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George Washington Lee

Male 1810 - 1888  (77 years)


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  • Name George Washington Lee  [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
    Born 11 Nov 1810  Patrick Co., Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  [10, 11
    Gender Male 
    Died 6 Jan 1888  Colusa, California? Find all individuals with events at this location  [10, 12
    Buried Colusa Community Cemetery, Colusa, CA Find all individuals with events at this location  [10
    Person ID I1024  Carley Bisher's Ancestry
    Last Modified 1 Dec 2018 

    Father William Lee,   b. 1774, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1833, Howard Co., Missouri Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 59 years) 
    Mother Mary Polly Cassady,   b. Abt 1780 (estimate), Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1835, Saline Co., Missouri Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 24 Mar 1801  Halifax Co., Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  [13, 14, 15
    Family ID F5448  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Amanda Lee,   b. Abt 1820, Missouri Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1870, California Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 50 years) 
    Married 17 Aug 1836  Saline, MO Find all individuals with events at this location  [16, 17
    Children 
    +1. John Harvey Lee,   b. 7 Aug 1841, Missouri Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Nov 1922, Los Angeles County Hospital, Los Angeles, California (County Hosp.) Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)
    +2. Arna Francis Lee,   b. Abt 1843, Missouri Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. William Jasper Lee,   b. 15 Sep 1846, Oregon Territory or possibly while the family was traveling west on the Oregon Trail Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 May 1927, Los Angeles, CA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years)
     4. Mary Lee,   b. Abt 1846, Oregon Territory Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 1860  (Age ~ 13 years)
    +5. Joseph Christopher Lee,   b. 1 Mar 1849, Oregon Territory Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Apr 1910, Los Angeles, California (Bellvue Hosp.) Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 61 years)
     6. James Lee,   b. Abt 1853, Oregon Territory Find all individuals with events at this location
     7. Charles Lee,   b. Abt 1853, Oregon Territory Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Jun 1859, Yolo County, California Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 6 years)
    +8. Ellen Lee,   b. 13 Oct 1860, Yolo Co., California Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Mar 1950, Colusa, California Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 89 years)
    +9. Ada Lee,   b. 17 Nov 1864, Sacramento, California Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Sep 1940, Stockton, California Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years)
    Last Modified 16 Jul 2020 
    Family ID F316  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Documents
    LEE, George Washington & Amanda Marriage Record
    LEE, George Washington & Amanda Marriage Record
    Contributed by Jennie Wright

    Headstones
    LEE, George Washington & Amanda Conner
    LEE, George Washington & Amanda Conner

  • Notes 
    • Washington Lee’s parentage is somewhat conjectural, although Y-DNA tests have proven that he descends from the family of William Lee Sr. We believe he was the son of William Lee (Jr.) and Mary Polly (Cassady) because of his proximity to William G. Lee in Tulare Co., California in the 1870 census and the fact that one of his sons, William J. Lee, was living in 1880 with John Spurgeon, son of John and Lucinda (Lee) Spurgeon, who would have then been Wm. J. Lee’s first cousin in that scenario. Also, the death of both his parents by 1836 may have contributed to Washington’s willingness to leave for California in 1845.

      Another possibility could be that Washington was a son of Joel Lee by his first marriage to Ora Newman (since there is a DNA match to one of Joel’s descendents and autosomal DNA for the Newman family), but there is no other evidence to confirm this. We think George Washington Lee’s wife, Amanda, was more likely the daughter of Joel Lee and Ora Newman based on autosomal DNA evidence. Also, there is no 1830 census slot in William’s household for Amanda - only an unidentified male slot - but there is room for Amanda in Joel Lee’s 1830 census count. We are 95% certain that George Washington Lee was the son of William and Mary Polly Lee.

      Although Washington was born in Virginia, we know that he emigrated to Missouri by 17 August 1836 when he was married in Saline County to Miss Amanda Lee. Amanda was born about 1820 in Missouri, making her about 16 years old and Washington about 25 years old.

      Nine years later, Washington and Amanda (Lee) Lee left the United States and headed across the frontier. Departing Missouri as members of the wagon train of 1845 they crossed the Oregon Trail with four-year-old son, John, and two-year-old daughter, Arna Francis, and another son, Bill, born either on the trail or soon after their arrival in the Oregon Territory. Washington Lee is recorded as claiming land 17 Aug 1845 in Clackamas Co. on the south bank of the Columbia River opposite the head of Diary Island and Fort Vancouver, on 26 Aug 1846 on “Bute” Creek (probably Butte Creek near present day Woodburn, OR), and 4 Mar 1847 and 25 Nov 1847 on the Columbia River opposite the island lying south of Fort Vancouver. They appear in the 1850 U.S. Census in Clark Co., now part of Washington State, just across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon.

      According to Oregon Land Extracts, having landed 9 June 1851 “upon a rock joining the mainland known as ‘Battle Rock””, a Geo. W. Lee entered into a contract to assist “in building a fort & 3 log houses or any other work that may be required while steamer ‘Sea Gull’ shall be engaged in making one trip to Portland & back to San Francisco & then back to Port Orford.” Port Orford was on the sea coast just north of the California border. This may have been our Washington Lee performing contract work for a couple of months away from home.

      There were four more known children born in Oregon Territory, Mary, Joseph C., James, and Charles. Sometime between 1856 and 1860 Washington and Amanda packed up their family and went south.

      By 1860, the family had moved to Northern California and was in Cache Creek Twp., Yolo County (near Sacramento). Washington continued following the occupation of “general farming” as stated from year to year in the census records. Here, two more girls were born, Ellen (Ella) and Ada, making these girls the first of our Lees born in California.

      A few years later, Washington and Amanda are in the Farmersville area near Visalia, California appearing in both the 1866 California Great Register of Voters for Tulare County and the 1870 U.S. Census. With them are children: John, Bill, Joseph C., James, Ellen, and Ada. Two children are gone and presumed deceased by this time, Mary and Charles. Listed in the census next to this family is another Lee family from Missouri consisting of William Lee, his wife Elizabeth (Fugitt) Lee and seven children. Documentation needs to be found to substantiate the relationship between these two families.

      No record of Washington Lee can be found in the 1880 census. The next evidence we have of him is his gravestone. He is buried in Colusa Community Cemetery, Colusa, California (near Sacramento), dated 6 January 1888. Buried next to him is his granddaughter, Amanda Conner, daughter of Ellen (Ella) (Lee) Conner. Neither a death date nor burial location has been found for Washington’s wife, Amanda (Lee) Lee. No record has been found for her after the 1870 census. The two youngest daughters, Ada and Ella returned to Northern California in the early 1880s, married and raised families in Woodland and Colusa. Daughter, Arna Francis married Charles Monroe in Tulare County. Washington’s sons spent time in the booming Santa Ynez Valley during the 1880s and ranched in the Calabasas and Topanga Canyon areas of Los Angeles County and the three boys, John, Joe and Bill are all buried in Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

      George Washington Lee, his wife and many of their children are registered Oregon Pioneers with the Sons and Daughters of Oregon Pioneers Organization. The entire family is listed as California Pioneers with the California Pioneer Project. You can read more about their experience on the Oregon Trail in the Brazen Overlanders of 1845, by Donna Wojcik Montgomery (pub. 1976). Washington and Amanda and children John Harvey, Arna Francis and William are named in the roster of the wagon train of 1845.

      RESEARCH: The California 1860 Mortality Schedule lists a Lewis Lee, age 4, who died in Yolo Co., CA in Jun 1860.

      According to Donnalee Smith, she had heard that Ada Lee’s parents owned a hotel in Sacramento at one time.

      A Washington Lee appears in the list of voters in the presidential election of 1840 in Salt Pond Twp, Saline Co., Missouri.

      We cannot find either Joel Lee or Wash Lee in the 1840 census, although Wash registered as a voter in Saline Co., MO. We wonder whether he and Amanda were living with Reuben or William Watts, guardians of Wash’s younger siblings.

      It is interesting that, on the 1860 mortality schedule that lists Charles Lee’s death in June 1859 with “Putrid S. Throat” right after his name is listed Lewis (age 4) and Dora (age 2) both born in California but who also died in June 1859 of Putrid S. Throat. Could all three have been children of Wash and Amanda Lee? There is certainly room in the birth order for them and the fact that they were listed together might suggest they were recorded on the schedule when the census taker visited the Lee household. On the other hand, why was Charles listed in the main census schedule (and shouldn’t have been) and not the others? [18]

  • Sources 
    1. [S542] Letter from Mike and Noreen Marshall with Family Group Sheets for Lees and death certificates, (EF#65, SN#121, 16 May 1977).

    2. [S813] Computer searches in International Genealogical Index, Social Security Index, and other LDS records, (EF#303, SN#503, 9 Sep 1995).

    3. [S411] 1840 United States Census.

    4. [S476] 1866 Tulare Co., California Great Register of Voters.

    5. [S426] 1850 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.com, (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005).

    6. [S848] Correspondence with Jennie Wright.

    7. [S446] 1860 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.com, (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004).

    8. [S482] 1870 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.com, (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2003).

    9. [S1443] Guardian assignment Nov 1836, assigns William and Melinda Lee to Reuben and Samuel Watts. Howard Co. Probate records.

    10. [S1436] Headstone for G. W. Lee, Colusa Community Cemetery. Photo by Verna Langois.

    11. [S1437] 1810 Personal Property Tax List, Patrick Co., Virginia.

    12. [S667] Headstones from Colusa Community Cemetery.

    13. [S1364] Jason’s Family Tree (JDHAYDON), J. D. Haydon.

    14. [S1346] Virginia Marriages, 1740-1850.

    15. [S1348] GenForum Post and email correspondence, Patricia Seaver pseaver@charter.net.

    16. [S396] "Missouri Marriages Before 1840", Susan Ormesher.

    17. [S789] Marriage record for George Washington Lee and Amanda Lee, Saline, MO.

    18. [S1362] Eddlemon, Sherida K., (Heritage Books, Inc.).