THOMAS MICHAEL LEWIS
(born c. 1771, St. Petersburg, Russia)
This website is dedicated to Thomas Michael Lewis, who was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1771. According to research by Ron Omer and Jack Stidham (1, 2) , Lewis left St. Petersburg around 1875 and became a sailor for 18 years prior to arriving in America in 1803. He migrated to Louisville, Kentucky, and at the age of 39, married Maria Elizabeth Omer, age 21, on August 26, 1810, in Clark County, Indiana (3). Elizabeth was born on November 1, 1789 in York County, Pennsylvania to Daniel Omer II and Veronica Ann Zollinger. Michael and Elizabeth had four children.
Daniel Lewis, (b. December 15, 1810; d. July 7, 1887) married Eliza W. D. Tyler on May 1, 1934 (b. May 5, 1816; d. September 12, 1876 in Kentucky).
William Lewis (b. February 10, 1814; died in 1898) married Sarah B. Hargrave (b. September 25, 1819).
Henry Michael Lewis, (b. August 10, 1816; d. March 21, 1910) married Sarah Kelly on November 29, 1838.
Fannie Lewis, (b. 1818, d. 1906) married Fred Krieal on October 21, 1838. After Fred Krieal's death in 1843, she married Jacob Knecht in 1844.
After settling in Louisville, Lewis became a butcher by trade, dealing in meats, tallow, and candies with his partner George Hafer. Lewis continued in the trade of a butcher for ten years and would frequently make trips down the Mississippi River on a flat bottomed boat to New Orleans with a business acquaintance. When a serious cut to his arm prevented him from continuing in his trade as a butcher, Lewis decided to set up a store in Charlestown, Indiana and travel to Philadelphia to buy a stock of supplies. He stopped for several days in Baltimore to locate George Hafer's mother and two brothers and wrote to his wife before leaving, informing her that he was in good spirits and was being accompanied on his journey by two other men. In May 1818, two days after he departed Baltimore, Lewis was murdered and later identified by George Hafer's brother John. Hafer's mother told John to write a letter to his brother George in Louisville informing him of the death of Lewis, and instructing George not to tell Lewis' wife of the death since she was pregnant with their fourth child, Fannie.
When George Hafer received the letter he informed Elizabeth's father, Daniel Omer, who decided that Elizabeth should hear the bad news from her Aunt Kate. Unfortunately, before Aunt Kate could tell Elizabeth the news, she was told about her husband's death by the wife of the local Tavern Keeper. She then hurried home to her father's house to find out if the news was really true. Her father summoned George Hafer to read the letter that was sent to him from Baltimore. With his death at age 47, Lewis left a widow (age 29), three children, and an unborn child.
Later Elizabeth, at age 42, married John Wolett on August 13, 1831 in Jefferson County, Kentucky (4). Elizabeth died in 1839. Both Elizabeth and John are buried in the German Reformed Presbyterian Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky (5).
1. Our Omer-Ammer Family History, by Ronald K. Omer and Jack Stidham.
2. "History of Omer, Lewis, Krieal, Knecht, Carr & Schatz Families" by Reverend Laurence L. Fuqua
3. Abstracts of Wills and Executors' Records 1801-1833 and Marriage Records 1807-1824, Clark County, IN (Compiled by Dorothy Riker).
4. Early Marriages, Jefferson County, KY, Book II, June 1826-June 1837.
5. Listing of German Reformed Presbyterian Cemetery (Transcription taken from "Cemetery Records of Kentucky, Volume I, Jefferson County, Part I" compiled by LTC Robert C. Jobson (ret).)