It has been known for some time that President George Bush is a
descendant of Henry Vanderburgh and Richard Lewis of colonial New York
(G.B. Roberts, Ancestors of American Presidents [preliminary
edition revised, 1989] and “More on the Ancestry of President George
Herbert Walker Bush” [NEXUS 6 1:156-59). This article,
concentrating on Richard Lewis, briefly completes the Vanderburgh-Lewis
Richard Lewis first appears at the baptism of his son Thomas, at the
Reformed Dutch Church, New Hackensack, Dutchess Co., N.Y. 24 September
1759 . The record also gives the name of the mother, Susanna
Vanderburgh. Though a record of the parents’ marriage has not been
found, the birth of their son places the event ca. 1758 and not before
24 July 1756, when Susanna’s first husband, Elias Dubois, died at Albany
while on an expedition to Crown Point, N.Y. .
A record of all the children born to Susanna (Vanderburgh) (Dubois)
Lewis can be found in the Dubois-Lewis Bible printed in 1770 and given
in 1965 to the Huguenot Historical Society of New Paltz, N.Y., by Miss
Helen Kenyon. After the birth of their first child, Richard and Susanna
Lewis removed from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., to New York City. Richard maybe
the man of that name recorded as a freeman in New York City, in 1760 as
a merchant, and/or in 1765 as a laborer .
Richard and Susanna were both New York City residents in 1764, as
suggested by Susanna’s removal certificate from the Poughkeepsie church:
“Susanna van de Burg, h.v.v. Dick Lieuwes [Richard Lewis], met
attestatie van Pakeepsie...N. York Den 20 Feb. 1764” . The Lewis
family’s association with the Reformed Dutch Church in New York began
with the baptism of their daughter Sara there 12 January 1764, and
continued though 13 May 1787, when Richard and Susanna were witnesses at
the baptism of Philip Werner .
Richard and Susanna (Vanderburgh) (Dubois) Lewis were still in New
York City in 1789, according to a deed dated 16 September of that year
(Ulster Co. Deeds, Liber 19:358-61, rec. 19 September 1789 at the Court
of Chancery, New York), by which they sold land to Henry Dubois of
Poughkeepsie. This deed is important in that it identifies Richard’s
parents as the Thomas Lewis and Anna Maria Vanderburgh who were married
at the Reformed Dutch Church in New York City 23 October 1714 . An
This Indenture made...16 September 1789...Between Richard Lewis of
the City of New York and Susannah his wife of the one part and Henry
Dubois of Poughkeepsie...Esquire of th other part....for £215, 10
shillings [sell] All those three full and equal undivided eleventh
parts,... as Thomas Lewis deceased father of the said Richard Lewis was
possessed...in a patent commonly called Hardenberghs or the great patent
lying in the Counties of Ulster and Albany and all and every other
lands and Tenements whatsoever in Dutchess County... and also All those
three full and equal undivided eleventh parts... of...lands and
Tenements as Anne Mary Lewis, mother of the said Richard Lewis was
possessed...at the time of her decease of in and to any lands and
Tenements in a patent commonly called the Minisink patent lying in the
Counties of Ulster and Orange and all and singular other lands and
Tenements whatsoever in Dutchess County...and also...halfpart...of all
that certain tract of land in the Mennesinks Country called by the
native Indians Sankhekeneck otherwise Maghawaem,...and a certain parcel
of Meadow called by the Indians Warmsagkinok situate lying and being
upon a certain River called by the Indians …Mennosincks, before a
certain Island called Menagnock containing in the whole...1,000 acres...
Richard Lewis signed with his mark, and his wife signed as “Susnah
Lewis;” witnesses were William Alexander and James Reynolds.
Until the discovery of the 1789 Ulster Co. deed, the parentage of
Richard Lewis was in question. He did not appear as a son in any New
York wills, but is mentioned by Leonard Lewis as a brother in
Leonard’s will (dated 14 June 1757, proved 9 August 1759) .
The will is important as the first record to establish the existence of a
Richard Lewis, but there was a problem with identifying the Leonard
Lewis in question. The testator was identified as the wrong Leonard
(#24) in Howard S. F. Randolph, “The Lewis Family of New York and
Poughkeepsie” (NYGBR 60:250). The error was discovered by
Henry B. Hoff, whose correct analysis “Who Was Leonard Lewis?”, Genealogical
Journal 14:3-1 1) links the testator of 14 June 1757 to his
father, Thomas Lewis (#24 in NYGBR 60:246). Confirming Mr.
Hoff is the 1789 Ulster Co. deed discussed above. Why Thomas Lewis did
not mention his son Richard in his will  dated 6 August 1766 is not
known; perhaps Thomas had already provided for his son by conveying to
him the lands mentioned in 1789.
Having established Richard’s wife and mother as Vanderburghs, and his
father as Thomas Lewis, Richard’s Vanderburgh and Lewis lines can
easily be ascertained. His maternal grandparents were Dirck Vanderburgh
and Reymerigh Jans . Dirck’s parents were Luycas1 Dircksen
and Annetje Cornelis of New Amsterdam .
Richard’s father, Thomas Lewis, was son of Col. Leonard Lewis and
grandson of the immigrant Thomas  Lewis (NYGBR 60:136,138-41).
Anna Maria Vanderburgh, the wife of Thomas Lewis, was not a daughter of
Henry “Van den Burgh” and Magdalena Knight (as per NYGBR 6011929]:
246), but (as we have seen) of Dirck Vanderburgh and Reymerigh Jans.
The mother of both Henry and Anna Maria was the “Reymerigh Appel” who
witnessed the birth of Anna Maria’s daughter, Elizabeth Lewis, on 22 May
1715 ; after the death of her husband Dirck, Reymerigh (Jans)
Vanderburgh had married William Appel 4 July 1714 at the Reformed Dutch
Church in New York City . Richard Lewis and his wile Susanna
Vanderburgh, a daughter of Henry and Magdalena, were thus first cousins.
The 1789 Ulster Co. deed
concludes, at present, the documented portion of Richard Lewis’s life.
Speculation surrounds his life and movements thereafter. Because other
Richard Lewises appear in Dutchess and Ulster Counties during the latter
half of the eighteenth century, enough data have not yet been uncovered
to identify them or untangle them from the Richard addressed here.
The next appearance of our Richard Lewis may be at Clinton, Dutchess
Co., in the 1800 census, where a Richard Lewis was enumerated with three
males under 10, one between 10 and 16, one over 45, one female between
26 and 45, and one female over 45. If this is indeed the correct
Richard, he could be the same Richard, now a merchant of Poughkeepsie,
who married New York 11 February 1806 a Mrs. Stilliford of New York
. The marriage might also be coincidental with the purchase by a
Richard Lewis of property on the north side of Cannon Street,
Poughkeepsie, on 20 April 1806 .
Our Richard Lewis may be the man of that name whose will, dated 26
October 1805, was recorded at Dutchess Co., N.Y. 1151. In his will, this
Richard “...of Poughkeepsie...For divers [-and] causes thereunto
moving me, I do hereby will, devise and bequeath unto Bronson French…of
Poughkeepsie all and singular my estate both real and personal....”
also appointing French sole executor. The will, which reveals nothing
that aids in placing this Richard in a Lewis family, was proved 4 June
1814; the testator may have been the Richard Lewis whose death was
announced Wednesday, 18 April 1810, in the Poughkeepsie Political
Barometer: “On the 31st ultimate Mr. Richard Lewis, aged 82 years.”
The children of Richard and Susanna (Vanderburgh) (Dubois) Lewis are
i. Thomas Lewis, b. 16 Feb. 1759, bp. Reformed Dutch Church, New
Hackensack, Dutchess Co., N.Y. 24 Sept. 1759. ii. Susanna Lewis, b.
prob. Poughkeepsie, N.Y. 25 March 1761, d. Saratoga, N.Y. 27 July 1822;
m. Troy, N.Y. 28 Feb. 1779 Gilbert Livingston.iii. Sarah Lewis, b.
15 Oct. 1763, bp. Reformed Dutch Church, New York City 12 Jan. 1764; m.
10 July 1780 John Terbush.
iv. James/Jakobus Lewis, b. 19 March 1766, bp. Reformed Dutch Church,
New York City 23 April 1766.v. Mary Lewis, b. 30 March 1768.vi.
Elizabeth Lewis, b. 29 Aug. 1772, bp. Reformed Dutch Church, New York
City 27 Sept. 1772.
I wish to extend special thanks to William Heidgerd of New Paltz,
N.Y. for information about the Dubois Lewis Bible record, and to
Clifford M. Buck of Salt Point, N.Y., who alerted me to the 1789 Ulster
 Maria Bockée Carpenter Tower, “Records of the Reformed Dutch
Church of New Hackensack, Dutchess Co., N.Y.,” Cell. Dutchess County
Hist. Soc., 5(1932): 8.
 J. Wilson Poucher, “Dutchess County Men of the Revolutionary
Period,” Dutchess Co. Hist. Soc. Yearbook 20 (1935):71. This
source gives Richard Lewis as a soldier in the Colonist Wars, a
statement not yet confirmed. No Richard Lewis is found in “Muster Rolls
of New York Provincial Troops, 1755-1764” (Coll. New-York Hist. Soc.
 “Roll of Freemen of New York City, 1675-1866,” Coll. New-York
Hist. Soc. 18 (1885):194, 209.
 “Records of the Reformed Dutch Church in the City of New York,” NYGBR
 Tobias A. Wright, ed., “Baptisms from 1731 to 1800 in the
Reformed Dutch Church, New York,” Coll. N.Y.G.B.S. 3 (1902): 270,
290, 309, 330,365, 371, 384.
 Samuel Purple, ed., “Marriages from 1639 to 1801 in the Reformed
Dutch Church, New York,” Coll. N.Y.G.B.S. 1(1890):123.
 “Abstracts of Wills, Liber 21,” CoIl. New-York Hist. Soc. 29(1896):330-31.
 Dutchess Co., N.Y. Surrogate’s Office, Liber A:285.
 Dutchess Co., N.Y. Deed (Liber 1&.356) signed 19 April 1716,
filed 12 October 1787, and filed 20 October 1787; and will of Dirck
Vanderburgh, “Wills in New York City, Volume II: 1708-1728,” Coll.
New-York Hist. Soc. 26(1893): 42-43.
 NYGBR 98(1967):240, 101 (1970):245, 109(1978):14-1 5.
 NYGBR 60(1929):247.
 Samuel Purple, ed., “Marriages from 1639 to 1801 in the Reformed
Dutch Church, N.Y.,” Coll. N.Y.G.B.S. 1(1890):122.
 Political Barometer, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Tuesday, 18
 Dutchess Co., N.Y. deed (Liber 19:9) 20 April 1806:John Sayrs
and Helen to Richard Lewis.
 Dutchess Co., N.Y. Surrogate’s Office, Liber D:499. Note: This
will is incorrectly cited in The Dutchess (9:3 [19821:28) as
that of “Michael” Lewis.
William J. Powers, Jr., raised in Vermont, has been interested in
“northeast and Irish” genealogy for over 25 years. He has compiled
materials on the Powers family of Middletown Springs, Vt.; the Danen
family of Wisconsin (privately published as The Danen Ancestry
); and the Marshall and Vanderburgh families of Dutchess Co.,
N.Y., for the latter of whom he hopes to publish a fuller account. A
retired Air Force officer, he works for Analytical Systems Engineering
Corp. of Burlington, Mass., and is a member of NEHGS and the Dutchess
Co.. Genealogical Society. Interested readers may contact him at 2
Evergreen Road, Acton, MA 01720.