Avery Mustain Will

Here is the Avery Mustain will as another family researcher listed it from the Pittsylvania County will book. Spelling is unchanged.

The record of Avery’s Revolutionary War Service, from his pension request, is also on this blog. Grave location is listed under details of his military service.

Avery Mustain Headstone

Avery Mustain (1756-1833)

Pittsylvania County Virginia Will Book 1, 242-243

“I Avery Mustain of the County of Pittsylvania and State of VA.  First I and give unto my beloved, wife, Mary Mustain the tract of land whereon I now live containing upwards of 500 acres more or less….at her death…….to be equally divided between my 4 sons, Joel Mustain, Haley Mustain, Shadrack Mustain and Thomas Mustain.  But my said wife is not to interupt my sons Joel and Haley or interfere with them in the the cultivation of their respective plantations on which they now live, which constitutes a part of the aforesaid tract.

In the division after the death of my wife my son Joel’s 1/4 part is to be laid off as to include the plantation whereon he now lives, and my son Haley’s part so laid off as to include the plantation whereon he now lives, and the balance so divided equally between my sons Shadrach and Thomas as to give to my son Thomas the house in which I now live.  I lend to my wife during her natural life all my slaves.  After the death of my wife I direct that all my slaves shall equally be divided between my children, Drury Mustain, Haley Mustain, Shadrach Mustain, Polly Dove, Thomas Mustain and Elizabeth Shelton.  I lend to my daughter Elizabeth Shelton the tract of land whereon she and her husband Littleberry Shelton now live…..containing 100 acres during her life….at her death I direct that the same be equally divided between her children.

After the payment of my just debts by my executors I give unto my wife Mary during her life all the rest of my estate….at her death to be equally divided between my children, Drury, Joel, Haley, Shadrach, and Thomas Mustain, Polly Dove, and Elizabeth Shelton.  After the death of my said wife, if there be enough of the pershable part of my estate to do so, that my grandson, Clark Mustain, be paid the sum of $100…..I do appojnt my son Joel Mustain and my friend Abraham C Shelton my executors.  Signed Avory Mustain April 21, 1829.  Witnesses:  William A Easley, Vincent Shelton, Jr., David Glenn”.

NOTES:  He only gives land to four sons, no mention of Drury. After the death of his wife he wants all his slaves equally divided between my children DRURY, Haley, Shadrach, and Thomas, Polly and Elizabeth Shelton.  This listing excludes Joel, however, he is listed in the dividing of the “rest of my estate” after the death of his wife. His daughter, Saluda, had died in [year] before the date of the will.

Later Sale of 39 Acres

Abstracted this item from Virginia’s Descendants – Featured Family – Avery Mustaine

Pittsylvania County Virginia, Deed Book, “Sept 3, 1836, Mary Mustain widow of Avery., dec, Joel Mustain and William Pannill as commissioner who conveys Haley, Shadrach and Thomas Mustain to Joseph Younger and Armistead Younger 39 acres, sold for $234.00.”

NOTES:  This indicates that Haley, Shadrach and Thomas Mustain had left Virginia by 1836.


Nathaniel Baxter Mustain, Born 1844: Civil War, Vicksburg Surrender, Union Prison & Discharge


NW Arkansas Infantry Flag

NW Arkansas Infantry Flag

Northwest 15th Regiment Flag

The unit that fought under this flag formerly was designated the 21st Arkansas Infantry Regiment. It earned its Transmississippi battle honors as part of Hebert’s brigade, fighting near the 2nd Arkansas Mounted Rifles at…Wilson’s Creek and Pea Ridge. The regiment was designated the Northwest 15th Regiment Arkansas Volunteer Infantry in February 1863…

[Arkansas] Old State House Museum

Combined Flag

Combined Flag

Combined 1st & 15th Regiments Arkansas Volunteer Infantry, Hardee Pattern Flag

The 1st Arkansas Infantry Regiment was consolidated with the 15th Arkansas after brigade commander Lucius Polk was disabled on 16 June 1864. Showing all the physical traits of the standard Hardee issue of 1864, this flag was probably issued at the time of consolidation. The battle honors represent each of the separate units, but are applied as though won by the consolidated unit. The crossed cannons probably honor the capture of three artillery pieces by the 1st Arkansas at Chickamauga, although they are incorrectly shown with muzzles up. The flag was captured by the 14th Michigan at Jonesboro, Georgia, on 1 September 1864.

[Arkansas] Old State House Museum

Nathaniel Baxter Mustain’s Civil War Service

Nathaniel served in the 15th Arkansas Infantry Regiment (Northwest), Company A from Benton County. He enlisted at age 18 in Bentonville, AR, on July 15, 1861.

“…in the Vicksburg Campaign at Port Gibson, Champion’s Hill and Big Black River Bridge, ultimately finding [themselves] surrounded and besieged as part of the Vicksburg garrison. When Vicksburg fell on July 4, 1863, the Northwest Arkansas men were paroled on July 8 and 9, 1863, and sent back to Arkansas to await exchange.”*

Nathaniel, fought in eight battles, over a period of two years, before surrender in the Vicksburg Campaign. I searched to find details about a Union prison, until I discovered that he was, “…Captured 17 May 1863 at Big, Black River Bridge, MS and sent to MP at Ft Delaware, DE. 15 Jun 1863. then to City Point, VA 13 Sep 1863.” So, Nathaniel spent three months at Ft. Delaware, and an undisclosed time at City Point, VA. “…Prisoners of war were exchanged at City Point late in 1862 and through much of 1863…”

Wikipedia, Ft. DelawareIn late 1862, prisoners inside the fort were fed three meals a day instead of the usual two. “For breakfast we had a cup of poor coffee without milk or sugar, and two small pieces of bad bread. For dinner we had a cup of greasy water misnamed soup, a piece of beef two inches square and a half inch thick, and two slices of bread. At supper the fare was the same as at breakfast. This was exceedingly light diet,” wrote Lt. Francis Dawson…

Nathaniel’s brother John was “…Captured 4 Jul 1863 and paroled 8 Jul 1863 at Vicksburg, MS.”

All online details follow.

Wikipedia…click on this first link for a list of battles: The 15th (Northwest) Arkansas Infantry Regiment (1861–1865) was a Confederate Army Infantry regiment during the American Civil War. The unit was originally formed as the 3rd Arkansas Infantry Battalion. After receiving the required 10 companies, the unit was redesignated as the 21st (McRae’s) Arkansas Infantry Regiment. Upon recognition that there was already a 21st Arkansas, the unit was again redesignated as the 15th Arkansas Infantry Regiment. This was the third Arkansas unit to bear the designation “15th Arkansas”. The others are the 15th (Josey’s) Arkansas Infantry Regiment and the 15th (Gee/Johnson) Arkansas Infantry Regiment. The unit saw action both west and east of the Mississippi, before serving in the Vicksburg campaign. The regiment was surrendered at Vicksburg in July 1863. After being paroled and exchanged, the regiment was consolidated with other depleted Arkansas regiments to form the 1st (Trans-Mississippi) Arkansas Consolidated Infantry Regiment.

From another source: 15th (McRae’s-Hobbs’-Boone’s) Infantry Regiment [also called 21st and Northwest Regiment] was formed in December, 1861, using the 3rd Arkansas Infantry Battalion as its nucleus. It took an active part in the battles at Wilson’s Creek and Elkhorn Tavern, and on March 11, 1862, contained 10 officers and 168 men. Later the unit moved east of the Mississippi River, fought at Corinth and Hatchie Bridge, then was assigned to M. E. Green’s and Dockery’s Brigade in the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana. It sustained 82 casualties at Port Gibson…The field officers were Colonels Squire Boone, James H. Hobbs, and Dandridge McRae; Lieutenant Colonel William W. Reynolds; and Majors D. A. Stuart and William Thompson.

*This regiment has a very complicated genealogy.  Initially organized for State service as a four-company battalion under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Dandridge McRae, the battalion enlisted at Bentonville on July 15, 1861.  Upon enlisting in Confederate service, it was designated as the 3rd Battalion Arkansas Infantry.  It fought in the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, Missouri, August 10, 1861, in McCulloch’s Confederate brigade.  During October and November 1861, four additional companies were added, bringing the total to eight, and the battalion was reorganized as an under-strength regiment, the 21st Arkansas, on December 3, 1861.  As the 21st Arkansas prepared for the imminent Battle of Pea Ridge (Elkhorn Tavern), a ninth company was temporarily added.  Known as Emergency Co. I, this company was composed of men from Benton County who enlisted for thirty days of “emergency service”.  The company was disbanded after the Battle of Pea Ridge, March 7, 1862.  In April 1862, the 21st Arkansas was transferred to Mississippi.  Upon arriving in the vicinity of Corinth, the regiment was reorganized on May 8, 1862; and, on May 12, 1862, it was finally brought up to a full complement of ten companies when Companies A and B of Williamson’s Arkansas Battalion were assigned.  That same month, portions of the 14th and 17th Arkansas Regiments were consolidated to form a new 21st Arkansas Regiment.  To avoid confusion, the old 21st Arkansas was redesignated as the 15th Arkansas Regiment in October 1862.  Then it was discovered that there were already two regiments designated as the 15th Arkansas!  Therefore, in February 1863, the regiment was redesignated as the 15th (Northwest) Arkansas Regiment, to avoid confusion with Josey’s “real” 15th Arkansas Regiment and Johnson’s 15th (Southwest) Arkansas Regiment.  As the 15th (Northwest) Arkansas, the regiment in the Vicksburg Campaign at Port Gibson, Champion’s Hill and Big Black River Bridge, ultimately finding itself surrounded and besieged as part of the Vicksburg garrison.  When Vicksburg fell on July 4, 1863, the Northwest Arkansas men were paroled on July 8 and 9, 1863, and sent back to Arkansas to await exchange.  After being exchanged, the regiment was consolidated with the 14th and 16th Arkansas Regiments to form the 1st Arkansas Consolidated Regiment.  Under this final designation, the regiment served in Arkansas and Louisiana until the end of the war.  Most of the men surrendered at Marshall, Texas, and Shreveport, Louisiana, in May and June 1865.

From the same site (see copyright below):

MUSSTAIN, NATHANIEL Pvt  – Enl 15 Jul 1861 at Bentonville, AR. Age 18. Captured 17 May 1863 at Big, Black River Bridge, MS and sent to MP at Ft Delaware, DE. 15 Jun 1863. then to City Point, VA 13 Sep 1863.

MUSTAIN, JAMES Pvt  – Enl 15 Jul 1861 at Bentonville, AR. Died 15 Apr 1862 at Van Buren, AR Hospital.

MUSTAIN, JOHN M. Pvt –  Enl 10 Jan 1862 at Camp Benjamin, AR. Age 22. Captured 4 Jul 1863 and paroled 8 Jul 1863 at Vicksburg, MS.

MUSTAIN, THOMAS Cpl  – Enl 1 Mar 1862 at Frog Bayou, AR. Captured 16 May 1963 at Champion Hill, MS and sent to MP at Ft Delaware, DE. 22 Sep 1863. Exchanged 29 Oct 1863 at Elmira, NY. (Rebecca’s note: Thomas was a prisoner for about 5 weeks.)

[© 2000  by EDWARD G. GERDES all rights reserved. This information may be used by libraries and genealogical societies, however, commercial use of this information is strictly prohibited without prior  permission. If copied, this copyright notice must appear with the information.  This page is not associated with  USGenweb or Rootsweb and the information on these pages is not to be used or copied by them.]

Note about the three other Mustain’s in Company A: John M Mustain was Nathaniel’s older brother. James Mustain, who died at Van Buren, AR,  was not directly related.

I’ve just found records on Fold3 for John M Mustain. I’ll add a PDF link for those images soon. Their last brother was too young, as shown in the details below.

Children of Joseph Devin MUSTAIN (compiled by George Mustain)

  1.  John M MUSTAIN b: 24 Nov 1839 in Nashville,Marshall,TN
  2.  Clarissa Jane MUSTAIN b: 1842 in ,Marshall,TN
  3.  Nathaniel Baxter MUSTAIN b: 1844 in ,Marshall,TN
  4.  Pricilla Emeline MUSTAIN b: 1846 in ,Marshall,TN
  5.  William MUSTAIN b: 1849

Here is a link to the Northwest 15th Arkansas Infantry, a reenactor regiment of the Confederate Army, Western Theater.

If your Mustain, Musteen or Mustaine ancestor served in the Civil War, please comment. Of course, you may be from a related branch with another spelling.


Map Location of Thomas, Jesse and Avery Mustain Historic Homes

The wonderful map below was shared by Chris Mustain (a descendant of Avery), who visited Thomas’, Jesse’s and Avery’s historic homes. This link will take you to a full-size PDF image, if you’d like to share with others in our family or download for your research records. Please state the source as Chris Mustain, Fairfax, VA, 2009, and note that all three homes and Avery’s grave are on private properties.

From page 3 of Delores M. Mustaine’s book:

Thomas Mustain’s home is still standing in Pittsylvania County, Virginia even though it was built nearly 200 years ago. Thomas Mustain’s home was built ca 1769, his son Jesse built ca 1791, his son Avery, built 1788 and his son-in-law’s, father, Littleberry Patterson built his home 1789. These houses are all within 15 miles of each other.

Thomas, Jesse and Avery Mustain Homes

Thomas, Jesse and Avery Mustain Historic Homes. See link to full-size PDF shared by Chris Mustain. Includes Avery’s grave site.

These following excerpts are from Delores’ book, page 2.

In the 1750’s Halifax County was mostly wilderness. Most people were uneducated, there were no schools, and for some time no churches. Homes were small, and built of lumber found on the land. Some did own slaves and some were wealthy.

Thomas Mustain appears to be educated. He signed his own name and owned books, leading us to believe he was an educated man…

Thomas’ 1753 Land Grant

Thomas Mustain received his first land grant February 5, 1753 from King George II of England, signed by Robert Dinwiddle. It consisted of 400 acres in Luneburg County, on Poplar Branch of Mill Creek.

He appears in the March Court Record for Halifax County, Virginia 1753 as follows: “Petition: That a good road be laid off from Stinking River Ford to Cody’s Ford on Stauton River and John Adams, Leonard Terrence and Thomas Musten being first sworn in before Magistrates of this court, view the way and report their opinion. (History of Pittsylvania County by Maud Carter Clements).

Thomas’ 1756 Land Patent with Link to Scan of Original Document

On November 26, 1756 (Delores was mistaken…the date was November 29), Thomas Mustain acquired his second land grant from George II of England, again signed by Governor Robert Dinwiddle. Again it was for 400 acres….”in Halifax County on both sides of Stinking River….corner of Lightfoot’s…crossing Stinking River….crossing a large north branch…” (Virginia Land Patents, Vol. 34, p. 156). For this land grant Thomas paid 40 shillings. (Rebecca’s note. Though Delores called this a land grant, see that it was recorded in Virginia Land Patents. Scroll to page 2 of this link to see an image of the original patent, shared by John Roberts, most recent owner of Thomas Mustain’s historic home. Patents were different than land grants, in that patents were from the King, while grants were from the government. We also see the term “Crown Grant,” which seems to set this type of transaction apart. Those details are on page 1 of the summary and in the footer below the handwritten image of the original document. Here is the typed text of the 1756 land patent. You may share links or images of these documents with other family researchers or download for your records. Please state the source as John Roberts, owner of Thomas Mustain Home, 2013.)

Thomas’ 3rd Land Tract

Another tract was added April 4, 1770. “Jessey Patey (Pottey) and Delila (his wife) of Camden Parish, Pittsylvania County to Thomas Mustain of same for L2C current money, 170 acres on both sides of Nix’s Creek….James Dosses line up both sides of the creek for quantity.” It was Witnessed by Crispin Shelton, Thos (X) Hardy, Abra. Shelton, Simeon Justice, Jane Shelton. The deed was acknowledged August 30, 1770. (Deed Book 1, p. 514-15, Pittsylvania County, Virginia).

Thomas’ will outlined the disbursement of land owned at his death.


Delores M. Mustaine’s Book: The Descendants of Thomas Mustain of Pittsylvania County, Virginia

Delores M Mustaine's Book

To open the digital file, see the line in red.

I know now of three very detailed sources of Mustain and related familes research.

The first is Delores M. Mustaine’s book, which has been scanned and is online at this link.

There is a post on this blog for Carolyn McKenzie’s compilations. Here’s a link to the article with a few notes about using.

George Mustain, who knew both Delores and Carolyn as fellow researchers, has recently retired from further family research. You may view his great volume of data at this link.

More About Using and Printing Delores’ Book

To print pages from Delores’ book, just select the pages and use your browser’s Print button. The front of Delores’ book gives names and pages in a Table of Contents to find main segments.

Advantage of Viewing Online Is Search Capability

One note: I’ve found the top menu bar with a search box does not show up in Google Chrome browser, but it WILL be visible in Internet Explorer 9. In response to details shared by Glen W. Mustian, I recently searched all 451 pages for the name Mustian and found one entry.

While the image above lists surnames of: Mustain, Shelton, Keesee, Moor, Greene, Dalton and Dove, there are actually many more in the book. At several places, Delores gave an alphabetical list of names. This is another way that search is helpful.

For birth, death and marriage dates and locations, I often compare Delores’ book and Carolyn’s research. They usually agree, but they don’t always have the same details. A few places I’ve found that Carolyn will have a fact in one of her three research formats that is not included in another. When we look at how complex the task must have been, we can understand!

If you have research links, photos or details to share with others in our extended family, please comment on this post.


Grief Hickman Goodwin, Thomas Mustain’s Great-Grandson: Mexican-American War & Civil War

Cathy Gibbons Reedy, a descendant of Thomas’ son Jesse shared these details of military records. You can see her original comments on two pages of this blog: 1) Note to Family, and 2) Can You Add These Details?. I’ve added illustrations, and a bit of my own research, to help us know more about Grief’s experience. See the bottom of this post for a link to Cathy’s researched family list and photos for several of her family branches.

Mexican-American War

Battle of Veracruz

Wikipedia image (public domain): Battle of Veracruz: engraving based on a painting. Originally published in The War Between the United States and Mexico, Illustrated, 1851

Grief Hickman Goodwin was a Private in Company D, Santa Fe (New Mexico) Battalion Mountain Volunteers, Mexican-American War from 1 July 1847 – 17 October 1848 (discharged at Independence, MO). Rebecca’s note. I found no more detail about these Mountain Volunteers.

American and Mexican Uniform Reconstruction

Reconstruction of American and Mexican uniforms. Wikipedia photo with permission from DevonTT.

Wikipedia gives a lot of detail about the conflict and events leading up to the war. See the full article here.

…The Mexican–American War, also known as the Mexican War, the U.S.–Mexican War, the Invasion of Mexico, the U.S. Intervention, or the United States War Against Mexico, was an armed conflict between the United States and Mexico from 1846 to 1848 in the wake of the 1845 U.S. annexation of Texas, which Mexico considered part of its territory despite the 1836 Texas Revolution

American territorial expansion to the Pacific coast had been the goal of President James K. Polk, the leader of the Democratic Party. However, the war was highly controversial in the U.S., with the Whig Party, anti-imperialists and anti-slavery elements strongly opposed. Heavy American casualties and high monetary cost were also criticized. The political aftermath of the war raised the slavery issue in the U.S., leading to intense debates that pointed to civil war; the Compromise of 1850 provided a brief respite….

For others in our extended family whose ancestors served in the Mexican-American War, here’s a site with Unit Profiles, Rosters and Photos.

Grief Hickman Goodwin’s Confederate Army Regiment, Civil War 

Grief served 18 months in Baird’s Cavalry Texas (4th Regiment, Arizona Brigade; Showalter’s Regiment), for the Confederate States of America during the Civil War.

Neither Cathy Reedy or I have seen a photo of Grief, who died in 1875 at age 51. He was was born on 16 APR 1824 in Pittsylvania Co. VA. He died on 7 NOV 1875 in Collin, Texas.

Cathy found the following photo of Grief’s wife, Achsah Caroline Price Goodwin…in her grandmother’s photographs many years after her grandmother passed away. A note on the back of the photo says that Achsah was age 92. The photo was taken in 1924, and she died in 1926.

Achsah Caroline Price Goodwin, 1924

Achsah Caroline Price Goodwin in 1924, widow of Grief Hickman Goodwin, who died in 1875. Note on the back says she is 92 in this photo.

Here’s Cathy’s Branch of Our Family from Thomas Mustain

“Thomas’ son Jesse  & Jenny were my 4xg grandparents > Susanna Mustain & John Walker Goodwin > Grief Hickman Goodwin & Achsah Price > Pauline Goodwin & William Marshall > Noda Marshall & O.O. Gibbons > Harlee Gibbons & Shirley L. Lemke.”

Cathy Generously Shared a Link to Her Family Research Photos

Please view and use this photo archive respectfully: cathyreedy.com. Cathy has collected historical photos for the Gibbons, Reedy and Tyler families.

If anyone is part of Cathy’s branch, please comment about how you’re connected and share any details, links or photos.


Anita Kooker Musteen: Kooker, Cummings and Knight Research, Links and Photos

Mildred Cummings Kooker

Mildred Cummings Kooker

The Kooker family was linked to the Musteen family, when Dwight and Mildred Kooker’s only daughter, Anita, married Joe Brown Musteen on November 11, 1950 (Veterans Day). Joe was was in Army boot camp before being sent to Korea. He rushed home to Rogers, AR for the wedding and took Anita back to Fort Carson. (Joe was a descendant of Thomas Mustain’s son Avery.)

This page will give you links to extensive family research and 500 of Mildred Cummings Kooker’s photos (photo link coming soon).

Many thanks to Mildred’s youngest son, Stephen Kooker, for converting the 500+ page manually-typed Knight Family History binders to PDF files, plus scanning and indexing his mother’s photos.

Chery Kooker Brainerd, granddaughter of Mildred Cummings Kooker, meticulously compiled research for Henry Kooker Descendants. See her March 21, 2007 note on page 1 of the main file. Chery also gave us two condensed views to find details quickly. Download here.


Winifred Mustain’s Husband: Zacherias Lewis Revolutionary War Service

We see on page 46 of Delores M. Mustaine’s book that Thomas Mustain’s son-in-law, Zacherias Lewis, served in the Revolutionary War.

Delores’ note is:

Zacherias Lewis served three years in the 10th Virginia Regiment during the Revolutionary War.

He died in 1817, before pension benefits were available to veterans, so no pension statement with his summary of war service would be available as we have for Thomas’ son, Avery.

We find Zacherias listed in this rootsweb roster of Revolutionary War Soldiers and Patriots. On a Windows computer, you can hit Control/F to open a search box in the upper left corner of the list. Then, search by Lewis until you find his name.

LEWIS,  Zacherias.   Soldier. 10th Va. reg., Continental Line

Wikipedia tells us a bit about the 10th Virginia Regiment. According to Delores’ research above, Zacherias served for three years. Since the regiment was active for just less than four and one-half years, can we assume that Winnie’s husband was not captured?

The 10th Virginia Regiment was raised on December 28, 1775 in western Virginia for service with the Continental Army. The regiment would see action at the Battle of Brandywine, Battle of Germantown, Battle of Monmouth and the Siege of Charleston. Most of the regiment was captured at Charlestown, South Carolina on May 12, 1780 by the British and the regiment was formally disbanded on November 15, 1783.

Watch for some possible confusion about the correct regiment. In this online reference, we see that Ruben Cooper II is named as having been in the 14th, along with a statement that it was sometimes known as the 10th Virgiinia Regiment. Ruben is under #12 on this page:

Military service: 1776, Served as sergeant in Capt. Edward Garland’s Co., 14th Virginia Regiment (also known as 10th) in Rev. War, under Col. Lewis and Col. Davies

However, this History of Pittsylvania County mentions both the 14th and 10th. Here Zacherias is clearly in the 10th Regiment.

I found no record for Zacherias when I searched under the “Ancestor” tab on Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) website. But please recall that any blood descendant of Thomas is eligible, based on Thomas’ material donation and pledge.


Jesse Mustain: Is There a Revolutionary War Record?

I’ve found no Jesse Mustain Revolutionary War Record. If anyone has details, please alert us by commenting on this post. Here’s a list of Virginian’s serving in the Revolution, and Jesse is not listed (source: Ancestry.com).

We know about Avery’s military service from the details in his pension request.

Can we guess that Jesse enlisted in the Revolution at the same time as his younger brother, Avery (the other 9 of 11 children were sisters)?

Jesse was born in 1750 and Avery in 1756.

There is no pension request record for Jesse, who died in Jun 1794, before pension benefits were available. It seems that Jesse’s wife, Jenny (I’ll check further for her maiden name), died in 1792…so she would not have been alive to request a widow’s benefit. These dates are from Carolyn Mckenzie’s “tree-format” research.*

Delores M. Mustaine’s research agrees with the dates in Carolyn’s research (see information about Jesse, beginning on page 55 of Delores’ book). Delores also had no maiden name for Jesse’s first wife or any mention of his military service. Here are details of his second marriage, about one year after Jenny’s death:

Jesse married second June 11, 1793, Pittsylvania County, Virginia, Polly Brewis, daughter of Robert Brewis.

Please know that any blood descendant of Jesse’s and Avery’s father, Thomas Mustain, is eligible for Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), based on Thomas donating a firearm and signing the oath of allegiance.

Thomas Musteen for 1 smooth Bore Gun impressed for the use of the Militia on their march to join General Green. 1 pound, 12 shillings, 6 pence
November 10, 1783, Thomas Mustain furnished one gun for the Southward Expedition.

Thomas also signed the Oath of Allegiance in 1777.

Looking to see if I might find an illustration of a “smooth bore” gun, I found that it was a musket. Wikipedia includes some interesting information about how complicated it was to load and shoot one:

A musket is a muzzle-loaded, smooth bore long gun, fired from the shoulder. Muskets were designed for use by infantry. A soldier armed with a musket had the designation musketman or musketeer


musketeer training

“A Seventeenth-Century manual of arms; step-by-step procedure in the handling of the musket by ranked [arranged in ranks] men was essential to avoid fatal accidents.”

  …In the 18th century, as typified by the English Brown Bess musket, loading and firing was done in the following way:

  • Upon the command “prime and load“, the soldier would make a quarter turn to the right at the same time bringing the musket to the priming position. The pan would be open following the discharge of the previous shot, meaning that the frizzen would be tilted forward. If the musket was not being reloaded after a previous shot, the soldiers would be ordered to “Open Pan“.
  • Upon the command “Handle cartridge“, the soldier would draw a cartridge from the cartridge box worn on the soldier’s right hip or on a belt in front of the soldier’s belly. Cartridges consisted of a spherical lead ball wrapped in a paper cartridge which also held the gunpowder propellant. The end of the cartridge opposite from the ball would be sealed by a mere twist of the paper. The soldier then tore off the twisted end of the cartridge with the teeth and spat it out, and continued to hold the now open cartridge in his right hand.
  • Upon the command “prime“, the soldier then pulled the hammer back to half-cock, and poured a small amount of powder from the cartridge into the priming pan. He then closed the frizzen so that the priming powder was trapped.
  • Upon the command “about“, the butt of the musket was then lowered and moved to a position against the soldier’s left calf, and held so that the soldier could then access the muzzle of the musket barrel. The soldier then poured the rest of the powder from the cartridge down the muzzle. The cartridge was then reversed, and the end of the cartridge holding the musket ball was inserted into the muzzle, with the remaining paper shoved into the muzzle above the musket ball. This paper acted as wadding to stop the ball and powder from falling out if the muzzle was lowered.
  • Upon the command “draw ramrods“, the soldier drew the ramrod from the musket. The ramrod was grasped and reversed when removed, and the large end was inserted about one inch into the muzzle.
  • Upon the command “ram down cartridge“, the soldier then used the ramrod to firmly ram the wadding, bullet, and powder down to the breech of the barrel. The ramrod was then removed, reversed, and returned to half way in the musket by inserting it into the first and second ramrod pipes. The soldier’s hand then grasped the top of the ramrod.
  • Upon the command “return rammers“, the soldier would quickly push the rammer the remaining amount to completely return it to its normal position. Once the ramrod was properly replaced, the soldier’s right arm would be held parallel to the ground at shoulder level, with the right fingertips touching the bayonet lug, and lightly pressing the musket to the soldier’s left shoulder. The soldier’s left hand still supported the musket.

(At no time did the soldier place the musket on the ground to load)

  • Upon the command “Make Ready“. The musket was brought straight up, perpendicular to the ground, with the left hand on the swell of the musket stock, the lock turned toward the soldier’s face, and the soldier’s right hand pulled the lock to full cock, and grasped the wrist of the musket.
  • Upon the command “present“, the butt of the musket was brought to the soldier’s right shoulder, while at the same time the soldier lowered the muzzle to firing position, parallel to the ground, and sighting (if the soldier had been trained to fire at “marks”) along the barrel at the enemy.
  • Upon the command of “fire“, the soldier pulled the trigger, and the musket (hopefully) fired. A full second was allowed to pass, and the musket was then quickly lowered to the loading position, butt against the soldier’s right hip, muzzle held off center to the left at about a forty-five degree angle, and the soldier would look down at his open pan to determine if the prime had been ignited.

This process was drilled into troops until they could complete the procedure upon hearing a single command of “prime and load“. No additional verbal orders were given until the musket was loaded, and the option was either to give the soldiers the command “Make Ready“, or to hold the musket for movement with the command of “Shoulder your firelock“. The main advantage of the British Army was that the infantry soldier trained at this procedure almost every day. A properly trained group of regular infantry soldiers was able to load and fire four rounds per minute. A crack infantry company could load and fire five rounds in a minute.

If you have any details about Jesse’s military service, please click on the comment icon and share details or online links.

*After the tree information loads in Carolyn’s research, click inside the box before you type F for a list of all names. That is not clear in the directions on the research page.


Mustain Name Origin

A Sep 2007 post to genealogy.com by Pamela Almustaine, a professional researcher, gives  possible history of Mustain and related names. Her post is copied below in full. I’ve added bold text to a few sections I found most interesting. For example she found a 1722 land grant to Thomas Mustain, who may have been our Thomas’ father. There is also a note that our Thomas may have been trained as clerk, lawyer, or legal notary.

The following details are very complicated, and I certainly don’t understand the way they all fit together. However, I want to share with our family because I (and others) have found mystery about Thomas Mustain before the first 1748 record of him in Pittsylvania Co. VA.

Thomas Mustain_Origin of Name 

Hello Steve,
don’t get me wrong…. I am talking about descent over millennia here… I am an anthropologist and have spent a lot of my time researching descent from Antiquity and long term migration patterns…

Thomas Mustain clearly had his origins in the British Isles in terms of immediate lineage. I believe he belonged to the family of Taine’s recorded in Bermuda, Barbados, and Jamaica. Both Thomas and Jesse were Anglicans not Jewish neither were they Morisco or Melungeon. Marriage records show Anglican, Quaker, and Huguenot affiliation for the Taine, Moustin, M’Taine, and Muston families that emigrated to Americas in the 1500-1700 time frame.

Mustain family migration

English Galleon Model as one possible sailing ship. Public domain image from Wikipedia

These migration patterns of these surnames from 1000 AD – 1750 are as follows (I am creating a map to show the relationships). Brittany to England – (within England to Wales, Brittany, Cornwall, Channel Islands). With the advent of persecution in France they migrated to Holland, Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean. From Holland they migrated to Scandinavia, Germany, New Amsterdam, Canada and the Caribbean. From Ireland they migrated to Canada, North America and the Caribbean.

The Moorish/Arab name Al Musta’in is not the same as Mustain although there is some similarity in the creed of Mostyn (Auxillum meum et Dominum) and the Arab meaning of the name Al Musta’in (one who prays to God for intercession). I am not entirely discounting a connection however..more research will need to be done before we can say yay or nay with any certainty.

In fact the centuries old Anglophilic definition of the origin of the surname Mostyn (Moss town) is under scrutiny. The name does have an alternative Latin meaning “tin mine”. Incidentally the same root behind Brittanium. My research so far shows that in England most of the town names derived from Mostin are in some way associated with mining (tin, silver, or coal) or with families with mining interests. This was certainly true of Isaac of Muston. If the name Mustain is in any way connected to Musta’in it would have had to be prior to 500AD.

I highly suspect that any Arabic genes infused into the lineage may have come from secondary sources not from the main Mustaine ancestral line but from an Admixture introduced between 1000AD and 1700AD through a Portuguese or Spanish intermarriage. Regarding the name Seludy there were a great many girls of from this area in 1700-1780 who were named Seluda, Seludi, Seludie after then Seluda river in Carolina. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saluda_River

With regard to that… this bolsters my believe that the next step to locating our Thomas Mustain is to look in the islands of the Caribbean where there was two generations of Jesse Taine living in Barbados. One Jesse Taine married a Joan Browne in the Anglican Parish in 1725. At the baptism of their son William some years later there was a Jesse Tain who was made Godfather of little William. I found a record of a Jesse Tayn who emigrated from the Caribbean to South Carolina prior to 1740 accompanied by a William Browne. It would appear also that our verifiable Thomas Mustain was not the original Thomas (first ancestor) but rather his son.

Land records indicate that Thomas Mustain received a land grant in 1722. Since he would have had to be an adult to receive the grant. This Thomas would have had to be our Thomas’s father. If our Thomas had been an adult in 1722 he would have been too old to be the Thomas Mustain that participated in the American Revolution.

Here is what I know so far…

There is a record of Marc Taine aka Marc Moustin serving as an alderman in Calais. He is also associated with the Enterprise of America (French West India Company) which in 1560 sent settlers to Martinique to raise sugar cane and tobacco. One of these settlers was a Marie Taine (possibly Marc’s sister). There is also at this time a Antoine Taine/Mustin also from Calais who was instrumental the settlement of New Amsterdam and Canada.

There is a record of a Thomas and Ann Moustine who debarked in MD 1670, in 1701 there is a record of a Thomas Taine baptized son of Thomas Taine and Jeanne Cornu in Calais France. There is also a John Mustain recorded in MD around 1660. (Maryland is very close to Halifax/ Pittsylvania county VA.)*

*Rebecca’s note: I believe I’ve found this John Mustain, please scroll to the bottom of this article.

There is a Jesse Taine in Barbados married Joan Browne in 1725 and emigrated to South Carolina in abt 1740. There is a second Jesse Taine who is obviously related to the first Jesse Taine (whether senior or junior I am not yet certain).

One thing I am sure of the (M’Taine/Mustain) family did not come to the Carribean as indentured servants, nor did they come by way of Bristol, Middlesex, or London. They would likely have sailed from the ports of France, Holland, or Ireland. Most likely as the owners of their own ships, or as fully paid passengers.

BTW… There is some indication that our Thomas may have been a (clerk, lawyer, or legal notary).

One additional aside not sure how it is related… There is a record of a Thomas Mostyn and Browne (T/P)ayne located at Puddledock up Thames London in 1730 as the insurance underwriters for port shipments of sugar between the colonies and Dutch and English ports. The name of the insurance company at the time was the Sun Assurance Company. in 1781 ownership was transferred and the name changed to Phoenix Assurance.

Could this be the record that Pamela referred to in the text above?

*Thomas Moustain (Mustain) b. ~ 1650 (son of John)

Click on the links below, to see the parents of this Thomas and tables of several generations. Clicking on the “Mustain” or “Vaughan” links will give you a list of persons in each family:
John Mustain (of Churston) [Mustain] b. изм 1620 и 1630 d. ~ 1682

Bridget Vaughan (Vann) [Vaughan] b. 1635проц

> # Thomas Moustain (Mustain) [Mustain]

1674, From France to Maryland

Although it is certain that Thomas was related to John Mustain, the age of John’s wife makes it difficult (but not impossible) to reconcile chronologically, unless Thomas was the projeny of a first marriage. Another scenario is that Thomas is cousin’s son to John, being the grandson of either John’s uncle Jasper, Thomas, or Maximilien. Maximilien is unlikely since non of the descendants of Thomas carried the name Maximilien forward. However the names Thomas, John, and Jesse/Jasper, appear with regular frequency. That Thomas is decended from the branch of Muston-Churchill that was located in France is made more likely by the fact that Thomas and his wife Ann set sail to Maryland from the Port of Calais, rather than the more conveniently located Cinque Ports.

Note on family migration: I was amazed to see the many types of sailing ships in wikipedia. It was not easy for me to determine on which types of ships our ancestors might have sailed.

If you have more information about our family before Thomas Mustain and Mary Haley Mustain, please share comments and/or links.


Thomas Mustain Children

Thomas Mustain and Mary Haley Mustain had 11 children, born from about 1750 to 1774.

I’ve found that many family researchers have entered data on Thomas’ descendents into programs like myheritage.com, geni.com, or onegreatfamily.com…if you want to join any of those services. So far, I have not found an easy way to share details entered in those formats. However, rootsweb in ancestry.com and familytreemaker at geneology.com allow descending, clickable links. In this post, I’ll share a list of Thomas’ and Mary’s children from each, because the two lists are different (note that the familytreemaker list is from Carolyn Mckenzie’s excellent research).

Some differences in the two lists of Thomas Mustain children:

Children are listed in different order, and the details given are not complete in either. I checked dates for any difference. The rootsweb list does not include Tabetha, and the familytreemaker list has spelled her name as Tabitha. We see Rebeckah and Rebecca. If we look at Thomas’ will, we confirm Tabetha and Rebecca. Avery’s birth date is listed first as Feb 16 1756, then as Feb 26, 1756.

To preserve your ability to click through to other details where available, I have not changed any format or content of either list. The rootsweb link also contains some research details for Thomas, two segments of which are included on this page. Links in the first list have a few spouses and more details for Avery, but clicking on links in the 2nd list of children will give you much more information and let you move into other generations. I have not compared dates or other details as one clicks though for more information.

Thomas Mustain House

Original fieldstone is still visible in the dining room.

As I looked closely at both lists of children and birthdates, I had to wonder where the family lived as each child was born.  Since Thomas’ first land grant was in 1753, it seems unlikely that any child before Milly (about 1755), Winifred (Winney – about 1756), or Avery (1756) could have been born in the historic home that is still standing. Some estimate the home to be built as late as 1769, but that date could refer to additions made by Jesse.

The first record of Thomas Mustain is in 1748, he is on the list of Tiltable. I could not find any information about him before this date.

Thomas received his first land grant Feb. 5, 1753 from King George II of England, signed by Robert Dinwiddle. It consisted of 400 acres in Luneburg co., on Poplar Branch of Mill Creek…

Thomas Mustain’s home is still standing in Pittsylvania Co., VA, even though it was built nearly 200 years ago. Thomas’s home was built ca 1769. Thomas, his sons Jesse and Avery, and his son-in-law-s father Littleberry Patterson built their homes within 15 miles of each other.

Marriage 1 Mary Haley b: WFT Est 1726

  • Married: WFT Est 1750 in Pittsylvania county, Virginia


  1. Anna Mustain b: WFT Est 1750 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
  2. Jesse Mustain b: WFT Est 1750 in Gretna, Pittsylvania Co., VA
  3. Rebeckah Mustain b: ABT 1752
  4. Molley Mustain b: WFT Est 1752
  5. Milly Mustain b: ABT 1755
  6. Winifred Mustain b: ABT 1756
  7. Avery MUSTAIN b: 16 FEB 1756 in Camden Parish, Pittsylvania Co., Va.
  8. Salley Mustain b: ABT 1767
  9. Saludy Mustain b: 1772 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
  10. Mary Ann Mustain b: ABT 1774

Descendants of Thomas Mustain

Generation No. 1

1. THOMAS1 MUSTAIN was born 1725 in Halifax, Lunenberg Co., Virginia, and died 1791 in Pittsylvania Co., VA. He married MARY HALEY 1748-1750 in VA.
Children of THOMAS MUSTAIN and MARY HALEY are: 



  MOLLEY2 MUSTAIN, m. JOHN PATTERSON, June 30, 1794, Pittsylvania Co., VA.










  ANNA MUSTAIN, b. Abt. 1750, Pittsylvania Co., VA; d. 186-1820, KY.


  JESSE MUSTAIN, b. 1750, Gretna, Pittsylvania Co., VA; d. June 1794, Gretna, Pittsylvania Co., VA.


  AVERY MUSTAIN, b. February 26, 1756, Camden Parish, Pittsylvania Co., VA; d. August 31, 1833, Camden Parish, Pittsylvania Co., VA.


  SALLEY MUSTAIN, b. Abt. 1767; m. PRICE SKINNER, June 30, 1794, Pittsylvania Co., VA.


  MILDRED MUSTAIN, b. 1770-1780, VA; d. August 1838, VA.


  SALUDY MUSTAIN, b. 1772, Pittsylvania Co., VA; d. 1812, Chimney Rock, Gallia Co., OH.

If you can add information from your family stories or research, please leave a comment and share details and/or online links with our extended family.