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  Updated May 2015
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1787 Amherst County VA

You can zoom in on these and see some key landmarks

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:

1785-1790 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 be made:
     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 Gatewood
1811 Guardianship Amherst Co.htm Analysis James Caskey guardian for Patsy Caskey, with Robert Shasteen and Abner Padgett
     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 Shastead, William Shastead, Edmund Shastead, Francis Shastead, and Elizabeth Shastead, heirs 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
     James 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 not had!)

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.
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. (Per Rittenger.)

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

1755 Amherst Co., VA

1877 Shows Forks of Buffalo and Otter Creek

These are two of my favorite maps of the area and reflect the pertinent geographical locations and the
proximity of Otter Creek to Pedlar Mills and Amherst Court House in Amherst County and to Rockbridge County.



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