Solomon Gee and Family

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Solomon Gee and Family

Postby Loisanne Foster » Fri May 12, 2006 7:10 pm

"I am a descendant of Solomon Gee who had a saw mill in Marlow in the early days of town... Anyone who would like to share information on Solomon Gee and/or his family, please contact me at jewel355@juno.com. Julie Gee"

And, I would add, please copy and paste the information into this Forum so that Marlow history will be enriched and we may all learn more about Solomon Gee and his family. LF
Loisanne Foster
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Solomon Gee and Family in West Burying Ground

Postby Loisanne Foster » Fri May 12, 2006 8:28 pm

Yes, Julie, we at MHS do have records of Solomon Gee, mainly in our History of Marlow, New Hampshire by Elgin Jones who compiled the information available in the early part of the twentieth century.

We know that Solomon Gee was listed early on a petition as a "Head of Family" (Jones, 10) in Marlow. In 1772, when Governor Wentworth sent notice of his intention to withdraw Marlow's charter on account of too few settlers and too little land cleared, the Marlow men signed a petition asking for an extension of time to fulfill the condidtions of the charter. Samuel Gustin rode from Marlow to Portsmouth, N.H. in January with the petition, and the extension was granted. (Jones, 10) Part of the condidtions were that each family would clear a certain number of acres within a three year period. Clearly the Governor wanted the land to be productive.

We see that Stephen Gee and his sons, Solomon, Lewmon, Nathan, and Asa were listed as Marlow taxpayers in 1793 and that Solomon was an actual resident of Marlow before 1770. (Jones, 14)

People in Marlow today are aware of where the Gee Mill stood. "A deed in 1774 from Elisha Mack to Stephen Gee conveys 3/4 of the Mill Lot, 3/4 of a saw mill thereon and all of a corn or gristmill'. ..."Later on, Nathan Huntley conveys the remaining 1/4. Other references to this mill indicate that it was built as early as 1770." (Jones, 16) The site of this mill or its successors is still visible along Route 10 on the north side of town (before Stone Pond) on the right hand side of the road just beyond where Sand Pond Road descends. It is situated, not surprisingly, on Gee Brook. We can see parts of the old dam which washed out just a few years ago leaving a large swampy area to the east of Route 10 between there and Stone Pond.

It seems that the Gee family made a good living from their mill as Jones names them as having a house in the grand Colonial style. "Some fifty years after 1795 came the Colonial Age of building," writes Jones, "when houses more pretentious and with finer finish were in vogue. This was the golden age of master carpenters. Several of this type of house graced the homesteads of Marlow, notably on the Miller, Gale, Lewis, and S. Gee places. All of them have burned....These houses were two stories high with a large chimney in the center, fireplaces on three sides, and four, usually, on the second floor. They were wainscoted with lath and plaster above. There was freplace paneling, and often a graceful stairway while front doors were capped with beautiful fan windows. There were shutters sliding into the partitions [sometimes called Indian shutters, presumably a hedge against Indian attacks - which never came to Marlow], and windows and doorframes were finished in delicate moldings, all the product of skillful handicraft..." (Jones, 17)

From almost the beginning in Marlow, their was strong disagreement about what minister to call. The old law stated that a town could settle on the minister of its choice and all citizens would be required to pay a tax to support that church and that minister. Marlow was settled by dissenters (from the standing order, or Congregational Church), but soon there were dissenters from the dissenters. With newly arrived Universalists and Methodists added, there was soon a volatile mix. It took many years to build a church in the original village on Marlow Hill and that was done, not by public vote, but by private subscription. Those who had not subscribed had no intention of supporting it. (Live free or die!) Those who had built the church insisted that all support it. In 1795, Solomon Gee's name appears among those twenty-four who protested paying the ministerial tax in Marlow, (Jones, 31) meaning, it seems, that they dissented from the other Baptists in town represented by the Baptist preacher, Eleazer Beckwith, and wished to join the Universalists in Washington who believed in universal salvation (as did the General and Free Will Baptists, but not the Regular and Particular Baptists who were more Calvinistic and believed in salvation for "the elect" only). This statement is speculation on my part, but it would make some sense because almost all of Marlow's early sellers were Baptists, yet they seemed to quarrel among themselves about paying or not paying the ministerial tax. We know that many who refused to pay the tax claimed they were members of the Universalist Society in Washington. In 1807, Solomon Gee's name appeared on a similar list of protesters of the ministerial tax. It was a hot issue. (See "The Reverend Eleazer Beckwith" in the Genealogy Forum for a closer view.) Some men were actually arrested for failure to pay this tax. Not until the Toleration Act of 1819 did this struggle cease, if then.

The Gee family was represented in the Revolutionary War. Luman Gee was among the Marlow men to go with Stark's militia July 19, 1777 to fight in the Bttle of Bennington Aug. 16 of that year. (Jones, 77) There are other Gees who enlisted as well who are not designated in the Marlow History. Solomon on his grave stone is shown as Lt., and I believe I have seen his name on a list of Revolutionary War pensioners. Solid proof of his participation is the appearance of his name on our town war monument.

We know from many sources that Solomon Gee came from Lyme (Old Saybrook), CT with a group of interrelated Baptists: Huntleys, Millers, Tubbs, Lewises, Macks, and others. These Baptists were probably influenced by Free Will Baptist preachers coming up the coast from North Carolina, but that has yet to be proven. (There's a project for someone!) We know that some of those Free Will Baptists made it all the way to Boston. We know that Saybrook was a center of rebellion against the hegemony of "the standing order" or Congregational groups. Interestingly today, Marlow is still one of the few towns in New England which has no Congregational church. How the Marlow Baptists lost out to the Methodists is a long, complex, and not yet well-understood story. (There's another project for someone!) Solomon Gee was part of that history.

We know that the Gees (Which?) were Millerites who firmly believed that the world would end and "the rapture" would begin in 1844. Others in town surely disagreed. We have this story from Elgin Jones: "Charles [Tarxox] lived here [Lot 34 (203), site of first school house in District #7] until he winter of 1844-5, the time of the Millerite scare. Horace Hall worked for Tarbox, and Charles went to stay with him while Luke and his wife went to the Hill [still then the village center, but not for long] to a meeting. Horace took some powder and paper into the yard, spread the powder and put the paper on a rock, then set the paper on fire. When the flame reached the powder there was a flash and an amount of smoke. The Gees, on the way to the meeting, saw this and reported that the end (the end of the world expected by the Millerites -Ed.) had begun." (Jones, 145) No doubt that was the intended effect. Not a nice trick. So much for religious tolerance in Marlow in 1844!

Because the the careful work of Susan Ronayne, we have records of the inscriptions at our West Burying Ground or Jay Allen Cemetery, as it is sometimes called. Here are the inscriptions that pertain to the Gees. (There are Gees in our newer Village Cemetery as well.)

LYDIA
wife of
Abisha GEE.
died
Aug. 23, 1836
AE. 62

ABNER GEE
age 62 yrs 8 mo
dyed Sept. -- ----

In memory of
LT. SOLOMON GEE
Who died Aug. 13th
1804 in the 68th
Year of his age

My God hath called & I obeyed
My body in the dust is laid
There for to rest till the last day
For God hath called my soul away

WIDOW MARTHA GEE
died
Nov. 15, 1898
in the 89, year
of her age

---
CLARISA GEE Died
Apr. 14, 1842.
AEt. 45

---
Mr. STEPHEN GEE
died
Oct. 15, 1808.
AE. 78 years.

Mrs.
EUNICE, wife of
Stephen GEE, died
March 29, 1828.
AE 85

Mr. ASA GEE
died Nov. 6, 1838,
AE. 72

Here lies a parent kind and good,
His pains and groans, no more are heard
His language was, I must be gone,
To my eternal, happy, home

RHODA,
wife of Asa GEE,
died Dec. 7, 1838,
AE. 68.

Her pains and groans are now all o're,
She's gone to God on high,
Her wishful eye, shall weep no more,
No more her spirit sigh.

---

POLLY
wife of
Stephen GEE,
died
Apr. 1-, 1860,
AE. 83

STEPHEN GEE
Died
June 4, 1845.
AE. 74

---

MARY daugh'r
of Stephen &
Polly GEE,
died July 16, 1831,
AE. 11 years.

SILAS GEE
died
Sept. 28, 1828,
aged 21.

And must this body die?
This mortal frame decay?
And must these active limbs
of mine
Lie mould'ring in the clay.

---

In
Memory of
Mrs. POLLY,
wife of
Capt. Nathan GEE,
who died
May 12, 1819
AE. 53

Capt. NATHAN GEE,
Died Aug. 19, 1830,
AE. 68.

But I with all my cares,
Will lean upon the lord.
I'll cast my burden on his arm
& rest upon his word.

AHIMUS
Son of Capt. Nathan
& Mrs. Polly GEE,
died
July 18, 1820
AE. 33

In memory of
DUSTIN GEE
Son of
Capt. Nathan Gee,
who died
[----] 6, 1824
AE. 16 years

---

POLLY R.G.
daut. of
Alden & Mary GEE,
died Nov. 6, 1837,
aged 16 yrs. 2 mo's

LUCINDA, dau. of
Alden & Mary
GEE, died Sept. 27
18[--]
AE. 11 mo.

MRS. MIRIAM,
wife of
Mr. Solomon GEE.
died
March 23, 1818 AE.
4[5]

Mr.
SOLOMON GEE
died July 9, 1838
AE. 70

POLLY
wife of
Freeman GEE.
died
July 28, 1820
AE. 32.

MARY GEE
Died
Aug. 19, 1841
AE. 48

---

EMILY O.,
dau. of Freeman &
Polly GEE,
Died
Sept. 22, 1849.
AEt. 22.

---

NATHAN B.
Son of
Elisha & [Judeth] GEE
died Apr. 12, 1852
AEt. 2 mo's

+++

--------

I had assumed wrongly that the Gee family came from Scotland like the Marlow Macks who hailed originally from Inverness. Not so. Their roots are in Devonshire, England. You know what they say about the word assume ....

There are many, many Gees in the South, especially in North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee. (I'll bet you know that.) The General and Free Will Baptists began in England, but many of them emigrated to North Carolina where they grew. The Gees may have had a lot to do with carrying the more tolerant and liberty-seeking ideas of the Free Will Baptists north and ultimately into Marlow. I am trying to get to the bottom of this. Can you shed any light on it?

____

Sept. 3, 2006:

Robert Nichols of Keene tells me that the name Gee is actually an anglicanization of "Guy" (pronounced Gee with a hard G). That is originally a French name, so perhaps the Gee family arrived in England with William the Conqueror and were then among the nobility.
Loisanne Foster
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