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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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."

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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.


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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.

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

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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.

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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 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 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 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 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

Lewis Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Thos Lewis, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Capt Lewis, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Benjn Lewis, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Martha Lewis, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Susa Lewis, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750

Lewis Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Isaac Lewis, who arrived in Canada in 1828
  • Eleazar Lewis, who arrived in Canada in 1829
  • Elizabeth Lewis, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1832
  • Joseph Lewis, aged 27, a chordwinder, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the barque "Alchymist" from Falmouth
  • John Lewis, aged 25, a currier, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the ship "Hibernia" from Kinsale


Lewis Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • William Lewis, English convict from Shropshire, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • James Lewis, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Charles Lewis, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
  • William Lewis, English convict from Gloucester, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
  • John Lewis, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia


Lewis Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Francis Charles Lewis landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • J Lewis landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Oriental
  • John Henry Lewis landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1840
  • Benjamin Lewis landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • David Lewis landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Oriental


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  • Monica Lewis (1922-2015), born May Lewis, an American jazz singer and film actress, the longtime voice of Chiquita Banana
  • Geoffrey Lewis (1935-2015), American character actor, known for his roles in High Plains Drifter, Maverick and The Lawnmower Man, frequently co-starring with Clint Eastwood
  • Miss Edith Lewis, American 2nd Class passenger from New York, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking
  • Mrs. Jane Lewis, American 2nd Class passenger from New York, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Isaac John Lewis, American 2nd Class passenger from New York, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking
  • Peter B. Lewis (1933-2013), American businessman who was the chairman of Progressive Insurance Company
  • Anthony Lewis (1927-2013), American journalist who wrote for The New York Times and The New York Review of Books, winner of Pulitzer Prize (1955, 1963)
  • Francis Lewis (1713-1802), American signer of the American Declaration of Independence for New York
  • Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809), American explorer, soldier, and public administrator
  • Major-General Robert Henry Lewis (1884-1965), American Commanding General Northwestern Sector, Western Defense Command (1943-1946)

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  • 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.
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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. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  4. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  5. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  6. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  7. Davies, R. R. The Age of Conquest: Wales, 1063-1415. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Print.
  8. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. 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 19 August 2015 at 18:14.

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