Friday, August 12, 2011

The Edmond Lewes Welsh Myth

The continued assertion that Edmond Lewes was born in Llys Talybont, Glamorgan, Wales is based on two references listed in The Lewis Families of Wales and America, 1928, by Edward Simmons Lewis.

“'William Lewis of Roxbury, brother to Edmund Lewis of Lynn, was descended from a very respectable family in Wales. His descendants enjoy great satisfaction in being able to trace their descent from a very high antiquity.”  from the Annals of Lynn.

"Edmund Lewis of Lynn was brother to William Lewis of Roxbury, who descended from a Welsh family with a pedigree running back centuries.”  From the History of Lynn by Alonzo Lewis and James Newhall.

These two quotations are both refuted by subsequent research. 1602 - WILLIAM LEWIS - 1671 of Stoke-by-Nayland, England and Some of his Ancestors and Descendants by Isaac Newton Lewis, 1932, documents the origin of William Lewes of Roxbury in Stoke-by-Nayland, Suffolk, England, a descendant of Edmond Lewes, born in 1519. I.N. Lewis made the claim that Edmund Lewis of Lynn was "a cousin of William Lewis of Roxbury," not his brother, but he provides no documentation to substantiate this claim.

My research confirms the Stoke-by-Nayland origin of William Lewes of Roxbury. I found no Edmond/Edmund Lewes in this line born in or around 1600 that could be our Edmond Lewes of Lynn. 

However, there are numerous records of the birth of an Edmond Lewes in the communities surrounding Ipswich, Suffolk, and patterns of occurance of this Lewes line through time, including records of his presence in Ipswich from 1630. (Descendants of Edmond Lewes of Lynn, Arana Gulch Press, 2011)

Since a document exists recording the presence of Edmund Lewis at Llys Talybont, Glamorgan, Wales in 1637 (Survey of Lystalyboint, 1653), there is no longer reason to continue the myth that the Edmond Lewes of Watertown and Lynn, Massachusetts was the same historical person as Edmund Lewis of Wales.

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