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 LUSK FAMILY
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,
Ballyeaston, Kilraghts, Carncastle, Ballywater and in County Down at
"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