William GEE Of Grundy Co., MO

c1794 -- 18 Sep 1855


William GEE, son of Robert Gee and Nancy Hatwood, b. c1794 in KY (NC); d. 18 Sep 1855, possibly in Pope Co., AR. He md. NANCY [---], c1815 in TN. She was b. 1790/1800, based on U.S. Census records; d. 22 Apr 1843, probably in Jefferson Twp., Grundy Co., MO.

Randolph Co., MO, probate records (v. A/156) show that William Gee was appointed administrator of Robert Gee´s estate 4 May 1829. This estate later was divided into 12 equal shares, indicating that Robert left 12 surviving children. On 21 May 1833, William "produced discharges for two shares and paid off in the presence of the court Thos Gee Aaron Gee M Atiberry (sic) in right of his wife Rhoda Moris Gee and John Gee heirs of said deceased and deposided (sic) the remainder except his own Share with the clerk." The phrase "his own Share" almost certainly implies that William was not only an heir, but also the son of Robert Gee.

"The [Gee] family originally was Scotch and at an early day in the history of this country some of its members left the land of hills and heather and settled in Tennessee, from which state [...] William Gee enlisted for service in the War of 1812 and valiantly fought under General Jackson, holding the commission of lieutenant in the American ranks." While U.S. Census records appear to confirm that the Gee´s indeed settled in Tennessee about 1812, no military service records have yet been found for William Gee. The family had previously lived in Lincoln and Mercer Cos., KY, before moving to Tennessee.

William later joined the great migration to the Missouri Territory, which was admitted to the Union in 1821. The first mention of William Gee in Missouri is on the 1823 Montgomery County tax list. Robert, John, Thomas and Albert (?) Gee also owned property there. By 1828, the family had settled in Chariton (now Randolph) County, where William and Morris Gee appraised a mare for Mark Noble in Salt Spring Twp. Mark Noble married Rachel Gee (believed to be William´s cousin) in Mercer Co., KY, in 1803 and moved to Howard Co., MO, in 1817.

The 1830 U.S. Census lists William Gee in Randolph County near Mark Noble and Thomas, Maurice (Morris), Aaron and Moses Gee. Two years later, William moved to an area of Ray County that became part of Carroll County in 1833 then Livingston County in 1837. In Aug 1838, William was appointed as one of three election judges in Sugar Creek Twp. -- located north of Livingston County and comprising all of the territory west of the East Fork of the Grand River. This area became Jefferson Twp. in 1839 and formed the southwest boundary of Grundy County upon its creation 29 Jan 1841.

At the same time William was establishing himself in Livingston County, the so-called "Jo. Smithites" (Mormons) were settling in large numbers in neighboring Caldwell and Daviess counties. Minor squabbles between the clannish and polygamous Mormons and other citizens quickly escalated, and in the summer of 1838 Gov. Boggs called out the militia to enforce the laws. "It was a force largely composed of Livingston county men, and led by the sheriff, Col. Wm. O. Jennings, that engaged in the massacre at Haun´s mill [...] where eighteen Mormons were killed and the balance captured, some of them being killed after they had surrendered. Only one militiaman was wounded." William Gee reportedly led one of the detachments in what is now known as the Mormon War.

William first built a cabin on the site of present Moberly Park in Trenton, the seat of Grundy County. He later settled where the Shelburne Church now stands in Poosey, "a community of small farms that lay on either side of the Livingston-Grundy county line with the center between what is now state highway W and Shearwood Station." William's son Henry received a patent of 40 acres in Poosey in 1839.

Little is known about William´s wife, other than what has been extrapolated from the census and a notation in a family Bible: "Nancy Gee died April 22D 1843 [...] Caried up." Since William´s last known child was born about 1843, it is supposed that Nancy Gee died in childbirth. William was an apparent widower at the 1850 U.S. Census of Grundy County.

William later may have removed to Pope Co., AR, where his son Samuel had migrated several years earlier. Pope County probate records (v. E/60) indicate that a William Gee died there between August and October 1855 (the aforementioned Bible record shows that William Gee died 18 Sep 1855). On 24 Oct 1855, Robert Cunningham posted a $250 bond as administrator of Gee's estate, with Henry Kirchoff as security. This suggests that Gee was an adult with an estimated estate of $125. Further evidence shows that William´s daughter Malinda, who was enumerated with William on the 1850 U.S. Census of Grundy Co., MO, was married about 1854 to John W. Milliken of Pope Co., AR.

Although a William Gee appears on Pope County tax rolls from 1852-1854, this may have been William Henry Gee (c1835-1868), William´s grandson. William paid taxes on a few horses and cattle in 1852 and 1853, but he was not "liable to pay a poll tax" until 1854 when William Henry Gee likely turned 18. Further research of Pope County records should yield additional information.

William Gee was said to have had only 12 children: "Samuel, Miles, Henry, Matilda, Paulina (?), William, Sarah Gee Arbuckle, Jane Gee Cole, Martha Gee Dockery, Thomas, Melinda Gee Milligen (sic) and Greenburg (sic)." However, U.S. Census records appear to indicate that William had at least 15 children:

1. Samuel Gee, (c1816)-(?); md. Martha Tinney, 1835.

2. Henry Gee, 1818-1895; md. Anna Dockery, 1837.

3. Miles MARYLAND Gee, 1820-1897; md/1 Louisa M. Caughran, 1841; md/2 Jeston [Coots] Crews Coots Johnson, 1895.

4. Matilda Gee, (c1822)-(?); md. Rice Ware, 1837.

5. William Gee, 1823-1906; md. Tabetha S. Arbuckle, c1847.

6. (FEMALE) GEE, b. 1820/1825, based on 1830 U.S. Census (Randolph Co., MO).

7. Sarah Ann "Sallie" Gee, (c1828)-1869; md. John William Arbuckle, 1844.

8. Elizabeth JANE Gee, (c1830)-(?); md/1 Jonathan Shuler, 1855; md/2 Melzar Cole, 1860.

9. (FEMALE) GEE, b. 1830/1835, based on 1840 U.S. Census (Livingston Co., MO).

10. (FEMALE) GEE, b. 1830/1835, based on 1840 U.S. Census (Livingston Co., MO).

11. Martha Ann Gee, (c1836)-(?); md. Robert Dockery, 1852.

12. (FEMALE) GEE, b. 1835/1840, based on 1840 U.S. Census (Livingston Co., MO).

13. Thomas H.B. Gee, 1838-(?); md. Louisa Applegate, 1857.

14. Malinda Gee, (c1840)-(?); md. John W. Milliken, c1854.

15. GREENBERRY GEE, b. c1843 in Jefferson Twp., Grundy Co., MO.

The inventory of Poosey´s cemeteries, Shelburne, Gee/Embry and Dockery, read like a genealogy of William Gee. Of those early descendants who chose to leave Missouri, most eventually settled in Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma. Now, of course, William´s descendants can be found all over the world.


1997 by Bobby J. Wadsworth; all rights reserved.

If you have information regarding this family, or you wish to learn more, please contact the compiler.


LINKS:

  • Descendants of Robert Gee.

  • GEE Family Researchers and Historians

  • Moses GEE Family

  • SOURCES:

    Past and Present of Livingston County, Missouri, Vol II (by Major A.J. Roof, S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, IL, 1913)

    Missouri Genealogical Records and Abstracts 1766-1839, Vol 1 (by Sherida K. Eddlemon, Heritage Books Inc., Bowie, MD, 1990)

    Missouri Genealogical Records and Abstracts 1752-1839, Vol 2 (by Sherida K. Eddlemon, Heritage Books Inc., Bowie, MD, 1990)

    Missouri Taxpayers 1819-1826 (by Lois Stanley, George F. Wilson and Maryhelen Wilson, Decorah, IA, 1979)

    History of Randolph County Missouri (by Alexander Waller, 1920)

    History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties Missouri (St. Louis National Historical Company, 1886)

    The History of Grundy County, Missouri (published by Birdsall and Dean, Kansas City, MO, 1881)

    A Place Called Poosey (by Anna Dockery Burgess, as recorded by Roy C. Hicklin, 1982)

    Robbins-Gee Family Bible (photocopies of family pages; Bible´s location in 1997 unknown)

    Copy of letter written by Mrs. Offa Wooldridge of Trenton, MO, 3 May 1977


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    This page was last updated 25 August 2003.