Gee from 1847 until 1872. It was inherited by his widow, Emily (W. T. T.) Gee who left it to her son Charles Gee and his wife Anna Bland. They sold the land to Frederick Lang, Sr. in 1894. The graveyard is located about 200 yards from the plantation home Santa Rosa. Known to be buried there are William Gee, born in 1810 and died March 19, 1872; his wife Emily W. T. T. Gee, and their son Charles Gee. It is believed that William Gee’s father, Charles was buried there when the graveyard was begun. William also owned a tavern in Prince George County, and possibly was also an owner of a tavern in Dinwiddie County.
William and Emily were the parents of Charles Gee born in 1849 who married Anna, daughter of Dr. Thomas Bland. Their children were: Emily Temple Gee who married Joseph Heath; Anna Bland Gee who married James A Faisson; Charles Gee; William Gee; Allen Gee; and Susannah Gee who married John A. Williams (1869).
Charles born in 1792,
son of Charles and Susanna Peebles
It is likely that this is the Charles Gee that is referred to by Sterling H. Gee in his letter to his father, Nevill Gee, residing in Halifax. (See Sons of Charles Gee and Elizabeth Doby.) Sterling twice writes that he sends his best regards to Major Charles Gee. Evidently Charles removed to North Carolina for a period of time and was well regarded by his North Carolina cousins. He also had business dealings with the family and was an attorney. Recall that Charles married the daughter of Thomas Peebles and Mary Harrison. She had first been married to Clement Hancock, Jr., the brother-in-law of Elizabeth Doby second wife of Charles Gee III.
An American Pirate 1812, 1813 from the Executive Papers to the governor of Virginia has this entry:
Some two or three years ago, a certain Jeremiah Delk, a respectable citizen of the Isle of Wight County, owned a Negro man slave…. This fellow was so unmanageable and artful that he could do nothing with him and he sold him to Maj. Charles Gee… and it was with much difficulty that he managed to get hold on him. And after he had done so he was so artful as to make his escape from him in a short time and return to this neighborhood, where he has remained ever since until a few months ago…when he was caught… by some Negroes, who had been induced by a reward offered for him to become intimate with him, and by some means got him to lay by his gun which he always carried, to wrestle with him, when they took him and delivered him to Major Gee. After he was taken he was so desperate and ferocious as to abuse in the most gross manner every gentleman who met with him. Major Gee I understand carried him to Petersburg, and delivered him to Mr. Seth Mason of that place, who I understand now owns him. He put him in jail. The jailor, who no doubt had been apprised of his character, turned him out, or what amounted to the same thing carelessly let him get out, and he went immediately to the neighborhood where he has procured another gun and has been committing depredations ever since. He is no doubt connected, harboured, and furnished with arms and everything he wants by some desperately mean white people, who I no doubt he furnishes with plunder in return. You will no doubt wonder that he has been permitted to go at large so long, but the people near him are absolutely afraid to take any means to apprehend him, for were they to do so, and fail, he might do them immense damage, or perhaps waylay them and murder them; armed and protected as he is, he lives in the islands of the Black-Water River, where he has the facility of canoes, and a perfect knowledge of the river, and on Sunday last, as before observed, four respectable young men, one married and three single went down the river a few miles, on a trip of pleasure and on their way down found a dead hog, just prepared for cooking, which they took in. They were immediately hailed and the hog demanded of them. They told him to come up and he should have it…. He pursued them in his canoe; they saw him deliberately take aim, prime his gun and fire at them, the married man who is in very moderate circumstances and has a family is supposed by his attending surgeon to be mortally wounded. To issue a warrant against this fellow would answer no purpose as he would very easily by his spies and confederates, always evade search, and so desperate is his character was he surrounded by 50 armed men, he would not be taken alive… I beg you therefore, to have him outlawed and offere a hansome reward for him, as this is the only way he will ever be taken.
In 1823 John Doby gave a power of attorney to Charles Gee, formerly of Prince George County, but now in Tennesse, to sell land for him. It is likely this was a son.
Charles Gee is noted in Sussex in 1835 attending the Republican Party’s delegation meeting. He objected to sending six delegates sworn to support the party position, and evidently rambled off the subject, to that point where the chair, Colonel Jesse Hargrave, silenced him. He exclaimed …I am gagged, and sat down, only to rise again, repeating his tirade. A party rose, and enquired if anyone could speak, as Major Gee had removed from this part of the Country to North Carolina some years ago, and had only some months since come to reside in the county (Sussex). He lacked nothing but two or three months’ longer residence to make him a voter. At this the major took his seat and refrained from further comment.
His will was probated in Sussex County in 1836 and he leaves to his relative and executor, Joseph Mason, of Petersburg stock in the firm Mason, Gee and Pope, $5,000; that Joseph Mason shall have the use of his slave with the price of his labor to be split between the slave and Mason; and the residue of his estate ½ to his brother Thomas, and ½ to be shared by his brother William and sister Therina Belsches.
There are later references to Pope in the papers of Sterling H., and Charles J. Gee in regards to the finances of the Gee’s Bend Plantation in Alabama.
Sarah married Colonel Timothy Rives of the Revolution. Among their descendants was a Congressman from Virginia and General William Briggs Shands who married the daughter of President John Tyler.
Sarah and Colonel Rives also had a daughter Judith who married John Gee son of Charles Gee III and Elizabeth Dobie.
Drury Gee and Mary Tiller
James Tiller died about 1816 m. Mary
James Tiller Gee lived in Northampton County, North Carolina. His son Drury went to Georgia. Drury was briefly a student at the University of North Carolina in 1803.
Henry Gee and Frances Parham
James 1762-? m. 1st Mary Norfleet, widow
m. 2nd Hannah Norfleet
Ephraim Parham 1770-post 1810
Jane 1760-1826 m. Joseph Heath Their family is traced in The Heath Family
Frances Raines 1772-?
James was on the standing committee of the Republican Party in Southampton Virginia. This made him a supporter of Thomas Jefferson against John Adams in the Presidential Election. James later went to Halifax County, North Carolina. His son, William Henry Gee, born in 1797, went to Madison County, Alabama and William Henry’s son, Dr. James Thomas Gee was a Lt. Colonel in the Confederate Army. He first served as a Major in the 1st Battalion, Alabama Artillery.
The will of London Urquhart, a free man of color, probated May 22, 1837 in Huntsville, Alabama states: “James T. Gee shall have the lot in Huntsville conveyed to me by Thomas Fern…etc.” al.). James T. Gee also to have Judy, my wife, upon the trust and confidence that he shall permit her to enjoy her freedom and the use of said lot and its appurtenances as far as the law will permit.”
James T. studied at the University of Virginia from 1838 to 1840. He moved from Huntsville to Selma. It is noted in a history of Alabama that one J. T. Gee of Selma was the owner there of a hotel and that one of his slaves who had carried baggage from the rail station to the hotel was one Ben Gee. This Ben Gee took the name Benjamin Turner and became Dallas County tax collector, Selma City Councilman and U. S. Congressman in 1871-73. Turner stated he was born in North Carolina and at the age of 5 was brought to Alabama. As of 1977 only three black Americans had ever served in Congress from Alabama.