Tag Archives: Lewis

The Lewis Family of Wilkes County, NC, 1700s: A Timeline, Part 3 – Recap

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.


The Lewis Family of Wilkes County, NC, 1700s: A Timeline, Part 2

On Thursday, in Part 1, I examined the various Gideon and James Lewises who appear in early Rowan, Wilkes and Ashe Counties, North Carolina records.

Gideon, born no later than 1747, and who might be related to Samuel, William, James & Richard, all in Rowan County in 1768.
Gideon, born no later than 1764, first in the land records in 1785.
Gideon, born no later than 1766, in Nall’s Company with James Lewis in 1787 and with James Sr. and James Jr. in 1790 census.

NOTE: It is possible that the two younger Gideon’s are the same man, meaning there is a Gideon Sr. and Gideon Jr., not necessarily father and son.

James, born no later than 1747, in Rowan County in 1768.
James, born no later than 1769, with James Sr. and Gideon in 1790.

I had seen online references to the 1810 census which includes one Gideon Lewis, 45+ living in Barren County, KY next door to James Lewis.

While surfing the web, I came across a Missouri county history that contains an entry for one James Lewis, who reportedly died there shortly after the 1860 census when he was enumerated aged 92, living with son Isaac and his family.

This entry for James Lewis in Annals of Platte County, Missouri by William McClung Paxton, page 557 states that James was born 6 September 1767, North Carolina and married Elizabeth Stewart. James removed first to Barren County, Kentucky, then to Crawford County, Indiana, then Boone County, Missouri in 1820 and Jackson County, Missouri in 1822.

One of his stops was reportedly to visit Daniel Boone!

This biographical sketch is invaluable in piecing together some of the Lewis history, as I now not only know that James married Elizabeth Stewart (daughter of John Stewart, who was killed by Indians), but there is a complete list of their children, with exact dates of birth!

Because James’s Isaac was literate – having been appointed County Clerk in 1846 – and therefore might have kept a family Bible, these children and dates are believable.

Children of James and Elizabeth:

  1. William, born 27 September 1787
  2. Jesse, born 9 April 1790
  3. Ann, born 27 February 1792
  4. Gideon, born 27 September 1795
  5. Joshua, born 26 November 1797
  6. Stewart, born 29 May 1800
  7. Daniel P(ennington), born 20 January 1802
  8. Byram, born 13 August 1804
  9. Mary, born 16 November 1806
  10. James, born 12 November 1808
  11. Isaac T(errill), born 29 January 1811
  12. Elizabeth, born 10 October 1813

Now, the 1790 census contains three James Lewises, all recorded as Jas. Lewis.

Two are next door to each other, with Jas. Lewis 121 matching this James, his wife and two males under 16.

His immediate neighbor, Jas. Lewis, is enumerated as 134 – one male 16+, three males -16 and 4 females.

Being next door neighbors would lead me to theorize that James who ended up in Platte County, Missouri might be a son of James who is living next door.

Just five doors away from James and James, we find Gideon Lewis 121 – one male +16, two males -16 and one female.

Now, we need to take a look at the 1810 census of Barren County, Kentucky, a place where James Lewis, born 1767, moved, according to the Platte County history.

Next door to James in Barren County, we find Gideon Lewis, whose household includes one male 45+, one female 45+, one male 16-25 and one female 16-25.

Some have posited that this Gideon is the father of James, but I think it is much more likely that this Gideon is the man from the 1790 census, living a few doors away from James Lewis Sr. and James Jr.

They are all enumerated in the 10th Company, while the other Gideon is living in the 16th Company neighborhood.

By 1800, there are two James Lewises living in Ashe County – one over 45 and one 16-25, neither of whom fit the profile of James who moved on to Barren County.

This reinforces my belief that James who married Elizabeth Stewart may have been a son of next door James in 1790 and that the senior James chose not to move west with his two probable sons.

I believe that James and probable brother Gideon moved westward with their families by 1800.

Unfortunately, they don’t appear in land records or even the Barren County tax lists in the years preceding and following the 1810 census.

With this new information about the James Lewises, can anything more be gleaned from the Gideon Lewises? And – can a new theory be postulated as to the parents of Feelie/Phebe Lewis who married Edward King, c1767?

Stay tuned for Part 3.




The Lewis Family of Wilkes County, NC, 1700s: A Timeline, Part 1

Sometimes, genealogical research can be extremely frustrating, even when a full set of records exists back to the formation of a county.

Take the Lewises, of whom Gideon Lewis was the first to appear in Wilkes County, North Carolina on 26 August 1779, when he lived in the North River District and was taxed on 384 acres of land. Also on the list were Edward King with 170 acres and James Lewis with 344 acres.

I believe Gideon Lewis or James Lewis was likely the father of Feelie or Phebe Lewis who married Edward King.

I’ve recently discussed the King family in my posts. I was hoping to perhaps fill in some proven details to support my theories, but few clues have come to light.

First a quick review of county histories is needed:

Ashe County – formed 1799 from Wilkes County
Wilkes County – formed 1777 from Surry County
Surry County – formed 1771 from Rowan County
Rowan County – formed 1753

One additional thought – While the Lewises might have been of the Quaker faith, given their absence from most government records, I think it is more likely that they were frontiersmen and hunters. The second half of the 1700s is the Daniel Boone and Morgan Bryan era, with men (and families) making frequent trips to the Kentucky frontier.

If the Lewises married into other frontier families, that would also account for the lack of marriage records in the latter part of the 1700s.

By 1800, Gideon Lewis and Edward King were living in Ashe County. Given the 1799 organization date and Ashe County’s early missing records, it was necessary to focus on Wilkes County records.

I also browsed probate and land records and the 1771/72 and 1782 tax lists from Surry County and found no evidence that Gideon Lewis had lived there.

His birth year is unknown, but 1750 is not an unreasonable assumption. He might have been born earlier than that, too, but not much later as there is Gideon Jr., born c1775.

Rowan County records also provide no evidence that Gideon Lewis ever lived there.

From the lack of records, my current working theory is that Gideon Lewis settled in North Carolina between 1772-1779, possibly arriving with Edward King.

From whence he came is anybody’s guess, but Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland or Virginia are likely candidates. That isn’t much help for a man with a common surname who reached adulthood not long before the start of the Revolutionary War.

Some attribute Gideon Lewis, born to Quaker parents William and Lowry Lewis in Chester County, Pennsylvania as the man who settled in North Carolina. However, that is not possible since those same Quaker records record the burial of William’s son, Gideon, on 13 June 1731 in the midst of what must have been an epidemic, as William’s son, Joseph was buried on 5 June 1731, daughter Ann was buried a day later on 6 June 1731 and William himself wrote his own will on 5 June 1731. It was probated in October 1731.

However, given the lack of presence in North Carolina court records, it is possible that Gideon of Wilkes County might have been a Quaker, but his residence previous to Wilkes County, North Carolina remains unknown.

Furthermore, there is no record of any Lewis marriage in Wilkes county before 10 October 1801 when Mordecai Lewis married Mary Bradley.

Aside from the lack of female Lewis names found in county records, there are still a couple of clues that can be gleaned from tax. land and census records.

Given that both Gideon Lewis and James Lewis appeared in the same district in 1779 and shared a later FAN club, my current theory is that both were young men, probably not much older than 21, since there are no Lewis marriages in Wilkes County before 1801.

Both lived on the north fork of the New River, first in Wilkes County and then, from 1799 onward, in Ashe County.

As taxed land owners in 1779, they would have been born no later than 1758. As to why there are no Lewis marriages recorded before 1801, the reason is unknown. Could they have been Quakers and the monthly meeting minutes for their congregation lost?

1759 – Edward King, Rowan Co., tax list (later Lewis neighbor in Wilkes and Ashe Counties)
1768 – Gideon, Rowan Co., militia list (Other Lewises on the list – Samuel, William, James & Richard)
(NOTE: Surry Co. formed 1771, Wilkes Co. formed 1777, both from Rowan County. Ashe Co. formed from Wilkes in 1799.))
1779 – Gideon taxed for 384 ac., No District, Wilkes Co.
1779 – James taxed for 344 ac., No. District, Wilkes Co.
1785 – Gideon receives land grant, 150 ac. (Grant mentions Paul Henson’s line, as does the land sale to John Flannery.)
1785 – Gideon buys land from Martin Gambill, 150 ac.
1787 – Gideon and James both appear on 1787 Wilkes Co. list, Captain Nall’s Company
1789 – Gideon buys land from William McClain, 130 ac. (William and Robert Nall were witnesses and 10th Co. was headed by Robert Nall.)
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.
1791 – Gideon sells land to John Flannery, 150 ac.
1794 – James sells land to Jesse Bolin (10th Co. in 1790), 66 ac.
1795 – Gideon sells land to Abraham May, 150 ac. (Gideon’s 1785 grant and this sale both mention Horse Creek.)
1796 – James records a state land grant, 150 ac.
1797 – Gideon sells land to Henry Waggoner, 120 ac. GIDEON Jr. is one of the three witnesses.
1800 – James, census, 45+
1800 – James Jr., census, 16-25
1800 – Gideon, census, 26-44
1800 – Gideon, census, 16-25 (likely Gideon born c1777 in 1850 Ashe County census)
1800 – Gideon, census, 26-44
1800 – Richard, census, 45+
1810 – J., census, page 15, 16-25
1810 – J., census, page 6, 16-25
1810 – G., census, page 6, 26-44
1810 – G., census, page 8, 45+

So, who do we have in this motley crew?

Gideon Sr. is living next door to Edward King in 1790, both in the 16th Company. He is likely the man selling land to John Flannery because the 1790 census shows Jno. Flanery also in the 16th Company.

James Sr. is living next door or very close to James Jr. and Gideon Jr., all in the 10th Company. Martin Gambill is a next door neighbor to James Sr. so we can probably conclude that Gideon Jr. is the man who bought Martin’s land in 1785. That means that Gideon Jr. was born no later than 1764 to be able to legally purchase acreage.

However, from 1797, it becomes quite difficult to separate out who was who.

If Edward King, in the Lewis FAN club, is the same man in Wilkes County in the 1770s, then Edward King was born no later than 1738.

As for Gideon and James Lewis, we have:

Gideon, born no later than 1747, and who might be related to Samuel, William, James & Richard, all in Rowan County in 1768.
Gideon, born no later than 1764, first in the land records in 1785.
Gideon, born no later than 1766, in Nall’s Company with James Lewis in 1787 and with James Sr. and James Jr. in 1790 census.

James, born no later than 1747, in Rowan County in 1768.
James, born no later than 1769, with James Sr. and Gideon in 1790.

At this point, there appear to be three Gideon Lewises and two James Lewises.

More on these men coming up!