Sunday, August 24, 2008

Grandma Margery Brittentine Lee and son Huey Lee

Photograph of my GG-Grandmother, Margery Brittentine Lee and son Huey Lee in a deguerretype photo/postcard. On the back is written: Mrs. R.C. Lee and Master Hughie Lee(She was the wife of Richard Clyde Lee)Taken circa 1915-1917 since Uncle Huey was born in 1912. The frame surrounding the picture was digitally added as was the names on the photo. Click to enlarge

Margery(Margie) Brittentine Lee was born in about 1880. She was the daughter of Monroe and Sophia Gay Brittentine. She was one of about 12 children including Robert, Sidney, Esther, Eva, Ella, Lizzie and Jones, Phoebe, Promise, Punny and Ernest. She resided in the Plain Dealing/Rocky Mount,Louisiana area near Shreveport.

She married Richard Clyde Lee on January 27, 1894, the son of Betty Banks Brown Lee Smith and her 1st husband. Richard and Margery according to oral history met at their family church, Galilee Baptist Church. She reportedly sang in the choir. The ceremony was performed by an uncle, Reverand Allen Brown. It was a double wedding since Richard's sister Mary Eliza married Marcus Burton the same day. It was a Saturday wedding on more than likely a crisp winter day since the average high is about 56 degrees in that area during January.

Copy of their marriage liscense (Click to enlarge)

Margie picked a good husband. Not only was he extremely handsome but Richard was a hard-working man and a go-getter. He is listed on the census as doing farm work but also taught school at Galilee Baptist Church according to my late cousin Lizzie Neal Bagley of Detroit, Michigan who was one of his pupils. She also related that he was very educated and he and his wife Margery were regarded as 2 of the most upstanding colored citizens of the area.

By all accounts, Grandma Margie was a fine dresser. She and her husband were well to do and she dressed accordingly. According to family sources, she was a wonderful seamstress having sewn many of her own outfits.

She was also a wonderful homemaker. She and her husband lived in a grand home in Rocky Mount. They owned over 80 acres of land which still remains in the family.

Papa Dickie(Richard Lee) is said to have owned one of the nicest horse-drawn buggies in the area. He acquired hundreds of acres of properties in bossier parish some of which he purchased according to records from the DeMoss Family.

They were a strong God loving family who had deep Christian and family values that they passed on to their families.

Richard and Margery raised two sons, Robert Edward Lee (1897), my grandfather and Huey Lee (1912). Tragically, Margery miscarried approximately 6 other children including twins all of which were girls. According to her son, Huey Lee, all are buried in Galilee Cemetery in Plain Dealing surrounding the body of Mrs. Margery Brittentine Lee.

Their grief was kindled by the birth of their 1st grand-daughter, Johnnie Pearl Lee in 1918, the daughter of their son Robert and his wife, Annie Bell Johnson Lee. By all accounts, they loved her very much and spent a lot of time fawning over her. According to my Aunt Lizzie Neal Bagley, Johnnie Pearl’s cousin on her mother’s side, she spent most of her time and holidays with her “Papa Dickie” and “Grandma Margie.”

Richard died in 1926, cause of death unknown at the age of 54. Among the loved ones he left behind were Margery, his wife of 32 years, 14 year old Huey, 29 year old Robert and his mother Bettie.

According to my Grandpa Johnie, Grandma Margie developed breast cancer in the early 1930's. As a result, both of her breast were surgically removed. Unfortunatley, the cancer spread and Margery Brittentine Lee died on November 14, 1937. She is buried next to her beloved husband, Richard Clyde Lee in Galilee cemetery.

She was a fine woman who passed down some meaningful family values and I will always love her for it.

Rest in peace Grandma, until we meet someday!


Anonymous said...

Hello, I am Teresa Brittentine, daughter of Daniel Brittentine, born to Blanch and Roy Brittentine, my father often spoke of a Punney Brittentine, being his fathers brother, my son Ryan attempted to contact the Brittentine's of Louisianna and recieved a not so warm reception, I told him, I suspected that people would think and want to ask, "what do you want?", merely a connection to who we are and who are our people; as black people with this stange name. I look forward to hearing from you. vieitl$r

Karen Burney said...

It is so good hearing from you. I remember you son, Ryan. I have long believed that your Brittentine line and mine were connected. The fact that your father mentioned Punny Brittentine confirms it for me. There were actually at least 2 Punny Brittentines. The elder one was the son of Monroe Brittentine and the younger one the son of Sidney Brittentine.

The one your father was referring to was probably, the elder Punny Brittentine. Did your father ever mention having relatives in Louisiana?

Nicolette said...

Hi Karen. I just recently heard about a potential reunion happening this year and did a web search about it. I found your blog, so I'm posting! My mother is a Brittentine that used to reside in Plain Dealing. This is very interesting to me because I actually did get the chance to meet one of the Punny Brittentines...I understood him to be my great grandfather, born in the the Late 1800s because he was near 100 years old when I visited in the late 90s.

Karen Burney said...


Yes, there is a Brittentine reunion in California Labor Day weekend. Who is your mother and other ancestors?

You can email me at regarding additional information on the Brittentine Reunion in California.