- Hugh MAGEE
- Given names
Note: Pay Roll of Capt Jeremiah Beall’s company of militia from Richmond County, Georgia, for the period 8 Sept 1779-18 Oct 1779, included Hugh “Megee” and “Luis Megee” (Davis, “Georgia Citizens and Soldiers of the American Revolution,” 92). This company was part of the “Lower Battalion,” covering the southern sections of Richmond County, commanded by Col Robert Middleton. Middleton and his men appear to have joined Gen McIntosh in his march from Augusta to aid the French Admiral d’Estaing’s assault on British occupied Savannah in September-October 1779. The assault was unsuccessful and French and American troops withdrew on 18 Oct 1779 (Coleman, “The American Revolution in Georgia,” 128-9).
|Death of a brother||Lewis MAGEE|
before May 17, 1784
Note: From “Lewis McGee” file, in “Georgia Headright and Bounty Land Records 1783-1909,” database at familysearch.org. The 17 May 1784 date is the date on which warrant for bounty land was issued to his heirs
Spirit Creek, Richmond Co, GA1784
|Death|| September 28, 1812|
Note: Will of Hugh Magee of Richmond County. Named wife Mary, son William Henry Magee, minor. Probated 6 S…
Pay Roll of Capt Jeremiah Beall’s company of militia from Richmond County, Georgia, for the period 8 Sept 1779-18 Oct 1779, included Hugh “Megee” and “Luis Megee” (Davis, “Georgia Citizens and Soldiers of the American Revolution,” 92). This company was part of the “Lower Battalion,” covering the southern sections of Richmond County, commanded by Col Robert Middleton. Middleton and his men appear to have joined Gen McIntosh in his march from Augusta to aid the French Admiral d’Estaing’s assault on British occupied Savannah in September-October 1779. The assault was unsuccessful and French and American troops withdrew on 18 Oct 1779 (Coleman, “The American Revolution in Georgia,” 128-9).
Will of Hugh Magee of Richmond County. Named wife Mary, son William Henry Magee, minor. Probated 6 Sept 1813.
Georgia Probate Records, 1742-1990 Richmond Wills 1798-1853 vol A-B, pp 98-99 on familysearch.org.
An alternative possibility for the parentage of Jonathan Magee, taken from www.werelate.org.
ANALYSIS OF THE PARENTAGE OF JONATHAN MAGEE AND WILLIAM MAGEE Submitted by Bevin Creel: April 2012
The 1795 tax digest for Richmond County, Georgia (on p 16, viewable at “Georgia’s Virtual Vault,” http://cdm.sos.state.ga.us) shows one John Smith in “Lyon’s District,” paying taxes both for his own land in that district, as well as for the lands of William “McGee” and Jonathan “McGee.” A comparison of the names in Capt Lyon’s District with abstracted records in Davidson, “Records of Richmond County, Georgia” shows that Capt Lyon and the men in his district lived in the southern section of Richmond County, on and around Spirit Creek and neighboring watercourses.
The sibling relationship of William and Jonathan Magee is undisputed. Their relative ages, common migration pattern (Georgia>Mississippi>Louisiana), and proximity of land holdings testify to their relationship. Their parentage, however, is a difficult research problem. I will take as my starting point the 1795 tax digest for Richmond County, and focus on the questions: (1) How early did William and Jonathan Magee come to live in the area of Spirit Creek?; and (2) what other Magee/McGee men were living in that area during that general time frame who could have been their father? In order to answer these questions, I will begin with a timeline and end with a summary discussion. The reader will note that I use the spellings Magee and McGee quite interchangeably within.
TIMELINE OF RICHMOND COUNTY MAGEES AND ASSOCIATES
16 June 1773—Hugh Magee paid for apprehending and bringing Arthur Lot to Savannah Goal per account dated this date (Candler, “Colonial Records of the State of Georgia,” vol 19, 478).
1779 – Pay Roll of Capt Jeremiah Beall’s company of militia from Richmond County, Georgia, for the period 8 Sept 1779-18 Oct 1779, included Hugh “Megee” and “Luis Megee” (Davis, “Georgia Citizens and Soldiers of the American Revolution,” 92). This company was part of the “Lower Battalion,” covering the southern sections of Richmond County, commanded by Col Robert Middleton. Middleton and his men appear to have joined Gen McIntosh in his march from Augusta to aid the French Admiral d’Estaing’s assault on British occupied Savannah in September-October 1779. The assault was unsuccessful and French and American troops withdrew on 18 Oct 1779 (Coleman, “The American Revolution in Georgia,” 128-9). From a genealogical standpoint, this pay roll places Hugh and Lewis Magee in the southern section of Richmond County during the American Revolution. Richmond County land records for some men in Beall’s company dated immediately after the close of the Revolution confirm this fact. We may cite, for example, that the company Lieutenant, Zephaniah Beall, petitioned for acreage on Spirit Creek in 1785 (National Genealogical Society Quarterly 56:1968, p 287). As a final point here, and to frame the following points, I should underscore that, apart from William and Jonathan Magee (obviously), Hugh and Lewis were the only two Magee/McGee men that I have been able to place in Richmond County from the beginning of the county through 1800.
28 Jan 1780—Hugh McGee appointed to administer the oath of allegiance to the state of Georgia to the inhabitants “of the lower parts” of Richmond County. (Candler, “Revolutionary Records of the State of Georgia,” vol 2, 204-5). On 19 May, he qualified for this office, and also qualified as a Magistrate for Richmond County (idem, 246-7). Deeds for Hugh Magee, cited below, will show that he acquired quite sizeable land holdings in the southern section of Richmond County, along Spirit Creek.
6 July 1780---Hugh McGee named as a “rebel Captain” in the 6 July 1780 act to “disqualify and render incapable the several persons [...] from holding or exercising any office of trust, honour, or profit in the Province of Georgia.” This so-called “Disqualifying Act” was passed by the British after they re-took control of Savannah from the rebelling colonists (White, “Historical Collections of Georgia” (1855), 98-105). Hugh must have made himself particularly odious to the British during the Revolution, since the Disqualifying Act singles out only 151 men, among whom were the most conspicuous leaders of the Georgia patriots, such as the Governor, leading military figures, etc.
22 March 1784—John Twiggs certified that Lewis McGee “is entitled as a refugee to a bounty of land” (“Lewis McGee” file, in “Georgia Headright and Bounty Land Records 1783-1909,” database at familysearch.org). Other papers in the file of Lewis McGee include a petition and a warrant. The petition, undated, from Hugh Magee, “for the heirs of Lewis,” reads “The petition of the heirs of Lewis Magee. Your petrs. pray a warrt. for the within land in Washington County.” I assume by this record that Lewis was dead at this time. The warrant was issued 17 May 1784, to Surveyor for Washington County, Georgia, “to lay out 287 ½ acres in Washington County to Lewis McGee.” The grant for this land was issued 28 Dec 1784, and described the land as being bounded on the northeast by Ogeechee River, southeastwardly by Rheubin Lett’s (Lott’s?) land, on all other sides by vacant lands (Register of Grants Book FFF, 222, viewable in “Georgia Headright and Bounty Land Records 1783-1909,” database at familysearch.org). An image of the survey may be found in Dwyer’s helpful reproduction of the Washington County Plat Book (Dwyer, “Washington County, Georgia Surveyor’s Plat Book A-1784,” 220), showing that the land was adjacent to a tract of Reuben Lett (Lott?). It is important to note that this land was not within the bounds of present-day Washington County. The land fell into Montgomery County upon that county’s formation in 1793 (today, the land is in Emanuel County, which was formed in 1812). A thorough search of Montgomery County deeds failed to show precisely what happened to the land granted to Lewis’s heirs. The only other mention of “Lewis McGee’s” land that I have been able to find is in records associated with the neighboring land of Charles Simmons. Simmons was granted land in 1785 on Ogeechee River bounded by Robert Williams and “Lewis McGee” (Register of Grants Book FFF, 208). Simmons (or Simons) appears to have conveyed this land to John Fenn. When Fenn, in turn, sold the land in 1800, the deed mentioned that the land of “Lewis McGee” adjoined the tract at the time of the original grant (Montgomery County, Georgia Deed Book “CPG,” 372-3). I am of the opinion that the land granted to Lewis McGee’s heirs was sold before Montgomery County was formed off of Washington County in 1793. This is generally supported by the 1797-98 tax digest for Montgomery County, which shows no McGee/Magee men assessed in the county (viewable at Georgia’s Virtual Vault). Unfortunately, the deeds for Washington County are not extant for this time period. Before leaving Montgomery County, Georgia, in the interest of full disclosure, I should point out that there was a William McGee who bought 1,000 acres on the Altamaha River in Montgomery County in 1799, but when he sold the same tract in 1800, he was a resident of the “County of Elbert” (Montgomery County, Georgia Deed Book “CPG,” 278-9). This man was probably the William Magee who made a deed of gift to his adult son “John” in Elbert County in 1808 (Farmer, “Elbert County, Georgia Deed Books K-R, 52, ref to Bk L, 25). I will bracket him from the present discussion.
7 Nov 1785—Richmond County, Land Court, “John Smith in behalf of the heirs of Jonathan McGee entered two hundred acres of land between Spirit Creek & Mcbean including the long pond” (Richmond County, Georgia Land Court Minutes 1784-1787, 92). This record suggests that one Jonathan McGee is deceased, and that John Smith was petitioning the land court on behalf of his heirs. However, this was not the case. The warrant issued on the same date shows that the 200 acres were issued to John Smith as “Trustee for Jonathan McGee,” to be laid out between Spirit Creek and McBean [Creek], including “The Long Pond.” (“Georgia Headright and Bounty Land Records 1783-1909,” database at familysearch.org). Therefore, the entry in the land court minutes was not to a deceased man named Jonathan McGee, but to a minor of that name. The reference to Spirit Creek places Jonathan McGee in the same area of Richmond County as Hugh Magee and Lewis Magee. McBean Creek lies south of Spirit Creek, running parallel to Spirit Creek, and forms the boundary between Richmond and Burke Counties. The lands granted were obtained under the Georgia headright law passed 17 Feb 1783. Under this law, “each head of a family was allowed two hundred acres plus fifty additional acres for each family member or slave, the total amount not to exceed one thousand acres. The applicant received the first two hundred acres free but paid a fee, on a sliding scale, of one shilling to four shillings six pence per acre for each additional acre. Fees for lands were dropped entirely in 1785 but were reinstated in 1831” (Cadle, “Georgia Land Surveying History and Law,” 68). Two hundred acres, then, was the most acreage that a single male could receive. While it is certainly possible that married men with families could have “stopped” at 200 acres, if they were able to obtain larger tracts, it is likely that they did so. I have not found an age stipulation with respect to the headright law, but the fact that John Smith applied for the warrant as trustee of Jonathan McGee infers fairly clearly that Jonathan was still a minor, perhaps just about to come of age. The grant for Jonathan’s land was issued 18 July 1787. The land description was for 200 acres bounding “on all sides vacant land” (Register of Grants Book OOO, 32, viewable in “Georgia Headright and Bounty Land Records 1783-1909,” at familysearch.org).
2 Oct 1786 – Richmond County, Land Court, “William McGee enters two hundred acres of land, to be laid out between Sandy run & McBean Creek on headrights.” (Richmond County, Georgia Land Court Minutes 1784-1787, 124). The grant was issued 25 July 1787. The land description was for 200 acres bounding “on all sides by vacant lands” (Register of Grants Book OOO, 85, viewable in “Georgia Headrights and Bounty Land Records 1783-1909,” at familysearch.org). As in the case of Jonathan McGee, this record places William McGee in southern Richmond County, in close proximity to Hugh Magee and Lewis Magee. For a decent map showing these watercourses, see the 1866 map of Richmond County digitized at Georgia’s Virtual vault, http://cdm.sos.state.ga.us/cdm4/cmf.php. I have been unable to determine what happened to the headrights of William and Jonathan Magee that they obtained in the 1780s in Richmond County. I have scanned every extant Richmond County deed from the formation of the county until 1810, and have found no record of the Magee boys selling their lands. There also was no record of a Sheriff’s sale, etc. Lest there be any doubt, the 1795 Richmond County tax return demonstrates that this land lies within the present-day boundaries of Richmond. The last county formed from sections of Richmond County was Warren County, formed in 1793. Whatever happened to the headrights of William and Jonathan Magee in Richmond County must remain a mystery, for now.
10 Nov 1793- Bond for Jonathan McGee to marry Rebecca James. (Davidson, “Records of Richmond County, Georgia,” 174).
1795—Tax return for Richmond County, p16, shows: Lyon’s District,
The 1795 assessment is digitized at Georgia’s Virtual Vault, http://cdm.sos.state.ga.us/cdm4/tax.php. I have delayed discussing this John Smith in depth until this entry, which places him paying taxes for both Jonathan McGee and William McGee. On a side note, I can account for how William McGee got 200 acres, but not for the other 70 1/2 acres. At any rate, Jonathan and William were not minors at this time, so that is not the reason why John Smith paid their taxes. I could offer several different explanations why John Smith was paying taxes for William and Jonathan, but whatever the explanation, the tax digest demonstrates a close relationship between these three men. Sidney Holdrege has suggested, and I agree with her conclusion, that John Smith was step-father to these McGee boys. This tax record, coupled with the fact that John Smith was “trustee” for Jonathan McGee in the 7 Nov 1785 land court record cited above strongly suggests (demands?) that the father of William and Jonathan McGee was dead before 7 Nov 1785. Indeed, we have one (and only one) deceased McGee man in the correct area before that date: Lewis McGee, who was dead before 17 May 1784, at which time a land warrant was issued to his unnamed heirs. I conclude, therefore, that Lewis McGee was the father of William and Jonathan McGee.
4 Jan 1800 – John Smith and Elizabeth (x) his wife to George Walker, for $1500, sold tract on which sd Smith now resides, on both sides of Spirit Creek, in two surveys and grants, one in the name of Caleb Cox containing 287 ½ acres, the other in the name of sd Smith containing 500 acres....and according to a resurvey totals 1276 acres; wits. Geo. Allen, Free. Walker, Val. Walker; 6 Jan 1800, Elizabeth (x) Smith relinquished claim to the within; Recorded 8 April 1800. (Richmond County, GA Deed Bk G, 498-500).
9 Jan 1800— (two days after the deed above) John Smith “of Spirit Creek” in Richmond County made his will. The abstracted version reads, in part, “As my living wife before she married me saw fit to secure all her property to her children, I leave her twenty five cents.” He also named three nephews living in Scotland. Executors were Alex. Graham, Edward Primrose, witnesses Holland McTyeire, Seaborn Jones, Lucy Heard. The will was probated 6 Oct 1801 (Gilliam, “Records of Richmond County, Georgia,” 58). The language of the will infers that his present wife had children by a previous marriage. This supports my position that John Smith’s wife Elizabeth was the mother of William and Jonathan Magee.
22 Jan 1801—Deed Hugh Magee of Richmond County to Charles Burch, $500, 200 acres in the fork of Spirit Creek. (Richmond County, Georgia Deed Bk H, 204); same date 22 Jan 1801---Deed Hugh Magee of Richmond County to Edward Burch, for $500, sold 150 acres on Spirit Creek. (Richmond County, Georgia Deed Bk K, 331).
6 March 1804—James Scott, Sheriff of Richmond County, at the suit of Edward Burch against Edward Primrose, Exr. of estate of John Smith decd., sold to Edward Burch (in behalf of Gideon Seely), for $120, tract on Little Spirit Creek containing 287 ½ acres. (Richmond County, Georgia Deed Bk K, 1).
20 July 1805—Deed Hugh Magee of Richmond County to Joseph Ware, for $100, sold tract 1675 acres on Big Spirit Creek. (Richmond County, Georgia, Deed Bk L, 108).
28 Sept 1812—Will of Hugh Magee of Richmond County. Named wife Mary, son William Henry Magee, minor. Probated 6 Sept 1813. (Davidson, “Records of Richmond County, Georgia,” 50).
At this point, I give the following general reconstruction. Hugh Magee and his close relation Lewis Magee (probably his brother) arrived in Richmond County, Georgia before the American Revolution, and settled in the lower section of the county, in the area of Spirit Creek. They were both active patriots in the Revolution, with Hugh serving as a Magistrate, and both men serving together at least one tour in the local militia under Capt Jeremiah Beal. At some point in the war, probably 1780 or 1781, the encroachment of the British forced these men to flee their homes as refugees. Sometime shortly after their return to Georgia, Lewis Magee died. The warrant for the Revolutionary War bounty land due him was issued 17 May 1784, upon the petition of Hugh Magee on behalf of Lewis’ heirs.
After Lewis Magee died, his widow Elizabeth remarried to John Smith. She married him prior to 7 Nov 1785, when warrant was issued to John Smith as “Trustee” of Jonathan Magee for a headright of 200 acres in the area of Spirit Creek. Jonathan Magee was probably at the cusp of coming of age at the time of the warrant. His brother, William, had already come of age himself when he petitioned for a 200 acre headright on 2 Oct 1786 for land relatively nearby. John Smith paid taxes for both William and Jonathan in 1795.
In closing, I would like to return to the two questions that I posed in paragraph two: (1) How early did William and Jonathan Magee come to live in the area of Spirit Creek?; and (2) what other Magee/McGee men were living in that area during that general time frame who could have been their father? The answer to question (1) is that they were in the area of Spirit Creek at the close of the Revolution, and may have been there for some time before that. The answer to question (2) is that the only two Magee men who I have been able to locate in this area during this time frame were Hugh and Lewis Magee. I think it is fairly obvious that Hugh was not their father. Hugh did not go with William and Jonathan to Mississippi, and he did not name them in his will. The evidence presented herein, however, leads to the fairly strong conclusion that their father was Lewis Magee.
Submitted by Bevin Creel: April 2012 ▼References
↑ Estimated from births of children.
|Military||Military Record for Lewis and Hugh Magee, 1779|
Image dimensions: 687 × 344 pixels
File size: 125 KB
|Property||Washington Co Land Warrant For Robert Long in 1784|
Image dimensions: 747 × 607 pixels
File size: 486 KB
|Property||Robert Long Cedes Land Warrant on Spirit creek to Hugh Magee|
Image dimensions: 763 × 237 pixels
File size: 198 KB
|Death||First Page of Hugh Magee Will|
Image dimensions: 2,026 × 2,233 pixels
File size: 767 KB
|Death||Page 2 of Hugh Magee Will|
Image dimensions: 2,239 × 2,879 pixels
File size: 709 KB