LESTER Andrew Lester, immigrant ancestor, was born in England. The Lester or Leister family is of ancient English origin and the family has produced many distinguished men. Lester came to this country and settled at Gloucester, Massachusetts, where he was elected constable. January 7, 1646, and was licensed to keep an ordinary or tavern February 6, 1648, by the country court. He removed to Pequot, Connecticut, in 1651, and was collector of taxes and constable at that place. He died at Pequot, (New London) June 7, 1669. His home was on the neck. He had liberty to draw land in 1651-52. His first wife Barbara died February 2, 1653-54, the first woman whose death was recorded at Pequot. He married (second) Joanna Hempstead, widow of Robert Hempstead, and she died before 1670. By his third wife Anna he had three children. The "Widow Lester" was admitted to the New London church by letter from the church at Concord, Massachusetts, in 1670. Children of first wife, born at Gloucester: Daniel, April 16, 1642, died at Great Neck, New London, January 16, 1715-16, married Hannah Fox; Andrew, December 26, 1644; Mary, December 26, 1647; Anne, March 21, 1651, married Isaac Willey; child of second wife: Joanna; children of third wife, born at New London; Timothy, July 4, 1662; Joseph, June 15, 1664; Benjamin, mentioned below.
(II) Benjamin, son of Andrew Lester, was born at New London about 1666-67. He and his brothers Daniel and Joseph settled in the vicinity of the town plot. He married Ann Stedman, and had nine sons and two daughters. Their descendants have been very numerous in Groton, Connecticut, and vicinity. Ann Lester, his wife, died January 27, 1711-12. He died April 24, 1737, according to the Hempstead diary, but his will was dated May 23, 1737, and he probably died May 24, 1737, not April 24. The will bequeathed to his wife, Timothy, eldest son. John. Benjamin, Isaac, Daniel. Ann and Hannah. Children born at New London and Groton; Timothy, John, Benjamin, Isaac, David, Jonathan, mentioned below, Daniel. Ann, Hannah. Others died young.
(III) Jonathan, son of Benjamin Lester, was born at New London, July 26, 1706. He married, May 15, 1729 (Vol. 2, p. 54, town records), at Groton. He and his wife owned <!--[Image for New England Families Genealogical and Memorial: Volume III ]
the covenant in the Congregational church at Groton. His children: Jonathan, Deborah, Thomas, Amos, born about 1730, mentioned below; Wait, baptized with the four preceding in childhood and infancy, October 11, 1731; Simeon, baptized August 14, 1734; David, baptized November 7, 1736. The eldest, Captain Jonathan, died February 12, 1797; his wife, Hannah, March 5, 1776, in her forty-sixth year. A son of Jonathan, aged ten years, and two others were slightly wounded and one escaped unhurt July 31, 1742 (town records).
(IV) Amos, son of Jonathan Lester, was born at Groton about 1730, in the house opposite the Starr burial ground. He was a soldier in the revolution and was wounded in the hip at the battle of Groton, recovered and lived forty years afterward, though he was one of those loaded so inhumanly on the wagon. His captain, Samuel Allyn, on hearing the alarm at the time of the British attack, rode to the house of Lester, who was ensign of the company, and together they rode to the old Wood House, North Lane, where they left their horses. Allyn was among those killed. After the Americans surrendered the fort, the British prepared to destroy it and load the American wounded on a wagon. The hill was long and steep and in some way, intentional or on account of bad management, the wagon got away and descended the hill with its load of helpless, suffering men. It was stopped finally by striking a tree. The shock killed many of the men. It was reported at the time that the thing was intentional and that the British fired at the ill-fated freight as the wagon coasted down the hill. Other accounts say the wheels were chained and the chain broke. The name of Amos Lester is among those reported as wounded (p. 578, Rev. Rolls). His name appears among the invalid pensioners in 1833-34. He had a grant of land in 1792 in Pennsylvania at the "head of Lake Erie," on account of revolutionary service. He married Anna, born December 17, 1736, daughter of Peter Lester, Sr., who married Anna Street, daughter of James Street, August, 1733. He died September 10, 1789; she died March 6, 1790.
(V) Amos (2), son of Amos (1) and Anna (Lester), Lester, was born March 25, 1776. He married, January 18, 1800, Sarah, daughter of James Avery, born March 3, 1781. Children: 1. Anna, born July 20, 1801; married Oliver S. Tyler, January 3, 1831. 2. Lydie, December 19, 1802; married Erastus Kimball, December 30, 1821. 3. Amos A., March 30, 1805. 4. Isaac A., March 4, 1810, mentioned below. 5. Eliza Maria, July 26, 1813, married Asa Lyman Lester, August 16, 1835.
(VI) Isaac A., son of Amos (2) and Sarah (Avery) Lester, was born at Groton, March 4, 1810. He married, October 7, 1838, Mary, daughter of Ichabod Chapman. They lived at Ledyard. Children: 1. Amos, born December 3, 1839; married, May 28, 1868, Caroline Gallup Spicer, born May 28, 1850. 2. Mary Jane, born June 6, 1841; married, December 12, 1860, Courtland Lamb. 3. Nathan Larrabee, born January 1, 1843, died June 27, 1900, San Jose, California; married, May 24, 1871, Sarah Elizabeth Spicer, born August 3, 1847. 4. Henry C., born October 20, 1844, died September 17, 1850. 5. Jonathan Fairbanks,
mentioned below. 6. William Isaac, born February 7, 1848; married, April 16, 1885, Sarah E. Simmons. 7. Frank Larrabee, born April 23, 1850, died November 17, 1876. 8. Samuel Wood, born April 7, 1852; unmarried; lived in California. 9. Walter C., born April 15, 1854, died July 14, 1855. 10. Sarah E., born January 22, 1856, died March 11, 1857. 11. Edward Everett, born April 29, 1858; married, September 6, 1884, Almyra Chapman, born March 9, 1857.
(VII) Jonathan Fairbanks, son of Isaac A. Lester, was born at Ledyard, June 11, 1846. He was educated there in the public schools. He taught school when a young man at Ledyard and Groton. He spent several years in California, where he followed farming. He returned to Connecticut, after a number of years, and engaged in the meat and provision business at Norwich. Then with his brothers, Amos, Samuel N. and Frank L., he returned to California and followed farming for four years. Upon his return to Norwich he married and made his home there. He was for a time in the optical business, manufacturing his own goods. Afterwards he was in the wholesale produce business in the firm of Cook & Lester for several years. He was a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and of the Broadway Congregational church. He married, May 28, 1873, Cecelia Williams, born September 30, 1852, daughter of Edmund and Bethia Williams (Avery) Spicer, of Groton, Connecticut. Edmund Spicer was a prominent citizen of Groton. He was postmaster from 1867 to the time of his death, May 1, 1890. He was selectman seven years, between 1836 and 1851; clerk and treasurer from 1853 to 1865; representative to state legislature in 1849; candidate for state senate in 1862; judge of probate for twelve years, beginning in 1865. He was one of the charter members of the
Bill Library Association and was secretary of the association eighteen years in succession, retiring in 1885. He was treasurer and librarian from 1867 until 1890. He united with the Congregational church in 1843; he often served on the church committee, also on the standing committee of the Ecclesiastical Society. Children of Mr. and Mrs. Lester: 1. Ella Cecelia, graduate of Mount Holyoke College; has taught school in the south and is now teaching in Hartford. 2. Jonathan Frank, engaged in business at Newcastle, Pennsylvania. 3. Fannie Bethia, now taking a three-years course in a Philadelphia hospital with the intention of following the profession of trained nurse in church or missionary work. 4. Ida May, died young. 5. Mamie Carrie, died young.