Last revision Fri 05-26-00

The King Family of York SC and Lafayette MS

So far as is presently known by this writer, there are no Kings in his direct line of LEECH ancestors. However a close relationship can be found between these two families in five states, and numerous intermarriages in the 19th century are on record.

Several of the descendants of my ggg grandparents, John and Eleanor Leech of York Co. SC and Lawrence Co. AL intermarried with those of Samuel and Anne Whitfield King, also of York Co. It appears that four grandchildren of each of these couples married one another. In particular David Leech and Jane Leech Johnston, children of John Leech, each had two children who married grandchildren of Samuel King. There may have been others!?

Members of both of these families lived successively in York Co. SC, Franklin Co. TN, Lawrence Co. AL and Lafayette Co. MS. For example David Leech, b. ca 1790 in York Co., was in Lawrence Co. in 1820, in Franklin Co. in 1830, back in Lawrence in 1840 and died ca 1848 in Lafayette. In all of those locations he was in close contact with members of the Samuel King family.

According to my correspondent, Ruth Martin, g granddaughter of Rev. Robert King, her gg grandfather, Samuel Thomas King and his wife, Elizabeth Farr, had the following children:

1. Samuel Whitfield King (1825-70) b. in Lawrence Co. AL
2. James Farr King (1827-1903) b. in Lawrence Co. AL
3. Rhoda Emeline King (1829-1928) b. in Lawrence Co. AL
4. Robert Alpheus King (1834-1914) b. in Graves Co. KY
5. Molly King (1837-1927) b. in Graves Co. KY md Samuel Whitfield Johnston
6. William Finis King, b. 1843 in Graves Co. KY

In 1830 David Leech, who had been living in Lawrence Co. AL near his father, John Leitch/Leetch/Leech,was found in Franklin Co. TN, next door to Rev. Minos B. Feemster and his wife Martha Matilda King Feemster. (She was the daughter of Samuel and Anne Whitfield King and the sister of the above mentioned Samuel Thomas King.) The Feemsters were also related to the Leech family.

Minos B. Feemster, son of John Feemster, a clockmaker of Yorkville, was born in 1804, moved with his family to Franklin Co. in 1818 (shortly after his father's death), and in 1824 married Miss M.M.King. Prior to his marriage he went to Washington College for ministerial studies and became an ordained Presbyterian minister. He achieved his A.B. degree in 1822.

By 1850 the families of M.B.Feemster and David Leech had both moved to North Mississippi although David was dead, his son John A. Leech was living with Rev. and Mrs. Feemster in western Pontotoc Co. while his widow resided with other children a few miles west in Lafayette Co. John A. Leech was obviously preparing for the Presbyterian ministry, since in 1853 he and Martha Matilda's nephew, Robert Alpheus King, were simultaneously licensed as Presbyterian ministers. (In his autobiography Robert King referred to John A. Leech as his cousin! Robert King had a long career in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church; he named one of his sons John Leach King.)

John A. Leech soon moved to Izaard Co. ARK; Robert King's mother, Elizabeth Farr King, was buried there in 1870.

(Most of the story of Rev. John A. Leech and Rev. Robert A. King came to me by the kind assistance of cousin June Martin, a great granddaughter of Rev. King.)

Robert King was the third son of Samuel Thomas and Elizabeth Farr King. Their second son was James Farr King, b. in 1827 in Lawrence Co. AL. The 1830 census shows this family living in or near the extended Leech family in what is now Hatton, AL. David Leech was in Franklin Co. TN that year but his father, John was there and also his sister and her husband, Jane and Abel Johnston. Their daughter, Mary Clarissa Johnston was born in 1828.

In 1852 in Lafayette Co. AL these two young people, James Farr King and Mary Clarissa (Leech) Johnston were married. In 1860 they were living next door to Samuel Leech, brother of David Leech. (She died in 1903 in Baxter Co. ARK.)

The oldest son of Samuel Thomas King was Samuel Whitfield King, b. ca 1825 in Lawrence Co. AL. According to the 1850 census S.W.King was living in house 1040, next door to Mrs. Ella Leach, the widow of David Leech. His wife, Margaret Leech, b. 1826, and son David, aged 2. This family moved to Izaard Co. AR, as did Margaret brother, Rev. John A. Leach, and other members of the King family. Another son of Sam and Anne was Nathaniel Whitfield King, b. 1805 in York Co. SC. He married Pamela Hope. One of their sons, Harvey F. King in 1859 md Lucy C. Leech. She was the daughter of David Leech and the sister of Rev. John A. Leach; Lucy is listed in the Leech family in Lafayette Co 1850 census, aged 14. That would make her ca 23 when she married Harvey King.

A fourth son of Samuel King was James Harvey King, b. ca 1807 in York Co., married Jane E. Madison Hope, daughter of James and Jane Barron Hope in York County in 1828. (Two older brothers, Benj Franklin King and Nath. Whitfield King md sisters of Jane Hope, namely Pamela and Ellen Demoss.) In 1839 James Harvey and Jane King moved from Franklin Co.TN to Lafayette Co. MS. One of their children was:

Jane Emeline King b. 1833 in York Co. married William Charles Johnston in 1856. He was the son of Abel and Jane Leech Johnston of Lawrence Co. AL. Jane Leech was the sister of David Leech and the aunt of David's sons, James McGrady Leech (my g grandfather) and Rev. John A. Leach.

Summarizing the four marriages that have come to light:

Margaret Leech married S. W. King ca 1847.
Mary Clarissa (Leech) Johnston married James Farr King in 1852.
Wm Charles (Leech) Johnston married Jane Emmeline King in 1856.
Lucy Leech married Harvey F. King in 1859.

The LEECH and KING families had been close neighbors and friends since Revolutionary days and migrated together from SC>TN>AL>MS>ARK.


Some Supporting Data

York Co. SC

The 1790 census for York Co. SC shows several Kings listed on page 30 of the index, the same page that has most of the Leech's:

Francis King had come from Granville Co. NC as evidenced by a deed signed in 1778 by John Black of 319 acres on Bullocks Creek. With him was probably one of the Thomas Kings above. George is said to have come from a low country family of Kings who landed in Charleston in 1670. In 1790 George owned 23 slaves. It seems likely that this family was of English origin and Anglican faith originally. However John King was one of the earliest elders of Bullocks Creek Presbyterian Church.

George's son, Samuel was in the same neighborhood as David Leech and adjacent to John Fumster (Feemster), who was adjacent to Joseph Leech in the census lists. Samuel's daughter, Martha Matilda, was to marry John's son, Minos B. Feemster, and in 1830 Samuel's widow, Ann was living with the Feemsters in Franklin Co. TN, and in 1850 in Pontotoc Co. MS. James Feemster's daughter, Jane, married Joseph Leech, the son of Joseph Leech, according to Mr. Hart a local authority.

In 1781 George King Sr. was conveyed 200 acres on Turkey Creek by Robert and Jane Dowdle for 3 negroes.

George King, Sr. and Jr. had apparently acquired considerable acerage from the state shortly after the Revolution:
1785 George King, Sr., plat for 450 acres on branch of Turkey Creek.
1785 George King, plat for 190 acres on Turkey Creek.
1786 George King, Jr., plat for 1000 acres on Turkey Creek. This tract was later described as being between the farms of Joseph Feemster and David Leech, Esq. George and James King conveyed this property to Alex Galloway in 1791 for 5 lbs.

In 1792 George King made his will, witnessed by John Morris and Margaret and William Robinson. He named sons, George, Samuel, Benjamin, and John, and wife, Mary. At this time John King was a minor. The three younger sons were named executors with wife, Mary. The will was proved by William Robinson in 1796, anad the executors named at that time were Samuel and Benjamin.

About 1800-01 Benjamin King conveyed land to John King, Wm Robison, and John Dickey. He doesn't appear in the 1810 or 1820 census, from which I speculate he may be the man who appeared in Franklin Co., Ga. about that time.

In 1801 John King and David Leech, Jr. witnessed the will of John Dickey. The Dickey family were very likely related to both the Leech and King families and had property adjoining both of them. Dickey names frequently appears in will and deeds. Members of the Dickey family are also found in Franklin TN, Lawrence AL and Lafayette MS. Elizabeth Dickey married George W. King (1795-1870), son of Samuel and Anne Whitfield King

Some SC deeds:

C 86 Robt Dowdle and wife, Jane to Geo King, Sr. 1781 200a Turkey Cr. in the New Acquisition for 3 negroes sells land bounded sw by James Darragh and otherwise vacant land. original grant of 200a to James Brown by Gov Boone 1763.
wit Geo Dickey and Hugh Miller proved before Jo Palmer.

C 161 George King, Jr and Jane to Alex Galloway 1791 1000a for 5 lbs all that tract of 1000a except that taken by old patent granted to Geo corner of Jos Feemster, Widow and Robt Kirkpatrick, John Young, to Esq Leech's line. original to Geo King Jr. by Moultrie 1787
wit Sam and Ann King 7 Feb. 1793
(This one shows George King, Jr., George Dickey, and Esq Leech all adj in 1791; in the 1790 census John Dickey and Esq Leech are adjacent.)

E 488 Benj King to John King 1801 111a Turkey Cr. for $277 bound n by John and Sam King w by Wm Robinson e by Andy Eager
wit Ann King and Jno Dickey who proved before Jno Palmer

F 1 Benj King to Wm Robison 1801 50a Morris' Mill Cr. $425 adj Sam King, Roberson e and e by John King
wit Sam king, Ann King and Matt Dickey who proved before Jno Sutton

F 48 I Benj King for $115 pd by John Dickey sell 46a on Robison's line bound e by Roberson, N by Sam King, W by John Dickey. 1800/01, wit same as for F 1.

John King, born 1774, and David Leech were early elders at the Bullocks Creek Church.

In 1816 John King was appraisor of James Leech, whose exors were John and William (York Co.).

In 1836 John King died, aged 62, and was buried at Bullock Creek, leaving wife, Elizabeth and sons:
Legrand W. King,
Inglesby King,
and Jas A King.

It appears that Elizabeth also had 4 sons: Ebander C King,
James P King,
Alfred I King,
Elzaphan King

Franklin Co. TN

There was considerable religious turmoil in York County in the early years of the 19th century, much of it over the issue of slavery, and the King family was at least indirectly involved. Note that in 1809 Rev. Joseph Alexander, pastor of Bullock Creek church, named in his will grandson Joseph Alexander King, "youngest child of my dau Esther..." (Who was Esther??)

Rev. William C. Davis, pastor of Bullocks Creek Church was one of those most deeply involved in the dissension among Presbyterians. He moved to eastern Tennessee for conscientous reasons, and several of the Feemster family followed him. (Davis later returned to York Co.)

In 1818 the family of John Feemster moved to Franklin Co. TN. Minos B. Feemster was 14 at that time. He studied for the ministry at what became Washington College in Lexington, VA, achieved his A.B. degree in 1822, and in 1824 married Martha King, daughter of Samuel King. Samuel's widow, Ann remained with Martha and her family through their various pilgrimages-to TN, then AL, then MS, and for a while to Fayetteville ARK. Some other members of Samuel King's family lived in Franklin County in the 30's. Rev. John A. Leach, the writer's ggg uncle, was strongly under the influence of this family and studied with Minos B. Feemster for the ministry. His younger brother was named Minos B. Leech.

Lawrence Co. AL

George King's son, Samuel had 12 children and four of them had special connections with the LEECH family:

1. Samuel Thomas King (1797-1848) was born in York Co. SC and died in Lafayette Co. MS. In 1830 he was living in the midst of the Leech extended family in Lawrence Co. In 1824 he married Elizabeth Farr in Lawrence Co. AL. (Elizabeth Farr was born in Wilson Co. TN. She was buried 1870 in Union Campground in Izaard Co. AR. Rev. John A. Leach (Leech), son of David Leech had moved to Izaard Co. shortly after being licensed as a minister at the Presbytery in Panola Co. in North Mississippi in 1853.)

The 1830 Lawrence Co. AL census shows this sequence of names:
John Leitch (Leech) grandfather of Rev. John A. Leach
William Ash (his son-in-law)
William Davis (he appraised Leech's estate in 1835)
John Moore (there were Leech-Moore connections in SC, and before that in PA.)
James Moore
William Dickey
Samuel T. King (father of Rev. Robert King)

Lafayette Co. MS
By 1850 the Leech and King families were both in SE Lafayette Co. MS, presumably both attending Pleasant Hill Cumberland Presbyterian Church (later known as Kingdom). (In the 1860 Lafayette Co. census James King is found next door to Samuel Leech, son of David Leech.)This is no doubt the James Farr King who married Mary Clarissa Johnston.

The 1860 Craighead ARK Co. census showed:

Jonesboro in Craighead Co. AR
1860 census House 185:
W.A.Leech, 27 born TN Farmer (brother of Rev. John A. Leech)
E.M. Leech 63 F SC
M.B. Leech 21 M AL Farm Laborer
E.M.V. Leech 19 F AL
[S?] B. King 11 M MS (probably David)
M.E. King 36 F TN (Marg. Leech King)
Samuel L. King 9 M MS

Kind reader: you are invited, no, urged, to share with the writer, Larry Clayton whatever corrections, criticism, comment, inquiry or whatever you may have.

slomail at:
1906 SE 8th St.
Ocala, FL 34471

Special thanks for patient and continuous help with this project is due many cousins and other correspondents with particular gratitude to cousins Elmo King and Ruth Martin.