The North Carolina minister says he has something to do with Robert E. Lee. The fact checker finds no evidence.

“Plaintiff Rev. Robert Wright Lee IV (” Lee “) is a white resident of Iredell County. Lee is the fourth nephew of General Robert E. Lee of the Confederate Army. “

— Statement Proceedings Calls for removal of Confederate statues submitted to Iredell County, North Carolina on May 5

“As a descendant of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s family, I bear the weight and responsibility of that pedigree.”

— Rob Lee, Opinion piece The Washington Post, June 7, 2020

“We have talked about his great-grandfather.”

— Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) introduces Lee During a speech at Richmond, June 4th

Rev. Robert W. Lee IV, Known as Rob,have, After 2016Paraded his ancestors on behalf of what many would consider to be a noble cause — the removal of Confederate statues and monuments. When the Governor announced last June, the minister stood with Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. George Floyd Protests the removal of the statue of Robert E. Lee in Richmond.

“Some members of my family are swaying in boots. I’m sure my ancestor Robert E. Lee is rolling in his grave, and I let him roll. Please. ” Lee told the crowd..

When Northam introduced Lee, he Said: “We have talked about his great-grandfather.”

this is Common mistakes.. Lee says he is the great and great nephew of the famous general.

There is Robert E. Lee V, Great-grandson of general, A person working at McLean’s Potomac Cool.he Rarely talk About the debate over historic buildings. Meanwhile, Rob Lee said, “view“And that MTV Video Music House Committee hearing In 2020, he was introduced by then-members. Deb Haaland (DN.M.) as “descendant of Confederate general Robert E. Lee” At the hearing he called himself the general’s “nephew.”

However, according to a review of historical and genealogical records by Fact Checker, there is no evidence that North Carolina-born Rob Lee has anything to do with Robert E. Lee. We are a retired Los Angeles court lawyer and civil war chronicler, Joseph Ryan. Stratford Hall, An ancestral home of the Virginia Lee family.


on His website, Rob Lee describes himself as “a descendant of General Robert E. Lee of the Confederate Army.” When he appeared in Tulsa in 2020, he Suggestion He was associated with Robert E. Lee because he was a direct descendant of Lee’s brother, Charles Carter Lee.

There, he sought evidence that Rob had a relationship with Charles Lee or other brothers of Robert E. Lee. He didn’t respond to repeated requests for comments via email, text messages, or Twitter, but his own text is ambiguous about the connection.

In his 2019 book,Sin of another nameLee says there was a picture of Robert E. Lee on the wall of his grandmother’s study, as far as he can remember. He explains how his “Nana” called him into a burrow decades ago and pulled out a “thick leather book” containing family records. “You come from a long line of people who have been in this country for a long time,” she said.

She then pointed to the painting, he wrote. “You have something to do with his nephew, who has been separated for generations.” When he asked if his family was famous, she replied: it’s complicated. “

Lee wrote that the family called Robert E. Lee “Uncle Bob.”

The Lee family in Virginia

Follow the genealogy path with this widely available record Famous American family..Robert E. Lee was born in 1807 At Stratford Hall, A family estate in Virginia owned by a series of Leeds dedicated to the politics of the early republic. His brother Charles Carterley was born in 1798. Even at Stratford Hall, And got married in 1847.

For Rob Lee to be a descendant of Charles CarterleyOne of Charles’ five sons, who lived in Powhatan County near Richmond, must be his great-grandfather. George Taylor Lee, 1848-1933; Henry Lee, 1849-1901; Robert Trundle Free, 1853-1940; Williams Carterley, 1855-1882 (died unmarried in a railroad accident); John penn, 1867-924.

However, following the genealogy, the trail quickly became cold. None of these Virginian direct descendants led us to Rob Lee.

Instead, when we turned back from Rob Lee’s family (various Robert W. Lee), we ended up in Alabama instead of Virginia. Lee’s book agrees with that fact, and his grandmother states: “Original Lee came to Virginia and landed in Alabama. Some of those Lees have returned to North Carolina.”

Except for references to Virginia, it describes Rob Lee’s family path.

Lee family in Alabama (not related to Robert E. Lee)

To trace the pedigree of Rob Lee’s family, we need to start with William Lee of Alabama.

He has nothing to do with Lee, Virginia, who first arrived on the Americas coast in 1639. The origin of this William Lee is unknown, 1880 Census, His son reported he was born in England — it will be in the 1700s, at least 100 years after the first Virginia Lee.

William Lee’s life was first recorded in Georgia, where he seems to have managed the plantations. In 1810 he posted Note About a runaway slave on behalf of the plantation owner.

He purchased land in Butler County, Alabama, shortly after the Alabama Territory was founded in 1817 when the state was given to the western part of the Mississippi Territory.His story and the story of his children are recorded in Attractive 2020 account for Butler County Historical Family Tree Society Written quarterly by Judy Atkins Taylor.

After moving to Butler County, William Lee became a judge, playing a role in early Alabama politics and helping to develop a state constitution. He died around 1823 — the exact date is unknown — shortly after his son, Robert Skoslap Lee, was born in 1822.

A peasant and carpenter, Robert S. Lee fought for the Confederates in the second half of the Civil War and earned a Civil War pension. He lived long, Until 1916, When he was considered the oldest native Alaba. When he died, Greenville supporters reported that “almost all his friends in the county” called him “Uncle Bob.”

He also appears to be Rob Lee’s great-grandfather.

“Uncle Bob” and his wife have nine children, one of whom John Osborne LeeBorn in 1865. According to records, this is Rob Lee’s great-grandfather.

“John got married Netie Eleanor Light Around 1896, “Taylor wrote. “John Osborne was a traveling salesman for a while, then moved to Montgomery, where he was a salesman for a sawmill. By 1930, he and his family had moved to Statesville, Iredell County, North Carolina. I worked there for many years as a salesman at the Veneer factory. “

John and Netty gave one of their sons a maiden name. Robert Wright was born in 1902.

So now we are in Iredell County, just north of Charlotte, where Rob Lee was born. Son of John and Nettle, The person who died in 1998, Became known as Robert Wright Lee Sr. He is Rob’s great-grandfather.The trail continues Robert W. Lee Jr., Robert W. Lee III And finally, Robert W. Lee IV, all born in Iredell County.

As we pointed out, Rob Lee did not accept many of our questions about evidence of a relationship with Robert E. Lee. His father didn’t even call. Chris Holinger, The lawyer of O’Melveny & Myers LLP, who filed the proceedings in Iadel, said he would not discuss whether he tried to verify Lee’s allegations.

“Reverend Lee has been identified by the Washington Post itself as a descendant of Robert E. Lee, and it can be noticed that Reverend Lee has published at least two essays and discusses his pedigree,” Holinger said. He said in an email. .. “Therefore, at this time, there is no reason to doubt the accuracy of Iredell County’s complaints about Rev. Lee’s heritage or the integrity of the public representative of Rev. Lee’s pedigree.”

Shani George, Vice President of Communications at The Washington Post, said in a statement: This was clearly a more complicated case, but our research at the time had no reason to doubt his pedigree claim. “

Pinocchio test

Family stories and memories can often be inaccurate. Based on what he heard about “Uncle Bob” at home, Rob Lee may have firmly believed that he had something to do with Robert E. Lee.

Instead, he appears to be a descendant of Robert S. Lee, also known as “Uncle Bob,” who served the Confederates, but was not a general.

Many with Confederate ancestry have made progress to condemn the symbol of racism embodied in Confederate monuments. However, without new evidence to support his claim, the minister should not state that he has anything to do with Robert E. Lee, especially in legal documents. And the press should not repeat this claim. (Within an hour of this article being viewed online, Lee Tweet That he withdrew his name from the Iredell County proceedings. )

Editor’s Note: McClatchy has recently published several stories featuring Robley’s statement about being a relative of Robert E. Lee. Add fixes to the digital versions of these stories.