Genealogy has become a hobby for me over the last 10 years. For me, it's like a puzzle, I love fitting the pieces together. But over the years, I've researched a lot that does not pertain to our family lines. Some for extended family, some for close friends, and some because I was trying to rule out lines to figure out where our line went exactly. I do not want these notes on my Heather's Genealogy Notes blog - because they are not our lines. But I do like to share all of my research, in case it benefits others. That is what this blog is for - research I have done that does not apply to our own family lines, but may be helpful for someone else.

Friday, January 16, 2015

George Lewis 1756-1830

The Lewis Genealogy To Lester Eugene Lewis

George Lewis
son of Israel & Jane (Drew) Lewis
Birth 1756 in Maidstone, Kent, , England
Death 1830 in died in England, buried in New York
Drusilla Howlett
daughter of
Died 1840

Children of George & Drusilla

Housekeeper - Priscilla Forwood
Daughter of Jacob & Martha (Warner) Forwood
Birth 6 February 1783 in Maryland
Death 19 May 1872 in Lycoming County PA

Child of George Lewis & Priscilla 
William Lewis 1808-1891 m. Mary Jane Casteline

Priscilla Married:
Married 1st - Joseph Coleman
Married 2nd - Abram Woolever
son of
Born 1777 in New Jersey
Died May 7, 1843

Children of Priscilla & Woolsey:
Edwin Warner Woolever 1818 –
Priscilla Ann Woolever 1829 – 1902 m. Thomas Chapman
Time Line:

1756 George is Born, and Baptized
Maidstone, Kent, , England

Name: George Lewis
Gender: Male
Baptism Date: 16 Nov 1756
Baptism Place: Earl St -Presbyterian,Maidstone,Kent,England

FHL Film Number: 0596912 (RG4 936)

Name: George Lewis
Event Type: Baptism
Baptism Date: 16 Nov 1756
Baptism Place: Maidstone, Kent, England
Denomination: Wesleyan

Piece Title: Piece 0937: Maidstone, Union Street (Wesleyan), 1822-1838

1790 - Lewis importing house established in NYC
Age: 34
New York City
Source - Egle’s Notes and Queries

1790 - Census
Age: 34
New York City East Ward, New York, New York, United States
2 males, 1 female, 1 slave

1794 - Residence & Occupation
Age: 38
New York City
Worked with brother James at importing house in NYC, a branch of a London house conducted by two other brothers

1794-Purchased land for $1 per acre
Age: 38
Muncy Luminary, 8/27/1964, p. 14
Purchased 10,217 acres (Mount Lewis) from Charles Walstoncraft

"Once part of William Penn's lands, the area was owned by Charles Walstoncraft of Philadelphia in 1794. He associated with Joseph Priestly, Jr. (son of the discoverer of oxygen), General Gates, and George Lewis. Lewis, a wealthy Englishman who was residing in New York at the time, was commissioned by the English business establishment to buy real estate in America. At a dinner attended by these men in 1794, it is believed Priestly described the area to Lewis.

Lewis bought the Lake and 10,217 acres from Walstoncraft in September, 1794. Turn-of-the-century historians note that Lewis was deeply impressed by the health aspects of living on the mountain, far removed from the yellow fever epidemic ravaging New York at the time. In 1803, he settled near the lake. Lewis surveyed the lands, designed a community, and by 1808 operated a glass works on the south end of the lake using the sand found on the lake's north end, the present site of "the beach." Sand was floated across the lake on barges to a glass factory located on what became known as "Lewis Hill." Difficulties in transporting the finished glass and the end of the War of 1812 brought financial ruin to the operation."

1798 - Glass factory erected
Age: 42
Present Day Eagles Mere, Sullivan County Pa
The Journal of the Lycoming County Historical Society, Fall 1874, p. 32

1803 - Visited Mount Lewis site for 1st Time
Age: 47
Present Day Eagles Mere, Sullivan County Pa
stayed for six weeks. Muncy Luminary, 8/27/1964, p. 14, Egle’s Notes and Queries

1803 - Returned to NY to find many friends had died of Yellow Fever
Age: 47
New York
Muncy Luminary, 8/27/1964, p. 14, Egle’s Notes and Queries

On returning to his home in the city, he found that the yellow fever had prevailed during his absence and that very many of his friends had died in consequence. He was so impressed with the feeling that his life had been spared from his remaining in this mountainous wilderness that he resolved to build him a home along the shores of the lake. 
When it was found to be a quality suitable for glass making, Mr. Lewis from his mercantile business relations well understood the very best advantage that was likely to be derived from the home manufacture of glass, and resolved to embark in the undertaking.   EGLE'S NOTES AND QUERIES by William Henry Egle (1830-1901)

 1808 -Son William born
5 Jun
Age: 52
Mount Lewis, Present day Eagles Mere, Sullivan county Pa
Wife Drucilla living in NY, William born to housekeeper Priscilla Forwood

Priscilla Forward was from Salisbury, Maryland.  She went to Lewis Lake where she was employed as a housekeeper for George Lewis.  She gave birth to a son, William Lewis, who was born out of wedlock.  She later became the wife of Abraham Woolever.  She rests in Oaklawn cemetery in eldred township.

1808 - Built warehouse in Muncy
Age: 52
corner of Water & Main st, Muncy, Lycoming County PA
Muncy Luminary, 8/27/1964, p. 14
1812 - Purchased farm from John Burrows
Age: 56
Pennsdale, Pa
Purchased farm from John Burrows in Pennsborough (Pennsdale) for $4000

      While the war with Great Britain continued the glassworks of George Lewis at
  the lake, although situated far from the market for his glass at Philadelphia,
  and with no other means of transportation except by wagons over poor roads, was,
  nevertheless, profitable; but when peace was declared, and English glass was
  imported in large quantities, with low duties, the manufacture of glass so far
  in the interior was impossible except at a loss, and Mr. Lewis was compelled to
  suspend operations. His farming business, however, continued. The farm was
  large, and was in a state of good cultivation. At one time he had a flock of
  four hundred sheep, a fine stock of cattle, raised a good deal of grain, and had
  an abundance of fruit. In 1822 he was living at the lake with his family, but
  the tenant houses were empty, and most of the laborers gone.  - History of Sullivan County Pennsylvania  by Thomas J. Ingham

1814- Labor Strike at Glass Works
Age: 58

The 1888 Volume of the Sullivan Review carries the story back in 1814 of labor troubles in the Lewis Glass Works at Eaglesmere. Dissatisfied workers threw foreign substances into a molten mixture to be used in making transparent plate glass; resulting in a worthless mass of many shapes and colors. After seventy four years an enterprising citizen unearthed this rubble, cut it into small pieces and sold it to tourists for souvenirs

1817 -Glassworks Ceased Operations
Age: 61

The glass works continued in operation about five years. During that time an extensive trade had been opened north with towns along the New York State line, a large amount of potash coming from that direction. 

            “From Lewis glass works two panes of glass have been preserved that were  found in a house erected at Muncy in 1813 by George Webb, and are described as follows: Not exactly square, but about 7 x 7 inches; thre-six-tenths of an inch thick at the edge and three-quarters of an inch in the bull’s eye, smooth and clear, although not quite flat, of pale green color.”

            Soon after closing the glass works in the year 1817 Mr. Alder and Isreal Lewis resigned their positions, the cause for which appears to be, from its becoming evident to them that the work could no longer be carried on at Mount Lewis successfully, and consequently making it doubtful as to Mr. Davis being able in the end to afford them the pecuniary reward for their services that they had reason to anticipate when they engaged in the business. 

They soon after engaged in business in Muncy, and established the first store in that place, erecting a brick building at the location of the Muncy Insurance office. Mr. Alder built for himself at the time the house now occupied by Mrs. Morris Ellis. The business proved successful, but Mr. Lewis, desiring in 1821 to return to England, Mr. Alder soon after decided to engage extensively in farming, sold his store and village property and moved to his farm, about one-half mile east of Muncy, where he resided until his death in 1837. -  ENGLE'S NOTES AND QUERIES by William Henry Egle (1830-1901)

1820 - Attempt to Organize the County
Age: 64
Present Day Eagles Mere
It was to be called Lewis County, and the county seat was to have been Mount Lewis, the present Eagles Mere.

1820 - Residence
Age: 64
Shrewsbury, Lycoming, Pennsylvania, United States

1822 - Things Begin To Fall Apart
Age: 66
1822 - Residence
History of Sullivan County by Ingham, p. 19
Living at lake with family, but tenant houses empty and most of the laborers gone

1824 - 4th of July Celebration at the Glass Works

Among the notable events which took place here was a Fourth of July
  celebration at the glassworks in 1824. Preparations were made on a grand scale,
  and almost the entire population of the surrounding country gathered at the
  place to give utterance to their patriotic feeling, which had been rekindled by
  the visit of General Lafayette to this country. After this date Mr. Lewis'
  health began to fail. He had met with severe financial losses, not only in the
  stopgage of his glassworks, but by investments made in New York and elsewhere,
  and in the purchase of such large bodies of wild lands, which were taxed but
  produced no income. History of Sullivan County Pennsylvania
                          by Thomas J. Ingham

1829- Placed Property in William Elliot, to be sold
Age: 73
Present Day Eagles Mere, Sullivan County Pa
Placed property in hands of William Elliot to sell. Proceeds to be used to pay creditors

Returned to England on business and/or to regain health

In 1829 he placed his real estate of twelve thousand and two
  hundred acres of land, in Sullivan county, and seven thousand and five hundred
  acres, in Franklin county, New York, in the hands of William Elliott, his
  brother-in-law, and Ithiel Town, to be sold for the benefit of his creditors. He
  soon afterward went to England on business, and there, in 1830, died. In his
  will he gave direction for the removal of his body to Mount Lewis for burial,
  and his directions were followed to the extent of shipping his remains to New
  York, where they were buried. The difficulty of removing the body to Mount Lewis
  in warm weather, without railroad facilities, no doubt prevented his wishes from
  being carried out. The glassworks, with about two thousand acres of land, were
  sold at public sale in June, 1831, and purchased by John J. Adams, of
  Washington, District of Columbia. - History of Sullivan County Pennsylvania
                          by Thomas J. Ingham

The Lewis Glass Works era lingered to 1829, when Lewis returned to England and died there in 1830. Only one building, the former "Lake House," a boarding house, survives from the Lewis settlement. Constructed by 1803, it is now the rear section of the Lewis S. Smith cottage [constructed 1879].  =

The events furnished the writer after this date were less pleasurable to record. Mr. Lewis’ health began to fail. He had met with heavy losses, not only in the stoppage of the glass works, but also in investments made in other places, and with failing health he was led to make an effort to dispose of the property. This evidently was attended with feelings of deep regret, as all the statements corroborate in the life long attachment of Lewis to this place, and that among his last requests was that his remains might be buried on the shores of the lake. In 1829 he entered into a contract for the sale of this property, amounting then to 12,200 acres (several tracts having been added to the original purchase). He had a tract of land in Franklin county, New York, of 7,500 acres. This, together with Mount Lewis property was valued at $55,000.  William Elliott, the husband of his sister, resided in Washington City, and Ithial Town, of New York City, were to make advances to Lewis on the property and to be allowed a liberal deduction for services and expenses in making sale. Mr. Lewis gives his residence at the time as Mount Lewis, Shrewsbury township but afterwards as New York City. The account given to the writer of his departure by the Hon. Wm. Smith who was then in his employ, was that he contemplated going to England. He well remembered conversations between Mr. Lewis and his wife relative to making the voyage in a steamer, she being at the same time opposed to it. -   ENGLE'S NOTES AND QUERIES by William Henry Egle (1830-1901)

1830 - Will 
28 May
Maidstone, Kent, England
Record of will at Maidstone, Kent

The next record found is that of his will, May 28, 1830, at Maidston, Kent county, England.  His wife Drucilla Howlett Lewis is named as executrix with full control of all real and personal property during her lifetime, and Wm. Elliott, Ithial Town, Samule Coon (a merchant of New York)), and Samuel Rogers, a Senator of the U.S., from Pennsylvania as executors. He bequeathed to each of the executors 100 pounds sterling, about $500. for the trouble for the trouble that might be given them.  After the decease of his wife, the property to be divided between Mr. Elliott and two of his wife’s nephews, Thomas L. Dewitt and George Lewis Dewitt, both at the time minors, but not to come in possession until they became of full age. Other bequests were made of 100 pounds each to an old friend, James Smith, of Maidston, and his brother, David Lewis. The Mount Lewis farm and glass works were probably at the time left in charge of Charles Howlett, who remained upon the property until 1832. Mention is made of debts to be paid before his executors are permitted to pay bequests named. We will here remark that among the records of the title papers of the estate is found a mentioned deed from George L. Dewitt and Thomas L. Dewitt for their interests in Hunter’s lake mill property acquired them by will of George Lewis to Emile C. Geyelin, consideration $725.

1830 - George Died
Age: 74
died in England, buried in New York

Name: George Lewis
Birth Date: 1756
Birth Place: England
Death Date: 1830

Death Place: Fordwich, England

Wished to be buried at Mt Lewis, but due to the heat, after body arrived in NY, he was buried there instead.

1831 - Glass Works Sold
 Continuing the records, we find that the glass works, with about 2,000 acres of
land, were sold at auction in June, 1831, and bid in by John J. Adams, of Washington, D.C.  The sale was made conditional upon a reservation of a life interest of Mrs. Lewis to the mansion house, garden and yard, consideration $7000 - $500 at date of sale and balance in partial payments. He at once took possession of the property, moving to Mount Lewis with his family. The cottages were again all filled with families and glass manufacturing re-established. The business to all appearances moved on well for three or four years. Mr. Adams is represented by those who knew him to have been a resolute man, enforcing sobriety and good morals in the community. The business is, however, believed to have required the strictest economy and care to make it pay expenses, and doubtless would have been continued much longer had it not been for some evil disposed persons, who, during the absence of those in charge, spoiled a large amount of material, making the loss so heavy that work could not be immediately resumed. The property having been purchased largely upon credit, heavy payments had become due, conflicting interests of executor rendered were every way annoying and vexatious. Litigation had to be met, this resulted in Mr. Adams abandoning the property.

  In January, 1839, a levy was made upon the property by Wm. Cox Ellis, an attorney for Mrs. Drucilla Lewis, from the record of which describe a large frame dwelling house, two stone dwelling houses, nine small dwelling houses, a large stone barn, outhouses and a glass house for the manufacture of glass, with about 300 acres of cleared land, a great part of which is fenced with stone. The property was bid in by George Roberts, of Muncy, for $3,555, and was conveyed bys said Roberts to George M. Kein, of Reading, soon after. He held the property until 1842, then conveyed it to Susan Mayer, who conveyed it to J.R. Jones, September 26, 1845. George Roberts, George Kein or Susan Mayer did not reside on the property. After the Mt. Lewis property was abandoned by Mr. Adams, we are not able to give a connected statement as to its occupancy. But two families are named, although it is well known that others lived upon the property. - ENGLE'S NOTES AND QUERIES by William Henry Egle (1830-1901)


Lewis' Lake

Midway between Laporte and Forksville and on top of the mountains, lies this splendid sheet of water some four miles in circumference. About three fourths of a century ago a Mr Lewis, an Englishman, located here, built glass works and several residences, all of stone (red shale), felled the timber and charred it into coal for smelting, used the sand from the bed of the lake, and in this way spent a large fortune and produced but a limited quantity of glass in return. The works are now a heap of ruins, reminding one of another Troy washed by the lake instead of the river Seamander. Near these smoldering heaps, and on the banks of these placid waters, are erected several cottages as summer resorts. A peculiar feature of this lake is that while its outlet empties into the Muncy creek on its south side, a tributary of the Loyalsock runs near its northeast side, from which a marsh extends quite to the outlet. A few feet of excavation for a distance of forty rods would turn its waters from the first and empty them into the latter named stream, where they apparently originally belonged.

The Glass Factory

    The first industry in what is now Sullivan County was a glass factory located at Lewis Lake, now called Eagles Mere. It was built and operated by an Englishman, George Lewis, whose business brought him to New York, where he met Joseph Priestly, Jr. Priestly was interested in the sale of thousands of acres of Central Pennsylvania land that was owned by the his family.  His glowing description of the mountain forest induced Lewis to buy 30,000 acres.

     In 1880, he had the tract surveyed, and two years later he spent six weeks near the crystal water he named Lewis Lake. During this time, yellow fever raged in the city and he felt he owed his life to this time he spent on the mountain. Later, recalling the pure white sand of the beach it seemed to him an ideal place for making glass. He decided to do that, and to make his home there.

By 1808, he built not only the glass factory, but also a grist mill, dwelling for his workmen, a store, and his own residence. The factory was located on Mount Lewis, now the site of the McCormick and Young cottages, at the southeast corner of Laporte and Eagles Mere Avenues. Sand was hauled from the upper end of the lake by flat boats, and one old resident says that it was also dredged from the lower end of the lake and brought out by six-horse teams.

     Stones from the ruins of this old factory have been used in the foundation of the Presbyterian Church and in cellar walls of a number of houses in the borough. Moreover, one of the old mill stones is found today in the Episcopal Church, where it serves as a baptismal font. Relics of glass have been found in fragments of amber, blue, red and light green.  There are a number of pieces of hollow ware still in existence, all privately owned. The few pieces remaining today are said by experts to be of excellent quality.

     The glass was shipped from the lake to Muncy in hogsheads and was packed with straw from the Robert Taylor farm, eight miles away.  From Muncy it was reshipped to Reading, Lancaster and Philadelphia. Conestoga wagons weighing 3,000 lbs and drawn by eight horses were used and, due to the very bad road conditions, there was always considerable breakage.

     But the business flourished until after the second war with England.  Glass was then imported and sold cheaper than Lewis could deliver it. Consequently, Lewis’ business failed. Then, too, his health was poor, so he returned to England in 1830, leaving his affairs and his unsold land in the hands of his brother-in-law.  Soon after reaching England, he died.  Because it had been his wish to be buried at the lakeside, his body was shipped back to New York. The month was August, and the heat intolerable; so it was found necessary to make interment in New York.

     In 1831 the glass works was sold to John J. Adams, of Washington D. C. Meanwhile, the workmen had found employment elsewhere and most of them moved away.  There is no record of the number of men employed.

     The next account of the business appears in an advertisement, saying the stock had been bought by N. G. Lyon and Thomas Wells, and that they had leased the works for three months.  Nothing more is known until the year 1838, when a nephew of Mr. Lewis came to the lake to settle up the property.  The glass business had ended.

      Ruins of an effort to manufacture glass was found near the ghost town of Thorne Dale and gave the name to Glass Creek. No records of legends of this small industry seem to have survived.

Abram Woolever - 
Notes for ABRAHAM  WOOLEVER :From "History of Lycoming County" by John Meginness, 1892 ed.
Edwin Woolever - son of Abraham and Priscilla (Forward) Woolever, natives of New Jersey and Maryland, respectively. His parents removed from Sullivan county to Muncy, and subsequently to what is now Gamble township, where the father engaged in farming and lumbering. Abraham Woolever died May 7, 1843, followed by his widow, May 19, 1872, aged seventy and eighty-nine years, respectively. Three of their children are living: Edwin Warner; Priscilla Ann, who married Thomas Chapman, and Edwin

ENGLE'S NOTES AND QUERIES by William Henry Egle (1830-1901)

William Henry Egle, State Librarian of Pennsylvania for twelve years, published his Notes and Queries: Historical, Biographical and Genealogical, relating chiefly to Interior Pennsylvania, 1700’s-1800’s,  first from 1879-1895, as a series of articles in the Harrisburg Daily Telegraph, and subsequently, from 1896-1900 as yearly editions. The entire collection was later reprinted as a twelve volume set. This transcription is taken from that set as found in the Library of Congress.  The actual contributors are unknown, and the writing styles vary.

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