Saturday, January 3, 2009

Edmond Lewes's Suffolk Origins

Since there is no evidence that Edmond Lewes of Lynn was born in Wales, it remains to determine if any evidence exists as to his origin. We have only the passenger list of the ship Elizabeth as evidence that he came to Massachusetts from Ipswich, Suffolk, England. Before that, there is no record.

Many of the families traveling aboard the Elizabeth were from the area around Ipswich, as recorded in the passenger list. It seams reasonable to look at the historical records of this area to see if there were any Lewis families in the area up to 1634. this turns out to be the case.

There are numerous records of the Lewes and Lewis surnames in the area around Ipswich beginning with Ralph Lewes in Bury St. Edmunds in 1449. In addition, the name Lewes is attached to geographical features, such as Lewesindale and/or Lewes meadows in Bramford at the northwest edge of Ipswich. There is an ancient bureaucratic division in the Woodbridge area east of Ipswich called the Looes Hundred.

Throughout the area from Stoke-by-Nayland near the western border of Suffolk to Laxton in the east, the Lewes surname surfaces in the record throughout 15th through 17th Centuries. (See map) There are three records of wills in the Archdeaconry of Suffolk that name an Edmond Lewes as beneficiary, two of which, from 1625 and 1626, name Edmond as brother of John and William Lewes of Bawdsey, 15 miles east of Ipswich.

Since Edmond Lewes and his family were among passengers on the Elizabeth who were from the Ipswich area, and since the Lewes surname and Edmond Lewes in particular is documented as having lived in the Ipswich area, it seems reasonable to propose that Edmond Lewes of Lynn, Massachusetts was descended from the Lewes familes in the Ipswich area in the early 17th Century.

It remains to find documentation to support this proposition.


blairie said...

Just dropping a note to let you know that I'm following your blog.

I'm descended from the Lewis line up until Thomas J Lewis' daughter Mary Lewis married William Barry Woody Shaw.

I'm just starting our geneaological journey and am looking forward to reading whatever you have to share.

Hayduke said...

Hello Cousin blairie!

Please contact me at my email address on my profile. I have lots of information to share about our common ancestors!

For instance, our Mary (Lewis) Shaw is buried in Preparation Cemetery in Iowa, near her father and mother, Thomas Jefferson Lewis and Priscilla (Rude) Lewis.

I am descended from their first son, Branson Laughlin Lewis.


Bill said...

Hello There!

I don't think I am related to anyone on this blog, but I figured I would send a note...

I traced my Lewis line to John Lewis first of note in 1634 in Charlestown MA. He was one of the signatories of the settlement of Malden MA, and one of his grandsons is Alonzo Lewis, the historian of Lynn fame.

Anyhow, I'm enjoying my research, but I can't find any information about John Lewis prior to 1634... like what boat did he come over on?

So.. just wondering if you have run across any info on this John Lewis who came over at about the same time as Edmond Lewis (Lewes).

So... If you have any info, I would be happy to hear it! billflewis at gmail dot com...


Bill said...


I've been researching my lewis line and traced it back to John Lewis, first of note in Charleston MA in 1634, but I can't find any earlier info on him. I can't find him on any of the boat lists coming over... Have you come across any information on this John Lewis when researching Edmond Lewis? I think they came over at pretty much the same time.

If you have any info, or if you can point me in the right direction, I would appreciate it!


billflewis at gmail dot com