Editor’s note: This the first of a two-part series about Jacqueline Amber Lewis, who was among the first settlers in the Forkland community in Western Boyle County.
Jaqueline Amber Lewis, a pioneer who came west from Virginia in early 1800, owned several hundred acres of land during the settlement of Kentucky.
Research shows Lewis was in Kentucky on June 3, 1813, when he married Elizabeth Parks Hutchings, daughter of Thomas and Talitha Blagrave Hutchings.
Later records show Lewis was a witness to many land transactions in the Forkland area until his death in 1874.
Lewis apparently was named for Jaqueline Ambler, a member of the Virginia Council, treasurer of Virginia, and father-in-law to Chief Justice John Marshall.
Jaqueline Ambler also was the brother-in-law of William McClung, a relative of Mary McClung, wife of Judge Samuel McDowell, who came to Danville to settle land disputes in early Kentucky. McClung served in the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1793 and in the Kentucky Senate from 1796 to 1800. He also was the U.S. Attorney for Kentucky.
There are strong connections to Jaqueline Ambler and Jacqueline Ambler Lewis’ father, John Francis Penny Lewis, born in 1752 in Albemarle County, Va.
John Lewis was a second cousin once removed of Meriwether Lewis, one of the leaders of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The two men were great-great grandsons of Major John Lewis and his wife, Isabella Warner.
John Lewis received military land grants and also purchased with Treasury Warrants thousands of acres of land in Kentucky. Photocopies of 25 Treasury Warrants approved by Gov. James Garrard and Gov. Isaac Shelby are on the Secretary of State’s website in the land office in Frankfort. John paid 1,600 pounds in English currency per 1,000 acres for 43,290 acres. (In today’s currency, that would be more than $112,000.)
He also filed to receive unclaimed land in various places in Kentucky, including land along the Hanging Fork and Rolling Fork rivers. He was one of the first physicians to settle in Kentucky when he migrated here from Virginia about 1800. He died in March 1837 in Hustonville and is buried near Hustonville.
Jaqueline and Elizabeth Lewis had four children: Josephine Frances Lewis, born about 1814-1815 in Kentucky; Eleanor “Ellen” T. Lewis, born in July 1818 in Kentucky; Thomas Meriwether Stokes Lewis, born in January 1822 in Kentucky; and Francis Ann “Fanny” Lewis, born in April 1829 in Kentucky.
Elizabeth Hutchings Lewis died Sept. 13, 1854, in Boyle County. Jaqueline remained a widower the rest of his life. He died June 18,1874, while living with a daughter, Josephine Guthrie. He is buried in the Lewis Cemetery on top of a knob across the road from Forkland Community Center.
Lewis’ in-laws lived in Forkland
Thomas Hutchings and Talitha Blagrave, daughter of Henry Blagrave and Elizabeth Stokes, were married in Pittsylvania County, Va., on Aug. 29, 1785. Talitha survived her husband and died in May 1856 in Boyle County. She is buried in the Lewis Cemetery.
A veteran of the War of 1812, Hutchings purchased 58 acres for $500 from Thomas and Nancy Hutchings Walker, according to a deed filed Sept. 30, 1824. The land is along the Rolling Fork River to the mouth of Hatchlings’ Branch and was the dower line of the widow of Gabriel Hutchings. The deed was signed Sept. 30, 1824, by Thomas and Nancy Walker, and witnessed by J. P. Mitchell and Jaqueline A. Lewis.
Nancy Walker had to relinquish her dower rights to the property and her rights to inheritance of this property. J. P. Mitchell and Jaqueline Lewis were witnesses.
The deed was recorded April 4, 1825, in the Mercer County clerk’s office. This means part of the property Thomas Hutchings owned along the Rolling Fork was the property that belonged to Gabriel Hutchings. Nancy did not turn age 21 until 1824 and could not sell her part of her inheritance until she was of age. Since Elizabeth Taylor Hutchings did not die until 1852, she must have still been living on part of Gabriel’s land in 1824.
Elizabeth was the daughter of Leonard Taylor, a Revolutionary War soldier who is buried in the Taylor-Clarkson Cemetery on Ky. 37 in the Forkland Community. Elizabeth’s mother was Sarah Blagrave, sister of Talitha Blagrave, Thomas Hatchlings’ wife.
Thomas Hutchings died in October 1836 in what was then Mercer County. The appraisement and inventory of his personal estate is recorded in the Mercer County clerk’s office and contains an account that covers the time period from Oct. 10, 1837, to November 1839.
Among the items mentioned in the account are: at least 13 slaves; stock of all types, including horses, cattle, hogs, oxen and sheep; furniture and household items that included five sets of bedroom furniture; shoemaking tools; candle-making tools; farm equipment; stores of grains; weaving loom and flax wheel; and logging equipment.
Charles Kirkland was in charge of the inventory and appraisement and Judge James P. Mitchell signed the final inventory March 2, 1839. The inventory was recorded in the November Court 1839.