At 5 1/2 yrs old Lewis's father was killed crossing a river on horseback in the dead of winter. His mother remarried 6 months later
, to her cousin John Marks in Georgia,
yes that is common in the South.
ML and his mother packed up and moved to Georgia (Elberton, GA area, 40 miles east of Athens, GA and the Universiy of GA)...like a one month wagon ride from Ivy, Va to "Goosepond, Georgia"...
Yes, there is a little marker on top of the foundation rocks of the 1780's Marks home in Goosepond. (See below) Lewis lived there from 5 1/2 until he was 11 or 12 yrs old. He then moved back to Ivy, Va to get an education.
VAExplorer - PM sent about your other questions.