Lee Letter
Here is a copy of a letter written by Narcissus Verlilia 'Lily' Lee, at age 66, explaining what was believed to be the family connection with Henry 'Light Horse Harry' Lee, and his son, Gen. Robert E Lee.
It is well known that some descendants of the 'Virginia Lees' went to Alabama at that time. I have found the connection, although not exactly as she thought.

    The history of the
Lee family, to my
Harry Lee, and Jerry Lee,
were my fathers own
grandfathers. My father
were Robert Edward Lee's
own nephew,and he
is a son of Harry Lee.
My father were named
after two uncles of his
Robert, Washington Lee.
I am told that my
grandmother was a Lee,
and married his cousin
See that is why both our
grandfathers are named
Lee. This is a true history.
See I am a great grand
child of theirs and a
    great neice of R. E. Lee.
My name is by birth
Narcissus Verlilia Lee,
but known now as
Mrs Lily Williams,
Patsy Jean Williams
Hope she can honor
the name.
He is her great great
great uncle.
I wish her all of the
honors can be bestowed
upon her for my
sake and Stanleys.
Mrs Lillie Williams
    Pine Valley, Miss
Port Arthur, Tx
postmarked 1938
with a three cent stamp

Here is what research has shown:

Descendants of Richard Henry Lee I
1 Richard Henry Lee I    Abt. 1617 - 1664
..+Ann Constable    Abt. 1621 - Aft. 1664
 2 Richard Lee    1647 - 1714
...+Laetitia Corbin    Abt. 1656 - 1706
  3 Henry Lee    Abt. 1691 - 1747
....+Mary Bland    
   4  Henry Lee    
......+Lucy Grymes    
    5  Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee    1756 - 1818
.......+Matilda Lee    
      6  Robert Edward Lee, General    1807 - 1870
.........+Mary A R Custis    

 2 William C Lee    Abt. 1650 - 1696
...+Alice Felton    1648 -
  3  Richard Lee    Abt. 1670 -
.....+Mary Young    - Aft. 1690
   4 John Lee, Esquire    Abt. 1690 - 1766
......+Mary W Bryan    1704 - Bef. 1780
     5  Edward Lee    1725 - 1775
........+Mary Allen    Abt. 1730 - Abt. 1815
      6  Jeremiah Lee    1771 - 1824
.........+Elizabeth Avera    Abt. 1771 - Aft. 1830
       7   Henry 'Harry' Lee    1810 - 1835
...........+Elizabeth Jane Lee    1814 - 1877

Descendants of Hugh Lee I
1   Hugh Lee I    Abt. 1609 - 1661
....+Hannah Hewitt    Abt. 1616 -
  2  Hugh Lee, II, of Blackwater    Bef. 1650 - 1714
.....+Ann Barnett    Abt. 1643 - 1735
    3  Hugh Lee III    Bef. 1669 - 1739
.......+Ann Tatum    Abt. 1670 - 1743
     4 William Lee    Bef. 1696 - 1761
........+Rebecca Burchet    Abt. 1698 - 1759
       5  William Lee II    1727 - 1796
..........+Elizabeth Ann Westbrook    Abt. 1725 -
        6  Samuel Lee    Abt. 1747 - Aft. 1828
...........+Kessiah (Lee)    - Bef. 1828
          7  Samuel Lee, Jr    1772 - 1857
.............+Sarah Thorton    - 1807
           8  Jonathan Lee    1799 - 1836
..............+Absebeth (Lee)    Bef. 1801 - 1830
             9  Robert Washington Lee    1823 - 1881
                *2nd Wife of [1] Robert Washington Lee:    
................+Mary Ann Henry    1828 - Aft. 1880
              10  Narcissus 'Nannie' Verlilia 'Lillie' Lee    1872 - Aft. 1938
..................+Abner B Williams    1859 - Aft. 1905
                11  Stanley Lee Williams    1898 - 1951
....................+Gladys Neva Walker    1904 - 1982
                 12  Patsy Jean Williams    1928 -
.....................+Frederick Lale Varnado    1927 -
                   13  Debra Susan Varnado    1951 - 1981
                       *2nd Husband of Debra Susan Varnado:    
.......................+John Randall (Carlson) Farmacka    1951 -
                     14  Sandra Gail Farmacka    1976 -
.........................+Marco Antonio Leal    1974 -
                       15  Alana Nicole Leal    1998 -
                       15  Alyssa Susan Leal    2001 -

      (7) *2nd Wife of Samuel Lee, Jr:    
..........+Mary Rhodes    Abt. 1789 - 1814
          8   Samuel Washington Lee    1811 - 1867
          8   Elizabeth Jane Lee    1814 - 1877 
              *2nd Husband of [4] Elizabeth Jane Lee:    
              +Henry 'Harry' Lee    1810 - 1835
Although there is probably some family connection way back in England between the families of John Lee and Hugh Lee, no proof has been found.
General Robert E Lee and Henry 'Harry' Lee are both decendants of Richard Henry Lee, I (the Imigrant, and son of John Lee).    They are 4th cousins, once removed.
Henry 'Harry' Lee married Elizabeth Jane Lee.
Elizabeth Jane Lee is a descendant of Hugh Lee, I (and his son of Blackwater River, Virginia).
Elizabeth Jane Lee is half-sister to Jonathan Lee, father of Robert Washington Lee.
The relation is:
        Jonathan Lee is the half-brother... of the wife... of the 4th cousin, once removed... of General Robert E Lee.
It is rare to find an actual connection between the two Lee lines, no matter how distant or remote. This one is done by half-siblings and marriage.
The letter of Lilly Lee is accurate up to a point.
From her letter, the 'Robert' part of Robert Washington Lee's name was from Robert Edward Lee that was the son of Henry 'Harry' Lee. But this Henry 'Harry' Lee was not the same person as the famous Henry 'Light Horse Harry' Lee, father of General Robert E Lee.
Also, Robert Washington was born before Henry 'Harry' had any known children.
Henry 'Harry' did have at least 3 brothers, but I have not verifed their names at this time. It's possible the name came from one of them.
The 'Washington' part of Robert Washington Lee's name possibly came from his uncle, Samuel Washington Lee, brother of Elizabeth Jane, and half-brother to Jonathan.
Or there may be another Washington that I have not found yet, such as the brothers of Henry 'Harry'.
The Jerry Lee is Jeremiah Lee, of Johnston county, North Carolina, and father of Henry 'Harry' Lee.
In one North Carolina census he is listed as Jerry Lee, and Jeremiah in others.
Elizabeth Jane Lee would be the grandmother that Lily was told married a cousin.
It should be noted that the mother of Elizabeth Jane Lee was Mary Rhodes, 2nd wife of Samuel Lee, Jr.
Robert Washington Lee's first wife was Margaret Rhodes, and there is a strong probability she was a relation to Mary Rhodes, his step-grandmother. This could make for all kinds of other possible connections.
Starting in North Carolina and continuing through into Alabama, there were several families very closely associated that had many marriages among them. Just some of these were the Lee, Allen, Rhodes, Thigpen, and Williams.
With the way the names match, the locations, and the time period, it's easy to see how mistakes could be made. Lily was born in 1872, many years after most of these people had died, and was given handed down information.
Everyone in the South, then and now, looked to a 'family connection' with the famous 'Virginia Lees'.
I hope this makes sense, and you are able to follow the rationale.
It has taken a LOT of research to reach this point, and I believe these are the mostly likely conclusions, based on Lily's letter, and available facts.

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