"The perceived value of genealogical research increases as you come closer to your end."
Raymond D. Shasteen, July 1995
I have worked on the Shasteen line off and on since the early 1970's,
initially collecting what I could from my parents and immediate relatives.
During the 1980's I corresponded with extended and suspected relatives. Then in
the early 1990's I did some limited research at the Clayton Genealogical Library
in Houston and requested some microfilm from the Family History Center (Mormon
Church). During that time I was a member of
The Pierre Chastain Family Association,
named after Pierre Chastain, a French Huguenot, who came to Virginia via England
in the late 1600's or early 1700's.
This line has been researched quite extensively and supposedly, most Chastain,
Shasteen, Shastid and related spellings descend from this man. (There are rumors
of other Chastain/Shasteen folks having snuck into the country in the 1700's
that our line may have sprung from, but I tend to agree Pierre was prolific!) The Shasteen spelling apparently was
derived from English tax collectors and census takers in the 1700's spelling the
name phonetically as it was spoken by the French descendants.
The research, though time consuming, has been fascinating. Seeing copies of tax
rolls, deeds, wills and other documents (handwritten in almost a calligraphic
format) from the 1700
& 1800's is spellbinding, particularly when it relates to one of your ancestors.
For those of you that have not done much genealogy, a primary issue is the
burning of so many of the courthouses in the South during the Civil War and the
resulting loss of so many records. This alone will possibly result in never
determining our lineage definitely. Regardless, our Shasteen line is a documented
part of settling this country:
Pierre and the unknown father and grandfather of
the five brothers from 1700-1810 in Virginia
The five brothers in central and northwest Ohio
(statehood 1803) in the 1830's,
Robert's wife Nancy, son Robert, daughter
Nancy (married James Beaver) in Illinois (statehood 1818) in the
Charles Harrison Shasteen and his sister Nettie in Kansas
(statehood 1861) in the 1890's, among many others.
The bottom line is that I have traced my lineage back to 1790-1792 with two or three
James Shasteen's in Amherst County, Virginia,
living on the banks of the James River. (Only two show up at any one time, but
three designations are given.)
am confident that I accurately traced my Shasteen line back through Colorado,
Kansas and Ohio to Amherst County, VA in 1790-91 to three
James Shasteens living on the banks of the James River. The James referred to
as J River was the father of the five brothers (Robert,
William, Edmond and John) that migrated to Ohio.
I'm convinced, but can not yet prove, that the James known as "Buff" on the
1791-92 tax rolls is the brothers grandfather. James known as "Pedlar" on the
1790 tax rolls and his brother Jesse are probably nephews of James "J River".
If you look at the schedule in my working file, Jesse (first column) in 1791
showed up later in Kentucky and he had a brother James in Virginia. The James
in columns 2-4 are labeled based I believe upon locations, Pedlar for a river
or hills, Buff for a river or hills, and J River for the James River.
"Buff" and "J River" may be the same and were just labeled
differently based on where they lived and who was doing the tax rolls.
are any number of variations that could be asserted. What I am confident of is
the "J River" James is the husband of Phoebe Padgett and their children include
Robert, William, Edmond (Edward) and probably James Jr. and John. I believe
Elizabeth, Frances and Rosanna are children of James or spouses of
his children and Jacob and Alonzo may be possible children
of James. This is based upon:
the dates they
appear on the Amherst and Rockbridge county tax rolls,
the 1810 census of Amherst county for James SHASTEAD, and Rockbridge
Co for Robert SHASTEAD
appointment of James Shasteen as guardian for Patsey Shasteen,
the 1832 legal filing pertaining to the 1812 land sale which lists heirs at
law of James Shastead, and
the tracing of the members
of the family I did using subsequent census and other records.
But this is all a longer story saved for later.
the 1990s I worked closely with the Pierre Chastain Association genealogist (Gerry Buland, now deceased) and librarian
(Frank Ellison, Jr., now deceased), both of whom sincerely wanted
to tie in the unplaced Chastains & Shasteens.
I concluded I would have
to wait for more data to surface from the research of those that had better
access to Virginia records. There are a lot of Chastain/Shasteen lines that seem
to not tie in to Pierre. Anyway, a lot of detail looking at cemeterys, death
records, etc. has been done and it is just going to take something special to
establish further lineage, if it is ever successfully established.
the late '90s, unable to productively proceed with any anticipated
success I put research on hold, hoping that someone would unearth some
information that would clarify the connection.
Gathering and organizing this information became a real issue, initially due to
the paperwork, followed by the computer files and various types of computer
formats. After several difficult computer software migrations,
I settled on using a Microsoft Word file as my primary storage site and created
a file which is available on request. I have duplicated most of the information
in a PAF file. The Word file is not
exactly the easiest to follow, but why should it be? No one made it
particularly easy for me. It also represents a work in process, so no telling
what you may find from time to time.
Thanks to a dear cousin, I picked this all up again in February 2008 and have
made huge strides in documentation.
Now at the end
of the first decade of the 21st century, I am rechecking for
additional information that may have surfaced, updating the documentation for
further connections to cousins and am amazed at how much easier the basic
research is. If you have any suggestions, see any errors, have any pictures or
information that you would like to share, please contact me.
(Note: In the Restricted Area, these names are
linked to additional information and pictures.)
(Sharstead / Shastead / Chastain) b est circa 1727 VA
d est circa 1793 VA
This section is a lot of
research and conjecture about the paternity of James b 1755-60
b 1755-60 d est 1811-20
Amherst & Rockbridge Counties, VA then died in VA or moved
to Ross County, OH, not known
Married Phoebe Padgett 18 Apr 1782 in
Amherst County, VA.
Robert Shasteen, b 1775-1784 d 1825-1827
Amherst & Rockbridge Counties,
VA, Ross County, OH
Married Nancy Casky 7 Feb 1804
in Rockbridge County, VA
James Shasteen, Sr.,
Amherst County, Virginia, Ohio
migrated from VA to OH circa 1814
Married Eleanor Ryan 12 Sep 1829 in Ross Co. OH
William Henry Harrison Shasteen, circa 1841-1916
Ross Co., OH, living most of his life there.
Married three times,
Nancy E. Minear 12
Apr 1862, Mary G. Rowe 24 Dec 1871, and
Augusta Jane Sauerbrei 24 Feb 1878
Charles Harrison Shasteen, 1875-1941
Ross Co., OH, Kansas, Colorado
Married Clara Ina Price 19 Feb 1899,
1919-1941 Illinois, Kansas, Colorado
George Donald Shasteen, 1910-1984
Kansas, Colorado, D.C., Philadelphia, New Mexico, Texas
Roberta Marie Nelson, 1919-1992 Missouri, D.C., New
Shasteen Research Maps
- Basic maps, Virginia, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas & Colorado counties &
County, VA Map with geographic notations used to attempt to locate
land transactions (Large)
*Amherst County, Civil War Maps
Wide Screen close up, Civil War Period, shows key geographic locations
Key map for close up of the area
Amherst County, Close up maps
geographic notations used to locate land transactions (Small)
County Line Change Maps for Virginia
- Includes comments on 1790, 1800 census, deed transaction analysis
County & Townships, Ohio
PDF file, enlarge, cut and paste specific areas
Distribution of Name by State/County - Distribution by county of
the Chastain, Chasteen, Shasteen names
Distribution of Shasteen Name - Includes some brief county histories and
Ancestry.com distribution of the name
Historical Maps - Development
general maps from 1742 through Northwest Territory in 1878 to 1900
Historical Maps - US & Virginia
US 1795 & 1814, Virginia 1751, 1794, 1814
Historical Maps - Ohio, Indiana, Illinois Old maps
Historical Maps - Colorado
Old map of Colorado
Nelson Research Maps - Basic
maps, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky showing counties & key cities
Historical Maps - Missouri Old map of Missouri
Don't be offended, but for security reasons,
certain pages with live person
references and/or too much security related information are
restricted, including some of the photo collections. When you click on some links, you may be asked for a username and
password. For access, email me at
firstname.lastname@example.org, tell me who you are and why you want access and in all likelihood I will send you the username and password. Enter
username & password exactly as you receive it.
I really do want to work with any of you that are
whom I have worked on the Shasteen line.
References - References Owned, Used,
Electronic, Software Comments & Other
Pedrigree, Lineage, Descendancy Charts & Register Reports - Various
persons and surnames
Personal Shasteen Research File in Word Format - available only on request