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  • ID: I8526
  • Name: Peter LESTER
  • Surname: Lester
  • Given Name: Peter
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: ABT 1705
  • Death: 10 Sep 1789
  • _UID: EFCD72A882117C4C8D55981A79D694731BDC
  • Note:
    "Historic Ledyard" Vol. III, pages 141-143:
    Peter Lester 1705-1789
    Peter was Jonathan's youngest son and the first Lester who bought land within the boundaries of what was to become Ledyard. The land roughly bordered each side of what is now Vinegar Hill Road and went easterly to Morgan Pond (now the Groton Reservoir). He built a house and his twelve children were born on "a farm" there. No site exists to locate this first structure but subsequent records suggest it was somewhere on the northern part of his land.
    Peter married Anna Street of Groton in 1733. The first of their twelve children was born the following spring. Whether Peter brought Anna to a new house in the north Groton area or whether they built the house that first year is not known but apparently all their children were born on that farm. Peter left a detailed distribution in his will. His first born and eldest son Peter's death is listed as "between 1789-91". When father, Peter, wrote his will in 1789, he designated particular arrangements for "one year after the decease of my son Peter." The implication is that Peter, Jr. was in failing health. Peter's widow Bridget and their three survivng sons were among those who were to receive special distributions.
    John, Peter's second son after two daughters, married a neighbor to the east, Dorothy Morgan. They and their only child, a daughter, lived in a small place westerly of the intersection of the road from the river and the road from south Groton - Long Cove and Vinegar Hill Roads. John was killed in 1781 in the Battle of Groton at Fort Griswold. His father, Peter, made special arrangements in his will for this son John's widow, Dorothy, by deeding the house and land "that lies west and north of the highway" to her for as long as she lived and then stating that the house and land was to be bequeathed to "my well beloved Grand Daughter Dorothy Lester, daughter of my son John Lester dec'd."
    He gave his youngest son, Nathan, who was not married at the time, "one half of my land, excepting what have as above been given away." This would give the southern part of Peter's land to Nathan. This southern part is the parcel of land upon which Nathan would build the comfortable house in 1793 to which he would bring his bride, Susanna Gallup.
    Peter and Anna had eight daughters, of whom six survived. At the time of their father's death, only three of the daughters were married. Anna, their eldest daughter, was married to a first cousin Amos Lester. Supposedly, they lived and farmed on land on the west side of now Vinegar Hill Road to the north of the intersection. Amos, though over 50 years old at the time, was a third Lester to go to the fort in Groton on September 6 and was "severly wounded in the hip."
    Hannah, Peter's second daughter, married Rufus Hurlbutt and moved to the Hurlbutt farm in the Gales Ferry area, where their children were born. On September 6, 1781, Hannah was left widowed with eight children (the oldest one was 14 years of age and the youngest was barely 1) when Rufus, answering the battle alarm, "was killed in the storm after the fort was overcome." Eunice, the fifth daughter of Peter, married David Kennedy in 1771 and, although Peter made provision in his will, little is known beyond their names. The Kennedy farm was from Voluntown and Preston and Eunice died in Preston.
    Peter's three unmarried daughters, named Lucy, Sarah, and Mary (Morley), were to have the privilege of the home farm with their mother, "the improvement of the East Grate Room and the bedroom and chamber over the East Grate Room" to enjoy respectively as long as they "continue in single State of life." All six of "my well Beloved Daughters" were to divide the personal estate between them and "their heirs forever."
    The surviving men of the family - Nathan, along with the three grandsons, Asa, Peter, and Solomon - were instructed in the will to care for the maiden women in the family by providing a cow, a hog, and firewood and they were given the "privilege in the cellar for their cider." Peter also arranged monetary gifts to each of his living children.
    The massacre at the battle of Groton on September 6, 1781 took its toll on this Lester family. Peter lost his son, John, and son-in-law, Rufus Hurlbutt, and his grandson, Jonas, son of Peter, Jr. Another son-in-law Amos was severly wounded and taken prisoner. Peter's son, John, was an ensign in the regular militia and had been active during the war years collecting food and salt to meet the Army quota. He was killed at the fort on the day of the battle. His daughter, Hannah married to Rufus Hurlbutt, was left widowed that day with eight children.
    Peter's grandson, Asa, not yet quite 20, had served a number of short enlistments but was not at the fort on the day of the battle. It was his younger brother Jonas, barely 17 years old, who was killed at the fort. Peter's son-in-law, Amos, was married to his daughter, Anna. He was a member of the militia, contributing clothing made on the farm to Army supplies. It was he who was wounded in the hip during the battle and taken prisoner. These Lester men may have traveled together to defend the fort on September 6.

    "Historic Ledyard" Vol. III, page 139:
    Six known Lester houses were to cluster along the busy highway between Groton center and the road to Preston. A schoolhouse, known as the Lestertown school, was also on this road serving this southern area of Ledyard. This area of town became identified as the Lestertown part of Ledyard. The name was a tribute to Peter Lester, Sr. who first chose the land as his own for his then and future growing family. With the passing of the Edward Lester house on Vinegar Hill Road out of the family in the 1950s, the last Lester of Ledyard's Lestertown was gone. Today, though no Lester is listed in the Ledyard telephone book, the family's contribution to Ledyard lives on in the preservation of the town-owned NATHAN LESTER HOUSE.

    * Married: AUG 1733 1 5 6

    Children

    1. Peter LESTER b: 1 APR 1734 in Peter Lester Farm, Groton, New London County, Connecticut
    2. Anna LESTER b: 17 DEC 1736
    3. Hannah LESTER b: 17 MAR 1737 in Ledyard, New London County, Connecticut
    4. Asa LESTER b: 13 DEC 1738 in Ledyard, New London County, Connecticut
    5. John LESTER b: 13 OCT 1740 in Ledyard, New London County, Connecticut
    6. Nathan LESTER b: 25 JUL 1742 in Ledyard, New London County, Connecticut
    7. Lucy LESTER b: 4 JUN 1744 in Ledyard, New London County, Connecticut
    8. Elizabeth LESTER b: 2 APR 1746 in Ledyard, New London County, Connecticut
    9. Eunice LESTER b: 8 JUN 1748
    10. Deborah LESTER b: 1 MAR 1751 in Ledyard, New London County, Connecticut
    11. Sarah LESTER b: 8 MAY 1753 in Ledyard, New London County, Connecticut
    12. Mary LESTER b: 18 JUN 1755 in Ledyard, New London County, Connecticut


    Sources:

    1. Type: Book
    Title: "Historic Ledyard"
    Periodical: Seven Families: Avery, Gallup, Geer, Lester, Morgan, Spicer & Williams
    Page: pages 137-144
    2. Type: Book
    Periodical: "The Lesters, A Brief History and Genealogy of the Lesters of the Massachusetts and Connecticut Colonies"
    Author: J. William Lester
    Publication: 1926
    Text: pages 19, 22-23
    3. Type: Book
    Periodical: "History of the Town of Ledyard 1659 - 1900"
    Author: Reverend John Avery
    Publication: 1901
    Text: pages 142-148
    4. Type: Web Site
    Title: FamilySearch Pedigree File
    URL: Familysearch.org
    Text: Individual Record; Compact Disc #62; Submission search 1670312-0424103102958; D.C. Gorman; 11 Edmands Rd #87, Framingham, Massachusetts 01701
    5. Type: Book
    Periodical: "The Lesters, A Brief History and Genealogy of the Lesters of the Massachusetts and Connecticut Colonies"
    Author: J. William Lester
    Publication: 1926
    6. Type: Book
    Periodical: "History of the Town of Ledyard 1659 - 1900"
    Author: Reverend John Avery
    Publication: 1901
  • Change Date: 1 Jul 2008 at 01:00:00



    Marriage 1 Anna STREET b: 24 Nov 1710 in Groton, New London County, Connecticut
    • Married: Aug 1733
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