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KESTER (KÜSTER) Family History, Part I

November 2009

John KOSTER (1693-1760)

121. John Koster was born on the 9th day of the 6th month (August 9 (O.S.)) of 1693, in Bristol Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, north along the Delaware River from Philadelphia. He married Elizabeth Hood between the 25th day of the 25th day of the 8th month (October 25 (O.S.)), when they declared their intention to marry for the second time, and the announcement at the Philadelphia Monthly Meeting on the 29th day of the 9th month (November 29 (O.S.), 1717.[Hunt 305, White 132] They had as many as 10 children:

121A. Rachel Koster --  --  -- 
121B. Benjamin Koster (1723) 10 Sep 1766 (43)
121C. John Koster (1724) --  -- 
121D. Joseph Koster (1725) --  -- 
121E. Samuel Koster (1726) --  -- 
121F. Abigail Koster --  --  -- 
121G. Hannah Koster --  --  -- 
121H. Elizabeth Koster --  --  -- 
121I. Rebecca Koster (1729) --  -- 
121J. Sarah Koster --  --  -- 
Gregorian Calendar

Great Britain and its colonies adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1752 when September 2 was decreed as September 14 to account for 12 days of accumulated errors under the Julian caldendar. Additionally the legal new year was moved up to January 1 from March 25 ("Lady Day"), when the new year was marked on that day. Prior to 1752, March 24, 1750 was followed by March 25, 1751. After 1752, Julian dates were noted as Old Style ("O.S.").

Furthermore, prior to 1752, when months were referred to numerically they generally denoted March as the "1st month".

John may have been the "Johannes Kosters" who apparently inherited his father's property in Springfield, Delaware County, about 12 miles southwest of Germantown. "Johannes" and his mother conveyed the property to Daniel Falkner on August 3, 1709. John would have been 16 years old at the time.[Hunt 304]

"John Koster was a mason and a carpenter. He moved from Germantown to Philadelphia where before 1719 he purchased a lot situated on Mulberry (now Arch) Street. He dealt considerably in real estate. On 6 November 1723 John and his wife, Elizabeth, sold 100 acres of land in Whippen (sic) Township, Philadelphia County to Isaac Williams of Bristol Township, Philadelphia County."[White 132]

John Koster is believed to have died on March 24, 1760, in Philadelphia, and is probably buried at the Friend's Burial Ground in Philadelphia.[Henshaw 387] He was 66 years old.

Elizabeth (Hood) Koster died on June 7, 1769, at the age of 73.[Henshaw 387] She is probably buried at the Friend's Burial Ground in Philadelphia.

  • Hunt, John Eddy. The Pound and Kester Families. Chicago: Regan Printing House, 1904.
  • White, Jean M. The Descendants of Paulus and Gertrude Kusters of Kaldenkirchen, Germany and Germantown, Pennysylvania, the first four generations. Castor Association of America, 1991.
  • Henshaw, William Wade: Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, Volume 2. Baltimore: Baltimore Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., 1969.

Rynier KUSTER (1696-~1762)

123. Rynier Kuster (or Riner Custer) was born on May 26, 1696, in Germantown, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. He married Anne Hewitt on January 31, 1718, probably in Abington, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. They had at least four daughters who outlived their father.[Hunt 305]

Rynier Kuster after May 20, 1762, the signing of his will.[Hunt 305]

Hermanus KESTER (1703-)3

124. Hermanus Kester3 was born on November 2, 1703, likely in or around Germantown, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. He was apparently named for his uncle Hermanus Küster. He married Anne Large in 1733, probably at the Chesterfield Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends ("Quakers") in Burlington County, New Jersey.[Hunt 305] They had at least one daughter:

1241. Susanna Kester (1733) (1796) (63)
1242. Elizabeth Kester4 25 Jun 1735 <1762 (<24)
1243. Samuel Kester --  --  -- 
1244. John Kester --  --  -- 
1245. Rebecca Kester --  --  -- 
1246. Hermanus Kester 17 (Jul/Aug) 1744 --  -- 
1247. Peter Kester --  --  -- 
1248. Thomas Kester --  --  -- 
1249. Margaret Kester --  --  -- 
Chambers, 1895
Hermanus' children come from Theodore F. Chambers' The Early Germans of New Jersey, Their History, Churches and Genealogies, 1895.

Hermanus was the brother of Paul Kester3. After Paul died at an early age in the late 1740s, Hermanus took in three of Paul's four children. The fourth, William4, was raised by another Quaker family in Chester County. Hermanus and his family may have lived in Chester County around that time as well.[Hunt 306]

Kester-Webster Connections
At least four of Hermanus' children (Susannah, Samuel, John, and Hermanus (Jr.) and two of his brother Paul's children (Rebecca, and John) married spouses from among two sets of Webster siblings, those of brothers Benjamin and Joseph Webster, sons of William H. and Mary (Williams) Webster.

The Kester family later moved further up and across the Delaware River from Philadelphia to the Kingwood Monthly Meeting in Hunterdon County, New Jersey,[Hunt 306], perhaps as early as 1733.[Chambers 429]

Hermanus' daughter Elizabeth4 married his nephew William4 in 1756 at the Kingwood Monthly Meeting.[Hunt 306]

  • Hunt, John Eddy. The Pound and Kester Families. Chicago: Regan Printing House, 1904.
  • CHAMBERS, Theodore F. The Early Germans of New Jersey, Their History, Churches and Genealogies. Dover: Dover Printing Company, 1895.


125. Paul Kester3 was born about 1706 in Germantown, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. He married Ruth Kitchen on September 17, 1730, probably in Philadelphia, and had four children. He died when their children were quite young, perhaps in the late 1740s.[Hunt 305] His eldest son, William, was raised by a Quaker family in the Sadsbury congregation of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and the three younger children were raised by Paul's brother, Hermanus.

1251. William Kester4 (1733) (1820) (87)
1252. Samuel Kester --  --  -- 
1253. Rebecca Kester 12 Dec 1738 --  -- 
1254. John Kester 31 Jul 1744 --  -- 

Excerpt from "The Pound and Kester Families," by John Eddy HUNT, 1904
Page 305: "Paul Kester, as son of Johannes and Elizabeth (Cassell) Küster or Koster, was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania, probably about the year 1706. His parents were Quakers, and he had a birthright membership with the same society, but whether he retained this membership is not certain, as his name has not been found on the rolls or in the minutes of any of the Monthly Meetings of Friends who have preserved their records, though it is a tradition among some of his descendants that he was a Quaker. His father's name was spelled "Küster" and "Koster," and other similar ways, but the only record of his own names which we find is given as "Kester." This is shown in the record of his marriage, which is given in the Pennsylvania Archives--New Series, Volume Nine, page 40, which contains a copy of the records of the First Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, wherein is recorded the marriage of "Paul Kester" and "Ruth Kitchen" on the 17th day of the 9th month, 1730. He is known to have had three children--William Kester, probably the oldest, born about 1733; Rebecca Kester, born the 12th day of the 12th month, 1738; and John Kester, born the 31st day of the 7th month, 1744; and he is believed to have had a son, Samuel Kester, the date of whose birth is unknown. It is said he died when his children were yet young, and this would indicate that his death occurred about 1745 to 1750. His daugther Rebecca, married Joseph Webster in 1768, his son John (see Appendix K) married Hannah Webster in 1766, his son Samuel married Leah Vickers in 1759 (Buckingham m. m. records), and the record of his son WIlliam is as given below..."
Kester-Webster Connections
Two of Paul's children (Rebecca, and John) and at least four of brother Hermanus' children (Susannah, Samuel, John, and Hermanus (Jr.) married spouses from among two sets of Webster siblings, those of brothers Benjamin and Joseph Webster, sons of William H. and Mary (Williams) Webster.

  • Hunt, John Eddy. The Pound and Kester Families. Chicago: Regan Printing House, 1904.