Caswell County Genealogy

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Lea, James (Hops)

Male Abt 1781 - Abt 1834  (~ 53 years)

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  • Name Lea, James (Hops)  [1
    Birth Abt 1781 
    Gender Male 
    Name Hops 
    Reference Number 29646 
    Death Abt 1834 
    Person ID I29063  Caswell County
    Last Modified 23 Sep 2023 

    Father Lea, Captain John   d. Bef 1822 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Bradley, Elizabeth   d. Bef Jul 1846 
    Relationship natural 
    Marriage 23 Apr 1780  Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Reference Number 29264 
    • Marriage Bond Record
      Groom: John Lea
      Bride: Elizabeth Bradley (daughter of James Bradley)
      Bond Date: 23 April 1780
      Bondsman/Witness: Archibald Murphey, Jona. Murphey
      Location: Caswell County, North Carolina
      Source: Caswell County, North Carolina Marriage Bonds, 1778-1868, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1981) at 59.
    Family ID F2040  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Living 
     1. Living
    +2. Lea, James Washington,   b. Abt 1821, Pittsylvania County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 21 May 1896, Pittsylvania County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location (Age ~ 75 years)  [Father: natural]  [Mother: natural]
    Family ID F11664  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 23 Sep 2023 

  • Photos
    Lea's Tavern (Highway 62 and Blanch Road)
    Lea's Tavern (Highway 62 and Blanch Road)

    Lea's Tavern
    Lea's Tavern

    James Lea Deed of Trust. Milton Gazette and Roanoke Advertiser (31 July 1830)
    James Lea Deed of Trust. Milton Gazette and Roanoke Advertiser (31 July 1830)

  • Notes 
    • James (Hops) Lea

      Lea's Tavern

      Lea's Tavern (Highway 62 and Blanch Road)

      James Lea Deed of Trust, Milton Gazette and Roanoke Advertiser, 31 July 1830, p.3

      (for larger image, click on photograph)

      This property (Lea's Tavern) eventually was owned by Nathaniel Jesse Taylor.

      Also known as Hopping Jim Lea. Some researchers give 1781 and his birth year and 2 July 1834 as his death date, but without providing documentation.

      The only proved son of William [Country Line] Lea to remain in Caswell was son John Lea. In 1786 William sold land to his son John Lea, 330 acres, on Country Line (Deed Book E, page 22). For succeeding years John Lea listed the same 330 acres until 1790 he lists it as Capt John Lea. In 1780 he had married Elizabeth Bradley. Capt. Lea died intestate before 1822 when an inventory was ordered of his estate. In January 1823 there was a division of his slaves among the widow Betsy Lea, James Lea, William Lea, Benjamin Matlock and wife Polly, John Lea, Nancy Lea, Judith Lea who in 1826 married Yancey Oliver. His daughter Nancy Lea died unmarried and her estate records filed in 1847 which are filed in the State Archives show those claiming from her estate were sisters and brothers. Her brother was James (Hops) Lea who in 1821 failed to give the name of his intended bride on his marriage bond. Other court records reveal her name was Nancy Horton and there were 2 sons James Washington Lea of Halifax Co. VA and John William Lea who removed to Tennessee. Gen. William Lea received his portion. Yancey Oliver was in Pittsylvania Co. VA in 1846 when he filed power of attorney to receive for his 2 children John Lea Oliver and Elizabeth Nancy Oliver. The widow of Capt. John Lea was deceased by July 1846 when an inventory was returned to the court on her estate. In allotting her year's allowance in 1822 the Clerk referred to her as the widow of the beloved Capt. John Lea.

      Source: The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) at 351-352 (Article #437A, "James Lea" by Katherine Kerr Kendall).

      Taylor house, located on the corner of 62 and Blanch Road.

      William Osmond Smith's Aunts Anne, Mary Ivy, and Kennon compiled a book for family entitled The Rainey Gals, by Mary Rainey Swearingen. In this book of her memoirs she wrote about the house referenced above, her Grandmother Taylor's house. Her descriptions are perhaps of interest with regard to that house. I've been through the house, and it a good description of the house without the addition on the back.

      "Grandpa and Granny Taylor lived about a good walking mile from us, just at the fork of the Milton and Yanceyville Road and the "round the lane" road to Purley...grandpa's house was a steep-roofed three storied building with a cellar beneath it. It had tall rock chimneys at each end. On these chimneys was the inscription 1776. There was a basement, or cellar of two rooms. The front room was the dining room and the back room was used for storage. ......years before Grandfather bought the Plantation the house was used as a Tavern or Inn to accommodate travelers riding in the stagecoach that carried the mail to Yanceyville and Hillsboro. "Old man Hop Lea" as he was commonly called, the proprietor of the Tavern or Inn was said to be very cruel to his slaves....

      The first story or ground floor, which was two very big rooms and a wide hall between, was ceiled with very wide boards....perhaps twelve or fourteen inches wide. In my Grandmother's room, where we always sat unless there was real company, there was a huge rock fireplace with a big mantle over it. Beside the fireplace Grandpa sat by a little window that looked out on the main road and the tobacco barns, the well, the stables, and the back yard. ........Across the hall was the parlor, sacred to strange company, parties, funerals, Sunday's and beaux; and where peddlers were allowed to spread out their packs......The stairs were very narrow and very steep, beginning with two steps up, then a platform and a turn to the main flight. Back of the platform there was a door without knobs or hinges. I think it must have opened in to my Grandmother's room at one time but was now closed up on her side...When we got to the head of the stairs there was the boys room on the right hand side and on the left was the room for the girls, this room was big enough to hold four double beds."

      She also refers to traveling to Richmond on the "Little Janie" through Sutherlin. Surely the narrow gauge train out of Milton. Apparently Sweet Mary's parents at one time lived at the Irvin Place. Milton?

      Also, I have to find where she or someone, perhaps a different book, refers to a different year, earlier than the 1776 in the text above. The 1800s year of the replaced chimney was inscribed on a brick, the year of the new chimney. I wonder if the date was a typo in the book. At any rate the house seems to be 18th Century rather than 19th.

      Source: Yancey Moorefield Smith Email Message 21 December 2017.

      William Woods Taylor (1817-1904) married Sallie Banks Bradsher (1836-1913). Their daughter, Elizabeth Woods Taylor (1858-1952), married Nathaniel Thomas Rainey (1849-1896), and this couple is the parents of the author: Mary Harding Rainey Swearingen (1880-1959). On April 22, 1908, she married John Joseph Swearingen.

      Thus, the "Grandpa and Granny Taylor" referred to in the book are William Woods Taylor and Sallie Banks Bradsher Taylor.

      That the following is with respect to the James (Hops) Lea of this entry is not known and is placed here for research purposes only.

      Caswell County, North Carolina
      Deed Book U, Page 260-1

      Thomas Fisher of Robertson Co., TN, to Archibald Samuel & James Lea (son of Capt. John Lea) of CC, for $2436, 203 A on little Cr adj Stephens, Winningham old line. 21 June 1822. Wit: David Boyd, C. Fisher, Anthony Fisher.

  • Sources 
    1. Details: The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) at 351-352 (Article #437A, "James Lea" by Katherine Kerr Kendall).

    2. Details: Caswell County, North Carolina Marriage Bonds, 1778-1868, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1981) at 59.