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The Hester Family

I. Charles Hester

     Charles Hester was born Aug 16, 1747 in Louisa county, Virginia (proven by Revolutionary War pension application). He recieved grants of 522 acres in 1798 and another 805 acres in 1805 on Cherokee Creek of Broad River in Spartanburg county, South Carolina. In addition to these grants he bought and sold many other plots in this area including a purchase of 5,429 acres from William Hester. He was surely a planter as most land owners were in the time and place but we also know he was a blacksmith because he filed a claim for service as a horseshoer for the troops during the revolution. Charles wrote his will in 1828 (proven 15 Apr. 1833 which means he died before this date) naming his wife  Martha and children: Wm Hester, John Hester, Abraham Hester, Jesse Hester, Sally Fondren, Lucy Arnold, Nancy Camp, Robert Hester, Joseph Hester, and Fanny Blanton; grandson Simpson Hester; and stepson Thomas Logan. Apparently Martha is the mother of Thomas Logan. It is not known if she was the mother of Charles' children but I suspect their mother was an unidentified first wife of Charles. At the time he drew his will his sons John, and Joseph had moved to Alabama. Apparently the other sons had also moved since he named his step son Thomas Logan and grandson Simpson Hester as executors of his estate.

II. John Hester

     John Hester  was born about 1773  probably in North or South Carolina. From a combination of property deeds and  wills in Spartanburg county we know that he married Sarah Tate, daugther of Jesse and Mary Tate and granddaughter of William and Elizabeth Tate (Elizabeth is believed to be a sister of Charles Hester who along with William Hester and John Hester witnessed William Tate's will). On Nov. 16, 1816 John and his wife Sarah sold 202 acres of land on Cherokee Creek to Tindal Robertson and on the same day John sold another 216 acres on Cherokee Creek to William Tate (Sarah's uncle?). John and his wife were probably preparing to move to Alabama at this time as he is found on the 1820 census of St. Claire county, Alabama. This census shows that they had six sons and six daughters. A Hester family history compiled by Jean Holley Day in 1984 gives the names of their known children as: Charles, Obadiah, Green B., Minerva, John, Joseph, and Christopher. When John and Sarah Hester moved to Alabama they did not move alone. John's brother Joseph went with them as did Herrod Fondren who's wife was John's sister Sarah. Herrod and Sarah Fondren later moved to Choctaw county, Mississippi as did John's son Josepth Hester. John Hester died in 1833.
     There is nothing to indicate that they even knew each other but in 1820 one of John Hester's neighbors in St. Claire county, Alabama was Charles Collier Clayton. One hundred years later John's great great granddaughter married Charles' great great grandson.

III. Joseph Hester

     Joseph Hester  was born about 1815 in Sparanburg county, South Carolina. He married Martha Baker Dec 02, 1834 in St. Claire county, Alabama. Joseph and Martha had four sons and one daughter: Green, Emily, James Monroe, John Franklin, and Joseph Ross. Between 1846 and 1852 Martha died and Joseph married Elizabeth Rebecca Robinson. The children of Joseph and Elizabeth were: Martha Pocahontas, Lucinda M., Elizabeth M., Adolphus Randolph, Thomas Argus, Aura B., and Marshall Leonardo.
     The Joseph Hester family came to Mississippi from around Birmingham, Alabama (according to oral family history) and settled near the town of Dido before the Civil War. (They are found on the 1860 census of Choctaw county but I have been unable to find them on any earlier census from either Mississippi or Alabama. Joseph Hester is listed on the 1850 census of Blount county, Alabama but the age is not right, which could be a mistake.) His granddaughter Ruth says that during the Civil War Joseph "operated a tan yard where materials were furnished to be made into shoes for the soldiers. His work was vital to the war interest so he didn't shoulder a gun and leave home like so many others did. Eleanor Hester of "Last Jump-Off Plantation; Honey Bayou Road; Shelby, Mississippi" says that when Joseph settled in Mississippi he "built a grist mill, a flour mill, installed dams for water power, all by hand from materials at hand. He taught figuring to his neighbors, and was often used as an engineer to survey the early land lines. According to stories handed down, he was assigned to running a military store during the Civil War." His four oldest sons all served in the war, and all recieved wounds but survived (John lost an arm in the battle of Peach Tree Creek in Georgia). Joseph died about 1877 and is believed to be buried in the Spring Hill cemetery but the grave sight has been lost over the years. His second wife, Elizabeth died in Nov 1910 and is buried in the Blyth Creek Baptist cemetery.

IV. James Monroe Hester

     James Monroe Hester  was born Jan 30, 1842 in Alabama. He enlisted in Company E, 31st Mississippi Infantry at Pigeon Roost, Mississippi on Mar. 8, 1862. (His brother, John Franklin enlisted in the same company on the same day.) He was promoted to 2nd Sgt about Oct. 1862 and to 1st Sgt in Jan. 1863. He married Mary Jane Kent about 1867. (His brother John Franklin Hester married Mary Jane's sister Margaret Laura Kent.) After the war James Monroe was a businessman in the towns of Winona and Duck Hill in Montgomery county where he at one time or another owned a grocery store, a general merchandise store, and a hotel. (From exsisting records it's difficult to tell when he moved from Winona to Duck Hill or from Duck Hill to Winona. In 1884 he was part owner of Wilkins & Hester "DryGoods, Groceries and Plantation Supplies" in Winona. In 1889 he operated the village hotel in Duck Hill. In 1894 he leased the city hotel in Winona, renovated it and reopened it as the "Hester Hotel". )
     James Monroe and Mary Jane had a daughter named Jimmie and a son named Ethel . . . honest! Their other children were James, Nellie, Kathleen Clyde, Guy, and Erin. James Monroe Hester died Apr 25, 1896 and is buried in the Duck Hill cemetery.
     Their daughter Clyde married a son of John Peery. In the 1895 democratic primary race for sheriff John Peery won with 379 votes, John Hester (brother of James) was a distant 5th with 60 votes. After this election James Monroe Hester paid for a full page notice in the Winona Times in which he accussed John Perry of illegal or at least unethical political dealings. Frankly I did not understand all of this but it is obvious that there were some bad feelings between the Hester and Peery families.

V. Kathleen Clyde Hester ("Mother Clyde")

     Kathleen Clyde Hester  was born Sep 25, 1879 in Winona, Mississippi. On the 1880 census she is listed only by the initial "B". My mother says that she was simply known as "Baby" until she named herself when she started school. I had thought she was born in the town of Duck Hill where her parents are buried. (It appears that the family may have moved from Winona to Duck Hill then back to Winona.) Kathleen Clyde's obituary in the Eupora newspaper says that she was born in Winona and spent her childhood there until finishing school and attending I.I.&O (now Mississippi State College for Women) in Columbus. Oral family tradition says that her family would not let her come home from school during the holidays because they were afraid she would "marry that Peery boy" (was this because of bad feelings between the Hester and Peery families or simply because they did not want her to marry until she had finished school?). She spent the holidays in Columbus, so Alex Peery drove to Columbus where he married Clyde Hester on Christmas day 1897. Their children were: James Robert Peery born Feb 22, 1900; Monroe Allison  Peery born Dec 18, 1902; Hazel Hester Peery born Jan 04, 1904; Adell Hart Peery born Nov 09, 1906; Erin Carolyn Peery born Nov 30, 1908; and Mary Emma Peery born Aug 18, 1911. My sister, Mimi, was named after Mary Emma Peery who died as a six month old baby.

Hester Family Roots

          Charles Hester of Spartanburg county, South Carolina is our earliest proven ancestor. We know from his widow's pension application that he was born in Louisa county, Virginia  in 1747. Louisa county was formed from Hanover county in 1742 which was formed from New Kent county in 1720. The vestry book and register of St. Peter's Parish, New Kent and James City Counties 1684 - 1786 has this entry "Robert ye son of Francis Hester and ______ his wife baptized ye 10 day of Ocobr 1686".
      On 26 Jul 1748. Robert Hester of Louisa County "for and in consideration of the natural love and affection" that he bears unto Zacharias Hester of Hanover Co. "but more and especially for and in consideration of a certain contract and agreement made between Rachel Hester of Hanover Co. and mother sd Robert Hester which may more fully appear in the records of Hanover Co." gives unto Zacharias Hester 200 acres lying on both sides of Christopher's Run in Louisa Co., Francis Hester's corner." On the same day Robert Hester gave 200 acres of land  each to Francis Hester, William Hester, David Hester, Hugh Hester, and John Hester, and 100 acres each to Mary Whicker and Elizabeth Hester." Each of these deeds had the same words "for and in consideration of the natural love and affection"
     From a study of other property records which I won't bore you with it appears that Robert Hester, the son of Francis, died sometime before 1748 and his eldest son also named Robert inherited his lands. By English law unless other provisions were made the eldest son inherited the entire estate. Robert Jr. in agreement with his mother's wishes divided this land among his brothers and sisters: Zacharias, Francis, Williiam, David, Hugh, John, Mary, and Elizabeth in 1748. Our ancestor Charles who was born in Louisa county in 1747 has to be a son or grandson of one of these Hester men.
     Some of these Hester men moved to Granville county, North Carolina. A tax payers list of 1769 list David, John, William, James, and Zachariah Hester in Granville county. Zachariah Hester in his pension application says that he was born in Louisa county, Virginia and moved to Granville county, North Carolina at age 6 (about 1767). Obviously this is not the Zachariah Hester who appears on the tax payers list of 1769 and he is not an ancestor of our Charles. The importance here is in pointing out that at least one and probably all of the Hester men in Granville county came from Louisa county, Virginia.  I have found no record of a Charles Hester ever living in Granville county, North Carolina but The will of Thomas Reeks, Sr. was proved in Granville county in 1803. One of his heirs was named as "Elizabeth Hester, wife of Charles Hester".  It is possible that this is Charles Hester of Spartanburg county, South Carolina.

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