<br /> Lee Letter: w056

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Edmund Jennings Lee
Recipient: “My Dear Sir”

My dear Sir,

I have not answered your last kind letter as I do not want to bother you unnecessarily with my letters. But now I feel I must again intrude with some more questions! And it is the old subject of the Ayletts who married respectively Thos. L. Lee & R. H. Lee. You thought they must have been the daughters of Philip Aylett who married, 1739 – 40 Martha Dandridge; but in examining the data more carefully I find that R. H. Lee’s wife died in 1768 aged 30 years (this from an obituary notice in his own handwriting) & hence was born in 1738 a year before Philip’s marriage!

Next as to Thos. Ludwell, being two years older than R.H. it is probable that his wife would also be older & hence born prior to 1739. His descendants now living assert that his wife’s name was Mary Aylett & that she was the daughter of William Aylett. This assertion is seemingly confirmed by the fact that both of his married daughters named a girl Mary Aylett: one Mary Aylett Brent; the other Mary Aylett Orr. And Thos. Ludwell Lee, himself, called his second son, William Aylett Lee. I think these two must have been among the nine daughters of the William Aylett who represented Prince William as Burgess in 1723 – 26: his widow was living in 1749 & he might readily have had (among these nine girls) daughters of proper age to marry men born in 1730 – 32?

I have not been able to get the names of any of these nine daughters: have you any knowledge of them? If you compare generations you will see that both of these parties would be of the same generation & so seemingly of proper age for marriage. It seems pretty certain from above statement that the wives of Thos. Ludwell & R. H. Lee were not the daughters of Philip Aylett & secondly that Thomas’ wife was named Mary.

I hope you may be able to throw some light on this dark subject?

I send you the slip sent before so you may see where we stood before on this subject. Please return it. Allow me to offer my best wishes for the coming year.

Yours very truly

Edmund J. Lee

P.S. I open my letter & enclose abstract of a letter just received from a Mrs. Harvey, at present owner of Cobb’s Hall.


Lee-Jackson CollectionLeyburn Library