A strange coincidence and three Confederate Estes brothers

Ezra Church

By Gary Noble Willis and Robin Rankin Willis

The coincidence part

We like to do genealogy trips to state archives, county courthouses, and so on. We drive rather than fly, and occasionally find ourselves off the beaten path or onto one that makes us scratch our heads. This happened once when we were traveling to Raleigh, NC from Houston, on I-20 going through Atlanta. We had to stop for gas, so Gary pulled off the freeway onto MLK Blvd. He immediately found a gas station, and I got out to stretch my legs with a quick walk. Heading up the hill, I found an historical marker about the Battle of Ezra Church — the one in the picture, above.

For the next two hours, I had a niggling feeling that I was supposed to know something about that battle: Ezra Church had grabbed my attention. Finally, I spit it out: “Gary, why does the battle of Ezra Church ring such a loud bell with me?”

Gary, a serious military and family historian, had a ready reply. “Because a member of your Estes family died there.”

What are the odds that we would wind up next to a battlefield where a relative fought and died, while getting gas in the middle of a huge metropolitan area? I thought it was an real coincidence.

On our way home two weeks later, we pulled off again on MLK Blvd and took a tour of the battlefield, which is in the midst of a neighborhood. It is not even far enough from Atlanta to be called a suburb. There is a park there, with commemorative markers and the like. Here is one.


Ezra Forces

Notice the marker says that probably not more than 12,000 Union troops were actively engaged in that battle. Yet there were 4,600 Confederate dead. What sort of military madness was going on there, we wondered?

The article

When we got home, we researched the battle and jointly wrote an article about the three Estes brothers who were in Ham’s Cavalry, including the one Estes brother who fought and died at the Battle of Ezra Church. If you like history, especially Civil War history, you might like this article. I like it because, among other things, I found out from their war records that the three Estes brothers in Ham’s Cavalry had black hair and a fair complexion, just like their great-great-great nephew, my father.

Here is the article, which was originally published in “Estes Trails,” Vol. XXIII No. 3, Sept. 2005:

The Confederate Sons of Lyddal Bacon Estes Sr. and “Nancy” Ann Allen Winn Estes

Lyddal Bacon Estes Sr. (“LBE”) and “Nancy” Ann Allen Winn,[1] who married in Lunenburg County, Virginia on 10 March 1814, had five sons: (1) Benjamin Henderson Estes (“Henderson”), (2) John B. Estes, (3) Lyddal Bacon Estes Jr. ( “LBE Jr.”), (4) William Estes, and (5) Allen W. Estes. At least three of the five sons – Henderson, LBE Jr. and Allen – fought for the Confederacy, and this article is about them.[2]

Henderson and LBE Jr. served during 1861-1862 in an infantry regiment involved in the unsuccessful defense of Fort Donelson, Tennessee.[3] Beginning in 1863, the three Estes brothers all served as officers in Company A of Ham’s Cavalry. That unit was also known as the 1st Battalion, Mississippi State Cavalry, and then as Ham’s Cavalry Regiment after it transferred from state to Confederate service.[4] Company A was nicknamed the “Tishomingo Rangers” – indicating that the unit was formed in Tishomingo County, Mississippi and that many members of the unit may have lived there, as did the Estes family.[5] The three brothers’ military service records beginning in 1863 contain some interesting genealogical information for researchers on this Estes line, and also help to put a human face on what might otherwise be impersonal Civil War history.[6]

Infantry Service

B. H. Estes appears as a 3rd Lieutenant and 2nd Lieutenant with Company D of the 3rd Mississippi Infantry Regiment, and then as a 3rd Lieutenant of the 23rd Infantry Regiment, Company D.[7] The unit was originally raised as the 2nd Mississippi Infantry under Col. Davidson in August-September 1861 and sent to Kentucky, where it was known as the Third Regiment and, after November 1861, the Twenty-Third Regiment. The regiment was involved in the defense and surrender of Fort Donelson in February 1862, although some of the unit escaped. Captured members of the regiment were held at Springfield, Illinois, Indianapolis, Indiana and at Camp Douglas, Chicago, where a number died and are buried. Survivors were exchanged in the fall of 1862 and the regiment was reorganized and recruited replacements.[8]

LBE Jr. apparently served in the same unit. He (or some L. B. Estes, presumably the same man) is reported as serving as a Lieutenant in Company G of the 2nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment. part of Davidson’s command which became renumbered as the 3rd and then the 23rd.[9] Like his brother, we don’t know whether he was captured and exchanged, or escaped capture, at the surrender of the fort. In any event, both Henderson and LBE Jr. were available to serve in Ham’s Cavalry by March 1863.

It is possible that, after the prisoner exchange of 1862, both returned to their homes in Tishomingo County. By that time, Tishimingo and other northern Mississippi counties were outside Confederate control and beyond the reach of conscription or forced service. However, local partisan companies or so-called “state troops” were organized in these regions and sometimes operated without Confederate oversight. Often such troops were part-time soldiers, living at or near home and tending to their farms. That seems to have been the case with Ham’s Cavalry as originally organized.[10]

Henderson Estes (12 Dec. 1815 – 6 Jan. 1897)[11]

After 1862, the Civil War file for Henderson (who is shown consistently in the file as “Captain B. H. Estes”) indicates that he enlisted twice: this was not unusual, because soldiers frequently enlisted for a limited term and then “re-upped” when the initial term had expired. In most Confederate records, the name of the officer who enlisted or re-enlisted the soldier is also stated in the file. What is unusual in Henderson’s case is that his file indicates that he enlisted himself for his first term of service. Stated another way, the file shows that Capt. B. H. Estes was the enlisting officer for Capt. B. H. Estes. This suggests that Henderson may have been, and probably was, the person who organized the Tishomingo Rangers. This is supported by the fact that he signed one of the muster rolls as company commander, since it was common for an organizer to be a company leader. Further, since he was in his late forties when the war broke out, Henderson would have been a logical candidate to organize a unit that was presumably composed primarily of younger men. He was also from a relatively prosperous family, which was a virtual prerequisite for organizing a unit: the organizer frequently, if not usually, helped outfit the unit he recruited.

Henderson enlisted himself and his brothers LBE Jr. and Allen W. Estes in Kossuth, Mississippi on March 10, year unstated, for a term of 12 months. That enlistment must have occurred by at least March 1863, because Henderson appears on the Company A muster roll records for September 18, 1863 through April 30, 1864. A March 1863 enlistment would also be consistent with the dates of his earlier infantry service. The record indicates that Henderson enlisted for a second time on January 20, 1864 in Richmond, Virginia. No enlistment term is stated. Henderson was not actually in Richmond on that date, since Ham’s Regiment never participated in any battles in Virginia. It is likely that Richmond was given as the place of re-enlistment for administrative simplicity, since the troop was in the field at the time and was possibly re-enlisted en masse. Shortly thereafter, on May 5, 1864, Ham’s Cavalry transferred from Mississippi state service to Confederate service. A descriptive list of Company A, Ham’s Cavalry Regiment, notes that Henderson was 5’7″, with blue eyes, black hair, and a fair complexion.[12] He is described as a farmer, born in Virginia, age 48, which is consistent with the census records in which Henderson appears as a head of household.[13]

LBE Jr. (Sept. 20, 1826 – Apr. 18, 1903)[14]

LBE Jr., a Second Lieutenant, also enlisted on May 10 for a term of twelve months, by enlisting officer Capt. B. H. Estes. The year was not stated but, like Henderson, it was probably 1863. LBE Jr.’s record states that he was mustered into Confederate service on May 5, 1864 by Capt. L. D. Sandidge for the duration of the war. His file, like Henderson’s, records his appearance on the muster roll of Company A from at least September 18, 1863 through April 30, 1864. LBE Jr.’s file also indicates that Company A was in Tupelo, Mississippi as of 15 December, 1863. Like his brother Henderson, LBE Jr. stated that he was a farmer. He gave Tennessee as his place of birth and his age as 37. LBE Jr. was almost certainly born in McNairy County, Tennessee, because that is where LBE Sr. and family appeared in the 1830 federal census. LBE Jr. re-enlisted, along with Henderson, on January 20, 1864. He appears on the descriptive list as 5’6″, age 37, blue eyes, dark hair, and fair complexion.

Allen W. Estes (about 1832 – July 29, 1864)[15]

Allen’s service record states that his name appears on a register of officers and soldiers of the Confederate Army who were killed in battle or died of wounds or disease. The youngest of the three brothers, Allen was age 32 when he enlisted. He was the tallest, at 5’8″, and had the same black hair, blue eyes, and fair complexion as his elder brothers. He was also a farmer, and, like LBE Jr., born in Tennessee, presumably McNairy County. His file states that Allen had his own gun; his brothers probably did as well, although only Allen’s file mentions that matter. Each of the three also undoubtedly had his own horse, which was a requirement for a member of a cavalry unit.

Like his brothers, Allen enlisted at Kossuth on March 10 (presumably 1863) for a period of 12 months. His rank at enlistment was Second Sergeant, and he appeared on the Company A muster rolls with that rank for July 8 through January 20, 1864, when the unit was transferred from state to Confederate service. On May 5, 1864, he appeared in his file for the first time as a Captain. Duration of his enlistment: “for the war,” although another record in his file indicates that Allen enlisted for a period of three years. The length of his enlistment was moot, however, because Allen died on July 29, 1864, in a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Allen left a widow Josephine (neé Jobe) and a son Joseph, born about 1862.[16]

Ham’s Cavalry

Ham’s Cavalry was active in various conflicts in Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama. The regiment participated with Gholson’s Brigade in three attacks on July 6 and 7, 1864, in an unsuccessful attempt to cut off the retreat of Union forces from Jackson toward Vicksburg, Mississippi.[17] Additionally, the unit was almost certainly involved in the battle at Tupelo on the 14th and 15th of July, 1864. In that engagement, Confederate Generals Stephen D. Lee and Nathan Bedford Forrest, with about 8,000 troops, attacked Union General A. J. Smith’s federal force of about 14,000 in a series of uncoordinated and piecemeal assaults. The Confederates were defeated with heavy casualties.[18] Battlefield maps clearly reveal the superior defensive position occupied by the Union forces on a ridge about one mile west of Tupelo.[19]

Atlanta is approximately 270 miles from Tupelo, and ten days after the battle at Tupelo, Ham’s Cavalry was again with Gholson’s Brigade in the lines at Atlanta, dismounted – that is, fighting as infantry rather than as cavalry. This recounting of the unit’s participation in that battle is from Dunbar Rowland’s Military History of Mississippi, 1803 – 1898:

“On July 28th [1864], fighting west of Atlanta, [Ham’s Cavalry] made a desperate charge on the breastworks in the woods, and sustained heavy losses. Colonel Ham was mortally wounded, and died July 30. Captain Estes, of Company A, and Lieutenant Winters, commanding Company D, were killed.”[20]

                  The Captain Estes referenced by Rowland was obviously Allen, who died the following day in an Atlanta hospital. Another account refers to this engagement as the Battle of Ezra Church (or the Battle of the Poor House), and indicates serious errors in judgment and leadership by some of the commanding officers. Confederate commander John B. Hood had ordered Generals Stephen D. Lee (who had also been present at the battle of Tupelo) and Alexander P. Stewart, each with two divisions, to intercept an advancing Union force under General O. O. Howard in order to prevent the federal troops from cutting the last western rail line leading to Atlanta:

“[Hood] instructed the generals not to engage in a battle, just halt the Federals’ advance down the Lick Skillet Road. He was preparing for a July 29 flank attack against Howard. Lee, however, violated orders. At 12:30 p.m. on July 28 his troops assaulted Howard at Ezra Church. Howard was prepared … and repulsed Lee’s first attack. Stewart launched a series of frontal attacks over the same ground … The Federals repulsed the attacks and inflicted heavy losses…”[21]

A battlefield map shows that Howard’s Union forces, located about three miles west of the Atlanta railroad depot, occupied a strong defensive position on a ridge line behind a rail barricade.[22] Attacking in such circumstances was not only contrary to express orders, it was virtually suicidal.[23] Estimated casualties: 562 U.S., 3,000 Confederate.[24] A marker at the battlefield states that Brantly’s Brigade of Mississipians on the extreme left of the Confederate forces made it over the log barricades of the 83rd Indiana Regiment. However, they were swept back by a counterattack. Ham’s dismounted cavalry was probably part of this attack, and this (we speculate) may be where Captain Allan Estes fell.

We do not, of course, want to honor the Confederate army, which was fighting to maintain slavery. We can nevertheless honor individuals who fought bravely for either side. Ironically, the family of Allen Estes, who died in that horrible war, did not own slaves.

By the following spring, whatever was left of Ham’s Cavalry was assigned to Armstrong’s Brigade as part of Ashcraft’s Consolidated Mississippi Cavalry.[25] According to Rowland’s History:

“The command made a gallant fight against odds, in the works at Selma, Alabama, April 2, 1865. Here a considerable number were killed, wounded or captured … The officers and men were finally paroled in May, 1865, under the capitulation of Lieut. Gen. Richard Taylor, May 4.”[26]

There is no indication in their individual military records as to when or where Henderson and LBE Jr. ended their Confederate service. However, LBE Jr.’s file expressly states that he enlisted for the duration of the war, suggesting that he was probably among those paroled at Selma. Given the history of the unit, it seems amazing that two of the three Estes brothers managed to survive.

Both LBE Jr. and Henderson Estes returned to Tishomingo County after the war. Henderson appeared in the records there as a Justice of the Peace in the late 1860s[27] By 1870, his mother Nancy had died, and he had moved his family to McLennan County, Texas.[28] By 1880, LBE Jr. had joined Henderson and their sister, Martha Estes Swain, in McLennan County.[29] LBE Jr. and his sister Martha are buried in the Fletcher Cemetery in Rosenthal, McLennan County; Henderson is buried at the Robinson Cemetery, also in McLennan County.[30]

© 2005 by Robin Rankin Willis & Gary Noble Willis.

[1] Nancy did not have four names, of course. She went by Nancy, which was most likely a nickname for Ann. She appeared in the records as Ann Allen Winn (Lunenburg Will Book 6: 204, FHL microfilm 32,381, will of her father Benjamin Winn, naming among his other children Ann Allen Winn), Nancy Allen Winn (Lunenburg Guardian Accounts 1798 – 1810 at 136, FHL microfilm 32,419, account naming Nancy Allen Winn and other orphans of Benjamin Winn), and Nancy A. Winn (numerous Tishomingo Co., MS records, e.g., Tishomingo probate Vol. C: 391, FHL Microfilm 895,897, bond for administrators of the estate of Lyddal B. Estes).

[2] We haven’t found any record of Civil War service for the other two sons, John B. Estes and William Estes. John left Tishomingo before 19 Aug 1853, when he and his wife Avy or Amy Ann Somers executed a deed from Nacogdoches Co., TX. Tishomingo DB Q: 305, FHL Microfilm 95,878. John appeared in the 1860 and 1870 U.S. census for Nacogdoches Co. but not thereafter. William Estes had already left Tishomingo by at least 18 Feb 1853, when he executed a general power of attorney in favor of Benjamin H. Estes. Tishomingo DB Q: 307, FHL Microfilm 895,878. The power of attorney recites that William was then a resident of San Francisco Co., CA.

[3] H. Grady Howell, For Dixie Land, I’ll Take My Stand (Madison, MS: Chickasaw Bayou Press, 1998) at 830-31.

[4] http://www.mississippiscv.org/MS_Units/Hams_MS-CAV.htm.

[5] LBE Sr. and his family appeared in Tishomingo in the 1837 and 1845 Mississippi state census and the 1840 U.S. census. LBE Sr.’s widow Nancy appeared in the 1850 and 1860 census for Tishomingo Co. The service records for all three Estes brothers state that they originally enlisted in Kossuth, MS, now located in Alcorn Co. (created from Tishomingo in 1871). All the companies in Ham’s Cavalry were recruited from Tishomingo, Yalobusha, Itawamba and Noxubee Counties. http://www.mississippiscv.org/MS_Units/Hams_MS_CAV.htm

[6] Unless expressly noted otherwise, the information in this article is from the National Archives & Records Administration’s military service records for B. H. Estes, L. B. Estes, and A. W. Estes. These Civil War files for the Estes brothers cover service from 1863, but not the earlier service referenced elsewhere.

[7] Howell at 830; www.mississippiscv.org/MS_Units/23rd_MS_INF.htm, which provides information from Dunbar Rowland’s Military History of Mississippi, 1803-1898.

[8] See www.mississippiscv.org/MS_Units/23rd_MS_INF.htm, information from Dunbar Rowland’s Military History of Mississippi, 1803-1898.

[9] Howell at 831. An L. B. Estes is also reported as having served as a non-commissioned officer (a corporal) in Company D of the 32nd Infantry Regiment. Based on the dates of formation of this unit and the 2nd Mississippi, it is likely these are two different people. Since Henderson Estes was in the same command, it is likely that Lt. LBE rather than Corporal LBE is the son of LBE Sr. and Nancy Estes.

[10] See www.mississippiscv.orgMS_Units/Hams_1st_MS_ST_CAV.htm.

[11] Central Texas Genealogical Society, Inc., McLennan County, Texas Cemetery Records, Volume 2 (Waco, Texas: 1965) at 154 (abstract of tombstone of Benjamin Estes in the Robinson Cemetery). He is listed in the 1840 census as “Henderson Estes,” see U.S. Census, Tishomingo Co., MS, p. 231.

[12] The NARA record indicates that the descriptive list is contained in an original record located in the office of the Director of Archives and History, Jackson, MS, M.S. 938010.

[13] 1860 U.S. census, Tishomingo Co., MS, Kossuth P.O., dwelling 606, (Benj. H. Estes, age 43, farmer, b. VA); 1870 U.S. census, McLennan Co., TX, Waco, dwelling 755 (B. H. Estes, age 55, farmer, b. VA); 1880 U.S. Census, Brown Co., TX, Dist. 27 (Benjamin Estes, 64, b. VA, parents b. VA).

[14] Central Texas Genealogical Society, Inc., McLennan County, Texas Cemetery Records, Volume 2 (Waco, Texas: 1965) (abstract of tombstone of Lyddal Bacon Estes in the Fletcher Cemetery, Rosenthal).

[15] See 1860 U.S. Census, Tishomingo Co., MS, Boneyard P.O., dwelling 583 (listing for Nancy A. Estes and Allen Estes, age 27, thus born about 1833); service record of A. W. Estes (age 32 at enlistment in 1863, thus born about 1831).

[16] Irene Barnes, Marriages of Old Tishomingo County, Mississippi, Volumes I and II (Iuka, MS: 1978) (marriage of Josephine Jobe and W. A. Estes (sic, Allen W.), Oct. 1859; marriage of Mrs. Josephine Estes and G. L. Leggett, August 1868). Grimmadge Leggett and wife Josephine appeared in the 1880 census, Alcorn Co. MS with his stepson “Jos. Ester” [sic], only child of Allen W. Estes; see also 1900 census, Alcorn Co., MS.

[17] See http://www.mississippiscv.org/MS_Units/Hams_MS_CAV.htm.

[18] See http://www.decades.com/CivilWar/Battles/ms015.htm. Casualties estimated at 648 US, 1,300 CS.

[19] Atlas to Accompany the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington, DC: (Government Printing Office, 1891-1895, reprinted 1983 by Arno Press, Inc. and Crown Publishers , Inc. and in 2003 by Barnes & Noble Publishing, Inc.), at p. 167, Plate 63 – 2.

[20] See http://www.mississippiscv.org/MS_Units/Hams_MS_CAV.htm.

[21] See http://wwwhttp://college.hmco.com/history/readerscomp/civwar/html/

[22] See Atlas (note 14) at p. 153, Plate 56 – 7.

[23] General Lee also made serious military errors at Tupelo, committing understrength forces piecemeal against federal troops occupying a solid defensive position. He was obviously well-regarded, because he was the Confederacy’s youngest Lt. General and was the commander of the Department of Alabama, Mississippi and East Louisiana.

[24] See . Another source estimates casualties at 700 U.S. 4,642 CS. http://wwwhttp://college.hmco.com/history/readerscomp/civwar/html/.

[25] Howell at 213-214, listing Henderson Estes, Captain, and Toney Estes (LBE Jr.’s nickname), First Lieutenant, Company A, Eleventh Mississippi Cavalry (Ashcraft’s).

[26] See http://www.mississippiscv.org/MS_Units/Hams_MS_CAV.htm.

[27] Fan A. Cochran, History of Old Tishomingo County, Territory of Mississippi (Canton, OH: Barnhart Printing Co., 1972)

[28] Nancy does not appear in the 1870 census. An 1872 deed from Henderson to LBE Jr. recites that Nancy was deceased and that Henderson resided in McLennan Co., Texas. Tishomingo DB 2: 590, FHL microfilm 0,895,389.

[29] 1880 U.S. Census, McLennan Co., TX, p. 261 (listing for Lydal P. [sic] Estes and family).

[30] John M. Usry, Fall and Puckett Funeral Records (Waco, Texas: Central Texas Genealogical Society, 1974); McLennan County, Texas Cemetery Records, Volume 2.


14 thoughts on “A strange coincidence and three Confederate Estes brothers”

  1. My 5th Great Grandmother was Margaret Rankin, b.1781 in Lincoln Co., N.C. & d.1868 in Catawba Co., N.C., she married to Thomas Witherspoon, b.6 June, 1775 in Rowan Co., N.C. & d.16 Jan., 1856 in Catawba Co., N.C., they married in 6 July, 1801, I’ve been trying to find who was Margaret’s parents, and going by your information I believe I have found them, her parents were James Rankin, b.? , d.June 20, 1780 at the Battle of Ramsour’s Mill in Linclon Co., N.C., married to ? miss Alexander, James had a brother named Robert Rankin, he fought at Ramour’s Mill also.

    1. Guy, that is so cool! Yes, one of James Rankin’s daughters definitely married a Witherspoon. Do you have any living Rankin male cousins? If so, a Y-DNA test would be a great thing to do. Two proved descendants of James Rankin’s father, David Rankin d. 1789 Iredell, have tested. If you could prove via Y-DNA testing that you match them, you would eliminate any doubt. In any event, I’m so tickled that you were able to find your Rankin ancestors back one more generation! If you are interested in the Alexander line (James Rankin’s wife), I have a good friend who can tell you about the family of James Rankin’s wife. Send me a private email and I’ll connect you if you want. She can get your Alexanders back at least two generations.

      Thanks for your comment!

  2. The brother John B. Estes that moved to Nacadoches, Texas turns out to be my 2nd Great Grandfather. He moved from Texas to join other Estes family in NW Arkansas and died there in 1905 at the age of 81.

    1. Byron, I’m tickled to hear from you! We’re distant cousins, of course. John B. Estes’ sister Mary F. Estes Rankin is my ancestress. Have you taken a y-DNA test and joined the Estes DNA project? It’s a good one, run by another distant cousin of ours.

      Which county in NW Arkansas did John B. move to? I assumed he had died in Nacogdoches because I found his wife living with her family in the census. Did they divorce?

      1. Thanks for your note. I have John B. Estes, b. 1824 in Alabama then a move to Pike County, Mississippi by 1828 as a child. I then have John B. and Ava Ann Parrish marrying in 1851 in Nacadoches, Texas. I see her passing away in 1870, still in Nacadoches. At some point in the next decade, John W. (John B.’s son) moves to Franklin County in NW Arkansas. I assume John B., in his later years, joined them and we have a death record for John B. in 1905 in Franklin County. Beyond that, I have little to go on. John W. Estes was my great grandfather, his son Charles M. Estes my grandfather, and his son Ray G Estes my father. Charles M. moved the Estes clan out to Ventura County, California in the late 1920s or so. He died there in 1947. I am part of the Estes Project at FTDNA and had my autosomal DNA tested, but I haven’t done the Y-test yet. Great to meet another member of the family!

        1. Byron, the 1880 census for Nacogdoches Co., TX shows Avy Ann Estes, WIDOWED, and her daughter Nancy living with her brother David. There is no doubt that John B. Estes, son of Lyddal Bacon Estes and Nancy (Anne) Allen Winn Estes, was dead by 1880. Whoever died in 1905 must have been a different John Estes. Here is a transcription of the 1880 census:

          David Parrish, 49? (RRW note: should be 51), b. VA, father VA, mother NC, p. 180, dwelling 246, family 272
          Louisa Parish, wife, 38, b MS, parents TN
          David J. Parish, son, 18, b TX, father b VA, mother TN (RRW note: daughter of Mary Ann)
          Lucy J. Parish, 14, daughter, b TX, father VA, mother TN
          Wm. Henry Parish, 13, son, b TX, father b VA, mother TN
          Edwin Parish, 9, son, b TX, father VA, mother MS (RRW note: David m. Louisa 1868-1870)
          Therisa? Parish, 4, daughter, b TX, father b VA, mother MS
          Ella May Parish, 5, daughter, b TX, father VA, mother MS
          Robert ___? Parish, 3, son, b TX, father VA, mother MS
          John Morris?, son, 4 months, b TX, father VA, mother MS

          Same dwelling, family 273:
          James Head, 21, stepson, farmer, b TX, father b AL, mother MS
          Mary Head, 17, stepdaughter, b TX, father b AL, mother b MS

          Same dwelling, family 274: Sam, Lucy and Betsy Jacobs, all servants

          Same dwelling, family 275:
          Avy Ann Esthes, sister, 59, widowed, genl disability, b VA, father VA, mother NC
          Nancy A. Esthes, (RRW note: relation not stated in census), but she is David’s niece, daughter of Avy Ann and John B. Estes), 19, b MS (“Texas” appears in small letters above MS), father TN, mother VA

        2. PS Here are the 1860 and 1870 censuses for Nacogdoches County. John B. Estes’s only child was his daughter Nancy. William and John W. were his stepsons. Their birth name was Summers. I will bet that you are descended from someone other than John B. and Amy/Avy Ann Estes.

          1860 census, Nacogdoches Co., TX

          John B. Estes, 36, farmer, b Alabama (about 1824), $300 realty/$1000 personalty, p. 122, dwl #80. John B. and Amy Ann or Avy Ann were married in 1851. Neither David B. nor John W. is their son.
          Amy Ann, 34, b VA about 1826
          David B., 13, b MS (about 1847, John’s stepson – birth name is David B. Summers)
          John W., 11, b MS (about 1849, also a stepson)
          Nancy Estes, 6 mos., b TX abt 1859

          1870 census, Nacogdoches Co., TX
          ✔John Esthers (sic, Estes), age 48, farmer, b MS about 1822, page 446, dwelling #380. RRW note: More likely that he was born in Alabama, see prior census and the Nacogdoches voter registration record (which he must have answered personally, unlike a census entry).
          Ann Estes, age 50, b VA
          Nancy Estes, age 11, b TX
          William Somers, 20, b MS, son of Avy/Amy Ann and first husband

          One final disagreeable note: this Estes family didn’t live in Pike Co., AL. They went from Lunenburg Co., VA to Alabama (probably Madison Co.), to McNairy Co., TN, to Tishomingo Co., MS. They first appeared in MS in 1837.


        3. Byron, one more reply: I dug around in the census records, and will retract my bet that you are a genetic Summers. But I think you are from a different branch of the Estes family than John B. and Avy/Amy Ann Estes of Nacogdoches Co. TX. Is it correct that your great-grandfather John W. Estes was married to Dora A.? Is he the man who was in these census records?
          1910 census, Franklin Co., AR
          John W. Estes, 60, born Alabama, parents born SC
          wife Dora, 59, born MS, parents born AL
          … with their children Blanche, James W. and your grandfather Charles M. Estes
          1880 census, Lee County, MS (adjacent a man named FESTUS M. ESTES)
          John W. Estes, 30, born Alabama, parents born SC
          wife Dora A. Estes, 26, b. MS, parents b. AL
          … plus children and a grandson
          Seems unlikely, if not impossible, that John W. was a son of John B. and Avy/Amy Ann. First, the 1880 and 1900 censuses say that John W.’s parents were born in SOUTH CAROLINA. Neither John B. Estes (born AL) nor Avy/Amy Ann (born VA) was born in South Carolina. Also, the John W. Estes who was listed with John B. and Amy/Avy in 1860 was born in 1849 in MS, a year before John B. and Avy/Amy were married in Texas. There are some interesting South Carolina Estes, though — if I were you, I would upgrade to add a YDNA test and find out who your Estes relatives are. And I would LOVE to hear from you when you find out! Sorry to be a downer.

          1. Thanks for all your comments on John B. Estes. I note that for our records, John B. is the son of Ezra Estes and Elizabeth Ryals (where you have him as the son of Lyddal Bacon Estes and Nancy Winn. So yes, looks like a different line of Estes and potentially the Nacadoches connection for our line is possibly not there. No Summers family has shown up in my DNA tests, but that is another possibility to follow-up on. Thanks for your comments and if I still had access to Ancestry, I’d do some more digging.

          2. Got a chance to check records and clarify things . . . thanks for helping. Looks like my 2nd Great Grandfather John B. Estes is unrelated to the Estes family in your article. His parents, Ezra Estes and Elizabeth Ryals had John B. , their fifth child, in Pike, Mississippi in 1828. Looks like our John B. and his wife (who I now know isn’t Amy A.) gave birth to my Great Grandfather John W. Estes in abt. 1849 (the 1900 census says in Mississippi, the 1880 census says in Alabama – both the 1880 and 1900 census have all the right children listed, so are correct otherwise). The other weird thing is that the 1880 census says John W.’s parents were from South Carolina, but the 1900 census says they were from Alabama. In any case, apparently not related to your civil war Estes brothers directly . . . and yes, I will try to take an additional DNA test soon. Should you run into any more info on the John B. Estes born in 1828 in Mississippi (or Alabama), please let me know. Thanks!

          3. Byron, I didn’t check out Ezra and Elizabeth, but they are definitely not from the Lyddal B. Estes line. I assume you have searched for your line on the Estes family DNA website? https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/estes/about/background
            My cousin (and probably yours, although not through the family of your John B.!). Bobbi (Roberta) Estes is the project administrator. She is an Estes expert, and might be familiar with Ezra and Elizabeth. Send her a message, she is always helpful and willing to share. Good luck! I almost guarantee that we have the same immigrant ancestor, and I would love to find out how you get there from Ezra to Abraham the immigrant!

  3. Thank you for all the posts and all the research…I’ve responded to others – I’ve just found this one.

    I’m descended from Lyddall Bacon, Sr. and his wife, Nancy Winn; and their son, Benjamin Henderson Estes. I find it fascinating so many of our Estes line makes its way to Waco, or Gholson, Texas. My mother was born there and I just returned from the funeral of her brother from West, Texas…just up the road. I have a copy of Henderson’s orders of 1837, making he a Major in the Mississippi Militia. Because of this, I’m thinking he was much in-demand at the outset of the War in organizing and training recruits – no proof at this time, but that’s my path of research most recently.

    Also, I’ve seen Gholson’s name in Ham’s military records before, and that begs the question, is this the origin of the name of the Texas town? And, if so, did our family follow their Commanding Officer to Texas?

    Never ending questions, aren’t they?

    1. Good question about Gholson! A quick Google search says the town was named for early settlers Benjamin and Samuel Gholson. I wonder if a search on Ancestry would find that they came to McLennan Co. from MS? I wouldn’t bet against it, would you? (yes, the questions are never ending, and NOBODY has more fun than we do!)

      Henderson seems to have been a natural leader and family caretaker. I’m sure you know he was a JP in Tishomingo, administrator with Nancy of his father’s estate, and so on. He was clearly the organizer of the Tishomingo Rangers. I did NOT know that he was a militia major as early as 1837. He would have been, what, 22?

      If you have any opinions on Nancy’s ancestors prior to Richard Winn of Hanover, please give me a holler!

      Cuz Robin

      1. Yes, I have seen he was a JP, only a couple of years after he stood on the ‘other side’ of the bench. I’ve joked he must’ve told his friends he’d make a better JP than the jokers he was brought before. I’ll have to break out the County records again and take a closer look.

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