My Brick Walls

Connections I have found. Or, brick walls I have climbed over.

a. Lewis Family

1. The Lewis Family of Virginia descendants from of the Lewis Family of Abernant Bychan, Cardiganshire, Wales. For years, I asked for a proven descendant of the Zachary Lewis family to step forward and submit a DNA sample. With the recent DNA report, we can state my Lewis family does not match the Zachary Lewis family.

2. The most important genealogical connection stated herein is where I list William Lewis of Fredericksburg as the son of James Lewis of Caroline Co VA, connecting my family to the Lewis Family of Middlesex Co VA. Is this connection absolutely proven? No. But, this is the best understanding I have to date.

3. There has been a family tradition that our Lewis family had settled on a plantation named Portland in Virginia back in the day. My Dad spent decades looking for that property. And, records for Portland Plantation have been found.

4. This Lewis family provided heroes who fought in the Virginia State Navy and the US Navy and the Confederate Navy. The last three are really famous: 

a. Cpt. William Lewis of the Virginia State Navy in the Revolutionary War.
b. Cmdr. William Lewis was an officer during the Barbary Coast War and a ship's captain during the War of 1812. William died at sea when the Brig Epervier sank during a storm in 9/1815.
c. Cpt. William Lewis Herndon was named for his "uncle," Cpt. William Lewis. Cpt. Herndon died at sea when the USS Central America sank in 9/1857.
d. Cmdr. Matthew Fountaine Maury, the "Pathfinder of the Seas," was a noted scientist and Confederate diplomat.
e. Cpt. William Lewis Maury, Captain of the CSN Georgia during the Civil War.

5. James Lewis of Fredericksburg who descends from William Lewis b. 1723 really did marry three times and died without progeny. James married a) Elizabeth Minor b) Sarah Herndon c) Elizabeth Maury. Proof was found when tracing the James Lewis estate while researching Portland Plantation.

6. Jacob Hutto b. 1736 Orangeburg Co SC was married twice:

Before 6/1753, Jacob was married in Orangeburg Dist. SC to Margaret Tshudy b. c. 1737 in Orangeburg Co SC. Evidence of this marriage comes from the Giessendanner Record of First Communion, Whitsuntide 6/3/1753.

If Margaret Tshudy was a first wife as is believed, she died before 5/1759 when Jacob was married in Orangeburg Dist. SC to Margaret Diedricks ch. 9/14/1741 Orangeburg Dist. SC. Evidence for this marriage comes from the 1759 will for Margaret's grandfather, Johannes Diedricks, which states his "Beloved granddaughter Margaret now the wife of Jacob Hottow of Orangeburg."

7. The Fairley Family of Mississippi are descendants of the Fairley Family of Argyllshire, Scotland.

Mary Fairley was born 10/22/1794 in Richmond Co NC. She migrated with her family in about 1818 to Jackson Co MS. In about 1819 in Mississippi, Mary wed Daniel Ira Taylor b. 1/1/1785 in Greenock, Scotland. Proof for this marriage comes from a Taylor Family Bible which was in the possession of the descendants of Joseph Wetherbee and May Virginia Taylor Wetherbee.

So, we always knew about Mary Fairley. Now, her immediate family is found  (1820-1830) located next door to the Taylors at Taylor Hill, Perry Co MS. And, her family can be traced back to Argyllshire, Scotland.


b. Campbell Family

1. James Campbell of Edgefield Co SC is the father of William Granville Campbell of Covington Co AL.

2. Peter Mason is the father of the Masons of Conecuh, Covington and Escambia Counties of Alabama.

3. Old Sam Lee of Wayne Co MS is the son of Zachariah Lee of Robeson Co NC. And, Zachariah is the son of Joshua Lee of Edgecombe and Duplin Co NC. This line is proven down from John Lee of Nansemond [JLN] to Joshua to son Jesse Lee, Sr. of Robeson Co NC in Descendants of John Lee, 1995 from the Henry Lee Society.

4. The Braswell/ Overstreet/ Farmer/ Lee Cousinage:

Going up the family tree from Old Sam, we  find that all four of these families were allied so tightly that they can be considered as one really huge family. Starting out from the part of Virginia which became Bertie Co NC before the boundary shift in 1728, these families are found together in North Carolina and then migrated by different routes, eventually settling in Mississippi.

    a. This branch of the Braswell family (who married into the Farmer family in Virginia and then the Overstreet family in Georgia) is important for later research. From the many records, we find that the Braswell Family was from the part of Virginia which would become Bertie Co NC after the boundary shift in 1728.
    b. Then we find that the Farmer family (who married into the Braswell and the Lee families in Virginia) was from the part of Virginia which would also become Bertie Co but then split and become Edgecombe Co NC in 1741.
    c. Then we find that the Lee family (who married into the Farmer family in Virginia and the Overstreet family in Mississippi) was from the part of Virginia which would become Bertie Co but then split and become Edgecombe Co NC in 1741.
    d. Then we find that the Overstreet family (who married into the Braswell family back in Georgia and then the Lee family in Mississippi) was from the part of Virginia which would become Bertie Co NC after the boundary shift in 1728.
    e. From these adjacent locales, we come to understand that the Braswell/Overstreet family of Georgia (who would marry into the Lee family of Mississippi in the 1820s and 1830s) was originally connected through intermarriage with the Farmer family way back in 1740 Virginia.

In two generations, we find three families:
    a. Elizabeth Braswell b. c. 1714 Isle of Wight Co VA married c. 1740 in Virginia to Isaac Farmer b. 1711 Surry Co NC. . .
    b. Then Isaac's son, Thomas Farmer b. c. 1741 Edgecombe Co NC married 1760 in North Carolina to Elizabeth Lee (sister of Zachariah Lee), b. 1746 Bertie Co NC. . .
    c. Then, Isaac's daughter, Lucy Farmer b. c. 1745 in Halifax Co NC married 1763 in Edgecombe Co NC to Zachariah Lee b. c. 1745 in Edgecombe Co NC.


c. Weaver Family

1. The Weaver Family aren't really Weavers after all. After these many years, come to find out Great Grandfather Henry Weaver was adopted. Surprise, the Weaver family turns out to be the Fry family. But, all those Weaver researchers are so very nice.

2. Heinrich Fry was born in about 1740, probably in one of the German duchies. And sometime later, he immigrated to the Valley of Virginia. This family lived in Shenandoah Co VA as evidenced by the Fry families enumerated in the 1810 Shenandoah Co VA Census. Unfortunately, nothing more is known about the progenitor of the Frys of Shenandoah Co VA.

And, another kind researcher provided information on the Lindamuth family which can lead to finding the Fry family progenitor.

Andrew LINDAMOOD [Lindamuth]  married Maria RHEINHARD and had the following children:
1. Sarah Catherine b. abt 1769 Shenandoah Co. VA m. Jacob FRY 16 Feb 1790 Shenandoah Co. VA 
2. Christina b. abt 1771 Shenandoah Co. VA m. Heinrich "Henry" FRY 1793
3. Mary Ann b. abt 1780 Shenandoah Co. VA m. John FRY 17 May 1799 Shenandoah Co. VA

3. Origin of the DeVeaux family of County Artois, Spanish Netherlands

Initial research for the Devore family who migrated from Bergen Co NJ to the Delaware Valley hit a brick wall at Daniel DeVoor. During subsequent research, consideration was given to several possibilities:

a. There is a wonderful discussion about the origin of the Devore/DeVoor/DeVaux surname. Some say that the name means "from the furrow" for a foundling child from the Netherlands.
b. My favorite interpretation involves church pews and who sat in front; as in Daniel in de Voor, who sat in the front.
c. Another researcher has put forth a hypothesis that the family had another surname: Bogaert.
d. But, here was the deciding factor; the DeVoors were French Huguenots. And, that piece of information led to the DeVeaux family genealogies.

4. The Heyns/ Devore/ Schoonmaker Cousinage:

Current research continues to link the Heyns family of Bucks Co PA to the Schoonmaker and Devore families of Dutch New Amsterdam. In the 1740s and 50s, there are records for a Joseph Hendricksen Heyns who lived and died in Bucks/Northampton/Monroe Co PA. We know the families were connected but cannot prove how they were related prior to the Hains - Devore marriage c. 1778 in Bedford Co PA.

This Joseph Heyns was the sponsor for Willem Devore's daughter Lanah/Helena. Was Joseph the sponsor at the Christening for his future daughter-in-law?

Baptisms by Rev. Joh. Casparus Fryenmuth 1741 - 1799
of the Reformed Congregation, Minisink PA: June 10 1753
Parents Child Sponsors
Willem Devoor
Cathrina Schoonmaker
Helena Joseph Heyns
Lena Schoonmaker

For considerable time, I researched an unknown person I called Dad Hains. But after serious consideration, I have concluded that Joseph Hendrickson Heyns is the father of John Hains, Esq. of Bedford Co PA; as circumstantial evidence links the Hains/Heyns family to the original Dutch colonists of New Amsterdam.

Devore Family Migration

  • Manhattan, NY/Bergen Co NJ
  • Migrated before 3/1723 to Ulster Co NY
  • Migrated before 9/1724 to Hunterdon (now Sussex) Co NJ
  • 1739 Morris Co split from Hunterdon Co NJ

  • 1753 Sussex Co split from Morris Co NJ

  • Migrated before 1772 to Bedford Co PA

Schoonmaker Family Migration

  • Kingston, Ulster Co NY
  • Migrated 1732 to Bucks (now Monroe) Co PA

And, researching the Devore family led to finding an additional 10 families from New Amsterdam, Dutch America who are part of the Fry/Bielman/Hains family tree.

5. Hans Justus Heydt: Debunking the myth of "the Baron of the Shenandoah"

There is a myth about a German Baron who immigrated to America aboard his two private ships, using his inherited wealth to purchase large tracts of land in what would become Frederick, Hampshire, Shenandoah, and Hardy counties of Old Virginia. Reportedly, the Baron ruled as a European autocrat in the Shenandoah Valley in lieu of British Colonial authorities. Let the myth end here.

Hans Justus Heydt, later Americanized to Jost Hite, earned the nickname, the Baron of the Shenandoah; this is true. But his personal circumstances were completely different from the myth. Immigrating to America as a refugee from the Palatinate of the Rhine, Jost earned everything he had through his wits and the sweat of his brow. Speculating on lands west of the Blue Ridge, Jost came to be the single largest private landholder in the Colony of Virginia. Note, Lord Fairfax was the largest individual landholder; however, his holdings were actually the property of groups of investors.

In truth, Jost did not rule but acted as an extension of the local Colonial Government, holding court and settling disputes on his vast holdings. In English speaking localities, Jost would have been referred to as Squire. But living in a predominantly German speaking area of Virginia, Jost received the moniker Baron.


d. Wilkinson Family

1. The Wilkinsons are Scot-Irish. In Pennsylvania and North Carolina they were Wilkinsons. In rural Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, and early Missouri, we were Wilkersons. But finally in Mississippi, we get to be Wilkinsons again.

2. Many of the immigrant ancestors from the Wilkinson family tree were Quakers. And the key to finding more information on the many families will lie with researching the many Quaker meetings in Colonial America:

a) the Wilkinsons b) the Ellemans c) the Johns d) the Brannocks e) the Newtons f) the Willises g) the collaterally related Carter family of NC

3. William Crosthwait b. 1686 Keswick, Cumberland County, England had 3 wives.

There are questions about William Crosthwait of Orange Co VA and his many wives. The first fact which positively identifies this William Crosthwait is the 8/8/1733 deed in Spotsylvania (now Orange) Co VA which states "William Crosthwait, late of Pennsylvania." And from this record, we have to work backwards to prove his many wives.

By the time William and family migrated to Virginia, he was married to Sarah Metcalf of New Jersey. Evidence for this marriage comes from the 1732 will for Jacob Metcalf, probable brother of Sarah, which lists William Crosthwait and Abraham Bickley as a witnesses. Prior to William's marriage to Sarah, he was married to Hannah Chew of New York. And, that marriage is well documented. Prior to William's marriage to Hannah, he was married to Eliza (?) Richardson. Evidence for the Richardson marriage is found in the 1725 will for the previously mentioned Abraham Bickley in Philadelphia. Through this circumstantial evidence, we tie William's relations from his last marriage to his first marriage.

4. Richard Dunn was born c. 1760 in South Carolina. The first record found is for a "Ricardo Dun" in the 1792 Census for the Santa Catalina District of Spanish Mississippi. And, the Santa Catalina District lands are now a part of Adams and Franklin counties in the state of Mississippi. If this is our Richard Dunn, the Dunn Family was part of a larger migration pattern from the Pee Dee Region of South Carolina to the Natchez area of Mississippi.

5. The Case family of Mississippi is proven back the the Up-country of South Carolina and then back to New England. And, there is an amazing story about 100 year-old William Case who, although blind,  came out to "see" the Army (the British Army and Tory Militia) march off to battle at King's Mountain 10/1780. Note, the British not only lost; this was the decisive battle of the Revolution in the South.

6. Nathan Smith was born in about 1725 in North Carolina. And he was responsible for assembling a horde of friends and relatives from Moore Co NC to migrate c. 1795 to Franklin Co GA. Their settlement would come to be know as the Nathan Smith Settlement and was located in the vicinity of Holllingsworth, Franklin (now Banks) Co GA near where Fort Hollingsworth still stands.


e. Mullin Family

1. As originally stated, the Mullins are of County Kerry, Ireland. Come to find out, they traveled northeast to Limerick, Ireland, to catch their barque en route to hearth and home in America.

2. The Mulick family was know by surname only, which was found in an obituary for a granddaughter. Now, Mary Mulick is connected to her father, Michael Mulick of County Roscommon, Ireland, and the rest of the family.


f. Stamer Family

1. Theodor & Wilhelm Fritz Stamer of the German Empire immigrated 8/3/1908 to Ellis Island. But, no one knows where Theodor went after arriving in New York. Best guess, instead of stopping in Davenport, Iowa, with son Willhelm Fritz, Theodor continued his journey west to live with a daughter in Pipestone MN.

2. The Arp family of Schleswig-Holstein immigrated 1847 to New Orleans and then Scott Co IA. Then later, three Arp children married three Mundt children. And the two Arp girls accompanied their husbands west to Crawford/Carroll Co IA.


This site is provided for reference only. Except where specifically cited, information contained is conjecture and should not be considered as fact.
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