Yes, there is a direct connection. Mary Lee Spann was a great-grandaughter of John Edward Spann Sr. and Marcilla Odom.
Researching this particular Spann line is difficult. They lived mostly in Geneva County, Alabama and all Geneva County records created before 1898 were destroyed by fire. Also, the 1880 U.S. Federal Census of Geneva County is incomplete, consisting of only a few pages which cannot possibly represent the entire population of the county.
However, we can state the following:
Mary Lee Spann was born during August 1873, probably in Geneva County, Alabama. It seems likely that she was a daughter of Henry Andrew Spann and Narcissa Sanders. The family does not appear on the 1880 Geneva County census which would prove this relationship beyond question.
Mary Lee Spann was married to James Shirley during 1894 in Geneva County, Alabama. The original marriage license would have been destroyed in the 1898 Geneva County Courthouse fire.
Henry Andrew Spann (father of Mary Lee Spann) was born 19 February 1852 in Henry County, Alabama. He was a son of Henry A. Spann Sr. and Mary Roney. Henry Andrew Spann(father of Mary Lee Spann) was orphaned during the Civil War and raised by his uncle Raiford M. Spann. Henry Andrew Spann (father of Mary Lee Spann)was married on 26 July 1872 in Henry County, Alabama to Miss Narcissa Sanders. They removed to Geneva County, Alabama and were the parents of five? children, as follows:
1) Mary Lee Spann - born August 1873, married James Shirley
2) William H. Spann - born February, 1876.
3) Nancy E. Spann - born February, 1877.
4) Eliza E. Spann - born about 1879.
5) James E. Spann - born January 1882.
Henry Andrew Spann died on 22 February 1922 and is buried at Mt. Gilead Primitive Baptist Church in Houston County, Alabama. Narcissa Sanders Spann died on 4 May 1917 and is buried beside her husband.
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