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.

Col. James (3Sir John, 2James ap Lewis, 1Lewis ap David) Lewis of Cardiganshire, Wales

From the Parliamentary Records of Cardiganshire, we learn:

1624. Jan. 28. James Lewis of Abernant-bychan. Son of above Sir John I,, (see 1604,) b. 1601, matric. at Jes. Coll. Oxford 14 March 1617, aged 15, was M.P. co. Card. 1624, April to Aug. 1625, Feb. to June 1626, 1628-9, April to May 1640, and Nov. 1656-8 Jan., was a Royalist at the beginning of the Civil War, but was app. one of the Sequestration Committee for cos. Cardigan, Pembroke, and Carmarthen 14 Jan. 1645, and Col. of a regiment, and captured Newcastle Emlyn for Pari. Dec. 1645 ; his regiment was ordered to be disbanded 1 March 1648, on the reduction of the army, though, owing to Col. Poyer's rising it was retained for some time afterwards. Information was laid before the Committee for the Advance of Money against him 12 Feb. 1649, (then styled of Kilkiffe, co. Pemb.) "that he was High Sheriff co. Pemb., fought first for the King until taken prisoner by Gen. I,augharne and kept in Pembroke 6 or 7 months, that he then accepted a commission from Laugharne, but still favoured the King's party and protected them, and though he had only 60 men and 30 horse, he cost the State £50,000 and being made a Sequestration Commr. used his power to shield the royalists." An order was however made for his discharge 15 March 1649, under the general act of pardon for S. Wales 26 Feb. 1649. He was High Sheriff of co, Cardigan 1664, and described as a person of inoffensive, facile constitution, forced from a Royalist, to act as a Col. for King and Parliament; seldom out of publique offices, tho' averse to undertake any; loved more for doing no wrong, then for doing of any good. Sola socordia innocens" (M.S. 1661, printed in Cambrian Register.) Probably the same as James Lewis nominated a Knight of the Royal Oak 1660, having then an estate of £700 a year.


James Lewis was born 1601 in Cardiganshire, Wales. In about 1630, James wed (1st) Mary Lloyd d/o Lewis Lloyd of Abermad, Llanychaearn. The marriage ended in divorce which is proven by the 9/1637 payment to Mary of a lump sum of £535 in return for her interest in the Abermād estate and the manor of Aberystwyth. In 1641 in Cardiganshire, Wales, James wed (2nd) Mary Wogan b. c. 1610 Pembrokeshire, Wales. Mary was the widow of David Lloyd of Cilciffeth, Llanychaer, Pembrokeshire. Also, Mary was the daughter of John Wogan of Wiston Castle, Gastell Gwys, Pembrokeshire, which was seized by the first John Wogan in the 13th century. Mary was a 2nd cousin; as grandfather James ap Lewis, Esq. married Ann Wogan.

James is truly an interesting person in history. The descendants of this Abernant-Bychan family espouse the motto "As Wise as Serpents; as Harmless as Doves." Although the motto was centuries old, this James was a living exemplar.

By 1645 James was a Royalist Colonel of the local regiment during the English Civil War. In December 1645, James was captured and imprisoned for about eight months. Upon release, James was coerced to serve on the Parliamentary side where his commission was to rid the countryside of Royalists. And, that he did. But, he was most unconventional. Instead of rooting out the insurgents--mainly his family and friends--and killing them, he persuaded them to ex-migrate to America. And, now we know why the Lewis family of Abernant-Bychan immigrated to Virginia. Our Cavalier ancestors decided to purchase a birth on a ship to Virginia rather than being hanged or imprisoned for fighting on the wrong side of the English Civil War.

So, our James Lewis, acting in his office for the victorious Cromwell, was responsible for the initial wave of Lewis immigration from Wales to Virginia. And by his non-violent, persuasive methods, he truly lived up to the Lewis Family Motto: "As wise a Serpents; As harmless as Doves." And to him, we give our thanks.

As late as 1664, our James was described as from Abernant Bychan. But in 1666, a John Williams was described as "from Abernant Bychan. This provides the date when the Lewis family rented out the ancestral home and relocated to their new estate, Coedmor, just outside of Cardigan.

Thomas Lloyd, the eldest son, took up a military career, and became a captain in the army. He married Jane, widow of Thomas Lewes of Llysnewydd (who had died in February 1672) daughter of Colonel James Lewes of Coedmore, who had been High Sheriff of Cardiganshire in 1664 and of Pembrokeshire in 1664 and 1668. Her mother, Mary, was daughter of John Wogan of Wiston, one of Pembrokeshire's oldest families. Coedmore now enters into the chronicle of the Lloyds. It had formed part of the estates of the Mortimers from the Middle Ages, and continued in that family until 20 March 1614-15 when Rowland Mortimer sold [Coedmore] to Sir John Lewes of Abemantbychan, from whom it descended to his great-grandson John Lewes who married Elizabeth Lewis of Llangors, Breconshire. John Lewes became financially embarrassed and on 28 September 1689 mortgaged the Coedmore estate in £ 400, and later was obliged to convey the property to his first-cousin Walter Lloyd. . .whose mother Jane was sister to James Lewes of Coedmore, father of the said John. Thomas Lloyd never succeeded to the paternal estate for he died in his father's lifetime, his will being proved at Carmarthen in 1679. As Thomas and Jane Lloyd had married after February 1672, their three children were minors at the time of their father's death. These were 1. John Lloyd, 2. Walter Lloyd, lived firstly at Cardigan (1707) being described as of The Priory in 1712-14, and later at Coedmore. . .3. James Lloyd of The Priory, Cardigan, entered the service of King William III, and died unmarried, his will being proved in 1717.

    Ceredigion : Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol. 8, nos. 1-4, 1976-1979, Lloyd of Gilfachwen, Cilgwyn and Coedmore <> 8 July 2019.

From the previous passage we learn:
-Col James Lewis relocated from plas Abernant Bychan to Coedmor sometime after 1664.
-Col James Lewis had a daughter Jane who had been married twice. (1) Thomas Lewes of Llysnewedd d. 2/1672; (2) Cpt Thomas Lloyd ap John Lloyd of Cilgwyn
-Col James Lewis' wife was Mary, d/o John Wogan of Wiston, Pembrokeshire.
-20/3/1615 Cousin Rowland Mortimer sold Coedmor to Sir John Lewis, Knight. Therefore, Coedmor was in the possession of the Lewis family for about 50 years before the family relocated from Abernant Bychan.
-Coedmor remained in the Lewis family for four generations.
-After 9/1689 Great-grandson John Lewis went broke and had to forfeit Coedmor to his cousin, Walter Lloyd.
-Great-grandson John's mother was Jane. Her brother was the second James Lewis of Coedmor.

So, the 4 Lewis family generations of Coedmor are confirmed as:
1. Sir John Lewis who purchased Coedmor from his uncle, Rowland Mortimer, Baron of Coedmor. 
2. Col James Lewis who wed Mary, daughter of John Wogan of Wiston, Pembrokeshire.
3. James Lewis of Coedmor, father of John Lewis.
4. John Lewis married Elizabeth Lewis of Llangors; lost Coedmor to (1C) Walter Lloyd.

In the previous generation, the family of James Lewis, son of James Lewis, Esq., relocated to Gellidywyll, south of Afon Teifi, in Carmarthenshire. In about 1664, Col James, the Lewis patriarch, relocated to Coedmor in the Tiviside. Afterward, family and political alliances shifted south to Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire. This James had married into the Wogan family of nearby Wiston in Pembrokeshire. And, Jane, daughter of James, married into the very influential Lloyd family of Carmarthenshire.

Research Note: For the sons in these next generations, the money was gone. Why not ex-migrate to Virginia?

    Children w/ Mary Lloyd

    1. James Lewis of Coedmor

    a. John Lewis of Coedmor

    2. Jane Lewis

Note, son Walter Lloyd purchased the mortgage to Coedmor Manor after (1C) John Lewis of Coedmor mortgaged the manor for £400.

    a. Walter Lloyd

    Children w/ Mary Wogan

    3-6. Four unknown sons

    Other Research

Note: Lewis ap David, James ap Lewis, Sir John Lewis, and Col. James Lewis are real people who are well documented. Current research indicates that our Lewis family of early Virginia descends from someone in the Abernant-Bychan lineage. The question is, "Who?" The following persons do not necessarily descend from Col. James Lewis but are included in this generation for research purposes. [Lewis Immigration to Early Virginia]

    Family#1: Edmund and James are believed to be brothers or cousins who lived on the south bank of the Rappahannock on lands which would become Middlesex Co VA.

    1. Edmund "the Immigrant" Lewis b. c. 1635 Cardiganshire, Wales

    2. James "the Immigrant" Lewis b. c. 1637 Cardiganshire, Wales

    Family #2: Zachary, Sr. and Christopher are believed to be brothers who lived on land of the Middle Peninsula at the confluence of Axol and Dragon Swamp which would become King & Queen Co VA.

    3. Zachary Lewis, Sr. b. c. 1640 Breconshire, Wales

    4. Christopher "the Immigrant" Lewis

Research Note: Christopher Lewis is probably the uncle of Zachary Lewis I who patented land adjacent to Christopher in King and Queen Co VA.

New Kent Co VA Record:
4/21/1684. Christopher Lewis. . .770 acres in New Kent Co VA in St. Stephens Parish in a great fork of Pyanketank Swamp by Axells Swamp, being 500 acres purchased of Lt. Col. Thomas Clayborne.
Land Books of Virginia Book 8, p. 318:
On 20 Apr 1694, Mr. Zachary LEWIS patented 500 acres in King & Queen Co VA "Beg. near the Draggon Swamp; along land granted to Thomas CLAYBORNE, now belonging to Mr. Christopher LEWIS, &c. Granted to Domingo MADERES & James JOHNSON, 8 Apr 1668, deserted, & now granted by order, &c." Dorcas Lewis and Sarah Lewis were entered as headrights.



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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