The name Lewis most likely came from the Welsh word “Llewellyn” (that translates to 'Lion-Like'). This term comes from the Welsh word “llyw,” which means leader.
The Welsh progenitors of the Bulloch County Lewis clan start with Richard ap Lewis, born before 1537, who died in 1628 in Llangotuck, Crickhowell, Brecknockshire, Wales. This Robert ap Lewis married Gwenllian James.
The line continues all the way down through the following generations of Lewis: Prichard, John, Major John II, Counsellor John III, to both Charles Lilburne, “of the Byrd Plantation” and Robert “of Belvoir Plantation.”
Robert married (according to some records) the following three women: Elizabeth Thornton, Jane Meriwether, and then Mary Gilchrist Brice (or Bryce). Depending on which records you use, Robert and his wives (some or all of them) had the following children.
They were: Robert; James; William; John; Sarah; Warner; Frances; Fielding; Charles W. and/or Charles D.; James Howell, Mary Howell, and possibly just plain old Howell; John Woodson; Jane Meriwether; Nicholas Meriwether; Elizabeth Jane Woodson #1; Elizabeth #2; and Richard.
Robert's son William was born in 1595. He married Margaret Puleston. They had at least one son, John, who was born in 1625 and died on Aug. 21, 1657 in King and Queen County, Va. He married Lydia Warner, and they had at least two children: Edward, and John.
His son John Sr. was born in 1654. He married Elizabeth O'Brissel and they had at least one child, John Jr., who was born on Jan. 27, 1684/5 in New Kent County, Va. He married Elizabeth, and they had at least one son: Thomas.
Their son Thomas was born on Jan. 3, 1719/20, and died on Nov. 20, 1800 in Waynesboro. He married Mourning Crowley, and they had at least one child: William.
Their son William, born around 1750, moved to Bulloch County, Ga. before 1810 and died in Jan. 1843 in Early/Calhoun County. William married Lucy.
They had the following children: Lucretia “Lucy”; William Jr.; James; Sarah; Elizabeth; David E.; and John W. According to some records, he may have had several more children, including Matilda, Hanson “Harrison,” Nancy, and Smith.
William's son, who is most often referred to as Wiley, was born March 25, 1790 and died in April 1822 in Bulloch County, Georgia. Wiley married Mary Ann Groover (or Gruber) on Oct. 11, 1814 in Bulloch.
Their children were: Ann Caroline, who married Moses Beasley; Irwin James, born Feb. 12, 1817; Berrien McCrinean (or Berrian McCrimeal), born June 6, 1819; and Wiley II, born in 1816 and died in 1880. This generation of Lewis' spread out throughout all of Georgia.