Lewis Family

John Lewis, Sr.
William Lewis
Joseph Lewis, Sr.
Joseph Lewis, Jr.
John Lewis
Olivia Lewis Rogers
Joseph Underwood Rogers
Lelia Rogers Dickinson

The first of the Lewis family to come to America was John Lewis, who with his wife Isabella Miller, came from Wales about 1640. They had 15 children. Their sons, John and William Lewis’ names appear as patentees of large bodies of land in Henrico and Gloucester about the middle of the 17th century. Another son, John Lewis Jr. settled in the part of Henrico County that was cut into Goochland County, Virginia

John Lewis, Sr. b. about 1642 in Wales, d. 1678 Henrico County, VA; m. Isabella Elizabeth Miller; 3 children;

  1. John Lewis, Jr.
  2. William Lewis, b. 1660 Northampton, VA
  3. Sarah Lewis, b. about 1675 in VA, m. Robert Woodson

William Lewis, b. 1660 Northampton VA, d. December 25, 1706 Henrico County, VA(will was probated May 1, 1707); m. Elizabeth Woodson, b. 1670 Henrico County, VA, d. before 1750 Henrico County, VA, daughter of Robert Woodson, son of Dr. John Woodson, colonist from England 1619 and Elizabeth Ferris, daughter of Richard Ferris on the James River, Henrico County, VA; Richard Ferris descended from the ancient Norman Family de Ferrier, from which came Henry De Ferrier, who came over to England with William the Conqueror. The Ferris Family came to Virginia in 1619 and had 3 sons and 3 daughters. William and Elizabeth Woodson Lewis had 4 children:

  1. Joseph Lewis, Sr.
  2. Sarah Lewis, b. 1697
  3. John Lewis
  4. William Lewis, Jr., b. about 1679

Joseph Lewis, Sr., d. 1772, Goochland, VA; m. Sarah Cocke, daughter of Elizabeth Pleasants and Captain James Cocke; Elizabeth was daughter of Joseph Pleasants, Colonists from Norwick, England to Henrico County Virginia 1636. John Pleasants was a Quaker. Elizabeth died in 1792, 6 children

Joseph Lewis built a beautiful, spacious home beside the Jackson Highway in Southern Barren County about 12 miles from Glasgow. The family lived there for several years, and then Joseph caught the “Go West” urge, and moved to Missouri.

At that time, he sold his farm to his brother, John Lewis. John then deeded the place to his daughter, Mrs. Olivia Lewis Rogers, and Olivia and Jo. U Rogers and their family resided there from 1830 until 1871.

The Rogers family moved to Glasgow in that latter year. During the Civil War, both Northern and Southern armies made use of the Rogers home as headquarters, with troops camping in the wide bottomlands at the foot of the hill.

Both the terrain and plenty of good water made the site ideal for the thousands of troops quartered there from time to time. In the early 1800’s part of the house became known at the Public Room, because stagecoaches stopped there enroute from Louisville to Nashville.

This was a stage stand, and while the horses for the coach were changed, the passengers stretched themselves in the Public Room. Olivia Lewis Rogers is said to have been the first woman passenger ever to make the trip by stage from Louisville to Nashville. The home was condemned and leveled to make way for the Barren Reservoir Project in 1963. (47)

Children of Sarah and Joseph Lewis

  1. William Lewis, m. Elizabeth Woodson, his cousin
  2. John Lewis, Major in Revolutionary War; m. Mildred Lewis, his cousin, daughter of Robert Lewis of Belvoir. Albemarle County, VA, son of John Lewis and Elizabeth (Warner) Lewis, son of John Lewis and Isabella (Warner) Lewis, son of Gen. Robert Lewis; Mildred Lewis was the sister of William Lewis who married Lucy Merriwether; William fathered Merriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
  3. Elizabeth Lewis, m. December 24, 1757 in Goochland County, VA William Robards; 5 sons in Revolutionary Army including Capt. George Robards and Capt. Lewis Robards; Elizabeth moved to Mercer County, KY after her husband, William

Robards died. Their daughter Sally Robards married John Jouett of Revolutionary War Fame and their son Matthew Jouett was a noted portrait painter in Kentucky.

  1. Sarah Lewis, m. Mr. Redford
  2. Ann Lewis, m. Robert Mosby April 26, 1769 and moved to Mercer County, KY (59)
  3. Joseph Lewis, Jr.

Joseph Lewis, Jr., b. Henrico County, VA 17--, d. 1811 Mercer County, KY; Joseph Lewis served as a private in the War of 1812 with Archibald Bilbo’s Company- 6th Regiment of Kentucky.

m. #1 Sara Williamson in 1764 in Goochland County, VA;

  1. Miss Lewis, m. Mr. Taylor
  2. Nicholas Lewis, went to TN, then to Texas
  3. William Lewis m. #2 on March 16, 1777 Ann Porter Sampson, widow of Charles Sampson, daughter of Elizabeth Dutois and Thomas Porter; Elizabeth was the daughter of Peter Dutois and Barbara Bonnett Dutois, Huguenot exiles from France. They came over from London with the immigration of the Huguenots to Virginia, and settled at Manakin Town, VA on the James River about 1700. (34) They moved from Goochland County, VA to Mercer County, KY in 1795. All their children were born in Goochland County, VA.

Ann Porter Sampson had 2 children with Charles Sampson, a son, Archibald Sampson, and a daughter, Elizabeth Barbara Sampson. b. August 26, 1786, d. 1836; married Capt. George Robards, and moved to Mercer County. George Robards d. 1833 and had 13 children. George Robards was the son of William Robards and Elizabeth Lewis, daughter of Joseph Lewis, Sr and Sarah (Cock) Lewis

According to family lore (and the history books) —

A family story was passed down to Kate Dickinson about how “that scoundrel Andrew Jackson stole Cousin Lewis Robards’ wife.”

There’s ample documentation of the scandal surrounding Capt. Lewis Robards (son of William Robards and Elizabeth Lewis, nephew of Joseph Lewis, Jr.) and his wife Rachel Donelson, and Rachael’s elopment with Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the United States.

According to “our” version of the story, Lewis Robards told Rachel that he had gotten a divorce, when he had not. In any event, Rachel ran off with and married Andrew Jackson without being divorced from Lewis Robards, who then filed for divorce on the grounds of adultery.

After the divorce became final, Andrew Jackson and Rachel had a second wedding ceremony, but the matter dogged Jackson for the remainder of his political career. On one occasion an insult to Jackson’s character resulted in him killing Charles Henry Dickinson in a duel near Franklin, Kentucky. We’ve been unable to assertain whether or not our family is connected to this Dickinson.

The U.S. Supreme Court declared, posthumously, that Andrew and Rachel were never legally married. (33) Incidentally, these same county marriage records show that Lewis Robards married Hannah Winn, in 1792 before the final divorce decree from Rachel in 1793, which would have make him a bigamist, too. Such informality was met with little disapproval on the Kentucky frontier.

Children of Joseph Lewis cont.

  1. Robert Williamson Lewis, b. Feb 7, 1779 in Goochland, VA, d. January 17, 1854 in Mercer County, KY; m. February 2, 1782 Sarah Nancy Mosby, his cousin; 2 twin sons, Samuel and Thomas b. March 28, 1808; daughters Maria b. September 27, 1811, Ann E. b. May 4, 1813, Sally J. b. August 12, 1815, and a son Allen A. b. April 16, 1820;
  2. Charles Lewis, b. Goochland County, VA, d. before 1856 in; m#1 Lucy Reynolds; m #2 on Barren County, KY; moved to Barren County about 1820 from Mercer County November 22, 1811 in Barren County, Elizabeth Settles;
  3. John (Jack) Lewis b. September 7, 1793 Goochland, VA; d. in Glasgow, KY, October 20, 1877;


John (Jack) Lewis b. September 7, 1793 Goochland, VA youngest child of Joseph and Ann Porter Sampson Lewis, d. October 20, 1877 Glasgow, KY; m. November 4, 1819, Eliza Marts Reid (Reed) b. August 13, 1801, d. 1878 of Henderson, KY, daughter of Elizabeth Marts and Lewis Reid; Elizabeth was the daughter of Mr. Marts and Evelyn Edmonson Marts of Baltimore,

John Lewis

Eliza (Martz) Marts
Maryland, The Reids who immigrated to America from Wales were Quakers, and came over to America with William Penn and settled in Philidelphia, PA in 1682. Lewis Reed moved from Philiadelphia to Henderson, KY in 1807.)


John Lewis moved from Virginia to Mercer County in 1795, from Mercer County to Henderson County, KY about 1812 where he manufactured brick, and from Henderson County to Barren County about 1821; 2 children;

  1. Olivia Lewis, b. April 28, 1822, d. April 18, 1903; m. on October 29, 1839 John Thomas. Rogers, b. January 22, 1814, son of Edmund Rogers and Mary Shirley Rogers; d. April 19, 1881
  2. Joseph H. Lewis, b. October 29, 1824 in Glasgow, KY, d. July 6, 1904, in Glasgow, KY; m. #1 Sarah Hensley Rogers, m. #2 Cassandra Johnson

Joseph H. Lewis was a General in the Confederate States of America’s Orphan Brigade, one of the first Brigadiers in Congress, and the 6th KY Infantry.

Joseph fought at the Battle of Shiloh and was one of the first Rebel Brigadiers to serve in Congress. He was elected to the Court of Appeals of Kentucky and served for twenty-four years, its Chief Justice for six years. m. Sarah Hensley Rogers, daughter of Sally Gorin and Dr. George Rogers; 4 children

1. John (Jack) Lewis was recruited by his father to serve in the Orphan Brigade of the Confederacy; m #1 Betty Bybee, a son, George Lewis; m #2 Ida Williams, 4 children Mary, Sarah, Cassandra (Caddie).

  1. Sally Lewis m. J.R. Hall, July 12, 1879, one child died in infancy
  2. George Lewis d. 1873
  3. Eliza Lewis m. S.H. Burnham in Lincoln Nebraska; 5 children;

Olivia Lewis m. John T. Rogers

Family story from Lelia Ann Dickinson Smith, 2001.

Olivia Lewis Rogers was born on April 28, 1822, in Barren County. She was the daughter of John Lewis, who had been born in Virginia, and Eliza Marts Reed.

John Lewis and his brother Joseph had farms on the wide, fertile bottomlands of the Barren River in the Skaggs Creek/Peters Creek area. Olivia grew up there, in a house that was located on high ground near where the Barren Lake State Park Lodge is now.

Olivia’s brother, Joseph H. Lewis was a General in the Confederacy in the Civil War, and was commander of the “Orphan’s Brigade.” After the war, Joseph was quite the local “hero” in Glasgow and Barren County.

On October 29, 1839, Olivia married John Thomas Rogers. They were married in Edmonton, which was named after Olivia’s father-inlaw, Edmund Rogers.

Edmund Rogers was well known in the area for being a veteran of the Revolutionary War and an early settler in southern Kentucky following the War. He was just old enough to have been a soldier at the Battle of Yorktown.

He was a first cousin of Kentucky hero, George Rogers Clark, and his brother William Clark (of Lewis and Clark). Because of his connection to G.R. Clark, he got the job of surveying the ‘soldier lands” of southern Kentucky, and then he settled there. He married late in life and had one son, and (seven daughters (13). John Thomas never practiced his profession of law, but was a member of the convention that framed the present Kentucky Constitution. (21)

Olivia’s uncle, Joseph Lewis, went west to Missouri, and her father purchased his brother’s home and deeded it over to Olivia.

So Olivia and John Thomas Rogers, lived from 1830 until 1871, in an imposing brick home right beside the stage road between Louisville and Nashville, just north of the Barren River. (The house was torn down just before Barren Lake Dam was constructed). The story goes that Olivia was the first woman to make the trip by stagecoach from Louisville to Nashville. The house had a “Public Room” which served as one of the three stagecoach stops between Glasgow and Scottsville.

The Lewis-Rogers-Jewel Home (Beechmont)

During the Civil War, both Northern and Southern armies made use of the Rogers home as a headquarters, with the troops camping in the bottomlands nearby.

This of course, was not a good time for Olivia, particularly when the “Yankees” were there. She was reportedly a very strong-willed woman, and stood up to them in her own gracious and self-confident manner.

Olivia and John Rogers had 10 children who survived to adulthood, 3 boys and 7 girls. The youngest of her children, a girl, was born in 1864, when Olivia was 42 years old.

This girl, Byrd Rogers Thompson, lived until 1954. The sixth child, Joseph Underwood Rogers, married Kate Trabue, the oldest daughter of Lelia Anderson Trabue, (the first Lelia).

He moved to Glasgow and worked as a pharmacist. At other times, he worked as a farm manager of the Satterfield Farm, a large farm, which included land that the Lewis’ had owned before the War.

My father, Brents Dickinson, the grandson of Kate and Joseph, remembers going out and working on the Satterfield Farm with his grandfather when a boy and young teen.

After the Civil War, Glasgow experienced hard times. All of Olivia’s 10 children had to ‘make their own way,’ so to speak.

One son, Edmund P. Rogers, and one daughter, Fannie Rogers Porter, moved west and settled in San Luis Obispo, California. Edmund P. Rogers reportedly was a surveyor like his grandfather and namesake, and did surveying work in California.

One of Olivia’s daughters, Lucy Rogers (Loulie) Richardson, ran a florist shop in Glasgow. Another, “Aunt” Byrd, managed the spa hotel in Sulphur Wells (with her husband, Catlett W. Thompson).

At some point after the War, Olivia and four or five of her unmarried daughters moved to Glasgow, partly to facilitate finding husbands for the daughters.

Also, by this time, Olivia and John’s marriage was not happy, and she wished to separate from her husband. The story also goes that they moved to Glasgow so that they could attend dances. The Peters Creek Baptist Church, near the Rogers’ place, frowned on dancing.

Olivia evidently had a special relationship with her “house” slaves, and they remained with her after emancipation. Not only that, but at least some of their descendents remained loyal to Olivia’s descendents.

When I was a girl, a tiny, gray-haired woman, the daughter of a Lewis/Rogers slave, would always be present at my grandmother Lelia Dickinson’s house to help with the Thanksgiving dinner. She even appears in the 1947 photo of the family’s Thanksgiving Dinner.

Olivia died on April 18, 1903 at age 80. She owned a yellow topaz and gold brooch, which had been purchased, probably in the 1840’s by her husband in New Orleans when he made one of his yearly trips there to sell the tobacco crop. She is seen wearing this pin at her throat in photographs, and she left it to her granddaughter, Lelia Rogers Dickinson, who left it to me, her oldest granddaughter.

Lelia Ann Dickinson Smith

Brents Dickinson II relates the following story passed down from his father, Brents Dickinson Jr. that was told to him by his grandfather, Joseph Underwood Rogers, about his father John Thomas Rogers who lived with his wife Olivia Lewis in a large brick home along the road between Glasgow and Nashville, on a hill that overlooked the Barren River:

One day John Thomas Rogers saw a man who had only one leg trying to cross the Barren River. John Thomas went across the river in a boat and brought the man back across. He then put him in a wagon and took him home about three miles to Becton, KY in the Beaver Creek community. John Thomas learned that the man’s leg had been shot off by a cannon ball in the Civil War. As it turned out this man was Samuel Anderson. Two generations later Samuel Anderson’s granddaughter (Gwendolyn Holman, my mother) married the great grandson) of John T Rogers, Brents Dickinson Jr., my father. Samuel Anderson served under General Joseph H. Lewis, who was the brother of Olivia Lewis Rogers, and commander of the Orphan Brigade (CSA). Small world…

Joseph Underwood Rogers m. Kate Buckner Trabue

Lelia Rogers m. Bartlett Graves Dickinson