|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 1794. And, his brother James was his administrator.
Born c. 1742 Fredericksburg VA
Married c. 1776 in Spotsylvania Co VA to Sarah Herndon b. c. 1758 Spotsylvania Co VA, daughter of Joseph Herndon
5/18/1777 Spotsylvania Co VA Land Transaction
|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
1778 Councilmen of Fredericksburg: William Lewis, Gent.
1782 Built home in Fredericksburg VA
|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, <http://www.historypoint.org/columns2.asp?column_id=464&column_type=tour> 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,
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,
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.
1792 Fredericksburg Council Member: William Lewis
10/31/1792 Keeper of the Lighthouse
From Tench Coxe
The honble the
Died 11/29/1792 Fredericksburg VA
5/8/1794 Fredericksburg Record
|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]
Born c. 1777 Spotsylvania Co VA
10/28/1771 Spotsylvania Co VA Probate
|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.
1793 City of Fredericksburg Court Record
|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
5/15/1798 Personal Correspondence
Thomas Jefferson Collection:
Note: The Mr. James Walker was most probably his brother-in-law.
Migrated c. 1798 to Fauquier Co VA
Died 1/1802 Fauquier Co VA
|Fauquier Co VA Will Book ?, p. 347:
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.
4/1802 Death of James cited in Spotsylvania Co Court
|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)
PLACES MENTIONED : Culpeper
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]
Born 1781 Spotsylvania Co VA
1801 William Lewis of Fauquier Co VA
|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.
1802 Commissioned US Navy
1809 Letter to Uncle James and Elizabeth Maury Lewis
|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.
1812 Captain of USS Guerriere under Commodore Decatur
|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.
Died 9/1/1815 at sea aboard the US Brig Epervier
|Navy Widows and Orphans Pensioners pf. 1812-1829:
43. Lewis, Frances M., William Lewis, Captain, Epervier, Unknown, Lost in the Epervier, Sept. 1. 1815.
c. 1816 Probate
|Conway Whittle Papers (1773-1911), Box III:
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.
1844 Sale of Plantation Portland
|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.
4/24/1844 Sale of Plantation Portland
|General Index of Deeds, Deeds of Trust, Release Deeds and Wills, etc., Spotsylvania County, Virginia|
|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