Rev 7: 9/28/2010


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One American Family

First Generation
William, Sr. / Providence Bryant

Second Generation
Samuel / Jane "Sally"?

Third Generation
John / Polly Dendy

Fourth Generation
Elizabeth / SJY Carlile


John Leak
1786 - 1873

From the collection of
Mrs. Rosina Loftis McDougal, courtesy of Robert C. Dodd, Jr. Contributed by Larry Marcus Kirklen.
Polly Dendy Leak
1794 - 1893
From the collection of
Mrs. Rosina Loftis McDougal, courtesy of Robert C. Dodd, Jr. Contributed by Larry Marcus Kirklen.
Third Generation

John Leak was born Jan 11, 1786 probably in North Carolina, the son of Samuel Leak, Sr. and Jane "Sally" ?.

John Leak married Mary Clara "Polly" Dendy Mar 4, 1812 in Laurens County, SC. Polly was born Dec 8, 1794 in Laurens County, SC, the daughter of Joel Dendy, Sr. She was apparently named for her grandmother, Clara/Clary Cargill, wife of William Dendy. Clara/Clary Cargill was the daughter of John Cargill and Rachel Tinsley.

Conflicting information about John Leak has prompted confusion among researchers for years. A John Leak is said to be buried in Cartersville, Bartow County, GA behind the Masonic Temple on N. Tennessee Street, and is probably the same John Leak who donated land for the town of Cartersville. He is also probably the same John Leak recorded on a land transaction in Cassville, Bartow County, GA as early as 1838 or 1839. Though most likely related to our John Leak, it's fairly certain that this John Leak is not part of our direct line.

John and Polly Leak lived in Laurens County, SC where all ten of their children were born before they moved to Bartow (formerly Cass) County, GA in 1843. After moving to Bartow County, they first lived in Cassville before moving to Adairsville. In the 1850 Bartow County Census, John is 65 years old and listed as a farmer with $1,200 in assets. Polly is recorded as being 56 years old, and the census notes that four children, Barnet, Whitfield, Luda, and 13-years-old Elizabeth, are living at home.

John Leak died May 16, 1873 and is buried in Poplar Springs Cemetery, formerly Towers Family Cemertery, in Adairsville, Bartow County GA.

In her later years, Polly lived with her son, James C. Leak. The family bible of another son, Tillman, still exists today in Athens, GA and lists Polly's date of death as Feb 17. Though the old, brittle pages of the bible partially obscures the year Polly died, it is thought to have been in 1893, which would have put her at the "very advanced age" of 98. She is said to be buried in Sanford, FL, though no gravesite has as yet been found.

The following Last Will and Testament for John Leak was contributed by Richard A. Hardy from the research of his uncle, William A. Leake, Sr.


State of Georgia
County of Cass

In the name of God Amen I John Leak

of the County of Cass State of Georgia being of sound mind and memory and considering the uncertainty of this frail and transitory life do therefore make and even publish and declare this to be my last Will and Testament. That is to say First after all my lawful debts are paid and discharged the residue of my Estate real and personal I give bequeath and dispose of as follows to wit. To my beloved Wife all my real and personal property of whatsoever kind it may be during her natural life or widowhood. After her death or in case she should marry then to be equally divided among my children or there heirs share and share alike.

In witness whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed my seal the second day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty three.

John Leak (seal)

The above written instrument

Was subscribed by the said John Leak in our presence and acknowledged by him to each of us and he at the same time published and declared the above instrument so subscribed to be his last Will and Testament and we at the testators request and in his presence have signed our names as witnesses hereto and written opposite our names our respective place of residence.

Horatio G. Lawrence Adairsville Cass Co. Ga.
Will Freeman Adairsville Cass Co. Ga.
Reuben Freeman Adairsville Cass Co. Ga.


John and Polly's bible also still exists and is in Adger, AL. Most births and marriages were diligently recorded and it serves as an invaluable resource for verifying dates and mates. John and Polly Leak's many descendants may be found throughout the eastern United States.

Children of John Leak and Mary Clara "Polly" Dendy:

1. James Leak, b. Dec 31, 1812 Laurens County, SC, m. Lucy Neighbors Dec 18, 1834 by Rev. Benjamin Gaines, d. ?. James Leak operated a sawmill in Gibson County, TN in 1870 and in Nassau County, Fernandina, FL in 1880.

2. Cerene / Serena Leak, b. Oct 4, 1814 Laurens County, SC, m. Hillard J. Wright Jan 21, 1836 in SC by Rev. John Gramling, d. Jan 23, 1899, buried Poplar Springs Methodist Church Cemetery, Adairsville, Bartow County, GA.

3. J. Tillman Leak, b. Jan 13, 1819 Laurens County, SC, m. Sarah Ann Milliner Godin (Mar 9, 1824 - Apr 30, 1895) Dec 28, 1843 in Laurens County, SC by Rev. William Walker, d. Mar 27, 1909, buried at Eastview Cemetery, Adairsville, Bartow County, GA.

4. Artimecia Leak, b. Jan 17, 1820, m. James Powell Loftis Oct 31, 1839 by Rev. Andrew Gramling, widowed by 1880, buried Dec 5, 1909 at Riverside Cemetery, Atlanta, GA.

5. Priscille Leak, b. Dec 19, 1822, m. Edward Mackin Jan 1, 1846 by Rev. Isaac Retherford, moved to MS about 1850.

6. Barnet Leak, b. Jan 16, 1825, m. Minerva C. Cowan Feb 12, 1852 in GA; enlisted in Floyd County GA as a private in Capt. Kerr's Co. G, Highland Rangers, 1st GA Cavalry, Confederate States Army, Apr 12, 1862; d. Aug 12, 1895, buried Salmon Cemetery, Floyd County, GA.

7. Emaline Leak, b. Jan 29, 1827, d. 1843.

8. Whitfield Leak, b. Jan 16, 1833 Laurens County, SC, m. Martha Jane Morgan (b. Aug 1, 1837) May 21, 1855 in Floyd County, GA. Martha Jane died during childbirth Jan 24, 1857. On Jun 8, 1858, Whitfield Leak married Sarah Jane Shaw (b. Sep 5, 1835). One child from this union was Minnie b. Jul 18, 1871. Whitfield moved to MS where he was among other "non-conscripts and refugees almost in sight of the enemy" to enlist in Major Gaines' Company Sep 7, 1862 at Warrens Mills near the towns of Rienzi and Iuka south of Corinth, MS; served in the Mississippi 10th/12th Cavalry, Company B and Company D, Confederate States Army. Whitfield moved to TX sometime after the Civil War and was living in Hill County TX in 1870. Whitfield Leak was a master carpenter.

9. Luda (Ludy) Leak, b. Jan 27, 1835; moved to Itawamba County, MS; enlisted by Gen. Griffith Feb 18, 1861 at Saltillo, MS in the Mississippi 10th Infantry, old Company B, new Company C, Confederate States Army; mortally wounded in the chest and legs during the early part of the action in battle near Munfordville, KY Sep 14, 1862. Ludy Leak was a master carpenter.

10. Elizabeth Leak, b. May 22, 1837 Laurens County, SC, m. Samuel Joseph Young Carlile Nov 26, 1854 by Rev. James Parker in Cass (later Bartow) County, GA, d. Jan 29, 1926, buried Cassville Cemetery, Bartow County, GA in an unmarked grave.