JAMES "BUFF" SHASTEEN (SHARSTEAD / SHASTEAD / CHASTAIN)
Of Amherst County, VA b circa 1725-30
|This section is dedicated to research regarding the paternity of James Shasteen (Shastead / Chastain) (b circa 1755-60 ). Our lineage was traced back from Ohio using the personal property tax rolls of Amherst County VA for the period from 1785-1813 and the the 1810 Federal Census records for Virginia.|
Brief History of Amherst County, VA. Amherst County was
formed in 1761, from parts of Albemarle County. The county was named for Sir
Jeffrey Amherst, known as the "Conqueror of Canada". Jeffrey Amherst was named
Governor of Virginia, although he never came to the colony. Native Americans
were the first humans to populate the area. They hunted and fished mainly along
the countless rivers and streams in the county. With the establishment of the
Virginia Colony in 1607, English emigrants arrived in North America. By the late
1600's English explorers and traders traveled up the James River to this area.
Early trading posts formed between 1710 and 1720. By 1730, many new families
moved into the land currently known as Amherst County drawn by the desire for
land and the good tobacco-growing soil.
In 1761, Amherst County was formed from the southern half of Albemarle County. The original county seat had been in Cabelsville, now Colleen (north out of Amherst on Hwy 29 where it intersects with Hwy 56) in what would later become Nelson County. In 1806 the county assumed its present proportions when Nelson County was formed from its northern half. At that point, the county seat was moved to the village of Five Oaks, later renamed Amherst. The present county courthouse was built in 1870 and has served the county ever since.
In the early days the major crop raised in Amherst County was tobacco with apple orchards becoming popular in the late 19th century. Timber, mining and milling were also important industries. The introduction of the railroad in the late 19th century greatly influenced the county's growth. The county contains many good examples of 18th, 19th and early 20th century rural and small town architecture. The downtown area of Amherst is a classic example of early 20th century commercial architecture.
Virginia Deed and Tax Research from Primary Research
thing on an html page, to make it easy for you! Virginia Deeds and Taxes)
— Copy of Research File March 2008, 4 pages. Open and
use to follow research and support behind assumptions. Believe
the recording of this 1812 land sale deed
by the Court in 1832 as result of suit by Richard S. Ellis surviving partner of
the late mercantile concern of John & Richard S. Ellis plantiff against William
Davis and Robert
Shastead, William Shastead, Edmund Shastead, Francis (DIL?
)Shastead and Elizabeth Shastead, heirs at law of James
Shastead dec'd, defendants is a pivotal document - I have requested it from
the Amherst County Court.
James and Jesse Shasteen brothers that left Amherst Co. VA for Kentucky circa 1791 - accumulated research file. Used to attempt to determine the paternity of these two brothers, which would assist in determining the paternity of James b circa 1755-60 - Thanks to Joe Hardiman and the Gallagher family
County Line Change Maps for Virginia - County line changes at key census years with comments regarding movement in those early years.
This 1755 map probably best shows the geographic
significance of "Pedlar" (Pedlar River, Pedlar Mills city) "Buff" (Buffalo
River) and "J River" used on the personal property tax rolls.
This 1877 map shows an updated version of the same geographic
references, plus includes Otter Creek. Note the pink shading for Amherst, - the
western border with Rockbridge essentially follows the crest of the Blue Ridge
Amherst Co., Virginia - Tax List for Lexington Parish/District - 1800 - Column One – White males over the age of twenty-one - Column Two – Horses owned - Column Three – Slaves over the age of sixteen - Column Four – Slaves between the age of twelve and sixteen - Shastead, James 2-1-0-0 - Source http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~vaamhers/tax/Amherst_tax_1800.html
From the Alexander Brown papers in the
Special Collections Department, Swem Library,
College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA - The List contains the following
numbers: (This is the way Brown wrote his key) - 1. Of those who had
interests in Old Albemarle prior to 1761, nearly 2000 and is nearly complete a.
a. - This document is a key that Alexander
Brown made to some sources that he was using in the late 19th century. The
current location of many of these sources is unknown. Some of the records were
public, some may have been documents that he owned or to which he had access at
Map of Amherst County, mid-19th century. The Court House on the right of the map. From the Court House a road leads southwest, crossing Tobacco Row Mountain at Ware's Gap, proceeding through Crawford's Gap, crossing Horsleys Creek and Pedlar River at Pedlar Mills. The road then intersects with the Indian Grave Gap road, and ends at Waugh's Ferry on the James River. Waugh's Ferry was used frequently as a crossing point on the James River for early migrations to the southwest"
This indicates that a ride from Amherst thru the Tobacco Row Mountains to Pedlar Mills and on to Otter Creek at the James river was a reasonable thing to do. Note this map is circa 1850. It appears to be about 12 mi from Amherst to Pedlar Mills and 6 mi more to Otter Creek at the James River. (Crow flies, not land path). See also these really close ups from the Civil War Period
Amherst County, Civil War Maps
This map shows the different Land Grants that were used to settle Ohio. Because of the number, may title issues arose, but it set the pattern for the public distribution of lands for subsequent states.
No other public land purchase were found for Shasteens in
|The Strange Estate of Johann Ulrich Albrecht - 1866 Receivables from this man's Yellowbud store list James C. Shasteen owing $13.00 and James Shasteen, Jr. owing $12.50 in notes and William Shasteen $2.95 and James Shasteen, Jr. owing $4.50 on account at the time of his death. In all likelihood, this is James b 1807 d 1866, his son James C. b 1834. But it could be Robert's brother James' son James b 1823 (although there is speculation he went on to Defiance/Henry county). All should have been in Yellowbud in 1866. The William may have been Robert's son William b 1814/1816 d 1902 or James b 1807 son William Henry Harrison Shasteen b 1841. No other likely candidates seem to be available.|
Red Hill, Amherst County, Virginia - Built on the Ellis plantation, this home was completed in 1825. This photograph shows "Red Hill" as it appeared in the winter of 1959-1960. It is on both the Virginia Historic Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places. — Courtesy Amherst County Museum & Historical Society
Discussion found on web: Edgar Allen Poe was an unofficial adoptee of Richmond businessman Allen, who was also a partner of the Ellis brothers of Pedlar Mills, Amherst County. Poe appears to have been raised (at least initially) with many of the privileges of these families. The Ellis family estate in Amherst was not small by any means, and Poe did spend summers and vacations there periodically, visiting the Red Hill plantation (Amherst County, not the other Red Hill associated with Patrick Henry...) - Holly Mills Amherst, VA HolladayMills@AOL.COM
There may be value in learning more about the Ellis family, but mostly I included this as it was interesting.
|Please advise of any other suggestions or information you might have regarding the paternity of the paternity of James Shasteen (Shastead / Chastain) (b circa 1755-60 ) as it keeps me up nights and I suspect the answer will wind up being unknowable unprovable.|
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