Hester Williams (Kelsey) (1636 - 1720) MP

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Nicknames: "Esther (Kelsey) Eggleston Eno"
Birthplace: Hartford, (Present Hartford County), (Present Connecticut), (Present USA)
Death: Died in Windsor, Hartford County, Province of Connecticut, (Present USA)
Occupation: first girl child born in Hartford Connecticut
Managed by: David Lee Kaleita
Last Updated:

About Hester Williams (Kelsey)

Hester Kelsey (1636 - 1720), daughter of William Kelsey, was born 1636 at Hartford, Connecticut, and died at the age of 84 on 10 July 1720 at Hartford, Connecticut. She married (1) prior to 1656 James Eggleston (1617 - 1679), son of Bygod Eggleston and Mary Talcott; (2) James Eno (also spelled Enno) in 1681; (3) John Williams.

Marriages and Children

  1. James Eggleston (1617 - 1679); married about 1655; ten children
    1. James Eggleston (1 January 1656 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut - 29 December 1746 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut)
    2. John Eggleston (27 March 1659 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut - 10 March 1731 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut)
    3. Thomas Eggleston (27 July 1661 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut - 6 April 1732 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut)
    4. Hester Eggleston (1 December 1663 Windsor, Connecticut - 1698 Enfield, Connecticut)
    5. Nathaniel Eggleston, (15 August 1666 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut - date unknown, Westfield, Massachusetts)
    6. Isaac Eggleston (27 February 1669 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut - 30 January 1753 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut)
    7. Abigail Eggleston (1 September 1671 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut - 30 January 1753 Enfield, Hartford, Connecticut)
    8. Deborah Eggleston (1 May 1674 Windsor or Wintonbury, Hartford, Connecticut - date unknown)
    9. Hannah Eggleston (19 December 1676 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut - 28 January 1761 Lebanon, Connecticut)
    10. Joseph Eggleston (1677 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut - 5 September 1767 Stonington, New London, Connecticut)
  2. James Eno, aka Enno, aka Enos (1625 - 1682) married in 1681 when Hester was 55 years old and almost certainly past childbearing age; there were no children of this marriage. For further information, please see Notes section, below.
  3. John Williams

Notes

Hester Kelsey Willliam's life has been the source of much confusion for researchers, due to the general lack of contemporaneous records for women of her time, her multiple marriages, and several errors in histories published in the 19th century that have been perpetuated ever since. The following notes reflect the most current research available:

  • Hester was also referred to as Esther. Both were often used interchangeably at the time and they refer to the same woman. Some sources refer to her as Mary. It is unclear whether this was a nickname or if records for two women were confused.
  • Although some sources list her maiden name as Williams, this is an error. Her father's surname was Kelsey. She married three times and her final husband's name was Williams, therefore, as researcher and historian George McCracken put it, "she was surnamed Williams at her death, not, as so often claimed, at her birth".
  • At the time of her marriage to her second husband, James Eno, she was 55 years old - considerably past childbearing age at the time. Although at least some sources have claimed that she had one or more more children with James Eno, there are no records to support this highly unlikely claim. Most researchers agree that:
    • James Eggleston had only one wife, Hester;
    • Hester only had children with James Eggleston;
    • children sometimes attributed to her marriage with James Eno were his stepchildren from her marriage to James Eggleston.

Notable Descendants

  • U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes
  • Abolitionist John Brown

Sources

  • Kelsey Kindred, a family site dedicated to researching the Kelsey surname. Please note that this site does attribute one child to the marriage of Hester and James Eno, although this is in error.
  • Find A Grave. The author for this memorial cites the authoritative Doug Richardson study, "The Eno and Enos Family in America," 1973, which states "James Eno had only three known children, all by first wife Anna." During the mid to later stages of the 20th century Richardson was a frequent contributor to the NEHG Society's REGISTER and other genealogy publications.
view all 15

Hester Williams's Timeline

1636
1636
Hartford, (Present Hartford County), (Present Connecticut), (Present USA)
1651
March 30, 1651
Age 15
Dorchester (within present Boston), Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
1656
January 1, 1656
Age 20
Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut Colony, (Present USA)
1659
March 27, 1659
Age 23
Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut, USA
1661
July 27, 1661
Age 25
Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut, United States
1663
December 1, 1663
Age 27
Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut
1665
1665
Age 29
Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut Colony, (Present USA)
1666
August 15, 1666
Age 30
Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut, USA
1668
February 27, 1668
Age 32
Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut Colony, (Present USA)
1671
September 1, 1671
Age 35
Windsor,Hartford,Connecticut,USA