Amherst Tax Rolls and
Land and Deed Records
There is no census
information available for Virginia for 1790 or 1800 but personal property tax
records revealed the early Shasteens of Amherst County, Virginia. See other
sections for documentation. From the following tax rolls:
James referred to as "Pedlar" on the tax rolls of 1790 and Jesse (1785-1788 tax
rolls) are the brothers who moved to Kentucky by 1791.
1790b A James shows up referred to as "J River" on the tax rolls
of 1790 that is there consistently through 1812
• Following tax rolls show obvious sons appearing as follows: Robert 1802 b est 1782, James 1806 b est
1785, William 1807 b est 1786, Edmund 1809 b est 1788 (actual Jul 1787) and John
1811 b est 1790. (Birthdates calculated assuming they appeared in the year of
their 21st birthday.) 1813 is the last year any Shasteen is listed on the personal
property tax rolls of Amherst County and 1815 is the last year one is listed on
the land tax rolls.
1791-1792 Another James referred to as
"Buf" on the tax rolls appears for only 1791 and 1792. Assumptions which could
• That this is James "Ped" who was renamed. I think unlikely
that a different designation would have been applied to the person previously
referred to as "Ped"
• That he either died circa 1793 or turned 60 or 65 (which
would mean b 1733 or 1728) and was no longer taxed (don't know if this occurred
in those days)
• That he was the father of James and Jesse and moved to KY,
but there is no indication of that
• That he was the father of James "J River" and moved in with
him, but :"J River" was taxed on one male over 21 thru 1798
• That this could be the James Sharstead who witnessed a sale
in 1748, the Eliz. & James Sharsted witnesses to. the 24 Jan 1749 deed, the
James Shastood of the 1 Apr 1749 land grant, and the James Sharstead Jr who sold land
11 Nov 1751, and the James Shasted that owned 150 A in Albemarle in 1761. (some transactions east of the Tobacco Row
Mountains and near the Buffalo River, possibly hence the nickname "Buf"
(parentage not determined).
To further confuse the issue, the Shasteens
had the following additional land transactions and guardianship filed in Amherst County:
Purchase - 1789: 60 A James Shastead from
James Nowland (Land tax rolls, no deed found)
Purchase - 1799: 100 A James Shastead (and Shattead) from Ambrose
1811 Guardianship Amherst Co.htm
Analysis — James Caskey guardian for Patsy Caskey, with Robert Shasteen and
Sale - May 1812: 130 A James Shastead,
Sen to John & R S Ellis (not recorded until
15 Oct 1832 in a lawsuit)
Sale - Sept 1812: 100 A James Shartead,
Jr. & wife Phoebe to John & R S Ellis
1816 30 Dec Land Grant Casky Thomas
Rockbridge assignee Robert Shasteen in Lexington, Rockbridge Co VA
This implies Sen was alive to make the 1812 sale
(even though he was not taxed under his name, perhaps waived or if son paid
for taxes on land?) and that his son Jr. was married to Phoebe (which has to be
the James on the tax rolls for the period from 1793-1812 because of the way the
sons appeared from 1802 to 1811 — Phoebe could not have married the brother James
b est 1785 and if she were married to the James that left the rolls in 1793 she
could not have been married to James Jr.) In short, this complex, hypothetical
analysis convinces me that James b 1755/60 was married to Phoebe and they are
the parents of the five brothers that went to Ohio.
Regarding the purchase of 160 acres and the sale of 230,
either it was an unrecorded sale, or Sen had land that he obtained in earlier
years for which the deed was recorded in an earlier county and has not been
found, or the acreage amounts were estimated differently. The key part of the
land sale is the lineage that can be deduced.
To further confuse the issue, the 130 A
sale was not recorded until 1832 as a result of a lawsuit
by Richard S. Ellis surviving partner of
the late mercantile concern of John & Richard S. Ellis plaintiff against William
Davis and Robert
Edmund Shastead, Francis Shastead, and Elizabeth
at law of James Shastead dec'd, defendants.
I believe law at the
time for an intestate death was equal splits between the surviving spouse and
children, and if any deceased, their heirs at law. This I believe translates
into James J River obviously deceased, posited father James "Buff" deceased,
and wife Phoebe deceased by 1832 The five heirs named being children of James
and Phoebe. This means Francis (assumed female) and Elizabeth
are daughters. Another inconsistency here is that I have
estimated Robert to have died circa 1825-27, if so why would he have been named?
Some of this could be the result of the haze of time and distance between
Amherst 1832 and Ohio 1832 and the period before the filing when the details
were being developed.
Another issue here is what about
the other familiar names:
• John and wife Hannah or Anna - I have
estimated John d 1825-1827
and presumed wife Martha - I have estimated James d 1828-1830
• Presumed daughter Mary A. who married Andrew Ewing
- This questions her paternity
• Presumed daughter Rosanna the raped mother of Andrew
- This questions her paternity
• The elusive Jacob and
Alonzo of Henry County. This provides no indication of their
existence or paternity.
The deeds and court papers have been photographed and reviewed but yielded no
substantial information. (Courthouses will not photocopy old records in books,
at least Amherst County won't - that was a 2 month lesson I would have rather
William and Edmund are both living in the Defiance area at the
time of the suit. Robert was believed to have perished circa 1825-27.
Being named in the suit may indicate he perished at a later date. Note also that
Nancy (Robert's wife) and Martha (the presumed wife of James) were not in the
Union Township 1830 census but rather in Scioto, a township south.
James and John are believed to have perished circa 1828-29 and
1825-27 respectively, therefore would not have been listed.
Elizabeth is not mentioned anywhere that I can recall other than in this
lawsuit, but is confirmed as a daughter.
Frances is believed to be married to Nathaniel Holly and living in Gallia
County and this confirms her as a daughter.
Mary A. Shasteen Ewing and Rosanna Shasteen were not named and
were most definitely alive and living in the Defiance area, so perhaps they were
not daughters of James as is commonly assumed. Or perhaps the Amherst lawyer
just did the best he could in putting names on the suit filed in 1832. A review
of the suit indicates that the Shasteen's did not attend and were not of
significance as the sale was deemed to be appropriate.
In 1810 the Robert Shasteen family is on the census of
Rockbridge County and his assumed father James Shasteen family is on the census
of Amherst County. Also in
1810, Robert Shasteen and Edmond Shasteen appear on the Rockbridge County,
Virginia person property tax records and in 1811, James Shasteen appears. Since
the Shasteens paid personal property taxes in both Amherst and Rockbridge
Counties, they may have farmed land which lay in both counties, possibly on the
border. After 1817, there are no Shasteen names appearing in Rockbridge County.
Apparently the Shasteens started leaving Virginia for Ohio circa 1812, as
indicated by the guardianship and the 1812 land sales, even though land tax
rolls showed 100 acres in 1813-1815