Source: Robert S. Wakefield, “George1 and John1 Lewis of Brenchley, Kent, England, and Scituate, Massachusetts,” American Genealogist 68.
George1 LEWIS and John1 LEWIS, presumed to be brothers, first appeared in New England in 1635, in the town of Scituate, Massachusetts. George LEWIS, who later moved to Barnstable, had elder children Mary, Thomas, George, James and Edward, born before arrival in New England (Amos Otis, Genealogical Notes of Barnstable Families, 2 vols. [Barnstable, Mass., 1888-90], 2:119-20). John LEWIS had married in Tenterden, county Kent, England, and sailed to New England with his wife Sarah and daughter Sarah (NEHGR 66:356). Records of the immigrants and their families have now been found in Brenchley, county Kent.
1 GEORGEA LEWIS, father of the immigrants, married at Brenchley, county Kent, England, on 24 May 1596 DENNIS FORMAN, baptized at Brenchley on 15 August 1579 and buried there on 10 January 1625/6, daughter of Clement and Margery (BALDOCK) FORMAN of Brenchley, who were married at Lamberhurst, county Kent, on 16 February 1567/8. George LEWIS was buried at Brenchley on 11 July 1631, without leaving a will.
Clement FORMAN of Brenchley, husbandman, left a will dated 31 October 1599, proved 16 January 1599/1600, naming wife Margery, daughter Dennis LEWIS and granddaughter Margery LEWIS (Consistory and Archdeaconry Court of Rochester, Registered Wills, hereafter Rochester Wills, 19(1):100).
The widow Margery FORMAN of Brenchley left a will, dated 6 May 1610 and proved 20 February 1611/2, which devised land to her daughter Denis for life and then to her three grandsons, George, James and John LEWIS. Her son-in-law George LEWIS was named executor. The will also mentioned sisters Elizabeth, wife of Thomas CICHHINHAM [i.e., KITCHINGHAM], and Mary, wife of Stephen BURT; and grandchildren Margery, George, James and John LEWIS. (Rochester Wills 20:317.)
Children (LEWIS) of GeorgeA and Dennis (FORMAN), all bp. Brenchley, co. Kent:
i MARGERY bp. 4 Dec. 1597; bur. Brenchley 18 June 1619.
2 ii GEORGE1 bp. 31 Aug. 1600; m. MARY —.
iii JAMES bp. 17 April 1603, mentioned 6 May 1610 in his grandmother’s will; n.f.r.
3 iv JOHN1 bp. 1 Nov. 1606; m.(1) SARAH MEAD, (2) ALICE (MATTOCK) BISHOP.
v ELIZABETH bp. 2 Feb. 1613/4; n.f.r.
2 GEORGE1 LEWIS was baptized at Brenchley, county Kent, on 31 Au-
gust 1600 and died at Barnstable, Massachusetts, before 1 March 1663/4, when his widow swore to his inventory (see below).
As “Goodman LEWIS Senior,” he joined the church of the Rev. John LOTHROP at Scituate on 20 September 1635 (NEHGR 9:280). He was admitted as a freeman of Plymouth Colony on 3 January 1636/7 (Nathaniel B. Shurtleff and David Pulsifer, eds., Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England, 12 vols. [Boston, 1855-61], hereafter Plym. Col. Recs., 1:48).
On 8 January 1639, George LEWIS of Scituate, clothyer, sold his dwelling house in Scituate to Richard WILLIS (Plym. Col. Recs., 12:53). He apparently moved to Barnstable shortly afterwards with other members of Rev. LOTHROP’s church. He was “of Barnstable” on 22 March 1642 (Plym. Col. Recs., 12:89).
On “the first day of February 1654,” George LEWIS sold land in Barnstable to Samuel MAYO; “Mary LEWES the wife of George LEWES acknowledged her free consent… this 2nd of the first month 1654 [i.e., 2 March 1654]” (Barnstable Town Records [Hinckley transcript], Vol. 1, 1640-1713, pp. 139-40 [Mss/B/B36/V. 1, at New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston]).
On 1 March 1663/4, Mr. HINCKLEY administered the oath to widow LEWIS for the truth of the inventory of the estate of George LEWIS deceased (Plym. Col. Recs., 4:55). The undated will of George LEWIS Sr. was exhibited at the 3 March 1663/4 court. It named wife Mary; sons Ephraim, George, Thomas, James, Edward and John; and daughter Sarah LEWIS. (MD 16:23.)
Samuel DEANE (History of Scituate, Massachusetts [Boston, 1831], 303) and others state that George married in England Sarah JENKINS (but statements by DEANE should be used with great caution). The only documented wife of George LEWIS is Mary who signed the 1654 deed and is named in the will. The statement by son John LEWIS (see below) seems to imply that she was the mother of at least the last three children. If George LEWIS married after he had settled in Scituate in 1635, one would expect it to be mentioned in LOTHROP’s records. Likewise, if a wife had died in Plymouth Colony one would expect that to be in LOTHROP’s records as well. This strongly suggests that he married Mary in England and that she was his only wife.
The 14 April 1670 list of the inhabitants of Barnstable includes Edw’d LEWIS, Geo. LEWIS, James LEWIS, John LEWIS, Thos. LEWIS and Widow LEWIS (Frederick Freeman, The History of Cape Cod: The Annals of the Thirteen Towns of Barnstable County, 2 vols. [Boston, 1862], 2:271).
Children (LEWIS) of George1 and Mary (—):
i MARY2 bp. Brenchley, co. Kent, 27 Dec. 1625; she m. Scituate 14 Nov. 1643, as 1st wife, JOHN1 BRYANT, and is called “the daughter of Gorge [sic] LEWIS of Barnstable” in the marriage record (Plym. Col. Recs., 8:17). For John1 BRYANT,
see NEHGR 48:46-53 and Selim Walker McArthur, McARTHUR-BARNES Ancestral Lines (Portland, Maine, 1964), 123.
ii GEORGE bp. Brenchley 11 Nov. 1627; m. Barnstable 1 Dec. 1654 MARY3 LUMBART (Plym. Col. Recs., 8:45), bp. Scituate 8 Oct. 1637, dau. of Bernard2 LOMBARD (Thomas1)(TAG 52:139).
iii THOMAS bp. Brenchley 5 Jan. 1630/1; m. Barnstable 15 June 1653 MARY2 DAVIS (Plym. Col. Recs., 8:45), dau. of Dolor1 DAVIS (MD 24:71-73).
iv JAMES bp. Brenchley 25 March 1632; m. Barnstable Oct. 1655 SARAH2 LANE (Plym. Col. Recs., 8:46), dau. of George1 LANE of Hingham, Mass. (George Lincoln, History of the Town of Hingham…, 3 vols. in 4 [Hingham, 1893], 2:411, 441.) She was apparently the “[Sar]ah LANE” bp. Hingham March 1638, according to the Hobart Journal (NEHGR 121:10).
v EDWARD b. prob. England ca. 1634; m. Barnstable 9 May 1661 HANNAH2 COBB (MD 10:250), b. Scituate 5 Oct. 1639, dau. of Henry1 COBB (MD 3:73; Frank Farnsworth Starr, The WILLIAMSON and COBB Families [Hartford, Conn., 1896], hereafter WILLIAMSON-COBB, 41-45).
vi JOHN b. Scituate 2 March 1637/8 (MD 10:249), bp. there 11 March 1637/8 (NEHGR 9:281). He was killed by the Indians 26 March 1676 (TAG 60:239). On 3 fifth month [July] 1676, Shuball DIMACKE deposed that he heard John LEWIS Sr., the son of George LEWIS Sr., living at Barnstable, say, some time before he went out last to war, that he would leave what he had with Samuel BRYANT to order for him; and if he came not again, he should take all. On the same date. Hannah and Mary DAVIS deposed that they heard him say the above, but that Samuell BRYANT should help maintain his [LEWIS’s] mother, along with the rest of his brothers, so long as she lived. (Plymouth Colony, Mass., Probates 3:175.) These records prove that Mary A.S. ANDERSON erred when she said that John married Margaret and left an only son (Ancestry and Posterity of Joseph SMITH and Emma HALE [Independence, Mo., 1929], 426).
vii EPHRAIM b. Barnstable 23 July 1641 (MD 10:249), bp. there 25 July 1641 (NEHGR 9:282). He was living in 1663 when he was named in his father’s will; he probably d. before 1670, as he is not in the list of Barnstable inhabitants mentioned above.
viii SARAH b. Barnstable 2 Feb. 1643 (MD 10:249), bp. there 11 Feb. 1643 (NEHGR 9:282); m. (1) Barnstable 26 Dec. 1663 JAMES2 COBB (MD 3:73), b. Plymouth 14 Jan. 1634, son of Henry1 COBB (MD 3:73; WILLIAMSON-COBB, 41-55). She m. (2) Barnstable 23 Nov. 1698, as 3d wife, JONATHAN2 SPARROW (MD 14:87), son of Richard1 SPARROW (Mary Walton Ferris, DAWES-GATES Ancestral Lines, 2 vols. [n.p., 1931-43], 2:765-68; N. Grier Parke, The Ancestry of Lorenzo ACKLEY and His Wife Emma Arabella BOSWORTH [Woodstock, Vt., 1960], 41-42).
3 JOHN1 LEWIS was baptized at Brenchley, county Kent, on 1 November 1606. He married first at Tenterden, county Kent, on 1 March 1631/2 SARAH MEAD; she was baptized at Tenterden on 29 November 1612, daughter of James MEAD (NEHGR 66:356).
The 21 February 1631/2 marriage license calls him John LEWIS of Tenterden, bachelor, butcher, age about twenty-four, and calls her Sarah MEAD, spinster, age about twenty, daughter of James MEAD, deceased (Joseph H. Cowper, ed., Canterbury Marriage Licenses, 1619-1660 [Canterbury, 1894],
Passengers on the Hercules from Sandwich, England, to New England in April 1635 included John LEWIS of Tenterden, wife Sarah and daughter Sarah (Peter Wilson Coldham, The Complete Book of Emigrants,
1607-1660 [Baltimore, 1987], 132).
John LEWIS was admitted as a freeman of Plymouth Colony on 2 January 1637/8 (Plym. Col. Recs., 1:74), and it was probably after that date that he was added to a list of freemen that had been compiled on 7 March 1636/7 (Plym. Col. Recs., 1:53). He resided in Scituate where he was a surveyor of highways 3 March 1639/40 and 2 June 1640 (Plym. Col. Recs., 1:141, 156). On 6 March 1648/9, he was granted a license to keep an ordinary at “Seteaat” (Plym. Col. Recs., 2:137).
(There was another unidentified John LEWIS in Plymouth Colony too old to be a son of the above John. He was a servant of Mr. VASSALL on 2 March 1646/7, was in trouble with the court on 9 June 1653, and had “departed this government” by 6 March 1654/5 [Plym. Col. Recs., 2:111, 3:36, 74].)
On the “5th day of the 11th moneth 1650” [i.e., 5 January 1650/1], “Sara LEWIS Daughter to Sister LEWIS a member of the Situate church” was baptized at the First Church of Boston (Richard D. Pierce, The Records of the First Church in Boston 1630-1868, Col. Soc. Mass. Pubs., 39-41 [Boston, 1961], hereafter Boston 1st Ch. Recs., 39:320). Sarah, the wife of John LEWIS, died in Boston on the 12th of the 5th month 1657 [i.e., 12 July 1657] (Boston Rec. Comm. Rep. 9[Boston, 1908]:61).
John LEWIS married second in Boston on 22 November 1659 ALICE BISHOP, widow (Boston Rec. Comm. Rep., 9:71). She was daughter of James MATTOCK; her first husband has not been identified (he was not Nathaniel BISHOP). The will of James MATTOCKE, dated 21 January 1666 (with codicil of 28 January 1666) and proved 1 August 1667, names wife Mary; son Samuel; daughter Alice, the wife of John LEWES; and daughter Mary, the wife of Samuel BROWNE (Suffolk Co., Mass., Probates 1:541). The will of widow Mary MATTOCKE, dated 8 January 1680[/1] and proved 11 April 1682, bequeaths to son Samuel MATTOCKE land for his life (and names him executor), then to his children; to Samuel’s son James wharf and other property, he to pay to his brother Samuel £30 at age twenty-one; to daughter Alice HOW west end of house for life, then to Mary MATTOCKE’s grandson John MATTOX, he to pay £5 each to the following grandchildren: Constance MATTOCKE, Mehitable MATTOCKE, Elizabeth MATTOCKE, Mary MATTOCKE and Samuel LEWIS; to daughter Mary BISHOP for life east end of house, then to Mary MATTOCKE’s grandson Zacheus MATTOCKE, he to pay £5 each to the following grandchildren: Joseph LEWIS, James BROWN, Mary BROWN, Samuel BROWN and Hannah BISHOP; to two daughters movables (Suffolk Probates 6:390). Alice (MATTOCK)(BISHOP)
LEWIS is said to have married (3) Abraham HOWE and (4) John HARRIS of Rowley (see Daniel Wait Howe, HOWE Genealogies, 2[Boston, 1929]:6; and George Brainard Blodgett and Amos Everett Jewett, Early Families of Rowley, Massachusetts [Rowley, 1933], 137 [citing Suffolk Deeds 22:79]).
On 31 May 1663, “goody LEWIS” was admitted a member of the First Church of Boston (Boston 1st Ch. Recs., 39:58); since Benoni and Nathaniel were baptized as sons of “our sister LEWIS,” this admission must be for Alice.
On 2 March 1662, John LEWES Sr. of Boston, butcher, sold a dwelling house in Boston to Habbacuke GLOVER, agent to Robert THOMPSON of the city of London (Suffolk Deeds, 14 vols. [Boston, 1880-1906], 4:83-86). On 23 August 1669, John LEWIS Sr. of Boston, butcher, sold to John FARNHAM a dwelling house in Boston; on 24 August 1669, Alice LEWIS, wife of John LEWIS, quitclaimed her rights (Suffolk Deeds, 6:83-84a).
(There was another John LEWIS in Boston at the same time. On 8 September 1669, John LEWIS of Boston, Marriner, and wife Ann sold a dwelling house in Boston to Thomas PLATTS [Suffolk Deeds, 6:96-98]. As John LEWIS of Boston, seaman, he had purchased this land on 21 September 1653 [Suffolk Deeds, 2:30-31].
This man does not appear to be a son of John LEWIS Sr.)
Children (LEWIS) of John1 and his first wife, Sarah (MEAD):
i SARAH1 bp. Tenterden 3 March 1632/3.
ii SARAH (again) b. prob. Scituate, Mass., bp. Boston 5 11m [Jan.] 1650[/1] (Boston 1st Ch. Recs., 39:320) (unless she is the same as the child above, bp. in England 18 years earlier).
Children (LEWIS) of John and his second wife, Alice (MATTOCK)(BISHOP), all b. Boston (Boston Rec. Comm. Rep., 9:79, 84, 92, 100):
iii SAMUEL b. 18 Jan. 1661.
iv JOSEPH b. 4 Feb. 1662.
v BENONI b. 25 Jan. 1664[/5], bp. 29 11m [Jan.] 1664[/5] (Boston 1st Ch. Recs., 39:341); not named in grandmother’s will.
vi NATHANIEL b. 5 July 1666, bp. 8 5 m [July] 1666 (Boston 1st Ch. Recs., 39:343); not named in grandmother’s will.
I wish to thank Eleanor RUE for the information that started this inquiry and Neil D. THOMPSON, FASG, for his assistance on the research.
Mr. Wakefield is well known for his articles on Plymouth Colony families. His address is 1221 Windsor Way, Redwood City CA 94061.