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Descendants of George Keesee I, updated 18 September 2000




Generation No. 1


      1. George1 Keesee died 1741 in King George County, Virginia1.

Notes for George Keesee:
NOTE, CEB: In my mind, the case for a particular George Keesee as ancestor of Richard and the others is unproven, being based on circumstantial evidence. I'm not saying it's not true, but simply that there may be problems deriving from the propensity of sons being given the same names as other members of the family and deriving from the inherent paucity of early records. What is proven is that there was a George Keesey, whose estate was administered by a Richard Keesee, in King George County, Virginia, recorded April 2, 1742 [King George County Inventory Book #1, pp. 266-268, according to Vincent A. Keesee's 1990 book]. But I have not personally examined all the evidence and concluded for myself that there was only one George and only one Richard Keesee who were the ancestors of this line. For this, I am relying on the evidence provided by others, cited here.

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George Harrison Sanford King, King George County, Virginia, Will Book A-1, 1721-1752 (published by author): KEESEY [KEESEE], George (d.i., 1741/2). COB#2, p. 274: 5 March 1741/2 = Administration on the estate of George Keesey is granted to Richard Keesey who gave bond in the sum of [pounds]150 with Henry Drake, his security. His inventory was returned to the court and recorded 2 APril 1742 in I#1, p. 266-268. Photocopy from book provided by Teddie Sue Carter, Huntsville, Alabama.

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List of Emigrants to America, 1600-1700 by Holten, p, 462:

Mr. George Keyser, 104 acres, 42 Negros, Landowner St. George Parish, Barbados in 1679, St. Georges Parish, Barbados--children baptized from 25 March 1678 to 29 September 1679; Margaret, ye daughter of George Keyzar, 8ber 3, 1678.

[NOTE: Connection, if any, to Keesee family under study is unknown.]
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The Douglas Register, transcribed by W. Mac Jones, 1928 [owned by the Arkansas History Commission in 1978]:

p. 365: King William Parish or Manakin Town, the Hugenot Settlement on the James River; abt. 500 immigrants came to Virginia in 1700 under the Marquis de la Muce.
p. 366: "This parish was originally in Henrico Co., which extended thus far and beyond it on either side of the James River. It is now in Powhatan Co., whose name was taken from the ancient name of the river and the old King Powhatan. By Act of the Assembly in 1790 [sic, 1690?] it was assigned to the French refugees who were driven from their country by the persecution of Louis XIV and sought an asylum in Virginia as hundreds of thousands did in all the various countries of Protestant Christendom.

As early as 1660 some few came over fleeing earlier persecution. They were sufficient in number to induce an Act of the Assembly granting them the privilege of citizens.
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Vincent A. Keesee, The Keesee Family in Pittsylvania County, Virginia (Tifton, GA: by the author, 1980), pp. 7-11:

"The first Keesee who can be documented in Virginia was George who arrived about 1700. There are only four references to him in the colonial records but from these we are able to assemble the basic outline of his life. The first mention occured June 29, 1721 [Westmoreland County Ordinance Book, 1721+]. . . . [I]t does serve to establish his existence in Westmoreland County and probably indicates that he had become of legal age. . . . In the same year, on September 6th, George Keesee was named as both executor [along with John Steel] and as a legatee in the will of Susannah Baker, Westmoreland County widow [on p. 5, VAK explains that SB was the widow of John Baker, and he postulates that GK was an indentured servant for John and Susannah, based on the 40 acre bequest--"the standard settlement on an indentured servant after the completion of his duties." VAK also notes that John Baker "employed a large number of indentured servants and was frequently involved in legal battles over their service." ]

[SB's will is found in Westmoreland County Ordinance Book, July 23, 1721 and, VAK states, "the orginal clearly states George Keesee" although the name is given incorrectly in Wills of Westmoreland County, Virginia 1654-1800 by Benjamin B. Weisigner, III.]

"The Will of Susannah Baker suggests several things about the life of George Keesee. It establishes him in 1721 as a man of some responsibility and integrity, at least in the eyes of Mrs. Baker, who named him executor of her will. It also tends to confirm the family tradition that he was a Quaker. The reference to John Steel and George Keesee [in SB's will] as "my well beloved friends" may be an allusion to their Quaker faith, since 'friend' was the usual address for Quakers. The Quakers were persecuted in Virginia prior to 1750 and had to be discreet in public references. Tradition has it that George Keesee was associated with William Frayser, Quaker leader who came from Inverness, Scotland to Virginia in 1700. The families were united, when Keesee's grandson, George II, married Frayser's granddaughter, Fannie. [Footnote states that William Frayser's Henrico County Will (March 1733) names wife and children, and that Fannie Frayser (Price) widow, married George Keesee II (son of Charles) in 1790.]

"Olivia Simmons Keesee in George Keesee, the Immigrant and Some of His Descendants identified him as 'a French Huguenot and a Quaker living in Henrico County, Virginia c. 1700' [citation to her manuscript, unpublished, c. 1935]. Arthur B. Clarke, in the Bullington Family Chart also described him as a 'Quaker from France, Henrico County, c. 1700' [citation to Clarke's unpublished 1917 manuscript, revised 1929, found in the Virginia State Library]. Unfortunately there are errors in both accounts of the family. They confused the family of George Keesee with that of his son, Charles. There is no evidence that George lived in Henrico County, and he is documented only in Westmoreland County (later divided into King George Co.). Charles Keesee DID live in Henrico, and he was an ACKNOWLEDGED Quaker leader in that county. Mrs. Keesee lists George's children as: George II, Thomas, John, Charles, Mildred and another daughter name unknown. These children (and others) are correctly given a the children of Charles Keesee in the White Oak Swamp Minute Book. Clarke made the same mistake of naming the children of Charles as belonging to George.

"In 1721 Westmoreland County was divided. George Keesee's property lines fell within newly formed King George County. George died in 1741 without making a will. We do not have a record of his wife's name, although we know he left at least four sons, George, Richard, John and Charles. Richard may have been the oldest since he was named an administrator of his father's estate.
'Administration on the estate of George Keesey is granted to Richard Keesey who gave bond in the sum of 150 pounds with Henry Drake, his security [footnote cites King George County Inventory Book #1, pp. 266-268].'

"On April 2, 1742, the inventory was completed and recorded. While the estate was of modest value, there were a number of unusual items listed that lead to speculation on George Keesee's life. For example, the case and bottles, the plaster pottle [footnote says a pottle was a measure equal to 1/2 gallon] and parcel of bottles and vials may have been used in the practice of medicine. (At least one grandson, Arthur, was a medical doctor.) The silver headed cane, knee buckles, amber bracelet and gold ring are unexpected 'vanities' in a Quaker household, and one is pleased to note the evidence of pets: tame deer and a bird cage. The complete inventory follows: [see VAK's book, pp. 10-11].

More About George Keesee:
Religion: Quaker?
     
Children of George Keesee are:
  2 i.   John2 Keesee2, died Aft. 17853.
  Notes for John Keesee:
Vincent A. Keesee, The Keesee Family in Pittsylvania County, Virginia (Tifton, GA: by the author, 1980), pp. 12-13:

"I have almost no information on John Keesee, other than the fact that he served as executor of his brother George's estate. Since George died without male heirs, presumably it was John's sons who carried on the Keesee family name in Caroline-Essex County. Without attempting to establish continuity of the family-line I am including all the information I have gathered of the Keesees in this county. . . ."

+ 3 ii.   Richard Keesee, born ca. 1720 in Westmoreland County (later King George), Virginia; died ca. 1793 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.
+ 4 iii.   George Keesee, born ca. 1722 in King George County, Virginia; died 1784.
+ 5 iv.   Charles Keesee, born ca. 1724 in King George County, Virginia; died Aft. 1789.


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