The Lesters of Greene County
June 04, 2013 11:15AM
Hello!
My fourth great-grandparents, Richard Armstrong and Mary Lester, were married in Greene County on 24 October 1797, Dan Kennedy, CGC, officiating. They later moved to Clark County, IL, where Richard Armstrong was a minister in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. I have been unable to trace Richard and Mary's families further, although some sources say Richard was the son of a John Armstrong.

Meanwhile, there were a whole gaggle of Lesters in Greene County around this time, as found in several marriage records between 1796 and 1806 (and moving forward into the mid 19th century). I naturally feel that all of these Lesters must have been related to Mary Lester in some way. The names that occur are Abraham Lester, John Lester Jr., Sarah Lester, Jane Lister, and Elizabeth Lester.

There is an "ancestry rumor" that Mary Lester was 1/4 Cherokee, but I have found no documentation of that and at this point I simply do not buy it.

I hope someone out there might have some information about the Lesters of Greene County, and particularly my Mary Lester. I have estimated her birth date as 1775 (Richard Armstrong was born in 1776). Again, the unsubstantiated ancestry trees often give her birth year as 1760, but that would a) make her 15 years older than her husband and b) mean that she would have given birth to her last child, my 3rd great grandmother Catherine, at 55 years of age, which seems very unlikely to me.

In hopes -

Rosemary (Frecklebug)
Re: The Lesters of Greene County
September 13, 2013 06:04AM
Aha! Another person looking for Lesters! My husband is also descended from Richard Armstrong and Mary Lester, but through Phoebe who married Jacob Groves. I also have looked at the Lesters who were in Greene at that time and also think they must be related. I think one or two married husbands named White, while a sister married a Magill. Or perhaps a Lester male married a White. This is off the top of my head, but it seemed like they might have gone with their inlaws to the Sullivan County area of Indiana, I think there was a fort there they might have lived at (Fort Turman?). Later it seemed like they went to Butler County Iowa and perhaps....were buried there as were some Armstrongs. I think it was John or James Lester, and Elizabeth Lester and perhaps Sarah? I was also wondering if they might have come from Lestersgate which I think is in West Virginia. Or is it Lustersgate? I was looking at other spellings such as Luster or Lister.

There was another sister who may have moved south (well, a possible sister). Surely at least one of the other Lester's who married in Greene county in that time frame must be related to Mary Lester Armstrong. I've never found where Richard and Mary are buried in Illinois, so maybe they were buried in Iowa where their son seems to have gone to.

Please let me know if you find any more information, Mary Lester and Richard's parentage has proved a brick wall for me, but maybe the White and Magill connections might prove to be relatives,and they seem to have moved in familial groups.

gay clodgo (in Oregon)
Re: The Lesters of Greene County
September 13, 2013 08:21AM
The cemetery in Butler County Iowa where John (or is it James?) Armstrong is buried along with his wife and four other Armstrongs is Lowell Cemetery, or Lotown. The Lesters who are buried there are buried in either the same plot or a neighboring plot, so that makes me think they could be Mary's siblings family. I'm not positive if that is the right Armstrong, but I think he is Richard and Mary's eldest son. An Elam (Alfred) was listed as an early settler along with this Armstrong, and one of the Armstrongs (Rebecca?) married an Elam.
Re: The Lesters of Greene County
November 07, 2013 03:45AM
Oh, the things that come off the top of my head! Susan Elliott Elam was married to an Armstrong, her father was Louellen Elam and I think Alfred was possibly her brother. John Armstrong and James Alexander Armstrong are two of Mary Lester and Richard Armstrong's sons. One married Susan Elam....I am not sure if the other married Nancy Green or Lucinda? Perhaps his first wife died and he remarried, or it was a different John who married one of these ladies. I just wish I knew the names of the Lesters who are buried in the Lotown cemetery in Iowa next to John Armstrong and his family. I wonder if there is any possibility that Mary Lester had been married previously? Maybe that is why she is such a brick wall. And where are Mary and Richard buried?? It seems they should be buried in Illinois, but Iowa or Indiana might be possibilities.l