Highlights of Lee's Genealogy


  • John Hardy was an alderman and sheriff of London in the early 16th Century.

Colonial Era

  • William Brewster (10th GGF) was organizer and spiritual leader of the Mayflower and the New England Colony at Plymouth.
  • Stephen Hopkins (10th GGF) was a Mayflower passenger who had earlier visited Jamestown in Virginia.
  • Austin Bearse (9th GGF) was reportedly a gypsy who emigrated to Plymouth when he was expelled from England and according to legend married Mary Hyanno, the daughter of Iyannough, sachem of the Matachee band of Wampanoag Indians on Cape Cod.
  • Thomas Prence (9th GGF) was governor of Plymouth.
  • Richard Sparrow (9th GGF) was sued in 1656 by Capt. Myles Standish. The Sparrow house is the oldest surviving house in Plymouth.
  • John Mayo (9th GGF) was the minister at the Boston church that later became known as the Old North Church of Revolutionary War fame.
  • John Doan (9th GGF) and Edward Bangs (9th GGF) founded Eastham, Massachusetts.
  • Robert Pitt (9th GGF) was captain of the ship "Thunder" which traded between Bristol, England and early Virginia.

Revolutionary War

  • Col. Robert Anderson served under Gen. Andrew Pickens and fought in the Battle of Cowpens.
  • John Dollarhide (6th GGF) fought in the American Revolution at the Battle of Kings Mountain and Cowpens. 
  • Members of the Pitts and Ashworth families seem to have been Tories during the American Revolution.
  • James Taylor White (7th GGF) of Virginia fought in the American Revolution.
  • Henry Sapp (5th GGF) fought in the American Revolution.
  • James Anderson served as Captain of Virginia Troops
  • John Pitts (6th GGF) served as a Captain in the Revolutionary War.
  • Samuel Freeman (5th GGF) financed privateers who attacked American shipping during the Revolutionary War
  • James Freeman (4th GGF), Samuel's son, was a crew member on privateer ships that attacked American shipping during the Revolutionary War.

War of 1812

  • John Barnes (3rd GGF) served in the War of 1812.
  • William Barnes (4th GGF) served in the War of 1812.

Early United States of America

  • Henry W. Spears (3rd GGF) of Stewart County, GA, fought in the Battle of Eachoway (Ichauway) Nochaway in the Creek Indian War in 1836.
  • Daniel Grant Watson (4th GGF):
    • Married a Creek Indian woman in Alabama, and they were transported to Oklahoma in Creek Indian Removal, an episode similar to the Cherokee "Trail of Tears" leaving their two young children with a cousin Arthur Watson to be raised as his own.
    • Signed the Tehuacana Creek Treaty between the Republic of Texas and the Comanche, Keechi, Waco, Caddo, Anadarko, Ioni, Delaware, Shawnee, Cherokee, Lipan and Tawakoni tribes in 1844. Another of the signers was Jesse Chisholm for whom the Chisholm Trail was named.
  • John Forsythe (4th GGF) was sheriff of Adams County, Mississippi in the early 1800s.
  • Anderson, South Carolina is named for Robert Anderson.

Republic of Texas

  • Martin D. White (4th GGF) fought in the Battle of San Jacinto in the Texas Revolution and was later a justice of the peace in Angelina and Trinity Counties..
  • Thomas Harman W. Forsythe (3rd GGF) was recruited in New Orleans to fight in the Texas Revolution. He fought in the Battle of Bexar in the Texas Revolution and fortunately had to travel to Mississippi to settle his father's estate before the Alamo was fortified. He was a "hardshell" Baptist minister in Trinity County, Texas starting in the Republic of Texas.

Civil War

  • William Earl Forsythe (2nd GGF), of Trinity County, TX, Served in Company M (Sumter Light Infantry), 1st Texas Infantry Regiment, Hoods Brigade. He participated in all the major battles of Lee's Army of Northern Virginia after August, 1862 except Chancellorsville. He was wounded four times, including neck and hand.
  • William Pinkney Wilson (2nd GGF), of Walker County, TX, served in Company D, 5th Texas Infantry, Hoods Brigade, in Civil War.
  • William M. Johnson (2nd GGF), of Simpson County, MS, was wounded at the Second Battle of Manassas (Bull Run) in the Civil War.
  • The Landrums of Jones County, MS were Union sympathizers during the Civil War. Jones County was so rebellious against the Confederacy that it became known as the Free State of Jones. Lenson Landrum (3rd GGF) of Jones Co., Mississippi, a Confederate soldier, was captured pretty easily, took the loyalty oath two days later, and apparently never went to prison camp. He and his brother Thomas went to New Orleans and joined the Union Army. His brother gave his son born in 1864 (that was in the midst of the Civil War, you understand) the given names "Ulysses Grant." 
  • Allen Johnson (3rd GGF), of Wilcox Co., AL, was killed in the Civil War and died at Vicksburg, Mississippi.
  • Patrick Johnson (3rd GGF) served in the Civil War from Angelina Co., TX.
  • David Felder Richardson served in the Confederate forces of General Jo Shelby in Missouri.

Late 19th Century

  • William Earl Forsythe (2nd GGF) was a minister in Trinity County, Texas in the late 1800's.
  • William D. Forsythe (1st GGF) was a congregational Methodist minister in Angelina County, Texas in the early 1900's. William Earl Forsythe (2nd GGF) was a minister in Trinity County, Texas in the late 1800's.

Famous Cousins

  • Ambrose Bierce also descends from Augustine Bearse (9th GGF) of Plymouth
  • President Theodore Roosevelt is a fourth cousin, five times removed, a descendant of William Craig.
  • President George H. W. Bush is a ninth cousin, once removed, a descendant of Edward Bangs, Samuel Hinckley, Rev. John Mayo, and Edmund Hobart of early New England.
  • President George W. Bush is a tenth cousin, a descendant of Edward Bangs, Samuel Hinckley, Rev. John Mayo, and Edmund Hobart of early New England.
  • President Barack Obama is an 11th cousin, a descendant of Samuel Hinckley of early New England.
  • Garrett A. Hobart, Vice President in William McKinley's first term, and descendant of Edmund Hobart, is an 8th cousin, 3 times removed.
  • Singer/Actor Bing Crosby is an 8th cousin, once removed, a descendant of Edmond Freeman and William Brewster of the Mayflower.
  • Orville and Wilbur Wright are 8th cousins, twice removed, descendants of Edmund Freeman.
  • Oliver Hazard Perry, hero of the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812, and his brother Commodore Matthew Perry, who opened Japan to American trade, are 4th cousins, 6 times removed, descendants of Edmund Freeman.

Infamous Cousins

  • Lizzie Borden, who was tried but not convicted of the axe murder of her mother and father, was my 7th cousin, 3 times removed, descendant of Edmund Freeman.
  • John W. Hinckley, Jr., attempted assassin of President Ronald Reagan, is my 9th cousin, twice removed, descendant of Samuel Hinckley. He is also related to the Presidents Bush.


  • According to cultural historian Terry G. Jordan in his book North American Cattle-Ranching Frontiers (University of New Mexico Press, 1993), the "redbones," amongst which numbered the Ashworths, Perkins, Dials and Johnson, brought a cattle tending system from the Pee Dee region of South Carolina to Southern Louisiana. There it it mixed with Spanish cattle culture to create the Anglo-Texan cattle ranching system that became an integral part of the legend of Texas and the Old West. 
  • Lee's great-aunt. Lola Forsythe Lane, foreshadowed modern times with a career as a Congregational Methodist minister. 
  • And of course there are the reputed ancestors William the Conqueror, Alfred the Great, and Charlemagne, although most Americans of English extraction can claim the same distinction.

Locations of Lee's Families

Check out Lee's names by location.

Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts (Plymouth), Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Nova Scotia, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia

Where Do Lee's Ancestors Come From?

Most of Lee's ancestral lines are in the South -- Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. He does have one line that connects through Nova Scotia to Massachusetts and Plymouth Plantation. Before that most of Lee's ancestors are English and Scotch with a little Welsh, French and American Indian thrown in along the way. Lee's genealogical research indicates that his immediate ancestry is nothing to write home about -- mainly small time farmers from Texas and the Deep South. 

The Old Countries

Most of Lee's ancestors emigrated from Scotland (Murrah seems to be a Scots name) and England, with a few from France and Wales.  One is said to be from Italy, although that is not certain. Lee also has Redbones ancestors who historically have claimed to be Portuguese, and who some claim may have elements from Spain.

The South

Most of Lee's ancestors settled in the South. Those that can be traced entered through Virginia, some as early as 1650. Lee's Scotch ancestors probably entered via Philadelphia and followed the old Philadelphia Wagon Road into the Shenandoah Valley of Western Virginia and then south into the Carolinas and Georgia. Perhaps some entered through South Carolina.

Lee's ancestors later moved to Alabama, Misssippi and Louisiana, and finally to Texas as those areas opened up.

One family lived in Southwest Missouri during the Civil War (and the not so civil anarchy that infected the Missouri - Kansas border area). After the Civil War they moved to Texas. 

New England and Nova Scotia

Lee's most notable ancestor was his 10th great-grandfather, Elder William Brewster spiritual leader of the Mayflower and early leader of the Plymouth Colony, who reportedly drafted the Mayflower Compact. How his descendant got to rural East Texas is the most amazing part of the story. Lee's 9th great-granfather Rev. John Mayo was an early minister in Boston. That makes Lee distantly related to about half of New England, including "cousin" George Bush, although he was not offered an ambassadorship during the Bush administration.

Native American Roots

Lee probably has a slight trace of American Indian ancestry as do most long term Southerners. These include Creek from Alabama, and likely Nansemond or Pamunkey (Powhatans) from early Virginia. One branch of the family was severely discriminated against because of their dark skin in early Texas. Up in New England Lee's 9th great-grandmother was reportedly the daughter of Iyannough (Hyanno) the sachem (chief) of the Matachee Indians of Cape Cod when the Pilgrims arrived, although it can't be proven. 

Lee Murrah Biography

Lee Murrah was born at Lufkin, Texas, July 18, 1947, the only son of Earvin Elroy and Ina Gertrude Johnson Murrah. The Murrahs lived on farms near Diboll and then Burke, Texas throughout Lee's boyhood. Lee attended Burke School and Lufkin High School, and then earned degrees in electrical engineering and law from the University of Texas. Lee has lived in Dallas, Houston, and Austin, Texas; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Bloomfield, Michigan. Lee and his wonderful wife Cec are now retired and live near Huntsville, Texas on Lake Livingston in Texas and spend their time volunteering in the community.

Lee can be contacted by e-mail. Please mention this web page in your message.

MLM: 31 Jan 2011