|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.|
1. Ending research on the Lewis of the Van family:
For decades, this research focused on the Lewis of the Van family who owned lands in Glamorganshire, Monmouthshire, and Wilton, England. As part of this research, I regularly correspond with other researchers, many of whom are much more qualified than I. One most qualified researcher, Robert Lewis author of Lewis Patriarchs of Early VA and MD, postulates that our family descends from the Lewis Family of Abernant Bychan, Cardiaganshire, Wales.
2. Changing the Crest & Shield:
Additionally, Robert shared his understanding of the family crest. From his description, I created the family crest by combining the crest and shield from drawings he so graciously provided.
3. Researching the Abernant Bychan family:
I participate in the Lewis Surname DNA Project. Recently, I was notified of a perfect (37/37) match to John Lewis of Franklin Co KY. While researching this family, I came learn about the Henry Lewis family of Culpeper Co VA and Franklin Co KY. Reportedly, their genealogy is proven all the way back to Richard Lewis of Middlesex Co VA and the Lewis family of Abernant Bychan, Wales.
After corresponding with other researchers, it is apparent that the pedigree for the Henry Lewis family is incomplete and incorrect at best. Serious investigation indicates that the Henry Lewis family descends from Henry Lewis, one of two Lewis brothers of Stratton Major Parish, New Kent Co VA. And, not the Lewises of Abernant Bychan, Wales.
Previous research indicated that my Lewis family might be related to the Zachary Lewis family of Spotsylvania Co VA. However, a recent DNA test proves no connection. But, this research continues to look at other Lewis families of Abernant-Bychan.
4. Deleting John Lewis d. 1749 Fredericksburg VA:
Going back up the family tree, I had to find a connection for Walden Lewis and the Lewis family of Spotsylvania Co VA. After decades of research, we believe Walden Lewis descends from William Lewis d. 1763 Fredericksburg, VA. There was an attempt to connect William to other Lewis families, but there was no evidence. We, my Dad and I and several others, kept looking for a John Lewis who would be the father of William Lewis d. 1763 and might have been of Fredericksburg. But, we kept finding no connection. Subsequently, I have come to understand that the elder, notable John Lewis of Fredericksburg was the John Lewis who married Elizabeth McGrath. Therefore, I no longer claim a John Lewis of Fredericksburg, father of William.
William Terrell Lewis' 1893 book states that John Lewis, Jr. married Elizabeth McGrath, sister to Mary (McGrath ) Hart, third wife of Maj. David Lewis. Elizabeth McGrath married secondly Col. James Taylor III of Caroline Co., and they apparently had at least one child (Bodie. vols 7 & 8). Zachary Taylor, brother of Col. James Taylor III, was the grandfather of Pres. Zachary Taylor. I am inclined to think John Lewis, Jr. was the John Lewis who died at F'burg in 1749 with adm. of the estate started by Elizabeth Lewis and completed by William Lewis.
Dr. Arnold Lewis
5. Deleting George Lewis & Richard Lewis of Middlesex Co VA:
Continuing up the family tree, we looked at a George Lewis who might have been a descendant of Richard "the Immigrant" Lewis b. 1609. George might be important for other research, not mime. But, Richard b. 1609 is probably a dead end; as he probably had no sons other than William who died early with the estate going to Richard's daughters.
6. Finding the connection up from William Lewis of Fredericksburg:
With the new start at William d. 1763 Fredericksburg VA, I looked again at any and all records. From the 1756 Spotsylvania probate, there is a connection to the Long family of Caroline Co VA. And from the Longs, we connect to James Lewis of Caroline Co VA.
|12/7/1756 Spotsylvania Co VA Probate Proceeding:
£100. William LEWIS, guard. to Elizabeth LONG, orph. of Samuel LONG, with Thomas HAYDON, sec. Dec. 7, 1756.
7. The Lewis Family of Abernant Bychan
Additionally, Robert Lewis cites the Zachary Lewis family of Bel-Air Plantation, Spotsylvania Co VA using the Abernant Bychan crest as described in Lewis, Meriwethers, and their Kin. A possible connection to the Zachary Lewis family comes from the 1756 Deed of Gift from James Lewis of Caroline Co VA to Zachary Lewis of Spotsylvania Co VA.
1756 Caroline Co VA Land Transaction:
This research continues to look for any possible indirect connections from William Lewis family of Fredericksburg and the Zachary Lewis family whose immigrant ancestor arrived 1692. However, the newest DNA tests proves no familial connection. Although discouraging, the negative connection to the Zachary Lewis family does not disprove any connection from William Lewis of Fredericksburg up to the James Lewis family of Middlesex Co VA.
I have come to understand that so many seemingly disparate Lewis families are more inter-related than I thought. Robert Lewis was right to attempt to trace the lineages back to Wales and England; but that level of research is beyond my ability. What I can do is to look at the Lewis families who immigrated to Virginia and attempt to find the connections.
What I have learned is that the Lewis Family of Abernant Bychan arrived very early to Virginia, leaving lots of descendants. As these family members married, had children, and moved on, the predominant migration pattern was west, up the Rappahannock River, settling on the new lands of Colonial Virginia. This pattern is proven by results from the DNA project:
A potential starting point could be the Richard Lewis who settled on Sunderland Creek in what is now Middlesex Co VA. This Richard is not the progenitor of this Lewis family; as his only son, William, died without issue. But, he could be the first family member to come to the Virginia shores.
From Middlesex Co VA:
1. We go west to Joseph Lewis of Essex Co VA.
2. Then we go west to John Lewis of Caroline Co VA.
3. Then we go west to Walden Lewis of Spotsylvania Co VA.
4. Then we go southwest to James Lewis of Louisa Co VA.
5. From Spotsylvania, we go northwest to William Young of Page Co VA.
6. There is the not-so-closely related Edmund Lewis of Person Co NC.
7. Then my exact match to John Lewis of Franklin Co KY.
8. And, the newest match to James Lewis of Lincoln Co MO.
The most important genealogical connection stated herein is where I list William Lewis of Fredericksburg as the son of James Lewis of Caroline Co VA, connecting my family to the Lewis Family of Middlesex Co VA. Is this connection absolutely proven? No. But, this is the best understanding I have to date.
The first proven ancestor of this Lewis Family is Walden Lewis of 1Virginia, 2Morgan Co GA, and 3Jasper Co MS
Walden Lewis of Virginia was born about 1774, probably in Fredericksburg VA. Evidence of Walden's place of birth as Virginia is found with daughter Mary Parker in the 1880 Jasper Co MS Census and in the biography of great-grandson Milton Alexander Lewis (s/o Alexander Lewis s/o Willis Lewis s/o Walden Lewis). Milton Alexander Lewis served in the Mississippi Legislature in 1908, representing Jasper County. The Mississippi Legislative biographical record states, "His paternal ancestors came from Virginia to Georgia in the early part of the last century; his great-grandfather, Walden Lewis, fought in the Indian Wars."