Lewis Dewees, youngest son of Garrett Hendricks and Zytian Dewees, was born in Holland, and emigrated to this country with his father and family in 1639(*). In the Kent county, Delaware, records he spells his name with the final “e,” Deweese. He is mentioned as living in Philadelphia in 1713. In the year 1727 he bought land in Delaware of Joseph Pidgeon, who was the agent of the Philadelphia Land Company. This land consisted of a tract of 300 acres on the north side of Fishing Creek, Mispillion Hundred, and it was bought May 24, 1727. He sold this tract to his son, Cornelius Deweese, on May 3, 1739, for 50 pounds. Lewis Deweese was a weaver by trade. Nothing further is said of him in the Court records, neither is any mention made in family records. He died in 1743, his will being proved April 5, 1743. He left four children, who are mentioned in his will: William, Cornelius, Samuel, and Hezekiah.
March 5, 1728, Survey: Hugh Darborow, Lewis DeWees, Kent County.
LAMBERT HENDRICKSZEN, born circa 1674; baptized 3 October 1675; believed to be identical
with LEWIS DEWEESE of Kent Co., DE; married probably Sussex Co., DE circa 1706 MARY
WHEELER, daughter of John and Ruth Wheeler; Lewis died 1743 Mispillion Hundred, Kent Co., DE.
Children of Lewis and Mary (Wheeler) Deweese, all born in Kent Co., DE, based on study of personal property tax lists:
i. WILLIAM DEWEESE, born 1707; married probably Kent Co., DE circa 1738 SARAH46 (surname unknown); died 1761 Kent Co., DE47.
ii. ????? , born circa 1710 (a gap in the male births, possibly indicating a daughter).
iii. RACHEL DEWEESE, born circa 1713; unmarried on 29 August 175448.
iv. CORNELIUS DEWEESE, born circa 1716; married probably Kent Co., DE circa 1747 ESTHER DRAPER, daughter of Alexander Draper49; died 1791 Kent Co., DE50.
v. SAMUEL DEWEESE, born circa 1719; married probably Kent Co., DE circa 1741 MARY51 (surname unknown); died 1753 Kent Co., DE52.
vi. HEZEKIAH DEWEESE, born circa 1722; married probably Kent Co., DE circa 1747 MARY KING, daughter of Isaac King53; died 1760 Kent Co., DE54.
vii. JONATHAN DEWEESE, born circa 1725; married probably Kent Co., DE circa 1753 RACHEL MERCHANT55 (surname unproven); died 1777 Caswell Co., NC56.
Lewis Deweese died in Mispillion Hundred, Kent Co., DE in the Spring of 1743, but did not leave a Will or land partition record naming his children, and no family Bible has ever been found from which to prove the names of his parents. Letters of Administration on his estate were issued to William Deweese, believed to be his eldest son, on 5 April 17435. The birth year of Lewis’ eldest son, William, was determined to be in 1707 based on the contents of a written deposition by William dated 18 February 17566. In this record, William states that his age in 1756 was “49 (years) or thereabouts.” Insofar as no other Deweese male of comparable age was living in Kent Co. during the mid-1700s7, it was possible to identify Lewis’ probable sons and ascertain their approximate birth years from study of the personal property tax lists. In estimation of birth years, we assumed that a male became eligible to pay the tax at age 21, and that on the following year his name would then first appear on the lists. Study of various Kent Co., DE courthouse records enabled us to identify the wives of Lewis’ sons, and the contents of a Sussex Co., DE Chancery Court record dated 31 July 1759 told us that Lewis had married Mary Wheeler, daughter of John and Ruth Wheeler. The 1707 birthdate for William, the earliest son to appear on the Kent Co. tax lists, suggests that Lewis married no later than ca. 1706. The children are all believed to have been born in Kent Co., DE, and are enumerated in Genealogical Summary.
RECORDS SHOWING A LINKAGE OF LEWIS DEWEESE TO GERMANTOWN, PA
In a power of attorney dated 26 March 1702, “Herman op den Graeff, late of Germantown in the province of Pennsilvania (sic), weaver, now of Kent County of the territories annexed to the province of Pennsilvania ….” requests that his friend John Gibb of Kent Co. sell his lands in Germantown, PA9. The record was witnessed by Lewis “Dewes,” believed to have been the Lewis who is subject of this study. Herman op den Graeff had earlier sold 50 acres of land to Gerrit Hendricks de Wees in Germantown on 1 March 169010, shortly after Gerrits’s arrival there from Manhattan Island, NY City11.
A second Philadelphia Co. record naming Lewis Deweese is found in the Will of Joseph Pidgeon dated 12 March 171012. Here, Joseph Pidgeon mentions owning “a tract of land in Kent County now in the possession of one Lewis “Dewes,” to whom I sold but never got (…. illegible ….), I having his bond for fifty-six pounds, which if he pays ….” Lewis did eventually make payment on 24 May 1727 to the estate of one Joseph Pidgeon13. Interestingly, the deed stipulates that this land was located on the north side of Fishing Creek, a branch of Mispillion Creek. This is informative, because in conjunction with a companion record we obtain confirmation that William Deweese was son of Lewis Deweese. The companion record, dated 30 May 174314, states that William Deweese of Kent Co. obtained a warrant to have 200 acres of land surveyed “on the north side of Fishing Creek adjoining land improved by his father” (not named).
(Source:”Gerrit Hendricks De Wees of New Amsterdam and Germantown” by the work of Curtis Dewees, Dr. Jack C. Vaughn & Ted D. Deweese.
(*) Date has conflicted with the birth record-It is what I researched with Dr. Vaughn, however. So both are recorded until other documents are discovered.
Gerret Hendricks Dewees (1640 – 1701)
Sijtske Lieuwes Dewees (1649 – ____)
Mary Wheeler Dewees (1685 – 1725)
Hezekiah Wheeler Dewees*
Samuel Dewees (1719 – 1753)*
Jonathan Deweese (1722 – 1777)*
Wilhelmina Dewees Rittenhouse (1673 – 1737)*
Lieuwes Lambert Dewees (1674 – 1743)
William Dewees (1678 – 1745)**
Cornelius Deweese (1682 – 1735)*