Here is my brief Lewis family history, starting with my father Harry Vernon Lewis.
- My father was Harry Vernon Lewis, born Dec 28, 1925 in Stonefort, IL and died April 9, 1961 in Greenup, Cumberland County, IL, buried at Joyner Cemetery outside Stonefort.
- Harry’s father was Oliver Lewis, born 11 Mar 1873 in Stonefort, Saline Co, IL, died 22 Mar 1966 in Stonefort, Pope Co, IL, second marraige 6 Sep 1915 in Golconda, Pope Co, IL to Katie Crank, born 21 Oct 1893 in Golconda, Pope Co, IL. Their deceased children include Ray Maxwell, Charles Edward, Lester, Harry Vernon (my father).
- Oliver Lewis’ father was Robert Lewis, born May 12, 1832 in Jackson County, TN, died 6 Dec 1919 in Bolton, Saline Co, IL, second marraige 7 Apr 1866 in Stonefort, Saline Co, IL to Minerva Oshel, born 10 June 1842 in Stonefort, Saline Co, IL, died 11 Feb 1908 in Stonefort, Saline Co, IL. He fought in the civil was as a 1st Lt in the 31st Illinois Infantry, Company B.
- Robert Lewis’ father was Samuel Howell Lewis, born 12 Mar 1796 in Mecklenburg Co, VA, died Johnson Co, IL 28 Nov 1867, who married Henrietta Mabrey July 4, 1818 in Warren Co, NC. We believe they had sons named James, Hardin, Samuel and Ansell with Henrietta, but have lost all trace of them. (Based on DNA testing, it appears we may have located a descendent of son Samuel.) He later married Jane Darnell, born c 1800 in TN, died ca 1844 in Calloway Co, KY. With Jane he had sons Benjamin, Robert and William, as well as possibly a daughter Ann.
- Samuel Howell Lewis’ father was Robert Lewis of Mecklenberg, VA born 1764 at Albermarle Co, VA, died Mecklenberg Co, VA 19 Oct 1806, married 10 Nov 1788 in Mecklenburg Co, VA to Ann Bugg who died after 15 April 1816. Their children include Elizabeth Bugg Lewis, Samuel Howell Lewis, James Meriweather Lewis, Anna Bugg Lewis and Robert Lewis.
- Robert Lewis of Mecklenberg’s father was Robert Lewis of Granville, born 1738/9 at Hanover Co, VA, died 7 Nov 1780 at Granville Co, NC, married on 3 Sep 1760 in Goochland Co, VA to (Mary) Frances Lewis , 1st cousin, born 1 August 1744 in Goochland Co, VA, died ca 1791 at Granville Co. Her parents are Charles Lewis and Mary Howell. Robert Lewis of Granville served as Delegate from Granville to the Constitutional Convention which met in Halifax, NC on Nov 12, 1776. He was later comissioned as “Colonel of the Granville Militia”. Through him my Aunt Laura and other relatives have been accepted into the DAR.
- Robert Lewis of Granville’s father was Col Robert Lewis of Belvoir (b. 1704 d. 1765 ) who married Jane Merriwether (b. 1705 d. 1753). Col Robert Lewis of Belvoir was the third son of Councilor John Lewis of Warner Hall. His oldest brother John inherited Warner Hall, and Robert and his older brother Charles split their father’s original estate, Chemokins, on the Pomonkey River at the top of New Kent County, VA. They later sold that farm and settled the land around Charlottesville, VA. Charles had a farm on the Byrd River, and was called Charles of the Byrd. Robert nmed his farm Belvoir, thus his name Robert of Belvoir.
- Col Robert Lewis of Belvoir is the third son of Councilor John Lewis and Elizabeth Warner, and the first Lewis child born at Warner Hall. Councilor John was living at his farm, Chemokins, when he married Elizabeth Warner. Her brothers died without heirs, and she inherited Warner Hall upon the death of her father, Augustine Warner, Jr.. John, Elizabeth and their two sons left Chemokins and moved to Warner Hall when Augustine died, and Warner Hall was held by the Lewis family for many generations.
- Councilor John Lewis’ father was Major John Lewis who married Isabella Miller. He was a Major in the Virginia Colonial Militia, thus his name to distinguish him from the other John’s in the family. He inherited the Chemokins farm at the death of his father’s brother-in-law, William Lewis. Isabella is buried at the family cemetery near Poropotank Creek outside Adner, VA. Major John’s gravestone, if he had one, had not been discovered.
- Major John’s father was Emigrant John Lewis (1592 – 1657), who is buried at the family cemetery near Major John’s wife Isabelle. His gravestone is the oldest known in King and Queen County, VA, as of June 2007.
All source documents point to Emigrant John Lewis being the same John Lewis, Senior Burgess of Abergavenny, Wales. Recent evidence (research based on his tobstone sponsored by Grace McLean Moses as documented in her book “The Welsh Lineage of John Lewis (1592-1657) Emigrant to Gloucester, VA” thoroughly lays out the case based on Welsh coat-of-arms, church records and court records.
The family history is also documented in “Pioneer Lewis Families” by Michael L. Cook, Cook Publications, Evansville, IN 47712.
Every family has history controversy, and mine is no exception. Earlier (apparently unresearched) publications list a “Gen Robert Lewis” as patriarch of my line. Interestingly, there does not appear to be source document evidence that such a General Robert Lewis ever existed in either England or Colonial Virginia. Some relatives seem to become quite defensive when this story is questioned – I guess it is hard to consider the possibility that this family story is not based on researched fact, but is rather asserted and repeated. It seems to be a poplar and widely held story – after all, who wouldn’t like to be a descendant of a general?