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.

Cpt. William (3William, 2James, 1James, 0Research) Lewis of the Virginia State Navy

William Lewis was born in about 1742 in Fredericksburg VA. In the many records, he is referred to as Captain or Revolutionary War Cpt William Lewis. If the newly declared United States had been an organized country, he would have been Cpt William Lewis, USN. But, he is actually Cpt William Lewis of the Virginia State Navy.

According to a Herndon family genealogy, William married Sarah Herndon, daughter of Joseph Herndon. This is not proven; but possible. It is likely that William did marry one of the many Herndon cousins.

Our Cpt. William Lewis is famous for fighting in the Revolutionary War as the captain of the Ship Renown at a not-so-readily known battle on the Appomattox River in 3/1781. And after losing the battle, he is loved and renowned for his contribution to the fight for Independence. Later, William is cited as the Surveyor of the Port of Fredericksburg and even later as the Keeper of the Light at Cape Henry.

William settled at his plantation named Portland. Little is written about this plantation, but research can now show how the property was passed down through his descendants until it was eventually sold in 1844. [Lewis Fortune]

William died in 1792. And, his brother James was his administrator. 

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
304 Caroline Built c.1782 by Revolutionary War Captain William Lewis, and enlarged to its present size in 1873 by William H. Smith, a local grocer. The house is of the Georgian tradition, as seen in the patterned brick work of the chimneys and the metal work of the downspout heads. Note the Colonial Revival porch with the slight swelling in the columns, copied from the Greek style.
    "Walk Through History. . .Caroline Street," HistoryPoint.Org, 11 March 2002, <> 10 October 2004.
Spotsylvania Co VA Deed Book K, p. 386:
Decr. 17, 1784. Wm. Lewis and Sarah, his wife, of Spots. Co. to James Lewis of same co. 243 12 s. 174 a. in St. George Par., Spots. Co.
No witness. Decr. 17, 1784.
Spotsylvania County Records 1721-1800, p. 417:
Decr. 4, 1787. Jno. Lewis and Mary, his wife, of Fredksbg.  to Wm. Lewis of same town. 250. Tract of land [possibly the original Portland] in Spots. Co. near town of Fredksbg. etc., etc. 
Wit: Eleazer Callender, Wm. Waddle, James Dix, French Gray.
Spotsylvania County Records 1721-1800, p. 417:
Feby. 11, 1788. Joseph Jones and Sarah, his wife, of Spots. Co., to Walter Payne of same co. 54 12s. curr. 91 a. in Spots. Co., etc., etc.
Wit: Wm. Lewis, Jno. Benson, Wm. D. Spooner. June 3, 1788.

From Tench Coxe
Treasury Department
Revenue Office, October 31st. 1792

    I have the Honor to inform you that it appears by a letter this day received from Capt. William Lewis of Fredericksburg that he has undertaken the duty of Keeper of the light House on Cape Henry. This alteration in his situation will render it necessary that the pleasure of the President be known in regard to some other person to fill the offices he held in the internal and external Revenues.
    I have the honor to be with most respectful Attachment, sir, your most Obt. Servt.

Tench Coxe
Commissioner of the Revenue

The honble the
Secretary of the Treasury

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.


    1. James Lewis, Jr. of Fauquier Co VA

Note: This James was known as James Lewis, Jr. to differentiate himself from his uncle James Lewis, Sr. as per the custom of the times. James is important as he received the estates of first his father, Cpt. William Lewis, and then his uncle, James "of Laurel Hill" Lewis. When James, Jr. died without issue, he left the portion of his estate which he received from his father to his brother, Cmdr. William Lewis, USN, and the remainder to his wife Jane. As Plantation Portland was willed to Cmdr William's wife, this precludes James, Sr. as the original owner of Plantation Portland. [Lewis Fortune]

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. 
Commwh vs Brownlow & others PLAINTIFF(s) : 
Commonwealth DEFENDANT(s) : Robert Brownlow; Joseph Parke; Alexander Reddick; James Lewis Jr. James Madden; John G. Griffiths
PLACES MENTIONED : Fredericksburg REMARK(s) : Death - William Crane killed March 1793 
CITATION : Commwh vs Brownlow & others / 1793 / CR-DC-R / 387-91
Lewis, James [Jr.], att. at law, mar. Miss Jane Walker dau of the late Thomas Walker of Fredsbrg in Fredsbrg on Thurs last. (VH 13 Sept 97).

Thomas Jefferson Collection:
James Lewis, Jr., Fredsg, to Thomas Jefferson.
Introduces a young man, Mr. James Walker, a relation, a fellow thinker and laborer in the cause of equality, who is staying in Philadelphia.
Note: The Mr. James Walker was most probably his brother-in-law.

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.
STYLE : Js. Lewis vs Strother
PLAINTIFF(s) : James Lewis Jr. (assignee of George Lee assignee of Thomas Southcomb assignee of Jeremiah Morton assignee of William Morton assignee of Uriel Mallory)
DEFENDANT(s) : Philip Slaughter (admr.); Daniel F. Strother (admr.); French Strother (dec'd)
REMARK(s) : Death ref. - abated Apr. 1802 by death of James Lewis Jr.
CITATION : Js. Lewis vs Strother / 1802 / CR-DC-L / 563-55
Conway Whittle Papers (1773-1911), Box III: Folder 35:
Lewis, James, his will, 1801; 1816 J. Minor's opinion of said will.
Autograph document signed.

    2. Cmdr. William Lewis, USN

Cmdr. William Lewis is one of five famous Navy men from this family and is well documented:
1. Cpt. William Lewis of the State of Virginia Navy.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Cmdr. Matthew Fountaine Maury, the "Pathfinder of the Seas," was a noted scientist and Confederate diplomat.
5. Cpt. William Lewis Maury, Captain of the CSN Georgia during the Civil War.

Note: Cmdr. William Lewis, USN received the aggregate Lewis fortune from his father and uncle through his older brother, James of Fauquier Co VA. When William died without children, the estate went to his widow, Frances Mumford Whittle Lewis. And, Plantation Portland was sold by Frances to the King family in 1844. [Lewis Fortune]

Conway Whittle Papers (1773-1911), Box III: Folder 3:
Lewis, William, Fredericksburg and Fauquier Co., [Va.], to Uncle James Lewis and Aunt Elizabeth Lewis, Spotsylvania County [Va.], 1801.
Concerning Presidential election of 1801, local congressional election; family business; and death of James Lewis. 4 autograph letters signed.
Conway Whittle Papers (1773-1911), Box III: Folder 9:
Lewis, William, USN,
To his aunt Elizabeth Lewis, Mr. Edward Herndon, and to his aunt after her remarriage to Mr. Herndon (probably Mr. Edward Herndon, above), 1807 - 1810.
These letters written from various U.S. port cities, detail the progress of several years in recruiting, also a voyage to France with the first dispatches for the ministry there. Several references made to audiences with President Jefferson. 10 autograph letters signed.
Conway Whittle Papers (1773-1911), Box III: Folder 10:
Lewis, William, USS United States, Norfolk, Hampton Roads, [Va.], Philadelphia, [Pa.], To Conway Whittle, Elizabeth Herndon, Lieut. John B. Nicolson, and Mary Whittle, 1810 - 1811.
Concerning his separation from the Navy, his courtship and engagement to Frances Whittle, his appointment as Master of the Pennsylvania Packet, a ship of 300 tons out of Philadelphia, and his preparation for a voyage to Brazil and China, opium trade, bankruptcy of Conway and Fortescue Whittle.
16 autograph letters signed. 1 document signed.
Navy Widows and Orphans Pensioners pf. 1812-1829:
43. Lewis, Frances M., William Lewis, Captain, Epervier, Unknown, Lost in the Epervier, Sept. 1. 1815.
Conway Whittle Papers (1773-1911), Box III: Folder 1:
Lewis, William, USN, 1802 - 1825. 
Will and estate papers. Included are his will, dated 1811, and a number of bonds and bills, as well as letters from Edward Herndon to his widow regarding the settlement of the estate. 13 manuscripts.
Conway Whittle Papers (1773-1911), Box III: Folder 25:
Lewis, Mrs. Frances M.
Diary, Commonplace Book, and Letter-book in 1 volume containing extracts from reading, copy of deed for "Portland," 1844; copies of letters, ca. 1844 - ca. 1866., mostly to the Maury family; Diary, Mecklenburg Co., Va.; Norfolk, Va. and Philadelphia, Pa. [19th c.], 1844 - 1846. Also, notebook of quotations. [19th century]. 2 manuscript volumes.
General Index of Deeds, Deeds of Trust, Release Deeds and Wills, etc., Spotsylvania County, Virginia
Acreage Where
  Date Recorded Kind Transaction
Portland 567.5 acres b LL 52 24 Apr 1844 Jun T 1844 B&S Frances M Lewis (w) to Saml King.
Mentions Surbridges Church



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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