LEWIS, George - I57039

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George LEWIS

Lewis Coat of Arms
The name LEWIS is an ancient one in England. In the French it is Louis. "It is from the Saxon leod, the people, and wic, a castle, and signifies the safeguard of the people. The Welsh form signifies a multitude. The original seat of the family in England was in the County Kent."[1] In early colonial records the name is often spelled Lewes. Burke says, "This family derives in a direct male line from Cadivor, prince or chieftain of Divet, a portion of country which comprised Pembrokshire and part of Carmarthenshire. Cadivor flourished about the period of the Norman conquest, and was buried in the priory of Carrnathen. The family bore Arms: Or, a lion rampant, guardant, sable. Crest: A griffin sejeant sable. Motto: Ha persa la fide, ha, Perso Pbanore. Seat: Saint Pierre, near Chestow." [2]

Our American ancestor came from East Greenwich, County Kent, where he was doubtless baptized in the quaint old Saint Andrew's Church the same in which Henry VIII had his daughter Elizabeth christened with great pomp and ceremony.[3] One of the kinfolk has written of Greenwich: "From the heath above the town, a most charming view may be had of the valley of the Thames, and of grand old London. As we gaze over the quaint old city of Greenwich and the domes and towers of London, with the peaceful valley of the Thames lying between, we may well exclaim, What a mighty force must have been at work in the heart of George Lewis to drive him from these homelike surroundings, across the wild ocean to. a still wilder country!"[4]

I. George LEWIS was a clothier by trade, and it is believed he had been an attendant in Reverend Mr. Lothrop's church in London in 1632, and soon after, with wife Sarah and several children, came to New England.[5] He settled first at Plymouth, Massachusetts, and was one of a number dismissed from that church in 1634 "in case they join a body at Scituate."[6] There we find him a member 30 September 1635, and a freeman 14 January 1636. There he built his house on Kent Street, before October 1636, where he and his neighbors were known as "men of Kent," or, as others put it, "Kentish men." [7]

John Lewis, who came to New England in 1635, in the ship Hercules, is believed to have been a brother of George. John also had wife Sarah, and he came with a certificate of character from the mayor and vicar of Tenterden, County Kent. He was in Scituate for a time, and then removed to Boston, where his wife died 12 July 1657. Sons John and Joseph settled in Windsor, Connecticut.[8]

In 1639, George Lewis sold his land in Scituate, and removed, with Reverend Mr. Lothrop and others, to Barnstable, being among the first settlers there. Here he became a planter, there being perhaps little business for a maker of clothing. A list dated 1643, of "males between the ages of 16 and 60 able to bear arms," contains his name. In 1648, he was a surveyor of highways; a juryman in 1649, and a constable in 1651.[9] In religious matters he was a Separatist, usually called Pilgrims to distinguish them from the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It is written of him: "He was an honest goodman, and got his living by his labor; a sincere Christian, living in peace, and avoiding suits at law. He did not hold that the chief end of man was to gather riches, but, rather, to do good, and to train his children in righteous ways to grow to be honest, industrious men, and useful and respected citizens."[10] And one record adds "and his descendants to this day inherit the same good qualities."[11]

It is a matter of note that his children were all well educated, which indicates a family outlook upon life and its obligations very commendable in those days of pioneer struggle.[12] His wife, Sarah JENKINS, whom he married in England, was a sister of Elder Edward Jenkins, one of the early settlers of Scituate, Massachusetts.[13] She died in Barnstable, date not apparent. Either George Lewis married a second time, or Sarah used also the name Mary, for a deed of his, dated 1654, was signed by "Mary his wife." She was living in 1670. He died in Barnstable in spring of 1663, his will being exhibited in Court 3 March of that year. In it he mentions sons Ephraim, George, Thomas, James, Edward, John, and daughter Sarah.[14]

Miss Ida Lewis, called the "Grace Darling of America," is a descendant of George and Sarah (Jenkins) Lewis. She was the daughter of Captain Hosea Lewis, and was born at Newport, Rhode Island, 25 February 1842. Her mother was a daughter of Doctor Aaron C. Willey, of Block Island. Of her, called "philanthropist," it is written:

him, and they were able to leave for Fort Adams after the gale subsided.- National Encyclopedia of American Biography. Miss Lewis was the heroine of eighteen life saving exploits, and the first, woman to receive from Congress a gold medal of the first class. "Lime Rock Lighthouse, the home of this world famous heroine, is within the harbor, and is a short sail from the New York yacht club house. At

high tide an ordinary cat rigged sailboat can not land at Lime rock, and a rowboat must be used, from which a landing is effected by climbing up the face of the perpendicular rock upon a ladder lashed with fetters of iron to the stone." [15]


  1. Mary, born in England; married 16 November 1643, John Bryant, sen., of Scituate, Massachusetts a man active in public affairs and member of General Court 1657, and 1677 . She died 2 July 1655, leaving three sons and four daughters. He married (2) Elizabeth, daughter of Rev. William Witherell, of Scituate. He married (3) Mary, daughter of Thomas Highland, of Scituate. He died 20 November 1684, having been the father of nineteen children.
  2. Thomas, born in England; married 15 June 1653, Mary, daughter of Dolor and Margery (Willard) Davis. Whittemore says they lived at Falmouth, where he died 18 May 1709. Honorable John H. Sheppard, of Boston, writing of this family in New England Historical and Genealogical Register (17: 162 3), says he was one of the first settlers of Swanzey, a selectman there, and was twice married, having two sons and one daughter by his first wife and one son and daughter by his second.
  3. George, born in England about 1629; married 1 December 1654, Mary, daughter of Barnard Lumbar, of Scituate. He died 20 March 1709, aged "about 80," having been the father of seven sons and four daughters.
  4. James, born 1631; married 31 October 1655, Sarah, daughter of George Lane, of Hingham. She was the first white child born in Hingham. They lived in Barnstable where he was freeman 1658, and selectman 1660, 1679, and 1681 (Plymouth Colony Records), and in the militia had the rank of lieutenant. In these days each town had its "select court," and James Lewis was one of three justices for Barnstable. Otis says he was a very prosperous man, every year adding a new field to his estate; educated his children extremely well for the period; was apprenticed as a youth to a blacksmith, and even when he had become distinguished did not consider it derogatory to his character to blow the bellows or swing a hammer. "He was industrious and frugal, and when he could not earn a shilling, was content to earn a penny which he put to good use." A lesson for all in that story. He was the father of ten children, according to one writer; of four sons and two daughters according to another. He died 4 October 1713, aged 82. Headstones which marked his grave and that of his wife, in the old cemetery in Barnstable, were still to be seen in 1895. Among his children was Sarah, born 4 March 1661, who married (1) 6 January 1684, Thomas Lincoln, and (2) Robert Waterman. This Sarah has by some writers been confused with her paternal Aunt Sarah.
  5. Edward, born probably at Scituate; married Hannah COBB.
  6. John, born 2 March 1637/8 at Scituate, being baptized on the 11th. He was of Barnstable in 1670. His wife was Margaret ????. "In the year 1676, the time of that bloody and destructive war with the Indians under 'King Philip,' he was in the battle called 'Pierce's Fight,' which took place in Rehoboth near Mount Hope, the residence of that celebrated sachem. Captain Michael Pierce, of Scituate, commanded the brave band consisting of sixty three English and twenty Cape Cod Indians. They were decoyed by the wily foe into an ambush, surrounded by five hundred Indians, and, after fighting heroically, were nearly all slain, save only eight Englishmen and ten Indian allies who escaped. John Lewis was slain in this battle, which took place on the Sabbath Day, 26 March 1676."[16] He was in his 39th year, and left an only son.
  7. Ephraim, born 23 July 1641, at Barnstable. He was living in 1663. A, writer gives the opinion that Ephraim and Edward of this family referred to one and the same individual[17], but George Lewis mentioned both these sons in his will.[18] For his baptism see ibid. 9: 282.
  8. Sarah, born 2 February 1643/4, was baptized on the 11th, at Barnstable. According to Barnes, she married (1) Jonathan Sparrow. Another[19] says she married 6 January 1684, Thomas Linkhorn- obviously the record of the marriage of her niece Sarah. Philip L. Cobb records her as the wife of James Cobb, the marriage being performed 26 December 1663, adding that James died in 1695, and that they had become the parents of eight daughters and three sons. A fourth authority tells us that Captain Jonathan Sparrow married (1) 26 October 1654, Rebecca, daughter of Edward Bangs; (2) Hannah (Prince) Mayo, daughter of Governor Thomas Prince; and (3) in 698, Sarah (Lewis) Cobb, recording children born to the first and second marriages but none to the third.[20] Still another writer, giving more particular dates, says that Sarah Lewis married (1) 26 December 1663, James Cobb, and (2) 23 November 1698, Jonathan Sparrow.[21]
  9. Some writers[22] ascribe two other sons to the family of George Lewis Nathaniel, born 1645, who married and lived in Swanzey where a son Nathaniel was born in 1673, and where he died on 13 October 1683, and Joseph, born 1647, who married Mary Jones, also lived in Swanzey, and was killed by Indians in King Philip's War, June 1675, leaving a son and daughter.[23] The Lewisiana Magazine, however, discredits the assertion, and claims that the two mentioned belong to another family. Mr. James Savage does not mention Nathaniel and Joseph, but does add a son Jabez, whom he says died, unmarried.

Edward LEWIS

II. Edward LEWIS married 1 May 1661, at Barnstable, Massachusetts, Hannah, daughter of Elder Henry and Patience (Hurst) COBB. She was born survived her husband. "They lived at Barnstable, on, the northeast side of a pond known first as Rowley's, then Lewis's, and later, Hathaway's. His house was in a field, and probably built by him. He was allotted meadow land near Dunn's field, where he settled later. His home at Hathaway's Pond was afterwards owned by an eccentric and witty man named Matthew Lumbert, and occupied by his son in law, Joseph Cobb, who had a daughter supposed to be bewitched. The house became noted by their curious gymnastic feats."[24]

Edward Lewis and his three sons were called "South Sea Men" in 1697. He was a farmer, and surveyor of lands, a respected and honest citizen, and of good moral character. He lived at peace with his neighbors, among whom were Dolor Davis and John Linnel, to whom he was related by marriage, and whose land was near his in the easterly part of We quaquet meadows.

His will, dated 22 February 1703, was proved 6 April of that year, following his death on 28 March, aged nearly seventy years. In the document he mentions five sons, Eleazer having died, and his only daughter Hannah. He gave all his real estate to his youngest two sons, Shubael and Isaac, on condition that they support their mother. She survived him over twenty five years, dying 17 January 1729, at the age of ninety years, three months, and two days.[25]


  1. Hannah, born 24 April 1662; living unmarried in 1703.
  2. Eleazer, born 26 January 1664/5; died unmarried before 1703.
  3. John, born I January 1666; married Elizabeth HUCKINS.
  4. Thomas, born March 1669; married Experience Hopkins, 28 September 1698. They had two daughters and three sons.
  5. Ebenezer; living in 1703; married April 1691, Anna Lothrop, and had four daughters and seven sons.
  6. Shubael; married 8 December 1703, Mercy, daughter of Joseph Lumbar. He died early, and his widow married, 1719 or 1720, Nathaniel Baker.
  7. Isaac; joined church 1743; died 25 January 1761.


III. John LEWIS, born 1 January 1666, at Barnstable, Massachusetts, married 4 June 1695, >Elizabeth HUCKINS, born 1 October 1671, daughter of John. and Hope (Chipman) Huckins.[26] They lived at Cooper's Pond, and in 1697 he was known as one of the "South Sea Men." He was deacon of the church at Barnstable.

He died at Barnstable, 8 March 1738/9, aged seventy three, and his wife died 12 July 174 1, aged. seventy years. His will, dated 5 August 1736, proved 25 April 1739, names wife and all the children, giving his real estate to sons John and Shubael, 920 in money to Edward, and to John five shillings, and one third of the dock at Cooper's Island, "he having received most of his portion." To all the others he left legacies, also.


  1. Edward, born 6 September 1697; married 14 May 1719, Rebecca Lothrop; moved to Guilford, Connecticut, and later to Litchfield, Connecticut.
  2. Thankful, born 6 December 1698.
  3. John, born 28 April 1700; married 6 October 1726, Mary Hopkins, of Harwich, Massachusetts. He was dismissed to the Third Church of Windham, Connecticut, on 3 July 1743, and his wife, on 8 November 1747. They bad two sons and three daughters.
  4. Elizabeth, born 28 August 1701; married 2 April 1724, Jabez Snow, of Harwich, Massachusetts.
  5. James, born 4 July 1703; married (1) 5 March 1727, Abigail Taylor, of Yarmouth. He married (2) 2 April 1742, Bethia Hathaway. He is said to have been insane a part of his life.
  6. Gershom, born 30 December 1704; married Mary MALTBY.
  7. Shubael, born 29 December 1705; married 5 June 1735, Widow Mary Snow, of Harwich. He was dismissed 28 March 1738 to East Church. There were two daughters and one son.

Gershom LEWIS

IV. Gershom LEWIS, born 30 December 1704, in Barnstable, Massachusetts, lived for a while in Guilford and Farmington, Connecticut. There is on record in probate files, the will of one Ebenezer Steele, of Farmington, proved on 6 November 1722, which has this interesting passage: xceeding joy, to the only wise God, our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and praise, both now and forever, Amen. Manual of the First Congregational Church, Guilford, 1875, 13.) One hundred years after its organization, Gershom Lewis and "Mary Maltby Lewis, wife of Gershom" were listed among the 133 members who comprised the church at Guilford, 1 January 1746, under the ministry of Reverend Thomas Ruggles, jr.[28]

About 1750, Gershom and Mary Lewis removed to Litchfield, Connecticut, where the old records call him "from Guilford, a native of Cape Cod."[29] Here they died, he on 18 October 1766, aged 62, and she many years later, about 1793, "in the 86th year of her age." Their gravestones of red sandstone are still standing in Litchfield's East Burying Ground, where also a number of their descendants are interred.

CHILDREN, all, but the last, born at Guilford:[30]

  1. John, born 2 October 1736; died 30 October 1758.
  2. Gershom, born 31 May 1738; died 21 January 1739.
  3. Nathaniel, born 22 October 1740; married Esther TUTTLE.
  4. Mary, born 19 December 1742; married 13 January 1763, Jacob Smith, jr., of Litchfield.
  5. Elizabeth, born 11 November 1745; died 19 August 1767, "in the 21st year of her age."
  6. Ozias, born 6 October 1749 or 1750; married 7 January 1773, Lucy Bigelow, born 8 November 1752, at Hartford, Connecticut, daughter of Daniel and Abigail Bigelow. He died 8 March 1812, at Litchfield, and she, 19 April 1840. He was a grand juror 1773, and was a signer, on 9 March 1789, of the pledge of the first temperance society in the United States. There were three daughters and one son.
  7. Reuben, born at Litchfield, 22 March 1753; married Patience Bidwell.

Nathaniel LEWIS

V. Nathaniel LEWIS, born in Guilford, Connecticut, 22 October 1740, was in the French and Indian War in 1762, under Captain Archibald McNiel.[31] He married at Litchfield, Connecticut, 16 January 1767, Esther TUTTLE, daughter of Eliphalet and Desire Tuttle[32], descendant of William Tuttle, early immigrant to New Haven.

In the first year of the Revolutionary War, Nathaniel Lewis served as sergeant, in a Litchfield company under Captain David Welch.[33] In 1776, he deeded sixteen acres of land in the southwest part of Goshen, Connecticut, with a dwelling house thereon, to David Welch, and soon after moved to Wells, Rutland County, Vermont.

"In 1780, or a little later, the first Methodist preacher visited Wells. His name is not remembered, but he inquired for the poorest family in town, and was directed to the home of Nathaniel Lewis. Here the first meeting was held, and soon a small class was formed, of which Mr. Lewis was appointed class leader." [34]

In October 1781, Nathaniel Lewis served in Captain Abel Merriman's Company, Colonel Thomas Lee's Regiment, of Vermont Militia, marching on one of their tours to Castleton, to prevent Sir John Johnson's threatened raids down through the Mohawk Valley.[35]

In his old age, he and his wife went to western New York, Chautauqua County, to live with or near some of their children. Their descendants in that locality have held annual reunions for nearly half a century. A letter from the president of their Family Association, dated Ashville, New York, June 25, 1922, says of Nathaniel; "He came to the town of Harmony, New York, with his youngest son, Miles, and died on the farm next to my old homestead, and was buried on the Daniel Carpenter farm just east of Blockville. His wife was buried on the lot of her son Miles, in the Blockville Cemetery. Their resting places are unmarked." In the summer of 1922, the compiler visited this locality, and on 22 August called on Mrs. Bouton, a granddaughter of this youngest son, Miles. She lived near the town of Ashville. She had served the Lewis Family Association many years as secretary; had suffered, some years before our visit, a slight paralysis, which prevented her from speaking rapidly or easily, but she conversed pleasantly, revealing a mind keen, clear, and alert, and acquainted with current events. Our visit with her was very enjoyable, and resulted in our obtaining considerable information concerning our common ancestor. "In the back end of a farm, near Blockville," she said, "in the woods, years ago there used to be a stone to mark the grave of Nathaniel Lewis, but it is gone, now. . . . I used to have an aunt Elizabeth, who was named after my grandfather's sister, Elizabeth. She was the one who was the mother of the wife of Joseph Smith, the great Mormon." Hemenway, in Vermont Historical Gazetteer (3: 1194), indicates that Nathaniel Lewis was a very poor man in Wells. He did accumulate some property, however, for it is pointed out that there are tax receipts in existence, and deeds of transfers of land. He left no will, apparently, and his estate did not pass through probate courts, as he evidently preferred to divide it by deeds of gift among his children. Physicians, county judges, and members of Congress have been numbered among his descendants.[36]

CHILDREN: (From papers of the Lewis Family Association and data furnished by descendants.)

  1. Elizabeth, born 19 November 1767; married Isaac HALE.
  2. Nathaniel, born 27 May 1769, at Litchfield; married 11 February 1790, at Wells, Vermont, to Sarah (Hart) Cole. They moved to Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. Had twelve children. He died 26 October 1860 at Amboy, Illinois, aged 91 years, his wife preceding him on 8 November 1852, aged 77. They are buried in Temperance Hill Cemetery, near Amboy.
  3. John, born at Cornwall, Connecticut, 3 October 1770; married 7 May 1797, at Wells, Vermont, by Reverend Sylvester Hutchinson, to Rhoda Hall. They had six children. He died in 1860, aged 90 years.
  4. Enos, born at Goshen, Connecticut, 16 May 1772; married 13 April 1799, at Wells, Vermont, Eunice, daughter of Peter and Sarah (Glass) Button. They moved to Harmony, New York, in 1832; were the parents of four children. He lived to be 88 years old.
  5. Esther, born at Goshen, Connecticut, 31 May 1774; married 18 August 1791, at Wells, Vermont, Anthony Cole. She was the mother of ten children, and died at Magnolia, Wisconsin, aged 80 years.
  6. Jehial, born at Goshen, Connecticut, 20 August 1776.
  7. Molly, born at Litchfield, Connecticut, 9 January 1779.
  8. Reuben, born at Wells, Vermont, 13 January 1782; married there, Deborah, daughter of Captain William and Phebe (Woodward) Potter. He was a physician; removed in 1816 to Strykersville, New York. She died in 1826 and he married (2) He died in 1834, aged 52. There were eight children.
  9. Amos, born in Wells, Vermont, 7 April 1785; married there, 28 March 1809, by the Reverend Shubael Lamb, to Keziah, daughter of Lieutenant David and Abigail (Pray) Ward. They were divorced in 1830, and he moved to Harmony, New York, in 1832.
  10. Miles, born at Wells, Vermont; married and lived in Harmony, New York. There are many descendants.

Elizabeth LEWIS

VI. Elizabeth LEWIS, born 19 November 1767, at Litchfield, Connecticut, was married at Wells, Vermont, 20 September 1790, to Isaac HALE, and moved to Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania.

For continuation of this family line please see the HALE biography.
  SOURCE:  The Ancestry & Posterity of Joseph Smith and Emma Hale by Audentia Smith Anderson (1926)


  1. (Directory of Ancestral Heads of New England Families, F. R. Holmes, cxlix.)
  2. (Heroes of the. Revolution, Whittemore, 62.)
  3. (Lewisiana Magazine 4: 10: 157.)
  4. (Ibid.)
  5. (New England Genealogies, Cutter, 4: 1954.)
  6. (Hingham Genealogies 2: 440.)
  7. (Smith with Collateral Lines, Hannah S. Barnes, 1916, 35.)
  8. (New England Genealogies, Cutter, 1: 23.)
  9. (Ibid. 4: 1954 5.)
  10. (Genealogical Notes of Barnstable Families, Otis, 2: 116.)
  11. (Smith with Collateral Lines, 3 5.)
  12. (Ibid. 3 5.)
  13. (Heroes of the Revolution, Whittemore, 62.)
  14. (Heroes of the Revolution, 62.)
  15. (Lewisiana Magazine 10: 5: 73.)
  16. (New England Historical and G'enealogical Register 17: 162.)
  17. (New England Historical and Genealogical Register 3: 271)
  18. (Ibid. 6: 185.)
  19. (New England Historical and Genealogical Register 2: 195)
  20. (Americana 22: 1: 113.)
  21. (New England Historical and Genealogical Register 17: 162.)
  22. (New England Genealogies, Cutter, 4: 1995)
  23. (History of Scituate, Deane, 303.)
  24. (Smith with Collateral Lines, Barnes, 41.)
  25. (Barnstable Families, Otis 2: 120, 127.)
  26. (Smith with Collateral Lines, Barnes, 42.)
  27. (Smith, with Collateral Lines, Barnes, 42.)
  28. (Ibid. 23.)
  29. (Register of the Inhabitants of Litchfield, Woodruff, 131.)
  30. (Smith with Collateral Lines, Barnes, 44.)
  31. (Connecticut Historical Society Collections 10: 2: 339.)
  32. (East Haven Register, Dodds, 157)
  33. (Lewisiana Magazine 8: 8: 117.)
  34. (Vermont Historical Gazetteer, Hemenway, 3: 1194, 1204.)
  35. (Vermont Revolutionary Rolls 467.)
  36. (Hemenway, 3: 1204.)