John Meriwether McAllister.

Genealogies of the Lewis and kindred families online

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1' .




Atlanta, Georgia



Columbia, Missouri


Coiumiia, (tpififiouri

Copyright 1906




THIS Volume is Dedicated


May it be the means of increasing the love of family, of stimulating a pride in remote

ancestry and of awakening an appreciation of the value of perpetuating family

history through years to come. Remembering that "A good

name is rather to be chosen than great riches," and "How

much better it is to get wisdom than gold;" may

it strengthen within them the desire to leave

upon the pages of history an esteemed

and honored name, is the

prayer of its



The full-size figures preceding a name in-
dicate the number of the generation; the
small figures indicate the number in the fam-
ily. This plan could not be followed out
uniformly for lack of data, but its value will
be apparent to those interested in family


In the preparation of this work the authors have had the
assistance of so many friends who take a general interest in ge-
nealogy that they could not undertake in the space allotted to
them to mention the names of a tithe of them. Conspicuous
among those, howcAcr, to whom their sincere thanks are due, are
Mr. Thomas M. Green, of Danville, Kentucky, the late Henry
Howell Lewis, of Baltimore, Dr. Edmond J. Lee of Philadel-
phia, Dr. James A. Dibrell, of Little Rock, Arkansas, Mr. Rob-
ert S. Hatcher, Lafayette, Indiana, the late Mrs. Mary Starling
Payne, of Hopkinsville, Kentuckj'^, and Mrs. Sarah T. L. Ander-
son of Ivy Depot, Virginia, also her brother R. L. Scott of

In making up the genealogies of the different families whose
names appear in this volume, completeness has been the main
object in view. It has not, of course, been possible to entirely
accomplish this object, but enough has been given to enable any
one interested to supply the missing links and thus connect the
different parts which may become apparent in any broken chain.
At the outset it was the design of the authors to prepare a his-
tory exclusively for their children, but as usual in such cases the
work has far outgrown the original design. While it is true that
no name has been included in this volume, the bearers of which
are not related in some degree of consanguinity to the children of
the authors, it has been found necessary to include even the very
remote, in order to even approximate the completeness which was
desired in the general scope of the work. \Vlnle it may be



charged that in this the writers were actuated by selfish motives,
it may also be replied that it was a selfishness prompted not by
pecuniary gain, but a pardonable pride, in which every descend-
ant of every name contained in the book is entitled to a full

This is strictly a work of genealogy, and is in no sense in-
tended to trench on the field properly belonging to the biogra-
pher. Where sketches of individuals appear, the author's aim has
been to connect the person alluded to with contemporaneous his-
tory. In a few instances more extended notices have been given
of individuals whose lives have been intimately associated with
the upbuilding of the coimtry and whose deeds have contributed
to her greatness.

It is not to be supposed that in the preparation of a fam-
ily history embracing n.any names, extending through several
hundred years and covering from seven to eleven generations, the
writers claim to set forth an unbroken line of heroes, statesmen,
saints and sages, superior to any families that have existed in
this or any other country. On \he contrary, aU that is claimed
for this volume is that some of those whom it mentions have
left their impress upon the times in which they lived. Others,
disregarding tradition, ?nd failing to avail themselves of ances-
tral advantages, have illustrated the irrevocable law of cause
and effect and passed out of view.

Every source has been exhax.-sted to obtain all available in-
formation. Libraries have been ransacked, records have been
overhauled; deeds, marriage certificates, church registers and
tombstones, grown gray with centuries of age, all have been
brought into requisition.

It may be proper to add that this has been a labor of love,



both for the work itself and for those who will be benefited by
it. Having spent years of labor and much money, and having
traveled hundreds of miles in seaioh of information, we bequeath
our work, incomplete as it is, to posterity with a hope that some
other lover of genealogy may take it up where we have left
off, remedy our errors and complete what we have left undone.
The American people have neglected noth.'ng so much as
family history, and it is only after one hundred years of national
existence that we have waked up to a realization of a failure
to retain our identity. With the close of the Revolution which
resulted in our independence, this great boon having been ob-
tained at the cost of every conceivable sacrifice, we were nat-
urally carried away with the idea of freedom. The victory to
our arms had not been achieved by any one class, nor had ques-
tions of ancestral precedence played any part in the struggle.
All classes and conditions in whose veins coursed patriotic blood
had stood shoulder to shoulder against a common foe, and these
old heroes, seeking no distinction the one over the other, allowed
their family histories to be swallowed up for the time in the
national glory. This feeling, very natural and proper under the
circumstances- which gave rise to it, would not, however,
have predominated had not other causes arisen which conspired
to cast odium upon American heraldry. A very considerable
Tory element remained in the country after the war was over,
while there were others who did not rise to the standard of the
Tories, having taken no part in the politics of the country or ex-
posed themselves to the dangers and hardships of war. Still
another and lower class, who had neither ancestral nor individ-
ual standing, had prospered and become prominent under the
liberal opportunities afforded by the new government. These



three classes made up a large proportion of the population and
had no sentiments in common with the patriot element, and
by the time the second generation had come upon the stage of
action, the term "first families" had become one of reproach
instead of distinction, and any attempt to trace an ancestry or
erect a family tree was held up to derision and laughed to

The fact that one family chooses, for reasons satisfactory
to itself, not to write its history, or that another family has
no history to write, is no reason why family history should not
be written. Families make up nations and a history is as im-
portant to one as the other. A nation of families who have no
histories is without material for* a history. It is not
national history that makes great names. But names who have
performed great deeds and thus established historic families
make a nation great and give it a history. The names which go
to make up this history are so closely interwoven with the his-
tory of the coimtry that it is impossible to trace their genealog}'^
without interspersing many historical events of national interest.

Several of the families date back to a very early period
in English history, and some were quite well established in
France before coming to England, but only such reference M'ill
be made to these families prior to their coming to America as
will be necessary to trace their line of descent.

The Rev. Mr. Hayden, in his "Virginia Genealogies," ar-
\ gues in his article on descent that the most prominent Virginia
families are not able to trace their descent beyond the fifteenth
century, and asserts that neither George Washington nor Gen-
( eral Robert E. Lee knew anything, save by tradition, of tlie
/v*- ! immediate line of their English descent.


It is known that the name of Lee was interwoven with the
history of England since the days of William the Conqueror,
1066, although Dr. Edmond J. Lee, in his "Lee of Virginia,"
ignoring current and authentic history and recognizing nothing
but the public records, does not bring the name do^vn from that
period. It is well known that the first Richard Lee of Ameri-
can history brought his lineage with him when he came to Amer-
ica. That many lost sight of the lineage in the lapse of gen-
erations is not denied, but the history was preserved neverthe-

While there are very few families who can trace their de-
scent with equal certainty from so remote a period as that of
Lee, yet there are others who have no trouble in tracing their
lineage much further back than that of the fifteenth century.
The Bruce family of Virginia, and other American names de-
scending from and connected with them, trace their Scotch de«
scent from the eleventh century^ and the same may be said of
some of the families of this volume.

Trusting to the charity of indulgent friends and the mag-
nanimity of the reading jDublic, this volume is given to the nu-
merous descendants of the names of which it treats^ with a full
knowledge of its imperfections but in the confident belief that
the original information, heretofore unpublished, will compen-
sate to a large extent for its shortcomings.

The Authors.



/ This is one of the oldest names in English history and one

of the most numerous and distinguished in American history. It
is claimed by many reputable genealogists that the name was
originally spelled "Louis," and was known in France as early
as the eighth century, when that country was an integral part
of the Roman Empire. Louis I, born 778, came to the throne
upon the death of his father, Charlemagne, in the year 814, and
his son, Louis, upon the dismemberment of the empire, A. D.
817, became king of Baviiria and other German provinces. These
facts show that the surname was well known at this early period
of European history, and a ta later period genealogy proves that
it became one of the most numerous and distinguished of fam«
ily names in France and England. It is a favorite past time with
many genealogists to attempt to prove that all of the Lewis
name in America descended from one common stock of Hugue-
not refugees who fled from France on the revocation of the
"Edict of Nantes" in 1685, that three brothers fled to Eng-
land, and that from these the American supply was furnished;
but the records show that in many of the counties of England
there were any number of the name to be found several centu-
ries before this event, and, indeed, there were numbers of them
in Virginia previous to this time.

* There is ample proof, however, that Louis of France and
Lewis of England are identical. It is equally true that many of
the former name fled from France to England upon the revo-
cation of the "Edict of Nantes." It is also well known that
the Huguenot refugees who spelled the name "Louis" in France,
adopted the English spelling as soon as they crossed the chan-
nel; and as the name was known in France centuries before it
appeared in England, it is an accepted proposition that the fam-
ily name, regardless of its spelling, was originally French.



It is not claimed that the Lewis families of America, or any
one of them, are of royal descent. The fact that Charlemagne
named his son Louis, and that several centuries afterwards
some of the name crossed to England and called themselves Lew-
is, does not prove that they were descended directly or collater-
ally from Charlemagne, nor does the fact that an exuberant au-
thor with a vivid imagination runs through twenty generations
and about six hundred years of English history from Alfred the
Great to Robert Reade without a single specific record refer-
ence or historical citation, prove that the descendants of Robert
Reade were of royal descent; but these and kindred incidents
do show that wherever found, whether on the banks of the Tiber
or Seine, the Thames, the Shannon or the James, they were the
peers of royalty and tha leaders of men, and the sequel shows
that when they were transferred to a free soil and were permit-
ted to breathe a free atmosphere, they became the foremost
champions of human liberty. Mr. Hayden copies from the
pen of Mr. John Lewis of Llangollen, Spottsylvania county,
Virginia, the early history of the Lewis family. Of the three
brothers, heads of the respective Lewis lines in Virginia, he
brings Zachary to Virginia as a pioneer of the family in 1692,
and adds that his brother, from whom the nephews of Washing-
ton descended, having favorable accounts from him, came to Vir-
ginia also, and settled on the Rappahannock, when in fact Gen-
eral Robert Lewis from whom Washington's nephews descended,
came to Virginia in 1635 more than forty years before Zachary
came, and indeed, before Zachary was born. In the attempt of
Mr. William Terrell Lewis to account for the early history of
the Lewis family, Mr. Lewis is more extravagant than most ge-
nealogists. He provides us with four brothers, but disposes of
one of them by sending him to Portugal, thus leaving three as
founders of the Virginia family. On the ninth page of his book,
quoting from "Washington and his Generals," by Lippincott,
he says: "Andrew Lewis, son of a gentleman who came to Vir-
ginia from Ireland, whither a Huguenot ancestor had fled from



France upon the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, settled
in Augusta county, Virginia," etc. ; when in fact General Robert
Lewis, one of the alleged brothers of this Huguenot ancestor,
who he says fled at the same time, was in Virainia fifty years
prior to the event referred to.

The name of Louis in continental Europe and Lewis in Eng-
land is too old and too numerous to be traced to a common ori-
gin. The name doubtless had a common origin, but it would be
folly to undertake to tiace it. Indeed, the name Lewis is too
numerous in America, too widely diffused and traceable to too
many different sources to admit of the "three-brothers" theory.

It is not kno^vn how many distinct branches of the Lewis
family there are in America. For several centuries previous to
the settlement of this country, the name of Lewis was as numer-
ous by comparison in Wales as that of Smith in America to-day.
and in every portion of the country are to be found distinct
branches that run back to <i period so remote as to render reliable
trace impossible. Francis Lewis, one of the signers of the Dec-
laration of Independence, was from New York, while Ellis Lew-
is, an eminent jurist, was of Pennsylvania. Every portion of
New England has its representative Lewis families, all of them
of Welsh origin, but traceable to different sources. These
pages, however, will be confined to the Lewis families of Vir-
ginia, which embrace five distinct branches, between whom there
is no traceable relation. These iiranches may be considered un-
der their respective heads, as follows; General Robert Lewis, of
Wales, who settled in Gloucester county, Virginia, in 1635; John
Lewis, also of Wales, who settled in Henrico county, Virginia,
in ]660; John Lewis, also of Wales, who settled in Hanover
county in 1675; Zachary Lewis, also of Wales, who settled in
Middlesex county, Virginia, 1692; and John Lewis from Don-
egal county, Ireland, who settled in Augusta county, 1732.




General Robert Lewis, the first of the name in America
known to history or genealogy was a native of Brecon^ Wales.
Together with his wife^ Elizabeth^ he sailed from Gravesend,
England, April, 1635. Lo much has been asserted and denied
concerning this ancestor that the very mention of his name in-
vites criticism. It may be that too much has been claimed for
him, and that these claims have given rise to adverse criticisms.
However this may be, w!iatever thr claims may have been that
have aroused the swarm of critics into action, certain it is that
they have denied every claim that has ever been made, and do not
hesitate even to deny his existence. In the "William and Mary
Quarterly" for January and April, 1901, it was boldly assumed
that no such person had ever existed, and that General Robert
Lewis was simply a "traditional myth."

The history of General Robert Lewis, however, was not al-
lowed to become extinct in consequence of the destruction of the
records, but was preserved by Captain Henry Howell Lewis,
Thomas Warring Lewis, and others with the assistance of data
furnished by their immediate ancestors; so what we have of this
ancestor of the Lewis family is not tradition, but a revival and
jjerpetuation of the records.

The controversy between Mr. Tyler, Mr. Stanard and J.
M. McAllister upon the early history of Gen. Robert Lewis will
be found published in full in the second volume of the "Histori-
cal Collections of the Joseph Habersham Chapter, Daughters
American Revolution," en file in the Carnegie Library, Atlanta,

According to Mr. Henry Howell Lewis of Baltimore, who
devoted years of his life to the pursuit of his family history both
in England and in America, General Lewis, with his wife, Eliz-
abeth, sailed from Gravesend, England, and settled in Glouces-
ter county, Virginia. The maiden name of his wife is not known
and his descendants have been v.nable to trace it in England.
We refer to him in these pages as General Robert Lewis upon
the authority of Bishop Meade and others who speak of him as



being favorably known to English history and having held a com-
mission in the British army, and his standing at home may be
inferred from the fact that, according to the same authority, he
brought with him a grant from the crown of 33,333 1-3 acres
of land which was located in that portion of Yoik county which
is now included in the county of Gloucester. According to Mr.
Thomas M. Green of Danville, Kentucky, who is most eminent
authority on all genealogical subjects, General Lewis died about
1645, and previous to 1650 his widow married Major Longley
or Langley. Mr. Henry Howell Lewis further states that Rob-
ert Lewis had two sons, William Lewis, and John Lewis ; that
William Lewis died without issue, and that John Lewis married
Isabella Warner, and Ijuilt Warner Hall on the Severn river,
which enters into Mob Jack bay, near the mouth of the York.
'Their tombs are there. I have seen them. It is to be supposed
that their father and mother lie there also, as the cemetery is large
and has many tombs and slabs. These are facts from the tombs
and church records. What more can we desire."

It is evident that Mr. Lewis, in speaking of the numerous
tombs and slabs at Warner Hall, lefers to those that have be-
come defaced and illegible from age, and doubtless the tombs
of Robert Lewis and his wife are among those. It is a note-
worthy fact that he says that, "these facts are taken from the
tombs and church records." He asserts that John Lewis, who
married Isabella Warner, was buried at Warner Hall, that he
saw the tomb and that he was the son of Robert Lewis, the em-
igrant. "What more can be desired." No reputable authority
has been known to question the authenticity of Mr. Lewis' state-
ments. Mr. Tyler and Mr. Stanard in their controversy with Mr.
McAllister, insisted that what Mr. Lewis said was tradition. Mr.
Lewis, however, emphatically asserts that his statements were
facts taken from the tombs and church record. Both high char-
acter and the thoroughness of his research have given currency
to any utterance that he might make on the subject.

It is claimed that Robert Lewis was the son of Sir Edward
Lewis of a noble line of ancestry, and Mr. Henry Howell Lewis



is quoted as authority; but this is not considered authentic,
though it may be true. Mr. LcAvis never at any time intimated
to the authors that he had succeeded in establishing the English
line of General Lewis from the records, although generally ac-
cepted tradition goes far to establish this theory.

In addition to the statement of Mr. Henry Howell Lewis
in regard to the identity of John Lewis, who married Isabella
Warner, we have the authority of Mr. Thomas M. Green of Dan-
ville, Kentucky, who furnishes the most unquestioned record
proof, and leaves no room to doubt that this John Lewis was the
son of Robert the emigrant. Mr. Green cites Henning's Stat-
utes at Large, 1769 and at other times, with reference to en-
tailed estates. These statutes show that entailed estates in
New Kent and Hanover counties, settled upon William Lewis
by his father, reverted to the descendants of John Lewis who
married Isabella Warner, William Lewis having died without
issue. These statutes further prove that General Rob-
ert Lewis had two sons, only one of whom left issue, William
Lewis as is shown above having died without issue, and his es-
tates having reverted to the descendants of his only brother; and
John Lewis the survivor, having married Isabella Warner built
Warner Hall.


This member of the Lewis family was the second son of
General Robert Lewis of Brecon, Wales, born about I6IO. He
married Isabella Warner and built Warner Hall on the Severn
river in Gloucester county, Virginia. Mr. William Terrell Lew-
is, author of "Genealogies of Lewis family," gets the Warner
Hall line very much confused. Mr. Lewis himself is a descend-
ant of John Lewis of Hanover who came to Virginia about 1675.
Three-fourths of his book is devoted to genealogies of this line,
on which he is undoubted authority, but on other lines he has
been doubtless misled by unfounded traditions. These genealo-
gies make William Lewis the father of Charles Lewis, of the
Byrd, who married Mary Howell, and hence the ancestor of a
2 17


numerous line of descendants; while Hennings s Statutes at
Large show conclusively that William Lewis, the son of Robert
the Welshman, died without issue.

The John Lewis we now have under consideration was the
sole survivor of his family, so far as we have any account. He
married Isabella Warner, daughter of Captain Augustine War-
ner of the British army, and sister of Speaker Augustine War-
ner. It has been claimed by some genealogists that this John
Lewis was born in England and that he married there, but all of
the circumstances and data go to prove that he was born several
years after his father came to America, and that his wife's par-
ents were in Virginia long before he was married, and, indeed,
before either he or his wife were born. The exact date of the
arrival in Virginia of Captain Augustine Warner of the British
army is not known. The first that is definitely known of him
in the colony, is the registry of his son Augustine when he en-
tered the "Merchant's Tailors School" in London, in which he
stated that he was born in Virginia in 1642. The first appear-
ance of Captain Augustine Warner on the Virginia records is
the entry of a tract of 2,500 acres of land, in connection with
his wife Mary, about the branches of old Cheese Cake Town,
south side of the Piankitank river, October 26, 1652, and his
name first appears as burgess from York in the same year.

From the fact that Augustme Warner, Sr., and his wife,
and Speaker Augustine Warner, were buried at Warner Hall,
and their tombs were marked 1662, 1674, 1681, respectively,
and that of General Robert Lewis cannot be located, it has been
insisted by the school of chronic objectors that the Warner Hall
property belonged to the Warner and not to the Lewis family.
Several facts stand forth prominently, however, which preclude
the possibility of any such contention being successfully made.
General Robert Lewis died about 1645 while Speaker Augustine
Warner did not die until 1681. Mr. Henry Howell Lewis tells
us that there are numerous slabs that could not be deciphered
on account of age and that doubtless the tomb of Robert Lewis

Online LibraryJohn Meriwether McAllisterGenealogies of the Lewis and kindred families → online text (page 1 of 31)