Christian David Lebey and John Turner Courtenay family papers
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Christian David Lebey and John Turner Courtenay family papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Courtenay family.
Creator: Courtenay, John Turner, 1769-1806.
Creator: Lebey family.
Title: Christian David Lebey and John Turner Courtenay family papers
Dates: 1781-1877
Extent: 0.15 cubic feet (3 folders)
Identification: MS 0486

Biographical/Historical Note

The first of the Lebey family to come to America was Andrew Joseph Lebey (1758-1793), born in France. Family tradition says he came with the French fleet under Count de'Estaing during the Revolutionary War, remained in America, and settled first in Ebenezer, Georgia, before moving to Savannah. He was the father of Christian David Lebey (1787-1827). Christian Lebey and his wife, Mary Green Lebey (1792-1859) had three children: Andrew Joseph Lebey (1815-1864), Catherine Green Lebey (1820-1892), and Christian David Lebey, Jr. (1825-1870).

Two Courtenay brothers, John Turner and Edward, born in Newry, Ireland, came to America in 1791. Edward Courtenay settles in Charleston, South Carolina; John Turner Courtenay settled in Savannah, Georgia, where he married Ann Judith Reid. Their son, Edward Turner Courtenay (1799-1835) married Carolina Rosina Maria Bland of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Their only children were Julia Anna Courtenay (1825-1864) who married (second) Andrew Joseph Lebey, Valmore Dickerson Courtenay (1827-1869) who became the second husband of Catherine Green Lebey Thompson, and Rosina I. Courtenay (1833-1895) who married Christian David Lebey, Jr. Carolina Rosina Bland Courtenay (Mrs. Edward T. Courtenay) remarried to Stephen Hayne Smith.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains the papers of John Turner Courtenay, his descendants, and Christian David Lebey's descendents. The collection is primarily family correspondence. Included are receipts to Alexander J.C. Shaw, guardian of the orphans of Christian David Lebey, for their schooling, books, medicines, clothing, repairs to the house, legal work, city tax, 1828-1836; a plat showing division of a tract on Daufuskie Island, S.C., belonging to Mary Martinangel for the benefit of her children, 1781 (the Martinangels were relatives of the Greens); an engraved notice to John Courtenay of a meeting of Lodge No. 706, F. & A.M., Newry, Ireland; valedictory address by David Valmor Lebey in Savannah Public School, 1868.The collection includes a decorated envelope found (while searching for shoes) on George W. Davis, a dead Union soldier (Co. K, 8th Michigan) after the battle near Port Royal, South Carolina; the envelope was kept and the letter returned to the soldier's family with a note that he was dead. There is also the day book of David Alexander Lebey, son of Christian D. Lebey, Jr., 1859-1877, and some correspondence of David Valmore Lebey re the settlement of the estate of Christopher L. Cook, Beaufort County, S.C., 1870-1877. There are a few Civil War letters.

Index Terms

Courtenay family.
Courtenay, John Turner, 1769-1806.
Daufuskie Island (S.C.)
Families--South Carolina.
Lebey family.
Letters (correspondence)
Plats (maps)
South Carolina--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Part of the collection was purchased from Schindler's Antique Shop in Charleston, South Carolina.

Preferred Citation

[item identification], Christian David Lebey and John Turner Courtenay family papers, MS 486, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mrs. W.G. Gnann, 1949. Purchased, 1969.


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.


Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List



1Items 1-27: Correspondence and other papers, 1781-1836
Plat of the Martinangel tract on Daufuskie Island, S.C.; notice of meeting of Masonic Lodge No. 706 to John Courtenay, 1796; Jane Courtenay (mother of John T. Courtenay) to John T. Courtenay, 1798; John T. Courtenay to his wife, 1800, 1810; David Courtenay to Edward T. Courtenay, 1820; receipts for care of orphan children of Christian Lebey, 1828-1836; Susan M. Cook Bland to her daughter, Carolina Rosina Courtenay, 1829; Valmore Courtenay to his mother, 1830; Seraphina D. Bland to her sister, Carolina Rosina Courtenay, 1833.


2Items 28-47: Correspondence and other papers, 1837-1877
Valmore D. Courtenay to his mother, 1837; Charles Theodore Bland to his sister, Carolina Rosina Smith, 1847; Valmore D. Courtenay to his mother, 1853; Julia Anna Lebey to her husband, 1862; Andrew J. Lebey to his wife, Mort McAllister, June 17, 1863; Rosina Smith Lebey to Mary ?, 1864; Emma to Erve, 1864 (2); Emma to Emma, 1864; Rosina Smith to Sonny, 1864; covering envelope of dead Union soldier's letter, 186?, with photocopy; valedictory address of David Valmore Lebey, 1868; letters of David Valmore Lebey to Ariadne Carolina Chase (Ada or Addy) his wife to be, and a poem by him, 1874-1877 (6); Mary Amelia Chase to her daughter, Addy Chase Lebey, 1877; day book of David Alexander Lebey, January 3, 1859-March 7, 1877 (business accounts, prices of commodities, wages of farm laborers with names and tasks, personal accounts, personal diary and letters).


3Items 48-65: Correspondence regarding estate of Christopher L. Cook, of Beaufort County, S.C., 1870-1877
Correspondents are David Valmore Lebey of Savannah; R. Howell Gleaves, Judge of Probate, Beaufort S.C.; M.D. Troublefield, road surveyor of the County; William D. Harden of Savannah; Rosina J. Lebey of Savannah, aunt of D. Valmore Lebey; Dr. Paul Pritchard, Beaufort County. Also involved are Mrs. Rosina Smith, grandmother of D. Valmore Lebey and cousin of Christopher L. Cook; Lawrence Shadd, alias Cook, alleged adopted son of Christopher L. Cook