Sunday, May 19, 2013

William Lewes of Roxbury

It's time to deal with another Lewis family myth, that of William Lewes of Roxbury, Massachusetts, who some authors claim was a brother of Edmond Lewes of Lynn, while Isaac Newton Lewis, author of the biography and genealogy of William Lewis of Roxbury claims they were cousins.

It is said that William Lewes of Roxbury came to Massachusetts in 1630 from Stoke by Nayland, Suffolk, England, returned to Stoke by Nayland and married Lydia Morse, and then returned to Massachusetts, and Roxbury, in 1635 on the ship Globe.

Unfortunately, there is no documentation for these claims. William Lewes was indeed born in Stoke by Nayland, Suffolk, England in 1602, son of William Lewis and Elinore Taylor. He married Lydia Morse, daughter of Richard Morse in 1621 in Stoke by Nayland. He was named in his father's will in June 1634. William and Lydia had a son named John, born in Stoke by Nayland in 1638, so William and his family could not have been on the Globe in 1635 (the William Lewes on the Globe in 1635 was 25 years old, while William Lewes of Roxbury was 33).

At some point after 1638, William Lewes married Amy Weld (assumed surname), and they first appear as husband and wife in Roxbury in 1640, in the church records of Rev. John Eliot. Two sons were born to William and Amy in America, one in 1641 and one born in Boston but baptized in Roxbury in 1644. William died in Roxbury in 1671.

Therefore, William Lewes and family sailed from England, probably from Ipswich, sometime between 1638 and 1640.

As to the relationship between Edmond Lewes of Lynn and William Lewes of Roxbury, there is only anecdotal claims of them as being brothers or cousins. As yet, there is no documentation of their relationship.

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