Calif. Families Lewelling Family About

Lewelling Family

Note: Some of the records in Oregon spell the name as Luelling and there is Llewellyn St. in Milwaukie.

Meshach Lewelling moved his family from Randolph Co. North Carolina to Henry Co. Indiana sometime between 1820 and 1825. Some of the family, including 3 brothers Henderson, John and Seth moved to Salem Iowa in 1840 about the time of Meshach's death.

After the coming of Henderson and John Lewelling to Iowa, other members of the family followed. An older brother, William, settled in Salem and engaged in teaching. He was a preacher among the Quakers and a public speaker of great merit. A nephew, Jehu Lewelling, and a niece, Jane Lewelling Votaw, also came to Salem. Jehu was a Baptist minister, and Jane Votaw was a preacher for the Quakers.
These three brothers, Henderson, John and Seth, all went west, Oregon and California.
Henderson went to Milwaukie Oregon in 1847.
Seth and John went to California during the gold rush in 1850. They both went up to join Henderson in Oregon later that year.

In 1852 or 3 John went back to Iowa to bring his wife and family (including Sarah and her husband Robert King and their oldest child LL King) to California via Panama and ship to SF and settled in San Lorenzo (Lewelling Blvd. is named after the family)

About the same time Henderson went back east to buy more plant material and to bring back a new wife (his 3rd at that point). Henderson then settled on 200+ acres of land that he bought along Sausal Creek in the east bay in California. Because of all the new orchards and fruit being produced, the area became know as Fruitvale (now a neighborhood in Oakland).

In 1864 John moved to St. Helena in the Napa Valley were he was a pioneering grape grower.
see: Lewelling Vineyards.

The Lewellings are related to Prince Llewellyn of Wales according to some accounts.
See an article on his grandson, LL King, in the History of Placer and Nevada Counties, California

0. Thomas LEWALLEN (b: 28 DEC 1645 in Pembrey, Carmathian, Wales)
+ Ruth Vernon
Emigrated to Frederick County, Virginia in 1663.
1. Jesse LEWALLEN (b: 1689 in Virginia or Wales)
. + Anne OWENS
. 2. William Lewelling (Luallen, Lewallen)
        (b. Abt. 1740, Anson Co., NC; d. Abt. 1799 in Randolph County, NC)
... + Mary Dawson
.... 3. Shadrack Lewelling (b. 18 JUL 1784)
.... 3. Meshack Lewelling (b. 29 Jan 1787, Randolph Co., NC; d. 30 Nov 1840 in Henry County, IN)
....... + Jane Brookshire (b. )
....... 4. Henry LEWELLING (b. 14 Oct 1807, Randolph, NC ; d. Abt 1850)
....... 4. Henderson Lewelling (b. 23 Apr. 1809, Randolph Co., NC; d. 1883, Oakland, CA)
......... + Elizabeth Presnell (b. 8 Apr 1815, Randolph, NC; m. Abt 1830 m. d. )
....... 4. John Lewelling (b. 16 Jan 1811, Randolph Co., NC; d. 25 Dec 1883, St. Helena, CA)
........ + Elvy Elliott (b. Abt 1816, Duck Creek Mm, Henry Co., Indiana
......... 5 Sarah Lewelling (b. 29 Jun. 1833, Henry Co., IN; d. 06 Sep. 1865, New Providence, IA)
............ + Robert King (b. 05 May 1828- Morgan Co.,Ohio; d. 16 Jan 1864- New Providence, IA)
......... 5 Harvey John Lewelling (b. February 14, 1855, Mission San Jose, CA; d. May 06, 1939, St. Helena, CA.)
........... + Annie Letetia Alstrom
......... See John's descendants for other children
....... 4. Mary LEWELLING (b. 11 May 1815, Randolph, NC)
....... 4. William LEWELLING (b. 28 Sep 1817)
....... 4. Seth LEWELLING (b. 6 Mar 1820, Randolph, NC; d. 1896 OR?)
....... 4. Jane LEWELLING (b. 21 Aug 1825, Henry, IN)
....... 4. Thomas LEWELLING (b. 29 Aug 1827, Henry, IN)
.... 3. Abendnego Lewelling (b. )

Note: Alternate spellings are LUELLING, LUALLEN, LEWALLEN.

Henderson, John and Seth all moved west to Oregon and California. There are several interesting stories about them.
Henderson took the Oregon Trail to Milwaukee Oregon in 1847.
He had a wagon loaded with an assortment of 50 or 60 varieties of apples, pears, peaches, plums, cherries, quince, black walnuts, hickory nuts, gooseberries, currants, and grapes that he watered every morning and evening. People thought he was crazy and would never make it to Oregon with all that load but he did.
He is know for his encounter with Indians on the way.

Another twist to the story is that Lewelling lost the name tag on one particular cherry, and could recall only that it had something to do with royalty, and named it Royal Ann when had his memory been better, he would have recalled it was really the popular Napoleon. To this day it is still referred to as the Royal Ann in the west an Napoleon in the East. See a Sacramento Bee article

John came to Gold Country in 1850 With Seth, to MissionSan Jose in 1853, then to St. Helena in 1864.

Seth went up to Oregon to join Joined Henderson in 1850.
Seth is known for developing the bing cherry in 1875.
The bing has the largest share of the cherry market, originally accounting for more than half of cherry sales. It was 16% in 2018 and 9% (tied with sweetheart) in 2021.

Seth and Henderson apparently had a falling out. Henderson went to California. He then established orchards in what is know the Fruitvale Section of Oakland CA and San Lorenzo, CA
Lewelling Blvd. in San Lorenzo is named for him.
He is known as the Father of the Pacific Fruit Industry

John established Lewelling Vineyards in St. Helena Ca.1864.

Henderson Lewelling (1809 NC - 1883 Oakland, CA)
John Lewelling (1811 NC - 1883 St. Helena, CA)
Seth Lewelling (1820 NC - 1896 Milwaukee, OR)

McBride Connection
Lewelling Vineyards.
The Llewellyn Researcher - A Glimpse of Great People
The Lewelling Family--Pioneers by O.A. Garretson

"The Lewellings: A Microhistory of family farming and agricultural development in California" by Sandra Leland Price

Information Sources.

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last updated 27 Nov 2011