Houston, TX  — Updated Feb 2015
Return to Personal Interests Page



— Introduction —

"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 1700. This line has been researched quite extensively and supposedly, most Chastain, Chasteen, Shasteen, Schasteen, Shastid and related spellings descend from this man. (There are rumors of other similarly named folks having snuck into the country in the 1700's that our line may have sprung from - none that I have found likely - but I agree Pierre and his descendants were 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 Chastain and the unknown father and grandfather of the five brothers from 1700-1810 in Virginia (statehood 1788)

   •  James "Buff" Shasteen, James "J River" Shasteen, and James "Pedlar" and his brother Jesse Shasteen in Amherst Co., Va circa 1785-1812

        •  See James "Buff" Shasteen (Sharstead / Shastead / Chastain) for more analysis of the relationships between these four men
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 1850's
   •  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, indicating three James'.  James "Buff" for two years, James "Pedlar" for six years (and his brother of Jesse for four years), and James "J River" from 1790-1812 missing 1794-1795.  I believe the designations are geographic (see below). 
I am confident that I accurately traced my Shasteen line back through Colorado, Kansas and Ohio to Amherst County, VA in 1790-91 to James "J River" living on the banks of the James River, the father of the five brothers (Robert, James, William, Edmond and John) that migrated to Ohio.

I'm convinced, but can not yet prove, that James "Buff" on the 1791-92 tax rolls is the father of James "J River."  James "Pedlar" and his brother Jesse are probably cousins of James "J River," which means I would be looking for their father and a probably a brother to James "Buff."  
On my schedule of personal property tax rolls, the James’ in columns 2-4 are labeled based I believe upon locations — “Pedlar” for a city, river, mountain (hill) or gap, “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, but I suspect father and son.

There 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), James Jr. and John. I believe Elizabeth, Frances and Rosanna are children of James "J River" or spouses of his children and Jacob and Alonzo (found later in analysis in Ohio) may be possible children of James "J River". This is based upon:

   • the dates they appear on the Amherst and Rockbridge county tax rolls
Virginia Deed and Tax Research from Primary Research.pdf

   • the 1810 census of Amherst county for James SHASTEAD, and Rockbridge Co for Robert SHASTEAD

   • the 1811 Amherst County guardianship of Patsy/Patsey (various spellings) Chasky, Chaskan, Chaskey, Chaskin, Shasteen,
          see  1811 Guardianship Amherst Co.htm
          Concluded to be Patsy Casky, sister of Nancy Casky, daughter of Archy/Archibald Casky who was deceased by 7 Feb 1804
               when Nancy married Robert 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.  In the 1990's I worked 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 cemetery, death, other records and research of others has been done and it is just going to take something special to establish further lineage, if it is ever successfully established. So in 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 Kathy, I picked this all up again in February 2008 and have made huge strides in documentation. Now in the second decade of the 21st century, I am rechecking for additional information that may have surfaced and updating the documentation for further connections to “cousins.”

I continue to be amazed at how much easier the basic research has become over the years and new information is constantly popping up as 1700 and 1800 era records are digitized..

If you have any questions, suggestions, see any errors, have any pictures or information you would like to share, or are just curious please contact me. 

Simple Lineage

James "Buff" Shasteen (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


James "J River" Shasteen — b 1755-60 prob VA d est 1811-20 prob VA — Amherst & Rockbridge Counties VA
   Married Phoebe Padgett 18 Apr 1782 in Amherst Co VA. Died in VA or after moving to Ross County OH,
   (James " J River" Shasteen Descendants - Restricted File)

Robert Shasteen
— b 1775-1784 d 1825-1827 — Amherst & Rockbridge Counties VA, Ross County OH

   Married Nancy Casky 7 Feb 1804 in Rockbridge Co VA

James Shasteen, Sr.
— b 1807 d 1866 — Amherst Co VA, Ross Co OH — Migrated from VA to OH circa 1814
Married Eleanor Ryan 12 Sep 1829 in Ross Co. OH 

William Henry Harrison Shasteen
— b 1841 d 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
— b 1875 d 1941 — Ross Co., OH, KS, CO
Married Clara Ina Price 19 Feb 1899,  b 1919 d 1941 — IL, KS, CO

George Donald Shasteen
— b 1910 d 1984 — KS, CO, D.C., Philadelphia PA, NM, TX
Married Roberta Marie Nelson  b 1919 d 1992 — MO, D.C., NM, TX

Shasteen Research in Progress
** indicates key file

** Unplaced Early Shasteen / Chastain Names — Compiled to find and verify likely paternity for unplaced early family members, focused on my line..

Too Many James Shasteens — I now officially loathe the name James. One of the curses of genealogy!

Shasteens Timeline of Key Information — Key dates in research

Shasteens in Amherst & Rockbridge Counties, Virginia — The early years 1750-1812
     Virginia Property Tax Roll Research and Some Findings on Colonial Laws -
All Shasteen / Chastain spellings
          - Understanding tithables, land/deed info and nuances of some Colonial period laws

Shasteens in Gallia County, OH —
The migration, circa 1812-1819

Shasteens in Ross County, Ohio
—  Robert, James & John's side of the family, circa 1819 on.

Shasteens in Henry & Defiance Counties, Ohio — William & Edmond's side of the family, 1825 on

Shasteens in Columbiana County, Ohio & Beaver County, Pennsylvania — Rosanna, from Henry & Defiance Counties

Shasteen Analysis of census records 1790-1930

Miscellaneous Outstanding Research Items — Not documented elsewhere

Gravestone Photos — Thanks to Find A Grave, see links below
          Shasteen Family Gravestones — Listed pretty much by descendency
          Nelson & Lord Family Gravestones — The other side of my line
          Henderson & Wodicka Family Gravestones — My wife's family


Photos & Other Memorabilia from Shasteen Relatives & Cousins


Donald E. Easley Collection — Courtesy of another very nice cousin, photos of Jackson Shasteen & family

Sanderson - Ross Collection — Courtesy of a very nice cousin, includes photos of Nancy Minear and Nettie Shasteen

Raymond D. Shasteen Collection — I have included many of the restricted area photos here —
William Cary Shasteen Collection — In process, courtesy of his sons
Martha Gerber Rittinger Collection – Courtesy of a special Ross County cousin whose name I spelled incorrectly for years and just
   found out about and corrected everyplace I could find on my site. Please advise if you happen to see it someplace spelled incorrectly!
   And a special thanks to Meloni Rittinger Grubb for pointing it out to me recently.

Contact me to add your photos — would love to display more old family pictures.

Map Section
** contain added info from researching early Shasteens

Shasteen Research Maps
     Maps.htm —
General Census Map for all US, States in order:  VA, WV, NC, SC, (MS, AL, GA), KY, TN,
           (IL, IN, OH), IA, MO, AR, NE, KS, CO, NM, & some key states, counties, townships, and cities
** Maps - VA_Shasteen Loc.htm — Overview maps of key VA counties with pertinent deed and landmark GPS references
          To determine relationships between early Shasteen /Chastain families
* Maps_VA_Shasteen_Loc_Amherst_SW_TAB.doc —
Objective is to estimate location of early Shasteen land transactions and landmarks
          on a detail map of southwest Amherst County, VA. Word doc file for technical reasons
** MAPS_VA_Shasteen_Loc_GEN.doc — Objective is to locate present day approximate locations of Shasteen/Chastain families and holdings
          on a 1790 key counties in VA. Word doc file for technical reasons
** MAPS_VA_Shasteen_Loc_SE_US.doc —
Objective is to visually map the early migration of Shasteen/Chastain first and second
          generation dispersion from VA to determine likely geographic locations of possible interaction. Word doc file for technical reasons
** My Google Map —
Objective is to locate approximate landmarks pertinent to early Shasteen/Chastain land holdings
 - May take a bit of time to load.
** Maps_VA_1755 — Best circa 1755 Virginia map with readable detail - Giles Robert de Vaugondy, Carte de la Virginie et du Maryland 1755
          Used to locate old locations like Manakin town. -

      Maps_VA_Other.htm — Misc old VA county maps (Colonial Virginia 1751 Albemarle 1864 & 1864, August 1867, Bedford 1867) -
          No references, just for resource
      Map_AmherstVA.htm — Amherst and Nelson Civil War era and other close up maps of SW VA area with key geographic locations.
          No references

      Maps_Amherst Closeup.htm — Various Amherst county maps with geographic notations used to locate land transactions (Small)
          No references

    Other Miscellaneous Maps   

         Maps_VACoChanges.htm  — County line change maps for VA, includes comments on 1790, 1800 census, for deed transaction analysis
         Maps_Census.htm  — Early distribution by state and county of the Chastain, Chasteen, Shasteen names
         Maps_DistShasteenName.htm — Includes some brief county histories and distribution of the name

         Maps_historical.htm — General maps from 1742 through Northwest Territory in 1878 to 1900 and other miscellaneous

         Maps_historical_Virginia.htm — US 1795 & 1814, Virginia 1751, 1794, 1814
         Maps_historical_OhioIL.htm —
Ohio and Indiana - 1835, Ohio - 1836, Ohio and Indiana- 1851, Indiana- 1855, Ohio - 1873,
              Illinois - 1875, Ohio - 1895,

         Historical Maps - Colorado — Old map of Colorado
         Ohio County & Townships, Ohio — PDF file, enlarge, cut and paste specific areas

    Superseded maps:
          Maps_Amherst VA.htm — Early attempt with geographic notations to locate land transactions in SW corner of Amherst County (Large)
      Map_AmherstVA.doc — Replacement of above file in Word doc format for technical reasons

Nelson Research Maps - Basic maps, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky showing counties & key cities
     Historical Maps - Missouri — Old map of Missouri


Map and Mapping Resource Links and Comments

     Map Resource: Site of 1895 Atlas maps - 1895 Virginia Atlas Complete Map
     Key Research Resource -
Thirty public land states, not the original thirteen colonies
Map Resource:  Source of detailed colored maps: Virginia Atlas & Gazetteer by DeLorme Mapping Company © 1989.
          Approximately one half page per scan. Used infrequently to avoid copyright issues.
     Map Location Resource:
     Map Location Resource: 
     Map Location Resource: 
     Map Location Resource:
     Map Location Resource: USGS Geographic Names Info System (GNIS)
 (Input state. county, geographic name, get GPS Lat Lon coordinates, paste in Google Maps)
     Map Location Resource: — - good for finding landmarks and getting gps
     Map Resource:  Virginia Heritage -
     Key Map Resource:   US Geological Survey —
Used to download maps free, but very large, topo maps by quad, may no longer be available
     Deedmapper: -
Names of those who received land patents, dates, land descriptions, and references
          may be viewed free of charge (click "Index" next to the county listing); however, in order to view the maps, it is necessary
          to purchase Direct Line Software's DeedMapper product. - Investigating Mar 2014

Research and Assistance Links

Amherst County, VA museum
Binns Genealogy for VA Tax Roll lists — —
Chastain Central —
     •  Shasteen —
     •  James Shasteen, brother of Jesse Shasteen —
     •  Jesse Shasteen / Chastain —, by Joy Gallagher

Cyndi's List —
Defiance County
— -
Great Ohioans
Find A Grave — Many thanks to their volunteers

Gallia County Genealogical Society —
Henry County, Ohio Genealogical Society
LDS (Mormon) genealogy sites
— Their local Family History Centers are extremely useful.
Websites include: Family Search Main Site — Family History Center Pilot Site
Library of Virginia for land grants —

New River Notes - Hugenot Emigration, Manakintown, Local pdf copy
Ohio Genealogical Society

Ohio Historical Society —
Pierre Chastain Family Association —
Roots Web Forums
(Not frequently checked):

   Amherst Co., VA
   Ross Co., OH
   Defiance Co., OH
      Defiance Co. 
      Defiance Co. Genealogical Society
      Defiance Co OH GenWeb

   Henry Co., OH —
   Piatt Co., IL
   Ross Co., OH GenWeb
   Virginia County Formations —
Ross County Ohio Genealogical Society
Stray Leaves — —
Used very loosely as a quick reference only

Reference Books & Articles

References Owned

ASHORC    A Standard History of Ross County Ohio. 1917.  - Two volume set by Lyle S. Evans.  Hardbound. 934 pages

PCAHDI      Pierre Chastain and His Descendants - Volume I First Five Generations in America copyright 1995, 358 pages, PCFA

OTTER and LOTLR       Little Otter to Lost River, A History of the Chastain Family of Washington County, Indiana
                     by Claude E Cook, copyright 1979, 278 pages

VGCFH       Virginia Chastains Genealogy & Family History - Lowell B. Chastain, 1983

References Used & Abbreviations

CLH             Clayton Genealogical Library, 5300 Caroline, Houston, TX

CRCOCL    Chillicothe & Ross County Ohio County Library, P. O. Box 185, Chillicothe, OH 45601

RCGS           Ross County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 395, Chillicothe, OH 45601

TCT              The Chestnut Tree, a publication of the Pierre Chastain Family Association

TFHC           The Family History Center (The Mormon Library), Houston, TX

IGI                 Information from TFHC records, the International Genalogical Index
PCFA           Pierre Chastain Family Association, various ways

Electronic Reference Documents
     Sourced from the Pierre Chastain Association that I prepared for Gerry Buland
          The Chastain Families of Manakin Town in Virginia and Their Origin Abroad.doc - Reprint of Article by Cameron Allen, 18 pgs,
                    early Pierre lineage and parentage
          Pierre Chastain Revisited.doc - Reprint of Article by Cameron Allen - (focus on Pierre's parents and his children)
          TCT Scioto Valley of Ohio Shasteens, Vol. 14, No3, p. 3-14 - Cameron Allen article in The Chestnut Tree about Ohio Shasteens
     Other - Just picked up along the way
          Along the Ohio Trail - a good history of Ohio, 9 meg file 95 pages, takes a bit of time to download
          Ohio Lands Book -
another good state book, 9 megs 85 pages, takes a bit of time to download
          MANAKIN TOWN - The French Huguenot Settlement in Virginia
- National Humanities Center - Report on Manakin Town



BASIC information from my site on RootsWeb Site at — Put this info out there in an attempt to increase likelihood
     some other "researcher"  (and I use the term loosely when applied to myself) might stumble across it.

.Census Forms — 1810 — 1820 — 1830 — 1840 — 1850 — 1860 — 1870 — 1880 — 1890 —
     1900 — 1910 — 1920 — 1930 — 1940 —

Nicknames —First Names — A collection of nicknames commonly seen
Nicknames — Women's : The use of nicknames in old records sometimes leads to confusion.
     The most common relevant ones in my research for females have been:
     Polly or Molly for Mary; Sally for Sarah; Ann, Nan, or Nannie for Nancy; Peggy, Peg, Meg, or Maggie for Margaret;
     Patsy or Patty for Martha; and Betty, Liz, Lizzie or Beth for Elizabeth.
Relationship Chart
—  I prefer to just use Cousin, but if you want to get exact, you'll need this, or just use PAF 5!!
Shasteen Genealogy Restricted Area — Contains some information that could cause security issues for living persons.
     Also contains in-process files, contacts, genealogical reports,
Personal Shasteen Research File in Word Format
     If you click on these links, you will be asked for a username and password.
     For access, email to discuss contents and
applicability  .
Shasteen Genealogy Search Page For This Site — Free search/index service for my genealogy section only.
   The results have not yet been satisfactory, if they become so I will place it more prominently.
Shasteen Research Group — Loose group of researchers pursuing this and related lines, click to join.

Variations of the Spelling of Chastain & Shasteen found in my research

     Castaing & Castayne (early), Chastain, Chasteen, Chastaine, Chastid, Chastine, Chastean, Chasten, Chaston, Chateen, Chattin, Chestean,
     Shasteen, Schasteen, Sharsted, Sharteen, Shashteen, Shastine, Shasted, Shastid, Shateen, Shatteen, Shattein, Shatten


General Disclaimer — Thanks to Lawyers

All of my self generated documentation I consider to be public domain and
available to all that are interested in using it for non-illegal genealogical purposes.
If you want to contact me with questions, that is fine.

For all documentation that I have obtained from other sources,
I have obtained for the sole non-profit purpose of genealogical research and in most cases
(as best I could) have given source credit. —  All information you should copy and use only at your own risk.
If requested by the original owner of any documentation, I will delete/remove that documentation immediately.

Copyright © 1995-2015, All rights reserved