The Lewis Family - Back Another Generation
By Rob Lewis and Notha Stevens

Recent research by Notha Stevens has led to the theory that the father of George Lewis and his brothers Jacob, David Wesley, and John and sister Biddy is Benjamin Lewis.

There is circumstantial evidence showing that Benjamin Lewis, born in North Carolina about 1774 is the father.

Benjamin's brothers are Robert and John.

Another longtime Lewis researcher, Billy Brimm, has also concurred with this theory.

Notha and Billy are descendants of David Wesley Lewis. Rob is a descendant of George Lewis.

 Written by Notha Stevens:

In the census of 1800 Moore County, North Carolina, we find living near each other and in this order :
– John Lewis
– Ezekial Johnston
-- Zachariah Smith
– Jacob Cagle
-- Benjamin Lewis
 
Benjamin is young, and has one female in his home – this fits the birth of his known children. He no doubt had just married, from the 1850 census, we know Benjamin was born about 1774 in NC
 
There is a male in the home of John Lewis that could fit Robert – and in a few years...Robert would be marrying the daughter of Jacob Cagle that is living nearby. There is no reason to believe Robert Lewis is not somewhere nearby, his future father in law is right there!
 
The question is, is John the father OR  is he the brother of Benjamin? All we have is that one census. Which makes it hard to pin him on a exact age. If we had him on a 2nd census,  we could tell a closer range for his age. But let’s just break down what we have:
1800 Moore, NC
John  Lewis  - he shows he was 26-44 that would place his birth 1756-1774
 
I don’t believe he could be Benjamin Lewis’s father. The earliest his birth could be is 1756, he would be about 18 when Benjamin was born... that is possible, but at this time period not very many men were married at age 16-17 , which is what would have happened if Benjamin was born by the time he was 18.
 
I know we hear stories about how young they married, from what I know from experience, the women were more likely to marry young, the men really did not. But...let’s say he did. Let’s say he was born in 1756 and at age 18 he had Benjamin Lewis in 1774 and he had Robert in 1790, he would have been 34 when he had Robert.
Possible, but look at the rest of his home in 1800:
 
1 male under 10= born 1790-1800
1 male 16-25 = possibly Robert Lewis born 1790 – this male was born 1775-1784 --- this could still be Robert Lewis and I think it probably was...considering who may have given this info
1 female under 10 += born  1790- 1800
1 female 26-44 (same age as the adult male)
 
I really think this is a young family with a male and female under 10 – even if the children were twins, this couple had two children by 1800...the more likely scenario is they have a male and female, and born in the late 1790’s. Another point I should make...if this was Robert’s father...wouldn’t he have children leading up to the age of the male of 16-25? Wouldn’t he also have teen children or at least one more showing? No...I think this is a young couple, just starting their family and there is a young man living with them,
 
I think this is BROTHER John. There is no doubt in my mind this is my Benjamin Lewis who ended up in Marion, Tennessee Liiving next door to Jacob Cagle fits the rest of the story. By 1810 Robert, Jacob Cagle and Benjamin Lewis are all living in Buncombe, North Carolina. We have other tidbits of information with our Benjamin associated with the Cagle family. I don’t know where John Lewis of Moore NC is. There is a John still in Moore , NC 1810-and 1820 and it could be him, but I don’t know that. There are just John Lewis’s all over the place.
 
The interesting thing is we have stray men in Missouri, living in the vicinity of the other families. I think it is a huge possibility these are the sons of brother John Lewis. I know we have missing children for Benjamin Lewis, but I don’t know that these are children that lived. I really think we have gathered the ones that stayed around him,
 
There is a John Cummings Lewis that married in 1840 in Blount County, Tennessee, that moved to Madison County, Missouri. His widow is living in the middle of the known children of Benjamin Lewis. Surely Benjamin did not have two sons named John Lewis, and we know where Robert’s son John lived.
 
Madison County, Missouri has two John Lewis that were there before the 1850 census. One is John Lewis who married Emaline Dunn, and then we have John Cummings Lewis who married Barbury Teffestellar in Blount County 1840.
 
There is at least one other stray Lewis man , that seems to be related. What do these strays mean? It absolutely means we have a Lewis male of Benjamin and Robert’s generation that is missing. There is no other solution to that question. We are missing a brother.
 
I really think the John Lewis of Moore, North Carolina is Benjamin and Robert’s brother, and that Robert was living with his older brother, Benjamin had just married and was living just a couple of households below them. Robert’s future father in law was living nearby. That is the picture I have in my mind. I believe that wherever John Lewis went, he was in contact with his family, he is nearby... we just have not pinned him down. The descendants of Robert Lewis b. 1790 had heard of him, and we have strays around the descendants of Benjamin Lewis all pointing to........ we are missing a brother and , I believe, his name was John .
 
I don’t have one clue of a father for these men, Robert and Benjamin both had sons named John, they both had sons named Jacob, which I believe came from Jacob Cagle. Benjamin’s oldest son , as far as we know, was named George Lewis, and the next was Jacob .. Robert’s first son as far as we know was John, and the next 3 sons, I feel positive were from the Cagle family, Henry, Leonard, Charles.

Written by Rob Lewis:


In 1811, Jacob Cagle sold land to Benjamin Lewis in Buncombe County, NC. Benjamin Lewis’ brother Robert marries the daughter of Jacob Cagle (Sarah) about this time.

1830 Census for Cocke Tennessee and the families we know are in this order:
George Lewis
Abraham Lillard
Samuel Kelley
Samuel Denton
William Allen
William Lain [Lane]
Robert Gilliland
Willian Gilliland
James Lillard
Timothy Hix
Benjamin Lewis
Nancy Hix
Thomas Runnells
Jacob Lewis
Alexander Morrison
Randolph Lain [Lane]
The following land transactions illustrate the relationship of Lewis family members with their neighbors who would later all be in/near Madison County, Missouri:
1824 in Cocke County, TN William Gilliland and Robert Gilliland are in the County (from a land transaction). George Lewis has married the daughter of Robert Gilliland, Elizabeth. Robert is in Marion County, TN in 1840 Census. He is in Reynolds County, MO in 1850 living in the home of his daughter Hepseba and son-in-law John Lane.

1825 Randolph Lane surveys 82 acres of land for Benjamin Lewis. Randolph Lane later marries a daughter of Benjamin Lewis (Biddy) and would migrate to Madison County Missouri and live near the sons of Benjamin Lewis. Randolph and Jacob Lewis with others organize Big Creek Baptist Church in Madison County, MO in 1843.

1831 Randolph Lane and George Lewis are living next door to each other. Evidence is a land survey for Randolph Lane Marion County TN 18 Aug 1831.

1833 in Marion County, TN Benjamin Elliot sells land to Benjamin Lewis. Randolph Lane and son Jacob Lewis are witnesses.

1834 Marion County, TN land transaction between Silas White and Benjamin Lewis, sons George and Jacob Lewis are witnesses.

Jacob Cagle and Benjamin Lewis also show up in the 1836 Marion County, Tennesse Tax List living in District 1.

Benjamin Lewis’ sons migrate to Madison County as follows:

Jacob Lewis is in Madison County by 1843 when he and others (including Randolph Lane) organize Big Creek Baptist Church.

David Lewis in in the 1850 Madison County, MO census. David Lewis’ first land grant is in 1853. Deeds show him selling his property and moving on to Stone County, Missouri in 1857.

John Lewis marries Nancy Emiline Dunn in 1842 in Madison County.

George does not come to Madison County until 1851. He is in the Marion County, TN 1850 Census. His first 10 children are born in TN. Only his 11th child, Hepsey, is born in Madison County, MO in 1851.

Randolph Lane is in Madison County, MO in the 1840 Census. He has moved on to Randolph County, AR by 1865. It is possible that Randolph Lane who was the first from Marion County, TN known to be in Missouri, got the message back to the Lewises to join him in Missouri.