Descendants of Lewis ap David of Cardiganshire, Wales

Generation #4

Note: Information on the Lewis Family before Walden Lewis b. c. 1774 in Virginia comes from assumptions based on multiple sources. Therefore, the information on this page is not reliable for genealogical purposes. A detailed discussion of the many connections can be found at Lewis Family Research.

James "of Laurel Hill" (3William, 2James, 1James, 0Edmund) Lewis

There are four significant James Lewises in Spotsylvania Co VA at this time.

    1. The first James is James Lewis, the brother of William Lewis of Fredericksburg and son of the ancestor James Lewis who migrated north and west up the Rappahannock to Caroline Co VA.

    2. The second James is James Lewis. b. c. 1756 Spotsylvania Co VA who is the son of the first James Lewis.

    3. The third James Lewis was a descendant of William Terrell Lewis who conducted business in Spotsylvania Co VA.

    4. The subject of this research is James Lewis, son of of William Lewis of Fredericksburg.

This James Lewis was born in about 1744 in Spotsylvania Co VA. In about 1770 probably in Spotsylvania Co VA, James married cousin Elizabeth Minor b. 8/3/1752 in Louisa Co VA.

James and Elizabeth are first found in records in 1771 where they and James' mother, Sarah, are cited in a Spotsylvania County land transaction. From this document, we are informed that James is the son of William and Sarah Lewis of Spotsylvania Co VA. Elizabeth's identity is found in the 1772 probate for her mother, Sarah Carr Minor. But, Elizabeth died young.

On 6/19/1783 James "of Laurel Hill" married Sarah Herndon b. 7/2/1766 Spotsylvania Co VA. Proof of Sarah's identity as the daughter of Edward Herndon comes from the 9/1799 probate bond which names James Lewis as the son-in-law of Edward Herndon of Berkeley Parish.

Additional information is found in Herndon family records:

Elizabeth Maury Lewis Herndon, ca 1756 - 1834.
James Lewis, widower of Sarah Herndon (1766-1784), married a second time with Elizabeth Maury. After Lewis’s death, Elizabeth Maury Lewis married Edward Herndon (1761-1837) of Spotsylvania County, Virginia. She died at “Laurel Hill” before November 15, 1834, at the age of 78, and had been for 50 years a member of the Episcopal Church.

“A Genealogy of the Herndon Family,”    
The Virginia Magazine of History and Bibliography,    
Vol. 11, No. 1, July 1903, p. 100.

Sarah Herndon died. The close date from marriage to date of death leads to the belief that she may have died in childbirth. But, no child is attributed to this marriage. After Sarah's death in 1784, James married Elizabeth Maury b. 4/1/1756 in Albemarle Co VA. Proof of this marriage comes from the will of Rev. James Maury:

In the last century Rev. James Maury was the rector of Fredericksville parish. His parents, Matthew Maury and Mary Ann Fontaine, were Huguenot exiles, and were residents of King William. Instead of occupying the glebe, he resided on his own farm, which lay on the borders of Albemarle and Louisa. He attained great notoriety as suitor in the famous case under the Two Penny Act, in which Patrick Henry first displayed his marvelous powers of eloquence. In addition to his clerical duties, he taught on his plantation a classical school in which Mr. Jefferson was one of his pupils. In 1767 he purchased nearly seven hundred acres southwest of Ivy Depot from the executors of old Michael Woods, which his son Matthew sold in 1797 to Rev. William Woods and Richard Woods. He married Mary Walker, a cousin it is said of Dr. Thomas Walker, and died in 1769. His children were Matthew, James, Ann, Mary, Walker, Catharine, the wife of James Barrett, Elizabeth, the wife of James Lewis, of Spotsylvania, Abraham, Fontaine, Benjamin and Richard. James was appointed by Washington in 1789 Consul to Liverpool, which office he continued to fill till 1837. Richard, who married Diana, daughter of Major John Minor, of Spotsylvania, and removed to Franklin, Tenn., was the father of Commodore Matthew F. Maury, and the grandfather of General Dabney Maury, of the Confederate Army.

"History of Albemarle County", by Rev. Edgar Woods, 1901, pp. 268-269.    

This James had many names depending on the venue:

1. This James was a planter, managing the Laurel Hill Plantation for the Herndon family. Thus, he was known as James "of Laurel Hill."

2. In the Herndon family histories, he is cited as Col. James Lewis. But to date, there are no known records for military service. Was he commander of local militia alongside his contemporary, Col. Zachary Lewis.

3. When this James' favorite nephew, James Lewis s/o William, entered professional life, the younger James adopted the moniker James Lewis, Jr. to differentiate himself from Uncle James as was the custom of the time. Subsequently, this James adopted the moniker James Lewis, Sr. to differentiate himself from the younger James.

James is recorded on 3/30/1792 where he received land and money from the estate of Thomas Burbridge. James is last recorded on 5/8/1794 where he was executor for his brother William's estate.

Although having married three times, James, Sr. died without issue in 1801. James left his fortune to his favorite nephew, James Lewis, Jr. who lived in Fauquier Co VA. Unfortunately, the younger James died shortly thereafter, also without issue. At least we know where the fortune went. James, Jr. left the portion of his estate which he received from his father to his brother, Cmdr William Lewis, USN, who also died without issue. The remainder of his estate including that willed by his uncle James, Sr. was willed to his wife, Jane Walker Lewis. As Plantation Portland was not recorded, James is eliminated as the original owner of Portland. [Lewis Fortune]

20. Elizabeth Minor, tenth child of John Minor, married Col. James Lewis of "Laurel Hill."
William and Mary College Quarterly, v. 9 #3, p. 182.
Dec. 13, 1770. Alexander Spotswood to Philemon Richards of Spots. co. Lease. 196a. in Spots. and Orange counties. 1000 lbs. tobacco.
Signed: Ben Richards, Ben Richards, Jr., and Benj. Chapman.
Wit: Js. Lewis, Wm. Richards, Thos. Brooks.
Spotsylvania Co VA Deed Book G:
April 18, 1771. James Lewis and Elizabeth, his wife, of Spotsylvania Co, and Sarah Lewis, being the widow of William Lewis (the latter being mother and father of James) to Jacob Whitley of Fredericksburg. Whereas Sarah Lewis is entitled to 1/3 part of two lots for life as a tenant in dower and the inheritance of sd 1/3 expectant on the death of sd Sarah by sd James as well as the other 2/3rds, James and Sarah have both agreed to sell lots 35, 36 in Fredericksburg, purchased by sd William Lewis, father of sd James, of Anthony Strother.
Wit: Joseph Brock, Robert Chew, John Herndon,, Daniel Branham, and James Cunningham.
Spotsylvania County Records 1721-1800, p. 27:
Lewis, Sarah,
Spotsylvania Co. d. Oct. 28, 1771. 
Leg. grandson James Lewis; daughter Elizabeth Richards, grandchildren William and Sarah Richards, son and daughter of Winifred Richards.
Wit. Daniel Branham, Benjamin Burbridge. 
Octr. 26, 1772. Alexander Spotswood to James Lewis and Joseph Herndon of Spts. Co., Gentl. Lease. 256 a. in St. Geo. Par., Spts. Co. "Sd. Lewis and Herndon and his son Edwd. Herndon," etc. 1224 lbs. tob. Jno. Brock, Jno. Chew, junr.; Jos. Brock. Novr. 20, 1772.
Spotsylvania Co VA Deed Book F, p. 22:
MINOR, SARAH, widow, Spotsylvania Co., d. Sept. 25, 1772. Executors Bond dated Nov. 19, 1772. Wit. John Waller, Rebecca Ellis, Ann Waller. Ex. sons John and Garritt Minor. Leg. sons John, Thomas, Garritt, Dabney, Vivian, Peter; daughters Mary Herndon, Elizabeth Lewis; sister Agnes Waller; brother-in-law John Waller.
Spotsylvania Co Deed Book J (1774-1782), p. 316:
Oct. 29, 1774. Thos. Burbridge of Spts. Co. and Sarah, his wife, to John Wiglesworth of sd. Co. £100 curr. 125 a. in St. Geo. Par., Spts. Co. Jas. Lewis, Hezekiah Ellis, Henry Elley, Jr. March 16, 1775.
May 18, 1777. John Minor and Elizabeth, his wife, of Caroline County to Garret Minor of Louisa County for 566 £ currency 906 a. in north fork of North Anna River in Spotsylvania County, etc.
Wit: Eliza Fountaine, Jane Cosby, Peter Minor, Jos. Herndon, Jas. Lewis, Wm. Lewis
Spotsylvania Co VA Deed Book J (1774-1782), p. 370:
Jany. 3, 1783. Joel Parish of Spots. Co. to James Lewis of same co. £200 curr. 175 a. in St. Geo. Par., Spots. Co., etc. Edwd. Herndon, Jos. Herndon, Thorns. Herndon, Thomas Towles, Nicho. Payne. Jany. 16, 1783.
Spotsylvania Co. Will Book E (1772-1798), p. 577:
HERNDON, John, St. George's parish, Spotsylvania Co., d. May 11, 1782, Executor's Bond dated Nov 20, 1783.
Wit. Thomas Allen, Joseph Fox, Robert Cunningham.
Ex. brothers, Edward and Joseph Herndon, my friend James Lewis, and my sons Joseph and John Herndon.
Leg. wife, Mary Herndon, entire estate until her death or re-marriage, then to be equally divided amongst all my children (not named).
Spotsylvania Co VA Deed Book B, p. 386:
Decr. 17, 1784. Wm. Lewis and Sarah, his wife, of Spots. Co. to James Lewis of same co. £243 12s. 174 a. in St. Geo. Par., Spots. Co.
No witnesses. Decr. 17, 1784.
Spotsylvania County Records 1721-1800
£100. James LEWIS, admr. of Sarah LEWIS, decd., with Andrew BUCHANNAN, sec. May 5, 1785.
Crozier: Spotsylvania Co VA Records
May 31, 1787. Thomas Strachan of Spots. Co. to Thomas Colson and Oliver Towles, executors of Wm. Daingerfield, dec'd., Matthew Maury and Thomas Walker, Jr. to indemnify them. . . .
Wit: Jas. Lewis, Benj. Lewis. Novr. 9, 1787.
Spotsylvania Co VA Deed Book L, p. 412:
10/10/1787. Wharton Schooler and Margaret, his wife, of Spots. Co. to Edward Herndon and James Lewis, Executors of Jno. Herndon, dec'd. £120 10 s. curr. 120 1/2 acres in Spots. Co. in trust for widow & orphans of sd Jno. Herndon, dec'd. as by articles in his will dated 5/11/1782, etc. etc.
Wit: Thomas Strahan, J. Brock, Jno. Brock, Jr., Daniel Branham, Margaret Shooler. 11/9/1787.
Spotsylvania Co Deed Book J (1774-1782), p. 423:
Augt. 7, 1788. Wm. Riardon and Ann, his wife, of Spts. Co. to Thomas Haydon of same county. £30 curr. 100 a. in Spts. Co., etc. G. Bell, L. Branham, Thos. Whiting, Jno. McWhirt, Danl. Branham, Edwd. Leavell, James Lewis, Thomas Strachan. Jany. 6, 1789.
Will: James Haydon, Spotsylvania Co, VA:
I, James Haydon of the County of Spotsylvania. . .do hereby appoint my brother Jesse Haydon, my son James Haydon & my friend James Lewis Executors of this my Last Will & Testament. . .this fourteenth day of September 1788.
Mark James X Haydon (seal)
Wit: William Burbridge, Easter Ficklin, Thomas Haydon, Jesse Haydon Junior
Spotsylvania Co VA Deed Book J (1774-1782), p. 423:
Augt. 7, 1788. Wm. Riardon and Ann, his wife, of Spts. Co. to Thomas Haydon of same county. £30 curr. 100 a. in Spts. Co., etc.
Wit: G. Bell, L. Branham, Thos. Whiting, Jno. McWhirt, Danl. Branham, Edwd. Leavell, James Lewis, Thomas Strachan. Jany. 6, 1789.
Dec. 11, 1789. John Lewis and Mary, his wife, of Fredksbg to Rbt. Brooke of Fredksbg. 5 shill. 317 1/2 a. on Nassaponax in St. George Par., Spots. co., purchased by sd. Jno. [John Augustine Lewis] of his brother Geo. [Washington] Lewis, etc., the patents granted [1723 to] Jno. Quarles, Gent., dec'd., etc
Wit: Thomas Pasey, Thomas Goodwin, Jas. Lewis. No date of record.
Herndon, Capt. John, dec'd., his ex. Edward Herndon and James Lewis, will sell slaves, HH and KF bel. to his estate at Mrs. Mary Herndon's in Spotsylvania Co. (VHFA 27 Sep 92)
Spotsylvania Co VA Deed Book B, p. 467:
March 31, 1794. James Lewis and Elizabeth, his wife, of Spots. Co. to Michael Kobinson of same co. £13 10s. 27 a. in Spots. Co., etc., etc. No witnesses. April 1, 1794.
Fredericksburg VA Newspaper:
Lewis, Capt. William. dec'd, his admr, James Lewis, Sr. of Fredsbrg., will sell. . .his HH and KF at his late dwelling house in Fredsbrg. His remaining est. will be sold on 1 Aug. by his admr.
Spotsylvania Co VA Deed Book B, p. 469:
June 10, 1794. Edwd. Herndon and James Lewis, Execrs. of Jno. Herndon, Dec'd. and Mary Herndon, widow of sd. Jno. Herndon, Dec'd., to Revd. James Stevenson of Fredksbg. £300 curr. 277 a. in St. Geo. Par., Spots. Co., etc., etc. Robt. Hart, Lewis Holladay, Henry Daingerfield, Richd. Todd, Jno. Herndon, Jno. McWhirt, Thos. Strachan. Septr. 2, 1794.
Spotsylvania Co VA Deed Book B, p. 489:
FeBy 7, 1796 (1797). Thomas Colson of Spots. Co. to Thomas Strachan and Mary, his wife. In consideration of securityship of James Lewis and Fontaine Maury, for sd. Strachan, to the sd. Colson, for the sum of £612 4s., etc., conveys to sd. Strachan and wife, 237 a. in Spots. Co., also slaves, goods and chattels, etc., etc. Witness, Wm. Stanard. Feby. 7, 1797.
Spotsylvania Co VA Deed Book B, p. 509:
July 2, 1799. Thomas Strachan and Mary, his wife, of Spots. Co. to James Lewis and Fontaine Maury of same co. Mortgage to indemnify the grantees for their security ship, etc., etc. 237 a. in Spots. Co., goods and chattels, several negroes, formerly property of Revd. Jas. Marye, and also a slave formerly the property of Dr. Peter Strachan of the City of Richmond, etc., etc. Witnesses, Lucy Herndon, Richd. Maury, Edward Herndon.   July 2, 1799.
Spotsylvania Co VA Will Book F (1798-1800), p. 90:
HERNDON, Edward, Berkeley Parish, Spotsylvania Co., d. Aug. 5, 1793, Executors Bond dated Sept. 3, 1799.
Ex. my sons-in-law James LEWIS and Anthony FRAZER.
Leg. wife Mary HERNDON; son-in-law James LEWIS; my children.
Codicil Mar. 14, 1799, appoints his four sons John, Edward, William and Joseph HERNDON executors.
Fauquier Co VA Will Book ?, p. 347:
Lewis, James. 21 Jan 1802 , 26 Jan 1802 .
Estate lately received from James Lewis (uncle) of Spotsylvania Co to go to wife Jane. All estate that comes from father to go to brother William Lewis.
Wit: George Pickett, Charles Marshall, James Walker.



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