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Lusk Family Genealogy





Excerpt from The Lusk Family, A Record of the Ancestors and Descendants of Willard Clayton Lusk, 1938 by Alma Victoria Davies Lusk and Martin Willard Lusk, pp. 7 and 8, card catalogue number 929.7 L975L.


THE ORIGIN of the name and family of Lusk is largely a matter of legend and conjecture. That the family came from the British Isles there is no doubt, but no actual record of their Old World home or history prior to their immigration to America has been found.

The legend that persists in our branch of the family tells that the Norman Knight John came to England with William the Conqueror in 1066. After the conquest, in recognition of his service to the new king, he was given a grant of land on the River Usk in Western England and Wales. He adopted the name John Le Usk, which was later shortened to Lusk.

A letter from the Honorable Hugh Lusk, East Orange, N.J. (a relative of Sir Andrew Lusk, M.P., of London, England), in the Flora Ward Lusk Collection, says:

"Of the history of the family itself before it came to America I can speak with more confidence.

"Originally, there can be no doubt, the Lusks were DANES, who came to the West of Scotland not less than six centuries ago and settled in Ayrshire, where they owned landed property until the death of my grandfather in the year 1846, when the last of it was sold....

"In the time of the Cromwellian conquest and settlement of the north of Ireland in the year 1656, a younger branch of the family took part in the settlement of the confiscated territory and recovered part of the land. You may find marked on and good map of the north of Ireland the town of LUSK which still marks the site of this original grant or settlement.

Although there is a parish of Lusk in County Dublin near Dublin City, the Lusk name seems to have appeared most often in County Antrim at such places as Ballymonet, Templepatrick, Ballylinney, Ballyeaston, Kilraghts, Carncastle, Ballywater and in County Down at Magheralin.

"The legend in the family is that the original Lusk came as a soldier of King Haco of Denmark when he invaded Scotland in the thirteenth century and was defeated at the battle of Largs, on the Ayrshire Coast. There is, however, no documentary evidence in support of this. The name is still well known and not uncommon in Denmark."

In the letters of Reverend Davis Lusk, of New Jersey, a Presbyterian minister of note, Flora Ward Lusk finds this quotation: "Lusk, a native of County Antrim, Ireland, fled from that Country on account of religious Persecution . . . Protestants."

Stiles, in his "Genealogies and Biographies of ancient Wethersfield, Connecticut," says: "They (the Lusks) were of Scotch-Irish origin, known as 'North of Ireland men,' that is, men who - or their progenitors - driven from Scotland by religious and civil persecution, had found refuge for a while in the northern counties of Ireland. They were of the stalwart, energetic, liberty-loving and God-fearing race which, by successive immigrations, contributed so greatly to the formation of our national character during the Colonial period preceding the revolutionary war."

The origin of the name is also attributed to the Norman Simon De Lusco, to the old Anglo-Saxon word "luske," meaning “lazy,” to the Gaelic word for "cave" and the Welsh "losce," a "burning," or "searing"-Gaelic "loisy," "to burn.” The name in American records is spelled "Lusk," "Lisk,” “Lush,” “Lysk" and "Loosh." The last two, according to Salley, historian of the Carolinas, states the Scotch spelling by clerk according to sound.

Note: In addition to the above information, the following is from Vergil Lusk who lives at Manchester, TN, rewritten by Eula Lusk wife of Wm. R. Lusk

Records of Lancaster County, PA mentioned William Lusk. and William Lusk Jr. as living there in 1730. The will of the first mentioned William Lusk, made in Westchester, PA and probated 2-24 1746, William signed his name as "Will" Lusk. no Sr. was stated. After "Will's" death. 1746 to 1750 the following Lusk's moved from PA to Augusta County VA; Hugh, William, John, James, Samuel, and Robert. "Will's" will did not list Robert as a son, therefore he must be a brother . However we did find a Samuel Lusk with a son named Robert. I had rather think that this Samuel was a nephew to "Will". We found another Samuel that I had rather think is his son. because he named his children after his father and mother and sisters and brothers. This was a custom in those days.

Recently Earl Thirston Lusk of Morrison, TN went to Stanton, VA There he found in the Library records of John Lusk born about 1671 or 1672 from Scotland, and his sons: William, Nathan. Robert, and John Lusk. This tied in with what we had found in our research. Now we have a Grandfather one generation farther back than what we had.

This John Lusk is the father of "Will" Lusk, who is the father of William Lusk Sr.. He refers to himself as William Lusk of Lancaster, PA He settled at Akers Falls of Mill Creek, Augusta County VA. A plat shows Armstrong and Wm. Lusk owned 200 acres in 1765. James Lusk owned 170 Ac. in 1749. Robert Lusk owned 241 Ac. in 1768. John Lusk owned 259 Ac. in 1768.

Among the families, neighbors and church associates of William Lusk Sr. is the Vance family. It is believed he married Elizabeth Vance. We have his Will of May 2nd 1771, Augusta County, VA. One of his children was Joseph. From his line some of the descendants are located around Manchester, TN. Another son was William Lusk Jr. who moved to North Carolina in 1768 with his brother in law, David Vance. Just after the beginning of the Revolutionary War, William Lusk Jr. & family moved to Washington County, VA where his father-in-law, Samuel Vance and several related families had moved.

William Lusk Jr. was a member of the regiment organized from Washington County by Col. Campbell to repel the British and was killed at the battle of Kings Mountain (see Summers History of SW VA). At the first term of Court of Washington County after the battle of Kings Mt. on Nov. 4, 1780, guardians were appointed for the orphans or Wm. Lusk Jr. the deceased. Sarah Lusk, the oldest chose Capt. Colville for her guardian. The other children, Samuel, John, Elizabeth, Jean, Catherine, and William were made wards of the Joseph Black.

William Lusk Jr.'s wife was Margaret Vance. She remarried after Wm.'s death. Margaret's parents, Samuel and Sarah Vance, took the children and moved to Augusta County, VA. One of Margaret's brother-in-laws had a will made (he was killed also) that gave money for the education of Wm. Lusk Jr's children. The children later migrated to TN.

William L. Lusk, son of Wm. Lusk Jr. married Sarah Davidson; from this line of Lusk, some are located around McMinnville, TN. John Lusk, son of Wm. Lusk Jr., married a woman from Georgia, according to a census record of his son Wm. Lusk. We found a John Lusk married to Jean Boyd 8 27-1801 Carter County, TN but we don't have any positive proof that this is the correct John Lusk. At that time the census gave only the name of the head of the house, the others were numbers of children. between (5 yr. span) years of age, adults too. This family had 5 boys, and 2 girls. The children. were horn in Franklin County TN. My husband is William Ray Lusk (Bill). His Grandfather was William Oliver Lusk, born in 1822 in Franklin County, TN. His mother was supposed to have been born in Georgia, his father born in NC with this information, we searched and searched. By the process of elimination, we decided this was his family John was born in NC and was in Franklin County TN in 1820. They changed the counties; without moving he was in Warren County in 1830, and they changed again, he was in Coffee County TN in 1840. Another reason we chose John, was that William named his first son John and his 2nd son William Thomas. The custom in those days was to name the first son after either the father of themselves, the 2nd son after the other.

William Oliver Lusk's line of the 1st family originated in Scottsboro Al. many descendants are still there. His 2nd Family was in Missouri they have scattered across the central and western parts of the US.

William Lusk, born 1822, married Nancy Jane Berry and they made their home in Jackson County, AL near Scottsboro. William Lusk and his first son, John B. Lusk, enlisted the same day in the Civil War in the Union Army. John was killed in less than 2 months after he enlisted.

From the Military records of William and John Lusk:

John Lusk born Jackson County AL
Blue eyes, dark hair fair complexion, 5 ft. 5 in. tall.
Enlisted at Larkensville, AL Aug. 28, 1863.
Captured at Huntersville, AL Sept. 29, 1863.
Killed Oct. 25, 1863 at Richmond, VA

William Lusk, Sergeant. County A, AL Tenn.
1st Independent VIDETTE Cavalry.
Blue eyes, Dark Hair, Fair complexion, 6 ft. tall.
Born in Franklin County, TN
Enlisted at Larkinville, AL Aug. 28, 1863.
Captured at Huntersville, AL Sept. 27. 1863.
Confined at Richmond, VA Oct. 13 to Nov. 17 1863.
Admitted to Hospital at Richmond, VA Oct. 24, 1863.
Admitted to Hospital at Annapolis, Md. Nov. 18, 1863.
Paroled at Richmond, VA Nov. 16, 1863.
Admitted to Hospital in Madison, IN Feb. 8, 1864.
Transferred to another Hospital, Feb. 8, 1864.
Muster out roll June 16, 1864.
Received Medical Discharge.

In William Lusk's first family there were 8 children. The last girl, Dora, was born after he came home from the War, she was born blind. She was 5 years, old when she was burned to death. Bill's Aunt Cora said that William always blamed his wife for her death. We never did learn how it happened. He left home, we don't know if he was afraid for his family or himself, since he fought for the Union and probably most of his neighbors fought for the Confederates. In our search we were told that many men came home, and they would go to the river and never return. There was war in their own back yards, after the War was over. William's wife Nancy Jane Berry died after 1870. William wasn't on the 1870 census, but the little girl Dora was, she was 5 years old at the time. The next records, in 1883. William Oliver Lusk married to Nancy Jane Montgomery in Missouri. They had 3 children, 2 girls, and 1 boy. The boy was Elza Lester Lusk, Bill's father. William Lusk died Aug. 12, 1901 Sparta, MO.

Elza Lester Lusk. Bill's father, married Mina Marshall, they had 4 children. Elza Lester married a 2nd time to Marie Brashears, they had 2 girls.

Note; In the 1840 census, we found that John Lusk and William Berry were neighbors. William Lusk married Wm. Berry's daughter, Nancy Jane Berry. So now we are sure that we have the correct father for William Lusk.


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