(also Luark, Llywarch OR possibly Ruark, Rook, Roark, and O'Rourke)

My research on the Lewark family specifically pertains to the ancestors of Larry Lafayette LEWARK (1883-1962) who married Nora B PECKINPAUGH (1882-1958), and Maurice T HABGOOD (1880-?) who married Leota RATCLIFF (1877-?).

The Lewark family line in the United States has historically been traced back to a John LLYWARCH who came to Delaware from Wales with his wife Mary Taylor, according to a post by Darlene Lewark Gutwein on GenForum in 2002. Llywarch is an ancient Welsh name, dating back to the sixth century A.D. where Llywarch Hen is believed to have been a prince in the Northern Celtic kingdom of Rheged, and an ancestor to the Welsh princes. The Poems of Llywarch the Old are considered to be sacred Welsh writings. 

Much of the research on the Lewark family in the United States which I have been able to find on the internet is attributable to a Mr. Duane Arthur Miller. His research ends with John C LUARK, Sr. (1774-1866) who married Catherine VARNER (1775-1859). Our line descends from Elijah LEWARK (1794-1854) who, however, was supposedly a product of the union between John C LUARK, Sr. and Mary Elizabeth HUTTON (1775-1798).

That being said, Erick has numerous matches to the VARNER and HUTTON surnames on AncestryDNA, and for the matches I have investigated so far, several other shared surnames are listed, usually in the Virginia Colony. Despite his relatively low score on David Pike's Runs of Homozygosity test (36.02), Erick's extensive ancestry of Virginia Colonists is proving to be challenging with respect to breaking down any genealogical brick walls, because his cousins share so many surnames with him. I am hoping to sort this out a bit better by sweet-talking some close male relatives on his mother's and father's sides of the family into DNA testing.

For now, however, we have Erick's YDNA Haplogroup (R1b1b2a1a2f*) as determined by 23andMe, and his FTDNA YDNA-67 results classify him as R-M269. Now, if you followed the link to his 23andMe haplogroup, you'll notice that it is a primarily Irish haplogroup. This struck me as quite odd, especially given the paper trail research available on the internet for the Lewark surname. But shortly after we received this result, I was contacted by a paper-trail cousin of his, Dan Stone, who suspects that our Luarks are really Ruarks!

Ruark is actually an Irish surname, related to Rook, Roark, and O'Rourke. The O'Rourke clan played a central role in Irish history, ruling a large part of Ireland for many centuries. Erick actually matches a few people with the RUARK or even RHEUARK surname in their trees on AncestryDNA, but I need to investigate further if this has any bearing on his closest YDNA 67 matches at FTDNA who are a Roark (closest) and a Ruark (next closest). Note that the closeness of the matches can juggle around significantly as one tests more markers (with 111 markers being the next available test).

R-M269 itself is also a very large subclade of the R1b Haplogroup. Researchers are working to further find branches of this YDNA subclade through testing for terminal SNPs, so that is likely the next step in the investigation of the potential connection between Ruarks and Luarks, whether it was in the United States, Ireland or elsewhere in the British Isles.

Listed below are the 3rd great-grandparents of my husband Erick Lewark's father. These ancestors would be shared with people who match, DNA-wise, to Erick at a 4th cousin level. According to ISOGG, a 4th cousin match would share around .195% of his/her DNA, or 13.28 centiMorgans total with Erick. Matches in RED are supported through DNA matches to cousins sharing those individuals or ancestors of those individuals in their family trees.


Russell Thomas LEWARK (1821-1854) b Washington, Virginia, lived in Pipe Creek, Madison, Indiana 1850

Lucinda BENEFIEL (1824-1854) b Indiana

Unknown SUMPTER (before 1838) lived in Illinois, father of Ida M Sumpter (1863-1906) b Illinois

Unknown SUMPTER's Wife (before 1838) lived in Illinois, mother of Ida M Sumpter (1863-1906) b Illinois

Stephen PICKENPAUGH/PECKENPAUGH/PECKINPAW (1827-1902) b Indiana d El Dorado Springs, Cedar, Missouri

Elizabeth UNKNOWN (wife of Stephen PICKENPAUGH, trees list same birth and death dates and locations)

Unknown REXTER (before 1838) lived in Wisconsin, father of Catherine REXTER (1863-1911) b Wisconsin d Oklahoma

Unknown REXTER's Wife (before 1838) lived in Wisconsin, mother of Catherine REXTER (1863-1911) b Wisconsin d Oklahoma

Thomas HABGOOD (1814-?) b Wimborne, Dorset, England

Martha BESANT (1820-?) b Parkstone Poole, Dorset, England

Unknown Father of Lucy Jane HABGOOD (before 1841) b England who married the son of Thomas HABGOOD (1814-?) and Martha BESANT (1820-?)

Unknown Mother of Lucy Jane HABGOOD (before 1841) b England who married the son of Thomas HABGOOD (1814-?) and Martha BESANT (1820-?)

William RATCLIFFE, Jr. (1815-1884) b Petham, Kent, England, d Battle Creek, Calhoun, Michigan

Lydia Ann KNIGHT (1821-1893) b Utica, Oneida, New York, d Richland, Illinois

John RATCLIFF (1823-1900) b Petham, Kent, England, d Denton County, Texas, brother of William RATCLIFFE, Jr. above

Mary Hedgepeth BULLARD (1827-1907) b Lawrenceville, Lawrence, Illinois, d Denton County, Texas 





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