Lewis – Surname Saturday

Roberts-Barnes-Taft-Sutherland-Lewis Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Lewis is a common name with many different potential sources. It may be an Americanized form of the French Louis, Irish Mac Loughaidh, or Welsh Llywelyn. As my Lewis ancestors appear to have been English, it most likely from the Middle English and Old English personal name Lewis.[i]

Direct Surname Ancestors

I have two independent sources of Lewis ancestors. Both Mercy Eliza Taft’s parents have Lewis ancestors, but they do not appear related.

2nd Great-grandmother, Mercy Eliza Taft (1822-1884) paternal ancestors include my:

    • 3rd Great-grandfather:  Joel Cruff Taft (1800-1849)
    • 4th Great-grandfather: Asa Taft (1774-1839) * Note footnote [ii]
    • 5th Great-grandfather: Silas Taft (1744-1812) *
    • 6th Great-grandmother: Mary Lewis (1714-1795) *
    • 7th Great-grandfather: Samuel Lewis III (1684-1760) *
    • 8th Great-grandfather: Samuel Lewis II (___-___) *

2nd Great-grandmother, Mercy Eliza Taft (1822-1884), maternal ancestors include my:

    • 3rd Great-grandfather: Tamise Fanny Sutherland(1796-1864)
    • 4th Great-grandmother: Mary Lewis (1771-1804) * Note Footnote [iii]
    • 5th Great-grandfather: Morris Lewis (1733-1807) *
    • 6th Great-grandfather: Isaac Lewis, Sr (1701-1749) *

My Lewis’ in History

Patriot

Mary (Lewis) Taft’s (1714-1795) husband, Stephen Taft, was a lieutenant in the Militia in Massachusetts.[iv] Her father, Samuel Lewis, III, died before the Revolution,

Immigrant Ancestor

1. Mary (Lewis) Taft’s father, Samuel Lewis (1684-1760), was probably born in Middlesex County. Massachusetts Bay Colony (MBC).

    • His father, Samuel Lewis (1641-1698), was born in Charlestown, MBC.
    • His father may have been John Lewis (1603-1657). If so, he immigrated to MBC about 1635, probably from England.

2. Mary (Lewis) Sutherland (1771-1804) was born in Dutchess County, New York. Her father, Morris Lewis (1733-1807), was likely born in Massachusetts Colony.

    • His father, Isaac Lewis, Sr. (1701-1749), was also born in Massachusetts Colony.
    • His father may have been Barachiah Lewis, born 1663, in MBC.
    • His father may have been John Lewis, born in 1635 in MBC.
    • Finally, his father may have been William Lewis, Jr, born in 1599 in England. He immigrated to the MBC in 1635 or 1636.

Both of my immigrant Lewis ancestors were apparently from England and came to America during the “Great Puritan Migration” of 1620 to 1640.

Today

I haven’t discovered any of my “Lewis Cousins” yet. However, I’m sure I’ll find more as I continue to research my Roberts/Lewis ancestors.

Geography

2014 – Snapshot in Time

The vast majority of Lewis in the World today (actually 2014) live in the United States; most live in Texas, California, and Florida. The greatest incidence of Lewis’s is in Louisiana (1 person in 298).

Famous Lewis’s

There are many famous Lewis. From entertainer Jerry Lewis to author C. S. Lewis. From explorer Meriwether Lewis to Abisha Lewis, Jr. & Sr. (both of whom are Revolutionary War Patriots).

Studies, Societies, & Key Lewis Websites

Lewis is not in my Y-DNA or mtDNA, so studies relating to those DNA groups will not help my genealogical research. Because my closest Lewis ancestor is a 4th great-grandmother, the closest relation I’d have living today would be a 5th cousin. A 5th cousin and I would typically share only 25 cM and fall within the range of 0 to 117 cM. Ancestry indicates they have six matches for me that have the surname of Lewis and share 25 cM or More. None of them have a public family tree extending into the 1700s.

My Direct LEWIS Descendants

I have 295 known descendants of Isaac Lewis (1701-1749) in my tree; 27 Barnes, 21 Roberts, 17 Ransford, and 15 Taft.

I have 352 known descendants of Samuel Lewis II, including 47 Tafts, 28 Barnes, 21 Roberts, 17 Ransford, and 9 Childers.

Because both lines converge at Mercy Eliza Taft, 226 of these known descendants are duplicated in both lines.

I have previously written about five of them.

Ancestor Photographs[v]

Essie Pansy Barnes

Joel Clinton Barnes

Essie (Barnes) Roberts c. 1975

Joel Clinton Barnes
Cropped from photo Courtesy: Ken Smith

Sources

Endnotes

Whitney – Surname Saturday

The surname Whitney – Name Origin, My Whitney Ancestors, Direct Descendants of Benjamin Whitney.

Roberts-Barnes-Taft-Whitney Line
By Don Taylor

Name Origin

Herefordshire UK locator map 2010Forebears indicates Whitney is derived from a location, “of Whitey,” a parish in Herefordshire. Ancestry suggests that it probably comes from hwit, meaning “white.” However, Genealogy Bank indicates the name probably refers to the River Wye, which runs through the rea of Whitney in Herefordshire. In any event, they all agree that the surname derives from a location in Herefordshire, England. Herefordshire is in the West Midlands of England, bordering Wales.

Geographical

The surname Whitney is predominately in the United States, with 83% of the people in the world with the surname living in the US. It is most common in the Falkland Islands, where one in 224 people have the surname.

In the United States, New York, Massachusetts, and Texas have the largest number of Whitney’s, and Maine had the greatest frequency where one in 1,322 people have the surname.

Direct Whitney Ancestors

  • 4th Great-grandmother: Sarah Whitney (1773-1813)*
  • 5th Great-grandfather: John Whitney (1849-___)*
  • 6th Great-grandfather: Joshua Whitney (1712-1751)*
  • 7th Great-grandfather: Joshua Whitney (1687-1771)*
  • 8th Great-grandfather: Benjamin Whitney (___-___)*[i]

* – Individuals marked with “*” have not been independently researched and confirmed by me. The names and dates are tentative and unverified.

Historical

Sarah Whitney was born on 11 July 1773 in Dedham, Norfolk County, Massachusetts Colony. I have not yet determined who my immigrant ancestor was nor when he arrived in the Colonies. However, Dedham was settled in 1635; my Whitney ancestors could reach back then.

Direct Whitney Descendants

I have 297 known descendants of Benjamin Whitney, including 27 Barnes, 23 Taft, 21 Roberts, and 17 Ransford. Two hundred eighty-nine of them are direct descendants of Sarah Whitney. I have previously written about four of those descendants.

5. – Grandmother:Essie Pansy Barnes (1903-1982)
11. –  1st Great-grandfather:  Joel Clinton Barnes(1857-1921)
Select Newspaper Articles 1884-1921 regarding Joel Clinton Barnes
21. – 2nd Great-grandfather:  Mercy Eliza Taft(1822-1884)
42. – 3rd Great-grandfather: Joel Cruff Taft (1800-1849)
Joel Cruff Taft & the 1840 Census.
Joel Cruff Taft & the 1830 Census.
Joel Cruff Taft & the 1810 Census.

Famous Whitney’s

Probably the most famous Whitney is Eli Whitney, Jr., known for inventing the cotton gin. Daniel Lawrence Whitney, known professionally as Larry the Cable guy, is a well-known comedian. And the little-known Josiah Whitney, the state geologist of California, you may not have heard of; however, Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the 48 contiguous United States, was named for him.


Sources

Endnotes

[i] Benjamin’s wife, Jane Poore, is currently the highest Ahnentafel number in my Roberts-Barnes line. (She is my most-distant known ancestor on my paternal side.)