Archiver > OHGUERNS > 2005-05 > 1116551132

From: "Scott R. C. Anderson" <>
Subject: Lett Family History - MD.>Ohio
Date: Thu, 19 May 2005 21:05:32 -0400 (EDT)

This is a Message Board Post that is forwarded to this mailing list.

Author: Lace L <>

Surnames: Lett, Caliman, Brown, Guy, Tate, Simpson, Stevens, Hollins, Betts, Quarles
Classification: Biography

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Message Board Post:

I would like to thank Scott R. C. Anderson OHGuerns,USAGen}-L@RootsWeb.com
USGenWeb Coordinator, http://www.usgennet.org/usa/oh/county/guernsey/ for his request for additional information.

Provided by Henry Burke, Historian

This Lett line comes from Maryland and comes from the union of Samuel Delaney Lett and Jemima Banneker. Their children migrated through Pennsylvania to southeastern Ohio Meigs Township and thereafter Guernsey,Muskingum, Morgan and Belmont Counties. The Lett Settlement consisted of the Brown, Caliman, Clifford, Earley, Green,
Guy, Harper, Lett, Lucas, Pointer, Simpson, Stevens, and Tate families to name a few. It became known as the "Lett Settlement " due to the fact that Lett family members outnumbered other families in the settlement.
This Lett family history can be traced back to 1683 to the arrival of their ancestor, Molly Welsh, an English dairymaid, who had been falsely accused of a crime of theft. Due to her ability to read she was spared a death sentence and was sent to the English province of Maryland as an indentured servant.
After seven years Molly was freed and eventually purchased her own small farm in Maryland. While she prospered she knew that she would need more help with her farm and began to save money. Although Molly was opposed to slavery, her
survival left her with few options. Molly purchased two slaves and after a period of time freed both. She eventually married one of them, who was named Bannaka, an African prince from the Wolof Kingdom of Walo, located in Senegal.
Molly took her husbands name as her surname, which eventually became Banneker. The couple had 4 daughters; the oldest of whom was also named Mary
Mary married a former slave, who had converted to Christianity and changed his name to Robert and his wife?s last name. They had 5 children; 1 son and 4 daughters; Benjamin, Jemima, Julian, Minta and Molly.
Benjamin Banneker is noted in United States history as the first African-American ?man of Science?, who among other accomplishments wrote an almanac, assisted in the surveying of Washington D.C. and made the first clock in America. Benjamin's sister, Jemima married Samuel Lett who was English and Native American, and of their 8 children, 7 migrated with their families and settled in MeigsTownship, Muskingum County, Ohio, which borders on Guernsey county.
The Lett Settlement was a self-sustaining community of mixed race families; with the Letts, Calimans and Guys, forming ties with each other through marriages and common family backgrounds while living in Maryland and Virginia. Additionally it has been documented that the Tate and Norman families also resided in Maryland and had a long history of interactions with these families.
These families were pioneers in Ohio, in the areas of civil rights, education and voting. The gathering of the Lett Settlement descendants reflect those connections of uncommon bonds of heritage and history.

In past Lett reunions a"Tribute to our Elders" brought together many older family members who in many cases reside in Muskingum, Belmont or Guernsey Counties.
The list of elders that have attended the 2004 were; Ruth Caliman Brown (100year old), Fred Betts (92) Charles Henry Lett (83) - Historian, Mary Hunter Weiker (83) Delaware Co, Ohio Justine Simpson Lett (82) Wilbur Norman (80) Historian, Ralph Caliman Sr. (80) Wanda Quarles Holbert (71) Wanda Quarles Holbert lived in Cumberland, Ohio,Guernsey county.

At past reunions a Cumberland, Ohio Families Photographic Display, was presented by Susan Hollins.
At one time period, the 1940's and 50's, LETT reunions were held in Guernsey county.
Please note the Lett obituary on Guernsey county, Ohio Rootweb posted in 2004. Rev. Simpson of Cambridge, Ohio performed the memorial service.

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