James Lester was born about 1807 in New York. His forebears are at this time unknown. He lived his life in Moravia, Cayuga County, NY, except for a brief stint in Wisconsin. He married first Elizabeth Fritts, the daughter of Christian Fritts and Christina, who died in Venice, Cayuga County, New York on 25 May 1848 aged 39 years (Cayuga County NY GenWeb). By her he had four children, Dorlesca, Dorwin, Nancy Jane and Morgan Wayne Lester. Later in life he married Deborah, the daughter of Allen Wood. He was a farmer and died 10 Feb. 1886. Letters of Administration were granted to his son, James A. Lester, of Moravia, on 12 Mar 1886. By wife Deborah, he had James A. Lester and two other sons according the the family history (Autobiography of Hugh Wetzel Lester). The 1850 census lists James Lester, Moravia, age 43 b. NY with Dorwin age 18 b. NY; Dorlesca age 20 b. NY; Mary Jane age 14 b. NY; Morgan W. age 4 b. NY. Buried in the Quaker Cemetery, Moravia, are James Lester d. 2/10/1886 ae 78y, wife Deborah d. 2/20 1885 ae 62y.
The 1810 federal census index for Cayuga County, NY has the following heads of household:
Lester, William pg. 081: 00100-00100
Lester, John pg. 075: 111110-22001
Lester, Ebenezer pg. 076: 32010-10210
Lester, Daniel pg. 089: 02201-11101
Lester, Charles pg. 059: 20210-01011
For information on Ebenezer, Daniel and Charles, see the "other Lester" site link at the bottom of this page. As yet, I cannot place William and John Lester of the 1810 census. I do not know if my James Lester, b. 1807 NY was born in Cayuga County.
Children of James Lester:
Dorlesca b. 1830, m Burlingham, J.L."Lester" called, "Let," they had no children. (Family History) J.L. Burlingham and wife are buried in the Old Quaker Cemetery, Moravia b. 5/31/1833 d. 10/18/1906, Dorlesca A. his wife, b. 8/22/1830 d. 4/16/1899
Dorwin b. 10/9/1833 m. Catherine Brown 7/11/1852, moved to Wis. and Minnesota. Had Ervin F., 8/16/1856 Wis, Doretta 9/16/1859 MN died 9/19/1863 MN; Frank b. 4/25/1864 MN, Katie b. 7/2581869 MN; Mattie b. 1/27/1875. Dorwin died 3/3/1906 ae 72y6m in Jackson Co., Minnesota. He is my ancestor.
Nancy Jane b. 1834 bur: Moravia Rural Cem.; with 2nd husband James A Goodrich b. 9/24/1801 d. 9/1/1886. She b. 8/24/1834 died 4/12/1902 m. Goodrich 2/12/1880, she m. 1st Lant Powers. and had a daughter Etta Powers who married and a son who died without issue. (Family History)
Morgan Wayne b. ca. 1846, m. Phebe Frye or Young; served in the Civil War. His Declaration for pension follows:
State of New York, County of Cayuga
On this 27th day of April, A.D. one-thousand nine hundred and seven, personally appeared before me, a Justice of the Peace within and for the county and State aforesaid, Wayne M. Lister, who, being duly sworn according to law, declares that he is 62 years of age, and a resident of Sempronius county of Cayuga, State of New York; and that he is the identical person who was enrolled at Auburn under the name of Wayne M. Lester, on the 2d day of March 1864, as a corporal, in Company "B" 4th Reg't New York Heavy Artillery in the service of the United States, in the Civil war, and was honorably discharged at Washington D.C., on the 26th day of September, 1865. That he also served as a private in the 111th New York Vol Infantry and was transfered from that Reg't to the 4th New York Heavy Artillery. That he was not employed in the military or naval service of the United States otherwise than as stated above. That his personal description at enlistment was as follows: Height, 5 feet 8 inches; complexion, light; color of eyes, grey; color of hair, brown; that his occupation was farmer; that he was born April 27th, 1845, at Sempronius, N.Y. That his several places of residence since leaving the service have been as follows: 21 years his residence was in townships of Moravia, Niles and Sempronius (Cayuga Co.). In 1886 he went to State of Minnesota and located in Jackson, Jackson Co. next he resided in Mountain Lake, Cottonwood Co., since 1899 he has lived in Sempronius, N>Y> That he is a pensioner. That he has heretofore applied for pension--Certificate 1037.894. That he makes this declaration for the purpose of being placed on the pension roll of the United States under the provisions of the act of February 6, 1907. That his post-office address is R D 15, Moravia, county of Cayuga, State of New York. Signed, Wayne M Lester. Attest: Willis Colbis?, R J Kenyon. INABILITY AFFIDAVIT: State of New York, County of Cayuga, SS: In the matter of Wayne M. Lester's pension Claim No. 1037.894 of Sempronius, N.Y. On this 23rd day of December A.D. 1907, personally appeared before me Justice of the Peace in and for the aforesaid County, duly authorized to administer oaths, Wayne M. Lester a resident of Sempronius in the County of Cayuga and State of New York, whose post-office is Moravia NY RD 15 well known to me to be reputable and entitled to credit, and who, being duly sworn, declares in relation to the aforesaid case as follows: That he is unable to comply with the requirements of the Pension Office as to date of birth called for by circular letter Dec. 1?, 1907 for the reason that...the family record kept in Bible was lost or destroyed when my father died in 1886 or 1885 he then having raised a family by a second wife. If my statement filed May 1st 1901 says I was born in 1846 instead of 1845 it is an error either on my part or on the part of William Slade Jr. of Kelloggsville, Cayuga Co., New York, who made my claim for pension. The claimant has always understood from his late father and sisters that he was born April 27, 1845. The claimant's father would not and did not give his consent to allow claimant to enlist until he was 18 years of age which was in March, 1864. The claimant's mother died in June 1847 and then the claimant was 2 years and 2 months old and all he remembers about her death is that Captain Price who owned the farm where we lived, held me in his arms over the coffin so I could see my dead mother and claimant remembers that as well as tho it was yesterday. The claimant knows and did know that he was 62 years of age April 29, 1907 and would not have made that statement, if it had not been true. It seems to claimant that his record in Co I 111th NY VOLS or Co B 4th NY H ARTY should furnish Pension Bureau with my age if it was correctly put down when I enlisted. Signed, Wayne M. Lester.
Wayne had children recorded in the family history: May, Dorwin Roy, Zoa and Floyd. May m. 1st George Lee and had Blance, Maud Clyde and Wayne, who died in infancy. May m. 2nd George Cole. Zoa m. Dana Bennett and had Hazel, Evelyn, Clifford and Dorothy. Dorwin J. Lester is buried in the Indian Mound Cemetery, Cayuga County with stone 1871-1937 with his wife Ida M. 1868-1933 Morgan Wayne Lester d. about 1921, Phebe died 10/13/1934, according to the family history. Recorded in the Indian Mound Cemetery, Moravia, Cayuga Co., NY are: DeWitt, Dorr 1849-1922; Olive A., his wife 1859-1922; Lester, Wane M. Co. I, 111 Regt. NYV 1846-1921; Phebe J., his wife 1850-1934.
James A. Lester 1892 Census, Moravia, Voter 2 James A Lester, Admistrator of father's estate 1886, was the son of James Lester and Deborah Wood. There were reportedly 2 other sons, names unknown, according to family history. From the History of Cayuga County 1789 - 1879, by E. Storke, Allen Wood, is listed as one of the early settlers of Moravia. "...Allen Wood came from Dutchess County about 1812, and settled at Montville, where he carried on the carpenter and joiner business several years. He afterwards bought the farm now owned by Mr. Atwood, a little north of the Quaker meetinghouse. He subsequently moved to a farm about a mile north of Montville, where he died in 1854. (unclear from notes) children are living, viz: John P., a merchant; Morgan L., Allen; Lucy A., widow of Lauren Townsend; and Deborah, wife of James Lester, in Moravia, the latter on the homestead; David L. and James H., hardware merchants in Central Square, Owego county; Walter, a farmer in Brighton, Monroe County; and Temperance, wife of Henry W. Locke, in Cattaraugus County." Buried in the Quaker or Free Church Cemetery are: Wood, Allen d. 3/24/1855 ae 73 years; Lucy, his wife, d. 3/21/1877 ae 87 years; Joseph, son of Allen & Lucy d. 9/4//1852 ae 21 y 5 mo.; and Wood, John P. 1818-1896, possibly son of Allen.
Records of Dorwin Lester's migrations exist in the Courthouses of Wisconsin and Minnesota. The following are deed abstracts collected in the 1980s:
From the Waushara Co., Wisconsin Recorder's Office, Vol A, pg. 422, Indenture, 25 Oct 1854-John S. Kilborn, of Waushara County, Wis. to Dorwin Lester, of Cayuga County, N.Y., for $400. W half of SW quarter Sec. 1, Twp. 18, N Range 10, East, 80 acres, Town of Dakota, Waushara Co, Wis. Signed: John S. Kilborn. Wit: JH Walker, WC Webb. WC Webb, Notary Public, Waushara County. Recorded 27 Nov 1854.
Vol C, p. 141, Indenture 10 Apr 1856-Abraham Lester to Dorwin Lester for $450. NE quarter of SE quarter and Lot 9 of Sec 35 in Twp. 20 of Range 11, East, 76 acres. Wit: David Lockerly, Moses Barrett. Signed: Abraham Lester. Moses Barrett J.P.
Vol C, p. 140, Indenture-10 Apr 1856 Dorwin Lester & Catharine Lester to John N. Dunton $800 W half, SW quarter Sec 1 Twp 18 N. Range 10 East, Waushara Co., Wis, 80 acres. Signed: Dorwin Lester, Catharine Lester. Wit: David Lockerly, Moses Barrett. Moses Barrett J.P.
Vol E, p. 531, Indenture-31 Aug 1857 Dorwin Lester and Catharine Lester to Conrad Fritz, both of Springwater, Waushara Co., Wis., $850 Waushara Co, Wis. N half, SE quarter, Sec 35, Twp 19, N. Range 11, East 76 acres. Signed: Dorwin Lester, Catharine Lester. Wit: Edward Saxe, NW Milliken, Edward Saxe, J.P.
Dorwin next moved to Jackson Co., Minnesota where the Recorder's Office has the following records:
Book C, p. 235 Indenture-6 Apr 1875, Charles B. Lillie & Melinda, his wife to Darwine Lister, $800. land in Jackson Co., Minn. NW quarter Sec 12, Twp. 103, Range 34, 160 acres & NW quarter, Sec. 12, Twp 103 Range 34, 160 acres. signed: Charles B. Lillie, Melinda A. Lillie. Wit: Samuel LaRue, Edwin Lester. Samuel LaRue, J.P.
Book E, p. 382 Indenture-31 Oct 1881 Darwin Lister & Catherine Leister of Jackson County, Minn. to Richard LaRue of same $400. N half of NW quarter Sec 12 Twp 103 N of Range 34, West, 80 acres. Signed: Darwin Lester, Catharine Lester. Wit: Erwin F. Lester, Samuel LaRue. Samuel LaRue J.P.
Book 72, p. 549 Patent No 65406. filed 21 Nov 1917-Timber Culture Cert. No. 577, Application 1618, General Land Office of U.S. at Marshall, Minn. by acts of Congress "to encourage the growth of timber on the Western Prairies," Claim of Dorwin Lester for E half SW quarter Sec 12 Twp 103 N. of Range 34 West of the Fifth Principal Meridian in Minn., 80 acres. 11 Jan 1892. John O'Connell, acting Recorder of Gen. Land Off.
Book (?), p. 256, Indenture- 5 Dec 1894 Dorwin Lester and Catharine Lester to Frank Lester, son, $1600 W half of SW quarter Sec 12 Twp 103 Range 34. signed: Dorwin Lester, Catharine Lester. Wit: Peter M. Getty, Alfred Peterson. Peter M. Getty, town clerk of Enterprise, Jackson Co., Minn.
Probate Court Records, Jackson County, Minn.- State of Minn., County of Jackson, Dorwin Lester, d. 3 Mar 1906, widow, Catherine Lester, Children, Erwin F. Lester, Frank Lester, Katie Greenwood. Homestead, Co. of Jackson, E half SE quarter Sec 12 Twp 103 N. Range 34 and S half of NW quarter Sec 12 Twp & Range aforesaid. Filed 16 Mar 1910, Total 1956.65
From the County Recorder, Jacson Co., Minn., Book (?), pg. 637 Indenture-20 Oct 1909, Catherine Lester, unmarried & surviving spouse of Darwin Lester, dec'd to Erwin F. Lester, Frank Lester and Katie Greenwood for $1.00, an undivided third of S half of NW quarter Sec 12 Twp 103, N Range 34, W of 5th Principal Meridian. Signed: Catherine Lester. Wit: F.B. Faber, J.S. Crawley. F.B. Faber, Notary Public.
County Clerk, Jackson Co. Minn, Death certificate of Dorwin Lester, W/M, married, died 3 Mar 1906, Enterprise Township, Jackson Co., Minn., of heart failure, born 9 Oct 1834 (age 72-6), Moravia, N.Y. s/o James Lester, b. NY, and Elizabeth Fritz, b. NY.
Ervin F. Lester, b. 1856, son of Dorwin Lester, m. Minna Bertha Wetzel. Their only surviving child, Hugh Wetzel Lester, b. 1884, m. Helen Grace Carver. Hugh wrote the Autobiography listed below. Their daughter, Mary Virginia Lester, b. 1931, m. John Deterick Stanton. I am Pat Stanton Walker, their daughter, b. 1955, and the author of this page. I would appreciate your contributions.