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Searching for family

Posted: 1167836313000
Classification: Query
Does anyone reconize this family? Any help will be appreciated.

Generation # 1

William JESTICE was probably born in North Carolina between 1800 and 1825. He married MILLIE (?). William and Millie were living in Blount Co., Tennessee in 1843. This is where their son, John Franklin JESTES (note spelling) was born on 14 September 1843. By 1850 they are shown on the census as living in Overton Co., Tennessee.

Between 1850 and 1857 the family moved from Overton Co., Tennessee to Illinois. The 1860 census shows William, Millie, John Franklin and John’s sister Louisa living in Livingston (near today’s Darwin) Clark Co., Ill. William is a farmer and John is a farm laborer.

Generation # 2

John Franklin JESTES (William JESTICE) was born on 14 September 1843 in Blount Co., Tennessee. It appears that he lived in the home of his father, William, until his marriage to Malinda Ellen KEPLINGER on 5 September 1866.

John and Malinda were married in Clark Co., Illinois After their marriage John Franklin and Malinda JESTES moved to Macoupin Co., IL.where they lived until about 1872. Malinda's uncle, Peter KEPLINGER, lived in Macoupin Co., IL and they lived just a farm or two from him.

About 1872 they moved to Southwest City, McDonald Co., MO. They traveled about 700 miles. In that day and time they could make about 15 miles a day, with a horse and wagon, on a good day. Southwest City is in the extreme southwest corner of Missouri on the Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma border. We don't why they went to Southwest City. Some say it was to visit relatives. That is a long way to go just to visit relatives.

Others say that the Federal Government was giving away land near Pineville Arkansas and that is the reason they went. However, a search of the land records and other records give no indication that John even applied for free land let alone ever obtained any. There were Jestes families of acceptable variant spelling in Stone and Barry counties of Missouri in 1880 and in Eureka Springs, Arkansas in 1900. We will never know why they traveled so far for so little.

After James Franklin was born in January 1873 in Southwest City, Missouri, John and Malinda and family turned north along the state line and spent a couple of years in Lamar, Barton Co., MO. where the twins girls were born in 1875. From there they travel northeast to Morgan Co., IL., arriving there about 1877. It may be that they got word that Malinda's mother was ill because she died on 12 July 1880 in Chapin, Morgan Co., IL. at the age of 62; she died of old age and debility, a widow, buried in Jordan Cemetery, Chapin, Morgan County, IL.

The 1880 census shows John and Malinda living in Chapin, Morgan Co., IL. It states that John is the head-of-household, occupation, laborer. Malinda was keeping house. Mary M.C., Joanna, Edward, Frank, Cora and Nora were also in residence. Also listed in the household was Malinda's mother, Catherine Roach (she married John Roach in 1858 after returning to Morgan Co., IL from Westport, Missouri with her four girls). Also present was Malinda's oldest sister's husband, Stephen MCWITHER and son Martin. Apparently she (Mary Keplinger) had died prior to 1880.

John, Malinda and family left Morgan County soon after Catherine's death. They went west and arrived in Fremont County, Iowa in about April 1881. There are a couple of possibilities for the reason for their move. One is that Iowa offered much better and more productive land than did Illinois.

Also, John's sister, Susan and her husband, James A. Hurst and children were farming in Harrison County MO. only a few miles from Riverton, Fremont Co., IA. John's brother, Joseph, who was married to Malinda's sister, Nancy, were farming in the same area as Susan and James. A nephew of John Franklin, a William Isaac Jestes was, along with his family, in Hamburg, Fremont Co., IA for a short while in 1885. All of these factors probably were the reason for their move from Illinois to Iowa.

After ten years in Fremont Co., IA., John and Malinda moved their family to Winfield, Cowley Co., KS., arriving between 1891 and 1893. The Cherokee Strip of Indian land in northern Oklahoma Territory was to be opened for settlement in September of 1893; however, none of our close relatives took advantage of it.

The Federal Government had bought the Indian Lands in Kansas and moved the Indians south into the Oklahoma Territory. But by the time John and Malinda arrived in the Winfield area most of the land had been taken by earlier settlers. The railroads were fairly well established west of the Mississippi by 1880 and it is a good bet that John and family came to Kansas from Iowa, by rail. The Union Pacific was offering travel from Omaha to points west for as little as $9.00 a family.

The 1900 census shows John and Malinda, their daughters Lena and Lillie, living at 620 N. 6th., Arkansas City, Ks. The girls are in school. John may have been ill at this time because he died on 7 July 1901 in Newkirk, Oklahoma Territory..."in the home of his daughter, Mary M.C. Woods"... as reported in the Republican News Journal, Kay County, Oklahoma Territory.

We cannot find Mary M.C. and James B Woods in Newkirk in the 1900 census; however, James parents, David and Minerva Woods, his brothers and sisters, are living in Newkirk in 1900. It is possible Mary M.C. was living with them in 1900 but was not recorded. This is a little mystery that may never be solved.

After John died, Malinda married M.T. Mahin. In the 1898 Arkansas City Register, M. T. is a broom maker, living at 910 N. 7th St. He must have died in just a few years after marrying Malinda because in the 1908 she is living at 722 N. Summit and is widowed. In 1917, Malinda is living at 208 N. 8th St. In 1920 she is living with Lillie, her daughter and Arthur Ray at 508 N. "D" St. In 1922 she is still living at 508 N. "D" St.

Malinda died on 30 March 1926 in the home of her son, Charles Edward at 625 N. 7th St., Arkansas City, Kansas. She is buried in the Newkirk, Kay County, Oklahoma Cemetery as is John Franklin, Mary M.C. (Woods), James Franklin and family, and many others of the Jestes family.

The children of John Franklin JESTES and Malinda Ellen KEPLINGER were:

i. Mary M.C. JESTES, . 23 August 1867 in Macopin Co., IL. m. James a WOODS on 28 August 1884 in Uk, Fremont Co., IA. d. 4 September 1902. buried Newkirk Cemetery, Newkirk, Kay Co., OK.

ii. Joanna JESTES, b. 21 January 1869 in Macopin Co., IL.

iii. Charles Edward JESTES, b. 17 June 1871 in Clyde, Macoupin Co., IL m. Cora Belle TOOMAN 29 August 1893 in Winfield, Cowley Co., KS. d. 2 January 1946 in Cuthrie, Logan Co., OK. buried Newkirk, Kay Co., OK.

iv. James Franklin JESTES, b. 30 January 1873 in Southwest City, McDonald Co., MO m. Ida Elnora AMES on 2 April 1893 in Arkansas City, Cowley Co., KS.
d. 13 January 1964 in Ponca City, Kay Co., OK. Buried in Newkirk, Kay Co., OK.

v. Nora Adelia JESTES, b. 10 February 1875 in Lamar, Barton Co., MO. m. James Alexander PROCTOR on 16 October 1894 in Oswego, Labette Co., KS. d. 21 October 1946 in Fort Scott, Bourbon Co., KS. Buried in Lath Branch Cemetery, Fort Scott, Bourbon Co., KS.

vi. Cora JESTES, b. 10 February 1875 in Lamar, Barton Co., MO. d. UNKNOWN

NOTE: It is not known where or when Cora JESTES died. A family story states that she died while making bread in her mother's kitchen. If this were true it would make one believe that she died of a heart attack or stroke. Her grave has not been found nor any record of her death.

NOTE: Nora and Cora were twins.

vii. Ruth V. JESTES, b. 3 March 1877 in either MO. or IL. d. before 1880

viii. William Washington JESTES b. 8 November 1878 in Chapin, Morgan Co., IL d. 6 February 1879 in Chapin, Morgan Co., IL buried in Jordan Cemetery, Chapin, Morgan Co., IL

ix. Mytle JESTES, b. 18 April 1881 in Fremont Co., Iowa d. as a INFANT

x. Bertha JESTES, b. 9 February 1884 in Riverton, Fremont Co., Iowa d. as a INFANT

xi. Leona May JESTES, b. 1 January 1887 in Riverton, Fremont Co., IA. m. George G. RAY on 4 July 1902 in Arkansas City, Cowley Co., KS. d. 1968. buried in Parker Cemetery,
Arkansas City, Cowley Co., Ks.

xii. Lillie Frances JESTES, b. 2 April 1891 in Riverton, Fremont Co., IA. m. 1st--William C.
RUSSELL on 16 January 1908 in Arkansas City, Cowley Co., KS. m. 2nd--Arthur A. RAY d. 19 March 1924 in Arkansas City, Cowley Co., KS. buried Arkansas City, Cowley Co., KS

Generation # 3

Nora Adelia JUSTUS (NOTE spelling, this is the spelling used on her marriage licence and her obit)(John Franklin, William) was born on 10 February 1875 in Lamar, Barton Co., MO. She was a twin of Cora JESTES. Nora Adelia JUSTUS married James Alexander PROCTOR on 16 October 1894 in Oswego, Labette Co., KS. Their marriage license states that they both lived in Blue Jacket, Indian Territory. This was not true, they had eloped from Nora's home in Newkirk, Kay Co., OK and simply made up and address. Nora died on 21 October 1946 in Fort Scott, Bourbon Co., KS.

Re: Searching for family

Posted: 1299971536000
Classification: Query
John Franklin Jestes was my great-grandfather. According to
all our findings his father, William Jestes, was born 1818,
in Overton County, Tennessee. Have not been able to
locate where or when, he died. Also, no maiden name for
his wife Milly.

Re: Searching for family

Posted: 1299980400000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Jestes, Proctor
tincan 874 Sounds like we might be comrades in arms. USS Edson DD946 (65-66)

No one that i know of has ever been able to get the family any
further back than Tennessee. North Carolina is the only thing that I have ever heard.

My address is if you care to compare notes.

Re: Searching for family

Posted: 1340302624000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Wolf, Devore, Tooman, Rodman, Jestes, Ray, Keplinger, Price
I do recognize them.... I am the Grandson of Nila June Ray, Dau. of Arthur Alvis Ray & Lillie Francis Jestes, Youngest child of John Franklin Jestes.

Re: Searching for family

Posted: 1340304563000
Classification: Query
I need any help that I can get but mainly to get the Jestis/Jestes/Justus/Justice family back further than 1800.

I see that you are looking for the Keplinger Family. I have them back to the beginning in Germany. I will gladly send you what I have if you will give me your e-mail address.

Good hunting,


Re: Searching for family

Posted: 1340307613000
Classification: Query
Hello Mel,

I am presently digging past William Jestes and will gladly share as I get it. I'm not quite clear on how all the options work on this if you you send your email address I can respond.


P.S. Thought you may enjoy this photo of John Franklin Jestes

Re: Searching for family

Posted: 1340316941000
Classification: Query
My e-mail is: I will be glad o get anything prior to William.

Re: Searching for family

Posted: 1340317010000
Classification: Query
Opps, I forgot to thank you for the photo. It is the first one that I have seen of him

Thanks again,


Re: Searching for family

Posted: 1340331170000
Classification: Query
Well hang on then Mel, Its just part of the original with his brother standing beside him. Its on its way buddy, I'm expecting more from my aunt & uncle in Kansas. I'll be sure to get them to ya also.
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