In a previous post, I wrote about Mary Polk/Pope and her children, Harriett, Katherine, Sarah, Lunda, and Malcom. At that time, I was not certain what had happened to Elizabeth, “Lissie.” Looking back through the records I had about the other siblings, I realized that she was living next door to Malcom, her brother Malcom Pope/Polk, and his wife, Nancy (Smitherman) in 1880 in Richmond County adjacent to Montgomery County, which is adjacent to Randolph County.
Elizabeth and her husband Andrew Leak, along with their children had not shown up in the census until 1880. At that time, they could be found living in Steeles Township, in Richmond County, North Carolina. Richmond County abuts Montgomery County where her mother and brother could be found living previously. In the home, are their children: Archie, Sarah, Lissie A(nn), Martha A., James, and (Le)Nora. Having found them in 1880, I tried to find them in 1870. That was not quite as easy.
One curious discovery was that Andrew and “Lissie” didn’t marry until 13 April 1875, in Montgomery County. Thus, of the children named in 1880, only Martha, James and Nora were born after their reported marriage. So, what about Archie, Sarah, and Lissie? They could be found in 1870 in Steeles Township, Richmond County, living with Rachel Little. So where were Andrew and Lissie? Good question.
In 1866, an Andrew Leak and Eliza Hunsacker married in Richmond County. In 1870, their household, in the Mineral Springs Township of Richmond County, included Andrew, Eliza, and three children, Thomas, Annie, and Mary. Were these Andrew and Eliza the same as Andrew and Elizabeth Pope/Polk? If so, why were they living in Mineral Springs Township, while Mary, Archie, Sarah, and Ann E. (Lissie) were living in the Steeles community with Rachel Little?
In 1880, Andrew and Eliza were in Williamson Township in Richmond County. They were living there with their children: Anna, Charlie, Jessie, Winston, Della, and Thomas. Meanwhile, Andrew and Elizabeth Polk/Pope were living in Steeles Township of Richmond County with their children: Archie, Sarah, Lissie, Martha, James, and (Le)Nora. These clearly were not the same couple. In addition, Andrew, who lived in Steeles, was born about 1827, while Andrew living in Rockingham was born about 1846. These were not the same Andrew. Despite these differences, some have become confused by the similarity of names and location in the same county, not noticing that they were of different ages, in different communities with different children. Thus examining the records showed that Andrew and Eliza Hunsacker were not our Andrew and Lissie. So, what happened to our Andrew and Lissie?
Sometime after 1886 when their youngest child Dovie was born, Lissie moved to Arkansas. She probably traveled with her children. There in 1888, daughter Sarah married her cousin, Milton Hill who was born in Strieby, Randolph County, North Carolina. Milton was the son of Nathan and Sarah Polk/Pope Hill. Sarah was Elizabeth’s older sister. There’s no evidence for whether Andrew, made the trip to Arkansas. According to the 1900 census, Lissie was widowed. Thus, there is no additional information about Andrew. Lissie would continue to live amongst her family members, including her children and grandchildren, until her death sometime after 1920, when she appeared in the census for the last time.
Over time, Lissie’s descendants and Milton’s family in North Carolina lost touch with one another. Lissie’s descendants knew they were from Randolph County, but didn’t know many details. Sadly, the family left in North Carolina had no idea about Milton and Sarah’s family in Arkansas. It was their DNA matches that helped reunite the two branches of the family. In 2018, they were able to reunite at a family reunion in North Carolina, during which Milton and Sarah’s descendants were able to visit Strieby Church and Cemetery Cultural Heritage Site, where Milton’s ancestors are buried.
 1880 US Federal Census: Steeles, Richmond County, North Carolina; Andrew Leak, head; Dwelling/Family #125; Macam Pope, head; Dwelling/Family #126. NARA Roll: 978; Family History Film: 1254978; Page: 231D; Enumeration District: 165; Image: 0755. Retrieved from: Ancestry.com
 1850 US Federal Census (Free population): Montgomery County, North Carolina; John McLeod, head; Mary Pope, age 40; Malcom Pope, age 4. NARA Roll: M432-637; Page: 127B; Image: 264. Retrieved from: Ancestry.com
 1880 US Federal Census: Steeles, Richmond County, North Carolina; Andrew Leak, head; Dwelling/Family #125. NARA Roll: 978; Family History Film: 1254978; Page: 231D; Enumeration District: 165; Image: 0755. Retrieved from: Ancestry.com
 1900 US Federal Census: Jefferson, Jefferson County, Arkansas; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0087; James Leak, head; Dovie Leak, Sister; Born Feb 1886; born North Carolina; Lissie Leak, Mother. FHL microfilm: 1240063. Retrieved from Ancestry.com
 1880 US Federal Census: Union, Randolph County, North Carolina; Nathan Hill, head; Sarah Hill, wife; Milton Hill, son. NARA Roll: 978; Family History Film: 1254978; Page: 196C; Enumeration District: 224; Image: 0683. Retrieved from: Ancestry.com
 1920 US Federal Census: Pastoria, Jefferson County, Arkansas; Leroy Hampton, head; Elizabeth Leek, grandmother. NARA Roll: T625-67; Page: 17B; Enumeration District: 124; Image: 421. Retrieved from: Ancestry.com
 Williams, M. L. (2016). From Hill Town to Strieby: Education and the American Missionary Association in the Uwharrie “Back Country” of Randolph County, North Carolina. Crofton, KY: Backintyme Publishing, Inc.