Estes-Eastes Genealogy Eastes Heritage (Roy Eastes) Estes DNA Project Estes TrailsEstes Family: Stew Estes


With Allied Families:

Woodward, Martin, Brock, Rogers, Burroughs, Lloyd, Andrews, Cate, Malone, Morris, Cope,

Wiseman, Staats, Gibbins, Wood, Nolan, Hastings, McCord, Alderman, Stewart

By Stewart A. Estes ©

November 2009

The articles available on this site are excerpts of a book that I [Stewart Estes] published in 2009, tracing the ancestry of my Estes family. David Powell has graciously offered to host a good deal of the book on his website in separate files or chapters, divided primarily by generation. I am a sixteenth generation Estes, descending from our earliest known ancestor. Click on the link above (or here) to go to the contents page with links to the individual chapters.

The book focuses on those in my direct line. But if known, it includes as much data on their wives, and siblings and their children as practical. It is in no way meant to be a scholarly work, and contains little original material. Its principle contribution, if any, was to collect every scrap of information known about those in my line and organize them into a readable product, with as many references (almost 400 footnotes) to secondary or even primary material as possible to allow for future research. (A CD-ROM containing a PDF version of the entire 849 page book and appendix is available, see below)

Our Estes ancestors were Englishmen who arrived in the Virginia colony as early as 1673. The line can be traced to Nicholas “Ewstas” (my 12th great grandfather) who was born in 1495 in Deal, county Kent, on the southeast English coast. His will has been located and is reproduced and transcribed. The path of our ancestry prior to Nicholas’ birth is faded; there is no clear record prior to that time. The family name was variously written as Ewstas, Eastes, Estridge, and perhaps East or Eustace. There are four theories as to the origin of the name. One theory even traces the name back to the royal D’Este family of Italy, though this is disputed. We do know that four generations of Estes after Nicholas remained in England. His descendants remained in the Kent area, in towns such as Deal, Ringwould, Sholden and Sandwich, working at first as fishermen, and later weavers.

Abraham Estes (1640-1720), the 13th child of Sylvester Eastes and Ellin Martin is our immigrant ancestor. He was a linen weaver in Sandwich. In 1673, Abraham sailed from England to Virginia aboard the Dutch flyship the Martha, and settled in King & Queen County, where he raised many children with Barbara (perhaps Brock), whom he married in America. David Powell, Leroy Eastes, Jim Estes, and Larry D. Duke have written extensively on these matters, and the chapters of the book summarize their research. An examination of this family’s later movements is a reflection of the history of America. The Estes family followed the opening of new territories and better or cheaper land, drifting from coastal Virginia to Orange County, North Carolina -- near the present city of Chapel Hill -- and thence westward to Tennessee, before settling in the northeastern hills of the newly-created State of Arkansas in the 1840’s, where many cousins remain today. Abraham’s eldest child, American born Sylvester Estes/Estice (1684 Virginia – aft. 1754 NC) took his children to North Carolina by 1734, where the line remained for almost a century. At least a dozen Estes men fought in the Revolutionary War. Abraham’s grandson, Thomas Estes I, was a loyal Tory who was captured and condemned to death. Despite his politics, his neighbors thought well enough of him to petition for clemency. He was spared death, on condition that he join the fight for independence. This he did, and it is thought that he died in battle soon thereafter.

Burroughs “Burris” Estes (1769 NC —1829 Tenn.) received his Uncle Moses Estes’ Revolutionary War bounty land grant in northwestern Tennessee in 1820. He and Martha Lloyd took most of their nine children there from North Carolina soon after. In 1860, Burris’ son sixty year old Thomas Estes (1799 NC – 1886 W.T.), picked up and moved his second wife most of his 18 children to the newly opened Washington Territory. Several of his sons, sons-in-law, and nephews had gone to California during the 1849 Gold Rush and beginning in 1853, were inspired to return west with their families to California, Oregon and Washington. A large population of Estes’ reside in Washington and Oregon today (Thomas had 118 grandchildren). Interestingly, not all of Thomas’ children moved to Washington. Thomas’ second eldest child James Estes stayed behind in Arkansas, and was murdered by Confederate soldiers within two years after his family departed. His widow Rebecca Nolan (from the Creek tribe) fled to Iowa but returned after the war and raised the children in Sharp County. Their son James Madison Estes had a large family that included my great-grandfather, John Franklin Estes (1871–1937). Many of this name populate northeastern Arkansas today.


I would like to express my gratitude to my father’s brother, Louis Franklin Estes of Arizona for starting me down this interesting and sometimes arduous path. His sharing of family stories, information and photographs was instrumental to both the initiation and the completion of this work.  Australian Estes descendant, David Powell, has researched and collected much of the earliest records known on this family, for which we are all deeply indebted. Likewise, Leroy Eastes has contributed a great deal, including a breakthrough discovery regarding the exact date and vessel on which Abraham Estes sailed in 1672. Larry Duke of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma (noted Estes researcher, and editor of Estes Trails since 1995) has done a remarkable job of collecting and disseminating the basic tools for all of us to trace our Estes roots. Larry took over for Mary Estes Beckham who started the newsletter in 1980. But beyond that he has been a mentor and a voice of encouragement. Jim Estes, a William Marlden Estes descendant, created a website that is one of the most comprehensive collections of Estes descendant reports and photographs known -- The Estes Group on Yahoo. In addition, he has performed years of his own exhaustive research into various lines. Harriett Hart Beach of Eatonville, Washington, a descendant of Nancy Emily Estes has done extensive research on the Washington Estes branches, and has been exceedingly generous with her time and information. The Fort Walla Walla Museum and the Walla Walla Valley Genealogical Society were extremely generous in providing information and records. The family coat of arms on the cover is taken from the cover of May Folk Webb and Patrick Mann Estes, Cary-Estes Genealogy (published in 1939, reissued 1979).

Copyright © Stewart A. Estes 2014, All Rights Reserved

Stewart A. Estes
Bainbridge, Island, Washington, November 7, 2009


The chapters posted here are excerpts of a 701 page book that was published in 2009. The book contains the material posted on this site, plus other information concerning the ancestry of the two wives of Thomas Estes (1799-1868), and more recent generations closer connected to the author. The book is available for purchase in PDF format on a CD-ROM. The CD includes directions on how to have it made into a book at your local print shop, and also a 148 page Appendix containing numerous US Census forms from 1840-1930, petitions, wills, land records, Daughters of the American Revolution applications, newspaper articles, Oregon Trail stories, birth, death and marriage records, letters, and other documents. COST: Please forward the amount (US 1st Class $US4, US Priority $US8, Foreign $US15) to Stewart Estes, 5801 Ward Ave. NE., Bainbridge Island, WA, 98110-3183, USA. This is only to reimburse for materials, and shipping costs. Direct any questions (or new information and corrections) to