Agee


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Agee name origins are uncertain.  Mathieu Agee, a French Huguenot from Nantes, was the forebear of the Agees in America. 

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Fleeing Nantes, Mathieu Agee went to Holland and with other Huguenots joined the ranks of William of Orange who in 1688 was able to secure the throne of England.  In recognition of the Huguenot support for his cause, William offered them passage to the New World.  A large number of these refugees, including Mathieu, took advantage of the offer.

America
.  Mathieu Agee arrived in Virginia in 1690, received land grants west of Richmond, and built a plantation about seven miles from where the Huguenots had founded the town of Manakin in Goochland county.  All the Agees in America have been derived from him.  The 1920 US census showed that there were close to a thousand Agees in America.  By 2000 the Agee numbers were more than three times higher.

Virginia.  Mathieu Agee and his wife raised four children in Virginia.  The main Agee lines have come from two sons James, born in 1725, and Anthony, born in 1727.  Some of the descendants remained in Virginia, initially at Dillwyn in Buckingham county where Mathieu and his family had settled in 1755.  Others spread to Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Alabama and elsewhere.

Tennessee.  The ancestry of the writer James Agee started with his father Hugh who died in an auto accident in 1916 when James was seven (it made a profound impression on him).  Hugh came from rugged Tennessee farming stock in Campbell county.  His forebear Isaac Agee had settled in this mountainous backwoods area in the early 1800s.  He was the grandson of Mathieu Agee through his son Anthony.


Anthony and Charles Agee were in Sullivan county, Tennessee by 1787, signing a petition for the formation of a new state of Franklin.  Daniel Agee was there by 1792.  In 1820 he and his son William headed south to new land in Madison county, Alabama. 

Alabama. 
Joseph Agee acquired land in Marengo county, Alabama in 1837 and finally completed his plantation house there in 1859.  Early Agees were buried in the Magnolia cemetery.  However, the best-known Agee from this area has been the baseball player Tommie Agee who came from the black section of town.

Elsewhere.  William Agee was a prominent landowner from Virginia along the Black river in Missouri in the 1850's.  The Agee School in Poplar Bluff township has been his legacy.

There were also two William Agee Baptist ministers.  The first was a physician and a native of Alabama, having been born there in 1845.  He formed the Agee Baptist church in Pleasant Valley, Texas in 1900.  Another Agee minister moved from Owenton, Kentucky to Boise, Idaho around this time.  His grandson was the corporate executive William Agee.

The two books covering the Agee lines are D. P.M. Agee's 1937 book The Agee Family and Louis N. Agee's 1982 book The Agee Register.  The first Mathieu Agee descendant reunion occurred in 2007 in Richmond, Virginia

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If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:


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Mathieu Agee, a Huguenot refugee, was the progenitor of the Agees in America.
James Agee
from Tennessee was an influential American writer and critic of the 1940s and 1950s, best known for his
prose lyric Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.
Philip Agee
from Florida was the CIA agent who wrote the revelatory 1975 book Inside the Company: CIA Diary.
William Agee
from Idaho was a prominent American business executive from the 1970s to 1990s, being the CEO of the Bendix and Morrison-Knudsen companies.

Select Agees Today
  • 3,500 in America (most numerous in Alabama) 




PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

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