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Kent Family

I. Robert Kent

     The will of Robert Kent (written 10 Oct. 1782, probated 17 July 1783 in Halifax county, Virginia) names his wife Mary.and gives his 400 acre estate (after death of wife) to sons John and Peterfield Kent. He gives 10 pounds each to sons Robert and Obediah Kent and specifies that the remainder of the estate is to be sold and equally diveded among children: Luke, William, John, Peterfield, Alexander Kent, Candace Arnold, Mary Posey, and Caty Hendricks.
     The will of Robert Kent written May 30, 1784 leaves one negro wench called Pat to Obediah Kent. One negro boy named Champ to Alexander Kent. One negro named Sam to John Kent. One negro named Joe to Peterfield Kent. 30 pounds 4 shillings to James Kent. 4 pounds to Mary Kent. 4 pounds to Caty Hendricks. 4 pounds to Candace Arnold. 4 pounds to William Kent. The rest of his property to be divided amongst six brothers Luke, Alexander, Obediah, James, John, and Peterfield. Obviously this is Robert, Jr. who apparently died young without having married as he left his entire estate to his brothers and sisters. He names a brother James who was not mentioned in his father's will. Could James have been disowned by his father? Perhaps we will never know but this will does prove that James was a son of the elder Robert.

II. James Kent

     Very little is known about James. On Nov. 12, 1800 Jacob Evans deeded 100 acres on the Dan River in Halifax county to the heirs of James Kent, deceased, "namely Elizabeth Kent, John Kent, James Kent, Henry Kent, Rebeka Kent, and Smith Kent" as he had been paid 140 pounds for this land by James Kent prior to his death. Apparently James paid for this land but never took possession of it which suggest that he died shortly before this date.

III. Smith H. Kent

     Smith H. Kent  was born Apr 08, 1797 in Halifax county, Virginia. Miss Mattie Cain (a granddaughter) says, "Smith H. Kent married Sarah Towns Blain, Dec. 24, 1817, in the triple wedding in Virginia with the John Holmes and the John Fisackerly's" and that Sarah was, "a daughter of Ephraim and Elizabeth Blain". This is verified by marriage license recorded in Halifax county court records that contains the phrase, "with consent of Ephraim Blane for his daughter." At some time between 1831 and 1837 he moved to Lauderdale county, Tennessee (dates based on age and place of birth of children). Rayford Holmes who has done research on this family  based on interviews with (among others) Smith Kent's grandaughter, Mattie Cain, says the Smith Kent family moved to Haywood county, Tennessee about 1832, "where they professed religion and joined the congregation of the Baptist Church in 1836". Mr Holmes says they lived on the county line with the dwelling in Haywood county and the barn in Lauderdale county. Court records show that he purchased a total of 573 acres of land in Lauderdale county in three different transactions and all of this land was sold after he moved to Mississippi. In 1845 they moved to Carroll county, Mississippi and settled in the Hays Creek community (which is now in Montgomery county).
     Smith Kent and his wife Sarah had eleven children: John H. Kent born Nov 08, 1819; Mary James Kent born Feb 14, 1821; Ephraim B. Kent born May 20, 1822; Julia Ann Kent born Mar 11, 1824; Sarah Kirkpatrick Kent born Feb 24, 1826; Elizabeth Jane Kent born Apr 29, 1827; Martha C. Kent born Apr 19, 1829; Smith Davenport Kent born Aug 15, 1831; Morning Elvira Kent born Nov 17, 1832; William Irby Kent born Jun 02, 1834; and Thomas J. Kent born Mar 15, 1836. Their youngest son, Thomas, was a private in the Confederate Army in the same company as the Hester brothers. He served from the begining of the war virtually unscathed, writing regularly to his family. Then, at the end, visiting a friend, he was captured and died as a prisoner of war in Camp Chase, Ohio, from typhoid fever. One note of interest from the letters he wrote is the fact that throughout the war as a private soldier he had his "man servant" with him.
     Smith H. Kent died Apr 26, 1882. An obituary written by his son-in-law George S. Bradford says, "at his death he had 11 children, 76 grandchildren, 138 great grandchildren, and 2 great great grandchildren."

IV. Ephraim B. Kent

     Ephraim B. Kent  was born May 20, 1822 in Halifax county, Virginia. Although I have never found his middle name spelled out I assume that it is Blain, named after his mother's father, Ephraim Blain. Ephraim had three wives and a total of sixteen children. Rayford Holmes says his first wife was "a Miss Hart of Tennessee". The 1850 census of Carroll county, Mississippi list her name as Jane Kent (age 26 born in Virginia). Their children were Mary Jane Kent born Oct 30, 1844; William H. Kent born about 1845; Thorton L. Kent born about 1847; and Sarah Kent born about 1849. Sarah apparently died as a young child as she is listed as a one year old girl on the 1850 census and is not listed on any later census and there was a later daughter named Sarah and called "Sally".
     Rayford Holmes says,  "Ephraim married the second time, Elizabeth Cain, sister to John Thomas Cain who married Elizabeth Kent." (She was Ephraim's sister.) The marriage of E. B. Kent to  Elizabeth Cain is recorded in Carroll county court records but I neglected to record the date.  The 1860 census of Carroll county, Mississippi gives Ephraim B. Kent's wifes' name as Susan E. Kent. Census records and E. B. Kent's will show that he had a daughter named Sarah (Sallie) E. Kent and her tombstone inscription reads "Sallie daughter of E. B. & Bettie Kent". Since Bettie is a common nickname for Elizabeth her full name must be Susan Elizabeth Cain. Since I neglected to record the date of the marriage of Ephraim Kent to Susan Elizabeth Cain there is some question here: there were four children born to Ephraim B. Kent between 1850 and 1860 and I do not know if they are the children of the first wife, Jane, or the second wife, Susan Elizabeth. These children are: John A. Kent born about 1851; Thomas S. Kent born about 1854; Margaret Laura Kent born Mar 22, 1856; and Martha E. Kent born about 1853.
     The children of Ephraim B. Kent and his 2nd wife, Elizabeth Cain are: Robert E. Kent born 1860; Charles E. Kent born 1862; Laura V. Kent born 1864; George B. Kent born 1866; Sarah E.  Kent born 1868; and S. G. Kent daughter who was born about 1869 and probably died young;
     Mr. Holmes says that "Ephraim married the third time, the Widow Faulk (nee Daisy Jane Townsend)".  She is listed on the 1880 census of Montgomery county as Ava J. Kent, age 47, born North Carolina , and named in his will as Ava Jane Kent. Their children were Adolphus D. Kent born about 1872 and Alonzo Kent born about 1874.
     Ephraim died Jul 16, 1881and was buried on his homestead near Winona. The house is no longer standing but his tombstone was rediscovered in recent years.

V. Mary Jane Kent

     Mary Jane Kent  was born Oct 30, 1844 in Lauderdale county, Tennessee. She married James Monroe Hester about 1867. (There is no record of this marriage; the date is estimated from the ages of their children.) Her younger sister Margaret Laura Kent married James' brother John Franklin Kent. Mary Jane and James Monroe had these children: James Hester born about 1868 who apparently died as a young boy; Jimmie W. Hester a daughter born Mar 15, 1871who married Joe H. Young; Nellie Hester born Jun 18, 1872 who married James McNeill; Ethel Hester a son born Jun 03, 1878 who died as a 15 month old infant; Kathleen Clyde Hester born Sep 25, 1879 who married Alexander Townsend Peery; Guy W. Hester born in 1886 who married Claudia M. Hill; and Erin Hester born Jan 12, 1887 who married Charles Brandon Hall. There apparently was one other daughter who I have not been able to identify. A number of years ago Charles Brandon Hall, Jr. took photographs of a tombstone; the inscription reads "E(illegible) Hester daughter of J.M. & M.J. Hester Mar 25, 1874 - Dec 16, 1876. (Since this daughter only lived for two years she would never have appeared on any census and of course would not be named in any will.)
     The announcement of Nellie Hester's marriage to James McNeill in the Winona newspaper says, " "The young couple had been lovers for a long time (which probably doesn't mean what it does today) but the marriage was opposed by the young ladie's parents on account of her youth." Nellie died at age twenty.
     Mary Jane (Kent) Hester probably died Sep 14, 1899. The date on her tombstone in Duck Hill, Mississippi is Sep. 14, 1900 but her will was probated in Sep. 1899.

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