It has been over a year now that I have had the “We’re Related “ tool running on my iPhone. It has provided me with a lot of information to work off of. For the first 6 months, it spewed information at me so fast I could not keep up. I worked as diligently on it as I could but there was no keeping up! I did not worry because I figured the data would just keep accumulating. All the new data would need to be verified.
Somewhere about the seven or eight-month mark, I went looking for one of the original connections so that I could work on verifying it when I discovered that I could not find it in my list. It was at that point that I realized that the tool would drop off some of the older connections. This seems to be around 200 individuals. At that point, I decided that I need to keep a spreadsheet of the data.
So each time I get a match, I open my spreadsheet and open the family tab and record the data, my data and the matched data. The new finds have slowed down to a rate of several a week so this task isn’t really large. I have also started to get back some of the matches which had dropped off, as was the case this week with General Douglas MacArthur.
So I recorded the data and decided that I would investigate at least my family connections here. I remember working on this last year and becoming frustrated and stopping.
I am the daughter of Harold A Smith who is the son of Lillian Losee who is the daughter of Mae Evelyn Boyer who is the daughter of Austin Boyer who is the son of Nancy Leet. These family connections are accurate.
Janet – 1955 => Harold Smith – 1928/1996 => Lillian Losee – 1905/1980 =>Mae Eveleen Boyer – 1883/1914 => Austin Boyer – 1848/ 1908 => Nancy Leet – 1814-1900 => Jonathan Leet – 1775-1861 => Asahel Leete – 1755- 1791 => Mercy Dudley – 1719-1801 => Rachel Strong – 1679-1769 => Thomas Strong – 1638- 1689 => Abigail Ford – 1619-1688 => Thomas Ford 1587-1676
Douglas MacArthur – 1880-1964 => Arthur MacArthur – 1845-1912 => Aurelia MacArthur – 1818-1864 => Olive Keep – 1789- 1845 => John Keep – 1753-1838 => Experience Lawrence – 1719=> Eleazer Lawrence – 1674-1754 => Peleg Lawrence – 1647-1692 => Elizabeth Cooke – 1611-1663 => Thomas Ford – 1587-1676
When I began my search on Jonathan Leet, I found that he lived in southern Illinois in Wabash county and I thought to myself how could he be the father of my Nancy Leet? Nancy states that she and her husband Valentine are from New York. So I began my search on Jonathan Leet. I started at Ancestry.com as I usually do. And I found a photo, of all things, of this couple. It looks like it may be an old tintype. I have contacted the contributor to see what they can tell me about this couple.
What I learned this week about this couple really was quite remarkable. They did originate from New York. They were married in 1807. Jonathan served in the War of 1812. He was a private in the New York Militia. He served from June 22, 1813, until September 30, 1813, for the duration of 90 days and was discharged at Niagara, New York. In the 1820 Census, Jonathan and his family are located in Leicester, Genesee County, New York. He has nine members in his family, seven of whom are under the age of sixteen years old and two adults over the age twenty-five. By the 1830 Federal Census, the Jonathan Leet family now has thirteen members. They remain in New York in the same town which is now listed in Livingston County instead of Genesee. There are two adults between forty and forty-nine years of age. One son who is at least twenty years old and ten children under the age of twenty.
In a Michigan Territorial Census in 1833, Jonathan is listed in Michigan. Jonathan and Deborah’s last two children, Polly and William, were born in Michigan according to later census records. During this same time frame, all of the adult Leet children are also recorded in Oakland County, Michigan. By the 1840 Census, Jonathan and his sons, Daniel and Victor are now in Illinois in Wabash County. Jonathan has six children remaining at home, two sons and 4 daughters. The adult sons, Victor and Daniel are raising their own families and are counted as if they are living next door to each other and their father. Nancy has remained in Michigan where she has married Valentine Boyer. I have never found their marriage record. I assumed that they had married in New York but I do not know for sure. By the 1850 Census, Jonathan and Deborah are living with the remaining two children; a nineteen-year-old William and a seventeen-year-old Polly Ann. As a result of his service, Jonathan was given two Land Grants in Wabash, County, one was for 40 acres and one was for 120 acres. He received the 40 acres parcel on July 10, 1852.
Jonathan died in Wabash County in 1861. Deborah died on August 1, 1871. There is 46-page pension file for Jonathan and the case was still open well after both he and Deborah have died. I can not tell if there were ever payments made to him on his pensions. There was an attempt to get his benefits for his wife but it appears they were never successful. The problem seems to be that she did not have an official marriage certificate. The file contained letter after letter verifying that Jonathan and Deborah were married and lived as man and wife for all those years. One that I found of particular interest was from David Leet. He is their oldest son and was living in Mayville, White County, Illinois. He identifies himself as their 66 years old son. The letter is written and sent in 1874. They are at this point trying to obtain money to recover the cost of her burial which had taken place three years before. In this letter, David states that his parents had 20 children born to them and that 8 remain living at the time of the letter.
Nancy’s Michigan death Certificate does not list her father’s first name nor her mother’s surname. It states that her father was Leat and her mother was Debrah. Through my research, I have not found another Deborah Leet.
Jonathan is the son of Asahel Leete and Polly Nott, Asahel is the son of Roland Leete and Mercy Dudley, Roland is the son of William Leete and Hannah Stone, William is the son of Andrew Leete and Elizabeth Jordan, Andrew is the son of William Leete and Anne Payne.
This Leete family is well documented in early colonial America, in a book written by Edward Leete in 1884. It is titled, “ One of the First Settlers of Guilford Connecticut and Governor of New Haven and Connecticut Colonies”
William Leete was born in Dobington, Huntingdonshire, England in 1612 or 1618. He was the son of John Leete and Anna Shute of Dodington. John was the son of Thomas Leete and Maria Slade of Ockington, Cambridgeshire, England.
William came to America in 1639 with Rev. Whitfield’s company and was one of the original signers of the Plantation Covenant on shipboard, June 1, 1639. The ship arriving in New Haven on July 10. After holding many public offices in colonial Connecticut, William Leete was elected Governor in 1676 and held the office until his death in 1683.
Through the “We’re Related” app, we have 24 connections with famous people listed in our spreadsheet. Some of these people include; John Wesley (my father and my Grandparents would be especially proud), Gerald Ford, Jimmy Stewert, Douglas McArthur, Hank Williams Jr., John Quincy Adams, Jonathan Swift, Conway Twitty, Thomas Paine, Franklin D Roosevelt.
In 2010, I had my brother do the ancestry.com dna test for our Smith line of the family. At the time there were no Smith matches but it listed the Adams family name within 15 generations and sure enough there it is. Ancestry.com has changed the markers that they are looking at in the standard dna test today which has now invalidated my data. I can no longer see the names that they had mapped to our family but I remember a few of them
So this week we have connected the dots for our Leete family which takes us back to mid-1500 in England.