Tammie Lee asked for information about her ancestor, John Henry Lee. She’s had some response, but she could do with more assistance – can you help?
QI am looking for information on my great-grandfather, John Henry Lee, who was born in Bow in 1881 to Job Lee and Eliza Garrett. He married Sarah Sophia Oates and had two children – Harold Leslie Lee and Job Lee (my grandfather). He is in no official documentation, and I can find little about him. As it is my family name, I would very much like to break down the wall. Any help would be much appreciated. TAMMIE LEE, VIA FACEBOOK
ARosemary Fong sent us this: Tammie said her great-grandfather, John Henry Lee, mother Eliza Garrett, doesn’t appear on any official documentation. Does that include a birth certificate? There’s a birth entry for John Henry Lee, mother’s name Garrett, 1880, Mile End Old Town (vol 1c page 624). Has Tammie ruled this one out?
AAlex Cleverley had also responded, in more detail: Did you have the birth certificate of John Henry Lee, as you said
he was the son of Job Lee and Eliza Garrett? I couldn’t find a marriage for that couple, and although there is a birth registration in Mile End Old Town in 1880 for a John Henry Lee, with a mother’s maiden name of Garrett, I wasn’t seeing much that seemed to tie in with Job. I see John Henry in 1901 down as a boarder in the household of Job and his wife Elizabeth (née Swift) and wondered if perhaps Job and Elizabeth adopted him, but sometime after 1891, as he doesn’t’ appear with the family in 1881 or 1891.
I noted he had the same occupation as Job, but when he married Sarah Sophia in 1901, he gave his father’s occupation as gentleman rather than mason or stonemason. Job married Elizabeth in 1875 in the Dewsbury district – but Elizabeth had a son, Arthur (b1873) before they married – I think he kept Swift as a middle name. They had Tom in 1877, Sarah Ann in 1878, Ernest in 1881 (although named Hiram in the 1881 census – I guess they changed their minds about his name!), Annie Louisa in 1883, Tedbert in 1885, Gilbert in 1888 (he drowned in 1894), Mary Elizabeth in 1891 and Eleanor (b and d1894). The 1911 census states that Job and Elizabeth had 10 children, or whom two had died – so either they counted a stillborn child (although we already know of the two deaths), or if they had adopted John Henry, it would explain the 10. I’m not seeing any likely deaths for John Henry between the birth of Harold in 1905 and the 1911 census. Given she moved from Yorkshire to Southport to be with her family, I wonder if she wasn’t widowed but separated?
If Lee wasn’t his birth name, perhaps he went back to using his birth name. I can certainly understand why you have been stuck on this! And Tammie commented: All the information you kindly detail I have, and for a while I was tempted to add the Job Lee and Elizabeth Swift family to ‘my’ tree. But something doesn’t sit right. My heart says they are not mind. I know he boarded with them, so there may be a sideways connection.
There is something dodgy about John Henry lee – my uncle says he was never around – just Sarah Sophia. I reckon he got up to no good somehow, but where did he disappear to? I have been working on him since 1994, and got no clearer a picture of him. Don’t you just love genealogy?! If you can shed more light on John Henry Lee, do get in touch!