Alabama Pioneers HonoredBiographiesGenealogy Information

Biography: Temple Lea born ca. 1780




Perry County, Alabama


Temple Lea was the son of George Lea and Lucy Talbert of Virginia. He was born around 1780 and died January 28, 1834 in Marion, Perry County, Alabama.

Nancy (Moffett) Lea was born to Henry and Margaret Moffette on May 1, 1780, in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The family moved to Hancock Georgia in 1797 where she married Temple Lea. Her parents moved to Perry County during the mid-1820’s and died there in 1829. His will listed the following children, Nancy Lea, Gabriela. Moffett, Jincy Eiland and Margaret Lea. He left his small farm and improvements to his son Gabriel A. Moffett and his stock of cattle, hogs, furniture, tools and three slaves be divided among his children.

Known children of Temple and Nancy include:

1.Martin A. Lea (b. Jun 26, 1799)

2.Varilla Lea ((b.Nov. 17, 1801 – Dec. 22, 1881) married Robert Royston in Alabama Oct. 8, 1817

3.Henry Gabriel. Lea (b. Oct 7. 1804)

4.Adaline Lea (b. March 26, 1808

5.Wallace Lea (b. Sep. 11, 1811)

6.Margaret Lea “Peggy” (b. April 11, 1819 – d. 1867 TX) married Gen. Sam Houston

7.Vernal B.Lea married Catherine Jones (widow of William Goodall with one child, Anne)

8.Emily Antoinette Lea (b. Feb. 10, 1822) married Charles Powers

Temple and Nancy (Moffett) Lea (1780-1864) moved to Perry County, in 1819 and had seven children, one of whom died young. Temple and Nancy Lea were active Baptists and charter members of the Siloam Baptist Church in Marion. They located on Goose Creek, east of the Cahaba River a mile or two from Sprott. One of their nearest neighbors and friends was Charles Crow, an early Baptist minister.

Crow was born ca. 1770 in South Carolina and ordained August 30, 1807. He went to Alabama in 1810 and was the leader of the Cahawba Association in Alabama and served at Oakmulgee Church until 1821 and later founded the Siloam Baptist Church in Marion in June 1822 with William Calloway. He died June 12, 1845, and is buried in the Oakmulgee Church cemetery.

Religion remained a central part of Nancy Lea’s life. She was the only delegate from Marion at the Alabama Baptist Convention in 1823, which was held at Salem Church near Greensboro. Temple Lea evidently died ca. 1834 because his will was signed on July 15, 1833, and was probated on August 22, 1834. Temple had a plantation home near Marion, Alabama and Margaret Lea was their first child born in Perry County after it was legally organized. When Sam Houston asked to marry their daughter, Margaret Moffette Lea. Nancy Lea objected on the grounds that he was insufficiently religious, too old, divorced and a drinker. Eventually, she relented and is said to have influenced Houston’s decision to join the Baptist Church at Independence, Texas.

Margaret was educated at home and attended Pleasant Hill Seminary. “She was a lady of rare beauty, refinement, and culture and was one of the first students at Judson Institute for females in Marion, Alabama. She studied Latin, piano, guitar, harp,voice and other impressive literary skills.

“Widowed in 1833 or 1834, Mrs. Nancy (Moffett) Lea and other members of the family came to Texas soon after the Houston-Lea wedding in 1840. They lived first at Houston and later at Washington-on-the-Brazos. In 1841 Nancy Lea and Margaret Houston joined the Galveston Baptist Church. In 1845 they and another of Nancy Lea’s daughters became charter members of Concord Baptist Church near Cleveland. In 1847 Nancy moved to Huntsville with the Houstons; she preceded them in 1852 to Independence, where she joined the Independence Baptist Church. She sold her silverware, worth about $500, and gave the money to the church for a bell, which was cast in 1856. The bell hung for a time in a tower near the cemetery at Independence and later was displayed at the Texas Baptist Historical Center Museum at the church. In 1860 Mrs. Lea donated $1,000 for Bibles for the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. She died on February 7, 1864, and was buried at the Houston-Lea Family Cemetery at Independence.” (from Texas State Historical Association)



2.History of the Hume Family By John Robert Hume

3.Find A Grave # 32187936 l# 32185189

4.Texas State Historical Association


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One comment

  1. […] Sam Houston was on a business trip to Mobile, Alabama, where he met Margaret Lea, daughter of Temple Lea and Nancy Moffett (Lea) at a garden party. In June, Gen. Houston proposed marriage and she said yes, […]