Sturgill+King+Lewis: Do the Puzzle Pieces Fit?

If you’ve been following my blog lately, you’ll already know that I’ve been investigating possible families for a young lady, possibly Sophia King, who married William Sturgill about 1805, likely in Ashe County, North Carolina, where marriage records are lost before 1853.

To quickly summarize, once again since it seems to be in many online family trees, William Sturgill’s wife was NOT the daughter of a Dr. King from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York or anywhere else.

The Sturgill FAN club points to the extremely strong possibility that Edward King, who lived in Ashe County in 1800, and is found but one page away from the Sturgill family, is most likely the father of Ms. King.

Previous research uncovered a Revolutionary War pension application, put forth by two of Edward’s children, John King and Mary Mullins, that stated their parents had ten children and that they married in 1767 in Wilkes County, North Carolina.

Now Wilkes County wasn’t organized until 1777 and was set off from Surry County; Surry County was set off from Rowan County in 1771.

No marriage record has been found for Edward King and Feelie (or maybe Feebe aka Phebe) Lewis, who are named in the pension application.

Given the lack of vital records and other oddities in surviving records, such as no notation in land sales whereby wives release dower rights, I have been left with a paucity of records to create a FAN club for Edward King.

Census records have provided the first stepping stone.

The 1800 census of Ashe County, North Carolina includes but two King families –  Edward and Robert King. The eldest male in Robert’s home is aged 16-25, so he is not old enough to have a daughter marrying five years later, c1805. Edward, however, is 45+ and there are two females aged 10-15, who certainly could be of age to marry William Sturgill, c1805.

There is no way to determine if any Lewises, my third surname of interest, lived nearby due to the alpha order in which the census taker enumerated families that year.

The 1800 census does include one James Lewis and one James Lewis Jr.

However, in 1790, Edward King is found living in Wilkes County, North Carolina. Listed consecutively we find:

Frank King, 2 Males +16, Male -16, 3 Females
Jas King, Male +16, 2 Females
Edward King, 2 Males +16, 4 Males -16, 4 Females
Gideon Lewis, 2 Males +16, 2 Males -16, 5 Females

The relationships, if any, between Frank, James and Edward King is unknown, but my interest right now is in Gideon Lewis, given that Edward King married “Feelie” Lewis, c1767,

All are enumerated on Page 11 of Wilkes County and noted as the “16 Comp” (16th Company).

On Page 7, which is identified as being in the 10th Company, we find:

Gideon Lewis, 1 Male +16, 2 Males -16, 1 Female

Five doors away from Gideon, there are two more Lewis families:

Jas Lewis, 1 Male +16, 3 Males -16, 4 Females
Jas Lewis, 1 Male +16, 2 Males -16, 1 Female

Having seen online references to one Gideon Lewis Senior and Gideon Lewis Junior, I hoped beyond hope that there might be earlier surviving records that could verify the existence of two Gideons.

Although there were no land deeds filed by Gideon which named any children, on 5 August 1797, Gideon Lewis Sr. sold 120 acres of land in Wilkes County and the deed of sale (Wilkes County Deed Book D:266) included Gideon Lewis Jr. as one of the three witnesses.

Delving into one of my favorites resources, tax records, I uncovered several items of interest (Early Wilkes County Tax Lists on FamilySearch Film 7834323). Several of the tax collectors weren’t any more fastidious in their record keeping than some of the town clerks, as they put no date whatsoever on their tax lists.

Working back through time, Vannoy’s Company in 1787 included Edward King and James Lewis. Captain Nall’s Company (which corresponds to the 10th Company in the 1790 census), contains the names of Gideon Lewis and James Lewis.

In the lists estimated as being from c1784/85, in Captain Weaver’s Company appeared 4 names of interest:

Gideon Lewis, 200/1 (200 acres and 1 pole?)
Edward King, 100/0
Francis King, 100/1
Gideon Lewis Jr., -/1

This proves there were two contemporary Gideon Lewises, who might well be father and son.

However, these lists are still almost 20 years after the reported marriage of Edward King.

Wilkes County originally contained but one military or company district. By 1779, it had been divided into northern and southern districts. The earliest tax list discovered was for the North River District from 26 August 1779. On it are:

Edward King, 170 (acres?)
James Lewis, 344
Gideon Lewis, 384

Even though these men are taxed for land holdings in 1779, the first time Gideon Lewis appears in the Wilkes County Grantee Index is in 1785, when he received 150 acres from the State of North Carolina.

Edward King didn’t receive State land until 1798, when he obtained 150 acres. James and Gideon Lewis both first appear in 1785, receiving land grants.

Where were these men before 1779?

Who knows? Remember, the colonies were in the middle of a war. neither Edward King nor Gideon Lewis nor James Lewis appears in the land indexes for Surry County or Rowan County or Anson County (parent to Rowan County) at all.

However, all the acreage owned by these three men were on the North fork of the New River, making them neighbors.

Although I have seen exact death dates of death for some of these people, they all signed deeds with the proverbial X, so I doubt there are family Bible records around and there definitely are no death certificates or even probate records to be found.

I have found NO online research treating the Lewis family, so at the moment, I have no further clues to follow.

The residences of Edward King and the Lewises before 1779 remain a mystery. How James and Gideon Lewis Sr. are related is not known, but I believe they are and I also believe one of them is the father of Edward King’s wife, “Feelie” Lewis.

If you are related to Gideon or James Lewis and have researched the family, I would love to hear from you.

 

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