The Reese Connection

Esther Stockslager’s daughter Mary Stockslager was the mother of Isaac Beard (1792/3 – c1834).  After the death of Esther’s husband Alexander Stockslager, she remarried to Joel Reese and had two more children.   Widowed for the second time, Esther Reese died in 1818 leaving a will specifying that her property was to be divided equally among her children except “my sons Joseph Reese and Isaac Reese they having already received full satisfaction from me for their share…”1   Their birth dates come from their respective family Bibles, provided courtesy of descendants.  Although they were just a few years older than Isaac Beard, Joseph and Isaac Reese were his uncles.

The letter written to George Baird in 1854 by Mary Ferguson letter says “Your grandmother [Mary Stockslager] had two brothers by the name of Reece, one was named Joseph.  Your farther learned his trade from him.   Joseph Reese was apprenticed to “learn the trade of a hatter” on 13 October 1801, when he was 17 years old.   If he taught the trade to Isaac Beard it must have been just before Isaac’s enlistment in the army in 1814, when Isaac was already listing his occupation as hatter.

Isaac Baird must have left his home in Shenandoah County to live with Joseph Reese in Kentucky sometime around 1810 when Joseph Reese was already established there.   He may have been one of the males in Reese’s 1810 household.

The brother Isaac Reese, who may have been one of the adult males in that 1810 Kentucky census household, returned to Shenandoah to marry Harriet Gardner on 15 September 1819.  Both Isaac Reese and Joseph Reese were in the 1820 census of Warren County, Kentucky.  Isaac Reese, of Warren County, and Joseph Reese “late of Warren County, Kentucky and now of Texas” together sold their interest in Esther Reese’s estate in May 1832.  Isaac Reese remained in Warren County but Joseph Reese moved to Texas in January 1830 as one of the original settlers in the Austin colony.  Two of his sons also claimed land in the Austin Colony, stating they had moved to Texas in January and February 1830, respectively.    Joseph Reese acquired nearly 4,500 acres on the Colorado River and another 2,800 acres in Brazoria County.

  1. Joseph Reese (12 January 1784 – 2 December 1845)   Whether Joseph Reese was born in January or February is uncertain.  The Joseph Reese Bible gives his birth date as 12 January 1784.  However, he was “17 years old 12th day of Feb. last” when he bound himself as “Joseph Reese, orphan of Joel, to Peter Hoffman to learn the trade of a hatter” in late 1801.  He appears to have moved to Kentucky by 1810 when he appeared as head of household in  Jefferson County, Kentucky with extra adults in the household.2   We know that was him for of the 11 children listed in the Joseph Reese family Bible, only two survived long enough to be counted in the 1850 census and the eldest, born 13 November 1810, gave his birthplace as Kentucky. 3  He was in the 1820 census of Warren County along with his brother Isaac.  When he sold his share of his mother’s estate on 3 May 1832, he was “late of Kentucky but now of Texas.”4  He had been one of Austin’s original settlers in early 1830, receiving a grant for 4,428 acres on the Colorado River in what would become Brazoria County on 14 April 1830.5  He had another 2,800 acres in Brazoria County.  Two of his sons also claimed land in the Austin Colony, stating they had moved to Texas in January and February 1830, respectively.  Later records in Texas show that he had married Margaret Bowman on 18 August 1806, and had children named Harriett Hite Reese, Charles Keller Reese, Eliza Jones ReeseWashington Perry Reese, Ellen Jane Reese, Andre Jackson Reese, William Erwin Reese,  and four others who died in infancy or early childhood.  A biographical statement published in 1936 repeats some of this information.6
  2. Isaac Reese (1 April 1785 – May 1852).  An online cemetery record gives different birth and death dates, which do not match other records. 7  He was “15 years old 1st day of April last” when he bound himself (the same day as his brother) as “Isaac Reese, orphan of Joel, to George Smith to learn the trade of a millwright”.  He may have joined his brother in Kentucky for a time, but he was in Shenandoah County in 1818 when he was a purchaser at his mother’s estate sale, and in 1819 when he married Harriet Gardner.  He was apparently in Warren County, Kentucky with his brother by 1820.  He was also living in Warren County when he sold his interest in his mother’s estate in the same deed as his brother in 1832. 8  He remained in Warren County, appearing in censuses through 1850.  According to the Warren County death register he died in Bowling Green on an unspecified day in May 1852.
  1. Shenandoah County Will Book L, p3. []
  2. 1810 Jefferson County, Kentucky census, p543:  Joseph Reese 00120-20301.  There is a Joseph “Rease” in the 1810 Shenandoah County census index, who is mis-indexed and who is not him. []
  3. 1850 Brazoria County, Texas census, p384: Charles K. Reese age 39, born Ky.  The Bible identifies him as Charles Keller Reese, apparently named for his grandfather, born on 13 November 1810.  The other child, William Erwin Reese, is in DeWitt County, age 27 also born Ky. []
  4. Shenandoah County Deed Book MM, p147.  Isaac Reese sold his own share and acted as attorney for his brother Joseph Reese. []
  5. Grant Vol. 7, grant #44. []
  6. Daughters of Republic of Texas Patriot Ancestor Album, Dorothy Burns Peterson (Turner Publishing Company, 1936), p230. []
  7. An online entry for the Pioneer Cemetery in Bowling Green gives the dates as 24 September 1786 – 15 July 1852. []
  8. Shenandoah County Deed Book MM, p147. []