|About Myers, Lett, related families of SE Ohio and Remus, MI; Slater side (Katterman, Cotterman, Ralston)
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Provided by Henry Burke, cousin and Historian
This Lett line comes from Maryland and comes from the union of Samuel Delaney Lett and Jemima
Banneker. Their children Migrated through Pennsylvania to southeastern Ohio, Meigs Twp and
thereafter Guernsey, Muskingum, Morgan and Belmont Co. The Lett Settlement consisted of the
Brown, Caliman, Clifford, Earley, Green, Guy, Harper, Lett, Lucas, Pointer, Simpson, Stevens,
and Tate families to name a few. It became known as the "Lett Settlement " due to the fact that
Lett family members outnumbered other families in the settlement.
THE HISTORY OF THE Lett FAMILY:
This Lett family history can be traced back to 1683 to the arrival of their ancestor, Molly
Welsh, an English dairymaid, who had been falsely accused of a crime of theft. Due to her
ability to read she was spared a death sentence and was sent to the English province of
Maryland as an indentured servant.
After seven years Molly was freed and eventually purchased her own small farm in Maryland.
While she prospered she knew that she would need more help with her farm and began to save
money. Although Molly was opposed to slavery, her survival left her with few options. Molly
purchased two slaves and after a period of time freed both. She eventually married one of them,
who was named Bannaka, an African prince from the Wolof Kingdom of Walo, located in Senegal.
Molly took her husbands name as her surname, which eventually became Banneker. The couple had 4
daughters; the oldest of whom was also named Mary. Mary married a former slave, who had
converted to Christianity and changed his name to Robert and his wife's last name. They had 5
children; 1 son and 4 daughters; Benjamin, Jemima, Julian, Minta and Molly.
Benjamin Banneker is noted in United States history as the first African-American 'man of
Science', who among other accomplishments wrote an almanac, assisted in the surveying of
Washington D.C. and made the first clock in America. Benjamin's sister, Jemima married Samuel
Lett who was English and Native American, and of their 8 children, 7 migrated with their
families and settled in Meigs Twp, Muskingum Co, Ohio, which borders on Guernsey Co.
The Lett Settlement was a self-sustaining community of mixed race families; with the Letts,
Calimans and Guys, forming ties with each other through marriages and common family backgrounds
while living in Maryland and Virginia. Additionally it has been documented that the Tate and
Norman families also resided in Maryland and had a long history of interactions with these
These families were pioneers in Ohio, in the areas of civil rights, education and voting.