Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Estes Family

William Bramblett father of Fielding Bramblett Married Kitty Estes and brought another great line to our tree. 
The Estes are one of the great pioneer families of the United States. Numbered in their thousands they are are to be found in most parts of the country and a selection of their life histories would amply illustrate the history of America. They are to be found in the annals of the American Revolution, the expansion westwards and the Civil War and are representative of the whole social fabric from log cabin to Whitehouse! Though not among the great political families they produced a vice-presidential: candidate in Senator Estes Kefauver and a son-in-law on the bench to President Harrison, and they produced their own brand of tycoon in Billie Sol Estes. They were trail blazers, slave-owners, Quakers, Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Baptists. They drowned in frozen rivers and were captured by Indians as children. They fought on both sides in the Civil War and nursed their dying countrymen in that conflict. Their traditional Biblical names shared place with those of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson and their family name, which is hardly known elsewhere, has become very much an American surname.

What we know of the English Estes is pieced together from a thorough examination of the parish registers and bishops transcripts available for Acrise, Ashford, Bucldand, Canterbury, Deal, Dover, Elnam, Folkestone, Guston, Hythe, London, Lydden, Margate, Nonington, Northbourne, Ringwould, Ripple, Rotherhithe, St Margarets at Cliff, Sandwich, Sholden, Waldershare, Walmer, West Langdon, Wingham and Wooton. The greatest linking was only achieved in recent years by an experienced English researcher, Donald Bowler, but other researchers have contributed in fitting the genealogical jigsaw together.
The Estes of Kent were described as a "maritime" family and this may explain why the earliest appearances of the name are found scattered about the southern coast from Morwenstow in Cornwall (1558) to Harwich in Essex.' There was probably a link between the Estes of Harwich and Deal, both centres of Walloon refugee settlement, as the registers of St Leonard, Deal, list the burial on 31 August 1621 of Hugh 'Estie' of Harwich who was bound from Germinie [Netherlands] in a ship called the Sion of London [Zion, a typical Protestant name]. It is clear from the records of St Leonard that all variants of the name were used interchangeably, the earliest instances being as follows: Eastes (1581), Este (1601), Estis (1618) and Eastis (1726). John Estye, who became a freeman of Canterbury by purchase on 27 June 1562, was a shearman or maker of shears, an occupation closely associated with the Walloon textile industry. He was no doubt the same John Estey or Estye who was a clothworker mentioned in Canterbury records between 1571 and 1593.
The first progenitor of the Deal family for whom we have reasonable records was Henry Este or Eagtes (b. about 1549 in Deal) who made his will as Henry Eastice, fisherman of Deal, on 13 April 1590. His widow Mary/Maria Rand Este (b. before 1575) was buried at St Leonards on 19 June 1601. The available evidence suggests that Henry and Mary had the following children:

1. Richard of Deal, born 1578
2. Henry of Deal, bapt. St Leonards 6 April 1581
3. Mary, bapt. St Leonards 15 January 158617, buried St Leonards 29 December 1587
4. Aron, bapt.. St Leonards 6 July 1589
Henry left his 'pinasse' (two masted vessel) and other property to be shared equally between his three sons Richard, Henry and Aron who were all very young. His executor was his brother Robert who was probably the founder of the Ringwould branch. Robert of Ringwould had links with Deal through his son Matthew, the marriage of his grand-daughter Ellen with Moses Estes, grandson of Richard of Deal, and the fact that some of his family became mariners, like the Deal family.

Robert of Ringwould married Ann Woodward at Sholden on 2 December 1591. He probably died about 1616. His widow Annie's will, dated 21 April 1630, was probated 9 June 1630 and gives certainty to the next generation. Their children were as follows:

1. Matthew, bapt. Sholden 11 June 1592
2. Sylvester,, bapt. Ringwould 26 September 1596
3. Alice, bapt. 26 March 1597, married at Ringwould, 28 October 1628 Thomas Beane
4. Matthew, born 1601, married at Deal 23 November 1620 Margaret Johnson
and buried Deal 4 June 1621
5. Robert, bapt. Ring-would 29 May 1603
6. Thornas, bapt. Ring-would 2 June 1605 Susan, bapt. Ringwould 30 October 1608
8. John, bapt. Ringwould 3 March 1610
9. ?, an infant who died in 1616
Most of the American families appear to descend from the eldest surviving child Sylvester and the fourth surviving child Robert, although the family of Richard Estes of Deal (born 1578) also had American connections. Several persons named Estes or one of its variants arrived in America before the Restoration of the Stuart monarchy in England.

A John Estes was brought to Virginia by Theodore Moyser in 1637 and another of that name was transported in 1659. Thomas Estes and his .wife Jane nee Jones were living in Westmoreland County, Virginia, in 1654 and James Estes or Estasse, probably a relation of Thomas, was living there in 1658. The early Estes could have come from the West Country rather than Kent though the most suitable candidate for Thomas would seem to be the second son of Robert of Ringwould, born in 1636. Sylvester Estes of Ringwould, sometime church warden, married Ellen Martin of Great Hardres on 24 November 1625. Ellen was of Waldershare according to her will of 1649. Sylvester had died before December 1667 when his daughter Ellen married. He left a large family:
1. Robert, Senior, of Waldershare,bapt. Ringwould 10 September 1626, buried Waldersha're 23 June 1692 (ancestor of the Estes of Waldershare)
2. Anne, bapt. Ring-would 25 November 1627
3. Silvester (a daughter), bapt. Ringwould 31 May 1629 (afterwards Mrs Nash)
4. Susan, bapt. Ringwould, 30 March 1631
5. Thomas, bapt. Ring7would 20 January 1633 (ancestor of Estes of Acrise, etc.)
6. Richard, bapt. Ring-would 5 October 1634 (ancestor of Estes and Eastes of Dover, West Langdon, St Margaret at Cliff and Guston)
7. Mary, bapt. Ringwould 2 October 1636
8. Anne, born in 1637
9. Nicholas of Wingham, bapt. Nonington 9 December 1638
10. Elizabeth, b. c.1640
11. Ellen, bapt. Nonington 11 December 1642, married at Deal, 23 December 1667, Moses Estes of Deal as his second Wife.
12. John, bapt. Nonington 29 December 1644
13 Abraham, born in 1647

The youngest child Abraham is an obvious candidate to be founder of the Virginia family. He was mentioned in his mother's will in 1649 and was a linen weaver in the old Walloon town of Sandwich, aged 25, when he married Ann widow of John Burton at Worth on 29 December 1672. Presumably Am died and he started a new life in Virginia. Family members who did not realise that Silvester was a woman could have assumed that Abraham was the youngest of seven brothers which may account for the American tradition that seven brothers had gone to America. The original claim was probably that Abraham was 'one of seven brothers' which later family members misconstrued to mean that they all came.

That Abraham, son of Sylvester of Ringwould, was the Virginian ancestor is partly supported by the fact that Abraham Estes of Virginia named his son Sylvester as his executor, a position usually filled by the eldest son who was invariably named after his paternal grandfather. Although most of the listings of the children of Abraham and Barbara Estes do not place Sylvester first the most logical arrangement is that worked out by Margaret M. Hayes of Illinois, based on a close study of the Virginia records. It is as follows:

1. Sylvester, b. c.1684, living in 1720
2. Samuel, b. c.1686, married Rebecca
3. Thomas, b.c.1688, d.1744, married c.1717 Ann Rogers who d. 1745
4. Mary, b. c.1690 (Mrs. Thomas Watkins)
5. Susanna, b. c.1692 (Mrs Thomas Poore)
6. Robert, b. c.1695, d. Lunenburg Co. 13 April 1775, married c.1725 Mary
7. Abraham, b.c.1697, d. before Feb. 1759, married (1) before 1717 Ann
(2) c. 1740 Elizabeth Jeeter who d. 1774
8. Richard, b. c.1699, d. Feb. 1774/5, married c.1727 Mary Yancy
9. John, b. c.1701, married Elizabeth
10. Elisha, b. c.1703, d. Henry Co. Virginia 1782 married before 1735 Mary Ann
11. Sarah, b. c.1705, unmarried in 1720
12 Moses, b. c.1710, d. 1788, married c.1731 Elizabeth.
13. Barbara, b. c.1712, d. unmarried 1729
This is an excerpt from a very long research paper of the Estes family found on Ancestry.com with this signature Email: shirleyjean@sbcglobal.net

Sylvester Estes (1522 - 1579)

is our 10th great grandfather


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