Lynn Family

Margaret Lynn

Ancestor Margaret Lynn born 3 July 1693; died 1773 most likely Belefont Farm, Augusta County, Virginia; buried 1773 most likely Belefont Farm, Augusta County, Virginia next to her husband; married 1715 County Donegal to John Lewis born 1678 Donegal Co., Ulster, Ireland; died 1 Feb 1762 Augusta Co., Virginia. Five, six or seven children; see Lewis


I have not conducted original research or read all the materials in depth. This page is intended as a bare-bones summary and a few random notes for now. Some stuff is taken off the internet and subject to my own reading and interpretation. Corrections, clarifications and additional source cited information are very welcome.

Margaret Lynn Parents

Reliable documentation of the origins and ancestry of this Lynn line is apparently thin and, consequently, Margaret Lynn's parents are uncertain and unproven. Various claims have floated around for years, now being propagated through the internet, but no evidence or source citation accompanies them. Parents of Margaret Lynn (1693-1773) are unproven though it is generally thought that she was daughter of William Lynn (abt1672-aft1727) and Margaret Patton (1676-aft1727) who had seven or eight children. Their death dates are BOTH variously reported as 1727, although I suspect that one or both may be "After 1727", the year 1727 having been derived from some document (unknown to me) but have no evidence to cite on that suspicion. One may have died in 1727 as shown on some recording, the other known living at that time. Frazier (page 18, see later) reports the Margaret Patton Lewis died 1727, William died 1729 but does not state where those dates came from. I also do not know where these parents died, if it was Ireland or America, but might speculate - based on the "After 1727" benchmark - that it might have been in America and they immigrated sometime around, and in some connection with, the fleeing of John Lewis (1678-1762) from Ireland in 1729. Margaret Lynn Lewis (1693-1773) reportedly joined her husband a couple years later. Again, I cannot cite any evidence.

Lynn Origins

Frazier, in The Family of John Lewis, Pioneer presents in Chapter 3, a discussion of Margaret Lynn Lewis and "the Legend of Loch Lynn." Within his discussion that "Loch Lynn" might be a legend, and nothing more, he provides transcription and citation of the will of Dr. William Lynn, brother of Margaret Lynn Lewis, which contains specific and valuable genealogical information. The book and chapter is must background reading with its comprehensive and lucid discussion of the issues, as of 1985. One interesting speculation is that, rather than being Scottish, the Lynn surname was Irish, originally derived from "McLaughlin," and corrupted into "Laugh-Lynn" then "Loch-Lynn." That is interesting, though seemingly unlikely.

After I wrote the above, I have found cross-referenced mentions of a "Loch Lynn (Linnhe)," Loch Linnhe being a claimed real place in Scotland. It is apparently on the west coast, in the vicinity of Inverness, but at this point I cannot say for certain. However, the source of that information is Wikipedia which, in turn, states that the article itself needs reference or source citations. See: Wikipedia: Loch Linnhe

Various writings, including published books, claim that Margaret Lynn (1693-1773) was the "daughter of the Laird of Loch Lynn" of Scotland. That is problematic for two reasons. First, given various circumstances, I suspect she would have been the granddaughter of David, who is more commonly reputed as the Laird of Loch Lynn, who would then be the father of the above William Lynn (abt1672-aft1727). Second, as Frazier et. al. have commented [cite TBA], researchers have not been able to locate a physical place documented as "Loch Lynn" although they also report that names of many small Loch's have been lost over the centuries. Their search reportedly encompasssed maps of the time. Location in Inverness-shire has been mentioned as a possibility. On the other hand, "Loch Lynn" may be somewhere near Brigadoon.

David Lynn

David Lynn (Linn), Laird of Loch Lynn (Scotland); born abt 1640 in Kilmacrenan, County Donegal,Ulster Province, Ireland. He supposedly descendant of John Lynn (1585-?) of Loch Lynn, Ayrshire?, Scotland and may be patriarch of the line of Margaret Lynn Lewis (1693-1773). This line needs work, particularly source citations and understanding of history and political geography of Scotland and Ireland, though it has apparently been the subject of various research previously. See Wikipedia: "Ulster Scots people" and Wikipedia: "Plantations of Ireland" Any lineage should be considered speculative and unproven. There is substantial apparent conflict and discrepancy among the various secondary sources concerning the Lynn(Linn)/Lewis/Patton families and lines. Disagreement about EVERYTHING: Names, places, children, dates, spouses, etc. So far, I have not seen a shred of primary evidence that would even begin to clarify the confusion. It is so bad that it looks like people are just guessing; it is a mess. I have not had a chance to look at them closely.

"The Diary"

215 242 --> 229 -->

"The Valley Manuscript" aka The Diary of Margaret Lynn Lewis aka "The Commonplace Book of Margaret Lynn Lewis" has been reported in family legend as containing an extract from a personal "diary" written by Margaret Lynn Lewis (1693-1773) containing a accounts of their lives. However, while it appears to contain some accurate Lewis and other historical data, its overall authenticity has been clearly disproven. (I did not have the feeling of genuineness when reading it. It seemed way too flowery for a diary/historical account.) Further, a portrait that has been circulated as representing Margaret Lynn Lewis has been shown to not be her.

This manuscript apparently first surfaced in January 1869 when a North Carolina historical magazine called Land We Love published "The Valley Manuscript", submitted by a "Fanny Fielding" who described it in a lead-in sentence as "From a collection of archives known in our household by the above title, from which I have recently begun making excerpts, I take the liberty of sending you the following:" (Land We Love; Vol. VI, No. III; Charlotte, NC (Jan. 1869): "The Valley Manuscript"; pp. 215-229.) The article begins:

"The Common-Place Book of me Margaret Lewis, nee Lynn, of Loch Lynn, Scotland, being a nest for my soul's repose in the troublous time which hath befallen."
No earlier recording of such manuscript or existence any such "collection of archives" is known by me. "Fanny Fielding" was later found to be a pseudonym for a writer known for her poetry and embellishment.

One website reports that a manuscript was intended to be published in three installments but only the first installment was published in January of 1869 and the second and third were never published. However, the original printed article itself did not indicate that it was the first of three parts or that there would be a continuation. Reprintings known by me contain and match only the text from the original article, a copy of which original printing has been located online.

At some point issues from the Land We Love were collected and reproduced. I could not determine if they were reprinted in book form or if the online collection at Google Books is from a bound volume archive of the original printed issues. Volume VI is available at Google Books where it can be read online or downloaded as a PDF file which contains 541 PDF pages (large file, 16 megabytes). Volume VI begins with No. I, November, 1868 and continues through No. V, March, 1869 (page 436) for 541 PDF pages. See: Land We Love Volume VI Start with Section 15 and scroll down to page 215. OR go direct to page 215. Click on the down arrow beside the gear symbol to download a PDF copy. OR try direct at Land We Love Volume VI - PDF copy The manuscript article begins on PDF page 228 of 541.

Subsequently, many years later, the manuscript was reprinted. The re-printings for which I have found citations are:

  1. April 1892 a West Virginia historical magazine reprinted the manuscript: Southern Historical Magazine: Devoted to History, Genealogy, Vol. 1, No. 4, Charleston, WV (Apr. 1892): "A Monument to Colonel John Lewis", p. 30; "The Valley Manuscript", pp. 227-40.
  2. From 26 February 1891 through 12 March 1891, which were three consecutive Thursdays, the Rockbridge County News (Maryland?) reprinted.
  3. The manuscript has been transcribed and posted on the internet which matches the text from the above printed book. It contains headings Part I, Part II and Part III which I presume correspond to the Rockbridge County News installments in 1891. See "The Valley Manuscript" aka The Diary of Margaret Lynn Lewis aka "The Commonplace Book of Margaret Lynn Lewis" The footnote to the preface of the online postings seems to indicate that its source was the above Rockbridge County News (Maryland?) from 26 February 1891 through 12 March 1891, which were three consecutive Thursdays.

    The preface to the online posting of The Valley Manuscript reads:

    "The following is taken from the Land We Love, edited by Gen. D. H. [Daniel Harvey] Hill, of date January, 1869, and was prepared by Fannie Fielding, of Norfolk, VA, who prefaces it with the following words: 'From a collection of archives known in our household by the above title from which I have been making extracts.' It is now re-published by request in this paper [Rockbridge County News] and will appear in three parts."

House of Lynn: Margaret Lynn Lewis and "The Valley Manuscript" contains an excellent summary of the history and problems surrounding this manuscript, further elaboration of the above discussion and a scan of the February 1948 article from the Richmond-Times describing them in more detail. I have transcribed the text of the 1948 article and posted it here: Bogus Portrait Supplements Old 'Valley Manuscript' Hoax

Note particularly that this manuscript, among its many problems described in the Richmond-Times article, mentions "Alice," a supposed daughter of John and Margaret Lynn Lewis. There is no evidence such a person existed. If an Alice is shown somewhere as their daughter, this discredited manuscript is probably the source.

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