John Lewis, of Beverley Manor, Augusta County, VA
Facts and Events
John Lewis was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
Early Land Acquisition in Augusta County, VA
John Lewis' land (Beverley Manor NE, 2071 acres) as shown on the map meticulously drawn by J.R. Hildebrand, cartographer. This map is copyrighted©, used by permission of John Hildebrand, son of J.R. Hildebrand, April, 2009. (Note: Land of John Lewis' son Andrew Lewis is adjoining John's land to the south and his son William Lewis' land is adjoining John's land to the north).
Acquisition of Land from Orange County, Virginia Records:
- Pages 83-87. 20-21 Feb. 1738 . William Beverley of Essex County, Gent., to John Lewis of Augusta County, Gent. Lease and release; for ₤14 current money. 2,071 acres, part of the Mannor of Beverley in Augusta County... on the west side of the road... corner of the glebe land... Smith's lines... in Seth Poge's line... crossing Lewis' mill creek... (signed) W. Beverley. Wit: Danl. McCarty, W. Jordan, Jas. Caldwell. 22 Feb. 1738 . Acknowledged by William Beverley, Gent. [Orange County Virginia Deed Book 3, Dorman, pg. 7].
(Note: it was explained by Beverley that the favor of such a large tract of land for such a small sum was bestowed on Lewis "for the extraordinary trouble" of his house and charges in entertaining those who had come to settle on Beverley Manor).
Other Land Acquisitions in Augusta County, Virginia:
- In 1743, John Lewis and James Patton obtained a grant for 10,500 acres on Calfpasture River in western Augusta County. (Source: "Ulster Scots in Virginia", by Richard McMaster)
- In 1744, an early settlement on 16,500 acres on the Calfpasture granted to James Patton and John Lewis was very closely associated with the James River and Roanoke settlements.
Disposition of Land from Orange County, Virginia Records:
- Pg. 160-162. Indenture 22 Feb. 1745 between John Lewis of Beverley Manor of County of Augusta of the one part and Thomas Lewis, son of the foresaid of other part... for five shillings.. sells 740 acres of land in Beverley Manor lying on Lewis's Creek (being part of a tract of land containing 2,071 acres).. bounded.. John Preston's field... (signed) John Lewis (seal). Witnesses: Robt. Poage, Andrew Lewis, William Lewis. Paid ₤10.. release recorded 25 July 1745. [Orange County Virginia Deed Book 10, Dorman, pg. 43].
- Pg. 163-166. Indenture 22 July 1745 between John Lewis and Andrew Lewis, son of the said John Lewis, of the County of Augusta and Mannor of Beverley.. for five shillings.. sells all of that tract of land lying between the land of Thomas Lewis and James Robertson on both sides of Lewis's Creek in the Mannor of Beverley.. 680 acres.. bounded.. Thomas Lewis.. (signed) John Lewis (seal) Witnesses: Robt. Poage, Thos. Lewis, Wm. Lewis. Recorded Orange County 25 July 1745. [Orange County Virginia Deed Book 10, Dorman, pg. 43-44].
- Pg. 167-170. Indenture 22 July 1745 between John Lewis of the county of Augusta and William Lewis, son of John Lewis, Manor of Beverley of the other part.. for five shillings... sells 400 acres land on the west side of Lewis's Creek and bounded by.. land of Thomas Lewis and Andrew Lewis.... (signed) John Lewis (seal). Witnesses: Robert Poage, Thomas Lewis, Andrew Lewis. Payment of ₤5.. released 25 July 1745. [Orange County Virginia Deed Book 10, Dorman, pg. 44].
Disposition of Land from Chalkley's:
- Page 65.—18th February, 1743. John Lewis, of County Augusta, to James Robertson, £30 current money Virginia; 274 acres in Beverley Manor, part of 2,071 acres deeded to John by Wm. Beverley, 21st February, 1738, recorded in Orange; on Lewis Creek, Daniel Deniston's line; James Trimble's line; John Craig's line. Witnesses, William Henderson, Wm. John- stone, Thomas Lewis. Acknowledged in Orange County, 23d February, 1743. Acknowledged in Augusta by John Lewis, 15th April, 1746, and Margaret, his wife, released dower.
Will of John Lewis
- Page 221.—28th February, 1761. John Lewis' will: Wife, Margaret; son, William, tract with the mills, called Mill Place, which John holds under lease from Beverley; grandson, John, son of Andrew; daughter, Margaret Crow; to each of children and grandchildren of same name as self and wife, mourning rings; to son Charles £10 to purchase a watch on which testator's name shall be engraved in testimony of esteem; to Patrick Barnet, all wearing apparel; to Betty Taylor, to be rewarded over and above her wages. Executor's sons, Thomas, Andrew, and William. Teste: Chas. Lewis, Thos. Rafferty, Betty Taylor. Proved, 18th November, 1762, by Betty Taylor, and on 16th February, 1763, by Thos. Rafferty. Executors qualified with John Madison.
Headstone of John Lewis
The gravesite of John Lewis is not far from his homesite in Staunton, Augusta County, Virginia (off VA254 less than a mile east of Statler Blvd., along Lewis Creek), enclosed by an iron picket fence.
Early Account of John Lewis
The first settlement within the limits of Augusta county was made by John Lewis, a refugee from justice, who had killed his landlord, an Irish nobleman. (This occured after a dispute at a drunken party over increasing John's rent and injuring his brother and wife, Margaret Lynn. He was later declared to be not at fault, but he had fled the country for America).
John Lewis came to Pennsylvania in 1731, where he was joined by his family. They removed from Lancaster county to the Jost Hite settlement on the Opequon in 1732, and shortly after ascended the valley (which heads into southern Virginia) and located at a point one mile east of the site of Staunton, where John Lewis received a patent for a 2,071-acre tract from William Beverley in "Beverley Manor" in 1739 (Lewis had arrived a few years earlier). Lewis had a large home (sometimes referred to as "Ft. Lewis") which was visited by many of the early settlers to the area that also received patents from Beverley.
In the early part of the year 1736, Benjamin Borden (sometimes spelled Burden), an agent of Lord Fairfax, visited John Lewis and made locations of land in the Upper Valley. Soon afterwards he received from Governor Gooch the promise of a grant of some five hundred thousand acres, principally along the headwaters of the Shenandoah and James Rivers. This large grant extended from the southern line of Beverley Manor, and embraced the whole upper (southern) part of Augusta, and much of Rockbridge county. One of the conditions under which Borden received the grant was that he should have one hundred families or settlers located on the land before he received title. He succeeded in procuring the erection of ninety- two cabins within two years, and received a patent from the governor bearing date November 8, 1739. Among the first settlers on Borden's grant were the family of Ephraim McDowell, whom the proprietor had met at the time of his visit to John Lewis. Ephraim McDowell's son, John McDowell, was a surveyor, and assisted Borden in making his locations.
- (Source: "The Scotch-Irish", By Charles Augustus Hanna, pgs. 45-46)
- Wilson, Howard McKnight. The Tinkling Spring, headwater of freedom: a study of the church and her people, 1732-1952. (Fishersville, Virginia: Tinkling Spring and Hermitage Presbyterian Churches, 1954).
- Chalkley, Lyman. Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish settlement in Virginia: Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County, 1745-1800. (Rosslyn, Virginia: The Commonwealth Printing Company, 1912-1913 in Three Volumes).
- Hanna, Charles A. The Scotch-Irish, or, The Scot in North Britain, North Ireland, and North America. (New York: Putnam, 1902).