Jacob Kester of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania 1777-1851.

By Paul Hanke.

Jacob Kester was born 14 Dec 1777 in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania.1 His parents were Ludwig Kester and Catharine Margaretha.32 (Several websites have Ludwig's wife as Catherine Margaretha Altman. This is probably correct but needs more evidence.) He was baptized 17 Dec 1777 by Balthaser Meyer, Schoolmaster at the Sewickley settlement.1 Jacob Kester appears to have lived his entire life in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. In the 1790 and 1800 US censuses Jacob Kester is presumably enumerated in the household of Ludwig (Lewis) Kester South Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.3,4 Sometime around 1802 Jacob Kester married Elizabeth Miller. Elizabeth was born about 1780 and her father was Peter Miller of Somerset county, Pennsylvania.2 In the 1810 through the 1850 censuses, acob is enumerated as the head of household and is living in East Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.6,11,15,17,18 On 22 Jun 1813 Jacob Kester bought 81 acres of land from his parents Ludwig and Catharine Kester of Sugar Creek Township, Wayne County, Ohio for $355.8 This is part of a larger tract of land that Ludwig Kester bought from Isaac Meason on 20 Sep 1812.9 On 1 Jun 1838 Jacob and Elizabeth Kester sell approximately 6 acres of their land to George Wilks the husband of their daughter, Priscilla, for $124.75.16

Jacob and Elizabeth Kester were members of the Zion Lutheran Church in East Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County Pennsylvania. This church was known as the Schwabs or Swopes church, its name was taken from the one of the early families of the church. The Zion church was made up of both German Reformed and Lutheran congregations.5 The Kester's were Lutherans and the communion records that start about 1821 show that Jacob and Elizabeth Kester were regular attenders of the church.10 Most of Jacob and Elizabeth's children were baptized at the Zion Lutheran Church in East Huntingdon Township and several of Jacob and Elizabeth's children also attended the Zion Church including Susanna Tallhammer, Sarah Hohenshell, Priscilla Wilks, and John Kester.5,10

In 1849 (30 Nov) Jacob Kester writes his last will and testament. In his will are mentioned his wife, Elizabeth; daughter, Sarah Hohenshale ($20); son, Lewis ($20); daughter, Katharine Cope ($10); share and share alike to son, Peter; son, John; son, Samuel; daughter, Elizabeth Hartman; one full share to children of Susanna Tallhammer including her oldest daughter Nancy Hohenshell and the children of daughter, Precilla Wilks. David Low is named Executor and it is witnessed by Solomon Suter and Sharlotte Suter. The will was proved 3 Jul 1852.7 (See Figure 1 for a copy of the will.) In 1851 Jacob Kester dies. Jacob is buried at the Old Zion Lutheran Cemetery in East Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. His gravestone says 1851 and age 74 years.19 Since Jacob's will was proved and accepted in Jul 1852 he probably died in late 1851.

Several Quit Claim Deeds were signed between 1859-1868 and all recorded 11 May 1877.20 These deeds essentially transfer the rights for the land Jacob owned to his son, John. This is the same land that Jacob bought from his father in 1813. The first Quit Claim Deed is dated 14 Jun 1859 between Isaac and Elizabeth Hartman of Kosciusko County, Indiana and John Kester for $100. The next is dated 6 Jun 1864 between John Kester and the children of Susanna Tallhammer, the daughter of Jacob Kester. Each received $11 and they were Margaret Houh, Sarah Ellenberger, Susanah Smith, Martha Pool, Jacob and Nancy Hohenshell, Abraham and Elizabeth Cope, Samuel Tallhammer, and Peter Tallhammer. Then 8 Oct 1868 Samuel Kester of Ashland County, Ohio sells his share to John Kester for $100. The next is dated 12 Oct 1868 between John Kester and Frederick and Elizabeth McSherry of Kosciusko County, Indiana for $160. Elizabeth McSherry is presumably the only surviving child of George and Priscilla Wilks. Lydia Kester, the widow of Peter Kester, and her children sign a Quit Claim deed with John Kester on 15 Oct 1868. It is signed by Lydia Kester, George Kester, Nicholas P. and Letta Ferguson, and Joseph Walter guardian for Jacob, Rebecca, and Joseph Kester all living in DeKalb county Indiana. It is also signed by John and Elizabeth Kester on 19 Oct 1868 in Hardin County Ohio. And finally it is signed by Henry and Elizabeth Wilks in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania on 9 Nov 1868. They were paid $140.80 as a group. The last one was dated 21 Oct 1868 between John Kester and Jacob and Sarah Hohenshell of Coshocton County, Ohio for $20. Jacob and Sarah Hohenshell were to get $20 according to the will.8 Katharine Cope ($10) and Lewis Kester ($20) were to get a payment also according to the will but there is no record that they got there share of the inheritance.8

The children of Jacob and Elizabeth Kester are as follows:

  1. Lewis. Lewis was born 10 Apr 18045 and married Mary Kiser on 27 Oct 1825.12 They had the following children; Rachael, Sarah Ann, Maria, Catherine, Joseph, Susanna, Jacob, Ellen, Samuel, Lewis H., John, George, and Albert. 21,22
  2. Susanna. Susanna was born 10 Apr 18045 and married Samuel Tallhammer on 14 Sep 1826.14 Susanna had the following children; Nancy, George, Anna, Elizabeth, Margaret, William, Susanna, Mary, Jonas, Martha, Peter, Sarah, and Samuel. 7,23
  3. John. John was born 21 Dec 18055 and married Mary. Their children were as follows; Elizabeth, Ludwig, Rachael, Mary, Sarah, Samuel, Henry, Jacob, Susanna, and Ellen. 24
  4. Friederich. Friederich was born 1 Apr 1807 and baptized 12 Jul 1807 at Zion Lutheran Church. 5
    (I believe that he is enumerated in the 1810 census but I do not believe he is enumerated in the 1820 and presumably he died sometime between 1810 and 1820.)
  5. Elizabeth. Elizabeth was born 17 Dec 18085 and married Isaac Hartman on 2 May 1826. 13 Their children were: Isaac, Julia Ann, Elizabeth, Susan, Simon, and Jacob. 26
  6. Katherine. Katherine was born about 1810. Katharine married a Mr Cope. 7
  7. Samuel. Samuel was born 8 Aug 1813. 5 His children were as follows: Jacob, Sarah, Samuel, Elizabeth, William, and Susan. 26
  8. Sarah. Sarah was born about 181410 and married Jacob Hohenshell 29 Nov 1832.29 They had at least thirteen children some of them were: John, Jonas, Mary, Conrad, Elizabeth, Anna, Jacob, Sarah, Nancy, David, and Alfreda. 27,28
  9. Peter. Peter was born about 1817 and married Lydia Sherwood. Their children are as follows: John, George, Elizabeth, Lettie, Jacob, Joseph, and Rebecca.29,30
  10. Priscilla. Priscilla was born 27 May 18195 and married George Wilks 12 Jun 1832. 28 They had three children: Jacob, Susanna, and Elizabeth. 10,31
  11. Sabina. Sabina was born 20 Sep 1814. 5 I have no record of this person other than the baptismal record.
  12. Maria. Maria was born 14 Dec 1815. 5 The baptismal record is the only record of this person.

The number of children born to Jacob and Elizabeth is not known for certain Jacob's will mentions nine children: Lewis, John, Elizabeth, Katherine, Samuel, Peter, Sarah, Susanna, and Priscilla. Susanna and Priscilla are deceased. There are baptismal records for nine children: Ludwig, Susanna, Johannes, Friederich, Elizabeth, Samuel, Sabina, Maria, Priscilla. There does not appear to be baptismal records for Katherine, Peter, and Sarah. These baptisms could have been missed when transcribed or miss transcribed or they were never recorded. The original records need to be checked.

References:

  1. Paul Miller Ruff. The German Church Records of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania 1772-1791. 1994. Greensburg, PA. Baltzer Meyer Historical Society. P. 10
  2. Portrait and Biographical Album of Clinton and Shiawassee Counties Mich. 1891. Chapman Bros. Chicago. p.570. States that one of Sarah Kester's grandfathers was Peter Miller. Sarah Kester was a daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth Kester.
  3. 1790 U.S. Census. South Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Ancestry.com. Listed as Lewis Caster.
  4. 1800 U.S. Census. South Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Ancestry.com. Listed as Ludwick Kester.
  5. Zion Church Lutheran and Reformed, East Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, Parish Records, Part I, 1778-1820. 1997. Ruff, Paul Miller. Page 36-46
  6. 1810 U.S. Census. East Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Ancestry.com.
  7. Recorder of Wills. Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Vol 3. p. 370. FHL US/CAN film 1316411.
  8. Recorder of Deeds. Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Vol 10. p. 316. FHL US/CAN film # 929169.
  9. Recorder of Deeds. Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Vol 10. p. 306. FHL US/CAN film # 929169.
  10. Zion Church Lutheran and Reformed, East Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, Parish Records, Part II, 1820-1884. 1997. Ruff, Paul Miller. Page 42
  11. 1820 U.S. Census. East Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Ancestry.com.
  12. Wayne County Ohio Marriage Records. 1813-1898. Vol 2. p. 85.
  13. History of Kosciusko County. p. 620.
  14. Marriage and Death Notices from Newspapers 1808-1921 (not all inclusive) Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. 1988. Tomichek, Agnes Cambell. Compiled and Typed by Mains, Mary Jane. Page 78. Westmoreland Republican and Farmer's Chronicle. 26 Sep 1826.
  15. 1830 U.S. Census. East Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Ancestry.com.
  16. Recorder of Deeds. Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Vol 32. p. 237. FHL US/CAN film # 929177.
  17. 1840 U.S. Census. East Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Ancestry.com.
  18. 1850 U.S. Census. East Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Ancestry.com.
  19. Cemetery transcription of Zion Lutheran Cemetery in East Huntingdon Township Westmoreland County Pennsylvania from 1927. Westmoreland County PA Archives Tombstone Photo.....Old Zion Lutheran Cemetery - (complete survey taken 1927)
  20. Recorder of Deeds. Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Vol 92. p. 357-362 FHL US/CAN Film 929143.
  21. 1850 U.S. Census. Newville Township, DeKalb County, Indiana. Dwelling # 10 Rachel Bortz, their oldest daughter is listed on the same page Dwelling # 12. Ancestry.com.
  22. 1860 U.S. Census. Powsheik Township, Jasper County, Iowa. Mary Kester Dwelling # 536, Family # 515. Susan McQuiston is her daughter. Ancestry.com.
  23. 1850 U.S. Census. South Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Ancestry.com.
  24. 1850 U.S. Census. District 24, Centre Township, Columbiana County, Ohio. John Kester Dwelling # 123. Ancestry.com.
  25. Progressive Men and Women of Kosciusko County, Indiana. 1902. B.F. Bowen & Co. Logansport, Indiana p.439.
  26. 1850 U.S. Census. Vermillion Township, District No. 1, Ashland County, Ohio. Dwelling # 72. Ancestry.com.
  27. 1850 U.S. Census. Jefferson Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Jacob Hohenshell Dwelling # 58. Ancestry.com.
  28. 1860 U.S. Census. Washington Township, Coshocton County, Ohio. Ancestry.com.
  29. 1850 U.S. Census. Jackson Township, DeKalb County, Indiana. Peter Keister Dwelling # 76. Ancestry.com.
  30. 1860 U.S. Census. Jackson Township, DeKalb County, Indiana. Lydia Kester Dwelling # 267. Ancestry.com.
  31. Progressive Men and Women of Kosciusko County, Indiana. 1902. B. F. Bowen. Logansport, Indiana. p. 316.
  32. The News-Caster. 1995. Vol. XIII. Number 1. Publication of the Castor Association of America.