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Alexander Lewis of Christian County, Kentucky

I am descended from two unrelated Lewis lines - on my mother's and father's side. This page is devoted to my paternal Lewis line.

My earliest known paternal Lewis ancestor is Alexander, who died sometime between 12 Apr 1819 and 10 Sep 1820 in Christian County, Kentucky. He was in Christian County by 15 May 1798, at a session of the County Court. He received warrant #3663 to survey 200 acres of “second rate land” on the west fork of Pond River on 19 Oct 1798 (Fig. 5). A survey was conducted on 12 Feb 1799 (Fig. 6). Alexander assigned the survey to Benjamin P Campbell on 1 May 1805 and Campbell assigned it to Smith Lofland on 13 Nov 1806 (Fig. 7). Lofland took title to the land on 19 Mar 1813.

On 9 Aug 1802, Alexander's son, Robert, received warrant no. 726 (Fig. 8) for 200 acres on the west fork of Pond River (per the survey, Fig. 10). On 17 Dec 1805, Robert assigned this warrant to his father (Fig. 9). Alexander then disappears from records until 29 Apr 1818, when the survey was conducted. In an indenture (deed) dated 10 Sep 1820, Christian County Commissioner James W Callaway sells "the heirs of Alexander Lewis['s]" interest in 200 acres issuing from his warrant #726 to Smith Lofland. The indenture states a follows:

Smith Lofland is Complainant [in a suit against] Robert Lewis, Robert Johnson and his wife Elizabeth Johnson Charles Karr and his wife Polly Karr William W Whealing and his wife Peggy Whealing and Patsy Lewis heirs of Alexander Lewis deceased.

Upon information and belief, Alexander's children were Robert, John and Mary who married Charles Rose; Nancy who married John Cargile; Margaret who married William Cargile; and Elizabeth who married Robert Johnson. William and Margaret Cargile disappear from records after their 1804 marriage. Lewis researchers Shirley Norman Gunn and the late Jacqueline Cargal Klusmeier state that William and Margaret went to Posey County, Indiana, like John Lewis. Lewis Cargile, said to be their son, was married there in 1826 and is found in records through the 1850 census. Alexander's other children lived out their lives in disparate places: Robert Lewis in Christian County; Mary Rose in Mercer County; John Lewis in Posey County, Indiana; Elizabeth Johnson in Hamilton County, Illinois; and Nancy Cargile in Arkansas.

William Whaling is 2 names above Robert Lewis in the 1820 Christian County, Kentucky census. His household is comprised of a male 16-18; a male 16-25; 2 females 16-25 and 1 female over 45. Charles and Polly Karr have not been traced. Other than Robert Lewis and Elizabeth Johnson, the heirs’ relationships to Alexander Lewis are unknown. Alexander's other children are presumably not named heirs since they had moved from Christian County with only Robert Lewis and Elizabeth Johnson remaining in 1820.

Alexander is named in the marriage bonds of daughters Mary, Margaret and Nancy. John Lewis is named in the marriage bond of his sister, Elizabeth; and Robert and Alexander Lewis appear as neighbors in John's deed for 400 acres in Christian County dated 13 May 1805 (Fig. 13). No record is known to exist giving Alexander's wife's name, but many researchers state it was Elizabeth.

Alexander Lewis of Mercer County, Kentucky

It seems an article of faith among many researchers that the Alexander Lewis in Mercer County, Kentucky is the same as that of Christian County. There is some evidence for this. Alexander Lewis disappears from Mercer County records at the same time as he appears in Christian County records. The last Mercer County record for him is the marriage bond of his daughter, Mary, to Charles Rose (Fig. 12). Charles Rose was associated with the Joseph Lewis family of Mercer County. Charles's father, Capt. Lewis Rose is listed as "departing this life 20th Feb. 1829" in the bible records of the Joseph Lewis family.1 In addition to raising the question as to whether Mary Lewis and her husband were related (since Charles Rose's father's first name was Lewis), there has long been the suspicion that Joseph Lewis and Alexander Lewis were related. However, this appears not to be the case. In early Fall 2015, a direct line male descendant of Joseph Lewis tested his Y-DNA. His results showed significant mutations to Alexander Lewis's descendants' DNA. Although confidence is high that this person is a descendant of Joseph Lewis through his son Charles Nelms Lewis, another descendant through one of Joseph's other sons testing would eliminate any doubt. In addition to the families' connection through Mary Lewis's marriage to Charles Rose, Robert Mosby appears as a witness to Alexander Lewis's 1798 warrant. Mosby was the brother of Nancy Mosby, who married Robert W Lewis, listed in the aforementioned bible record and a son of Joseph Lewis. Lastly, the name Joseph Davis appears in Mercer County records twice alongside Alexander Lewis (the latter appointed overseeer of a road in place of the former; and in a deed between Alexander Lewis and James Davis). Joseph Davis is a neighbor to Robert Lewis in the warrant no. 726. It seems at least possible that it is the same man, given that families often migrated together when moving west.

The author is undertaking a review of Mercer and Christian County records to further establish residency for Alexander Lewis and obtain clues as to his prior residence. if Mary Lewis Rose was his daughter, she was born in Virginia in 1779, according to the 1850 census. DNA may also assist in locating Alexander's forebears, and identifying the name of his wife, although this may not be possible, given the distance to these ancestors.

John Lewis of Posey County, Indiana

[To come]

1. Bible records and family information of residents (past and present) of Mercer County, Kentucky, by Alma Ray-Sanders Ison, Harrodsburg, Kentucky: Harrodsburg Historical Society, 1986, 1997.