The Lewis Family
Albert Gallington Lewis was the
son of one Samuel Lewis and his wife Sarah Floro. These two are interesting in their own right,
but I wish to digress a moment to the possible roots of this old American
My most educated guess would be
that our Samuel above was the son of John Lewis, son of Andrew Lewis
below. I say this because our Samuel had
two sons who named their first born male children -- John -- I am thinking
after their grandfather. However, as you
will read, this is speculation, but “fun” speculation.
Early Lewis Men
In Western Virginia
"Previous to 1749, Western
Virginia was untrodden by the foot of white man, if we except an occasional
trader, who may have ventured upon the heads of some of the tributary streams
which take their rise in the Alleghany
of the Early Settlement and Indian Wars of Western Virginia by Wills de
Hass, Wheeling: H. Hoblitzwell, 1851.
Special Collections Edition 1989, McClain Printing Company, Parsons, W. Va.)
Chapter III, First Settlers West of the
"lunatic"(whose name is not given) ventured from Frederick County, Maryland,
into the wilderness of the Greenbriar country sometime about 1749. Upon his return, his description of the
country induced some to visit it, among them being Jacob Martin and Stephen
Sewell. These two men settled on the Greenbriar River.
One built a cabin, but the other soon left this abode and took up
residence in a hollow tree.
In 1751, the two men were
discovered by one Andrew Lewis, an
agent for the Greenbriar Company. Lewis
attempted to resolve the dispute between the two pioneers and was successful
for a time. However, eventually, the men
parted company yet again.
Further attempts to colonize the
Greenbriar country were not made for many years. John
Lewis, and his son Andrew,
proceeded with their explorations, until interrupted by the breaking out of the
Chapter V: Dunmore's
of Point Pleasant,
referred to as "First Battle of the
General Andrew Lewis is placed in command of one of two forces organized to
fight the Indians in Western Virginia. General Lewis had three sons in his division,
one of whom, John, commanded a company; Samuel
and Thomas were privates.
"By the first of September,
General Lewis only awaited the arrival of Col. Christian, and orders from Lord
Dunmore, to march. In a few days a
messenger reached him with orders from Dunmore
to meet him on the second of October, at the mouth of the Kanawha. On the 11th, he struck his tents and
commenced the line of march through an unknown and trackless wilderness."
The book gives an extensive
account of the battles involved. Col.
Charles Lewis was killed.
Chapter XI: The Scotch-Irish Element in Western Virginia
In 1736 Governor Gooch issued a
patent for 118,491 acres of land "in the county of Orange,
between the great mountains on the river Sherando." That is, near the present town of Staunton on the Shenandoah
River. The grantees were John Beveley, John
Robinson, and Richard Randolph. The next
day Robinson and Randolph conveyed their interests to Beverley, and the vast
tract became known as the Beverley Manor.
This land soon became the home of many Scotch-Irish. The first to locate there was John Lewis. His son was Andrew Lewis, who commanded the Virginia
army at the battle of Point Pleasant and who
fought in the American army in the Revolution.
He was Washington's choice for
commander-in-chief of the American armies, but the Continental Congress
John Lewis, the first settler, was a fugitive from justice. He had killed his landlord in Ireland, being provoked by abuse to do it, and
he fled to Portugal, and in
1731 was in Pennsylvania,
where he was joined by his family. They
first located on Opequon creek - on the Hite land - in 1732, and soon
afterwards removed to a point near Staunton.
He raised a family which afterwards took a prominent part in Virginia affairs. His son Charles was killed in the battle of Point Pleasant in 1774.
Chapter XXV: The Great Kanawha
In 1764, Captain William
Arbuckle, doubtless the first white man to explore the Kanawha valley region,
visited Point Pleasant. Washington,
with a number of his army comrades, made his camp here in October 1770, and
began the surveying of 10,000 acres of land awarded him for services in the
French and Indian war. This tract was on
the south side of the Kanawha river, while his comrade, Andrew Lewis, claimed a
tract almost as large, including the present site of Point
Pleasant city. In the
battle fought there in 1774, with General Lewis in Command, there were 1,100
soldiers. The Indians were led by the
famous warrior, Cornstalk.
Kanawha county was organized in
October, 1789. Of the military company
were Colonel Samuel Lewis, with Daniel Boone as lieutenant colonel.
Chapter XXIX: Big Sandy River
Lewis county - this county was
formed from Harrison by act of assembly, December 18, 1816, which act directed that the
first court should be held at Westfield. The county was named in honor of Colonel
Charles Lewis, who was killed at the battle of Point
Pleasant. He was the
youngest son of John Lewis, the pioneer settler of Augusta
county, and a brother of General Andrew Lewis, who commanded the Virginians at Point Pleasant.
The first term of circuit
superior court was convened at the Sweet Springs, May 19, 1800.
The first school was taught in 1795. The first land located was a 140
acre tract, including Sweet Springs, by John Lewis, in 1760. In about 1775, John Alderson and brother-in-law,
William Morris, visited the Greenbriar region, each bringing a patent for 1,200
acres. They decided to locate there, and
did in the vicinity of present town of Alderson,
but upon investigation found that Samuel Lewis had located a large tract just
below where the town now stands.
Alderson could not find the northern boundary of the Lewis lands, and
made his survey so as to include the bottom lands just below the town.
Our Samuel Lewis married Sarah
Floro in 1799 and lived along the Kanawha
River. Our Samuel Lewis, we are told, was born in
Bucks Co., PA, 16 FEB 1767
- making him very young to be a private in his father's military company in
1774. However, we are told that the
above John Lewis family did make a stop in Pennsylvania
before moving on to Western Virginia. So the
birth" is not a problem. It seems
highly unlikely that our Samuel Lewis is NOT related to this family. Perhaps, we will be able to confirm the
connection with later research.
Our Samuel Lewis 1767-1867
Samuel Lewis was born in Bucks
Co., PA, 16 FEB 1767,
about 16 miles above Philadelphia, along the Delaware River.
Samuel's mother lived to be 114 years of age, but we know neither her
name nor the name of her husband. One
family researcher, Roger Handke of Colesburg,
IA, believes that Samuel's family
were of Scotch-Irish descent. Our branch
of the family chooses to believe that they were of Scotch-Welsh descent.
Lewis is a particularly common
Welsh name; is among the 25 most common surnames in England;
and was also brought to Ireland
Our Samuel -- be he of Welsh,
Scotch or Irish lineage – reportedly crossed the Allegheny Mountains of
Virginia five times on horseback. He met
his future wife in the backwoods of western Virginia,
the area which later became the state of West
Samuel married Sarah Floro in
1799. She lived along the Kanawha River
in western Virginia. While Samuel was already past 30, Sarah was a
young girl of 17. Some thirty to forty
years after her death, one of her sons reported that she had been born in Pennsylvania in
1785. Another son reported her birth in Virginia in 1782. The 1782/Virginia report is most likely.
Sarah's mother, like Samuel's,
lived more than a century, dying at the age of 106 years. She was reportedly living in the vicinity of
Strawberry, TX, at the time of her daughter's death in 1847.
Samuel and his wife made their
home along the Kanawha
River and the first of
their 15 children was born there.
In 1814, Samuel took his family
to the Territory of Missouri and settled in what later became St.
Francois Co., just below St. Louis. Their son Albert Gallatin Lewis was born here
on 6 MAR 1826. Indians were a constant threat to the family.
In May of 1830, now 63 years of
age, Samuel moved his family across the Mississippi River
to Sangamon Co., IL. They farmed in Illinois for fourteen
years, most if not all, of which were spent in Cotton Hill twp., southeast of
Springfield, in the vicinity of the town of Breckenridge.
Samuel arrived in the area just
in time to be considered one of the pioneers of the county. Abraham Lincoln also lived in the county
during this period.
In June of 1844, Samuel crossed
back over the Mississippi River to stake out a land claim in northwest Iowa, probably settling
in Colony twp., Delaware Co., or just east of there across the line in Dubuque
Both Samuel and Sarah died in
Delaware Co. Sarah died in 1847 at the
age of 65. Samuel died on 9 AUG
1867, at the age of 100 years, five months, and 22 days.
Of the 15 children born to this
couple, only six were still alive by the year 1876, four living in Iowa, one in Illinois,
and the whereabouts of the other unknown.
From this source, we know the names and some information about only
three of them: Maria, Alfred, and Albert
In the 1850 census for Dubuque Co.,
IA, Samuel, now a widower and 77 years old, is listed as living with four
children. Whether or not they are
children, grandchildren, or other kinfolk is in question, but the best figuring
allows for them to be children, even though their mother would have been still
bearing children well into her 50s.
Children included in the census
were Allen, 22; Samuel, 18; Narsicca, 16; and Alvin, 12 -- born when Samuel was
65 and Sarah, 57!
This information comes from an
article on son A.G. Lewis printed in the "History of Clayton Co.,
IA," published by the Historical
Department of Iowa in 1882, as well as the federal censuses for the time. It is also substantiated by the younger
Samuel's own obituary.
By 1860, father Samuel, now in
his nineties, is living with the Joseph Sotorp family in Colony twp. He died seven years later on 9 AUG 1867, at the age of
100, years, five months, and 21 days.
Samuel’s and Sarah’s children:
1. Maria, (See Notes page 17) b. 6 APR 1815, St. Francois Co., MO; m. first William Cooper, b. 1836, Sagamon
County, IL; m. second Hamilton McCoy, b. 22 MAR 1815, Mason Co., WV; d. 14 SEP
1872, Breckenridge, Sangamon Co., IL;
2. Alfred, b. 26 MAR 1823, St. Francois Co., MO; m. Eliza J.
Abell on 14 MAR 1850 at Loami; last known place of residence, Taylorville, IL;
children, Sarah S., Maria A.; John S., Louisa F., and Cornelia Lewis;
Gallington, b. 6 MAR 1826,
St. Francois Co., MO; m. Mary Ann Walter
on 3 SEP 1846 At Clayton Co., IA; Mary Ann b. 20 FEB 1830 in Ohio, d. 7 MAR
1911 Columbia Falls, Flathead Co., MT; Albert Gallington d. 5 AUG 1901,
Columbia Falls, Flathead Co., MT; buried Mt. Harmony Cemetery, Clayton Co., IA;
4. Allen, b. abt 1828;
5. Samuel, b. abt 1832;
6. Narcissa, b. abt 1834; and
b. abt 1838.