Edmond Lewis, of Lynn

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Edmond Lewis

Also Known As: "Edmond Lewes", "Capt. Edmund Lewis", "Edmond Lewis"
Birthdate: (49)
Birthplace: England
Death: January 1650 (49)
Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts
Place of Burial: United States
Immediate Family:

Son of unknown father of Edmond Lewis and unknown mother of Edmond Lewis
Husband of Mary Lewis
Father of Thomas Lewis; John Lewis; James Lewis; Infant Lewis; Nathaniel Lewis and 3 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Edmond Lewis, of Lynn

Edmond LEWIS - b. 1600, possibly in England; d. Jan. 1650/1, Lynn, MA. Embarked at Ipswich, England, Apr. 10, 1634 in the ship 'Elizabeth' with wife and sons John and Thomas, and located at Watertown, MA until 1643. Freeman May 24, 1636; selectman 1638; granted lands 1636-1638. His will, made Jan. 13, 1650/1 and proved Feb. 25, 1650/1, names sons John and Thomas and 'five youngest' children. Estate inventoried at £122.7.6. Three of his children were born at Watertown. Married by 1631, possibly in England.

Mary - b. 1602, possibly in England; d. Sep. 7, 1658, Lynn, MA. One undocumented source gives CAREY as her surname.

Edmond settled in Watertown, having arrived aboard the Elizabeth in 1634 with his wife, Mary.

Origin Notes

From Searching for Edmond Lewis of Lynn 2007:

"There is no evidence that Edmond Lewes of Lynn, Massachusetts was the son of George Lewis and Catherine Matthew of Llystalybont, Glamorgan, Wales. This claim was made in the book Lewis Families of Wale and America by Edward Simmons Lewis in 1928. The author did not present any evidence to document that the Edmund Lewis of Wales was the same as the Edmond Lewes who boarded the ship Elizabeth in Ipswich, Suffolk, England and sailed to Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634."

"There are many Lewes and Lewis families in and around Ipswich, Suffolk, England in the early 17th Century, so there is no reason to look to Wales for Edmond Lewes' origin."

"There is no evidence that Edmond Lewes married Mary Carew. This is an undocumented entry in FamilySearch.org. In fact, we do not know the surname of Edmond Lewes's wife."

"Edmond and Mary's oldest son John did not marry Mary Button. That was John Lewis of Westerly, Rhode Island. Edmond's son John married Hannah Marshall, Elizabeth Walker and Sarah Merriam and lived in Lynn, Massachusetts until his death in 1710."


  • "Edmund Lewis, of Lynn, Massachusetts: and some of his descendants" By George Harlan Lewis
  • Torrey's 'New England Marriages before 1700' calls Edmond Edward and has this to say "Lewis, Edward (?1601-1651) & Mary____ (1602-1658); by 1631, in England."
  • Pope's 'Pioneers of Massachusetts 1620-1650' has this to say,"Edmund, a.e., 33, wife Mary, a.e. 32, and ch. John, a.e. 3 years and Thomas, a.e. 9 months came in the 'Elizabeth' of Ipswich, April 30, 1634. Reside at Watertown. Props.; from May 25. 1636. In company with Henry Dow he bought land at Newbury August 16, 1644. He removed to Lynn. Ch. recorded at Watertown; James b. nov. 15. 1635, Nathaniel b. June 25, 1639, a ch. buried Sept. 6, 1642 a.e. 10 days. He died in 1650. Will signed Jan. 13, 1650, probated Dec. 25, 1650. Wife Mary; sons John the eldest, Thomas and four others; land at Watertown. The widow died Sept. 7, 1658.
  • Anderson's 'The Great Migration1634-1635' repeats much of what is already stated. He does have more info on the children:
    • John Lewis b, act. 1631, m. (1) Lynn June 17, 1659 Hannah Marshall; m. (2)Lynn Sept. 2, 1699 Elizabeth Walker King, daughter of Richard Walker and widow of Ralph King, m. (3) Lynn Feb. 10, 1706/7 Sarah Merriam Jenks, daughter of William Merriam and widow of John Jenks.
    • Thomas Lewis b. abt. July 1633 m. Lynn Nov. 11, 1659 Hannah Baker.
    • James Lewis b. Watertown Jan. 15, 1635, presumably one of the "five youngest" children named in his father's will. no further record.
    • Nathaniel Lewis b. Watertown August 25, 1639; m. by 1672 Mary ____ (eldest child b. Swansea June 6, 1672.
    • Child Lewis b. Oct. 27, 1642, d. Nov. 6, 1642.
    • Child Lewis b. say 1644; presumably one of the "five youngest" named in his father's will Jan. 13, 1650; no further record.
    • Joseph Lewis b. say 1646; m. Swansea June 13, 1671 Mary Jones, daughter of Robert and Ann (Bibble) Jones.
  • Vital Records of Watertown - Births

LEWIS (Lewes)

  • * James [Lewes], s. Edmund and Mary, 15: 11m: 1635.
    • Nathanell [Lewes], s. Edward and Mary, 25: 6m: 1639.

Edmond Lewes’ Ancestry Edmond Lewes’s origins, his parents and ancestors, his birthplace, even his wife’s maiden name and his life before 1630 are obscured by incomplete records and published speculation by genealogists and historians. Our Lewis line is alleged to have come from Wales, according to family oral history but there is no documentation to support this claim. In The Lewis Family of Wales and America, Edward Simmons Lewis claimed that Edmond Lewis came to Massachusetts Bay Colony from Wales, citing contemporary documents and histories of Lynn, Massachusetts.

“‘William Lewis of Roxbury, brother to Edmund Lewis of Lynn, was descended from a very respectable family in Wales. His descendants enjoy great satisfaction in being able to trace their descent from a very high antiquity.’ - Annals of Lynn”

“‘Edmund Lewis of Lynn was brother to William Lewis of Roxbury, who descended from a Welsh family with a pedigree running back centuries.’ History of Lynn, by Alonzo Lewis and James Newhall (second edition)”

This is undoubtedly the source of the family oral history of Edmond Lewes’s origin. However, none of the above sources provide any documentation of Edmond Lewes’s proposed Welsh background. Edward Simmons Lewis made the claim that Edmund Lewis, born in Llystalybont, Glamorgan, Wales in 1601, son to George Lewis and Catherine Matthew, was the immigrant ancestor of our line, but provided no documentation to back up this claim.

	In fact, we now know that William Lewis of Roxbury descended, not from deep Welsh ancestry, but from the Edmond Lewes family of Stoke-by-Nayland, Suffolk, England, documented in Parish Records to the senior Edmond Lewes’s birth in 1519. Isaac Newton Lewis claimed that “Edmund Lewis, cousin of William, with his wife and son John took passage on the “Elizabeth” of Ipswich, the nearest home port and arrived at Watertown, Mass., in 1634 and the next year moved to Lynn.” Unfortunately, this statement is inaccurate in two respects (Edmond Lewes sailed on the Elizabeth with wife Mary and sons John and Thomas. They resettled from Watertown to Lynn in 1648-49, 14 years after arriving.) However, Lewis’s claim of kinship between William and Edmond, though not supported in the Parish Records of Stoke-by-Nayland, is entirely possible if Edmond was a cousin born in a nearby town. Since, Lewis did not document this claim of kinship, we are still left in the dark on Edmond’s possible ancestry.

Furthermore, there is evidence that Edmund Lewis was still living in Llys Talybont, Glamorgan Wales in 1637, three years after Edmond Lewes and family had left England in 1634:

Survey of Llystalybont of 1653 Edmund LEWIS, Gent, Houldeth There by coppie of court rowle enrowled and bearing the date eight day of may in the 13th; year of the late King Charles I, in the year of our lord god 1637. One messuadge one of chard. one garden, and 36 acres of lands arable meadow and pasture with appurtence for the terme of his leiff and the lives of CATHERIN his wiffe and Thomas LEWIS their sonn and the longest liver of them successive lie according to the custome of the said manor at Ye yearlie rent of 8/4d. Etc; etc; signed by Thomas LEWIS esq; Then Steward of the Said Manor.

Lewis/Lewes surname in 17th Century Suffolk

	Research in English Parish Records and other sources reveals an astonishing presence of Lewis families in Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Oxfordshire from the 15th to the 17th Centuries. The entire eastern half of England seems to have been populated by Lewises early on, from the town of Lewes, Sussex in the south to Yorksire in the North. Among these Lewis families are many Edmond/Edmunds, Thomases, Johns, Marys, Elizabeths, Ann/Hannahs and other given names that run strong in our line.

The various spellings of the Lewis surname offer tantalizing clues to family origins. Although English spelling was not standardized until the mid-1700s, research reveals interesting geographic patterns that hint at patterns of migration and settlement.

	The “Lewes” spelling is most common in Sussex, Essex and Suffolk west of Ipswich. The earliest spelling of this names derives from historical records of one “Ludovic John” who came to London in 1450, and was also known as Lewis John or Lewis ap John, in the Welsh style, meaning Lewis son of John. Descendants of Lewis John took the surname Fitzlewes, substituting for ap Lewes, and in eastern Essex and Suffolk, this surname became “Lewes” when the “Fitz” prefix fell out of favor. There were also “de Lewes” surnames in Sussex and Essex in the 15th and 16th Centuries, the Norman appellation taken by residents of the town of Lewes, Sussex.
	The “Lewis” spelling occurs later, in the late 17th and 18th Centuries with an influx of Lewises from Wales after the March wars and consolidation of the border lands with England. When Henry XIII closed the monasteries and decreed that all Welshmen would have surnames “as good Englishmen,” Lewis was adopted as a surname of Anglicized “Llewellyn,” while the practice of using “ap” to designate “son of” was also largely discontinued. Thus, John ap Llewellyn became John Lewis. The “Lewis” spelling of the surname became so ubiquitous in eastern England that it almost completely overwhelmed the other spelling variations. 
	Two clusters of the “Lewys” families existed in eastern Lincolnshire and Bedfordshire but had largely been replaced by the more common spellings by the 19th century.
	In the 17th Century Ipswich, Suffolk area, the Lewes surname is legion, occurring from Stoke-by-Nayland on the western border on into Norfolk in the north. The Lewes families of Stoke-by-Nayland and Hadleigh to the north and west of Ipswich are especially noted for the occurrence of Edmond as a given name, beginning with the senior Edmond Lewes born in 1519. Isaac Newton Lewis claimed, without documentation, “Edmund Lewis, cousin of William, with his wife and son John took passage on the ‘Elizabeth’ of Ipswich, the nearest home port and arrived in Watertown, Mass., in 1634 and the next year moved to Lynn.” While he missed the infant Thomas and erred in the families move to Lynn, the entry is an interesting connection to the Stoke-by-Nayland Lewes line.

Early Documentation The earliest record that can be associated with our Edmond Lewes occurs in the will for Richard Lewes merchant of Ipswich, 1625, that names Edmond Lewes as Richard’s son, indicating he was apprenticed to Luke Fisher as ropemaker in Ipswich. This would make Edmond 24 or 25 at the time, not an unlikely time for a young man to be completing his apprenticeship in 17th Century England. Later, the Parish Records of St. Mary le Tower Church in Ipswich, Suffolk, England note: “John Lewes sunne to Edmond Lewes was baptized July 18, 1630,” This date is consistent with John Lewes’s age of 3 in May of 1634. Finally, The Freemen of the Borough of Ipswich 1320-1996 lists: “Edmond Lewes 1632 Ipswich.” This suggests that Edmond Lewes lived in Ipswich at least four years and perhaps as much as 9 years before departing for the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634. The question then is: Was Edmond Lewes, who boarded the Elizabeth in 1634 to travel to Massachusetts Bay Colony, with his wife, Mary, and two sons, from Llys Talybont, Glamorgan, Wales, or was he from the area around Ipswich? Since we have found no primary sources documenting Edmond Lewes’s origins, we must examine the existing documentation regarding his passage to North America, and those in his company on the voyage

1634 4 February Henry Dade writes from Ipswich to the Archbishop of Canterbury that the "Frances" and the "Elizabeth" with 60 men in each intend to sail for New England on about 10 March and he supposes they are debtors or persons disaffected with the established church. About 600 such men will go over shortly and he questions the effects of allowing such swarms to go. Mr. Ward of Ipswich has preached against the Book of Common Prayer thus causing this giddiness and desire to go to New England. Note: These ships and nine others bound for New England were stayed but on 28 February allowed to proceed on condition that the passengers took the oath of allegiance.

12 November John Cutting and William Andrews pray to be released from their Bonds on presentation of certificates carrying the names of all passengers who have gone in their ships to New England, enclosing lists of: 1) Passengers in the "Frances" of Ipswich, Mr. John Cutting, bound for New England 30 April 1634. 2) Passengers in that ship who did not take the oath. 3) Passengers in the "Elizabeth" of Ipswich, Mr. William Andrews, 30 April 1634 4) Passengers in that ship who did not take the oath (CSPE) (See entries for 30 April)

1635 21 January John Cuttinge, Master of the "Frances" and William Andrews, Master of the "Elizabeth", both of Ipswich, have brought a list of all the passengers that went on their ships to New England in April 1634 with certificates of their having taken the Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance.

The phrase “persons disaffected with the established church” refers to nonconformists, that is, those who rejected the practices of the established Church of England. “Mr. Ward” is undoubtedly Samuel Ward who was the preacher at St Mary le Tower in Ipswich, Suffolk from 1603 to 1635. He was suspended in 1635 for preaching nonconformism and for encouraging emigration to North America. It is likely not a coincidence that “John Lewes sonne of Edmond” was christened in St. Mary le Tower Church in 1630, probably by Samuel Ward. We can assume from this, then, that Edmond Lewes and family were in the company of “nonconformists” and followers of Samuel Ward’s call to form a nonconformist colony in the New World. In evaluating Edmond’s origins and reasons for being aboard the ship Elizabethin company with so many passengers from the area around Ipswich, it is important to note the order of signing of the ship’s passenger list, and the names, origins and destinations of those who signed before and after Edmond Lewes. The majority of those traveling on the Elizabethwere from the area north and west of Ipswich, Suffolk. This makes it more likely that Edmund Lewis was from this area and was traveling in company with friends and family.

April 10* (or 30**), 1634 The Elizabeth of Ipswich departed Ipswich, England, for New England. (No arrival date specified in these sources.) (As copied from original, with notes about later lists.)

  • An accompanying petition from the Masters of the Francis and the Elizabeth, following their return to Ipswich, gives the date of departure as "the Tenth daye of Aprill laste paste" (last past).
    • "A Note of the names and ages of all the Passengers which tooke shipping
     In the Elizabeth of Ipswich, Mr Willia(m) Andrews bound for new Eng 
     Land the last of Aprill, 1634."  - Ipswich Customhouse, November 12, 1634.

William Andrew(e)s, Master


These took the Oath of Allegiance and Supremacy.

Sherman, John . . . . . . . . 20 (listed in "Planters" as with John Firmin) Mosse, Joseph . . . . . . . . 24 Woodward, Richard . . . .45 miller, bound for Watertown

(wife) Rose  . . . . . . . . . 50 (Mrs. Rose Woodward)

Lewis, Edmond . . . . . . . 33 bound for Watertown

(wife) Mary  . . . . . . . . . 32 (Mrs. Mary Lewis)

"A Note of all the names and ages of all those which did not take the Oath of Allegiance or Supremacy being vnder age shipped in or Port. In the Elizabeth of Ipswich Mr Willia(m) Andrewes bound for new England the last of Aprill 1634." - Ipswich Customhouse, November 12, 1634.

Lewis, John . . . . . . . . 3 with Edmond Lewis (in above list) Lewis, Thomas . . . . . . . 3/4 with Edmond Lewis

Edmond Lewes in Watertown, Massachusetts Bay Colony On 25 May, 1636, Edmund Lewes was granted status as Freeman in Watertown, the first in a sequence of eight Watertown men21. He was elected as Watertown selectman, 30 December, 1637, appointed to the Committee to lay out farms, 14 October, 1638, to the Essex Grand Jury, 29 December 1648 and Lynn constable, 27 June, 1649.22

Edmond was granted thirty acres in the Great Dividend in Watertown, Lot 26 in the First Division, 25 July, 1636; granted five acres in the Beaverbrook Plowlands, Lot 82, 28 February, 1636/7, granted five acres in the Remote Meadows, Lot 61, 26 June, 1637; granted six acres in the Town Plot, 9 April, 16383.

In the Watertown Inventory of Grants, “Edmond Lewis” held six parcels: “an homestall of six acres”; “one acre of meadow ... in Rock Meadow”; “thirty acres of upland . . . being a Great Dividend in the first division & the twenty-five lot”; “five acres of Plowland . . . in the Further Plain”; five acres of Remote Meadow . . . & the sixty-one lot”; and “one acre of Remote Meadow.”

In the Watertown Composite Inventory, “Edmond Lewis” held six parcels: “an homestall of six acres”; one acre of meadow in Rock meadow”; “thirty acres of upland being a Great Dividend in the 1 Division & the 25 lot”; fives acres of Plowland in the Further Plain & the 91 lot”; five acres in the Remote Meadows & the 61 lot”; and “a Farm of one hundred acres of upland.”

On October 16, 1644, “John Sanders of Hampton” sold to “Henry Dow & Edmund Lewis of Watertowne . . . all the ground that I bought of William Wakefield of Newbury which is to say one houselot containing ten acres . . . with ten acres added to the same adjoining to the north end thereof and twelve acres of planting ground granted in the east field and ten acres of meadow ground adjoining to the springs and seventeen acres of salt marsh near adjoining to it together with the commenage & appurtenances to the same belonging.”14 On 22 October, 1649, “whereas we Edmond Lewis & Henry Dow as joint purchasers in a bargain of land which we bought of John Sanders of Hampton, the land lying in the bounds of Hampton,” now “Edmond lewis of Linn” sells to Henry Dow his entire right in the said lands.

“Edmond Lewes and Henry Doue bought John Sanders of Hampton land in Hampton and Edmond Lewes of Linn for £15 now conveys to Henry Doue his interest in the same 22: 8: 1649 Wit Jn Lewis Ack before Rob Bridges 30: 8: 1650.”

Edmond Lewes in Lynn, Massachusetts Bay Colony “In 1638 Edmund Lewis located just south of Edmund Ingalls, and from him and his lands Lewis street derived its name, his farm stretching easterly. The Lewis lands adjoined the Ingalls lands and remained in the possession of the Lewis family for many years.” 23 Edmond and Mary lived in Lynn, with son John, until their deaths in 1650 and 1658. John inherited the farm at Wood End. 21 Nathaniel B. Shurlleff, ed., Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, 1628-1686 1:372. 22 Record of Town Proceedings: Watertown 1:3. 23 The Ingalls Family in England and America by Walter Renton Ingalls, b.s.; d. Eng. http://home.comcast.net/~ingallspages/WRIngalls/Lynn.htm

Edmond Lewes Will 1650/1651 - assumed from will, Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony COURT HELD AT SALEM, 25: 12: 1650. Present: Governor, Deputy Governor, Capt. Bridgis and Mr. Sam Simonds. Mary, widow of Edmund Lewis, late deceased brought in his will* and it was proved by Edward Burcham and John Deacon. Inventory of the estate, 1221li 7s 6d.


The will of Edmund Lewis of Lynn, dated 13: 11: 1650, was proved by Edward Burcham, 25: 12: 1650. "Line the 13th of the 11th mo 1650 memorandum that I Edmund Lewis beinge Sick & Weake, but of perfect remembrance, doe make & confirme this my last Will and testymente as followeth first my will Is that my land att watertowen shall be sould & thatt my eldeste sone John Lewis shall have A double portyon & yt the reste of my Children namly the fiue youngeste to haue euery one of them A licke portyon of my estate secondly my deare & Louinge wife to have the thirds of All my whole estate 3 I desier that my wife may have A cow over & aboue towards the bringine vpe of my youngeste Children 4 my desires Is my wife to be my whole Executor to dispose of my body & goods ackordinge to my will 5 my requeste to my sone John Is to giue his mother a Cow to hellpe her towards the bringine vpe of my youngeste Children 6 my requeste to my soné Thomas Lewis Is to giue his mother halfe of his sheepe to helpe her as Aforesaide 7 my desire & meninge is that the Cow I aske of John & the sheepe I aske of Thomas Is of them that they now have In theare possesion Aliso my requeste is to Thomas Austines to be my supervisor to assiste my Lovinge wife. Edmund Lewes* Wit John Deakin *Edward Burchum*

Notes on Edmund Lewes will: The will is dated the 11th month of 1650, which would be February, 1650 in the Julian calendar, February 1651 in Gregorian. The will is signed "Edmund Lewes," with the Suffolk, England surname spelling, and it appears that this was his signature (designated as autograph) not his mark. The reference to Thomas Austines is a transcription error. Edmund was referring to Deacon Thomas Hastings, a fellow passenger on the Elizabeth who settled and stayed in Watertown. Mary Lewis of Lynn, Mass. widow of Edmund Lewis of Watertown, lately deceased, sold to William Page of Watertown for £10 all her parcels of land at Watertown, November 26, 1652.

Edmund Lewis came to the New World on the Elizabeth in 1634. He was part of the Great Migration from England right before the English Civil War.


NOT the Edmund Lewis who emigrated to Watertown, MA.

...Edmond Lewes...came to Watertown in Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634, on the ship Elizabeth, from Ipswich, Suffolk, England, with his wife Mary and two sons John and Thomas.

This Edmond was from Suffolk, England, not from Wales, was not the son of George Lewis and Catherine Matthews from Llys Talybont, Glamorgan, Wales, as claimed by many. We do not know the parents or siblings of Edmond Lewes at this time.

The misidentification of Edmond Lewis with Llys Talybont, Wales is from the book "The Lewis Family of Wales and America," 1923, by Edward Simmons Lewis, in which the author claimed Edmund Lewis of Lynn Massachusetts was the same person as Edmund Lewis of Llys Talybont from Glamorgan, Wales, but provided no documentation of the connection. This mistaken interpretation has become imbedded in the genealogical literature and repeated without question by many researchers.

I have been researching Edmond Lewes (the idiomatic spelling of the name from Suffolk in the mid-17th Century) for over ten years, and I have found no evidence whatsoever to connect Edmond Lewes of Watertown and Lynn, Massachusetts with Edmund Lewis of Lly Talybont, Wales.

There are also unsubstantiated claims that Edmond Lewes's wife was Mary Carey, and I have found absolutely no evidence to support this claim.

I have discovered documentation of Edmond Lewes in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, when his son John was born in 1630 and when Edmond received his Freeman status in 1632. I have found no records of the birth of his son Thomas (my 10th Great Grandfather), nor of Edmonds parents or siblings.

My research is detailed in my book, "Descendants of Edmond Lewes of Lynn, Massachusetts."


Information about Edmond's ancestry comes from "Edmund Lewis of Lynn and some of his desc" by George Harlan Lewis. The claim is made that Edmond Lewis was the son of George Lewis of Llystalybont, Glamorgan, Wales. There is no documentation to support this claim, nor to support the claim that Edmond Lewis married Mary Carey of Kings Lynn, Norfolk, England.

Appears on the Elizabeth passenger list as "Edmond Lewis" age 33, with Marry (32), John (3) and Thomas (3/4), traveling from Suffolk to Watertown. The Elizabeth left Ipswich on April 30, 1634. In Watertown, he served as selectman in 1636 and was granted 30 acres in the "Great Dividend" on 25 Jul 1636, as well as additional smaller plots in 1637 and 1638. He eventually held six Watertown parcels. He bought 10 acres in Hampton with Henry Dow in 1644, and he was still listed "of Watertown". That land was sold in 1649, when Edmond was "of Linn."

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Edmond Lewis, of Lynn's Timeline

July 18, 1630
Age 29
Ipswich, Suffolk , England
May 27, 1633
Age 32
Ipswich, Suffolk , England
April 1634
Age 33
November 15, 1635
Age 34
Watertown, Massachusetts Bay, British Colonial America
June 25, 1639
Age 38
Watertown, Middlesex, MA
October 17, 1642
Age 41
Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
Age 45
of Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts