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 "the Immigrant" (3Richard, 2James ap Lewis, 1Lewis ap David) Lewis of Virginia

James was born in about 1605 in Cardiganshire, Wales, and is probably the son of Richard, the "Great Gamester," who is in the Lewis pedigree chart in Dwnn's Heraldic Visitations, p. 40: "Richard Lewes, Bachelour of Laws; Is a great and generall gamester but somewhat unfortunate."

The overarching question is, "What would prompt this James and his brother(s) to leave the lap of luxury in Wales and immigrate to very early Colonial Virginia?" Had the Lewis family devolved from the riches of nobility to penury with the ongoing loss of their many estates?

a. On 9/28/1689, John Lewis of Coedmor mortgaged the Coedmor estate for 400. And later, John Lewis was "obliged to convey" Coedmor to his cousin, Walter Lloyd. 

b. Abernant Bychan Manor devolved down to John Lewis, previously of Coedmor, then to his daughter Catherine and her son George Lewis Langton. Had the value of Abernant Bychan so diminished that the manor was a lesser inheritance? Or, was Catherine the sole heir? Whatever the circumstances, Abernant Bychan Manor passed out of the Lewis family. In 1738 George Lewis Langton willed the manor to his step-grandfather, Walter Pryse, a descendant of Gronwy Goch.

c. The Gellidywyll estate across the Afon Teifi in Carmarthenshire remained in possession of the senior branch of the Lewis family for five generations. The estate was purchased by James ap Lewis, Esq. for James Lewis & Joan furch Morgan Lloyd and passed down to a) Thomas Lewis, Esq. & Mary furch David to b) James Lewis & Joan furch Owen to c) Bridgett Lewis, apparent heir, & William Jenkins to d) Elizabeth Jenkins, apparent heir, & William Brigstocke. In about 1850, William Owen Brigstocke of Gellidywyll and Blaenpant, a distant descendant of the first William Brigstocke, married Emmeline Lloyd of Coedmor. This marks the combination of estates Coedmor and Gellidywyll within the Lloyd family who were cousins with the previous owners, the Lewis family of Cardiganshire.

I postulate that Richard, our "unfortunate" Gamester, lost his properties and monies. Thus, the Lewis men who were without lands braved the oceans and went to America where land was there for the taking. James' brother Richard immigrated in 9/1635 to St. Christopher's (now St. Kitts) in the British West Indies and was later transported to Charles River Shire by William English. During the English Civil War, The name Charles River Shire was changed to York Co. In 1645 James Lewis immigrated to the newly named York Co where he would have been reunited with Richard. Also in 1645, Northumberland Co on the Northern Neck and the Middle Peninsula was formed from Indian lands. Evidently, Richard and James began a Lewis family tradition by moving off to new lands where they settled on what would become Sunderland Creek south of the Rappahannock.

[Lewis Immigration to Early Virginia]

There is a record for a James Lewis who was transported in about 1645 to then York (now Middlesex) Co VA.
-1634 Charles River formed as one of the original eight Shires.
-1643 Charles River changed to York Co.
-1645 Northumberland formed from Indian lands.
-1651 Lancaster split from Northumberland.
-1669 Middlesex split from Lancaster. 

This was possibly our James. But, there is no mention of the children. No further information is known about this James Lewis.

Signet Office Docquet Book: SR 04156 p. 4:
Richard Lewis emigrated to Virginia 2 September 1635 on the William & John Ship, he embarked from Gravesend, England. He arrived at St. Christopher's, West Indies and then transported to Virginia.
Passenger list includes Richard Lewis age 26.
York Co VA Records (1645 to 1648):
Certificate granted to Thomas Chapman for 1200 acres for importing Tho. Hinde, Richard North, Wm. James, James Harleson, Isaac Sanderson, Thomas Adkins, Robert Smith, John Pratt, Phillip More, Mary Green, John Wallis, Wm. Long, Wm. Payne, Henry Page, Thomas Reynolds, James Lewis, Thomas Andrews, Eliz. Smith, Richard Dogden, Ralph Boger, Thomas Rhoads, Richard King, Francis Hide and John Bridges.


    1. Edmund Lewis b. c. 1635 Cardiganshire, Wales

    2. James Lewis b. c. 1637 Cardiganshire, Wales

Generation #5


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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