Lester Family Genealogy

(from about 1800)

Four generations of Lesters. The picture to the right is of Ethel Lester Nichols and grandson Larry Nichols (courtesy of Larry's father Dale Nichols). In the middle of the picture to the left is Ethel's sister May Retta Lester Nichols (remember three Nichols siblings married three Lester siblings in that generation!). To her right is her daughter Lorena Geneva Nichols Hill. To her right is Cliff Miller, Lorena's third husband. To May Retta's left is her great grandson in the arms of his father Thomas Hill, son of Lorena.

One of my great grand grandmothers was May Retta Lester, wife of Milford Lee Nichols and mother of Lorena and Georgia Belle of this web site. She was born on November 7, 1881 in West Plains, Missouri and she died in 1969. Before the turn of the century, the Lester family moved from Kentucky (before May Retta was born) to Missouri and then to Texas.

During the 1980s, one of my brothers, Marty, did an immense amount of research on the Lesters. Here I am reproducing three letters that he wrote to Lesters concerning his research. I thought that publishing the letters this way would put more personality into things, and then I'm not an expert on the Lesters. At the very end there is some information from Van Zandt County Website sent to me by Dale Nichols about a cemetery with seven Lesters in it, including May Retta's parents J B Lester 1844-1907 and MG Lester (Granny Lester) 1851-1921. One cautionary note there was a confusion about the oldest Lester that we know about, William Lester of the early part of the 19th century in Kentucky. Marty works this out by the third letter.

First Epistle of Marty to the Lesters

I am Marty Hill, Claire's brother, currently living in Ponce, Puerto Rico where I teach medical school. Back in the eighties, for several years I obsessively tried to run down our family's genealogy, especially on my father's side. I collected a lot of data (a lot). That's why it's with some trepidation that I try to sort through it. My style of investigating the family tree was to follow back each branch so not a huge share is about the Lesters (but not a small share, either).

First of all, I have my compilation books with notes on where the data for each fact was found. Then I have my journals following down the clues. Then I have Xerox's of whatever was Xeroxable (if I had the funds). Those include many of the source materials. And of course, I have my memory, which is pretty good, but sometimes fallible. I hope I can help you sort out some of the Lester history (and further back).

Let's start off with Claire's and my family heritage. We are children of Milford Lee Hill b. 24 Nov. 1925, d. 28 Aug. 1977 and Adelina Alcaria Hill (née Ortiz) b. 7 Feb. 1929, living in Santa Fe, NM.

Milford Lee Hill was the son of Herbert Bradford Hill b. Sep. 1904 d. ? and Lorena Geneva Hill (née Nichols) b. 16 Mar. 1902, d. 10 July 1982.

Lorena Geneva Nichols was the daughter of Milford Lee Nichols b. 5 Oct. 1881 and May Retta Nichols (née Lester) b. 7 Nov. 1881, d. 7 Oct 1969, Albuquerque, NM (I had met with Mae Retta in the last years of her life.)

May Retta Lester was born Westplains, Howell Co., Missouri. She was the ninth child and daughter of James Richard B. Lester b. Sep. 1844 in Caldwell, County, KY (I have died 1907, Trigg County, KY) and Georgia Ann (Maretta) Lester (née Mitchell -- there were a lot of Mitchells in Trigg County) b. Sep. 1851 in Trigg County, married 18 May 1866 in Trigg County, and died 1921.

James Richard B. Lester was the son of John Lester b. 1805 in Adair County, KY and died 1850's in Caldwell County, KY, and Elizabeth Lester (nee Kesterson) b. approx. 1810 in KY, died 1846-1850 in Caldwell County, KY. When I say place of death, I mean burial. It's also likely I have the last census. Elizabeth and James married on the 2nd of Aug. 1826 in Caldwell County.

With all of these families so far, I have complete lists of siblings along with their birth years. For what it's worth, my memory is strong that there was no question about these people being in my family line. The first question shows up in the next generation.

On to the next generation. John Lester was the son of William Lester, I don't have a birthdate. John is listed in his will which was probated in Caldwell County (from memory) in 1836. Here's the first uncertain link. I strongly believe that John's mother is Isabel Lapsley. William Lester married Isabel Lapsley on 23 Aug. 1799 in Garrad County, KY. On the marriage certificate it says she is the daughter of James Lapsley who was living there in the 1800 census along with Wm. Lester. John Lester wasn't born until 1805. In Wm. Lester's will it lists his wife's name as Sarah.

Possibility one: Sarah is another name for Isabel. Hmm, possible.

Possibility two: William remarried (perhaps Isabel died). Quite likely, but when did he marry? I've looked around for the record. I think there's a fair chance that it was after 1805 when John was born. Why? Because of my explorations

into possibility three.

Possibility three: The William Lester who married Isabel Lapsley in Garrard County is not the William Lester who was in Caldwell County, not the William Lester father of John Lester and husband of Sarah (as evidenced by the will

and censuses). Two lines of evidence work strongly against this. First, at the time William Lester appeared in Caldwell County, members of the Lapsley family also appeared living nearby them in Caldwell, Trigg County (which split off from Caldwell), and Christian County. Second, John Lester of Caldwell County is listed as born in Adair County, closer to Garrard than Caldwell. In the 1810 census, with Lapsley family first appearing in Caldwell, you would think that William Lester was still married to Isabel.

Marty.

 

The Second Epistle of Marty to the Lesters

 

THE LESTERS OF KENTUCKY

 

As I had said, I have copious notes on various family branches. I made these notes in the early 80's from the census data and veteran's records in the National Archives, from the Daughters of the American Revolution library, from the Library of Congress, and from additional sources, including sorties to some of the states and counties.

So why am I putting this together? I realize some of the searchers on the internet are not related to the same Lesters that I am. If you are not, you may still get queries from others and may forward it on to people who are searching for these particular Lesters. Also, if you're not related, it may help keep you from running down false leads. Finally, I've sorted out a couple of Lesters I'm not related to, and I include information on them, both in the raw data section and in the analysis section.

In summary, I'm putting this together to sort out the Lesters and define the questions that may be missing. I have a lot more information than what I present here, especially in the post 1850 era. (I must type fast, this took only a few hours.) I've never had them in the computer, so here it goes.

As I have said before there are (at least two) William Lesters, one from Garrard/Adair County and one from Caldwell County. (And there are children named William,but they are easier to separate.) Most of this is about William Lester of Caldwell and his children, but there is information on other Lesters. I try to keep sort some of this out at the end, which you may jump to, if you don't like looking at raw data.

Sorry for so much information. (It really has been pared down from what I have.) But this is my way.

To keep the geography straight, Caldwell, Christian, and Trigg Counties are next to each other in Western Kentucky. Adair and Garrard County are near (but not next to each other) in Central Kentucky.

RAW DATA AND CENSUSES.

FROM A LIST OF WILLS IN CALDWELL COUNTY IN THE KENTUCKY ARCHIVES:

William Lester 1836

Emily Lester 1894

G. B. Lester 1922

Pearl Lester 1924

E. D. Lester 1924

LIST OF MARRIAGES OF LESTERS IN CALDWELL COUNTY BEFORE 1840:

John Lester to Elizabeth Kesterson; Fielding Woolf, minister.

Aug. 2, 1826.

Lin Peal to Queen Lester.

July 27, 1829.

Josiah Lester to Polly Purdy

May 18, 1827.

Josiah Lester to Patsy Frazer.

August 19, 1836

Samuel Lester to Sindrinley Woolf.

February 19, 1824

Beverley Lester to Nancy Henson.

February 2, 1820.

Mrs. Elizabeth Lester to James Smith

May 11, 1837, Caldwell County.

Later: Mrs. Elizabeth Smith to Cornelius Connell Oct. 11, 1844

 

I have 15 more Caldwell county marriages of male and female Lesters between

1840-1880, many are children of the above. Also several from Trigg County and

Christian County.

FROM: RECORD OF MARRIAGES IN TRIGG COUNTY, 1820-1851 COMPILED BY ANNIE WALKER

BURNS.

James Lester to Delilah Lavells 1-11-1837. (From other records, I believe this

to be Savells).

Wm. Lester to Martha Fowler 8-28-1823.

William Lester to Jane Fowler 2-26-1840.

These two are William Lester son of William Lester of Caldwell County.

MORTALITY SCHEDULES, KENTUCKY, 1860. (ALL LESTERS IN KENTUCY ARE LISTED HERE)

Typically, these were performed once every ten years, as a sort of sampling of who died, how, and at what age in the past year.

Nancy Lester, Carroll County, KY. 39 F Aug. Consumption, 3 years.

Josiah Lester, Trigg County, KY. 16 M. Jan. Pneumonia, 4 weeks.

HEADSTONE INFORMATION FROM A BOOK CALLED CALDWELL COUNTY GRAVES: (Spaces are

given between sets of paired graves.)

Dr. J.M. Lester, 2/6/29 - 10/7/04

Nancy A., his wife, 1/15/1832 - 4/28/14

J.H. Lester (son) 1/18/86 - 3/21/04

L.E. Lester (mother) 11/18/1856 - 5/7/42

S.A. Lester (no relation given) 10/16/1855-1/27/01

Sidney Lester 1864-1944

Mary Emma Lester 1866-1958

Charles F. Lester 1875-42.

E.D. 1859-24

Marcella 1860-1843

Robert J. Lester 1861-29

Virginia L. 1863-49

Claude C. 1901-29.

John B. Lester 1871-1918

Constance A. 1860-36

Jessie E. Lester 1880-1950

Hester Anne Lester 1872-1943

Pearl Lester 1872-24.

EARLY KESTERSONS IN CALDWELL COUNTY GRAVES BOOK:

J. Kesterson d. Dec. 19, 1836, age 74 years.

Letticicia, wife of. d. Aug. 1, 1824, age 63 years.

 

EARLIEST LESTERS OF KENTUCKY:

Wm. Lester is listed on the tax roles of Garrard County on 8/16/1800.

William Lester married Isabel Lapsley, daughter of James Lapsley in 1799 in

Garrard County.

In 1791 Vincent Lester is the only Lester listed in Kentucky.

1810 CENSUS

Only Lesters in Kentucky are in Cumberland County:

Census data are given as number of household members between 0-9, 10-16, 16-26, 26-45, over 45.

then the hyphen and repeat information for women.

Cumberland County, KY

Abraham Lester 50010-00010

Daniel Lester 32010-20010

Thomas Lester 20010-00100

William Lester 20010-10100

1820 CENSUS

Census data are given as number of household members between 0-10, 10-16, 16-18, 16-26 (sic), 26-45, over 45.

then the hyphen and repeat information for women.

No Lesters in Caldwell County.

LESTERS IN ADAIR COUNTY:

page 32, line 4.

Thomas Lester 000100-00100

page 32, line 8.

Wm. Lester 031210-20010

also of interest, Adair County:

page 32, line 2.

James Lapsley 100011-010010

page 32, line 3.

Joseph Lapsley 100010-00010

Note that the Lesters were next down in the census takers order.

1830 CENSUS

1830 LESTERS IN CALDWELL COUNTY

Census data are given as number of household members between

0-5, 5-10, 10-15, 15-20, 20-30, 30-40, 40-50, 50-60, 60-70, 70-80, 80-90, 90-100 then the hyphen and repeat information for women. (I left off the additional

zeros after the oldest).

pages 138-140.

John Lester 10001-10001 (plus 1 male slave 36-55).

i.e., one male child 0-5, one male adult 20-30; ditto for females.

Joseph Lester 10001-00001

Samuel Lester 200001-10001

1830 LESTERS IN ADAIR COUNTY.

page 24.

Wm. Lester 00002001-00020001 (one male slave 10-24)

James Lester 10001-20001 (one male slave 0-10; one female slave 10-24)

Thomas Lester 100001-210001 and, for what it's worth, there is a William Luster in Trigg County in 1830.

1840 CENSUS

Census data are given as number of household members between 0-5, 5-10, 10-15, 15-20, 20-30, 30-40, 40-50, 50-60, 60-70, 70-80, 80-90, 90-100, then the hyphen and repeat information for women. (I left off the additional zeros after the oldest).

LESTERS IN CALDWELL COUNTY

page 7:

John Lester 310001001-00101 (two farmers) (one illiterate)

Plus: two male slaves 0-10; two female slaves, one 0-10, one 24-36.

page 7:

Samuel Lester 2210001-2010010000001 (four farmers)

Sorry, I don't have Lesters in other counties for this census.

LESTERS IN TRIGG COUNTY

page 280:

Richard Lester 20001-00001

1850 CENSUS:

CALDWELL COUNTY 1850.

Name Birthplace Age Occupation

(I'm sorry, I didn't note the page of the census with this first one)

James Lester KY (Adair) 39 Merch.

Mary J. IN 33

Geo C. MO 9

Mary J. KY 4

John D. KY (Caldwell) 1

living with them: Jas. M. Brigham, Merchant Clerk, age 39.

(Page 364)

John Lester TENN 45 Farmer

Sarah A. KY 22

Francis KY 15

John M. KY 13

Wilson P. KY 11

James B. R. KY 6

living with them: John McCain, TENN, 22, Farmer and Amelia Kesterson, KY, 32.

(Page 362)

Samuel Lester TN 54 Farmer

Cindarella KY 47

Wm. R. KY 24 Farmer

Geo. W. KY 19 Farmer

Adelia KY 15

Samuel D. KY 13

James J. KY 5

(Page 363)

John M. Lester KY 21

Nancy KY 18

1850, TRIGG COUNTY.

Page 316.

William Lester 49 M TN farmer

Jane 38 F KY

William 17 M KY farmer

James 14 M KY

Samuel 13 M KY

Derisa 21 F KY

Matilda 19 F KY

John Lester 8 M KY

Enos Lester 6 M KY

Martha Lester 5 F KY

Lizetta Lester 2 F KY

Amertine 2/12 M KY

living with them: James Jones, 17, M, laborer.

Page 317.

George W. Lester 20 M Farmer

Lucinda 23 F

1860 CENSUS:

Caldwell County 1860.

Name Sex Age Occupation Birthplace

page 13

S. Lester M 23 Farmer KY

James Lester M 16 KY

 

page 13

G.W. Lester M 28 Farmer KY

Mary Jane F 25 Hw. KY

Eliza F 6 KY

Samuel M 4 KY

Francis M 3 KY

Nameless M 1 KY

living with them: George Moneymaker M 18, Farm laborer, KY

page 3

J.M. Lester M 31 KY

Nancy F 28 KY

Thomas 9 KY

Charity 8 KY

Emerilla F 6 KY

Felix M 4 KY

 

page 45 (the city of Princeton)

living with J.P. McCain:

John Lester M 22 KY (idiot)

Emily Lester F 24 Domestic KY

 

page 77

living with T.E. Laws:

James Lester M 24 farmhand KY

 

page 83

G. W. Lester M 33 farmer KY

Helen F 27 hk. KY (illiterate)

Henry M 10 KY

George M 8 KY

Bennet M 4 KY

Altemonte M 2 KY

 

page 155

Dick Lester 50 farmer KY

Delila 42 hk. KY

Miles 20 KY

James 17 KY

Gabriella 14 KY

Marcus 12 twins KY

Mary 12 twins KY

Josephine 8

 

Trigg County, 1860

page 160

M. Lester F 52 KY

W. H. M 18 KY

S. E. F 17 KY

 

page 60

G.W. Lester 30 farmer KY

Sarah 29 KY

J.W. 9 KY

J.F. 7 KY

S.H. 5 KY

R.A. 3 KY

J.B.R. 16 KY

 

page 59

T. Lester M 25 (Note: says married within year)

M. A. Lester F 13

 

page 59

Wm. Lester M 59 farmer TN

Jane F 50 KY

Wm. M 25 KY

James M 22 KY

M. F 24 KY

Samuel M 21 KY

John M 18 KY

Enos M 17 KY

M. F 15 KY

L. F 13 KY

A. M 8 KY

 

Note: also on page 59 are Riley and Elizabeth Mitchell and their daughter Georgia Ann who would later marry James B. Richard Lester.

There are additional Lesters in Lyon County that I noted in 1860 including a William Lester aged 34 married to Cora M., 30 and a James M. Lester 50, married to a Mary J. from Indiana.

Okay, I also have the Caldwell and Trigg County records of Lesters for the 1870 and 1880 (Soundex). My branch of the Lesters (James R.B.) moved to Missouri for the 1880 census and then on to Texas by 1900.

For those following my branch:

1870 Census.

Lyon County, Kentucky, District No. 2, p. 3.

J.R. Lester 24 M Farmer

M.G. Lester 18 F hkeeper

J.R. Lester 1 M

 

1880 Census.

Mississippi County, Missouri, St. James. E.D. 78, p. 13

 

J.B.R. Lester 34

Georgia Ann 28 (Maretta Georgia in census above)

John R. 11

Reuben L. 9

Amby 6

Ida May 3

Ida P. 1

 

Let me summarize some key points to this. (For my own sake.) William Lester. Several people of that name, but only two of the primary generation that may cause confusion.

#1. William Lester of Adair/Garrard County. All evidence points to this being a singular person (not one of Adair and another of Garrard). Denny has good primary evidence on William Lester being in both counties.

#2. William Lester of Caldwell County left these names in his will written in 1836.

Wife: Sarah.

Children:

Samuel Lester: b. 1796 m. Sindrinley Woolf (also called Cinderella) 2/19/1824

in Caldwell County.

William Lester: b. 1801 m. Martha Fowler 8/28/1823 in Trigg County. Later

married Jane Fowler 2/26/1840 again in Trigg County.

John Lester: b. 1805 m. Elizabeth Kesterson in Caldwell County, 8/2/1826.

Josiah Lester: b. 1805 m. Polly Purdy 5/18/1827 in Caldwell County. Later

married Patsy Frazer 8/19/1836 in Caldwell County.

James Lester: b. 1811. Also known as "Dick." Married Delilah Savells 1/11/1837

in Trigg County. (Also spelled Lavells by one census taker).

Queen (Belle) Lester: (?) m. Levi Peal in Caldwell County, 7/27/1829. Referred to in the will as Queen Peal.

Enoch Lester (?). I don't have much on Enoch. Peggy says he went to Missouri about 1836.

Following the children of William Lester #2:

Samuel Lester is listed in the 1830, 1840, and 1850 Caldwell County censuses. In 1850 (where names of family members are first given) he is listed with Cindarella b. 1803 and four children (or, of the proper age to be their children, I won't make that distinction in the following notes). The 1830 and 1840 censuses suggests 2 more males and females were living with them back then. In 1840 he has one 90-100 year old female living with him.

William Lester is listed in the 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 Trigg County censuses. In 1850 he is listed with Jane b. 1812 and ten children, ages newborn to 17. The 1830 census has two male adults living there. Interestingly,there is a ten year gap in the children's ages, probably the time between being widowed from Martha Fowler up to the time he married Jane (the children begin again right after the date of his second marriage.)

John Lester is listed in the 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, and 1870 Caldwell County censuses. His wife (Elizabeth Kesterson) is not found in the censuses from 1850 on, suggesting that she may have died prior to 1850. In 1850 he is listed with 5 children. The 1840 census suggests there was one more male born 1826-1830.

Amelia Kesterson (b. 1818) is listed as living with him. His son John M. Lester is listed on two censuses as an idiot.

James Lester. Here some confusion can (and for me, did) happen. It seems as though there are two James Lesters of similiar age in the same area. In the 1830 census there is a James Lester in Adair county. He is between 20-30 years, has a wife between 20 and 30 years old, and two female children under five. In the 1850 census of Caldwell county there is a James Lester listed as born 1811 in Adair county. It's not unusual at all for birth years to jump up and down by a couple between censuses (for example, follow how his family's birthyears change from census to census!). Since it is so specific as to say Adair county, I will assume this is the same James Lester as the 1830 census. His wife is listed as Mary J. born 1817 in Indiana. Three children are listed there, George C. (1841, Missouri), Mary J. (1846, KY), and John D. (1849, KY). This would leave the two female children from the 1830 census unaccounted for.

This same James M. Lester (now b. 1810) is listed in Lyon County in 1860 with Mary J. (now b. 1817, Indiana), George C. (still 1841), Isabella (1846, another name for Mary J., Jr.?, born Missouri), John R. (sic, now 1848, MO), and four new kids born 1850 to 1858 (Missouri). In 1870 in Lyon County, we have James Lester born 1810, M.J., born 1815, George (still at home, b. 1842), J.D., born 1848. This James Lester is buried in the Old Eddyville Cemetery, Lyon County, KY. On his tombstone: Born 5 Sep. 1810, Adair County, died 10 Feb. 1896, aged 85 yrs., 5 mos., 5 days.

Okay, beyond pointing out how many little changes there are in censuses, these are obviously the same people. The fact he is from Adair, says to me that he is related to William and Isabel Lester. The fact he showed up in Caldwell confused me about the identities of the William Lesters. A couple of other things to consider. First, the name James is suggestive of James Lapsley. The daughter named Isabella (in one census!) is suggestive of Isabel Lapsley.

I said there are two James Lesters. The other, the one from my William Lester (of Caldwell County) appears as Richard Lester in Trigg County in 1840 with two males under five and a wife 20-30. In 1850, James Lester is listed as 39 y.o., married to Delilah, age 36. Children are Miles, 10, James 7, Gabriella 3, Demarcus 2, and Mary E., 2. He is listed as Dick Lester in the Caldwell county 1860 census. He is born 1810, married to Delilah b. 1818, and living with children Miles (1840), James (1843), Gabriella (1846), Marcus (1848), Mary (1848), and Josephine (1852). In the 1870 census: Delilah S. Lester (1814), Josephine (1852), James (1844), Demarcus (1847), Mary E. (1847), Millan (1843). James Lester may have called himself Dick to keep from being confused with the other James Lester in the county. The children and the wife match, so all three of these are the same James or Dick or Richard. James B. Richard Lester,who I descended from also was called Richard at times. These two Jameses brings up an interesting point. Beyond coincidence, with the James Lester of your William showing up in Caldwell County, is it possible the two Williams are related? First cousins or uncle-nephew of similiar age. Maybe we will eventually uncover a convergence of the Lester lines. A Robert A. Lapsley is on the list of marriages back in Caldwell County in 1823 (and again in 1832). The Lapsleys in both places also? Could be coincidence. It's what lead to my confusion about the two Williams. A Margaret Lapsley left a will in Trigg County in 1832.

As for the other three Lester kids, Queen (Peal), Josiah, and Enoch, I have less information on them. I could sort through the original data for more information, but this has kept me busy enough for the day. Peg talks about Enoch, Queen, and Josiah moving to Missouri about the same time (1836). Makes sense, I lost them in my tracking, but I was concentrating on Western Kentucky. And I think I recall some notes on some early Lesters in Missouri.

I have clearly on my records, that with the marriage certificate of William and Isabel Lapsley in 1799, that she is the daughter of James Lapsley. I got this from a book of listings of marriages in early Kentucky, it would be odd for such a thing to be appended on.

You may note William living in Adair County next to a pair of Lapsleys in 1810 (James and Joseph, although this may be James, Jr.).

Marty.

Third Epistle of Marty to the Lesters

Okay, guys and gals, here's a modification. Why am I sending out this one? Number one, I was sloppy in some of my annotations, I said there was census data on a couple of Lesters where there is none. Secondly, this has additional information specifically for the descendents of the Lesters of Caldwell County (and Trigg). For all those who care, enjoy.

 

THE DESCENDENTS OF WILLIAM LESTER OF CALDWELL COUNTY

 

Notes on William Lester. Much of the hard evidence of his life comes from his will, circa, 1836. In it he names his children and his wife (discussed in detail below). Tracing his life from the birthplaces of his children, he was in Tennessee in 1796-1805 for the births of Samuel (1796), William (1801), and John (1805) (These from the 1850-70 census data). James Lester was born in Kentucky in 1811 (according to the 1860 census data).

I don't have birthplace or date data on Queen (Belle) Lester Peal. Perhaps looking for Levi Peal in Missouri in the 1840 and 1850 censuses would help.

I don't have birthplace or date data on Enoch Lester. Again, he supposedly emigrated to Missouri.

Josiah Lester could be the Joseph Lester in Caldwell County in 1830.

There is a William Lester listed on the tax rolls of Knox County, TN in 1799. It would make sense to look for him in the 1800 and 1810 censuses (or for any William Lesters in Tennessee at that time.)

William Lester is not listed in Caldwell County in 1820 or 1830. Samuel Lester, by then 24, is not listed in Kentucky census records in 1820. Check Tennessee also?

William Lester of Caldwell County left these names in his will written in 1836.

Wife: Sarah.

Children:

Samuel Lester: b. 1796 m. Sindrinley Woolf (also called Cinderella) 2/19/1824 in Caldwell County.

William Lester: b. 1801 m. Martha Fowler 8/28/1823 in Trigg County. Later married Jane Fowler 2/26/1840 again in Trigg County.

John Lester: b. 1805 m. Elizabeth Kesterson in Caldwell County, 8/2/1826.

Josiah Lester: b. 1805 m. Polly Purdy 5/18/1827 in Caldwell County. Later married Patsy Frazer 8/19/1836 in Caldwell County.

James Lester: b. 1811. Also known as "Dick." Married Delilah Savells 1/11/1837 in Trigg County. (Also spelled Lavells by one census taker).

Queen (Belle) Lester: (?) m. Levi Peal in Caldwell County, 7/27/1829. Referred to in the will as Queen Peal.

Enoch Lester (?).

Note: the marriage information is not from the will.

Following the children of William Lester.

Samuel Lester (b. 1796, TN) is listed in the 1830, 1840, and 1850 Caldwell County censuses. In 1850 (where names of family members are first given) he is listed with Cindarella b. 1803 and four children (or, of the proper age to be their children, I won't make that distinction in the following notes). The 1830 has three children, two male and one female, living with him (all under five). The 1840 census indicates six more children under ten, (four boys and two girls) but has only one male over ten. In 1840 he has one 90-100 year old female living with him. This is probably too old to be Sarah. If his mother were 90 in 1840, she would have been 46 when she had Samuel, and older when she had the rest of the kids.

Children of Samuel Lester (from the 1850 census):

Wm. R. KY 24 Farmer m. Cora M. (Born 1830)

Geo. W. KY 19 Farmer

Adelia KY 15 m. Washington Rucker, 11/24/56.

Samuel D. KY 13

James J. KY 5

Other (possible) children:

One boy born 1825-1830.

One girl born 1825-1830.

One boy born 1830-1835.

One girl born 1835-1840.

 

These could be among the miscellaneous (unassigned) Lesters of Trigg and Caldwell County noted at the end of this text.

William Lester (b. 1801, TN) is listed in the 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 Trigg County censuses. In 1850 he is listed with Jane b. 1812 and ten children, ages newborn to 21. Interestingly, there is a ten year gap in the children's ages probably the time between being widowed from Martha Fowler up to the time he married Jane (the children begin again right after the date of his second marriage.)

There is a William Luster listed in Trigg County in 1830. Could this be him?

His first marriage was to Martha Fowler, 1823 in Trigg. Double-check Trigg County 1840 for him.

Children, from the 1850 census.

William 17 M KY farmer

James 14 M KY

Samuel 13 M KY

Derisa 21 F KY

Matilda 19 F KY

John Lester 8 M KY

Enos Lester 6 M KY

Martha Lester 5 F KY

Lizetta Lester 2 F KY

Amertine 2/12 M KY

 

In the 1880 census William Lester, widower, 79, is listed as having been born in KY, with his father born in TN, and his mother born in VA. He is living with Enos, then 35, Lizetta Jones, widow, then 32 and three children 8-13.

 

John Lester (b. 1805, TN) is listed in the 1830, 1840, and 1850 Caldwell County censuses. His wife (Elizabeth Kesterson, married 8/2/26) is not found in the censuses from 1850 on, suggesting that she may have died prior to 1850. In 1850 he is listed with 5 children. The 1830 census has one male and one female under five. The 1840 census indicates there was one male born, 1826-1830. Amelia Kesterson (b. 1818) is listed as living with him in 1850. His son John M. Lester is listed on two censuses as an idiot.

 

His children as listed in the 1850 census:

Sarah A. KY 22 m. John McCain, 10/8/51

Francis KY 15

John M. KY 13

Wilson P. KY 11 m. Mary Ann Evans, 3/11/60

James B.R. KY 6 m. Maretta Georgia Ann Mitchell,

 

Note: Sarah A. married John McCain! GW Bush, eat your heart out.

James Lester (b. 1811, KY) appears as Richard Lester in Trigg County in 1840 with two males under five and a wife 20-30. In 1850, James Lester is listed as 39 y.o., married to Delilah, age 36. Children are Miles, 10, James 7, Gabriella 3, Demarcus 2, and Mary E., 2. He is listed as Dick Lester in the Caldwell county 1860 census. He is born 1810, married to Delilah b. 1818, and living with children Miles (1840), James (1843), Gabriella (1846), Marcus (1848), Mary (1848), and Josephine (1852). In the 1870 census: Delilah S. Lester (1814), Josephine (1852), James (1844), Demarcus (1847), Mary E. (1847), Millan (1843).

I detail the chidren's names and ages just to show you that this James Lester is Richard Lester and Dick Lester, one and the same. In the previous document, I showed how he was separate from another James Lester (from Adair County) born about the same time. James Lester may have called himself Dick to keep from being confused with the other James Lester in the county. James B. Richard Lester, who I descended from also was called Richard at times.

His children as listed in the 1850 census:

Miles 20 KY

James 17 KY

Gabriella 14 KY

Marcus 12 twins KY

Mary 12 twins KY

Josephine 8

Interesting to note how his children are named so differently from the Lester family history (exception, of course, James).

As I've already mentioned, I haven't much data on Josiah, Enoch, and Queen.

There is a Josiah Lester age 45, listed in the 1850 census for Cape Girardeau, MO. He is supposed to have been born in Kentucky and has children aged 6-18.

He is listed as Josiah Luster in the 1860 census.

 

Okay. These leave leftover Lester names in the 1850 censuses of Caldwell and Trigg Counties.

#1 George W. Lester 20 M Farmer

Lucinda 23 F

A 30 year old G. W. Lester is living in Trigg County in 1860. His wife's name is Sarah (29). There are two George W. Lester's in Caldwell County of a similiar age in 1860, but one corresponds in age to George W. Lester, Samuel's son. (See note below). Lucinda is not seen again.

According to the 1860 census their children were:

J.W. 9 KY

J.F. 7 KY

S.H. 5 KY

R.A. 3 KY

Listed with the household, but last:

J.B.R. 16 KY

 

ln 1850, the above George W. lives in Trigg County, closest to William. Samuel has a George W. living with him. John has a male about this age, not listed in the 1850 census. James Lester from Adair has a child named George C.. Good chance, but far from proved that this George W. is John's son. JBR Lester living with him would be his brother.

Again from the 1850 census:

#2 John M. Lester KY 21

Nancy KY 18

According to the 1860 census their children were:

Thomas 9 KY

Charity 8 KY

Emerilla F 6 KY

Felix M 4 KY

 

In Caldwell County, in census close to both Samuel and John. John, however, already has a child named John living with him. So does William. Very circumstantial:

child of Samuel who has a child unaccounted for about this age. James Lester from Adair has a child named John D..

This John M. Lester became Dr. John M. Lester and was buried with his wife, Nancy in Caldwell County. On the tombstone: Dr. J.M. Lester 2/6/29-10/7/04.

Nancy A., his wife. 1/15/1832-4/28/14. (Note how few of these gravestones are Y2K compliant!)

#3 Here are female marriages before 1850 from Caldwell and Trigg. Significance?

These women are never listed as Lesters in the censuses.

 

Sarah Ann Lester to George W. Dunning, 10/22/44. (Note: probably not the Sarah Ann, daughter of John Lester. She was married in 1851 as Sarah Ann Lester. She would have been 16ish in 1844, not too young to marry at that time. This could easily be resolved if I looked for George W. Dunning and wife in the 1850 censuses onward. I did not.

Amarilla Lester to James S. Cook, 5/12/45.

Julia A. Lester to Earley Lacey, 1/23/50.

 

A very interesting marriage is: Miss Queaner Bell Lester to F.G. Lacy 2/27/66, sec. J.M. Lester. I have no record of a younger Queaner Bell Lester. It's not likely this was a later marriage for Queen Lester Peal. The fact she is referred to as Miss and Lester (rather than Peal) speak against that.

 

Well, there you have it. The Lesters for now. I continue with my line into Missouri and Texas. I have some more about these children of Lesters living in Caldwell and Trigg from the later censuses.

Marty

Elm Grove Cemetery

Location: From 198 take County Road 2721 at Roddy. (2721 turns left then back right) Follow 2721 until it intersects with 2708. The cemetery is on 2708. From FM 47, take county road 2711 about 3/4 mile from 198. Follow 2711 until it runs into 2708 at the Church and Cemetery.

LESTER ADDIE C. 1880 19??

LESTER BERTA 1886 1902

LESTER J. B. 1844 1907

LESTER JOHN R. 1869 1941

LESTER M. G. 1851 1921

LESTER TRECIA CLISTA 1916 1917

LESTER ZINNA OPAL 1905 1908