Leigh migrated to Brooklyn owned plantation, sawmill

Published 2:58 am Wednesday, December 7, 2005

By By Lydia Grimes – Forgotten Trails
I am going to finish up with the Leigh family this week and then I will tell you another tale of a celebration and a cemetery.
William Leigh migrated from Virginia to South Carolina and owned a plantation. He had at least two sons, John David Leigh (1797-28 Dec. 1848) and William M. Leigh (1805-20 May 1861. John David Leigh migrated to the Brooklyn area about 1820 and owned a plantation, gristmill, gin and operated a store. He first married Susan Brantley in 1823 and then Nancy Robertson, daughter of the Rev. Norvelle Robertson and Sarah Powell of Mississippi.
John David and his first wife had two children, William Brantley Leigh (abt. 1825-19 May 1879) and John David Leigh II who died 4 April 1879 in Florida. William Brantley Leigh was a lawyer and lived in San Antonio, Texas.
John David Leigh and his second wife, Nancy Robertson were the parents of Norvelle Robertson Leigh Sr. (31 May 1836-31 Aug. 1921), Amanda Leigh (7 March 1839-28 Feb. 1931) who married Amos Brunson, and George Michael Leigh (15 Oct. 1845-18 March 1909) who married Jeanetta Helen Ball.
I will get back to Norvelle Robertson Leigh later. Amanda Leigh and Amos Brunson (5 May 1848-30 Sept. 1934) had Lula Leigh Brunson, Stella Brunson, Irene Pearl Brunson, Myra Brunson and William Ray Brunson. George Michael Leigh and Jeanetta Helen Ball (6 April 1854-26 April 1885) were the parents of Katie Leigh, Nellie Leigh, Bertha Leigh, Minnie Leigh and George Michael Leigh Jr.
Norvelle Robertson Leigh Sr. (1836-1921) died in Mobile and was buried in Union Cemetery in Brewton. He married on 31 March 1864 to Catherine Barnett (28 Oct. 1847-8 Dec. 1904). Norvelle Robertson Leigh made himself known in the Brewton area. He served as a captain during the Civil War (or as my Aunt Ethel used to say, the War of Northern Aggression as there was nothing civil about it). He was a captain in Company E, 15th Confederate Cavalry and served the Brewton area well. He was the county treasurer from 1869 to 1878; was chairman of the county commission from 1880-1904; was Judge of Probate from 1880 to 1904; ordered the incorporation of Brewton in 1883, was on the committee to choose a site for the courthouse in 1886; and served on the city council in 1889.
Both he and his wife were buried at Union Cemetery and they were the parents of Maggie Leigh (10 Feb. 1866-29 Feb. 1954) who married David M. Hand, Katie Leigh (1 June 1868-10 Nov. 1929) who married first to Edward Sylvester McMillan and second to John Edward Finlay, Norvelle Robertson Leigh Jr. (23 July 1870-2 April 1950) who married Jane Welch Slaughter and John David Leigh III (25 June 1872-23 Aug. 1936) who married Mable Crook.
Maggie Leigh and her husband, David M. Hand, moved to New Mexico and were the parents of Leigh J. Hand (9 Aug. 1888-1 Sept. 1950) and Katie Hand (14 Nov. 1890-12 Nov. 1979).
Katie Leigh and her first husband, Edward Sylvester McMillan (7 Sept. 1854-3 July 1895), were married 19 Oct. 1887. He was the sheriff that was killed by the notorious outlaw, Railroad Bill. The couple were the parents of Edward Leigh McMillan (26 Sept. 1888-26 Dec. 1977) who married Iva Lee Miller, and Malcolm McMillan (27 Dec. 1890-25 Oct. 1966) who married Margaret Hamilton Smith.
Katie and her second husband, John Edward Finlay (21 Jan. 1871-14 July 1946), were married 9 Nov. 1897. Their children were John David Finlay (11 Sept. 1898-1 Oct. 1976) and Norvelle Robertson &#8220Bob” Finlay (3 Jan. 1903).
This gets us down as far as I plan to go with the Finlay, Leigh, and Norvelle lines. There is a great deal of information on this family in the collection at McMillan Trust.

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