Sunday, October 28, 2007

James Lea of Country Line Creek

James Lea of Country Line Creek

Research by Spiritsouth and Raquel Lindaas, Heritage Communications
Salt Lake City, UT
26 October 2007

RWS James Lea of Country Line Creek and his wife Anne (possibly Herndon). The source for using the name Herndon is  N.S.D.A.R.).  James and Anne Lea  were my sixth great grandparents through their daughter Adelphia Lea Henderson (RWS Joseph Henderson). Documentation from the N.S.D.A.R. is posted at the end of this page.

There is NO documentation for the parentage of  this James  Lea.  YDNA offers no clues. 

James Lea of Country Line Creek
Richmond District

Birth: 1707-1718, St. Stephen's Parish, King and Queen County, Virginia (N.S.D.A.R)

The work of Albert Casey has created a genealogical nightmare by assigning Col. William Leigh of New Kent County, VA as a progenitor of James Lea of Country Line Creek.  The Jamestowne Society will no longer accept any Lees or Leas as descendants of the Leighs because the records do not support the relationship.  There are no records proving parentage for James Lea County Line.  While the parents of this James Lea are unknown, the discovery of a baptismal record for a Frances Major, daughter of George Major is important. Long-held tradition and naming patterns suggest James Lea's mother had a maiden name of Major.

Nov. 1741: Grand Jury: Edward HERNDON was foreman of the November 1741 Grand Jury, one of whose members was a James Lea (Source: Dr. John Herndon, Herndon Family History, privately published 1947).   This citation does not constitute proof that Anne's father was Edward Herndon although tradition holds this to be the case.  The names of Edward Herndon's children by his first wife are unknown. Anne was born during the time Edward's first wife was bearing children and not during the time of his second marriage.   Edward married a second time to a Ms. Leftwich and had one daughter whose name was not Anne. Additionally, because of great confusion, some books and internet sources gave her maiden name as Talbot or Talburt which is a possible maiden name of the wife of James Lea of Kilgore's Branch and NOT James Lea Country Line.

 – From Ben Rose’s book, P. 125, Mr. Rose notes: "I conclude that James Lea of Country Line Creek was the same person as James Lea, planter, of King & Queen Co and Spotsylvania Co Virginia. The Revolutionary War pension claim of Major Lea, son of James Lea of Country Line Creek (in which Major Lea declared that he was born in Spotsylvania Co Virginia in 1742), places James Lea of Country Line Creek in Spotsylvania Co Virginia in 1742. He was the first James Lea to leave Spotsylvania Co and the first to settle in Orange Co North Carolina. There was another James Lea in Spotsylvania Co Virginia when James Lea of Country Line Creek left there around 1751 or 1752. 

__Author's Note:  I conclude that James Lea of Country Line Creek was not the orphan son (under age 14)  of John Lea deceased and Ann Lea of Spotsylvania County in 1731.  The orphan James Lea would have been a maximum 24 years old in 1742 when Major Lea was born to James Lea of Country Line Creek and into a household with older siblings.   No one knows whether that orphan James Lea and his brothers were the James, William and John who moved to North Carolina.  They could have been the William, James and John who moved to Orange County, Virginia in 1752.

3 March 1752: James Lea of Country Line Creek entered a claim for six hundred acres of land in that area on March 3, 1752. This does not prove that he resided there, as it was possible for land entries to be obtained by persons living in another state.

Sept 1752: Court records of Orange County, North Carolina show that in September, 1752, Edward Ball, a sixteen year-old orphan, was bound to James Lea. This action would require James’ physical presence, and demonstrates beyond a doubt that he had moved to the area by 1752. The significance of this is that another James Lea still appeared in the records of Spotsylvania County after that date. This area became the Richmond District of Caswell County, NC

19 Feb. 1754: Lea, James No. 01263
Orange County 640 acres
On both sides of Country Line Creek
Lord Granville Grant to Richard Harper Issued 3 November 1753
Transfer of Land Warrant by Robert Harper to James Lea by Deed Feb 19, 1754

1755: James Lea appears on the Tax List of Orange County.  When John Graves was granted 396 acres in 1762, the tract he received was described as "on Country Line Creek adjacent to the lines of James Lea and Dobbins".

12 Nov 1756: p. 4 - Lea, James File No. 800
Orange County 520 acres
Both sides of Country Line Creek
Grant No. 195 Issued 12 November 1756

13 Aug 1761: Major Lea surveyed 135 acres for Gideon Hogg on Greens Creek of Dan River.

1773: The difficulty of identification of what this James Lea did is borne in upon us when we consider that in 1773 when the petition for the creation of Caswell County (or more literally for the division of Orange County) was circulated the Lea signers included Edmund, Elliot, Garnett, Henry, four named James, Major, Thomas, William and William, Jr. and Zachariah Lea. One of these was, it is reasonable to assume, the James Lea of this sketch.

9 March 1778: Capt. William Lea entered six hundred and thirty acres on County Line Creek, Richmond District, bordering James Lea, Sr., and two men named Sanders and Norton.

17 Dec 1779: James Lea is mentioned as a neighbor in a state land grant to William Lea for 630 acres on both sides of Country Line Creek; also Will Sanders, Prowell, William Holderness and Joseph Peterson.

20 Dec 1779: Widow Lea mentioned as a neighbor in state land grant to Thomas Wilson on North Hico, also Robert McFarland, Samuel Johnston.

29 Oct 1782: James Lea and William Lea mentioned as neighbors in state land grant to John Peterson; also Holderness, Joseph Peterson, William Moore.

13 Aug 1789: James Lea mentioned as neighbor in John Lea’s sale of 158 acres to Charnel Hightower on Country Line Creek; also Thomas Lea, Harralson. Major Lea witnessed.

1790 U.S. Federal Census Richmond District, Caswell County, NC
James, Major, three Johns, and William Lea, indicating that this district included the Country Line Creek area. (In 1800, a younger James ‘Lee’, between twenty-six and forty-five years of age, lived near John and Capt. John Lea in Caswell County, in the area of Richmond District.[1] Since James’ 1771 will did not name a son named James, the identity of this man is not clear.)

23 March 1792: James (Country Line) Lea's will was proved in Caswell Co court in Mar 1792. In his will, which was written in 1771, he left to his son, Major, "the land and plantation whereon I now live". In it, he names his 'well loved sons William Lea and John Lea and Major Lea, my executors'; ..."Item, I give and bequeath to my true and well loved Wife Ann Lea all my whole estate during her life or widowhood and after her death I give and bequeath to my son Major Lea the land and Plantation where on I now Live and two Cows and one yearling and one gilding and one Mare and his Choice of all the Negroes that is or may be at his mother's death and one feather bed and furniture and further more the said Major Lea is to have his eqile [equal] part with the rest of my Children exclusive of what is above mentioned & the whole of the remaining part of my Estate to be equilly divided among all my Children. [Signed] James Lea. Wit: Thos Campbell and Henry Lea.'

There is an accounting filed for settlement of the estate. The accounting was filed in April Court. term, 1796 and lists the following as recipients of the estate: Luke Lea, Joseph Henderson, Will Lea, Joseph Peterson, Isabella Graves, Paul Haralson, John Lea, and Major Lea.

The will was proved in court on a deposition by Capt. William Lea in which he declared that he saw the testator sign the will and that the will had been in his possession since then. In April 1796 the court admitted to record an accounting of James Lea's estate, in which his heirs are shown as: Luke Lea, Joseph Henderson, Will Lea, Joseph Paterson, Isabella Graves, John Lea, Major Lea and Paul Haralson. We Learn from other sources that Joseph Henderson had married James Lea's daughter Delphia, that Joseph Paterson or Peterson had married daughter Lucinda, that Isabella Graves was his daughter who married John Graves, and Paul Haralson had married his daughter Nancy. (Reference: Graves, Twelve Generations, by Louise Graves, Addendum No. 1, p. 6).

The original will of James Lea, dated March 18, 1771, is in the Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, North Carolina, filed "Caswell County Estate Papers, 1776-1864, Vol 1, p. 59, Folio 1. James Lea." In this will he names his wife Anne Lea. Sons William Lea, John Lea and Major Lea are appointed executors. A photocopy was made by Cynthia Forde-Beatty Nov 2011; it will be posted in Picasa.

The execution of the will of James Lea proved by testimony of William Lea:
Testimony of Wm. Lea, March 23, 1792, is that he wrote the will of James Lea, that he witnessed the signatures of Thomas Camp and Henry Lea; and that he had kept the aforesaid will or testament in his possession until the death of the testator and that no alterations had been made.
[Original in same file as mentioned above: "Caswell County Estate Papers, 1776-1864, Vol. I, p. 59, Folio 1, James Lea".

N.S.D.A.R. Patriot Index for James Lea, Sr (aka James "Country Line" Lea:
Ancestor #: A067574
Service Source:
Service Description:
Comments (Overview )
5) SEE DATACF - LEA, JAMES (A 1718) T 2/8/2006

Other sources: Research of Cynthia Forde and Research Report for her from Raquel Lindaas, AG, Heritage Consulting, Salt Lake City, UT

[1] Document 5:, U. S. Federal Census 1800, Caswell NC, p. 109.


Jim Lea said...

This is wonderful to read. I am James Bruce Lea, son of James Arthur Lea, son of Robert Edwin Lea, son of John Pryor Lea, son of Preston Jarnagin Lea,son of Major Lea Jr., son of Major Lea. dated Nov. 7,2011 do you know more?

Unknown said...

Superb blog...
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