AS WE MOVE ALONG the pioneer trails of this section we find evidence that they were trodden by many persons of ancient and distinguished lineage, some, even, of royal ancestry. Here in this middle western region was an intermingling of the blood of numerous of America's greatest colonial families. The French Huguenot Lewises and the Lewises of Wales, both of which families are numerously represented in pike county today, have a far-flung relationship that reaches into perhaps 80 per cent of the families now resident in the Pleasant Hill region, reaching also into scores of other families scattered throughout the county.
Closely related to the Lewis family is the family of Rogers, which is related to the Collard family, the latter family being also intimately related to the Lewises. With the Rogers family are associated the families of Clark, Byrd, RoBards, Green, Wayne, Richards, Shinn, Elledge, Boone, Willsey, Sitton, Alcorn, Henderson, Iverson, Porter and others in Pike county history.
Descended from an ancestry that includes or is related to the families mentioned is Mrs. Evelyn Collard Fidelle of Portland, Oregon, from whose inquiries flows much of the Lewis-Collard-Rogers family history. Mrs. Fidelle's father was Isaac Newton Collard, son of the Pleasant Hill pioneers, Felix Alver and Damaris Lewis Collard. Her mother was Jane Ann Rogers, daughter of James William and Mary Ellen Henderson Rogers, descendants of Missouri border pioneers, and closely related to the pioneer Lewises of French Huguenot and Welsh lineages, this relationship being on both her father's and mother's sides. Says she:
"We have the same Lewis family on my mother's side. Her grandfather was Lewis Rogers, Oregon pioneer, who came to Oregon from Indiana and Iowa in 1846. He was born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1795. His father, Aquilla Rogers, was in the Virginia Army of the Revolution. Aquilla's father was Giles Rogers II, own brother of Ann Rogers who married John Clark. George Rogers Clark (with whom marched Captain John Vertrees, great great grandfather of the former Pittsfield mayor, Herbert H. Vertrees, in the conquest of the Illinois country in the time of the Revolution) and General William Clark were own cousins of Aquilla Rogers. Aquilla's mother was Ann Iverson Lewis, cousin of Meriwether Lewis.
"The parents of Ann Rogers Clark and Giles Rogers II were John Rogers and Mary Byrd of Virginia. The grandparents were Giles Rogers I and Racheal Eastham, pilgrim ancestors from England and Scotland. Giles was descended from John Rogers, the martyr of Smithfield, England. Aquilla Rogers' brother, John, married Sarah Iverson Lewis. I seem to be very much related to the Lewis family on both the Collard and Rogers sides."
Mrs. Fidelle is here unknowingly tying in her maternal ancestry with that of several noted Pike county families. Her mother's great grandfather, Aquilla Rogers, was a brother of Bartlett Rogers who came in 1826 from Indiana to what was then Morgan county in Illinois, settling at Williamsport (vanished Illinois river town opposite montezuma), where he died May 2, 1831. Among his sons were David Redmon, Robert (Robin) and Thomas Jefferson Rogers.
David Redmon Rogers married Fanny Alcorn in Kentucky, on February 26, 1824, she a daughter of Robert Alcorn and Mary Elledge, the latter of whom was a daughter of Francis Elledge and Charity Boone, who are buried in a lost cemetery on the Glen Riley farm northeast of Griggsville. Charity Boone was Edward's daughter and a niece of Daniel Boone. Robert (Robin) Rogers on the same day in Kentucky married Fanny Alcorn's sister, Cynthia Alcorn, and both couples came together to Pike county, Illinois, in the fall of 1826.
David Redmon Rogers had a daughter Malinda, who in 1851 married James Gallett Willsey, and they had a son, William Riley Willsey, a great great grandson of Edward (Neddie) Boone; Mr. Willsey is now residing at Maysville in his 86th year.
Thomas Jefferson Rogers, another son of Bartlett Rogers and a nephew of Aquilla Rogers and of John Rogers who married Sarah Iverson Lewis, married at Atlas July 16, 1832, Phoebe Shinn, daughter of pioneer Daniel Shinn, who in April, 1820, hewed a road into the Pike county wilderness for the first wagon that ever rolled on the Military Tract. Thomas Jefferson Rogers and Phoebe Shinn had a daughter, Hannah Rogers, who married Harvey Elledge, son of pioneer Benjamin of the Griggsville Prairie, he a brother of Mary Elledge who was the mother of the Alcorn sisters who married the Rogers brothers.
Which suggests how intimately Evelyn Collard Fidelle's family lineage is intertwined with the lineages of some of Pike county's noted families other than those of Collard and Lewis descent.
Far back in the dim past the Rogers ancestors wrote flaming chapters in English history, among them that John Rogers mentioned by Mrs. Fidelle, English divine and first of the Marian martyrs, who was burned at the stake at Smithfield, England, in 1555. Bartlett Rogers, first of the martyr's line to settle here in the great valley, was born in North Carolina in 1771, served in the War of 1812, emigrated to Kentucky and then to Indiana, and in 1826, to Illinois.
Aquilla Rogers, brother of Bartlett and great great grandfather of Evelyn Collard Fidelle, was a resident of Caroline county, Virginia, in the time of the Revolution. He married Nancy Jane Green of Kentucky, a member of the same family as Major General Duff Green of Kentucky and Virginia. Lewis Rogers, Aquilla's son, married Nancy A. Richards, daughter of Zadok Richards, whose wife was of the noted Wayne family which gave to American soldiery General Anthony (Mad Anthony) Wayne. Lewis Rogers was in the Indian wars in Indiana, under General William Henry Harrison, hero of Tippecanoe.
Records in the Library of Virginia at Richmond throw some light upon the Revolutionary War service of Aquilla Rogers. He was at one time a resident of New Washington township in Clark county, Indiana. Later he possessed two hundred acres of land in Clark county, Illinois, which he left in his will to his second wife, Phoebe. He was living on this acreage at the time he made his will, dated July 1, 1838. He had lived in Louisville, Kentucky, following his first marriage to Nancy Jane Green, and all his children were born there. He had no children by his second wife.
Aquilla Rogers had a daughter who married a McElfresh, first name and lineage unknown. The McElfresh family has long been associated with Pleasant Hill township. Aquilla B. McElfresh (probably descended from the Aquilla Rogers line) was the third husband of Patience W. Kerr, daughter of Richard and Ruth Kerr, early comers from the Missouri border to Pleasant Hill township. Aquilla McElfresh was a Methodist minister.
Aquilla Rogers' first wife, Nancy Jane Green of Kentucky, belonged to another family that is connected with Pike county history and linked to the Lewis, Washington and Reed families, in a most interesting mingling of family lines.
About 1733, Mildred Washington, daughter of Lawrence Washington and Mildred Warner (who had previously been twice married, first to a Lewis and second to Roger Gregory), became the third wife of Colonel Henry Willis of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Colonel Willis had himself been twice married, one of his wives having also been a Mildred Washington, daughter of John Washington, and first cousin of the other Mildred Washington.
Colonel Henry Willis and his third wife, Mildred Washington, had a daughter, Ann Willis, who married Duff Green. Their youngest son was a soldier at 15 with Washington's army at Valley Forge. After the war he removed to Kentucky, married the daughter of Markham Marshall, and became the father of general Duff Green. The latter was the editor of the old Washington Telegraph during the days of General Andrew Jackson.
Willis Green, oldest son of Duff Green and Ann Willis, emigrated to Kentucky in 1779, to pursue his vocation of surveyor, traveling the old Wilderness Road by Cumberland Gap, marked out by Daniel Boone. In 1783 he married the oldest daughter of John Reed and resided several years at Reed's Fort, built by his wife's father. To this Reed's Fort family belonged Phoebe Reed, who married Ezekiel Clemmons and with her husband settled in what is now Detroit township, Pike county, Illinois, in 1825. Three years later they moved into what is now Montezuma township, and both died there.
Willis Green, when Kentucky was divided into three counties, became clerk of one of them (Lincoln county), which county he represented in a number of conventions held for the purpose of separating from Virginia.
Lewis Warner Green, eloquent divine and president of Hampden Sidney College and later of Center College, Kentucky, was the youngest son of Willis Green and Miss Reed of Reed's Fort. His oldest daughter married a Mr. Scott of Bloomington, Illinois, and his youngest daughter became the wife of Adlai E. Stevenson, vice president of the United States during President Grover Cleveland's second administration.
Other children of Duff Green and Ann Willis are unknown but the record shows there were other children. "Ann Willis Green followed her sons to Kentucky," recites the record, "lived with them for a time in Reed's Fort, and died in 1820 at Moreland, then the home of her grandson, Judge John Green. Her tombstone still stands in the old burying ground in Reed's Fort, near Dansville, Kentucky."
It is believed that Nancy Jane Green, first wife of Aquilla Rogers, was a daughter (or possibly a granddaughter) of one of these "sons."
Another Rogers family connection is the Randolph line, deriving from the union in 1717 of Jane Rogers of London and Isham Randolph, who was agent of the Virginia Colony in London. They returned to Virginia and he was made Adjutant General in 1738 and Colonel of Militia of Goochland county. Their daughter, Jane, married Peter Jefferson, and was the mother of President Thomas Jefferson.
Of this same family was Doctor Lewis Rogers, who for many years stood at the head of the medical profession in Louisville, Kentucky. Among his children was a daughter, Jane Farrar Rogers, who married Robert Atwood.
John Rogers, brother of Aquilla and Bartlett, married Sarah Iverson Lewis, daughter of John Lewis (son of the first American Zachary) and Sarah Iverson. Zachary Lewis, whose line was well represented in early Pike county, landed on the "old Virginia shore" about 1692 and occupied a land grant of 500 acres in King and Queen's county, Virginia, in 1694.
Little is known of the descendants of John Lewis and Sarah Iverson. Among them were Ann, the Reverend Iverson Lewis, Catharine, Christopher and Sarah Iverson Lewis. The latter married John Rogers. Her brother, Christopher, married a relative of Wade Hampton of South Carolina, and they also had a daughter named Sarah Iverson Lewis.
John Rogers and Sarah Iverson Lewis had a son, John Rogers, Jr., who married and had a son, Lewis Rogers, who was an early merchant and county officer in Pike county, Missouri, where he died in 1839. He was a second cousin of James William Rogers, who married Mary Ellen Henderson. His sister, Margaret Rogers, married Charles Henderson, a cousin of Mary Ellen. Other brothers and sisters included James C., Jonathan, William C., Milton and Thornton P. Rogers, Elizabeth Rogers (wife of Moreley James), and Nancy Rogers (wife of James Hobdy). All of these descendants of John Rogers and Sarah Iverson Lewis (excepting Lewis Rogers) settled in Ohio and Muhlenburg counties, Kentucky.
Jane Ann Rogers, wife of Isaac Newton Collard and mother of Evelyn Collard Fidelle, was a daughter of James William Rogers, son of that other Lewis Rogers who was a son of Aquilla. Jane Ann's mother was Mary Ellen Henderson, a daughter of Jesse Cloid Henderson and Elizabeth Oden and a sister of Martha Frances Henderson who married John Jasper Collard, son of Felix Alver and Damaris (Lewis) Collard.