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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: Welsh-Alt, Welsh

Where did the Welsh Lewis family come from? What is the Welsh Lewis family crest and coat of arms? When did the Lewis family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Lewis family history?

The proud Lewis surname is from the personal name Lewis, an Anglicized form of the Welsh name Llewellyn. This name is often explained as meaning "lion-like," but is in fact probably derived from the Welsh word "llyw," which means "leader." Alternatively, the name Lewis is also an Anglo-French form of the Old Frankish name Hludwig, which means "loud battle."


The Welsh have an extremely large amount of spelling variations of their native surnames to their credit. It was up to the priest or the scribe taking the official records to determine how the spoken name was to be made literal. As time progressed, the old Brythonic names of Wales were recorded in English, which was especially problematic since the English language had extreme difficulty recording the highly inflected sounds of Cymraeg. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations could be indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Lewis have included Lewis, Lewiss, Lewess, Lews, Llewys, Llewis, Lewwis, Llewess and many more.

First found in Glamorganshire (Welsh: Sir Forgannwg), a region of South Wales, anciently part of the Welsh kingdom of Glywysing, where the family held a seat from ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Lewis research. Another 237 words(17 lines of text) covering the years 1598, 1677, 1640, 1677, 1625, 1661, 1660, 1627, 1706, 1616, 1679, 1664, 1699, 1690, 1650, 1674, 1669, 1675 and are included under the topic Early Lewis History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 197 words(14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Lewis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Lewis family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 101 words(7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


During the latter half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, the people of Wales journeyed to North America to find a new life. They made major contributions to the arts, industry and commerce of both Canada and the United States, and added a rich cultural heritage to their newly adopted societies. A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Lewis:

Lewis Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Roger Lewis, who arrived in Virginia in 1623
  • Edm Lewis, who landed in New England in 1634
  • Edmond Lewis, aged 33, arrived in America in 1634
  • Ed Lewis, who landed in New England in 1634
  • Jno Lewis, who landed in New England in 1634

Lewis Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Francis Lewis, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
  • Xto Lewis, who landed in Virginia in 1706
  • Ellis Lewis, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1708
  • Ellis Lewis, who settled in Kennett, Pennsylvania in 1708
  • Jone Lewis, who arrived in Virginia in 1719

Lewis Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Ruhard Lewis, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1802
  • Susan Lewis, aged 36, landed in Delaware in 1803
  • Andw Lewis, aged 20, landed in Delaware in 1803
  • Fanny Lewis, aged 70, landed in Delaware in 1803
  • Fanny, Lewis Jr., aged 15, landed in Delaware in 1803

Lewis Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • William J Lewis, who arrived in Arkansas in 1901
  • Harold S Lewis, who landed in Colorado in 1903
  • Nathaniel Lewis, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1905
  • Leonard Gaetz Lewis, who arrived in Alabama in 1913


  • Jerry Lee Lewis (b. 1935), American famous musician from Louisiana, one of the ten charter members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951), American novelist who won the Nobel Prize in literature for his novel "Arrowsmith"
  • Edward B Lewis (b. 1918), American geneticist who won the 1989 Wolf Prize in Medicine and the 1995 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
  • Mel Lewis (1929-1990), American jazz musician with fourteen Grammy nominations
  • Carl Lewis (b. 1961), American track and field athlete, nine-time Olympic champion, eight-time World Champion
  • Gilbert Newton Lewis (1875-1946), American physical chemist
  • John Llewellyn Lewis (1880-1969), American Labour leader and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Harry Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951), American novelist
  • Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809), American explorer and soldier, best known for his role as the leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
  • Brigadier-General Burton Oliver Lewis (1889-1977), American Commanding General Detroit Arsenal Ordnance Depot (1946-1947)



  • Daybreak on Old Fortification Creek: A History of John Lewis by Glenn Hodges.
  • The Family of John Lewis, Pioneer by Irvin Frazier.
  • Genealogy of the James W. Lewis-Susan Clemmer Family by Dr. Thomas Ferrell.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Patriae fidus
Motto Translation: Faithful to my country.


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  1. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  2. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  3. Morgan, T. J. Morgan and Prys Morgan. Welsh Surnames. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1985. Print.
  4. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  6. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  7. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  8. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Davies, R. R. The Age of Conquest: Wales, 1063-1415. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Print.
  10. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  11. ...

The Lewis Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Lewis Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 17 September 2014 at 09:21.

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