John "the Immigrant" Lewis

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John Lewis

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Wales
Death: Died in Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island
Place of Burial: buried just below the village of Westerly, near the road leading to Watch Hill, on the east side of the highway: Westerly, Kings, Rhode Island
Immediate Family:

Husband of wife of John Lewis
Father of Jonathan Lewis, of Huntington; John Lewis, of Westerly; Daniel Lewis, Sr.; James Lewis, Sr.; David Lewis and 3 others

Occupation: Freeman in Westerly, RI 1661
Managed by: Michelle Lee Mannion
Last Updated:

About John "the Immigrant" Lewis

From THE WYOMING AND LACAWANNA VALLEYS, PA, Vol. 1, pub. 1906, it is stated that "John Lewis, the founder of the family in this country, came from East Greenwich, England in the year 1630. He bought 600 acres of land from the Indians near Misquamicut, now called Westerly, RI. He was a signer of a treaty wit the Indians, and one of the five deputies who established the Rhode Island colony, March 22, 1661. He was admitted a freeman Oct. 28. 1668.

Tradition has it that John Lewis was well versed in the Indian dialect and that he was elected captain of a company for protection against the Indians, and was a famous and brave Indian fighter. The name of his wife unknown, but she came to America against the wishes of her parents, to meet John Lewis, who had the reputation of being a "wild blade". When the boat on which she embarked neared that land, John Lewis waded into the surf, clasped her in his arms and carried her to the shore. They were married and were the parents of seven sons and one daughter.

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1st Generation: John Lewis I, b abt. 1630 in Wales, d. abt. 1690 in Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island, supposedly coming there from Newport.

Thought to have married Mrs. Mary Button abt. 1657 in Westerly. She was born 2/23/1634 in East Greenwich, Kent, England, and died abt. 1705 in Westerly.

7 sons & 1 daughter were

  1. Jonathan, b. 1658, d. 8/1710 in Huntington, Suffolk, New York; married 1) Jemima Whitehead 2) Deliverance Carman
  2. John II, b. 1660, d. 4/22/1735 in Westerly; married Ann Lanphere
  3. James, b. 6/3/1664, d. 9/6/1745 in Exeter, Washington, Rhode Island; married Sarah Babcock
  4. Daniel b 1668 Married Mary Maxson
  5. David, b. 1667, d. 9/11/1718 in Westerly; Daniel, b. 1668, d. 2/20/1718 in Hopkinton, Washington, Rhode Island; married Elizabeth Babcock
  6. Israel, b. 1669, d. 6/28/1719 in Westerly; married 1) Jane Babcock 2) Mary Marsh
  7. Samuel, b. 1672, d. 1/1739 in Richmond, Washington, Rhode Island; married Joanna
  8. Dorcas, b. abt. 1672. Married Robert Burdick

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n.b. - conflicting information

  • - born in 1631, East Greenwich, England (historical sources)
  • - born abt. 1630, Wales (DNA project)
  • - wife: name not known (historical sources)
  • - wife: said to be Mrs. Mary Button of England (DNA project)
  • - Going with DNA project 2 Sept 2010. Feel free to argue. :). - Erica Howton

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Descendants of John Lewis I

Generation No. 1

1. JOHN1 LEWIS I was born Abt. 1630 in Wales, and died Abt. 1690 in Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island, USA. He married MRS. MARY BUTTON Abt. 1657 in Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island, USA. She was born Feb 23, 1634 in East Greenwich, Kent, England, and died 1705 in Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island, USA.

Notes for JOHN LEWIS I:

My father, Samuel Riddell Lewis, told me his Lewis family came from Wales.

Reference: Pioneer Lewis Families, Vol 1, p. 35:

JOHN LEWIS (5L101)

John Lewis was one of the original settlers of Westerly, R.I. According to tradition, the first settlers were John Babcock and his lover, Mary Lawton, who eloped from Newport. They landed on the east side of the Pawcatuck river and built themselves a wigwam. Their first child, James Babcock, was the first male white child born in the Narragansett territory. The place of their retreat having been ascertained by the people of Newport, they

deputized five men, viz., William Vaughan, Robert Stanton, John Fairchild, Hugh Mosher and James Longbottom, to purchase a title of land from the Indians. They purchased of one Sosoa his title to the land and the deed was dated June 29, 1860. It was not long before settlers began to arrive, and among them were John Lewis and his family. It is supposed that he came from Newport, but nothing definite can be ascertained as the

records of Newport were captured by the British during the Revolutionary War and carried to NY. When they were returned they were in such condition (having been in the water) that they were incomplete. The RECORDS OF THE RI COLONY, Vol. II, P. 238, states that "John Lewis, of Misquamicut, was admitted a freeman October 28, 1668. The records of Westerly were not kept in any regular form until 1683 when the town obtained "a book" and the "list of free inhabitants" were entered. Under the date of May 18, 1669, the name of John Lewis appears; September 16, 1679, that of John Lewis, Junior, lot; and of March 3, 1680, James "Lewes", "1 lote", David "Lewes, 5 lot", Isreall Lews, 16 lot, and Samuel Lews, 38 lot."

However, John Lewis was in Westerly in 1661 as he signed articles of agreement March 22nd of that year. On May 16, 1671, a warrant was issued requiring the inhabitants of Westerly to appear "tomorrow at Tobias Saunders house to see how they stand as to their fidelity to His Majesty and this colony." Twenty-two persons, including John Lewis, appeared and took the oath of allegiance to the government of RI. John Lewis died

before 1690 and was buried just below the village of Westerly, near the road leading to Watch Hill, on the east side of the highway. The place where he was buried is a large, unfenced spot, in the southeast corner of a field in front of the house owned at one time by Thomas E. Saunders. The land once belonged to the Lewis family, and afterwards to Arnold Kenyon. It is said that seven generations of Lewises are buried here, but there is no

lettering on the stones. There is another Lewis burying ground in Westerly situated on the crest of a gravel hill, south of the house once owned by Pardon Lewis.

According to a Land Grant Chart in the RI Historical Society, compiled by Edward H. West of Portsmouth in 1932, a John Lewis had a grant of land between 1638 and 1657 in Portsmouth, R.I. on the mainland in the southern part of the town toward Newport, or what is now Middletown. This could possibly be the John Lewis herewith concerned. If he was the one b. ca 1631 (which is not proven) he might easily have secured this grant

upon reaching legal age. If so, he was probably searching for productive land outside the Newport area, before the Misquamicut Purchase. In 1648, John Winthrop was given a half mile square on the Thames River, at Groton, Conn., then called Towowesuck. HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF THE TOWN OF GROTON, pub. 1935, states "This grant extended north from Broad Street. The following January, lots of 20, 30 and 40 acres

were laid out between the Bill property and the Atlantic Coast Fisheries. These lots were given to Robert Hempstead, William Hallet, Samuell Lothroup, John Latham, Jacob Waterhouse, Robert Bedell, Thomas Miner, William Boardman, Gils Smith, John Stubens, Isacke Willie, John Lewis, and William Morten..." These men, along with John Winthrop, held proprietor's rights though many of them never came to New London to live,

and only Carey Latham ever settled in Groton. Austin, in his GENEALOGICAL DICTIONARY OF Rhode Island, says that "There has been no relationship found between John Lewis and Robert Lewis of Newport, who 2 Apr 10, 2007 made his Will April 12, 1682, having but two witnesses although the law required three. Nothing more is learned of this Robert, nor of his Will except that it was named in a list of others as deficient in witnesses."

From THE HISTORY OF HOPKINTOWN, R.I. by Rev. S.S. Griswold, it was stated"...John Lewis, who came from England in company with his four brothers, at the first settlement of this country and settled not far from the present residence of John H. Cross, Esq., Westerly. His brothers located themselves near Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA. John had seven sons Daniel found his home in Hopkintown, Israel at Long Island,

Jonathan at Richmond, in this state, another at Exeter, while several remained with their father in Westerly."

From THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS, PA, Vol.I, pub. 1906, it is stated that "John Lewis, the founder of the family in this country, came from East Greenwich, England in the year 1630. He bought 600 acres of land from the Indians near Misquamicut, now called Westerly, R.I. He was a signer of a treaty with the

Indians and one of the five deputies who established the RI colony, March 22, 1661. He was admitted a free man October 28, 1668. Tradition has it that John Lewis was well versed in the Indian dialect and that he was elected captain of a company for protection against the Indians, and was a famous and brave Indian fighter. The name of his wife is unknown, but she came to America against the wishes of her parents, to meet John Lewis, who had the reputation of being a 'wild blade'. When the boat on which she embarked neared the land, John Lewis waded into the surf, clasped her in his arms and carried her to shore. They were married and were the parents of seven sons and one daughter..."

Tradition given by Mrs. Sally Lewis, wife of Jeffrey Sheldon Lewis is that "John Lewis came to America and the young lady with whom he was in love did not come over because her parents did not like him. She wrote to him asking him to come to England to get her, but he answered her that he could not but would meet her if she came to him. She wrote him that she would come, and he went to work and built a log cabin and when the time for the boat to arrive came, he went down to the shore at Plymouth and met her. As soon as the boat touched the shore, he jumped on board and met her. He kissed her and then they went and got married immediately. They lived together for a number of years before he died. She survived him fifteen years." This is related in LEWISIANA, Vol, 4, p. 35.

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REP MEN of OLD RI FAMILIES, Vol 4, page 2189:

John Lewis is credited with having come from England in company with his four brothers in the early settlement of this country, locating in what is now Westerly RI; his brothers are said to have located near Boston. John is of record in Westerly in 1661, and was made a freeman of the town in 1668. He died in 1690 in Pawcatuck and was buried just below the village of Westerly near the road leading to Watch Hill. His children were: Jonathan, John, Daniel, James, David, Israel, Samuel and Dorcas, several of whom remained with their father.

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RANDALL LEWIS, of Hopkinton, RI, page 20-27:

The visionary traditional "three emigrant brother" fallacy seems to be attached to John who is said to have come from Wales to America, landing in Plymouth MA and locating in Newport, RI where he is supposed to have resided for a few years until his fiancee arrived from overseas to wed and become the head of a prolific branch of Lewis race in little Rhody.

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BABCOCK & ALLIED FAMILIES, pp. 62, 63:

John Lewis is first mentioned in the Rhode Island records as signing the articles of agreement about the settlement of Westerly on March 22, 1661. He was one of the founders of the town, and is supposed to have been at Newport, RI previous to this date, but the records of Newport were damaged during the Revolution and this supposition therefore cannot be verified. On October 28, 1668, he was freeman at Westerly, and on May 18, 1669, his name appears on a list of the inhabitants of the town. He took the oath of allegiance on May 16, 1671, in response to a warrant issued to the inhabitants of Westerly to appear "tomorrow at Tobias Saunders home to see how they stand as to their fidelity to His Majesty and his colony." Before 1690, he died, and was buried just below the village of Westerly. Nothing is known of his wife.

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3 Apr 10, 2007

Reference: Article in Westerly Sun, October 13, 1965

Headline: Bodies Uncovered, Those in Old Lewis Burying Ground

Regarding the article that was printed in last evenings Sun concerning the unearthing of a number of skeletons by workmen excavating for a tennis court on Moore Road, off Beach Street, the following data concerning the old burying ground that formerly existed at the spot has been submitted by a reader who signs the Communication, "E:, the letter follows:

In last evenings edition of the Sun, mention is made of the digging up of bodies on the Moore land in making the foundations for a new tennis court and the question arose of whom they may be. This is easily solved.

This is generally known as the Lewis burying ground. John Lewis, one of the first settlers of Westerly, and a number of descendants are buried here.

In one of the early Land Evidences of Westerly may be found the following: "That a reserve of said burying ground was made for the Lewis family forever."

This John Lewis came from Wales, England, about 1640, and settled on the southern border of RI and what is now Westerly. The first trace of him was in March 22, 1661, when his name was signed to an article in regard to Misquamicut. (Westerly)

In October 1668, he was admitted as free man and in May 18, 1668 his name appears among the list of inhabitants, and in September 17, 1669, he took the oath of allegiance. He understood the Indian dialect well, and was able to converse in the same. He probably died about 1690. He left a family of eight children.

His remains were buried on his homestead farm, said burying ground is on the west side of Beach Street, opposite Greenman Avenue.

This land was owned by the Lewises, then the Kenyons, and Crosses and Charles Perry and the present owners.

It is said that seven generations are here buried, all descendants of John Lewis.

All or nearly all of the Lewises in the Town of Westerly, Hopkinton, Richmond and Exeter descended from this John Lewis.

It is only a few years ago that the stones were removed, (most of them unlettered) and the graves leveled off.

Nearly sixty bodies were buried there. "E".

In Westerly and its witnesses may be found the following:

Lewis Ground (1)

This is a large unfenced spot in the Southeast corner of a field now owned by George D. Cross, Esq. on the East side of the highway leading to Lottery Village just below the Village of Westerly and in front of the house of Thomas E. Saunders. The land once belonged to the Lewis family and afterward to Arnold Kenyon. "It is said that seven generations of the Lewises beginning with John Lewis are here buried, but their tombstones are unlettered."

"John Lewis was one of the first settlers in Westerly. Here rests the body of George Kenyon born September 28, 1714 and died about 1796, also the remains of his wife Anna (Lewis) Kenyon born November 27th, 1716, and died in her 90th year. Here too were buried Mary Lewis wife of Joseph Lewis born in 1688 and died Nov. 27, 1762. Joseph Barber, quite aged died near 1825. Samuel Brown and his wife Amy Brown, both aged, both died near 1840. Also David Brown buried near 1810 with great Masonic ceremonies."

From inscribed slabs are: Arnold Kenyon died Nov. 20, 1834 aged 77 years. Sally (wife of Arnold) Kenyon died June 25, 1832, aged 70. 4 Apr 10, 2007

Elnathan C. Brown died Jan. 27, 1827 - age 32.

Last evenings "Sun" mentioned at the beginning of the paper, means the daily newspaper published in Westerly: The Westerly Sun, October 13, 1965

Carl J. Lewis 21 Sunset Ave., Wakefield, R.I.

Married: ABT 1657 in Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island, USA 1

Children

Jonathan LEWIS b: 1658 in Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island, USA

John LEWIS II b: 1660 in Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island, USA

James LEWIS b: 3 JUN 1664 in Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island, USA

David LEWIS I b: 1667 in Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island, USA

Daniel LEWIS b: 1668 in Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island, USA

Israel LEWIS b: 1669 in Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island, USA

Samuel LEWIS b: ABT 1671 in Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island, USA

Dorcas LEWIS b: ABT 1701 in Westerly, WA Co,, RI

10/31/05 e-mail ; Mary Jane:

Although neither you nor I have the place of Marriage, I can tell you that the source of the information in Lewisiana or the Lewis Letters is John Gardner Lewis of New Haven, Connecticut. He was the nephew of Jeptha Marlbone Lewis and would seem to be an unimpeachable source. He was the son of Enoch Burroughs Lewis, a brother of Jeptha.

John Gardiner Lewis never went further west than New Haven, Connecticut and it might be inferred from this that He would know about the marriage if it took place in RI but not necessarily if it took place in Chautauqua CO, NY. John Gardiner Lewis is not only a contributor to Lewisiana but the father of Carll Andrews Lewis, one of the editors of Lewisiana.

There are no Vital records for NY prior to 1910 except a few which go back to 1880.

Westerly might be the place of marriage because Jeptha was born there.

Gene Lewis Reference: Pioneer Lewis Families by Michael Cook, Cook Publications, pg 35

More About JOHN LEWIS I:

Burial: Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island, USA near the Watch Hill Road

Military service: Signer of treaty with the Indians and 1/5 deputies who established the RI colony, March 22, 1661. -------------------- John Lewis I, b abt. 1630 in Wales, d. abt. 1690 in Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island, supposedly coming there from Newport.

Marriage:

  1. Thought to have married Mrs. Mary Button abt. 1657 in Westerly. She was born 2/23/1634 in East Greenwich, Kent, England, and died abt. 1705 in Westerly.

Children (all born in Westerly, Rhode Island):

  1. Jonathan (b. 1658-d. 17 Aug 1710 in Huntington, NY)
  2. John ll (b. 1660-d. 22 Apr 1735 in Westerly) m. Ann Lanphere
  3. James (b. 3 June 1664-d. 6 Sept 1745 in Exeter, RI)
  4. David (b. 1667-d. 11 Sept 1718 in Westerly, RI)
  5. Daniel (b. 1668-d. 20 Feb 1718 in Hopkinton, RI)
  6. Israel (b. 1669-d. 28 June 1719 in Westerly, RI)
  7. Samuel (b. 1672-d. Jan 1739 in Richmond, RI)
  8. Dorcas (b. abt. 1672-?)

Links

From The Families of Petersburgh, NY 1791-1991 complied by Hilda M. Allen: page 25 - John LEWIS was of Westerly, RI in 1666. He was probably the emigrant ancestor of most of the Lewises who came here before 1800. Capt. Abraham LEWIS had two wives: Thankful who bore him nine children and Eunice (Hearn) who bore him nine more. Major Abel Lewis, Capt. Abraham Lewis and their wives are buried in Lewis Hollow where they lived. These early Lewises were connected with Maxon, Scriven, Powers, Babcock, Jones, Randall, Coon and other families. Many of the name have lived here and left descendants since the early days. Daniel Lewis came here from Rutland, VT in the 1860s because he had "cousins here," according to his daughter, Harriet (Lewis) Babcofck. He had lost two sons in Civil War and his wife had died. He married one of the "cousins" - Susannah Scriven Glines soon after.

From "Early Settlers of North New York" -- John Lewis, immigrant was of Welsh ancestry and probably born in Wales. He settled in Westerly, Rhode Island and died there in 1690 or earlier. He signed certain articles in relation to Misquamicut lands on March 29, 1661.

The town of Westerly, Washington Co., RI was settled in 1661. John Lewis was admitted a freeman at Rhode Island on October 18, 1668. His name is on a list of inhabitants of Westerly on May 18, 1669. He took the prescribed oath of allegiance to the crown on September 17, 1679.

Some reseachers I have met through the years believed that John came from England. I stand in awe of my maternal grandmother's knowledge of "whence she came." Whenver I asked Elida Edna Lewis Terwiliger about her heritage, she would say, "I'm Irish on my mother's side and Welsh on my father's side."

The "Family Record of John Carroll Watts," published 1969 states, "John Lewis was born in ENGLAND, date and place unknown. His wife's name is unknown. He died in 1691; buried in unmarked grave at Westerly, Rhode Island. He came to American in 1660 and settled in Westerly Rhode Island; became a freeman on 28 October, 1668. (See Lewisiana - vols. 1-17). His line is grouped in Book VIII of that publication.

The "Powers-Bank Ancestry" book says of the LEWIS line -- "The mother of Pamelia Phillips was Mary LEWIS. The Lewises lived for a century or more (in fact some of them still live) in Westerly, RI, the extreme southwestern town of the state divided only by a little tide river from Connecticut. John was the first of the family in this country. Where he came from no one knows. Lewises were many in Wales and England. The first date connected with John is 22 March, 1661.

June 29, 1660, five deputies from Newport, RI, purchased from the Indians, Socho being the Chief, Misquamicut -- later known as Westerly. Lewis may have come from Newport, as he signed the articles of agreement on 3/22/1661. There is a sort of tradition that he landed in Massachusetts some years earlier, unmarried, and that his bride-to-be joined him at Plymouth. It seems certain that when he settled in Westerly, he was comparatively young and had but two or three children. He may have been born in 1630. He was admitted freeman of Misquamicut on 10/28/1668. The next year the town was incorporated under name of Westerly on 5/14/1669, and Lewis' name appears in the list of inhabitants on May 18, 1669. On 16th May, 1671, a warrant was issued requiring the inhabitants of Westerly to appear "tomorrow at Tobias Saunders house to see how they stand as their fidelity to his Majesty and the colony." John was one of 22 persons to appear and take oath of loyalty. He gave testimony in the boundary war with Connecticut. Nothing else is recorded of him. He died about 1690 and was buried in all probability in the Lewis Ground where seven generations of Lewises lie in Westerly. It is now an open field run over by cattle and very few of the stones show any inscriptions.

From "Pioneer Lewis Families" by Michael Lewis Cook, Volume 1 Group 5, John Lewis of Westerly, RI 5L101 - John Lewis was one of the original settlers of Westerly, RI. According to tradition, the first settlers were John Babcock and his lover, Mary Lawton, who eloped from Newport. They landed on the east side of the Pawcatuck River and built themselves a wigwam. Their first children, James Babcock, was the first male white child born in the Narragansett territory. The place of their retreat having been ascertained by people of Newport, they deputized five men, William Vaughn, Robert Stanton, John Fairchild, Hugh Mosher and James Longbottom to purchase a litle of land from the Indians. They purchased of one SOSOA his title to the land and the deed was dated 6/29/1660. It was not long before settlers began to arrive and among them was JOHN LEWIS and his family. It is supposed that he came from Newport, but nothing definite can be ascertained as the records of Newport were captured by the British during the Revolutionary War and carried to New York.When they were returned, they were in such condition (having been in water) that they were incomplete.

The records of Rhode Island Colony, Vol II, page 238 states that "John Lewis" of Misquanocott, was admitted freeman 10/28/1668. The records of Westerly were not kept in any regular form until 1683 when the town obtained a "book" and the list of free inhabitants were entered. Under date of 5/18/1669, the name of John LEWIS appears; Sept 16, 1679 that of John Lewis, JR, lot; and 3/3/1680, James Lewies (sic), one lot; David Lewes (sic), 5 lot; Izreall Les (sic), 16 lot and Samuel Ledw (sic), 38 lot."

John Lewis died before 1690 and was buried just below the village of Westerly, near the road leading to Watch Hill, on the east side of the highway. The place where he was buried is a large, unfenced spot, in the southeast corner of a field in front of the house owned at one time by Thomas E. Saunders. The land once belonged to the Lewis family, and afterwards to Arnold Kenyon. It is said that 7 generations of Lewises are buried here but there is no lettering on the stones. There is another Lewis burying ground in Westerly situated on the crest of a gravel hill, south of the house once owned by Pardon Lewis.

According to LAND GRANT CHART in Rhode Island Historical Society, compiled by Edward H. West of Portsmouth in 1932, a John Lewis had a grant of land between 1638 and 1657 in Portsmouth, RI on the main land in the southern part of the town toward Newport or what is now Middletown. This could possibly be the John Lewis herewith concerned. If he was born abt 1631 (which is not proven), he might easily have secured this grant upon reaching legal age. If so, he as probably searching for productive land outside the Newport area, before the Misquanicut Purchase. In 1648, John Winthrop was given a half mile square on the Thames River at Groton, CT, then called Towosuck.

Historical Sketches of town of Groton, published 1935, states "This grant extended north from Broad Street." The following January, lots of 20, 30 and 40 acres were laid out between the Bill property and the Atlantic Coast Fisheries. These lots were given to Rober Hempstead, William Hallet, Samuel Lothroup (Lathrop), John Gager, John Robbison (Robinson), William Bartleltt, Andrew Loungden, William Nickhols (Nichols), Carie Latham, Jacob Waterhouse, Robert Bedell, Thomas Miner, William Boardman, Gils Smith, John Stubens, Issac Willie, JOHN LEWIS, and William Morten." These men, along with John Winthrop, held properietor's rights through many of them never came to New London to live and only Cary Latham ever settled in Groton.

The "History of Hopkinton, RI" by Rev. S./S. Griswold: John LEWIS came from ENGLAND in company with his FOUR BROTHERS, at the first settlement of this country and settled not far from the present residence of John H. Cross, Esq., Westerly. His BROTHERS located themselves near Boston, MA. John had 7 sons. Daniel made his home in Hopkintown, Israel at Long Island, Jonathan at Richmond in this state; another at Exeter, while several remained with their father at Westerly."

From "The Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania, Vol I, pub 1906: John Lewis, founder of the family in this country, came from East Greenwich, England in the year 1630. He bought 600 acres of land from the Indians near Misquamicut, now called Westerly, RI. He was signer of a treaty with the Indians and one of the 5 deputies who established the Rhode Island Colony on March 22, 1661. He was admitted as freeman Oct 28, 1668. Tradition has it that John Lewis was well versed in the Indian dialect and that he was elected captain of a company for protection against the Indians and was a famous and brave Indian fighter. The name of his wife is unknown, but she came to America against the wishes of her parents to meet John Lewis who had reputation of being a "wild blade." When the boat on which she embarked neared the land, John Lewis waded into the surf, clasped her in his arms and carried her shore. They were married and were parents of seven boys and one daughter."

From the "History of Hopkintown, RI" b Rev. S. S. Griswold, it was stated, "John Lewis, who came from England in company with his FOUR BROTHERS, at the first settlement of this country and settled not far from the present residence of John H. Cross, Esq., Westerly. His brothers located themselves near Boston, MA. John had seven sons, Daniel found his home in Hopkintown; Israel at Long Island; Jonathan at Richmond in this state, another at Exeter, while several remained with their father in Westerly."

John Lewis b England; died ca 1690 in Westerly, RI and is probably buried near Watch Hill Road; his wife, name unknown, died in Westerly about 1705.

According to FGS on John Lewis made out by researcher Ann Page Lewis, John was "buried in the rocky pasture on the side of the hill just off Beach Street, nearly opposite the end of Greenman Avenue in Westerly. Grave had flat wall stone; no inscription. Built house in lower part of Westerly.

More information can be located Vol I, page 47, Lewisiana and NEGHR Vol 77

Received following post 14 Nov 1996 from Bob Hayward <rhayward@mindspring.com> who lives at 447 Wynbrooke, Stone Mountain, GA 30087-4765. My reference on John LEWIS marrying Mary BUTTON is "Lewis Family History," American Genealogical Research Institute, Washington, DC, 1978. This is one of the little books that brings together a lot of various references to the surname. It is not to be considered a detailed piece of research So I take that entry with a bit of skepticism but not total of disbelief. Incidently, James Lewis lists "mary Button(?)" as John Lewis' wife so evidentally he has some doubts about it. That's very tenuous, but it is all I have. signed Bob

Following from Gene13717@aol.com on 1/6/2000 (Gene Lewis) The question of the origins of JOHN LEWIS of Westerly has not yet been established. Various researchers have stated his birth place as Westerly, RI or East Greenwich, Kent, England or Bristol, Gloucester, England or Wales. The lingering legends about John Lewis writing to his intended to join him in the New World would seem to satisfactorily dispose of the idea that he was born here. In Louisiana, the descendants of George Lewis b East Greenwich, England write of his coming to America with his brother JOHN LEWIS. This John Lewis, however, did not hve any surviving male descendants. In LDS Ancestral file is an entry that a John Lewis was born abt 1631 in Bristol, England. The entry was made by an LDS Medieval Families Unit at some time in the past. The MFU is no longer in existence and the source information was stripped away when the data was written to the LDS Master File. A list source for all Lewis enrires made by the unit includes Visitation of Gloucester, 1682/83, Fenwick and Metcalfe, 1884", page 18 reports the marriage of JOHN LEWIS, Merchant to Mary BOND. The time element is about right. Merchants and merchandise in 17th century Bristol, Patrick McGrath, page 32 lists marriage of John Lewis, milliner, to Mary Bond. Further, the Bristol Records, Mawdsley Hargreaves, page 1-26 has a representative list of names of persons who emigrated to America between the years 1654 and 1659 and includes a John Lewis. A thorough search of all surviving Bristol parish registers has been made but not birth record for a John Lewis can be found. Post received from <truetriton@emaikl.msn.com> (Denise Lewis on 4/4/00: Denise forwarded message written and posted by <PW735@aol.com> on 19 Jan 00 I ran across a one-column article from No. 1 JOHN LEWIS b abt 1630 to No. 10 Ross Bryon Johnson b 1919. It appears to be a DAR record. LINE OF DESCENT FROM JOHN LEWIS OF WESTERLY, R.I. 1. John Lewis was born abt 1630 possibly in Wales or England and died about 1690 at Westerly, RI. He married abt 1657 ? at Massacusets Bay? DORCAS ?. She died about 1705 at Westerly, R.I. I just joined this list this week and posted a message about my husband's ancestor who wrote "The Family History of LADD J. LEWIS". Ladd Lewis was born in 1845 and traced the ancestors of John Lewis of Westerly, RI. I was researching old rootsweb messages and came across the message above submitted by Mrs. Ross B. Johnson. It mentions the wife of John Lewis as being DORCAS. My ancestor lists seven sons for John Lewis and one daughter whose name was Dorcas Lewis born about 1673 (my estimate) who married Robert Burdick. (The sons were Jonathan, John, Daniel, James, Samuel, David and Israel.) Could the daughter have been name for her mother, Dorcas? Something to think about. The idea that they got married at Mass Bay also fits my information. Here's what LADD LEWIS writes about the wife: Who his wife is unknown but tradition says that the Lewis who settled at Newport left his lady love at home in Wales promising to send for her as soon as he located in the new world. And that he did so meeting her at Plymouth, where she landed and where theyh were married. He also writes that John Lewis "lived several years in Newport, in the same state, before he with others, moved to Westerly." If anyone would like to read this work, check out my Familytreemaker.com site under Community Section; click on User Home Pages and follow links for Denise-M-Lewis. My sister is the Denise (Graber) Lewis home page. My husband's line is John Lewis, Samuel, Jonathan, Jonathan, Jr., Jonathan III, Moses, John L. Frank, Frank, Frank, Edward, Scott (my husband). Moses left Rhode Island with brother Peleg in 1818 and settled in Western New York.

From Ships' passages: The "ELIZABETH" of Ipswich, England, William Andrews, Master, sailed from Ipswich found for New England the last of April, 1634 and arrived in July, 1634 at Boston. Aboard was Edmond Lewis, 33 Mrs Mary Lewis, 32 John Lewis, 3 (IS THIS OUR JOHN LEWIS?) Thomas Lewis, 34

Various spots on Internet credit a variety of people as being the parents of John Lewis: IE: --John Lewis born 1565/1605 of Clarendeon Parish, Jamaica, West Indies married and had a son JOHN born 1631 in Westerly, Washington Co, RI. --Edmund Lewis born 1601 of Llysalybont, Glamorganshire, Wales died Jan 1650 in Lynn, Essex Co, MA; married about 1630 of Westerly, RI and had a son JOHN born 1631 in Westerly.

Following found on Internet : Tradition given by Mrs. Sally Lewis, wife of Jeffrey Sheldon Lewis is that "John LEWIS came to America and the young lady with whom he was in love did not come over because her parents did not like him. She wrote to im asking himto come to England to get her but he answered her that he could not but would meet her if she came to him. She wrote that she would come to him and he went to work and built a log cabin and when the time for the boat to arrive, he went down to the shore at Plymouth and met her. As soon as the boat touched shire, he jumped on board and met her. He kissed her and they they went and got married immediately. She survived him by 15 years. This is related in LEWISIANA Vol 4, page 35.

From an article in Westerly Sun, October 13, 1965: HEADLINE: Bodies Uncovered, Those in Old Lewis Burying round Regarding the article that was printed in last evenings Sun concerning the unearthing of a number of skeletons by workmen excavating for a tennis court on Moore Road off Beach Street, the following data converning the old burying ground that formerly existed at the spot has been submitted by a reader who sins the Commuication, E;, the letter follows: In last evening's edition of the Sun, mention is made of the digging up of bodies on the Moore land in aking the foundations for a new tennis ourt and the question arose of whom they might be. This is easily solved. This is generally known as the Lewis burying ground. John Lewis. one of the first setlers of Westerly, RI and a number of descedants are buried here. In one of the early land evidence of Westerly may be found the following: "That a reserve of said burying ground was made for the Lewis family forever." The JOHN LEWIS came from Wales, England, about 1640 and settled on southern border of RI and what is now Westerly. The first trace of him was in March 22, 1661 when his name was signed to an article in regard to Misquamicut (Westerly.) In October, 1668, he was admitted as freeman and in May 18, 1668 his name appears among the list of inhabitants and in September 17, 1669, he took oath of allegiance. He understood the Indian dialect wel, and was able to converse withem the same. He probably died about 1690. He left a family of eight children. His remains were buried on his homestead farm, said burying gound is on west side of Beach Street, opposite Greenman Avenue. The land was owned by the Lewises, then the Kenyons and Crosses and Charles Perry and the resent owners. It is said that seven generations are buried here, all desendants of John Lewis. All or nearly all of the Lewises in town of Westerly, Hopkinton, Richmond and Exeter descended from this JOHN LEWIS. It is only a few years ago that the stones were removed, (most of them unlettered) and the graves leveled off. Nearly 60 bodies were buried there. Signed "E" In Westerly andits witnesses may be found following: Lewis Ground (1) - This is a larged unfenced spot in the southwest corner of a field now owned by George D. Cross, sq. o the east side of the highway leading to Lottery Village just below village of Westerly and in front of the house of Thomas E. Saunders. The land once belonged to the Lewis family and afterward to Arnold Kenyon. "It is said that seven generations, beginning with John LEWIS are buried, but their tombstones are unlettered." JOHN LEWIS was one of first settlers of Westerly. Here rests the body of George Kenyon b 9/28/1714 and died 1796, also remains of his wife, Anna (Lewis) Kenyon born 11/27/1716 and died in he 90th year. Here too were Mary Lewis, wife of Joseph Lewis born in 1688 and died 11/27/1762. Joseph Barber, quite aged died near 1825. Samuel Brown and his wife Amy Brown, both aged, both died near 1840. Also David Brown buried nar 1810 with great Masonic ceremonies.

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John "the Immigrant" Lewis's Timeline

1630
1630
Wales
1634
April 1634
Age 4
Ipswitch
1650
April 6, 1650
Age 20
Westerly, Kings, Rhode Island
1658
1658
Age 28
Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island
1659
June 17, 1659
Age 29
Lynn, Essex, Ma
1660
1660
Age 30
Westerly, Washington Co., Rhode Island
1663
1663
Age 33
Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island, United States
1664
June 3, 1664
Age 34
Westerly, Kings, Rhode Island, United States
1665
1665
Age 35
Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island, United States
1668
1668
Age 38
Misquamicutt, Kings, Rhode Island