The Jesty Family Tree
(Revised January 2017)
These pages are devoted to the Jesty family of Dorset and Somerset,
from the earliest definite names and dates we know, in the mid-1600s,
to the early 1900s in all branches, and in most to
the present. In 2003 I started
organizing and posting on the web a collection of early (1700-1800s)
from my aunt, Vera Jesty. Since then the tree has expanded more than four-fold with
contributions from many
others, plus online sources. I think we now have about 1400 names: at least 1100 Jestys and spouses, and 250
in daughter lines (> 90% first generation, some seconds, and a few
thirds). Although many lines run to the present, the core of these pages is pre-1920. More than 95% of Jestys in the British
1881 census are accounted for, more than
90% of the 1901 census, and at least 70% of the 1911 census. By then the
family was expanding not just in England but in Canada, USA,
New Zealand and Australia. As of 2016, some
Jesty youngsters are the 11th generation from our founders John and
tree pages are linked visual trees with colour-coded generations. If
readers would like to translate pieces
of this tree into standard formats (e.g. GEDCOM) for
analysis by genealogical web sites,
I can post them here. This first page of the tree shows
my format (click on it). There are eight more such pages (Tree Pages,
I am an amateur genealogist, and forgiving
about nits: confirmed birthdates, concrete documentation, certain proof
descent or identity,
etc. On the other
I doubt there are many pre-1920 Jestys
won't find in these pages at some level of confidence: certain,
probable, or speculative. More than 90% are certain. If you don't know your distant roots,
but have Jesty grandparent(s)
them about their
Jesty parents and grandparents: names, rough dates, and likely places.
can find that information, 3-4 generations back, you may well succeed
in identifying your branch, and these pages might then take you back more
than 300 years.
IMPORTANT NOTE (Aug 2016). WEAK MODERN BROWSERS: LINKS DON'T WORK IN PDF TREE PAGES. Most modern browsers (at least for PCs) no longer support PDF files properly, and the tree pages here are PDF
format. Chrome, Firefox, and
Microsoft's new Edge browser will all display a tree page, but they will not let you connect to any of the links--especially the copious notes and photos--within the tree pages. GO HERE for information about the problem, and how to fix it.
REQUEST (Apr 2016): DNA databases. If you are a member of a genealogical service like ANCESTRY.COM, MUNDIA.COM, FINDMYPAST.COM, etc, and have provided cheek swabs for DNA analysis (particularly Y-chromosome analysis), I would be very grateful if you would contact me about any JESTY hits, and help me with contacting them. I only subscribe to FTDNA.COM, which is mainly American and Canadian subscribers.
South Somerset, and perhaps a founding link with Canada (December 2016). Following a review of Patrick Pead's new book in The Greenwood Tree (journal of the Somerset and Dorset Family History Society),
which included a nice plug for these pages, Audrey German (a Jesty daughter-line descendant) wrote about
one of my unconnected islands, extending it back to the late 1700s
Rimpton and Chilton Cantelo. Two important things about this. (i) An
illegitimate son of a Jesty daughter, Charles Jesty (bapt. 1793), and
(ii) his son George Jesty (bapt. 1816). I find no death record for
George, and he doesn't appear in the 1841 census. It is tempting to
wonder whether he emigrated to Newfoundland in his 20s (Bristol, Poole
and Falmouth--all reasonably local--were major ports for the
Newfoundland fishing industry), but carrying with him no male (Y-chromosome) Jesty genes. Unfortunately the theory will likely remain
pie in the sky for a long time. See my new Somerset sheet for the details.
A historical novel (October 2016) by
Noel Allsup about north Dorset, including much about the scourge
of smallpox in the countryside, and a fictional appearance by Benjamin:
see Books below.
Benjamin Jesty web site (July 2016). Patrick Pead has set up a new site about vaccinator Benjamin, at http://www.benjaminjesty.com. He provides a lot of information there, including his recent book (details also under Vaccination, below).
Family picture (Yetminster) and more Yeovil details (May 2016).
Assigning names and roots to the Yetminster Jesty family photo (Apr 2016) was not so easy, and
needed delving into the Yeovil descendants on sheet C as
well. I have made several additions on that sheet in spouse names, dates, etc.
Many thanks to Monica Fowler
(centre in the photo) for copies of Jesty/Fowler marriage and birth
certificates from the 1870-80s that sorted out some of the
complications. The photo names are now complete.
Benjamin Jesty in Yetminster (April 2016). April
16th was the 200th anniversary of Benjamin's death. The
Yetminster Historical Society hosted a very successful meeting
bicentenary, and Patrick
Pead gave an informative talk about Benjamin and the early history
of vaccination. Thanks to Alec Reek of the Society, a press report of the celebration (from the Western Gazette) is here.
Of the 100+ attendees, about one third were Jestys and
descendants, some from as far away as Houston, Texas and Long
Island, New York. The family photo (link above) is quite incomplete, because
many Jestys couldn't make it, and anyway herding Jestys for a
photo is a feline task.
(February 2016). Since I sometimes receive requests to help with
possible contacts between Jestys and relatives in the tree, I have
added a suggestion for getting in touch, below.
Jestys still in Jersey (January 2016). André Jesty kindly wrote to tell me that there are still Jestys in Jersey, still going strong. However, the St Helier branch (sheet C, upper right) was already confusing and speculative, so it will take a while to sort out the connecting lines...patience!
The major original sources for these pages were Vera Jesty's
several handwritten tree branches, derived from much work in the
county records offices of Dorset and
Somerset, parish records, wills, gravestones, and newspaper records, and amounting to about 250 names.
Since then many family branches have contributed information, from
Dorset, Somerset and Hampshire to Australia, New Zealand, Nova Scotia,
Quebec, Ontario, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, Wyoming, etc; and
of course I rely increasingly on the Internet for records of births,
marriages and deaths, and censuses. The total is now about 1500 names.
Internet Sources. The free
Church site, www.familysearch.org,
is vast and ranges worldwide, but transcriptions and records can be
unreliable, particularly about spelling. I
generally consider two
independent hits on familysearch.org
convincing, but just one is weak. Weaker, I
find, are ancestry.com
and its sister site, mundia.com,
where I find it difficult to distinguish between a hard record
subscriber posting or opinion, and like familysearch.org,
some entries are just wrong. More recently, I have found www.findmypast.com and
affiliates (which include the official UK census sites, 1841-1911) a bit more reliable.
UK census is open and I have used it for several additions. The
Canadian 1901 census is online, with
Captain George's family in Nova Scotia being the only Jestys in Canada.
1940 US census is open, and partly searchable. The ability to examine much
raw--often handwritten--material nowadays is a valuable advance. A
with some of my US searches was the lack of any 1890 census information,
all the records for that year having been destroyed in a warehouse fire in the 1930s.
early information about George and Ann Jesty in Newfoundland and
baptisms of their children and grandchildren there came from the
Newfoundland Grand Banks genealogy site, http://ngb.chebucto.org,
but all the later information about their Canadian descendants (after
1901 Canadian census) comes
from Wanda Ross of Ottawa and Chris Denney of Buffalo, NY. The Catholic Record Society,
of Columbus, Ohio, was very helpful in sorting out a confusing 1930
census record for a Mary Ann Jesty, age 13, at a Columbus convent, who turned out to be a granddaughter of Jonathan Frederick (sheet F).
births-marriages-deaths index (BMD, started 1837) until the1970s is
online at www.freebmd.org.uk:
a good reliable free site, especially for marriages; but birth records
before 1911 do not cite
mothers' names and are thus not useful, and death
records are thin.
of St Helier,
Jersey, checked for me the 1861 and 1871 Jersey censuses for a piece
of sheet C, and for any sign of an earlier George Jesty who might have
fishing in Newfoundland. I have also used the Dorset Online Parish
Clerks site, www.opcdorset.org,
which varies from thin to excellent depending on the
parish and the
all-volunteer people who transcribe the records. It is especially
useful for pre-BMD records, and
fortunately the Leigh-Yetminster records are
very good. There is a notable country that is still quite
hopeless: Australia, which has no national BMD index;
in most Australian states is not easily available online. New Zealand is
better but very
time-limited: even birth records are not public for 100 years. So I
can't track those many Kiwi Jestys who I know are there down under.
Helpers. Numerous Jestys or
descendants have helped me out over these 13
them (apologies to those not listed) are: Rowena Jesty, Mark Jesty,
Alan Jesty, Philip Clark, Andrew Falinski,
Paul Foster, Tineke and Justin Gill, Felicity Hann, Bob
David Hunt, Cam Jesty, Wanda Ross, Chris Denney, Mary Gordon, two
Richard Jestys (Melbourne and London),
Keay, Lesley Grayson, Sarah Brook, Chris Jesty, Leonie Spiccia, Martin
Jesty, Megan Jesty, (Cedric) Barry Jesty, Val
Cooper, April Brown, Marianne Roberts, Margaret Pearce, Maj. Ben Jesty,
Rhoda Reenders, Joshua Jesty, Eric O'Neil, Andrew Toop, Marian Piehler,
Dennis Smith, André Jesty, Andy Buchan, and Audrey German.
Books. Readers might note
A.D. Mills's book, Dorset Place Names
(Ensign Publications, Southampton, 1991; ISBN 185455-065-9), which can
be a bit addictive for someone from Dorset! All the villages that
appear here are recorded
in Domesday (1086, available
in facsimile and translation, and by county), but
only one of the
Jesty farms that I have found. That is
Piddletrenthide and Cheselbourne, which includes a very ancient chapel (certainly the reason for the
Domesday entry), and which Harry Jesty (1918-1963, son of
Harry Robert of Roke Fm) farmed in the late 1950s. However, all the
farms here appear in Mr Mills's book, with
spelling variations, back to medieval times, 1200-1400s. Also
Beaton's book, Dorset Maps
(Dovecote Press, Standbridge,
Wimborne, 2001, ISBN
1874336-79-2), going back to the 1600s, which allowed me to identify my
1695 map that is the background for these pages. Additionally, a recent
novel by Noel Allsup includes a fictional reference to Benjamin's
vaccinations in a north Dorset village suffering the scourge of
smallpox: Thresher: Winter Grip. (2016; ISBN 978 1785899 423). Books: vaccination. Finally, a strong recommendation to read Patrick Pead's two books about
Benjamin Jesty and cowpox vaccination:
1) Vaccination Rediscovered
(2006, Timefile Books, Chichester, ISBN 0-9551561-0-6). A good informative read.
2) Benjamin Jesty: Grandfather of Vaccination
(2016, Timefile Books, Chichester, ISBN 978-0-9551561-2-0). A major piece of work, with
detailed analysis of who (Montague, Jesty, Jenner, and others) knew what, who did
what, and especially when they did it, in the fight against smallpox in
the 18th century and before. Jenner
certainly developed cowpox vaccination into a highly
effective public-health procedure in the 1800s--so much so that
vaccination was mandatory by the 1850s--but his claim to
being the first to deliberately inoculate with cowpox (i.e. vaccinate)
wrong. Moreover, as Patrick shows, he almost certainly knew he was
TREE INFORMATION: naming, searching, viewing, links, formats
NAMING RULES. ALL
names are given names ONLY--the surname is assumed--EXCEPT
for incoming spouses upon marriage, where, if known, (1) the surnames of wives are underlined; (2) the
of husbands are in CAPS, WHICH CHANGES THE (ASSUMED) SURNAME FOR ALL CHILDREN AND DESCENDANTS.
Related things... (i) Children are often given
maiden name as a middle name: these have no
underline. (ii) Some
children have new hyphenated surnames from both parents. These are
given in full, using CAPS
again to denote the change. (iii) Same-sex marriages are becoming
common, and there are two in the tree. I
apply the same rule for any subsequent children and lines: if the
spouse's name is underlined,
the existing surname remains unchanged; but if the name is in CAPS,
that denotes a change.
You can't search all the pages at once, but you can search a tree (PDF) page at a time, using Ctrl-F (on PCs). Just enter the first name you
are looking for.
html skills are minimal, so these pages contain no
cookies, popups, etc. Material is
checked with current versions of Symantec
Antivirus and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (MBAM)
First, remember that on PCs at least, Ctrl+
enlarges and Ctrl- shrinks,
pages and photos. The PDF tree pages are in a deliberately small font, to get more
on a page. When
you look at your first tree (PDF) page a new tab opens. To move back
the back arrow. To get back here, close the tab. (At least, that's the intent!)
tree pages. Links in HTML text pages (like this
one) are normal
underlined web-page format. Within the PDF tree pages they are different: click on red links
for photos, and blue links
for other tree pages and for notes. However, read the Important Note at the top of this page about problems with the PDF readers in Chrome and Firefox not recognising these links.
Saving, Printing. You can print and save
the tree sheets from the File
menu, or sometimes by right-clicking. If you want to frame and hang your ancestors on the wall, the resolution should be
print them at larger
size (maybe 50% larger) if you go to a print or photo
shop with a large printer.
Tree page format. Should
anyone wonder, I make the tree pages in Powerpoint and then
translate them into PDFs,
at which stage links are
added, along with basic read-only security (to prevent having different
versions of the pages floating around in the web world). The tree is
format, but I would be happy to post, or link to, GED
files of pieces of the tree prepared by others. The HTML
one, notes, etc.--were
FAMILY TREE PAGES
To see it all. Even on a large PC
screen you can't do it, but if you print the six main pages and lay
them out top-left (A) to bottom-right (F) on a table you will
see the breadth of the whole thing.
The lines of descent for each generation are coloured on a rotating
in the order BLACK, RED,
I have marked every 4th generation (the black ones: 1, 5, 9) so that
you can keep track of cousins and steps of cousinly
removal, and how distant you are from John
and Magdalen Justy. As of 2016, a few young Jestys are
11th-generation descendants (blue). Colours transfer across
pages, except for the
Islands and the Canadian line,
which are not yet connected to the rest of the tree. Overall, a
averages about 115 years, though some branches make babies faster than others.
I use a few abbreviations, but they're a
bit random. Here are the majority: "b." = born; "d." = died; "bur." =
buried; "m" =
marriage; "ch." or
christened/baptised; "div." = divorced; "dau." = daughter; "bro." =
brother; "em." = emigrated; (C) or c =
census (date given, or
obvious). Remarriages are shown as m(n),
but the arrangement varies because of space restrictions.
Children usually come from the first marriage, and that is usually
clear. If in doubt, assume that the
children of the first marriage are referred to.
John and Magdalen Justy of Leigh are the first we know definitely.
While Vera Jesty has found hearth-tax records and the like for
Yetminster and Sherborne
Justys (and other spellings) in the 1600s, John and
the first definite trunk. Note also that consistent parish
records do not start until the 1660s. John & Magdalen's children
all recorded as Jestys, as are their descendants. Sheet A includes the
line of the eldest son, John, through
Longburton to Liverpool, Birkenhead, and New York, until the 1900s. No
present Jestys of this line are known, but daughter
This starts the line of John & Magdalen's youngest son Robert
(Robin) and Edith (Harris) of Winterhays. Three sons are the founders
of major lines. John (1730) founded a line that
goes to Bath and Bristol, and from there into London and Essex. William
is the founder of larger branches of the tree: sheets C and C1 (his
son Robert, 1765); and the descendants of his son William (1768), on
sheets D (Robert, 1798), and E + F (Charles, 1800). Benjamin,
the vaccinator's, tree is shown here but that male
line ends with
his grandsons Thomas, George, and John, with no descendants. This sheet
also gets quite complicated in the lower left quadrant (John's branch), with all sorts
of interesting descendants, including Swithin George (a wood-carver),
his aunt Kezia Amy, and descendants of his father Robert Douglas
(b. 1849), who get all mixed up in such far-afield places as the
Caribbean, USA, and the Netherlands. Thanks to Tineke Gill (born in
Holland; her mother Avis was a Jesty) for many of the details.
shows the large island of Canadian Jestys, originating with Founders
George and Annie (Groves) Jesty in Newfoundland before 1850. Their
son, Captain George, and family (including mother Annie) emigrated to
North Sydney, Nova
Scotia (Canada), in 1886. This line stretches across Canada, from
Newfoundland and Nova Scotia to British Columbia, but there is no known link with the
English Jesty tree.
There are a few other Canadian
Jestys in the tree who are definite Dorset descendants, but they are
this large island. The Notes for this page have many details about what
we know and don't know about the descent of this line, including the
results of DNA analysis.
This is the line of William's (1734) son Robert (1765) and Jane
(Harris). They are the founders of the major Yeovil
having moved from Yetminster to Yeovil around 1820. As well as
descendants still living in and around Yeovil, this line connects
through Alresford, Hampshire to present-day Melbourne, Australia; and
Jersey, Channel Islands. I have added Kenneth Jesty, greengrocer in St
Helier in the 1950s,
and his daughter Ann; but Kenneth's father is not yet known (see also
News about André Jesty, above.) There are also additions on this
page--(i) another daughter of William, wheelwright of Yetminster
Eliza, b. 1853, who married Walter Fowler, and their small branch; and
(ii) a sub-sheet, of the Jesty glovers and printers, which includes
author and cartographer Chris Jesty (Sheet
This line descends from William (1734)'s grandson Robert (1792) and
(Minchington). A large branch descends here from their elder son
(1827) and Adelaide (Hinbury), who had 16 children in Yetminster and
more than 30 grandchildren. Many
children in this line were daughters. This line continues to the
present in parts and has been expanded recently to the extent
that it has no more room!
This is the line of the first marriage of Charles (1800, "Old Charles")
and Sarah Salter, to his arrival in Bere Regis. This includes the
Weymouth line (including his eldest son, "young" Charles, Mayor of
Weymouth just before his death) into the
1900s and the present day. Sheet E
also includes the New Zealand Jesty line, in part to the
present, and a smaller number of Jestys in Australia, including a
daughter line of historic interest (see page). But if any Kiwis are
reading, please help me with the New Zealand Jesty branch. I know you
exist in substantial numbers, particularly around Auckland, but I don't
know any details beyond what is here.
This line is from Old Charles's second marriage, to Amelia
Ainsworth of Bere Regis, to the present. Major lines are William
Ainsworth Jesty's and Henry Robert Jesty's, the latter being the main Bere Regis
branch, including me. Additionally, a considerable American line
their brother Jonathan Frederick's family
Winona, Mississippi from the 1870s to the early 1920s, to Jestys now in
Ohio, and through Michigan to a daughter line in Wyoming and South
This sheet contains Jesty islands that I have not
yet connected to the main tree (i.e. sheets A-F). There are
two in the 1800s: a perplexing one in Gosport,
Hampshire that goes back before 1800, and is surely the root of cricket
players Trevor Jesty and his daughter Lorna; and another in
Chester, which has possibly died out. Also here is a
of the Pope tree showing the "descent" of Benjamin's portrait from his
son Robert and granddaughter Edith (Jesty)
Pope to Frank Pope of Molteno, South Africa.
This sheet starts in the mid-late 1700s around Rimpton, Chilton Cantelo
and Yeovilton in south Somerset. It later runs, via Ireland, into
Portland and Hampshire, but it also provides a perhaps-important
speculative link with
the founding of the large Canadian Jesty island. However, it is
not yet connected with the main body of the tree (sheets A-F).
The Jesty name.
The early spellings of English
vary a lot. Justy, Justin, Jesse, Jestin, Jestins, Jestings, Jesty and
variations are all recorded
around Yetminster, Yeovil, Sherborne, etc. Jesty seems to become the
preferred form in the early-mid 1700s in all branches that we know of.
By Y-chromosome analysis (2014), the only family in the FamilyTreeDNA
database (which is mainly American and Canadian subscribers) that shows significant paternal linkage to me are the Stedmans,
or Steadmans, with roots in Wales and southwest England back to the
1600s and before. Perhaps as more people provide their cheek-swabs to DNA databases we will have more information about other distant roots and branches...
unclear family links.
I hope the
majority of the
tree is fairly accurate in names and links, shown by solid lines, but
early names and dates must be regarded as flexible even so. Speculation
names or links--i.e. is this a real person or the right person, or is
this marriage correct?--is shown by a ?.
parentage is shown by dotted links, ----.
Dates of birth and names
are commonly subject to error: i) censuses record
the age on census day (the month and date vary for each census), not
date of birth; ii) censuses until quite recently were
based on orally reported and hand-written information, so names (both
given and family, and especially spelling)
are always unreliable;
iii) the first UK census was in 1841; iv) for earlier times, births were not recorded and baptisms
occur some time (sometimes years) after birth; and (v) central British BMD
records, which started in 1837, are recorded quarterly, not by
birthdate. (For births in October-December, this can often mean that the BMD birth registration is in the following year.) Personal census data are confidential for 100 years in the UK,
though less in some other countries like USA. And of
course I make mistakes as well.
MAPS, GEOGRAPHY, HISTORY
The maps on this page predate Google's maps, but I'm leaving them
up. Most of the Dorset villages found in the tree can easily be found
via Google, e.g. "Leigh, Dorset, UK" will quickly find Leigh, John
Justy's home in the 1600s, and still there today, a small hamlet southeast of Yetminster.
Similarly for Benjamin's (and many other Jesty's) Yetminster itself, an
important small town, and fortunately off any major modern road. Dorset
is lucky in never having been much urbanised, except for Poole's
substantial urban expansion in the mid 1900s in the east, and the
taking of Bournemouth and
Christchurch from Hampshire into Dorset in 1974. With the exception of
southeast conurbation, Dorset is remarkably unchanged from many
hundreds of years ago.
Most of it is still rural, and the villages largely survive, with
typically a church and a pub and a post office and probably a village
unusual survival is particularly true of almost all the villages and
farms mentioned in these pages, many of which were already very old in
1600s and 1700s.
Anyway... The map
index, and the background image for these pages,
is Robert Morden's Dorset map of 1695, from my living room wall (and
certainly unavailable on Google!),
showing the central-Dorset
section. Additionally there are six sections of the 1973
Ordnance Survey sheet, showing the locations of villages
farms of Jesty interest, going back to John Justy's Leigh and Robert
& Edith's Winterhays, to the south of Yetminster.
There's a photo page of Jesty
farms etc. Individual farms are also linked in the tree pages.
Family. Family individuals
or groups are linked from the
tree pages as well.
The unveiling of Benjamin's restored portrait in the Dorset County Museum in Dorchester in 2009
brought together a large group. More recently, June 2015, thirty-seven Bere Regis Jesty descendants (sheet F) gathered for a Bere Regis family party in Wool. And the recent commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Benjamin's death in Yetminster (April 2016) saw a more general Jesty gathering.
Others welcome. If you have interesting
old family or other photographs, or photos of things like marriage certificates, death certificates, etc, I
would be very happy to add them (preferably digital photos or scans:
Some of the photos
in these pages are mine, some are gifts from other branches of the
family, and a small number are from open public sources. Take them if
you like, but please cite the source if you re-post them on web sites,
There are many Jesty photographs, including documents, available on www.ancestry.com, and especially
Many of the names there are readily found in these pages.
JESTY CONTACT INFORMATIONWeb page.You can contact me by email, email@example.com.
Please put FAMILY
TREE, in CAPS,
somewhere in the Subject
heading. For corrections, or for new
information, send as much as you would
like to share,
e.g. name, birth, marriage, and death dates, home town/village,
occupation, etc. If the information is recent, remember that this site
is public, so reduce the detail if you like. Do
not include contemporary birthdates to the very day: just the year is fine. Links
from social-media sites to this site are welcome (there are lots of
Jestys on Facebook!),
but links in the
opposite direction would be too chaotic to handle.
Other. If you want to try to contact someone in these pages, I have made a contact list
of the email names that I have (currently
about 90 of them), but I rarely give out email addresses. To get in
touch with someone,
check the list, send me a brief contact request, and I will forward it.
If you are not on the list and would like to be added for
future announcements about this page, just ask.
SMALL PRINT, DISCLAIMER
These pages are now cited by other
genealogical services, and are found by Google and the like,
so I am
adding this: Nothing
presented in these
pages is guaranteed to be correct and nothing should be construed as
fact. After finding something here, if you need formal
evidence of a
relationship or a vital statistic, you need to contact an official
county, state, or national records office.
Long Island, New York
Revised December 2016
The web site jesty.org is
owned and operated
by me. It is generously hosted by my nephew Andrew Jesty at his
Computer Engineers. He is not responsible for the content.