Maj. John "of Chemokins" (1John) Lewis
Research Note: Re-reading Lewis Patriarchs of Early Virginia and Maryland, 3rd ed. by Robert JCK Lewis provided significant edits to this historiography.
Maj. John Lewis was christened 12/15/1633 at St Telios Church, Llantilio Pertholey, Monmouthshire, Wales. John is most noted for being the father of Councilor John Lewis. John is first cited as headright for his father's 1653 land patent in then York Co VA. Much confusion results from an additional record which shows a John Lewis as headright for Col. George Reade, the forefather of George Washington, in 3/1658. Perhaps, this was another John Lewis?
John Lewis was in America in 1658 can be shown by the York County records of October 8, 1658 and that he was headright of Col. George Reade on March 1658.
In about 1660, John inherited Chemokins after the death of his brother, William. And by 1666 in New Kent Co VA, John married Isabella Miller b. 8/24/1640 New Kent Co VA. John and Isabella lived the remainder of their lives, probably on the original Lewis homestead. John is said to have managed Chemokins through a series of overseers which included some of his sons.
There is controversy about John's death. Reportedly, he died 12/2/1689 in New Kent Co VA. Had he died in Virginia, he would have been buried at the family plantation near his father and where wife Isabella would eventually be buried. The answer to the question comes from following Isabella. Isabella is found on 10/16/1682 married at St Mary's Church, Newington, Surry, just south of London, marrying Robert Yard of England.
Reasonable conjecture leads to the belief that Maj John and Isabella sailed together; as a married woman of means would not sail alone. Then, John died at sea; as there isn't a tombstone for John in the family cemetery. Later, Isabella and Robert Yard sailed to Virginia. There are several records for Robert Yard in Petsworth Parish, Gloucester Co VA during the 1680s through the 1700s. Evidently, Isabella did not return to the Lewis Plantation to live. But per the custom, she is buried with Maj John in the Old Lewis Cemetery in what is now King and Queen Co VA.
Christened 12/15/1633 Liantilio, Pertholey, Monmouthshire, Wales
|Liantilio, Pertholey, Monmouthshire, Wales Parish Records:
One of the John Lewis' was christened on Dec. 15th, 1633. This is consistent with Col. John Lewis who married Isabella Miller (Yard).
Immigrated c. 1653 w/ family to York Co VA
|Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, v. 1, p. 229:
Mr. John Lewis, 250 acres at the head of a branch belonging to Poropotanke Creek, called Lewis Cr. But formerly Totopotomoys Creek in Glouchester County, 1 July 1653. Transported 5 persons: John Lewis, Lidia Lewis, Wm. Lewis, Edward Lewis, John Lewis Jr.
1654 New Kent Co split from York Co
1655 Gloucester Co VA Land Record
|Land Patent Book No. 4, p. 6:
John Lewis, Jr. 250 acres, Gloucester Co. 29 December 1655 at the main swamp of Poropotanke running down the same from the land of Col. Richard Lee, to Beech Spring &c.
1658 New Kent Co VA Land Record
|1658 New Kent Co VA Deeds, p 321:
To all and whereas and now know ye that I the said Samuel Mathews Esq and give and grant unto John Lewis and James Turner one thousand acres of Land and Marsh called Lewis’ Island lying and being in the County of New Kent Bonded on the East side on the north side and on the west side with the River and on the south side with Parencess Creek that divides this Land from the Land of John Pouncy. The said Land being due unto the said John Lewis and James Turner by and for the Transportation of twenty persons and to have and yealding and dated the 18th of November 1658.
1/1662 New Kent Co VA Land Record
|New Kent Co VA Deeds, p 565:
To all etc whereas etc me Know ye that I the said Sir William Berkeley Governor & give and grant unto John Lewis and Thomas Mitchell one thousand six hundred and Eighty acres of land lying and being in the county of New Kent beginning at a Spanish Oak in the Line of W. Mitchell Land. . .to Lt Cole Jacob’s Corner. . .line of Mr. Mitchell’s Land. . .The said Land being due by Transportation and To have & to Hold and to be Sold and yielding and paying and which payment to be made yearly from the entry of the survey and rights in the office being the 30th of October 1662 provided and Dated the 15th of January 1662.
3/1662 New Kent Co VA Land Record
|John Lewis & James Turner 1000 Acres Patent issued the 18th March 1662 in the said Lewis & Turner’s names and granted by William Berkeley, Knight, his Magesties Governor & Ira Hickman.|
1663 New Kent Co VA Land Record
|Land Patent Book No. 5, p. 299:
John Lewis Patent dated November 23, 1663; 1700 acres at the head of Poropotanke creek both sides, adjoining the lands of Mr. Major, Thomas Hanckes, George Austin, up Coates Branch to Col. Richard Lee’s land, to the bridge swamp, thence down the bridge swamp and Porpopontanke Swamp to the head of the Creek and so to the place where it began; 120 acres thereof patented to Timothy Lodell and Thomas Broughton Sept. 13, 1651, and assigned to John Lewis; 100 acres thereof patented by Howell Price Oct. 6, 1656 and assigned to said LEWIS; and 600 acres not before granted.
Married 1666 in New Kent Co VA to Isabella Miller b. 8/24/1640 New Kent Co VA
8/7/1667 New Kent Co VA Land Record
|To all and whosoever and now know ye that I the said Wm. Berkley, Knt., Governor, do give and grant and on John Lewis two thousand acres of Land in New Kent and proper upon fiven of proper banke swamp beginning at the mount of a great branch north below the said Lewis Plantation. . .to a hickory in Tymothy Lewis oak Line. . .by a branch of Mahogany Swamp. . .to the corner of Geo Majie Land. . .possetion Swamp. . .along John Chambers Land. . .from up land of John Aoy to in South Swamp. . .to John Land. . .Geo Sissims lyne of trees. . .to said road of Cobb branch. . .to the Land where it began. Land being as follows. Eighty acres part through of Tymothy Lewis and one Thousand acres of and six hundred acres granted to the same Lewis by plat Dted the 23 November 1663 and the being hundred and Twenty being due by and for the Transfer of nineteen persons to have and to hold provided and Dated this Seventh August 1667. Persons transported: William Jones, Morgan, Mary Bently, James Shepherd, Jeremy Morgan, Richard Moore, Tho Page, Sarah.|
8/16/1667 New Kent Co VA Land Record
|Land Patent Book No. 6, p. 17:
JOHN LEWIS; patent dated August 16, 1667, 2600 acres in Glouchester and New Kent Counties being upon both sides of Poropotanke Swamp, beginning at the mouth of a great branch next below the said LEWIS’ plantation by Old Woman’s Poynt; boundaries mentioned as courses are run as follows: Timothy Lowdell’s line, John Levingstone’s line, a branch of Mattapony Swamp, Richard Jamor, Junr’s land, George Major’s land, head of Pepetico Swamp, John Chamberlain’s land, John Fox’s land Poropotanke Swamp, George Austin’s line, head of Coale’s branch, the land of Mr. Richard Lee, Bridge Swamp, Poropotanke Swamp to the mill, and down the creek to the beginning. Due 80 acres purchased of Timothy Lowdell, and 1000 acres of Howell Price and 600 acres as by patent Nov. 23, 1663, and the residues 820 acres due by and for the transportation of 19 persons.
1668 New Kent Co VA Land Patent
|To all etc to whom go now know yea that I the sayd Berkerly, Knt, Governor, etc give and grant unto an John Lewis one hundred acres of Land Lying in part County and on the NE side of Caine hole swamp. . .of John Leoissone land next Edward Wadkins land. . .to Cain hole swamp. . .to the head spring this land and John Kings then joining to the said Leoissone Land. . .The Land Grant being by and for the transportation of two persons and to have and to hold adjoining and paying present 22nd day of April 1668. Tho C|
1675 New Kent Co VA Record
|John Lewis termed major in the foot service.|
1675 New Kent Co VA Land Patent
|1675 John Lewis patented 10,000 acres with Lieut. Smity, Capt Lightfoot, Mr. Royston and Buckner|
1675/1676 Gloucester Co VA Officials: John Lewis, Surveyor
1676 Bacon's Rebellion
|General Court Records:
John Lewis' residence in 1676 being near Major Thomas Pate's, where Bacon encamped, he suffered severely from the depredations of his troops.
"Persons who Suffered by Bacon's Rebellion":
Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 5, p. 67:
1678 New Kent Co VA Record
|New Kent Co VA Probate:
3/29/1678. Will of James Miller. To my loving brother Maj. John Lewis. . .a horse. . .to my loving sister Mrs. Isabell Lewis wife of Major John Lewis. . .whole estate during her life and after her death. . .to my two nephews Edward and John Lewis, the Younger. . .to them and their heirs forever. . .My aforesaid sister my sole executrix.
1680 New Kent Co VA Record
|1680, John Lewis was captain of horse in the militia of New Kent, and one of its justices.|
Died c. 1682, probably at sea
Isabella married 10/16/1682 in Surry, England to Robert Yard of England
|New Eng. Hist. and Gen. Reg. (1864) v. 18, p. 81:
St Mary's Church, Newington, Surry, England:
1682. Oct 16. Married Robert Yard and Isabella Lewis , late of Virginia.
1691 King and Queen split from New Kent Co
10/1706 Gloucester Co VA Church Record
|The Vestry Book of Petsworth Parish, Gloucester Co VA
Att a Vestry held October y': 9th 1706 for Petsoe Parish P'sent: M' Rob' Yard. . . .
Isabella Miller Lewis Yard is buried on Lewis Plantation, King and Queen Co VA
|Maj. John Lewis
|Here lieth interred the body of
Mrs. Isabella Yard born the 24th of
August 1640 and departed this life
the ninth day of February 1703/4
aged 6_ years 5 months & 16 days
1. Cpt. Edward Lewis
Born 9/5/1667 New Kent Co VA
Married c. 1688 in New Kent Co VA to Susannah Lewis b. c. 1670
1691 King and Queen split from New Kent Co
Died 2/11/1713 King and Queen Co VA
Buried on Lewis Plantation, King and Queen Co VA
|Here lyeth Inter’d the body of Capt.
Edward Lewis ye son of Major
John Lewis and his wife Isabella, who
was grandson of John Lewis of
Monmoutshire and was born near
this place ye 5th of Septr 1667 and
Departed this life ye 11th of Feby 1713
Aged 45 years 5 months and 6 days.
2. Councilor John Lewis b. 11/30/1669 New Kent Co VA
The Lewis Family of Henrico Co VA