Monday, March 12, 2012

Lea-Newman House (Leasburg, North Carolina)

Lea-Newman House. 1838. Pretentious, well-preserved story and a half frame house of transitional Federal-Greek Revival design, five bays wide, with four exterior end brick chimneys, flat-paneled entrance, original pedimented entrance porch with chamfered posts. One chimney has inscription believed to be "Luiz Pulliam 1838." Contemporary frame kitchen, dairy, and smokehouse remain. Family cemetery on east side.

Source: An Inventory of Historic Architecture: Caswell County, North Carolina, Ruth Little-Stokes and Tony P. Wrenn (1979) at 183. Photograph courtesy Carolina Caswell.

The cemetery beside the house is known as the Pulliam-Connally Family Cemetery and may be more associated with the nearby Stanfield-Connally-Kimbro house than the Lea-Newman house.

The above authors apparently dated this house based upon the "1838" found on a chimney. However, others believe this house was built much earlier by James (Cobb's Creek) Lea (c.1743 - 1816). The house at one time was occupied by the brother of James (Cobb's Creek) Lea, George (Cobb's Creek) Lea (aft.1755 - bef. 1830). James (Cobb's Creek) Lea sometimes is seen as James M. Lea, and George (Cobb's Creek) Lea sometimes is seen as George W. Lea.

James (Cobbs Creek) Lea (c.1743-1816)

Name also seen as James M. Lea. Source: William (Cobb's Creek) Lea Research by Betty Fitzgerald (July 2008). Death date also seen as 1803. Source: The Heritage of Person County, Volume III, Eileen M. Mikat, Ph.D., Chair Book Committee (2001) at 140-141 (Article #139, "George Lea, Col./Sen." by Betty Fitzgerald).

The following is from Source: Lea Families in Caswell & Person Counties North Carolina and in Virginia Before 1800, Ben L. Rose (1995) at 18-19:

James Lea of Cobbs Creek was probably the second James Lea on the 1755 Orange County, North Carolina Tax List (see below) and was almost certainly the son of William Lea of Cobbs Creek. It appears that he inherited land from his father on that waterway. In a deed dated April 16, 1770, James Lea (CC) sold 100 acres "on both sides of Cobbs Creek" to Frances Carney and the deed identified the land as "being part of a larger tract that the said James Lea's father named William Lea purchased from Dennis Collins by a deed bearing date of June 7, 1755. In two deeds he identified himself as "James Lea, son of William Lea deceased." We believe that this was the James Lea who signed in 1784 a Letter of Attorney to Thomas Phelps to sue for 25 acres of land in King & Queen County, Virginia, in which letter he identified himself as "James Lea, son & heir of William Lea, deceased." Other persons believe that another James Lea signed the letter and the question is examined later in this book.

James Lea (CC) was almost certainly the James Lea who was named in 1785 as one of the executors of the will of Mary Lea, widow of William Lea of Cobbs Creek. It is possible that James Lea (CC) was the son of William Lea (CC by a first wife; the language of Mary's will suggests that James was not her son. The will reads, "I nominate and appoint James Lea and my son George Lea my sole executors." Notice that she called George her son but did not call James her son. We believe that James Lea (CC) married Elizabeth Lea, daughter of Captain William (South Hico) Lea. Elizabeth Lea apparently died between October 1802 when her father, Captain William (South Hico) Lea, wrote his will (in which he mentioned his daughter Elizabeth and spoke of her as if she were still alive) and September 1803 when James Lea (CC) wrote his will in which he did not mention her but did mention property he expected to receive from his father-in-law.

James Lea (CC) wrote his will in 1803 and the will was proved in Person County in 1816. His failure to mention his wife in the will suggests that she was dead when he wrote it. In his will he named his seven children. It is possible that they were not all by Elizabeth Lea, Captain William (South Hico) Lea's daughter. James may have had a first wife who died.

Descendants of James Lea of Cobbs Creek. Sources: Will of James Lea, Caswell County 1816; Person County NC Marriage Records 1792-1868 by Kendall; Material from Lee Y. Ponder.

Children of James Lea of Cobbs Creek:

Abner Lea
Richard lea m. Nancy Lea
Benjamin Lea m. Elizabeth Lea
Naamah [Naomi] Lea m. William Satterfield
Frances [Frankey] Lea
Eunice [Nicey] Lea m. James Chandler
Annis Lea

One reason we believe that James Lea (CC) married Elizabeth Lea, daughter of Captain William (South Hico) Lea, is that this is suggested by he last three names of his children: Frances, Eunice and Annis. Frances was the name of Elizabeth's mother, Eunice and Annis were the names of two of Elizabeth's sisters.

The following is from Report of Research on the Lea Family in Virginia & North Carolina Before 1800, Ben L. Rose (1984) at 123-124:

James Lea of Cobbs Creek & South Hico. We can identify this James Lea when, on Apr 16, 1770, he signed a deed to Francis Carney for 100 acres "on both sides of Cobbs Creek, being part of a larger tract that the said James Lea's father, named William Lea, purchased of Denis Collins by a deed bearing date June 7, 1775". This James Lea, as we see by this deed, was the son of William Lea who was quite probably "William Lea of Cobbs Creek" and who was dead in 1762. In a deed dated Jul 16, 1785, by which he sold 268 acres "on both sides of Cobb Creek" to George Lea, he identified himself as "James Lea, son of William Lea dec'd". On the same date in another deed, by which he sold 112 acres "on the east side of Cobb Creek" to Barnett Lea, he described himself in the same manner (as "son of William Lea dec'd").

Because of this self-identification, I believe that this is the James Lea who, in 1784, entered into the records of Caswell Co a Letter of Attorney in which he also described himself as "James Lea, son & heir of William Lea, dec'd, of Caswell Co" and in which letter he empowered Thomas Phelps of Caswell Co to sue for title to "a certain tract of land lying in King & Queen Co Va, containing 25 acres on the waters of Mattapone River, lying near Maddison Mill . . . which land fell to me by the line of heirship." After selling his land on Cobbs Creek, this James Lea apparently moved to South Hico where he purchased land in Aug 1789 and where he lived until his death. His will, written in Sep 1803 and proved in Feb 1816 in Person Co, names his seven children: Abner, Richard, Benjamin, Naamah, Frankey, Nicey and Anness, but does not mention his wife.   

The following is from The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) at 355-356 ("William Lea" By Katharine Kerr Kendall):

James Lea was also a son of William as provided by the deed of land of 1770. James Lea married Elizabeth Lea daughter of Capt. William Lea. See article on Capt. Wm. On the 1783 and 1785 tax lists of Caswell County is listed John Lea (widow's son). So William and Mary Lea had a son John. After the death of Mary Lea, George reduces his land acreage to 168 acres and John Lea (widow's son) lists 100 acres. The number of children of William and Mary Lea is unknown.

Person County, North Carolina
Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions
February Court 1816
Record Book 7, Page 79

Will of James Lea, dated 7 September 1803. Sons Abner, Richard, and Benjamin; daughters Naomah Satterfield, Frankey Lea, Nicey Chandler, and Annis Lea. Executors: George Lea, John McFarland. Witnesses: John McFarland, George Lea, and Richard Eskridge.

Record Book 7, Page 141

Inventory estae of James Lea, deceased.

Record Book 7, Page 178

Sales of estate of James Lea, deceased.

Source: Person County North Carolina Compilations: Land Grants, 1794, 1805, 1823 Tax Lists, Record Books Abstracts 1792-1820, Letters of Attorney, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1978) at 100, 102, and 103.

The will of James Lea, Sr. of Person County, dated September 7, 1803, was not recorded until February court in 1816. This is believed to be James Lea of Cobb's Creek. He named sons Richard, Abner and Benjamin, as well as several daughters. The signature is in the same hand as the rest of the document, indicating that the court clerk transcribed the original will into the record book, including the signature. Source: Record Books, Person County, North Carolina, Volume 7, p. 79-80. FHL Film #0019594. Two earlier deeds of sale in Orange County, in 1770 and 1771 by James Lea of Cobb's Creek, were also viewed in the microfilmed original. The signatures were found to be matching the penmanship of the rest of the deed, so they were not true signatures at all.

Source: James Lea Signature Research 2012.

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

Of course, if the James (Cobbs Creek) Lea of this entry was on the 1755 Orange County, North Carolina Tax List, he could not have been born in 1753.

"James Lea b c 1743 d Person Co N. C 1816 (Will Person Co Probated 1816) son of William & Mary Lea (In deed Caswell Co N C 1785--settling estate of William & Mary Lea, James Lea resides on waters of South Hyco Creek is son of William Lea dec'd) James Lea in his will 1816 lists children: Abner Lea (taxpayer 1790); Richard Lea (taxpayer 1790); Benjamin Lea; Frankey Lea dau; Eunice Lea; Annis Lea."

Source: Amite County, Mississippi 1699-1890 (Volume #3): The Environs, Albert Eugene Casey (1957) at 552.

Sept 1803: James Lea, Sr. wrote a will in which he named sons Richard, Abner, and Benjamin, as well as several daughters.

1805: Tax List shows James Lea, Sr. in Capt. Sargent’s Company, with some of the same names shown in the 1794 and 1795 lists. These included George, Richard, Ben, William, Barnett, Carter, and Abner. He is likely the same man who wrote his will on September 7, 1803, in which he named sons Richard, Abner, and Benjamin, as well as several daughters.

George (Cobb's Creek) Lea (aft.1755 - bef.1830)

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

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

One of the sons of William (d. 1762 intestate) and Mary Barnett Lea of Cobbs Creek, Person County, North Carolina, was George Lea. From his service as a youth in the Revolutionary War, George Lea will contribute in many ways to the development of the area, on a town, county, and state level. His father is one of the founders of Leas' Chapel. One of their early recorded burials is that of "William Lea, 1762." Another is "James Lea, 1788." This was the date of the passing of James (Kilgore) Lea. William Sargeant died in 1768. Thomas McNeill died in 1781. John Lea died in 1782.

George Lea, the son of William Lea and Mary (Barnett?), was born not later than 1760, probably in Orange County, North Carolina, but possibly in Virginia. His will was written 4 May 1826 in Orange County, and probated 1830 (Caswell County Will Book, 1814-1843, executors William A. Lea and Abner Lea. William Archer Lea was a brother of George Lea. Abner Lea was a son of James (Cobb's Creek) Lea, a brother of George Lea. Note that George Lea also had a son named William Archer Lea. James (Cobb's Creek) Lea married Elizabeth Lea, widow of his brother, Henry Lea. She was the daughter of Captain William Lea and Frances. James (Cobb's Creek) Lea died in 1803. The will of George (Cobb's Creek" Lea was witnessed by Abner Lea, Simeon Lea, and Lewis Haguewood.

George (Cobb's Creek) Lea married first 24 February 1785 Jane Douglas. The bondsman was Benjamin Douglas. There three children were Mary Logan Lea (compiler's line), James Lea, and John Lea. The sons were named for the brothers of George (Cobb's Creek) Lea. The second wife was Mary W., with three children resulting: Miles Lea, Henry Lea, and William Archer Lea II. Mary W. Lea was widowed and married Samuel Johnston, Jr., 21 December 1836. He requested guardianship for stepsons Miles Lea, Henry Lea, and William Archer Lea.

George (Cobb's Creek) Lea has a record of service during the Revolutionary War, although he appears to be too young for regular military service. In the North Carolina Archives are two "Pay Vouchers" for supplying the Continental Army. He is listed in the pension service records of a cousin Owen Lea and a William Lea. His father's plantation was on Cobb's Creek, right in the middle of a very put-out and angry British army. In 1805, he is listed on the Person County, North Carolina, tax list, along with neighbor John Johnston. They also paid tax in Leasburg, Caswell County, North Carolina.

George (Cobb's Creek) Lea served Person County in the North Carolina General Assembly as a representative 1792, 1793, 1794, 1796, 1797, 1798, 1799-1800, and as a senator 1804-1806. The militia continued to grow in importance during this period, as the new nation continued the British "colonial" custom of all males serving. Militia day had become a very important community custom. Only here were all free males of all classes gathered together as equals. The poorest farmer, camped and proudly marched with the gentry, all before the women-folk. It demonstrated the "right to bear arms." Nor were the guns stored in an armory. This was a right vigorously denied to the laboring class in Britain, about which many in the Dan River during this period had vivid memories. It was this long memory that caused the North Carolina constitutional convention to refuse to approve the United States Constitution until a Bill of Rights was included. A representative from Person County cast the deciding vote.

George (Cobb's Creek) Lea was active in the affairs surrounding the creation of Person County from Caswell County. In 1793 he was charged with selling the public lots in Leasburg, North Carolina, which had been the seat of Caswell County. He also had taken over the job of plantation administrator and was caring for other members of the extended Lea family. On 2 January 1798 he registered a deed of sale for 133 acres on Cobb's Creek to George Lea by Daniel Sargeant (son of Joseph Sargeant), who was twenty-one and living in Pendleton, South Carolina. The papers were drafted and money paid in 1796, before Daniel Sargeant legally could convey property. The deed, signed by Daniel Sargeant, was witnessed by John McFarland and William Lea. This was an act of trust. Daniel Sargeant's mother, sister, and stepfather were moving with many others to South Carolina. This property was the 133 acres sold to Joseph Sergeant before 1781 by John X. Lea, son of (Halifax) Lea. So now this old Lea land was back in Lea hands.

The earliest record of George (Cobb's Creek) Lea is as a chain carrier in the Granville land grants. Strong teen-aged sons often did this job and were paid in land.

George's daughter, Mary Logan Lea, married John Johnston, 8 January 1806  in Leasburg, North Carolina, a son of Samuel Johnston. Samuel Johnston died 20 November 1825 in Caswell County, North Carolina, on the road from his plantation to Leasburg. No mark was found on his body, and a jury of twenty-four men called it a "Visitation of God." His wife was Sarah (Price) Farley, widow of Moses Farley and sister of Hannah Price who married Josiah Farley. Hannah named a daughter Sarah (Price) Farley. This daughter married William Stanfield, 12 December 1797, Halifax County, Virginia. This is the author's family line. Her sister, Mary Farley, married Abraham Stanfield. Thus, there were several first cousin marriages, which at one time the Quakers believed Biblical.

Samuel Johnston became the guardian of Moses Farley's children. When his wife died, he married his step daughter Elizabeth. In the 1820 census, Mrs. Elizabeth Johnston is enumerated net to George Lea. Mary died before her father's will was probated in 1830. Mary Logan Lea is buried in the "Old Meeting House Cemetery" north of Leasburg, Caswell County, North Carolina. Her gravestone is engraved with a hand pointing with the words: "See my six children." Their graves are visible. Her daughter, Jennet Logan Johnston,  is buried in a stone enclosure beside her father, John Johnston.

George Lea may have lived several years in the old James Lea -- Robert Pulliam Newman house in Leasburg, North Carolina, as it is said that a George Lea lived there. This beautiful house stands behind the home built around 1852 by Dr. Josiah Asbury Stanfield on U.S. Highway 158. The Stanfield home was built using the older house in which John Johnston once lived. John Johnston willed Dr. Stanfield, his grandson, the house with four acres, blacksmith shop, and other properties.

Sarah Price (Sally) Johnston, daughter of John Johnston and Mary Logan Lea, was born 21 January 1807 at Leasburg, North Carolina. On 5 September 1825, Sarah Price (Sally) Johnston married Benjamin Franklin Stanfield (born 10 January 1802 in Leasburg, North Carolina). Their son, Dr. Josiah Asbury Stanfield, born 8 March 1829 in Leasburg, North Carolina, married 16 September 1852 Agnes Ware Sergeant. She was born 5 April 1832 at the "Brick House" in Providence, Caswell County, North Carolina (seven miles south of Danville, Virginia). The mother of Agnes Ware Sergeant is Anne Payne (Nancy) Ware Richardson Sergeant, a second cousin once removed of Dolley Payne Madison. Anne Payne Ware Richardson Sergeant purportedly spoke of going with her mother, Susannah Payne Ware, to visit "Aunt" Dolley, and that she was a special favorite. The father of Agnes Ware Sergeant is Stephen Sergeant, son of Daniel Sergeant and Delphy Carney Sergeant. Daniel Sergeant is the son of Stephen (the "Beloved) Sergeant and grandson of "Old" William Sergeant (and his wife, possibly Sarah Lea). This family was of the Hyco, St. Lawrence District, Caswell County, North Carolina.

A genuine pioneer, patriot, and honorable public servant, through two wars (the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812), George Lea gave unstinting service to others, to his community and to his new state government. The militia and government service cost him time and energy. He was not completely focused on building his own estate, and it is to George Lea and other's like him to which we owe our grateful thanks.

Sources: The Caswell/Person County records compiled by Katherine Kerr Kendall. The Sergeant/Richardson/Stanfield papers compiled by Ann Payne (Ware) Richardson Sergeant, Edmund (King Cotton) Richardson, Agnes Ware Sargent Stanfield, Agnes Sargeant Harpole: "The Major Sargents and their Minors." Local historians: Mrs. Jeanine Whitlow and Mrs. Sallie Anderson gave of their resources and helped hack through the overgrowth of time.

Source: The Heritage of Person County, Volume III, Eileen M. Mikat, Ph.D., Chair Book Committee (2001) at 140-141 (Article #139, "George Lea, Col./Sen." by Betty Fitzgerald).

From the Elizabeth Wright’s Revolutionary War Pension application:

State of South Carolina, Chester District

Personally appeared Elizabeth Carter Before the Subscriber one of the Acting Justices of the peace in and for the District aforesaid and after being first Duly sworn according to law Saith on her oath, that she is the sister of Owen Lee, whose widow Elizabeth Lee of North Carolina in the County of Cleveland is now applying for a pension, for the services of her late husband, the aforesaid Owen Lee. This Deponent saith, that she was living with her Brother at their father's own house at the time of the Revolutionary War, and that she well knows that her Brother, Owen Lee, was Drafted, and went into the Service and was absent from Home, and said to be in the Camps for and about the term of nine months, and that the Captain under whom her Brother Owen served was George Lee, his own Cousin, until George Lee was appointed Colonel and then her Brother served under Captain Sergeant - that her Brother was a resident of Caswell County in the State of North Carolina at the time of his Service - and that after the close of the war, he was married to Elizabeth Wright, the above named Elizabeth Lee now the widow of the said Owen Lee. Sworn to and subscribed the 6th day of February 1847 before me.

Members of the General Assembly from Person County, North Carolina

1792  George Lea, Representative
1793  George Lea, Representative
1794  George Lea, Representative
1796  George Lea, Representative
1797  George Lea, Representative
1799  George Lea, Representative
1800  George Lea, Representative
1804  George Lea, Senator
1805  George Lea, Senator
1806  George Lea, Senator
1818  William A. Lea, Representative

Source: Person County North Carolina Compilations: Land Grants, 1794, 1805, 1823 Tax Lists, Record Books Abstracts 1792-1820, Letters of Attorney, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1978) at 35.

Name also seen as George W. Lea.

The following is from Caswell County North Carolina Will Books 1814-1843, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1983) at 99:

Caswell County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions
April Court 1830
Will Book L, Page 510

Col. George Lea - Will - written 4 May 1826. Heirs of daughter Mary Logan Johnston, Jennett Logan Johnston and her sister Sally Stanfield. Son William A. Lea all of other property. Executors: son William A. Lea and Abner Lea. Witnesses: Abner Lea, Simeon Lea, Lewis Haguewood. William A. Lea qualified as executor; Abner Lea renounced his right to execute the will.

Family Data Collection - Individual Records
Name: William Archer Lea
Spouse: Susanna Cochran
Parents: George Lea, Jeannette Logan Douglas 
Birth Place: Caswell CO, NC
Birth Date: 26 Jul 1786
Marriage Place: Caswell CO, NC
Death Place: Leasburg, Caswell CO, NC
Death Date: 4 Sep 1843

That the following has any relevance to the George Lea of this entry has not been confirmed, and it is placed here for research purposes only:

Marriage Bond Record
Groom: George Lea
Bride: Mary W. Winstead
Bond Date: 13 December 1824
Bondsman: Alanson M. Lea
Location: Person County, North Carolina
Source: Person County North Carolina Marriage Records 1792-1868, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1983) at 49.

When then Newman family came into possession of the house is not known. The earliest known Newman to live in the house is Robert Ira Newman (1854-1934):

The following is from The Leasburg I Knew, William S. Dixon (April 28, 1968):

North from the Connally's, on a knoll, in a beautiful grove of oaks, was the R. I. (Bob) Newman home. Here the school teacher roomed and boarded. It was convenient for the one-room school house was not more than a couple of hundred yards away. There were two sons, Rob and John -- John was another of my boyhood friends, and there were still four of the pretty daughters at home -- five including Evie, who married my Uncle Jerry and thus became one of my favorite aunts.

See also: Dixon Family Website; 1870 US Census; and Dixon Family Tree.

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