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KESTER Family History, Part IV

January 2011

Samuel FERGUSON (Sr.) (1758-1814)

--. Samuel Furgason (Ferguson) (Sr.) was born on June 9, 1758, in Trenton, Burlington County, New Jersey, or Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to Elizabeth Lacock (Leacock) and her first husband, Thomas Zilliah Furgason.[Hunt 586] Samuel's father died when he was a toddler and his mother went on to marry William Kester, a widower, about 1762 when he was about 4 years old. Samuel married Elizabeth Anderson on August 17, 1779, in "Patterson Creek, Virginia," presumably in Mineral County, West Viriginia. By 1780, the Fergusons moved into Maryland, probably west to Allegany County, where the Kester family had resettled. They had four children before Elizabeth's death in 1786, reportedly in Washington County, Pennsylania.

After Elizabeth's death, Samuel resettled in Nelson County, Kentucky, southeast of Louisville, he married Elizabeth Crook Blue in Bardstown on August 12, 1788. They had 11 children:

 -- Thomas Furgason 14 Jun 1780 4 Apr 1853 (72)
 -- Athel Furgason <12 Dec 1781 1848 (66)
 -- Nancy Furgason 4 Feb 1783 28 Jan 1833/1836 (49/52)
 -- Letha Furgason 25 Nov 1785 9 Apr 1833 (47)

 -- Elizabeth Furgason 24 May 1789 23 Nov 1868 (79)
 -- Mary "Polly" Furgason 18 Feb 1791 12 Sep 1830 (39)
 -- Sarah "Sally" Furgason 21 Feb 1793 10 Sep 1873 (80)
 -- Larissa Furgason 13 Feb 1797 4 Apr 1873 (76)
 -- Samuel Furgason (Jr.) 12 Jan 1799 2 Feb 1843 (44)
 -- John B. Furgason 10 Aug 1801 10 Sep 1850 (49)
 -- William Furgason 26 Dec 1803 15 Sep 1875 (71)
 -- Malinda Furgason 15 Feb 1806 27 Feb 1850 (44)
 -- James Crooks Furgason 8 Mar 1808 3 Apr 1891 (83)
 -- Rosanna Furgason 3 Apr 1810 3 Jan 1840 (29)
 -- Frank "French" Furgason 30 Oct 1813 Young (--)
Washington County, Pennsylvania
Washington County was named for General George Washington by the Pennsylvania General Assembly on March 28, 1781, following the victorious Battle of Saratoga, New York, (September-October 1777) which was a major turning point in the war and led to France's formal alliance with the Americans. Washington County was the first county to be named for the general.

The Furgason family likely started in Allegany County, Maryland, where the Kester family lived. By 1781, it appears the Furgasons moved northwest to Peters Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania, southwest of Pittsburgh. It was from Peters Township that Samuel served as a "ranger on the frontier" and reportedly was ordered to rendezvous with Captain Samuel Cunningham's 1st Company of the 2nd Battalion of Washington County Militia on June 14, 1782.

At the close of the war the Furgason family may have returned to Allegany County, Maryland, until 1786.

By 1786, the Furgasons had either returned to Washington County, Pennysylvania, or were headed north toward Pittsburgh with the Kester family to take a flat boat down the Ohio River from Pittsburgh to Kentucky.

Elizabeth (Anderson) Furgason reportedly died in 1786 in Washington County, Pennsylvania. She was about 24 years old.

After Samuel resettled in Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky, he remarried to Elizabeth Crook BLUE on August 12, 1788. They had four children born in Bardstown before moving northeast into Ohio Territory and resettling in Butler County, probably in 1798, five years before Ohio statehood. The rest of their 11 children were born in Butler County.

Just three months after Samuel's last child was born, he died on February 14, 1814, in Hamilton, Butler County, Ohio. He was 55 years old.

Perhaps during the 1820s, Elizabeth moved west with some of her children to Marion County, Indiana. She was living with her youngest surviving son James in Warren Township by 1850.[Cen 1850]

Elizabeth Crook (Blue) Furgason died in Marion County, Indiana, on October 8, 1865, at the age of 95. She is buried at McVey Cemetery in Warren Township, now in the eastern suburbs of Indianapolis.

  • Hunt, John Eddy. The Pound and Kester Families. Chicago: Regan Printing House, 1904.
  • Cen 1850: 18 Aug 1850 Census, Warren Township, Marion County, Indiana
  • Head 1865: McVey Cemetery, Warren Township, Marion County, Indiana

Pvt. Paul KESTER5 (1760-1814)Blue Star

12511. Pvt. Paul Kester5 was born about 1760, probably in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, north and across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. He was apparently named after his paternal grandfather. His mother died when he was a baby and his father remarried about 1762 when he was about 2 years old. He married Ruhama Bonham6 in April 1785 and had nine children:[Hunt 309]

125111. Rebecca Kester 3 Jul 1786 8 Dec 1849 (63)
125112. Sarah Kester 5 Oct 1788 19 Sep 1862 (73)
125113. John Bonham Kester, Sr.6 24 Mar 1791 1 Jan 1840 (48)
125114. Mary A. Kester 1 Nov 1792 8 Jul 1857 (64)
125115. Jesse Kester (Jan/May) 1800 Jul 1856 (56)
125116. Ruth Kester 14 Aug 1802 3 Mar 1869 (66)
125117. Jacob Kester (1805) (1845) (40)
125118. Bonham Kester (1805) 31 Jan 1869 (63)
125119. William (B.) Kester 6 Apr 1811 27 Feb 1860 (48)

The Kesters moved from Hunterdon County, New Jersey, probably to Allegany County, Maryland, with Paul's father.

In April 1786 the Kesters, along with Paul's father, moved down the Ohio River to Nelson County in central Kentucky, south of Louisville, 6 years prior to Kentucky statehood.

The Kester family probably moved north to Elk Creek, then in Shelby County and later redrawn into Spencer County, when Paul's father bought 600 acres there in 1795.[Hunt 593]

Following the conclusion of the Northwest Indian War (1785–1795) in Ohio, Indiana, and southern Michigan, the Treaty of Greenville (August 1795) redrew the border with the Western Confederacy of Indian tribes, pushing them north from the Ohio River to open up lands in southern and eastern Ohio for American settlement. By 1802, perhaps as early as 1801, the Kester family crossed the Ohio River north into southern Ohio Territory and settled briefly at Middletown, Butler County, along the Great Miami River. Paul's younger half-sisters, Elizabeth (Kester) Liston and Sarah (Kester) Pound had settled in Butler County in 1801. His younger half-brothers remained in Elk Creek.

By around 1807, the Kesters moved to Preble County in southwest Ohio, southwest of Dayton.

War of 1812 (1812-1815)

Lanier's Independent Battalion, Ohio Militia
Private Paul Kester served in Captain William Ramsey's Company, which was formed on October 11, 1813, probably formed in Preble County, Ohio. It served under Major Alexander Chalmers Lanier's Fourth Detachment of Ohio Militia.

British military support to Indian raids in Northwest Great Lakes region, and America's continued support to Napoleonic France, with whom Great Britain and most of Europe was at war, led to America's declaration of war against Britain in 1812. Early in the war, William Hull, the Governor of Michigan Territory, was commissioned as a brigadier general and invaded lower Canada. The British countered, repulsed Hull, and took Fort Detroit. The following spring, Major General William Henry Harrison suffered defeats against the British and Indians in Michigan while attempting to retake Fort Detroit. A Native American massacre of American prisoners of war at the River Raisin, southwest of Detroit, and British invasion of northwestern Ohio followed but was halted by the unsuccessful British and Native American sieges on Fort Meigs, about 165 miles north of Preble County. It was immediately after the first Siege of Fort Meigs that Paul joined Lanier's independent battalion of Ohio militia from Preble County on March 11, 1813.[Hunt 309]

Pvt. Kester served with the company until it was decommissioned on April 7, 1814.[War 1812] Upon his discharge Paul "was killed on his way home."[Hunt 309] He was about 53 or 54 years old.

Son John moved west to Vigo County, Indiana, by 1817, and apparently took his widowed mother with him. John later moved about 50 miles north to Montgomery County. Ruhama may have stayed behind in Vigo County.

Ruhama (Bonham) Kester died on October 20, 1846, in Pimento, Vigo County, Indiana, likely at the home of one of her grandchildren who did not continue west to Iowa. She was 81 years old. Ruhama is buried at the Second Prarie Creek Baptist Cemetery in Linton Township, Vigo County.

Excerpt from "The Pound and Kester Families" by John Eddy HUNT, 1904
Page 309: "Paul Kester, son of William and Elizabeth Kester (see page 306), was born probably in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, about 1760, and died in spring 1814. He moved from Maryland to Nelson County, Kentucky, in April, 1786 (see account of trip Appendix III.) and resided in Kentucky some years, and then moved to Ohio, residing in Preble County, Ohio, at the time of his death. The records of the war office at Washington, D.C., show that he served in the war of 1812, in Lanier's independent battalion of Ohio militia, from March 11, 1813, to April 10, 1814, from Preble County, Ohio. It is said "he served through the war and was killed on his way home," and the records of Preble County, Ohio, show that letters of administration were granted there on his estate in 1814. He was married about 1785 to Ruhama Bonham, who was born about 1765, and died about 1845 near Pimento, Indiana. His nine children, who family records are given on the subsequent pages, are as follows:..."
  • Hunt, John Eddy. The Pound and Kester Families. Chicago: Regan Printing House, 1904.
  • War 1812: "Roster Of Ohio Soldiers In The War Of 1812"

Elizabeth (KESTER) LISTON (~1763-~1840)

12512. Elizabeth Kester was born about 1763 in New Jersey[Hunt 395], perhaps in Hunterdon County. By the 1780s her family moved west to Allegany County, Maryland, where she married Edmund Liston (Sr.) in 1781. After their marriage they "settled under the Laurel Hills on George's Creek," possibly referring to the area of the town of Moscow. They had eight children:[Hunt 395]

125121. Joseph Liston 23 Jan 1782 12 Sep 1875 (93)
125122. Sarah Liston 1784 Feb 1846 (62)
125123. Elizabeth Liston 11 Jan 1787 8 Mar 1832 (45)
125124. William Liston (1789) 1864 (75)
125125. Delilah Liston 2 May 1791 22 Mar 1851 (59)
125126. George Washington Liston (4 Jan) 1796 18 May 1847 (51)
125127. Edmund Liston (Jr.) (1799) --  -- 
125128. Athel Liston 10 Feb 1802 10 May 1879 (77)
Edmund Liston
Edmund was likely born in the 1750s[Cen 1830] in Delaware to Joseph Liston, a veteran of the Revolutionary War.[Hunt 395]

The Listons moved to Kentucky in 1786 along with Elizabeth's parents, by way of flat boat down the Ohio River from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They arrived in April and first settled in Nelson County, southeast of Louisville. In 1789 they moved closer to Louisville in Jefferson County and then to neighboring Spencer County in 1791.[Hunt 395]

Vincennes, Indiana
Vincennes, which lies along the Wabash River and forms the southwestern border with Illinois, was the capital of the Indiana Territory (1800-1813) and the oldest continually inhabited European settlement.

The Listons moved again in 1801 northeast to Butler County, Ohio Territory, north of Cincinnati and two years prior to Ohio statehood.[Hunt 395]

In 1808 the Listons picked up and continued west to the area of Vincennes, Sullivan County, in western Indiana Territory.[Hunt 395]

Elizabeth's two eldest sons, Joseph and William, served during the War of 1812 (1812-1815).[Hunt 396,446]

The Listons stayed near Vincennes until 1814 when they moved north into the adjacent Vigo County and settled near Prairie Creek.[Hunt 395]

Edmund Liston (Sr.) died sometime prior to Elizabeth.[Hunt 395], likely during the 1830s[Cen 1830]. He was probably in his 70s or early 80s

Elizabeth (Kester) Liston died about 1840 and is buried at Prairie Creek, Vigo County, Indiana. She was about 77 years old.[Hunt 395]

  • Hunt, John Eddy. The Pound and Kester Families. Chicago: Regan Printing House, 1904.
  • Cen 1820: 1820 Census, Vigo County, Indiana
  • Cen 1830: 1830 Census, Vigo County, Indiana

William KESTER (Jr.) (~1765-~1815)

12513. William Kester (Jr.) was born about 1765, probably in New Jersey[Hunt 483], perhaps in Hunterdon County. His family moved to Allegany County, Maryland, by the 1780s. He married Eunice Pound and had 11 children:[Hunt 483]

12513A Sarah Kester 2 Jul 1785 (1812) (26)
12513B. John Kester 15 Jun 1788 (1854) (65)
12513C. Nathan Kester 2 Feb 1790 8 Nov 1865 (75)
12513D. William Kester (III) 1 Jan 1792 (1820) (28)
12513E. Ephraim Kester 16 Sep 1795 May 1850 (54)
12513F. Eunice Kester 14 Sep 1797 6 Sep 1864 (66)
12513G. Joseph Kester 19 Oct 1799 Aug 1870 (70)
12513H. Absalom Kester 4 Mar 1802 6 Nov 1868 (66)
12513I. Naomi Kester 25 Apr 1804 10 Sep 1836 (32)
12513J. Jonathan Kester 31 Oct 1805 (1860) (54)
12513K. Elizabeth Kester 11 Mar 1808 1862 (54)
Pound-Kester Families
Eunice POUND was born about 1765 in to John and Sarah (Martin) Pound. She and two of her siblings, Thomas and Sarah, married Kester siblings Sarah and John. Later, her widowed mother Sarah married the Kesters' widower father William.[Hunt 483]

The Kesters migrated to Kentucky in 1786 along with William's parents, by way of flat boat down the Ohio River from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They arrived in April and first settled in Nelson County, southeast of Louisville.[Hunt 483]

The Kesters moved a little ways north into adjacent Shelby County and settled at Elk Creek in 1795.[Hunt 483] When Spencer County was formed in 1824, Elk Creek became part of Spencer County. The Kesters remained at Elk Creek the rest of their lives while William's elder brother and sister migrated north to Ohio and west to Indiana in the early 1800s.

Both William and Eunice (Pound) Kester died within days of each other about 1815 and are buried in Elk Creek. The were both about 50 years old.[Hunt 483]

Sons Nathan and Absalom became members of the Regular Baptists (also known as Primitive Baptists or "Old School Baptists") in 1831. Absalom became a charter member of the Concord Church in Westfield, Clark County, Illinois, in September 1831, and Nathan joined later that year in November. Their first cousins, Jesse and Bonham Kester also became Regular Baptists in Putnam County, Illinois.

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

Sarah (KESTER) POUND (1767-1848)

12514. Sarah Kester was born on January 4, 1767, probably in New Jersey. She and her family moved west to Allegany County, Maryland, by the 1780s, and in 1786 moved to Kentucky by way of flat boat down the Ohio River from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They arrived in April and first settled in Nelson County, southeast of Louisville. In that same year, Sarah married Thomas Pound (Sr.) and raised 11 children:[Hunt 541]

12514A. John Pound 1787 Infancy (0)
12514B. Nancy Pound 9 May 1788 9 Sep 1862 (74)
12514C. William Pound Jun 1790 Jul 1870 (80)
12514D. Rebecca Pound 1792 4 Sep 1840 (48)
12514E. Eunice Pound 31 Aug 1796 18 May 1876 (79)
12514F. Sarah Pound 8 Mar 1799 30 Jan 1875 (75)
12514G. Elijah Pound 19 Sep 1801 7 Oct 1879 (80)
12514H. Joseph Pound 10 Apr 1804 18 Mar 1868 (63)
12514I. Melissa Pound 1805 12 May 1848 (43)
12514J. Thomas Pound (Jr.) 21 May 1812 13 Mar 1897 (84)
12514K. Elizabeth Pound 1813 4 Jun 1833 (20)
Pound-Kester Families
Thomas Pound was born on July 28, 1767 in New Jersey to John and Sarah (Martin) Pound. He and his two sisters, Eunice and Sarah, married Kester siblings William (Jr.) and John. Later, his widowed mother Sarah married the Kesters' widower father William (Sr.).[Hunt 541]

The Pounds started their family in Nelson County, Kentucky, and then moved north probably to Elk Creek, where her parents moved in 1795. Elk Creek was then located in Shelby County and later redrawn into the newly established Spencer County in 1824.

In 1801, the Pounds relocated north into southwest Ohio to the "Miami bottoms" in Butler County, just north of Cincinnati.[Hunt 541]

The Pounds moved west one more time in November 1816 to near Prairie Creek, Vigo County, Indiana.[Hunt 541]

Sarah was a "doctor woman" and well known for her skill in attending the sick.[Hunt 541]

Thomas and Sarah (Kester) Pound both died, just hours apart, on February 2, 1848. They are buried at the Second Prairie Creek Cemetery in Vigo County. He was 80 years old and she had recently turned 81.

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

John KESTER (1770-1839)

12515. John Kester was born on March 23, 1770, in Virginia, perhaps in the area that is now West Virginia. His family resettled in Allegany County, Maryland, by the 1780s and then moved to Kentucky in 1786 by way of flat boat down the Ohio River from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They arrived in April and first settled in Nelson County, southeast of Louisville. John married Sarah Pound in Nelson County on October 26, 1791.[Marr 1791] They raised 10 children:[Hunt 543,593]

12515A. Daniel Kester 22 Jan 1793 23 Apr 1843 (50)
12515B. Rebecca Kester 13 Dec 1794 6 Sep 1844 (49)
12515C. Nancy Kester 2 Mar 1797 Oct 1845 (48)
12515D. Rhoda Kester (1799) Childhood (--)
12515E. Elizabeth Kester 3 Jan 1802 1 May 1846 (44)
12515F. Joel Hulsey Kester 29 Feb 1804 22 Sep 1882 (78)
12515G. John Pound Kester 13 Mar 1806 12 Sep 1885 (79)
12515H. William Ferguson Kester 26 Jan 1811 24 Jul 1890 (79)
12515I. Sarah Ann Kester 29 Apr 1814 18 Jun 1852 (38)
12515J. Mariem Kester (1816) (1816) (0)
Pound-Kester Families
Sarah Pound was born on October 4, 1773, probably in Maryland, to John and Sarah (Martin) Pound. She and two of her elder siblings, Eunice and Thomas, married Kester siblings William (Jr.) and Sarah. Later, her widowed mother Sarah married the Kesters' widower father William (Sr.).[Hunt 543]
Ohio River Valley
At the conclusion of the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783), attention turned to the Northwest Territory, namely the Ohio River Valley and lands that belonged to American Indians who supported the British. This culminated in the Northwest Indian War (1785-1795) between the Americans and a Confederacy of Iriqouis and Algonquian nations, notably the Wyandot (Huron), Miami, and Shawnee. The Indian Confederacy sought to establish the Ohio River as the border between the Native American peoples and the Americans, but the concluded with ceding the southern half of Ohio to the Americans.

Son William recalled that his mother Sarah grew cotton near Cox's Station, Nelson County, carded it by hand, spun it, wove it, and made her own wedding dress. She later loaned the dress to others to be married in.[Hunt 594]

John joined Major General "Mad Anthony" WAYNE's[Hunt 543] Legion of the United States, which was established in 1792 at Legionville, near present-day Baden in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, downriver along the Ohio River from Pittsburgh. The Legion fought the Western Indian Confederacy throughout north and western Ohio ultimately scored a decisive vistory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers ) near Toledo on August 20, 1794.

The Kesters moved north from Nelson County to Elk Creek, then in Shelby County and later redrawn into the newly established Spencer County in 1824. They stayed in Elk Creek through 1838, by which time his two surving elder siblings and many of their families had moved north into southwestern Ohio and then to western Indiana.[Hunt 543]

John tended "a great many sugar trees on his land, from which he made sugar every year, some seasons making as high as three thousand pounds."[Hunt 593]

John sold the Elk Creek homestead in March 1838 to Dr. James J. Heady and was visiting family in Vigo County, Indiana, when he died on September 14, 1839. He was 69 years old and is buried at the Second Prairie Creek Cemetery.[Hunt 543,593]

Sarah (POUND) KESTER died 10 years later on October 14, 1849.[Hunt 543]

  • Hunt, John Eddy. The Pound and Kester Families. Chicago: Regan Printing House, 1904.
  • Marr 1791: 26 Oct 1791, Nelson County, Kentucky