Finding the sketch for the family of James Lewis, born c1767, in the Annals of Platte County, Missouri helped to sort out some family details in spite of the fact that there is no mention of elder Gideons.
I’m not positive that James Lewis was born as late as 1767, given that he owned land by 1785 – I think the date in the Platte County history might be about three years too late.
However, I am certain that the man who left Wilkes County and moved on to Indiana and Missouri was born in the 1760s.
How can this help sorting out the Gideons?
Well, to review, we have several tax lists to help out, plus the 1790 and 1800 censuses which include:
Edward King [born by 1738], in Rowan County by 1759, if he is the same man later residing in Wilkes and then Ashe Counties. [Note – There is only one Lewis on that list – Daniel. Nothing further known about him.]
Gideon Lewis [born by 1747], on Rowan County 1768 tax list of Gideon Wright. James Lewis [born by 1747], on Rowan County tax list of John Brevard. It is not known if James on Brevard’s list is the same man on the 1787 list in Wilkes County. There were several other Lewises early in Rowan County. The Brevard family lived in a section of Rowan that later became Iredell, so he may just be another man of the same name.
Edward King and James Lewis in Vannoy’s Company in 1787, neither with land and each taxed for one poll.
Gideon Lewis taxed on 384 acres and James Lewis taxed on 344 acres in Wilkes County in 1779.
James Lewis with 150 acres and taxed on one poll and Gideon Lewis with 300 acres and taxed on one poll in Nall’s Company in 1787.
Therefore, by 1787, we have two or possibly three men named James Lewis living in two different military companies, but only one Gideon Lewis.
James Lewis who appears on the 1779 tax list would have been born no later than 1758, and 21 years old, to be included. By 1787, James born c1767 is reportedly married and so listed.
Next, we have the 1790 census of Wilkes County, which indicates that a second Gideon Lewis is now of legal age with a family. I believe that he is the son of James Sr. and the brother of the second James (James Jr.), all living in the 10th Company district.
Gideon Sr. is now living in the 16th Company district, as a neighbor of Edward King.
1790 – Gideon, census, M +16, 2M -16, F, page 7, 10th Company
1790 – James, census, M +16, 3M -16, F, page 7, 10th Company
1790 – James, census, M +16, 2M -16, F, page 7, 10th Company
1790 – Gideon, census, 2M +16, 2M -16, 5F, page 11, 16th Company
1790 – Edward King, census, 2M +16, 4M -16, 5F, page 11, 16th Co.
The 1800 census of (now) Ashe County, North Carolina includes no Gideon Lewis over the age of 45, so he may have died. There are three Gideons enumerated, two of whom are 26-44 and one who is 16-25.
The identity of the Gideon Lewis living next door to James Lewis in Barren county, Kentucky is uncertain. Some believe he is Gideon Sr. and it is possible the Rowan County settler moved on with his son, James.
On the other hand, we don’t know who reported that Gideon was over 45 years of age. Was it Gideon himself or one of the others living in his home who didn’t know for sure how old Gideon was. They might have said, “Oh, he’s about 46” when in fact perhaps he was 44, which would have placed the tick mark in the younger category.
I think it is equally possible that this Gideon Lewis was the brother of James and that the two of them decided together to move west. Given the absence of either of their names from the land and tax records of Barren County, there is no way to prove or disprove this theory.
I realize that some of this pondering and sleuthing has been repetitive, but with the overwhelming lack of records, I had to cast a wide net.
After scouring through all these details, I am unable to find a James Lewis in the King FAN club who could be the father of the Feeley/Phebe Lewis, who married Edward King.
The earliest James I can document is the man born c1767, who eventually settled in Platte County, Missouri, where he died after 1860, in his nineties.
Therefore, by process of elimination, there is only one man in Edward King’s FAN club who is old enough to have a daughter who married c1767 – the first Gideon Lewis, first seen on the 1767 tax list of Rowan County.
Edward’s surviving son and daughter deposed that their parents married in Wilkes [sic] County in 1767, so Gideon fits the bill perfectly.
That’s my theory for now, and I’m going to stick to it – unless, of course, future research determines that Gideon was a contemporary of Edward and that an earlier, unidentified Lewis was his father and also the father-in-law of Edward King.