The Lees of Virginia


A source of pride among the Dibrells is that Elizabeth Lee, the wife of Anthony Dibrell, Sr. was one of the Lees of Virginia. While there are many branches of the Lee family who settled in America, this is the most famous. This is the branch of the Lee family which contains so many famous people, including "Lighthorse Harry" Lee and Robert E. Lee. For this reason, the name Leanna (or some variation thereof) recurs among the female Dibrells, as does the middle name "Lee".

Lineage from Richard Lee to Elizabeth Lee


1 Richard (I) Lee (1617/18 - 1663/64)
..+ Ann Constable (c1622 - a1664)
... 2 John Lee (1645 - 1673)
... 2 Richard (II) Lee (1647 - 1713/14)
......+ Letitia Corbin (1657 - 1706)
... 2 Francis Lee (1648 - 1714)
... 2 William Lee (1651 - 1697)
......+ Alice (Lee)
... 2 Hancock (I) Lee 1653 - 1709
......+ Mary Kendall (1661 - 1694)
... 2 Elizabeth Lee (1654 - a1689)
......+ Leonard Howson
... 2 Anne Lee (1654 - 1701)
......+ Thomas Youell, Jr. (c1653 - 1695)
... 2 Charles (I) Lee (1656 - 1701)
......+ Elizabeth Medstand (? - a1701)
....... 3 Thomas (I) Lee (1679 - 1735)
..........+ Elizabeth Keene (1701 - b1744)
........... 4 William Lee (c1722 - b1743)
........... 4 Lucy Lee (c1724 - 1746)
........... 4 John Lee (a1725 - a1758)
........... 4 Ann Lee (c1726 - b1746)
........... 4 Leanna Lee (1728 - b1758)
..............+ John Fearn, Sr. (1716/17 - 1782)
........... 4 Thomas (II) Lee (c1730 - 1758)
........... 4 Richard Lee (c1732 - b1758)
........... 4 Charles Lee (c1734 - 1792)
..............+ Joanna Morgan
........... 4 Elizabeth Lee (1736 - 1777)
..............+ Anthony Dibrell, Sr (1728 - 1799)
....... 3 Elizabeth Lee (1682 - 1714)
..........+ John Howson (? - 1714) [a cousin]
....... 3 Charles (II) Lee (1684 - 1740)
..........+ Elizabeth Pinckard
....... 3 Leanna Lee (1689 - ?)
..........+ William Jones

NOTES (by Phil Crowther, 7 Jul 1998):

1. Elizabeth Keene apparently died before 1744, maybe even several years earlier, since her children were placed in the custody of guardians Ezekiel Gilbert and William Jones prior to that time.

2. I have guessed at the birthdates of most of the children of Thomas Lee and Elizabeth Keene.  The sons Thomas, Richard and Charles were probably younger because the were placed in the custody of guardians after their mother died before 1744.

Proof of Relationship, by Mary Nan Crowther

In 1756 Anthony married Elizabeth Lee, the daughter of Thomas and Ann Lee of the Cobb's Hall branch of the Lee family. They were married at the home of her sister, Leanna and John Fearn, in Albemarle County, Virginia where the Fearns had moved some years after their marriage in 1744.

Thomas Lee died just before Elizabeth was born but she was included in his will as the child his wife goes with now. She was later listed in the wills of her brother Thomas Lee in 1745 and her sister Lucy Lee in 1758. In her brother's will she was listed as "Betty." Their mother married James Scrosby on April 15, 1737. It appears from records that he treated the children of his wife fairly in the distribution of all property. Their home was in Urbana, York County, Virginia. It has been recorded that Elizabeth along with two of her other sisters went to live with Leanna and her husband for a time before Elizabeth's marriage. The two sisters, Leanna Fearn and Elizabeth Dibrell would remain close throughout their lives. According to records the terms of a gift by James Scrosby upon the marriage to their mother, both Leanna and Elizabeth would each receive one negro boy or girl when they either reached the age of twenty-one or were married.

This branch of the Lee family were proud of the strong and honorable heritage that was a part of their family. Particularly the connection they had in tracing back to Richard Lee who was considered the first of their line to come to Virginia in 1640.

Will of Thomas Lee, I

In the name of God Amen. I Thomas Lee being in good health mind and memory do make and appoint this my last will and testament. Inpr. I give and bequeath my soul to God that gave it hoping in and through the merits of my blessed Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ to receive remission of all my sins. My body to ye ground to have a Christian and decent burial. Inpr. I give my son Wm. Lee my land where Wm. Rankins & Richard Wesver now lives to him and the heirs of his body lawfully begotten forever. Item I give unto my sons Thomas, Richard & Charles all that tract of land which on I now live be equally divided between them and the heirs of their body lawfully begotten forever. I give & bequeath unto my son John all that tract of land on ye head of the Corrotoman River which I had by my wife where Harvey now lives to him and the heirs of his body lawfully begotten forever. Provided the child my wife goes with now be not a boy - which if it be then my will is that my land be equally divided between them and the heirs of their bodys lawfully begotten forever. Item I give and bequeath unto my wife one fourth part of my personal estate during her natural life or widowhood but if she should intermarry then to have but one child's part. Also my will is that she have liberty to dispose of her said fourth part to such of her children as she shall think proper at her decease. Provided she never marries. My will is that my estate be kept together until my children come to lawful age of marriage. Item my will & request is that my loving Brother Major Charles Lee, my good Mr. Nicholas Martin and my loving wife to be Executers of this my last will & testament and that my son William when he come to the age of man be allowed to be one of my executors. Item my will is that my personal estate after my wife's part is taken will be equally divided between all my children. Item I give and bequeath unto my son William Lee Pettigrew's English Dictionary. Item I do ordain and appoint this my last will and testament revoking all former wills heretofore by me made. Witness my hand this 16th day of June 1733
                                                                                              Thos. Lee
Ezekiel Gilbert
Isaac Currell

At a court held for Lancaster County for the 11th day of June 1735 this will was proved in open court by the oath of Ezekiel Gilbert & Isaac Currell witnesses thereto and admitted to record and is recorded. Test. Thos. Edwards Cl. Cur.

Will of Thomas Lee, II

In the name of God, Amen. Dec. 1st 1750. I, Thomas Lee of the Colony of Virginia in the County of Lancaster and Parish of Christ Church being very sick & weak in body, but of perfect mind and memory thanks be to God for it. However calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, do make and ordain this my last will and testament, that is to say Principally and first of all I recommend my soul into the hands of God that gave it and my body to the earth to be decently interred at the discreation of my Exers. hereafter named, not doubting but at the General Resurrection I shall received the same again by the mighty power of my ever blessed Redeemer and as to such world estate as it hath Blessed God to bless me with in this life, I give and dispose of the same in manner and form following. Impr. After my just debts and funeral charges are fully paid and satisfyed then I give and bequeath unto my daughter Mary Lee one negro boy named Dick that I had by my Brother Richard Lee to her and the heirs of her Body forever, Impr. I give and Bequeath unto my brother John Lee one negro wench named Cate that I had by my Brother Richard Lee to him and the heirs of his Body forever. And as I owe Richard Blade some money my will and desire is it shall be paid out of the money that Wm. Grigs owes me and the remainder of the money derived from William Grigs I give and Bequeath to my Brother John to him and the heirs of his Body forever. Impr. the I give and Bequeath unto my two children Mary Lee and George Lee to them and the heirs of there Bodys forever all the rest and residue of my estate Both Real and Personal of what nature and kind soever, but in case my children should die without heirs lawfully Begotten of there Bodys then I give and Bequeath to my loving wife Lucy Lee all the estate I had by her and the increase and one negro wench named Fely and likewise my chair and thow horses and the explanation of the testament, and in case of the death of my two children Mary Lee and George Lee without heirs lawfully Begotten of there Bodys I give and Bequeath to my Brother Charles Lee all the tract of land I now live on to him and his heirs forever. Impr. I give and Bequeath unto my brother John Lee all the land I have in White Chapple parish; to him and his heirs forever in case my two children Mary Lee and George Lee die without heirs Lawfully Begotten of there Bodys. Impr. I give and Bequeath unto my Brother Charles Lee one negro fellow named Aaron in case my children dies without heirs lawfully Begotten of their Bodys. Impr. I give and Bequeath unto my loving wife Luce Lee one halfe of my stock and household furniture in case of the death of my children without heirs Lawfully Begotten of there Bodys and in case of the death of my twon children Mary Lee and George Lee without heirs Lawfully Begotten of their Bodys, I give and Bequeath all the rest of my negroes not Before mentioned to my Brother John Lee to him and the heirs of his Body and my will and Desire is that my Brother John Lee may work the negroes he now has upon the land I now live on a Long as he Lives single and have the Proffits of them and in case of the death of my two children Mary Lee and George Lee without heirs Lawfully Begotten of there Bodys my will and Desire is that my Estate be kept together till forty pounds current money of Virginia be Raised and that I give and bequeath to my sister Elizabeth Dibrells Eldest son to him and his heirs Lawfully begotten of his Body for Ever and in case he dies without such heirs then the forty pounds current money to be equally Divided Between my two brothers Charles Lee and John Lee. Impr. I do hereby nominate constitute and appoint my loving wife Lucy Lee Exec. as long as she lives a widow and no longer also Charles Lee Eppa. Lawson and George Currell Exrs. To this my last will and testament revoking and Disannulling all other will or wills by me heretofore made for witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seals the day and year in above written.
                                                                                              Thos. Lee
Signed sealed and delivered in presence of:
Bejn. Kelly
James Scrosby, Junr.
Charles Lee
G Currell

At a court held for Lancaster County on the 16th day of March, 1759 This will was proved in open Court by the oath of Charles Lee, George Currell and Benjamin Kelly witnesses thereunto and ordered to be recorded.
Test. Thos Edwards Junr. CC

NOTES (by Phil Crowther, 15 Jul 1998):

1. The Text of the Will above came from "Fearns in Virginia".  It seems unlikely that the Will was written in 1750, as Leanna was still alive in 1750, and Elizabeth Lee had not married Anthony Dibrell.  My guess is that the Will was written in 1758.

2. The "Fearns in Virginia" states that this is the Will of Thomas Lee, II., without saying more. One evidence is that the names of the siblings match.  Another evidence is that he mentions a slave named Cate that he had received from his brother Richard.  The Estate Settlement for Thomas Lee, I shows that Richard Lee received a slave named Kate.