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(Revisions anticipated after review of Halifax Deeds 2/15/2010)
Northampton and Halifax Counties
Charles Gee III was born in 1723 and appears to have been the oldest son of Bridget Nevill and Charles Gee. He was called Charlie by his uncle, Captain James Gee, and probably by the rest of his family. He lived a long and very prosperous life.
Tracing the movements of Charlie is a bit difficult. As we have seen, his brothers, except the two youngest, all set out at about age twenty-one to found their own plantations, assisted by Charles II. Charlie was twenty-one in 1744 but our earliest provable record for him is in 1750 when he was twenty-seven.
It seems that Charlie was strongly influenced by his uncle, Captain James Gee. In 1749, a year before Charles II bought the first 400 acres in Lunenburg County; Captain James Gee bought 1,000 acres from Lord Granville that was located in Northampton County, North Carolina. This land was located on the north side of the Roanoke River. Jack Swamp ran through it. On May 2, 1750 Captain James Gee deeded 300 acres on the south side of Jack Swamp to …Charlie Gee, my nephew for the love and affection he beareth. Charlie was 27 years of age. This was a gift deed. Charlie may also have been influenced by his Neville relatives, who purchased land from Lord Granville at about the same time as his uncle.
That same year Charlie bought more land along Jack Swamp. The deed read unto the sd. CHARLES GEE and 5 shillings current money 300 acres on the south side of Jack’s swamp, joining a small branch, SUNDY and the swamp Wit: JOHN EDWARDS, JR., BARTHALOMEW FIGURES Reg. Northampton Co. May Ct. 1750 J. Edwards C. Ct.
In 1760 Captain James Gee died and he left land he held in North Carolina to his heirs. We have a record of the purchase of the 1,000 acres and the transfer of 300 to Charlie, his nephew. In his will he transferred an additional 916 acres. It is not clear how the additional acres were obtained.
Charlie’s new neighbors were his cousins Drury, James, Chappel and Howell Gee and Thomas Chappell. Captain James Gee left to his son Charles, of Prince George County, 350 acres on the north side of Jack Swamp which Charles deeded in 1774 to his sons James and Chappel Gee. James later acquired another plantation in Halifax County. To his son Drury Gee, Captain James left 158 acres on the south side of Jack Swamp adjoining the land left to Charles and 250 acres on Ocaneachy Neck. Drury later sold the 158 acres to his nephew Howell Gee, another son of Charles Gee of Prince George County. Captain James Gee also left 158 acres on the north side of the Roanoke River to Thomas Chappell, son of Samuel Chappell.
Prior to his removal to North Carolina it would seem that Charlie resided in Surry County where he married Elizabeth Hancock. There is no record of his marriage to Elizabeth Hancock. We learn of Elizabeth through a lawsuit filed in Wilcox County, Alabama in 1825. The legal documents sight her as Elizabeth Hancock, second wife to Charles Gee, but it is clear that she was his first wife and that the eldest of Charlie’s children were also her children. Her family is traced in the Hancock section that follows.
North Carolina was a frontier area in 1750 and their neighbors were few and widely scattered. Life was hard with about forty inches of rain each year. The Roanoke flooded frequently. Summers were humid and hot. As with most early settlers, their home would have been a one-room cabin.
Charles Gee testified in court in Northampton 1758 that he had witnessed a deed. In 1762 the records of Northampton County election returns record Charles Gee as the 85th voter for Anthony Armistead. Voting in the same election was Drury Gee, Charlie’s cousin. Drury was selected by the candidates to inspect the vote. Drury voted for Joseph Sikes. Both Sikes and Armistead won the two offices.
There is another notation in the loose papers of the courts regarding one Charles Gee, Jr. late of the colony of Virginia debtor in a suit of Tatum versus Gee in 1763. Charles Gee, Sr. became the garnishee evidently having stood as security for his son.
Charlie and Elizabeth Hancock had two, possibly three sons who reached maturity. The eldest seems to have been Charles Gee IV and the youngest was William. Another son may have been Clement Gee who was noted in Brunswick in 1789. William was born in 1752 according to an historical marker erected in Darlington County, South Carolina near his family home. Charlie and Elizabeth also had two daughters, Amy and Anne. Elizabeth evidently died before 1760 leaving Charlie with at least four young children.
Charlie’s son married Elizabeth Dobie, daughter of William and Hannah Dobie of Sussex County. Charlie and Elizabeth Dobie’s first son was born in March 1763. It would seem they had been married at least by June of 1762. While the births of Charlie and Elizabeth’s (Dobie) children are recorded in the Albermarle Parish Register, this is not proof that they resided in Sussex County. Reverend Wiley may have recorded these children when Charlie and Elizabeth traveled to Sussex from Northampton. The entry in the register for Patty Gee on August 27, 1768 is only eight days after the will of her grandfather Charles Gee II was filed for probate in Sussex. As the eldest son, it would seem that Charlie should have been an administrator of his father’s estate, which he was not. This is probably because he was living in Northampton. There is no known deed which shows that Charlie owned land in Sussex or in Lunenburg Counties.
Charlie and Elizabeth Dobie had five children. The Albermarle Parish Register records the birth and godparents of the first four.
Joseph, 1763; Thomas Adkins, Lucy Adkins, William Heath Jr.
John, 1766; Steth Parham, Elizabeh Meacum, James Mason
Patty, 1768; Thomas Moore, Jane Mason, Elizabeth Bedingfield
Salley, 1771; Gile Underhill, Amy Gee, Jemimma Hancock
Neville; there are no entries in 1773 in the Albermarle Parish Register, for the birth of Nevil, Charlie and Elizabeth’s last child, though the register was kept past 1773.
It seems clear that Elizabeth Hancock’s children had ties with families in Sussex and Prince George, which certainly indicates that they spent time in both counties, possibly receiving an education. The younger children evidently did the same, and several of the spouses selected by Charlie’s children were residents of these two counties. While it was most certainly a struggle to finance, Charlie clearly arranged for the education of his two oldest sons during these years. Teachers were very difficult to find in North Carolina. While Charlie could have taught them it is more likely that they were educated away from home in Virginia for a brief period and then continued educating themselves once they received grounding in reading, mathematics and other subjects. Education as we know it today did not exist. It was private and limited and most men were self taught, including many of our Revolutionary leaders. In later years we have notations that John Gee sent his son from South Carolina to reside in Halifax to obtain an education on the family’s plantation at Poplar Grove.
Regardless of where he resided, Surry, Sussex or Northampton, the period 1763 to 1772 was difficult economically and politically. There can be little doubt the Charlie struggled with all the issues which afflicted the other colonists, high debts to British merchants, restrictive taxes and duties, as well as chagrin over Parliament’s treatment of their American cousins.
William Dobie prepared his will in May 1763. In 1765 he purchased land in Brunswick where he evidently moved. His will was filed in Brunswick in April 1772.
Will of William Dobie
In the Parish of Albermarle, County of Sussex May 1, 1763.
I give unto my loving wife Hannah Dobie much of my land as she shall have occasion to cultivate and the plantation whereon I now dwell with the liberty of getting Timber for the support of the plantation and thereunto belonging during her natural life.
Negro boy named Frank which is now in possession of my son-in-law Charles Gee Jr. and my daughter Elizabeth Gee which I gave the possession of to Robert Hancock deceased some years past shall go to deceased and be a part of the said Robert Hancock’s Estate and that I desire my daughter Elizabeth Gee may be entitled to her proportion of the value of the said Boy in the same manner as she is entitled to the other slaves of the Estate of the said Robert Hancock deceased.
(Notes son-in-law John Dillard and daughter Mary Dillard; James Crowder(?) and daughter Sarah)
…grandson Nathaniel Dobie …if he arrives at lawful age… (to receive) Negro boy Simon and if not then to my son John Dobie. …To grandson Nathaniel the feather bed and furniture which I have lent unto my wife which he shall have after her decease and my son John Dobie shall purchase him two cows and calves upon grandson attaining lawful age out of my Estate….
To son John Dobie …tract or parcel of land whereon I now dwell… except the provisions set down for his wife.
Signed and witnessed by David Mason, Mary Mason, Henry Gee (son of Captain James Gee, who removed to Greensville), and John Rives. Dated April 27, 1772 for filing in Brunswick, Will Book 4.
The estate of Robert Hancock was settled in Brunswick in 1765. There is no clear explanation for the rights of inheritance Elizabeth would have in Robert’s estate unless she was his first wife, which appears to be the case. Robert Hancock died before 1763, leaving three known children, born between 1752 and 1757 and a wife named Elizabeth. Unfortunately he died without a will and the settlement of his estate coincides with the new will of William Dobie and the birth of Elizabeth and Charlie Gee’s first son, Joseph.
William and Hannah Dobie were associated with the Gee family before the marriage of Charlie and Elizabeth. In 1740 their son Joseph Dobie was born and his godparents were Joseph Mason, Charles Gee and Mary Dansey. Their son John Dobie was born in 1742. Besides John, Joseph and Elizabeth they had a son Nathaniel, father of Nathaniel Jr.
There is evidently a relationship between the families of Hannah Dobie, Mary Dansey, Anthony Hancock, wife of Clement Hancock and the Penningtons, Masons and Wrens. The families were frequent godparents to each other. If Charlie Gee was married or engaged to Elizabeth Hancock in 1740, this could explain Charles Gee as a godparent in 1740 to the Dobie family. Clearly there was some type of familial relationship between the Dobies and the Hancocks that remains to be proven.
Charlie and Elizabeth Dobie had five children. The Albermarle Parish Register records the birth and godparents of the first four.
Joseph, 1763; Thomas Adkins, Lucy Adkins, William Heath Jr.
John, 1766; Steth Parham, Elizabeh Meacum, James Mason
Patty, 1768; Thomas Moore, Jane Mason, Elizabeth Bedingfield
Salley, 1771; Gile Underhill, Amy Gee, Jemimma Hancock
Neville, 1773, was not entered in the Albermarle Parish Register.
William Dobie went to Brunswick County immediately after preparing his will. It is unclear why but it would seem to be related to the estate of Robert Hancock. We know that in 1793 Joseph Gee, Elizabeth Dobie’s eldest son, deeded land in Brunswick to Henry Hancock, Robert Hancock’s son. In 1789 there is recorded a deed from a Clement Gee for the sale of land in the same county. While unproven, Clement is a Hancock name and would seem to indicate another son of Elizabeth Hancock. In 1798 Charles Gee sued Edward Birchott in Brunswick County, but it is unclear if this was Charlie of North Carolina or a nephew.
At the time of the Revolution there were quite a few families from Sussex and Prince George living in Northampton and Halifax Counties. After the war many of the sons moved on to other areas and some had been killed. In the census of 1786 Charlie Gee and his son William are listed in Northampton. Also listed in Northampton were Drury Gee and Howell Gee.
The first Federal census was in 1790. Charlie Gee is recorded as having one “male” over sixteen years of age in his household. He also had two “females.” The ages of females were not recorded in this census, which had the purpose of determining the country’s ability to muster a military force if needed. Charlie was counted as owning nine slaves. This was more than most planters in the county, although some owned considerably more.
The census taker road from plantation to plantation and so we get an idea of who were neighbors by the order they were entered in the census. Living close to Charlie and Elizabeth were their children, William, Joseph, John and sons-in-law Arthur Smith, Henry Thompson and Nathaniel Dobie. Robert Tatum did not live in North Carolina. He and Amy were married in Prince George County. Sadly the 1790 census for Virginia was destroyed by the British in 1812. It is unclear who the other “female” was who was counted in Charlie’s household.
In the 1800 census Charlie is the only member of his family living in Northampton County. He and Elizabeth lived alone with thirteen slaves. The deed records for Halifax County indicate Charlie made two purchases of land in Halifax between 1796 and 1805. The first of these was from his son Joseph. By 1800 Joseph, William and John had left North Carolina. Joseph would later return, but in 1800 only Neville remained. He lived in Halifax. It would seem that Charlie held two plantations as early as 1796.
In the records of Halifax County is recorded this information: John Jones, Judith Jones, Willie Jones, as executors of John Jones, deceased, and Robert Jones, son and heir of said John Jones, deceased, all of Halifax to Lewis Daniel November 1799, ₤740. The amount to satisfy a judgment obtained by Allen Jones as guardian of Tamberlin Jones against John Jones, deceased, 730 acres which said John Jones deceased willed to his son Robert Jones, on North side of Fishing Creek joining Joseph Nicholson, said John Jones deceased, Jesse Williams, Moore, Thomas Nicholson, Caleb Etheringe(sic), the land laid off for the mill. Witnessed by Nevil Gee, William Read, and W. Daniel (recorded February, 1801)
Peter Morgan, high sherrif of Halifax County to Hilliard, 6 May, 1801. Tamarlane Jones by his guardian Allen Jones, recovered against Joun, Willey, and Robert Jones, as heirs of John Jones, Sr. deceased. Said Hilliard was highest bidder at ₤1900, 370 acres surved by Thomas to asid John Jones, deceased joining Fising Creek; 209 acres conveyed to said John Jones by Aaron Etheridge and others, joining Fishing Creek, and Robert Inman; 100 acres conveyed by Clark to John Jones, deceased joining said Clark, Calbeb(sic) Etheridge; 50 acres conveyed by Clark to John Jones, deceased joining Etheridge, said Clark, Fishing Creek, P. Morgan. Withnessed by John Corwell, and Charles W. Gee for Harris, P. Browne. (no record date)
In 1810 the Federal Census was expanded to include some economic information. This is the year Charlie died and he was counted in Halifax County. Noted in his household were his wife Elizabeth, and two “free white males” one being over sixteen years and under forty-five, who was probably a grandson, and the other being forty-five years or older who was probably Joseph. Neville lived nearby on his own plantation.
Charlie was counted as owning one loom that produced 500 yards of cloth each year. He also had one still that yielded 250 gallons per year and one tanning yard that produced $60 worth of leather each year. Charlie owned thirty-two slaves when he died. He had experienced financial success between 1800 and 1810.
On December 6, 1810 the Raleigh North Carolina newspaper, the Raleigh Minerva, published a notice of Charlie’s death.
In Halifax County on the 10th, Mr. Charles Gee, a native of
Surry County, Virginia in the 87th year of his age.
Charlie was buried in the family graveyard on his plantation Poplar Grove that was located five miles outside of Weldon at Roanoke Rapids. His will was written on August 29, 1803.
Will of Charles Gee III
In the Name of God Amen. I Charles Gee of Halifax County, North Carolina, being afflicted in Body, but of Sound mind and memory, do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner and from following, To Wit
Item: Unto my beloved wife Elizabeth during her life the land and plantation whereon I now live which is all the land (?) by George Humphrey to Joseph Gee lying North of the run of Coleman’s Branch beginning in Southwesterly Line thence up the said branch to a Poplar near the old field. Thence along a line of new marked trees to the run of Rocky Swamp in (?) line running S 88 W to said corner. I also convey unto my said Wife Elizabeth during life for her support the lawful interest of Four hundred pounds Virginia money to be raised of the money due me by Joseph Gee and the Sale of the perishable part of my estate as herein devised and if these are not sufficient to make said sum of Four hundred pounds Virginia money then each legate herein named shall pay their proportionable (sic) parts of the sum which shall be lacking to make the value of the Interest to my said Wife annually and my Executors herein named shall keep the said money raised as above at Interest in Safe Hands and account to my said Wife Elizabeth yearly for the lawful Interest of the Same. I also leave to my Wife Elizabeth during life three Negroes namely Frank, Howell and Cate with all the increase that said Cate may have after the beginning and date of this Will. I also lend to my said Wife Elizabeth during life two first choice of horses, four cows and calves, Two Sows with Ten Shoots, Six choice Sheep, the flock of Geese with as much of my household and kitchen furniture as she may need and two of the best beds and furniture and as many of the plantation utensils as she may need and the Still.
Item: I give and bequeath to my Son William Gee one Negro woman named Sarah which he hath already had and one Negro boy Ephraim now in my plantation to him, his heirs and assigns forever.
Item: I give and bequeath to my Son in-law Nathaniel Dobie one Negro woman Ailse which he hath already gotten with all the children which she hath or may hereafter have them to him, his heirs and assigns forever.
Item: I give and bequeath to my son in Law Robert Tatum one Negro woman (?) which he hath already gotten and all the children she may have already had or may hereafter have and one Negro boy named Ted to him, his heirs and assigns forever.
Item: I give and bequeath to my son Joseph Gee one Negro man Anthony and one woman Tuby with all the children which she now has or may here after have with their increase to him his heirs and assigns forever.
Item: I give and bequeath to my son John Gee one Negro man Peter and one woman named Annaca with all the children which she may now have and their increase to him, his hears and assigns forever.
Item: I give and bequeath to my Son in Law Arthur Smith one Negro woman Carry which he hath already got and her children that she hath gotten and one Negro boy Charles with all their future increase to him, his heirs and assigns forever.
Item: I give and bequeath to my Son in Law Henry Thompson one Negro man Isham to him, his heirs and assigns forever.
Item: I give and bequeath to my son Nevill Gee one Negro man George and one woman Delilah with all the children which she now may have them and their increase to him his heirs and assigns forever.
Item: After the death of my beloved Wife I give and bequeath to my Son John Gee one half the lands on which I now live to him his heirs and assigns forever.
Item: After the death of my beloved Wife I give and bequeath to my son Neville Gee the other half of my land and forty seven pounds Virginia Money.
Item: After the death of my beloved Wife I give and bequeath to my son Joseph Gee the sum of fifty pounds Virginia Money.
Item: My will and desire is that after the death of my beloved Wife the remainder of my Estate not herein before devised be divided between my children hereafter mentioned Namely William Gee, Nathaniel Dobie, Robert Tatum, Joseph Gee, John Gee, Arthur Smith, Henry Thompson, and Nevill Gee.
I hereby constitute Joseph Gee and Neville Gee Executors of this my last Will and Testament hereby disallowing all others. In Witness whereof, I here unto set my hand and Seal this 29 August 1803.
Signed, Sealed, Acknowledged in Presence of Sterling Harwell and Paines Carstophen.
Poplar Grove Plantation
In 1754 the population of North Carolina was about 77,000 people. By 1767 it was not quite 200,000. It was the fastest growing colony. A great migration of immigrants from the north poured into the backcountry for possession of cheap, tillable land. Lord Cartaret, heir to Lord Granville, retained control of a 70-mile strip across the northern most part of the colony. His representatives maintained a land office in Edenton on Albermarle Sound.
North Carolina had three societies by the time of the Revolution. The interior was predominantly Scotch-Irish, Irish and German. There were many Quakers, Presbyterians, and Morovians who all eschewed slavery. Their major crop was wheat that was milled into flour before shipment to the coast. The southeast, around Wilmington and Cape Fear, was composed of immigrants from Virginia and South Carolina with a sizeable settlement of Scottish Highlanders who raised cattle. The production of naval stores, tar, pitch, resin and turpentine was the major product of the region. Labor intensive, it was supported by a large slave population. The northeastern part of North Carolina was really an extension of Virginia well into the eighteenth century. The border between the colonies was not firmly established until it was surveyed in 1728. Most of the settlers in this area were from Virginia and the difficulty in shipping through the sound added to this region’s ties with Virginia. Most of its products were sent into Virginia for export from ports along the James River with Norfolk being the major port. Planters in this area produced corn, tobacco, wheat, hogs and cattle. On the east side of the Chowan River cypress and cedar were harvested for shingles and staves.
Planters in the northeast generally raised two crops, tobacco and corn or tobacco and wheat. The export market for wheat was strong after 1750. Every planter also maintained a stock of cattle and hogs. A writer in 1775 stated, every proprietor of ever so small apiece of land, raises some Indian Corn and sweet potatoes, and breeds some hoggs and a calf or two; and a man must be very poor who walks a foot.
In 1728 the colony’s governor reported to the British government …thirty thousand Hoggs were drove out last years. Five years later, another governor stated …fifty thousand fatt hoggs are supposed to be driven into Virginia from this Province and also most the whole number of fatted Oxen in Albermarle County with many Horses, Cows and Calves, much barreled Pork is also carried into Virginia….
In Virginia, Scottish factors from the mercantile houses of Glasgow promoted the growing of tobacco during the century be extending credit to planters and arranging for the marketing of their crop. They soon rose to dominate the market and encouraged expansion into North Carolina. The Scottish firm of John Hamilton and Company was one of the strongest in Virginia and was the dominate merchant house in North Carolina where it bought nearly all the tobacco grown in the northeast. Their representatives were located near the town of Halifax and they shipped the tobacco from this region into Virginia for export. Tobacco inspection warehouses were located near Halifax, in Edenton and another near Scotland neck by 1760.
Wheat production was a large part of the economy in the area around Halifax. Access to shipping down the Roanoke River made it economical to ship the unmilled wheat and this was the major wheat exporting region of the colony. The interior produced more wheat but it was exported as flour.
Most corn exported from this area was sold in small lots and was usually what remained after the personal needs of the planter were met. Corn was grown primarily for fodder and bread. The corn was shipped on small vessels to Virginia or coastal ports.
Halifax county contains both coastal plain and piedmont. The Roanoke River was a colonial trade route linking the interior and the towns of Halifax, Weldon, and Roanoke Rapids to the coastal ports of North Carolina in the Albemarle Sound.
By 1760, there were two towns that served this region as trade centers, Edenton and Halifax. Edenton was founded early in the century and in 1730 there were 60 dwellings. By 1775 there were 135. Present at Edenton were a variety of merchants, British officials, who oversaw trade and customs, as well as the land office. The merchants specialized in exporting shingles, staves, tobacco and corn in small vessels to the West Indies and coastal ports in the north.
Halifax was founded by merchants in 1757 at the uppermost point on the Roanoke that was navigable. The falls were about ten miles further upstream and above them canoes and small craft could be used. There is no evidence the river was used to transport products above the point where Halifax was located.
Fifteen years after it was founded Halifax contained 50 dwellings. There were stores that supplied the countryside with commodities from Europe and the West Indies. These were exchanged for pork, tobacco, corn, wheat and lumber. There were even a number of lawyers. By 1769 Halifax contained a county courthouse, jail, tobacco store, and even a playhouse. The main coastal road connecting Virginia with South Carolina was rerouted through Halifax because of delays in crossing Albermarle Sound and the Chowan River by ferry and also because of its connection with Hillsboro gave access to the growing interior of North Carolina.
Halifax was the site of important pre-Revolutionary events. The Fourth Provincial Congress met there on April 12, 1776 and adopted the Halifax Resolves calling for independence from England. The fifth Provincial Congress met in the fall on 1776 and drafted North Carolina’s first constitution and appointed Richard Caswell governor.
During the Revolution Halifax was an important recruitment center, military depot and public weapons factory. In 1781 General Cornwallis, after defeating the Halifax Militia, stayed in a house called “The Grove” in Halifax. After a short rest he marched into Virginia.
The Indian name for the Roanoke was Maratuck or Morattock. Peat soils are distributed on both sides of the river and the entire region has poorly drained soil that is between twenty to fifty feet above sea level in most locations. The river flooded frequently, even at the time of the Civil War. In 1722 a group of Scot Highlanders settled in the area of a large bend that became know as Scotland Neck. After years of labor and many improvements these Scots were flooded out. They moved on to the Cape Fear area. By the time of the Revolution the planters along the Roanoke were cultivating cotton as well as corn, wheat and tobacco.
In 1722 Bertie Precinct was formed from the western portion of Chowan Precinct. In 1741 Northampton and Edgecombe counties were formed from the northern portion of Edgecombe County, below the Roanoke and above Fishing Creek.
Some of the records for Northampton are missing. Many of the records for Halifax County are missing. In 1848 the acting county clerk for Chowan County destroyed most of the old records for Chowan Precinct. This has left a great vacuum of information for early activity of the area that later became Northampton and Halifax Counties. Fortunately, some of the early records were not destroyed. These include the Granville Grants that were recorded in Edenton. It is amazing any records exist, as Edenton, seat of Chown County, was burned during the Civil War by Union troops.
The Episcopal Church at Roanoke Rapids was All Saints. This was probably the church attended by Charles Gee III and his family.
Charles Gee III Tree
Children of Elizabeth Hancock
Charles Gee IV born 1740 to 1751: died before 1790
Clement Gee born 1740 to 1751: died 1796 to 1802
William Gee born 1752: died 1813 married about 1778 to 1780 Susannah Heath
Anne Gee born about 1753 to 1754 married about 1778-1780 Nathaniel Dobie, Jr.
Children of Elizabeth Dobie
Joseph Gee born 3/1763: died 11/12/1824
John Gee born 11/1766: died 11/1821 married Judith Rives on December 17, 1788
Patty Gee born 8/1768 married Arthur Smith
Sarah (Sally) Gee born 4/1771 married 1st Henry Thompson 2nd John Glover
Neville Gee born 4/1773: died 10/2/1828 married about 1800 Elizabeth Harwell
The Children of Charles Gee and Elizabeth Hancock
Charles Gee, son of Charles
Charles IV was born between 1744 and 1752. From the colonial records of the state of Georgia for the period 1763-1766
1763 Read a Petition of Christopher Ring of Savannah Storekeeper and Peter Blyth of the same place Carpenter setting forth among other things that Charles Gee late of Savannah Bricklayer had withdrawn himself and Effects from this Province being indebted to the Petitioners as therin set forth and that nothing remained wherein the said Gee had any Interest except a Tract of Four hundred Acres of Land in St George’s Parish which had been ordered to and surveyed for him but his Majesty’s Grant had not passed for the same Therefore praying for a Grant of the said Land in their Names a Creditors of the said Gee, or such other Relief in the Premisses as to the Board should seem meet _
Read a Petition of George Ducker setting foth that he had been near five Years in the Province had had no Land gratned him and was desirous to obtain Land for Cultivation having a Wife and two Children and two Negores Therefore praying for three hundred and fifty acres in St George’s Parish at a place called Rocky Creek, being part of a Tract before ordered Charles Gee who had left the Province without having taken out his Majesty’s Grant for the same _
Read a Petition of Thomas Graham setting forth that he had been nine months in the Province had had no Land granted him and was desirous to obtain Land having a Wife and two Children, Therefore praying for two hundred and fifty acres upon Rocky Creek being a Part of a Tract of Land lately ordered Charlles Gee on which Petitioner had Settled
1764 The several Petitions of Thomas Graham, George Ducker and Christopher Ring and Peter Blyth touching Land heretofore ordered Charles Gee in St George’s Parish, Which Petitions were read on the sixth Day of December 1763, and Postponed for further Consideration were at this Board again read and considered And the Tract of four Hundred Acres heretofore ordered the said Gee was ordered to the Petitioners Christopher Ring and Peter Blyth the Creditors of the said Charles Gee And the Petitions of the said Thomas Graham and George Ducker were rejected.
At the time of the Revolution Charles was living in South Carolina in what became Darlington County in the area known as Society Hill. In 1788 he was noted as Captain Charles Gee, on a list of members of an educational society of St. David’s Parish. (pg. 281 Old Cheraws) The purpose of the society was to educate in Latin, Greek, and mathematics.
He was a captain in the South Carolina Militia. He probably joined the militia formed at St. David’s Parish. He is noted as being wounded September 8th, 1781, in the battle at Eutaw Springs and credited with serving under Marion.
It is unclear where Charles served or how he died. Although Fletcher discounts Heitman’s crediting Charles Gee as at the battle of Eutaw Springs, it is my opinion that Captain Jimmy Gee of Wilmington, a descendent of Henry Gee, son of Charles was not the Gee wounded at this conflict. James Kelly, born in 1760, of Pittsylvania County, Virginia stated, He was drafted while residing in Kershaw County under Lt. Graham (or Grimes), Capt. Thomas Creighton, Maj. Simons and Colonel Simons and was in the battles at Pocotaligo Bridge and Bacon’s Bridge. Next, he entered service as a volunteer under Col. William Washington and was in a skirmish at Rugeley’s Fort and the battle at Cowpens. He was also at Eutaw Springs under Capt. Charles Gee, who was badly wounded in the head. After being discharged by Sumter, he served under a Capt. Arbuckle of Virginia for two years against the Indians. (Moved to Tenn.) South Carolina Roster.
In the records of North Carolina are two rosters. The first notes the numbers of injured and dead for each contingent in the battle at Eutaw Springs. The other lists the names of those killed or injured by contingent. The colonial forces were composed of troops from the North Carolina Brigade, Virginia Brigade, Maryland Brigade, Delaware Battalion, Artillery, Lt. Col. Washington’s Cavalry, Legion Infantry, South Carolina State Troops, and the South Carolina Militia. It was to this group that Captain Charles Gee belonged. The casualties for this contingent were: Killed, Lt. Holmes, Simmons; Wounded, Brig. Gen Pickens, Lt. Col. Howe, Captain Gee, Pegee, Lt. Bonee. Lt. Col. Washington was taken prisoner. General Greene’s Action of the Eutaw, September 8, 1781 included militia from North Carolina, but none were killed or injured. The actions killed were 114 and 300 were wounded, 40 missing.
A description of the Battle of Eutaw Springs states that the entire British line of infantry was in the woods, and in a brick house and out buildings. The soldiers advanced two miles from their camp when they encountered Francis Marion’s line. This was a surprise to both, but Marion drove the British back through the woods and fell on the British soldiers. Captain Charles Gee of Marion’s Brgade was commanding the front platoon when he was shot in the head. The ball passed through the cock of his hat and grazed his head. He laid there for most of the day, everyone assuming he was dead.
Clement Gee, son of Charles
Until further investigation, Clement will be included simply because his name seems to indicate a connection. He may have resided in Brunswick, where in 1789 he sold land. Evidently he died before 1810.
Anne Gee, daughter of Charles
Anne is first noted in the Albermarle Parish Register as a godparent to Isaac and Sarah Bendall’s daughter Mary in June, 1770. That this was Charlie’s daughter seems evident. Sarah Bendall was the daughter of Thomas Wren whose sister Lucy married Nicholas Hancock. Robert Hancock was godparent to Sarah’s brother Nathaniel Wren and Anthany Hancock was godparent to their sister, Hulda Wren. An examination of the Gee records indicates there was no other known Anne Gee during this period.
Anne Gee married Nathaniel Dobie II the nephew of her step-mother, Elizabeth Dobie. Nathaniel was born Novembe 19, 1753 in Sussex, Virginia. Nathaniel was also a friend of her brother, William Gee. They served together in the Revolution. Nathaniel’s service was over in 1778 and he and Anne spent their early years in Sussex County, where their son William was born in 1777. By 1790 Anne and Nathaniel were living in Northampton County, North Carolina where they were noted in the census with four daughters and two sons, who were less than sixteen years of age.
Nathaniel Dobie, Jr. son of Anne
It seems that most of the Dobies went to Georgia. In 1820 Nathaniel Jr. was counted in Gwinnett County, Georgia. In 1830 John Dobie was noted in Jasper County and William Dobie in Walton County.
A number of Dobies settled in South Carolina including a Nathaniel Dobie. He settled in the 96th District by 1779. By 1790 there are several Dobies noted in Edgefield, Lancaster and Kershaw Counties. These all appear to be cousins of Nathaniel II. Some of them went to Texas by 1840.
William Dobie, son of Anne
William E. Dobie was born in Sussex County about 1777. On April 21, 1803 he married Polly Chappell and they had a son. He then married Dolly Neblett, the daughter of Sterling Neblett and Mary Chappell on July 17, 1805. Dolly and William were the parents of seven children: Caroline born in 1805; John S. born in 1809; Nathaniel James born in 1811; Sterling Neblett born in 1816; Robert Neville born in 1818; Richard Latimer born in 1820; and Virgina. They resided in Sussex County, Virginia where in the 1820 census William was counted with 1,000 acres and nineteen slaves. He served as deputy surveyor of Sussex County from 1820 to 1826. In 1827 he was involved in financial problems and drops from the records in Virginia. His eldest son was appointed to manage the family’s affairs.
He evidently went to Texas in 1828 where he took the alias William Dunlap. He was admitted to Austin’s colony and was employed as a clerk in Harrisburg. By 1831 he was a merchant and was a customs agent in Brazoria. In 1832 he was granted a quarter league plus a labor of land in Middle Bayou in southeastern Harris County.
William died in Sussex County in the summer of 1835. He had returned to Virginia for his family. Three of his sons, Nathaniel, Sterling and Robert went to Harris County in Texas. Nathaniel had a mercantile in Harrisburg in 1834 and moved to Houston in 1837. Sterling Neblett Dobie arrived in Texas in 1835, and he and Nathaniel helped found Galveston. Robert Neville Dobie arrived in Texas in 1838. Nathaniel Dobie died in 1838 in Harris County.
By 1840 Sterling and Robert were ranching on the William Dobie grant. Robert married Amanda Marina Hill and they had children Robert Sterling, William Neville, James Mayes, and Richard Jonathon. Robert Dobie drowned in Middle Bayou in 1857. Not long after this Sterling and Robert’s family moved to Oak County, Texas.
Stirling fought in the war for Texas Independence. Stirling married Mary Jane Morris and they had children Sterling Neblett, Mary, Dolly, Richard Latimer and Minnie. He died in 1880.
Amy Gee, daughter of Charles
Amy married Robert Tatum in Sussex County, Virginia in 1773. That same year she was noted in the Albermarle Parish Register in Sussex as godparent to John Ambrose son of Thomas and Amy Ambrose who were related to the Youngs, Shands, Tatums and Mitchells. William Mitchell (d1803) married Lucy Hancock. It does not appear they lived in North Carolina. If they did they left before 1790.
Robert was the son of Robert Tatum born in 1725 in Prince George County, Virginia. His wife was Keziah. Robert, Sr.’s parents were Nathaniel Tatum born November 18 1599 and Emelia Scott. Nathaniel and Emelia were the parents of John, Bathea, Cheney, Thomas and Robert. Nathaniel’s father was Samuel Tatum. Emelia Scott was the daughter of John Scott and Emelia Boyce.
Robert Tatum noted in Petersburg Township, Prince George County in 1810 is probably the husband of Amy. He is the only Robert Tatum counted in any federal census prior to this date. The Tatum family is traced in the Chappell-Heath family chapter.
William evidently was the only son to survive from Charlie’s first marriage and it would seem he was set aside, and the sons of the second wife were left the bulk of Charlie’s estate. His story is told in a following section.