Pioneer Sewells among author’s ancestors

by W. Winston Skinner

William Seward Burroughs never lived in Georgia, but his Lee and Sewell relatives are far flung in Coweta County and neighboring Meriwether.

Burroughs — whose centennial is being celebrated in 2014 in New York and Kansas — grew up in St. Louis, but his family tree has several branches in and around Coweta. His great-grandmother, Emily Wideman Lee, is buried at Allen-Lee Memorial United Methodist Church in the Meriwether County town of Lone Oak, south of Grantville.

The church is named for Young J. Allen, a Methodist missionary to China, and Dr. James Wideman Lee, Emily’s son and Burroughs’ grandfather.

Emily Lee’s mother, Mildred Sewell Lee, was part of the large Sewell family that settled in Roscoe and Lone Oak.

Mildred Lee’s first cousins included brothers Milton Newton Sewell and Pierce Sewell, who were early Coweta settlers. Milton Newton Sewell had a plantation at Roscoe that later was owned by his grandson, Wayne P. Sewell, and developed as Dunaway Gardens by Wayne Sewell’s wife, Hetty Jane Dunaway Sewell.

Pierce Sewell had a large number of descendants in Coweta and the surrounding counties. He is buried beside his first wife, Elizabeth Rainwater, at Ramah Baptist Church in Palmetto. His second wife, Sallie Hindsman Sewell, was from a pioneer Moreland clan. She is buried in a family cemetery in a wooded glen on Haynes Road.

Burroughs’ Lee relatives mostly lived in Gwinnett and Meriwether counties. Emily Lee’s half-sister, Lucy Ann Wideman, married William Owen Lee, a brother of Emily’s husband, Zachry. Lucy’s son, Walter Capers Lee, married Mary Ann Young, whose family were among the first settlers in south Coweta County.

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