Lewis Family

Ancestors and Descendants of John Lewis (1678-1762), of County Donegal, Ulster Prov., Ireland; founder of Staunton, Augusta Co., Virginia who married 1715 to Margaret Lynn (1693-1773) of County Donegal, Ulster Prov., Ireland.


I have not studied all the materials in depth or conducted any original research in this family. Consequently, this page contains random notes, problems, errors, updates, corrections and source citations for the Lewis family as I come across them. Be forewarned, however, that much or even most that has been propagated about the Lewis family, along with the Lynn's, is at best speculative while some of it is outright fake or easily disproven. Sorting out this fantasy is a challenge because it has persevered for so many decades.


John Lewis (1678-1762), fled to America from Ireland in 1729, on the lam after, as his gravestone reports, he "slew the Irish Lord." Margaret and the children probably came a year or two later. At least that is the legend that is generally reported to varying degrees among the various sources. Some details and circumstances conflict and there is even doubt and disagreement about the basic premise. At this point, I am not knowledgeable enough to reliably evaluate.

John Lewis' parents are reported as Andrew Lewis (1648-1700) rep. born/died County Donegal and Mary Calhoun (1652-1700) rep. also born/died County Donegal. The same year of death looks suspicious. She was daughter of Robert Colquhoun (1622-aft1666) and Katherine McAuselan (abt1622-?) who migrated from Dunbartonshire, Scotland to County Donegal.

All circumstances surrounding John Lewis' departure including the name of the "Irish Lord" are not proven by any evidence, though widely circulated in family legend. Some make no sense and appear upon even superficial investigation to be disproved. The discussion in The Family of John Lewis, Pioneer indicates that the actual name of the "Irish Lord" is not reliably known. It speculates that the "lord" may have come from "landlord" and who was not a nobleman. It then considers the question further.

One name proposed is a Sir Inango Campbell, "his Irish landlord." Genealogical history of the Lewis Family (p. 620) No further information. Another "Irish Lord" name is occasionally reported as one Mungo (Mingo) Campbell or Lord Clonmithgairn, son of Hugh Campbell, of the Clonmel Castle. It is also mentioned skeptically in The Family of John Lewis, Pioneer (pgs. 11, 61-62n). The sources of this appear to be solely family history narratives, false published articles, guesses by amateurs and other inventions which have propagated. I have not seen any external, credible data to support this or any other name. I have also not found where the Mungo claim originated though Frazier posits a theory (pg. 62n). A Mungo Campbell did exist in history but I do not see any connection with John Lewis or Ireland, only events in Scotland. Campbell was born 1712 one of 24 children of a Provost of Ayr, great-grandson of a Hugh Campbell of Netherplace, described as an excise officer (i.e. tax collector) and soldier based in Saltcoats and is reported in literature as being very much alive in 1769 in Scotland when he was tried and convicted for the murder of Alexander Montgomerie (1723-1769), the 10th Earl of Eglintoun after which he hanged himself 28 February 1770 to avoid the hangman's noose. The histories describe Mungo as a poacher and not a landlord. I do not see any connection with Ireland in the various narratives. See: Murder of Alexander Montgomerie at Wikipedia, The Earl of Eglinton's Encounter Near Ardrossan , MUNGO CAMPBELL and The trial of Mungo Campbell, before the High Court of Justiciary in Scotland, for the murder of Alexander, Earl of Eglintoun : from an authentick copy, extracted from the records of the court (1770) There could, of course, be a different Mungo. He reportedly had an Uncle Mungo Campbell.

The origin of identifying John Lewis' landlord as Mungo Campbell may come via the discredited "Valley Manuscript" (Diary of Margaret Lynn Lewis) aka "The Common Place Book of Margaret Lewis nee Lynn, of Loch Lynn, Scotland" and amateur "interpretations." The following is an example which parenthetically inserts names which were not in the original manuscript and also capitalizes some names. This passage has propagated so profusely over the internet that I cannot identify its origin or culprit, so will not note any citation.

From : “The Common Place Book of Margaret Lewis nee Lynn, of Loch Lynn, Scotland” (short extract). My poor John is sorely belabored in soul with the grievous malice of this same Lord of CLONMITHGAIRN (Charles / Mingo / Mungo / Minglo Campbell, son of Hugh Campbell). The contentious noble hath said to the good Dean of Ulster (Rev. William Patton ? ) a few nights ago, how that my husband's leasehold on the estate of Clonmithgairn and DUNDERY (Kilmacrenan ?) should be revoked at next assizes.
Recall again that this manuscript does have wisps of historical fact but overall is made up. But other than the propagation of the "Valley Manuscript," I have not been able to find, at least through the internet, actual evidence of such things as a Lord of Clonmithgairn or a castle at Clonmel (possibly a more modest estate) or mention of Lewis at Clonmel. A town of Clonmel is in County Tipperary, not County Donegal; Co. Tipperary even in a different Province. Consider the discussion and linked pages at: John Lewis - Query - Ancestry.com Posted: 23 Nov 2011 1:12AM Then decide for yourself.

A few online links to brief histories which should be presumed full of family myth and errors, simply repeating and propagating the same legends:


The Children

I have not researched this myself, the following is based on heresay from the internet. Various postings report from five to eight children of John Lewis (1678-1762) and Margaret Lynn (1693-1773). The ones that seem fairly certain are: Thomas (1718-1790), Andrew (1720-1781) (Brigadier General), William Lynn (1724-1811), Margaret Lynn (1726-abt1797) (married Long then Crow), and Charles (1736-1774) (Colonel).

A brief summary of children John Lewis: Patriarch

Other reported children:

Burials and Graveyards

Misc Stuff:

E-Mail to Neal

Main Genealogy page

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